Working With a Limited Wedding Budget? Know Where to Skimp and When to Splurge
Wedding planning, especially when you’re on a budget, can be frustrating. As exciting as choosing your dress, venue, menu, and everything else is, you have to remember that this could potentially be one of the most costly celebrations you’ll ever throw. It’s well worth it, of course—but you have to have a wedding budget or you’ll end up getting carried away.
That said, we spoke to a bunch of couples we’ve worked with previously to find out what’s the best way to approach this. We asked—what parts of the wedding can they save and skimp on, and which parts are worth splurging and spending money on?
In the course of doing research for this post, it should be noted that there are no hard and fast rules on how to plan your wedding day. After all, it’s your day and you deserve to choose what to do and what not to do. But these are some tried and tested pieces of wisdom shared by couples who have gone through the gruelling process of planning a wedding. And there’s always something to learn from that.
So, let’s get started—
Wedding budget tips for wedding day style
Skimp on makeup. This might come as a surprise to a lot of brides—but here’s the thing. You don’t want to look like a completely different person on your wedding day. You don’t need layers upon layers of makeup applied by a professional. If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, do so. Browse online for makeup inspiration—but remember: your objective is to enhance your look, not to morph into someone else entirely. If you’re not comfortable on doing your makeup yourself, ask a beauty-savvy friend to help. Or give yourself enough time to test and try out makeup artists within your area to find someone who fits your budget.
Splurge on your shoes. Keep in mind that you’ll be on your feet all day on your wedding day. So be sure to set money aside from your wedding budget so you can get a beautiful and comfortable pair of shoes.
Most brides we spoke to actually advised against getting them in white.
“You’re spending money on shoes, opt for a more netural shade like nude or gold—their easier to wear again…whether it’s for other special occasions, to work, or even a night out with friends.”
Skimp on your dress. Another surprising addition on the “save” column. The truth is, your dress doesn’t have to be insanely expensive to be perfect. It just has to be a dress that first you perfectly. In fact, most brides recommend going through discount or vintage stores, even sample sales to find your dress and investing instead in alterations so that it fits you perfectly.
Wedding budget tips for wedding décor
Skimp on table centerpieces. It’s a little daunting to skimp on something that’s going to make or break your reception look. But it’s so easy to build the different components of a centerpiece based on inspiration you find online and recreating it on your big day. You can save a lot of money by choosing locally grown flowers, visiting your local craft store and arranging it all yourself.
Splurge on altar arrangements. The altar will be the very focal point of your entire wedding. This is where your will exchange vows and where most of the photos and videos be taken. You want to make sure that it’s spruced up with eye-catching arrangements or have a beautiful arch to perfectly frame it.
Skimp on table numbers. This is another aspect of your wedding reception décor that you can easily do yourself. You don’t even need much. You can easily purchase a stand from the local craft store and personalize each table with engagement photos or funny baby pictures.
Wedding budget tips for food and drinks
Skimp on the drinks. Sure, all your guests want an open bar, but it can get expensive. Most couples suggest limiting drinks to offer three main drinks, a signature theme cocktail, wine or spirits, and beer.
Splurge on late night munchies. After the official wedding reception is over, most couples suggest treating their guests to late-night snacks. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Some fries, burgers, and milkshakes to go around can help keep the party going. Chances are, your guests will love the laid-back menu and the novelty of enjoying a casual snack in their formal wear.
Wedding budget tips for your wedding vendors
Splurge on your photographer and videographer. You’ll cherish your memories of your wedding forever—and after the actual celebration is finished, the only thing you’ll have of it will be your photos and videos of your big day. You want a photographer or videographer who has an eye for capturing the perfect, candid, once-in-a-lifetime moments of your wedding day so don’t try and save money by choosing amateurs.
Skimp on the wedding coordinator. Planning your wedding is going to be crazy, stressful, and tedious regardless of whether you’re working with a planner or not. Brides often suggest investing on an on-the-day coordinator instead. The only thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is you. You wont really have time to attend to your guests and the pace of the menu when you’re busy posing for photos.
Splurge on the DJ. You want to encourage the guests at your reception to get up and dance. The best way to do that is to hire a good DJ or a wedding band. Hire wedding entertainment that came highly recommended by friends or family, and check their reviews on reliable wedding sites.
There you have it. Any more tips from our couples reading this? We’d love to hear all about it. Share it in the comment section below!