Do you have any tips for planning a budget wedding?

by DIY wedding planner on November 3, 2013

My boyfriend and I have been engaged for a couple years now. We just had a beautiful baby (She is 10 weeks old now). And I really think it is about time we tied the knot.

First of all I have no idea how to plan a wedding! And second of all money is a little tight! Any tips?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

?maggie? November 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

yes have a burnch wedding they are much cheaper and also having it on a weekday is A LOT cheaper cuz all the things u need (cake, vendors, florists….) r not busy on weekdays but if u want a lot of ppl there, then i’d suggest a regular weekend nd cut costs wherever u can. has a checklist to help u know where to start and also some great budget tips good luck and congrats on the wedding and the baby!!


Rachel-waiting for 11/21/09 November 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

My best advice is book off season!

You can save tons of money (really easily .. not having to print your own invites, or arrange your own flowers .. which you can do too…) by booking your wedding in the Winter (November, January to March).

My fiance and I are getting married this coming November and we picked our date based on the steep discount our venue offered for mid-November weddings (it’s an off-time to get married).

We saved over $30 per person on the catering/bar package which worked out to over $3500 savings! And all we did was pick the date to save that much money.

Here are some other examples of off-season savings from quotes I have been collecting while I plan:
- Limo: up to 60% off in the winter months (November, January-March)
- Venues/Hall: 50% room rentals to FREE room rentals (we would only pay the catering fees)
- 40% off catering/bar packages for Friday or Sunday weddings (any time of year)
- 40-50% of catering/bar packages for Winter season
- Photography (this is a rare one to get seasonal discounts on, but I did find a few that offered) around 30% off for winter.

Best Wishes!


Katrina November 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Take as much time as you need, as with a 10 week old baby, there’s not much time to have a wee never mind plan a wedding!!!

There are a few websites which help you along the way.. (this has an extreme list of things you need to do but most are optional)

I am planning a budget wedding but we’re not getting married until 2012 so I have plenty of time to save for the big things, and just get little bits and pieces when I can.

Do your own catering maybe?
Do you have any family members who could do you a cake? And maybe a wedding dress?

Good luck!


browneyedgirl November 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Register at . They have tons of resources including a timeline and tips on money saving. I’ll give you a few tips of my own too…

There are some things that you can cut back on or eliminate completely and 95% of your guests won’t even notice. Favors and ceremony programs are nice, but not necessary if budget won’t allow. Most people won’t notice they aren’t there. If you are getting married in a church, or chapel, don’t bother with trying to decorate the church. (I’ve rarely notice when brides put decorations at the church). Have one nice larger flower arrangement and place it by the guest book, then have someone take it to the reception site after the ceremony and place it in a prominent place there too- try to use things twice if you can! Have the bridesmaids put their boquets in vases to decorate the head table at the reception.

Cut out the liquor from the bar service at the reception- beer and wine is much cheaper and suits most people. You can make the invitations yourself.. there are lots of DIY options out there.

What guests will remember is if they had a good time and got to speak with the bride and groom. So make sure that the food is good and there is music and dancing…. and make sure to visit each table at the reception if there is no recieving line. Good luck!


Betsy November 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm;_ylt=AkhDxFy0s22Vbar5Gdd39Ibty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20090604151548AA3Ff5r&show=7#profile-info-CfoXtceFaa

Check out a bunch of our answers to the similar question! There are so many ways to save money. (Sorry I tried to copy and paste my answer but it wasn’t working!)


Ashley November 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Congrats on your new baby girl and it is great you are thinking about the next step. It can be such a wonderful experience but as we all know very $$$.
I was also on a tight budget but came up with lots of ideas to save money.
First thing is try to keep the guest list as small as possible.
Look for a church/reception area that both parts can be held at.
Dont go crazy on flowers,
As centerpieces I used live beta fish in vase with colorful rocks on the bottom. I know alot of people think this is wrong but to tell you the truth my guest loved it. They were tooken home by them and I saved about $400 instead of purchasing flowers.
This is a good one, Safeway the grocerey store sells cakes! I got my three tier cake for about $150. It fed 150 guests!

I hope this helps, but what really helped me out was knowing that nomatter how fancy and expencive the wedding was, the love was real.
No one can take that…
Good Luck


Mrs B 2 B (22/08/09) November 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Great site for tips hints and guidance.

Great site for dresses.

Set your budget early and keep a spread sheet record of everything. Use the ‘net to hunt for best prices, make your own invites and get family and friends to help out with their talents (cakes, flowers…hobbies like that!)

Good luck.


samantha m November 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I have a TON of tips..get ready for a novel (sorry in advance!!)

1. The first thing to do is have a small guest list. The fewer the guests, the less mouths you have to feed.

2. Have your wedding in the off season. This is September, October, November, December (save for christmas and new years) Jan, February (usually not valentine’s day though) March and April. You can also save a lot of money by choosing to do your event on a weekday. Not only will you save, but you’ll most likely have your pick of top notch vendors.

3. Think outside the traditional reception. Instead, try something like a cocktails and hors d’eouvres only party, just desserts, a luncheon or even a nice brunch reception. If you can, cater the event yourself. This tends to be less costly.

4. Supplying your own liquor saves you money as well. If that’s not an option, try going with a basic House Package or a Beer and Wine only option. These are still nice and definitely not tacky like a cash bar would be. You could also forgo alcohol and do a dry reception. Buy glass juice dispensers and fill them with lemonade and lemon slices, fruit punch, iced tea, and maybe some nice sangrias. This is very elegant and cost effective.

5. DIY invitation kits from Craft stores are an excellant way to save money. They cost a lot less than traditional invites.

6. Check with your local grocery stores and see if they do flower arrangements. They will most likely cost less than a traditional florist. You can also buy your flowers in bulk and do them yourself, keep in mind that this is very time consuming and you will probably need a lot of help. Websites like have great flower packages I believe you can get a 7pc intimate wedding set for 300/400 dollars..which is about the average price of one bouquet from a florist.

7. Cupcake stands usually cost less than a traditional cake from a baker. But if you have your heart set on one, try getting a smaller cake for the two of you to cut and storing sheet cakes in the back, no one will know the difference, trust me. You can also try purchasing a wedding cake from a grocery store like Wal Mart. thier cakes run about 150-200.00 Plus no one need ever know.

8. Non floral centerpieces save you a lot of money. You could try doing ‘half and halfs’ half of your tables with flowers, half without if you have your heart set on blooms.

9. City owned facilities cost a lot less to rent than a traditional reception site. Check with your local county and see what parks are available to rent. Some even have gazebos..I know there are a few parks around my area that will include a tent in your rental fee.

10. Scout out local colleges for student photographers. They can photograph your event a lot cheaper than a professional. I would also check out colleges and high school music programs for musicans.

11. Instead of a DJ, you could use your ipod to create the music for your wedding. Have a friend do your announcements and then just let your ipod play..the plus side? You’ll get to choose every single song and make SURE that you like them :)

12. Try buying your gown off the rack. Stores like David’s Bridal and Group USA are a lot cheaper than other bridal salons. also has wedding gowns on thier website. You could buy a plainer dress and then add beading, etc. to it later..this is a great way to personalize your look.

13. When it comes to flowers and decor, try and stay within your season. Tulips will be a lot easier to find and a lot less expensive in the spring than in the winter.

14. Cut down on your transportation costs by only using a limo as your getaway car.

15. Ebay is going to be your new best friend…you can find anything on here for your wedding..a lot cheaper. Also check out thrift shops, I’ve gotten great vintage looking platters from there and used them in weddings I’ve done.

for more ideas and tips check out and a few of the following books:

theDIYbride–40+ do it yourself projects that save you money and look great

Do it for less weddings- great ideas to save you money

How to have a wedding for 5,000 and less- title basically says it all, great book.

Priceless weddings for under 5,000- again, title really says it all.

I really hope these help! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!! I hope its beautiful!


StolenAnjel November 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Getting married on a budget is a lot easier than people realise. You just have to know where to look.

The registry office is the cheapest option. Not sure what your local one is like but many local councils are making an effort to make their offices more appealing.

Second cheapest option is your parish church, especially if you have some connection with them e.g. you attend regular services, your parents got married there. Most churches have a church hall that can be rented out for receptions.

If you don’t mind which day you get married (i.e. a weekday) then I would totally recommend Whirlwind Weddings.

They can sort out a venue and catering for 60 guests in 6 weeks. It usually costs around £4000 for exclusive overnight use of the venue. As I said before, the available dates are usually late cancellations of dates that simply haven’t been booked by anyone. One of their venues is Clearwell Castle. I got married there, it was amazing!

If you definately want to get married on the weekend you will need to do a bit more shopping round. Charities like English Heritage and National Trust hire some of their venues for weddings and functions.

I would also recommend looking for hotels that carry civil licences. That way you have the ceremony and reception in one place.

Congratulations and good luck


Toni November 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm

A few ideas for you to consider…

Be organised – Stay on top of your wedding budget by planning ahead and keeping a record of everything you’ve spent. See a guide to discussing your wedding budget and style with your partner here.

Get married on a week day – Enquire about better deals from venues, photographers and other suppliers. You might find your day is much cheaper, since you are avoiding popular weekends. Certain times of the year will be much more expensive than others, too. Wedding ‘season’ is traditionally June to September – ask your chosen venue about prices outside of these times. October to February tends to be the cheapest time of year (excluding Valentine’s Day!).

Reduce the number of guests – The reception usually takes up the biggest proportion of the wedding budget. Since the size of your venue and the cost of your food and drink is directly proportionate to the number of guests, consider cutting your guest list, perhaps excluding “+1′s”, partners of work colleagues or children. You can book a smaller venue and use the size of the venue as an excuse!

Have a shorter wedding day – The longer your guests stay with you, the more you will have to spend on food, drink and entertainment. Consider a romantic evening ceremony or a ‘wedding lunch’.

Have an evening-only party – Similarly, you could have a day ceremony and a sit-down meal with a select group of your nearest and dearest, followed by a party for the rest of your guests in the evening.

Share the budget – Find out if there’s another wedding at your venue on the same day and see if you can split the cost of flowers and decorations.

Hire your outfits – If you’re not the sentimental type and don’t mind parting with your dress after the big day, you can save money by hiring some or all of the wedding outfits.

Use your skills – Consider using your own (and your family and friend’s!) skills to save money. Is your cousin a great photographer? Does your auntie make great cakes? Do you have a passion for flowers? Fancy learning dress-making? This might even be a great opportunity to discover a new talent – and have a bit of fun – in an evening class!

Check out your local council website – They usually list buildings available for hire – you might find a beautiful building that has been turned in to a local authority centre for training or education that’s available for hire at a low price.

Adopt a ‘less-is-more’ attitude – Think less-is-more when it comes to flowers and table decorations. One or two large, eye catching flower arrangements can be more impressive than lots of small individual centrepieces.

Have a Sex & The City style cocktail party – Instead of a formal (and expensive) sit-down dinner, have a stylish cocktail and canapés party instead. Serve interesting and classy finger food, cocktails and lots of champagne and everyone will think you’re being very trendy!

Serve sparkling wine – Ask your venue to recommend a good sparkling wine instead of serving champagne. Also ask about the venue’s house wines, which are usually very good. Or you could serve cocktails named after the Bride or Groom, mixing Cava or wine with soft drinks.

Compile your own music – A solo performer will be cheaper than string quartet. Or you could give live music a miss and use the venue’s sound system to play your own selection of music. Putting together a great soundtrack can be time-consuming but will save you money. Alternatively, hiring a DJ can be cheaper than hiring a professional live music band. If you’re into live bands, you could seek out a local band who are just starting out and looking for exposure to play for a small fee, or possibly even free – just make sure you see them in action before the big day!

Limit the free bar – You can provide your guests with a welcome drink and wine during the meal and then have a ‘pay bar’ once the formal meal is over. Most guests these days expect to buy their own drinks at a wedding and won’t consider you cheap!

Wear your mum’s wedding dress – Wearing the wedding dress of someone you love, whether it’s your mum, your sister, your auntie, your step-mum – whoever.. can be a really special and emotional addition to your wedding day. You can have it altered at a small cost to suit your figure or to update it.

Barter! – Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. Larger suppliers, like the venue and the caterers, can often give you a better deal. Don’t worry about offending them – as long as you ask politely, no professional supplier will mind you asking! They can always say ‘no’ but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

Shop around – You want to get the best for your money, so look around at what’s available before making a decision. For example, when you’re choosing a photographer, ask for examples of their work, and references. It may be that you decide it’s worth spending a bit more for a great photographer, but it’s also worth taking a look at the newer ventures


Lauren November 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm

First off, congratulation on your baby boy! You will certianly have your hands full planning a wedding and taking care of him, but it surely is not impossible! :)

You have some really excellent feedback here and many of the sites that have been mentioned I would recommend checking out.

One minor area you want to consider or at least think about is your wedding guest favors. You can save A LOT of money if you make them yourself! I suggest checking out the wedding supplies, has. They do have an affordable selection of wedding favors, but it could be fun getting the girls or family together and make up the favors yourself. They have some really great accessories and ideas for guest favors.

You may also want to consider any decorations you would like for your reception and/or ceremony. They have everything from table linens, to centerpieces, to unity candle holders and more!

I suggest looking around at You will get a good idea of what you want, what you don’t want, and what your options are.

Congratulations and best of luck with everything!


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