Trying to plan the perfect fairytale wedding on a budget isn’t easy. Let’s face it – Cinderella was never told that she couldn’t have her handmade silk gown because of the recession. Nevertheless, you can plan a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception while keeping your Prince Charming from fretting over the bills!
First, sit down with your fiancé (or parents or whoever is paying the bill) and talk about what you are willing to spend. This will ensure that everyone has the same expectations for your wedding day! To make sure your budget is realistic, look at everything you would like to have and how much it might cost you. Don’t forget to include vendor tips and wedding party gifts! This is a great breakdown of what you might need for your wedding: http://www.frugalbride.com/completeweddingchecklist.html.
*Tip: We suggest printing out a few copies and putting them strategically around the house (refrigerator, bathroom mirror, etc.) as a constant reminder to stay on budget! *
Many couples also create a joint ‘wedding account’ to clearly separate the money for your wedding from your personal cash. No matter how carefully you craft your budget, you will end up spending more than expected – so plan for it. For example, if you absolutely cannot afford to spend more than $25,000 for your wedding, plan to spend $24,000. This will give you a bit of a cushion for unexpected expenses.
To increase your buffer money, we suggest adding 20 percent of your income into that dedicated wedding account. Simple ways to save money – bring your lunch to work instead of eating out or rent movies and watch them with your fiancé at home instead of going to the theatre.
*Tip: After you’re married, turn the ‘wedding account’ into a vacation fund and continue to put money aside for you and your spouse later! *
Once your budget is complete – and you have a good idea of the most important parts of your wedding ceremony and reception – it’s time to start shopping! Begin your shopping early so you have time to find deals and aren’t in a last minute crunch to spend more for something than you had planned.
images by aus_chick | hindsightbride | Amanda Truss
Consider planning your wedding day during an off-season time of the year. The weather in April or October will be just as nice as in May, June and September but your wedding will cost much less. During wedding season you are paying the most for reception halls, ceremony locations and photography but by shifting your wedding a month or two you can save a lot! Check out this beautiful April wedding!
Stretch your budget by borrowing when you can. From your mother’s wedding flutes to your grandmother’s necklace and other wedding accessories, borrowing from friends and family can save a lot while adding beautiful memories to your wedding. There are many beautiful DIY features you can incorporate into your wedding! You can donate to a charity in your guest’s names or make your own sweet treats to place inside small wedding favor boxes!
Like we tell all our brides, just remember that this day is a reflection of you, your fiancé and the love you share. So make it about you and let it reflect your unique personalities!