Marriage is a big commitment. It is also a significant life change that calls for celebration. Many couples celebrate their commitment to each other by gathering with friends and family. While a wedding is an exciting occasion, it can be expensive.
If you and your partner have limited funds for the wedding, don’t worry. You can host an amazing event without racking up credit card debt. I’m going to share some hacks to plan a dream wedding that fits your budget. You will feel better about starting this next chapter of your life without wedding debt.
1. Choose a non-traditional venue
For many couples, the venue is one of the most expensive parts of their wedding. If you want to rent in a popular or traditional place, you can expect to pay a higher rental fee. One way to keep venue costs reasonable is to choose a non-traditional space for your celebration.
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Here are some options to check:
- Park shelter
- Coffee shop
- Restaurant or brewery
- Photography studio
Thinking outside the box can save money and make your event more memorable. But before settling on a cheap place, think about what other unexpected expenses might add to the cost of your day. Here are two examples:
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- You may need to rent tables and chairs if you rent a cabin or other lodging at a local park.
- If you choose a restaurant, brewery, or coffee shop, there may be a minimum order you must make, which can add to your food and beverage costs.
2. Avoid your wedding on Saturday
According to The Knot, a wedding planning website, Saturday continues to be the most popular day to host a wedding — and the most expensive. Choosing a different day to host your event can result in significant savings.
My husband and I got married on a Sunday. Our ceremony began at noon, and a brunch reception followed at the same location. This choice gives visitors, many of whom live within a two-hour drive, plenty of time to get home before work on Monday.
3. Cut your guest list
Inviting fewer guests to your wedding can be a win for your wallet. Your event can be very expensive if you are not intentional about who you add to your guest list.
When adding people to your guest list, consider whether they will be in your life for a long time. You can discuss whether it’s appropriate to invite casual acquaintances and co-workers you don’t know well. Once you have an initial guest list, review it again.
Don’t be afraid to cut it more. Inviting your closest friends and family will make the whole experience more intimate and allow you to keep more money in the bank.
4. Consider non-traditional food options
Here’s another hack for couples who are comfortable with non-traditional wedding elements. Instead of serving a plated dinner, consider other meal alternatives.
A buffet-style meal will be cheaper. Another option is to host an intimate celebration in a restaurant, which can lower your food costs depending on the menu prices.
Since my husband and I are hosting a one-day celebration, we have a brunch buffet for our guests. We’re big fans of breakfast food, but this choice also saved us money on food costs. But whatever you do, don’t sacrifice quality for a deal — guests will remember the food.
Keep your finances top of mind
Think about your finances if you are a newlywed couple planning a wedding celebration. With all the excitement, you may be tempted to make choices that are beyond your budget. But if you make strategic decisions, you can organize a beautiful wedding that you and your guests will love. For more money-related tips, check out our personal finance resource.
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