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You’ve been engaged for quite some time now. You want to seal your engagement, but you have no clue where to begin. You must have at least a thousand dollars to ensure the success of your wedding day, right? Not exactly.
If your friends or loved ones spent the usual thirty thousand bucks (or more) on theirs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should splurge on yours as well.
Even if you and your spouse-to-be aren’t frugalistas by heart, your goal should be to plan an ultra-budget union under $1,000 that you’ll both look forward to. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be as costly as most couples make it seem.
There’s a lot to gain from having an inexpensive wedding. If neither of you is super traditional, you won’t mind cutting out most cliché wedding arrangements.
Even if you plan to have a wedding like the ones your parents had, you must prioritize your expenses. You know, do things the unconventional way. You probably don’t have a clue on how to go about that.
Not to worry. This post will highlight ten of the best ways you can use to plan a wedding on a budget of $1,000. Ready or not, here they are:
1. Get a Wedding Planner
A sure way of sticking to a budget is to set one in the first place. Often, engaged couples steer clear from having “the money talk” to avoid the tension and awkwardness that comes from it.
Despite the differences you may have about the whole budgeting process, you’ll still gain a decent wedding for a thousand bucks or less. It’s also a financially responsible move that will benefit you in the long run.
Before you started budgeting, you might have looked up ‘cheap ways to plan for a wedding’ or something along those lines. Even then, most of what you stumbled upon may have had a price tag of between $2,000 and $5,000.
Before you throw in the towel and push your wedding forward to a later date, think of bringing on board a wedding planner. He/she will do an excellent job of cutting out costs depending on how much you want to spend on your special day.
How much you’ll pay your planner will depend on how involving or extensive you want your wedding to be. Since you’re looking for something around the scope of a thousand dollars or less, you may probably pay less.
If you have friends or family who are experts in matters of wedding planning, the better for you. Not only will you keep the costs to a minimum, but you’ll also relieve yourself from the stress of making sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan.
2. Cut Costs on Food and Drink
There’s no doubt that wedding costs can quickly escalate. In most cases, most of the funds on a typical wedding budget go toward expensive and elaborate catering services.
The first step to saving money on food and drink at your wedding is to settle for a venue that will help you to be flexible with your options.
Because the key step to saving money is to practice creativity, do away with your ideal wedding reception and find one that will fit in with your needs.
When you get that figured out, here are three sure ways to save on food and refreshments without breaking the bank.
Skip the Traditional Meal
Who said every wedding must have a dessert, entrée, a salad, and hors d’ oeuvres? It’s a day to remember, so it can be whatever you wish to have. A nice way to get around wholemeal expenses is to have it at a non-meal time of the day.
In the evening or after hours are preferable times. You’d be surprised at how much you can set aside from just skipping dinner or meals in general.
Provide Your Own Table Settings, Silverware, and Linens
A sure way to lessen your catering bill is to set aside the china, silverware and high-quality linens your caterer brings.
Most times, it’s a good idea to bring them to yourself or even to rent from your friends, family or a rentals company.
Don’t be shy to refuse whatever your caterer brings along. Consider how much you can save from using your own flatware and tableware.
Steer Clear from Googling Local Caterers
Doing this might turn out to be a costly mistake, especially if you want your wedding food served by an affordable vendor.
Do yourselves a favor and look past the typical catering companies and take a shot at your favorite restaurant or café, farmers market stands or local food trucks.
There are lots of food providers in your area who will prepare a beautiful meal at meager costs.
3. Get Creative with Your Wedding Decor
Even without the costly pomp and color, you can still pull off a Pinterest-worthy décor at almost no cost at all with these creative décor hacks:
Get Affordable Lighting
Instead of using LED lighting or expensive bulbs for the perfect romantic aesthetic, light up your reception with either bistro lights or twinkle lights. Use either of these string lights all across your reception to amp up that elegant and intimate ambiance.
Use Different Styles Of Lining
Transform your wedding reception with various styles of linen. For example, you can decorate your venue by covering tables or draping fabric from the ceilings. Since spreading fabric on all reception table will be costly, settle for table runners instead.
Reuse Reuse Reuse
Rather than using floral centerpieces, reuse ceremony florals instead. The same can be applied to other ceremony flowers such as altar arrangements and bridesmaid bouquets. Be sure to keep the flowers in water vases to keep them from wilting.
Decorate your venue with Instagram-worthy family throwback pics. Aside from being adorable, they also add a classic vintage touch to your décor. They also come in handy, especially when you need an inexpensive way to number your tables.
Consider Doing Fun Food Arrangements
Arrange the food displays in a fun way. Do this if you intend to have food stations such as a dessert buffet at your wedding.
It’s no secret that weddings are all about the trendy (and expensive) décor. Everything from the gorgeous four-tier wedding cakes, attractive chinaware or the cascading bouquets have a way of livening the ambiance of any wedding day.
4. Limit the Guest List
Cutting and drafting a guest list isn’t as enjoyable as deciding which flavors will be used on your wedding cake.
Making guest lists can be a tedious process especially if you both have lots of friends and family that you feel must be in attendance on that special day.
If you’re receiving financial assistance from any third party, they will obviously expect their name(s) to appear on the guest list. That’s why it’s important that you think twice before accepting any outside help.
There are tons of ways to come up with a guest list that you can both agree upon. It’s worth noting that building a collective guest list will require a collaborative system.
If either of you has edits to make, you can make it in real-time and view the most recent version using the Wedding Guest List Manager. You can also use it to track all RSVPs and draft a seating chart.
It also helps to have the contact of everyone in your guest list in one place for the sake of future anniversary party invitations, holiday cards, and so on.
To avoid stress later on, try to be as realistic as possible in regards to how many people you want to invite. Factors to consider when crunching the numbers are the wedding venue and your overall budget.
Your guests will determine how big your cake will be, the number of plates to be prepared by your caterer, the number of chair rentals and so on.
Opting for a bigger number than what your venue can hold will only leave you stressed each time you view the RSVP.
5. Save Big on Wedding Photography
Hiring a professional photographer is expensive – no doubt about that. It almost makes no sense how a photographer can work for less than a day and still earn thousands from capturing those special moments, doesn’t it?
When you look at it from their perspective, what they ask for isn’t extravagant, but just enough. Sometimes, couples can ask for more than one print quantity, which leads to extra costs.
Also, photographers spend thousands of dollars on expensive gear such as quality cameras, memory cards, lenses, and so on. If you can afford a wedding photographer, good for you.
If you can’t, fret not. There are various cost-effective alternatives you can try out. One way is to find friends in your circles with a good hand in professional cameras.
Since you know each other, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll charge you for their services. Alternatively, you can bring onboard a newbie photographer to work for you. Despite their fair knowledge in photography, they can save you some huge bucks.
If you neither come across a friend with photography experience or a beginner photographer, settle for a student. Students are always on the lookout for odd jobs in a bid to clear their school fees and support themselves financially.
Before hiring them, find out their schedule and how good their photography skills are. Ask to see their previous work and agree on how much you’re going to pay them in advance. Most of the time, they won’t ask for much, which will be a huge saving on your end.
6. Go Easy on the Wedding Cake
After the bride, the cake is the reception’s centerpiece on any wedding day. How it looks and how good it tastes will determine how massive the impact it will have on your guests.
On average, a detailed and stylish wedding cake goes for anywhere between $600 and $20,000. Don’t be discouraged by how much you have to set aside for an eye-catching cascade of blossoms and iced ribbons.
Bakers out there are full of cost-effective cake ideas that will most likely fit perfectly with your wedding’s theme. Slicing the costs of your wedding cake can be achieved in more ways than one.
The moment you start conjuring up your cake, keep in mind that the cost will be based on the labor. How much time was spent detailing, icing and constructing outweighs the costs of ingredients put together to bake the cake.
All cakes are priced according to the number of slices. Since not everyone on your guest list is into the sweet stuff, ask your baker to portion the cake at least 25 slices for a headcount of 150 guests.
Make the cake appear larger by setting aside each layer with a non-thick layer such as styrofoam wrapped in glittery fabric that’s thick and decorated.
That will automatically turn your three-tier wedding cake into a seemingly pricey six-tier cake for half the cost.
Finally, do away with the idea of having mini cakes on each guest table. As noted earlier, the more the labor, the more the costs.
7. Rethink the Idea of an Entourage
A series of questions arise from the subject of engaged couples and whether they need support from their respective entourage (bridesmaids/groomsmen) or not. If you’ve put this idea into consideration, there’s a chance that you’ll make an informed decision.
At first thought, it’s easy to find the idea of exchanging vows without an entourage behind you a little awkward.
Every engaged couple is doing it; why shouldn’t you? The real question you should ask yourselves as a couple is ‘why should you?’
If you were to compare their wedding budget and yours, you’d be surprised at how much they set aside for their entourages alone.
Doing away with bridesmaids/groomsmen can not only save you money but time as well. So much time is put into looking for the perfect shoes and dresses for the entire entourage. For the bridesmaids, they may not be for the same dressing style which can lead to confusion.
On top of that, the average cost of one bridesmaid dress goes for approximately $150. Imagine if you have twenty of them or even more.
Even if you settle for a less expensive option, it may still eat a huge chunk of your budget. The same goes for the groomsmen.
If you have your friends and relatives in attendance, there’s no need to overburden yourselves with what shade your bridesmaids’ dress will be or whether your groomsmen are better off in an ascot tie or a bowtie.
To save yourself the time, hustle and money, keep things simple but trendy. A wedding is all about fun and making the most of the moment.
8. Use One Venue for Reception and Nuptials
If there’s anything that can really take a bite from your wedding budget, it has to be the venue.
Since you want to be as economical as possible when it comes to costs, ask around for the rental costs of unexpected venues such as private schools and local universities. Most of them have spacious halls that can easily be transformed into a perfect celebration spot.
You could alternatively settle for a fire station or a local lodge; some are extra elegant in appearance and structure than others. A public park is also a good place to consider as the venue for your wedding.
On that note, a garden-themed outdoor wedding would be a splendid option considering you get to exchange your vows on the same place your guests will eat to their hearts’ fill. On that same venue, you can have a scenic photoshoot as a married couple.
Whatever venue you opt for, it should double as the place where you exchange your vows and receive guests as well.
To save time and money, ensure that it’s all-inclusive as well. Before you put down a deposit, know all there is to know about it first.
Perform a comprehensive price-out of what the venue has to offer and find out how much it costs for the separate goods and services.
As you broaden your search, you may get a good deal on an all-inclusive avenue. However, you should keep an eye out for venues that hike their prices unfairly.
9. Keep the Ceremony Music Simple
Music is an integral part of any wedding. Imagine a bride walking down the aisle without the ‘Here Comes the Bride’ playing in the background. Every culture has a certain tune that is ingrained into it.
Most couples prefer to go all out when it comes to music performances and band instruments. For couples who want to keep their nuptials simple, hiring a professional DJ or live musicians for the reception is simply a budget overkill.
There are lots of options out there to express your love and life through music on a budget. For example, during the ceremony, skip the live music and download some of your favorite hits instead.
Also, rather than hire a pricey vocalist, ask a musically-inclined friend or family member to do the honors on your wedding day.
Most of them will certainly be honored to play an instrument or sing on your special day. The fact of having a sincerely personal performance will be something you and your guests will remember for years.
If no one in your circle can neither perform nor play an instrument, your next move should be to hire the services of a music student.
Get in touch with your local University or college and ask if any aspiring musicians are willing to make a public performance.
Since they won’t mind the extra money, they’ll probably be comfortable with half the amount you would pay a professional. They get to make some cash, while you get to save it – it’s a win-win on both ends.
10. Download Three of the Best Wedding Apps
The fun of planning a wedding and the excitement that comes along with it all boils down to one thing – finances.
If you’re not careful enough, anything you include in your budget may put a considerable dent in both your bank accounts.
For that reason, developers came together and created apps to assist in your wedding planning. These three smart apps, in particular, can be of use when it comes to shrinking the $30,000 budget to $1,000 or less:
Wedding dresses take a bulk of the funds on any wedding budget. Tradesy helps brides to browse through once-worn but affordable gowns, shoes, and other essentials from leading designers like Badgley Mischka, Jenny Yoo, and Vera Wang.
Tradesy is also available on the web platform where you can buy and sell used wedding items for half their initial cost.
The Bouqs Co.
Did you know that, on average, wedding flowers can go for up to $2,000? For a bloom that’s likely to wilt as soon as the bride takes her walk down the aisle, it’s not worth the splurge. The Bouqs Co. provides farm-fresh florals for prices as low as $499. This app offers arrangements for both the bride and groom, wedding centerpieces and party flowers.
As put across on the previous point, hiring a professional DJ isn’t such a smart move, especially if you want to save big on wedding costs. Since you run the risk of accidental taps or getting music cut out, the WeddingDJ app can come in handy in such cases.
The seamless fades in between tracks make the progression feel natural to the point that guests can even request songs before and after the ceremony.
There you go; ten sure ways to plan your special day on a $1,000 budget. These are just a few tips to have the wedding of your dreams on a budget. Contrary to what you expected, most of these tips are fairly straightforward to accomplish.
After the wedding comes the honeymoon. Chances are, you haven’t given that much thought just yet. To save you the hustle, it’s worth noting that honeymoons cost a whopping $4,000 on average.
If you’re on a tight budget (assuming you are), give yourselves time right after the nuptials to stack up some funds before your grand getaway.
You could alternatively opt to take a cost-effective mini-moon and go on your honeymoon as soon as you get your finances in check.
If necessary, you could set up a honeymoon registry and request your guests to chip in to cater to specific areas in your honeymoon expenses. You’d be surprised at how much you can raise just by putting it out there.