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How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget

We live in a truly challenging time where everything has a price increase.

It is becoming more challenging to spend money on special occasions such as weddings.

Its difficult to plan a decent wedding with only limited money available, so we here are some tips to help you plan a wedding on a small budget.

Defining a small budget

So, what exactly do we mean when we say “small budget”? A small budget can mean a different price tag to different people. It can be $1000 to someone and $10,000 to someone else.Let’s just say that a small budget means that you only have the bare minimum to plan your wedding with – without excessive budget cutting and leaving important things out. You still want a dream wedding, right?

Setting up your budget

Before you go ahead and buy, order and make appointments, it is very important that you set up a budget beforehand. Once you have a final amount, then you need to scope prices for different goods and services.

First of all, we need to do a breakdown of what percentages of your budget should be spent at each aspect…

Budget Breakdown

This is the percentages which you need to spend from the budget.

15% = Ceremony (Location, Pastor, Marriage License, Wedding Planner, etc.)

35% = Reception (venue, food, beverages, rentals, cake, favors, guest book, etc.)

20% = Photography & Videography

5% = Music, Lighting & Entertainment

10% = Flowers & Décor

10% = Dress & Attire

3% = Contingencies

2% = Other (bridal party gifts, etc)

Take note that this is purely a suggestion. You should decide which budget allocation will work better for you, or for the type of wedding that you’re going to plan.


Hire a day coordinator

Instead of hiring full planning services, consider someone to coördinate your wedding day only. Yes, you will have to plan and organize everything for your wedding. But a day coördinator will be the one who makes sure everything comes together, so you can relax on your wedding day and not worry about the details.

They make the effort to check that everything is in place for your big day and that everything runs smoothly. It is a much affordable option.

Wedding Cake vs. Wedding desserts

Another clever way to save money on your wedding budget, is by either having a wedding cake or wedding dessert, but not both. You can make it really creative by replacing the traditional wedding cake with delicious comebacks such as doughnuts, gelato or even a s’mores bar.

The other option is to have just a wedding cake, or smaller cake with cupcakes for guests or simply replace both the wedding cake and the dessert with a candy buffet. The nice thing about candy buffets is that you can match them to your wedding style and color scheme. And there are so many different candies and sweets to choose from.

Faux Wedding Cake?

You hire your baker to create a cake out of cardboard or polystyrene, and decorate it with fondant. Have a smallish cake just for the cake cutting. The magic will be at the back where the caterers can cut up sheet cakes which will be served to your wedding guests. It is a much affordable option, you still get your wedding cake – everyone wins!

Eliminate the Wedding Favors

We know this might be a tough decision, because there are so many gorgeous favor ideas that you like. But think about it this way: You spend how much money on special wedding invitations and postage fees FOR YOUR GUESTS. You make sure that there is enough space, seating, ventilation, etc. FOR YOUR GUESTS. You provide food (top quality, delicious catering style food) and also a fully stocked bar FOR YOUR GUESTS.

Ditch the Save-the-dates

Do you realize how many people will still forget to “save the date” or RSVP to your wedding, after you have sent all of your stationery in beautiful boxes to them? A lot. You will still need to follow up with more than half of your guests because people get busy, and they forget things.A major way to cut costs on wedding stationery is by not creating and sending out Save the dates – no matter where on the globe the people you hope to invite live. If they live in another country, phone them! Send an e-mail, Facebook them! Whatever it takes. And face it, you probably have to catch up anyway, so why not make the effort and make contact.

Forego ALL stationery

Yup, you’ve read that correctly. Why not go paperless like the rest of the world are trying to do, and create a wedding website where your guests ca RSVP, list their dietary requirements, send photo’s, etc. You might think it’s a difficult way to do this – but we’ve just been to a wedding where the bride used this method. She WhatsApp-ed and e-mailed the link to everyone! Everything you need to know in one place.

Fancy Transport

This includes hiring a limousine as your means of transport to get to the church. The funny thing about this is, unless you have hired it out for the entire day, no one will even see you arrive in it. Limousines and fancy vintage cars can become so expensive if you hire them.

Real Flowers vs. Silk Flowers

Don’t get us wrong, faux flowers can be more expensive than the real thing if you buy them. We are referring to the crepe paper flowers which you can totally DIY. Crepe paper, florist wire and some tape in different colors is all you’re going to need to create floral arrangements for the tables. You can even create a stunning backdrop using only these flowers.

Replace the floral centerpieces

Floral centerpieces have been a tradition for so many decades. And yes, they will still be around for many more. But we get that you have a small budget, so why not get rid of those over the top, unaffordable centerpieces and replace it with something unique and affordable?

Don’t get married on a Saturday

Saturday is the most expensive day to get married at a venue. Instead, why not choose another day, such as a Sunday? The venue will be much cheaper and you won’t have to spend most of your money from your small budget on a wedding venue! Just take note of the following important information: Many venues still expect you to invite a certain amount of guests, even if you choose a Sunday or any other day.

There are several ways to cut back and things to consider when sticking within a budget. Hope this was Blog was useful to you.
If you have any inquires...feel free to contact me!

I wish you the best of luck in your wedding planning journey and may the big day be a huge success!

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