The following is a guest post from Ellen at Fun With English, where she explores the origin of English words and expressions. In her spare time, she is on her own journey to improve her financial knowledge! She’s guest posted here several times before with ones like How to Save Money on a Road Trip and Impulse Shopping and Discount Chocolate.
I’ve noticed a lot of ads for wedding shows, so I know it is wedding planning season. I’ll freely admit my wedding was not nearly as economical as Crystal’s 🙂 , but I think I’ve still got some good planning tips to share!
Tips for a Wedding on a Budget
1. Start saving now. As soon as you get engaged, you should start putting money away. We had a rough idea of the overall budget that what we wanted to spend on our wedding, so, once we got engaged, we started putting a lump sum away each month. Our goal was to have enough money saved by our wedding date (we got married about a year after we got engaged) that we would have enough to cover all our costs.
2. Figure out what is really important to you in your wedding. Do you want something small and intimate? A big blowout? Perhaps you’re not big on a sit down dinner, but an open bar is a must. Talk things through with your better half (and other family members if you’re feeling generous/crazy), and see what matters to them. Your significant other may want photo wedding invitations or a videographer. For me – I really wanted a 3-tier cake. I don’t know why, but in my head, my wedding cake was always 3 tiers, so that was a must.
3. Search for talented and connected friends and family members. My now sister-in-law is an excellent photographer and kindly did our photos. Ask around – perhaps someone you know would like to DJ, or works at a flower shop and can give you a discount. Make sure you budget in something to compensate them for their time and efforts.
4. Reduce, reuse, recycle. You can reuse family rings as is (hey, Prince William did it!) or have them reset into a new setting. Reuse flowers from the ceremony at the reception – we put our bridesmaid’s boquets in vases to decorate the head table. And speaking of wedding party – try to save costs for them as well. We picked the least expensive tux for our ushers, and I let my bridesmaid pick out their own dresses, all just keeping in a common colour scheme.
In the end – with a sit down dinner and open bar, my wedding ran a bit over $ 10,000 (this was 8 years ago). Not frugal by any stretch, but certainly cheaper than the average cost of a wedding!
My last tip is this – plan wisely, but don’t overdo it. I had $10,000 as a budget in my head and freaked out any time I thought we might go over. I also cheaped out on my bridesmaid hair and makeup (I should have helped cover it, but didn’t), and I really regret that.
What is the best money saving tip you have? Is there something you spent money on you shouldn’t have? Or something you wish you had spent money on?
Crystal’s Comments: I highly suggest having a videographer if you think you may want a video of the ceremony later. That is my only regret. We didn’t splurge on much at all and had a fantastic wedding – really, we absolutely loved it.
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page – I hope they help you too.
This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!