We are pleased to introduce Ashley from Bride on a Budget, who shares her best tips for budget weddings. Ashley is a college student turned budget bride in North Florida. While going to school full-time, she’s planning a wedding on a $7000 budget and blogging about it the entire way.
Weddings can definitely be hard on the budget. The average cost of a wedding in the US is $20,000. That is a lot of money to spend on one day! With some research, you can still have your dream wedding for way under $20,000.
Here are my top tips to saving money on your wedding:
- Look for free or cheap venues. If you branch out of the range of typical wedding venues, you can find some great deals. Look into museums, parks, and even restaurants.
- Avoid reading wedding magazines. They are out to sell you stuff you don’t need! There is no reason that you have to have personalized everything, doves, fireworks, etc. None of those are necessities.
- Look outside of your typical bridal gowns. A lot of gorgeous bridesmaids dresses come in white or ivory and they look just like wedding gowns. You can also find gorgeous gowns at department stores during prom season.
- Buy pre-owned wedding stuff from other brides. There are tons of sites where you can buy pre-owned wedding dresses, decorations, and anything you could imagine you need for your wedding. You can often get things for 50% off and they’re only lightly used.
- Having a smaller wedding party. For every person you have in your bridal party, you have to get gifts for, flowers, and also feed them at the rehearsal dinner. That can add up fast.
- DIY as much as you can! You can DIY everything from your invites to even your reception music. If you do a google search for DIY projects, you will find thousands for weddings. I personally am saving hundreds of dollars by DIYing my invitations instead of having a professional do them.
- Hold your wedding on an off day. If you have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, it’s going to be a lot cheaper than a Saturday because vendors don’t normally book weddings on those days.
- Have a morning wedding. Food will be cheaper for a brunch/lunch wedding than a dinner and guests also won’t drink as much in the morning, so they won’t miss liquor if you don’t have the money to serve it.
So, you think you’re up to the challenge of a budget wedding? It’s a lot of work, but I’ve rounded up some great resources for you to start off with.
The Knot’s Budget Weddings Bio—Has links to great websites and etsy sellers as well as tons of money saving tips.
The Knot’s Budget Weddings Forums—Tons of other brides on a budget talking about their weddings.
The Budget Savvy Bride—She planned a great wedding on a $10,000 budget.
Etsy—If you’re not good at DIY, have someone else make it for you! You can find great homemade products here for fantastic prices.
Bravo Bride—Buy pre-owned wedding items from other brides.
Photo by John Burkett
My mom and I did most of the work for my wedding by ourselves. I spent under $10,000 on our wedding with over 150 guests. We made most of the food, decorations, flowers and even the bridesmaid dresses! It was a lot of work but well worth it! It was beautiful and it looked very professional due to my wonderful mom’s talents!