5 Things Your Budget Wedding Doesn’t Need

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. Actually I think the correct term is “WHAAAAAT??” followed by screaming and your parents taking out a second mortgage. 

Budget weddings require a bit of extra time and smart planning, but it is SOOOO possible to throw a beautiful wedding and still have enough money left over to … um, eat … or whatever. Here’s a list of the top five things your budget wedding doesn’t need.

5 Things Your Budget Wedding Doesn't NeedSparkling Setting / Striped Candleholders

Flowers up the Wazoo

Yes, flowers are gorgeous and really brighten up a room. But paying up to $5 a stem for flowers is just plain ridonkulous. These days there are so many beautiful non-floral centerpieces that there is no reason to spend $6,000 of your wedding budget on decorations that will die within a week.

A Bazillion Bridesmaids

I’m all about having a huge wedding party — but unfortunately, more bridesmaids means more $$$, especially if you plan on buying their dresses or even just covering the cost of hair and makeup on your big day. And for your out-of-town bridesmaids, you’ll have less girls to put up and feed for a few days. Check out our Less Than $200: Bridesmaids series for budget bridesmaid looks!

5 Things Your Budget Wedding Doesn't NeedRainbow Bridesmaids

Too Many People

This is HUGE. If I could get married all over again I would invite half the people and spend an extra week on our honeymoon instead. Once you figure in catering, favors, cake, booze AND rentals, you can EASILY spend $50 per guest (we spent $162 per guest, phew!). That’s MAJOR savings. Sure, making a tight guest list can be a bit difficult, but you’ll be SO glad you did when the wedding is long past and you can actually afford a down payment on a house.

Gourmet Food

I’m torn on this particular item, but it’s still worth noting. If you’re a foodie like me, you will love planning menus with your caterer — until you see the bill. DIZAMN! Adding pears and pecans to the salad costs WHAT?! Be honest with your caterer about your budget. They’ll work with you to find a menu that is tasty AND affordable. If it’s still too expensive, catering your own wedding is sooooo possible with smart planning! Check out our new Cater Your Own Wedding series for cheap and easy to prepare menu ideas!

5 Things Your Budget Wedding Doesn't Need
Ritz Carlton Philadelphia

An Open Bar (GASP!)

I know this is a hard concept to swallow. ESPECIALLY if certain family members can’t get along without help from tequila shots. Never fear, you can still host a bar on a budget! Talk with your vendor about cheaper options. For our wedding we offered bottomless beer (one micro-brew and one domestic), wine (house red and white), and a champagne toast — but mixed drinks were cash only. OR nix the bar all together and serve one signature cocktail along with flavored ice water and assorted soft drinks.

Following just one or all of these guidelines could save you thousands! What budget-saving tips are you planning to implement in your wedding?

Happy planning!

Allison is the owner and editor of MarryThis! With a love of weddings and a flair for budget-friendly ideas, she feels that gorgeous weddings don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A graphic designer by day (Allison Doty Graphic Design - allisondoty.com), Allison also creates the visual presence of MarryThis!

6 Comments on "5 Things Your Budget Wedding Doesn’t Need"

  1. Mary Nuttelman says:

    My husband and I own a flower shop in Western Massachusetts. Frankly the comments on here have made me totally breathless. There are ways to have beautiful flowers at your wedding without breaking the bank and if you go to your local florist, they should be willing to work within your budget! Our shop offers alot of opportunities such as; renting your centerpiece vases and plants for your ceremony. Using single flowers for a centerpiece. Our first concern is the Bride and how to make her fairytale wedding come true. Not how to pinch a penny! Shame on whoever wrote this article. You are striving to put an already dying business into it’s grave! It’s attitudes such as this that has caused a minimum of 10 flower shops in the last 5 years to close in Western Massachusetts. We have been in business 30 plus years and work hard 6 days a week to maintain our reputation of “Customer First”! Don’t eliminate flowers, ask your florist to help you have your special day within your budget!

  2. Sarah says:

    Great List!
    For my wedding, I had a budget of less than $20k between my family and my husband’s.
    In our community we have special charities that help with all sorts of wedding things.
    I actually borrowed my dress and veil from one of these charities and only had to pay for some alterations and dry cleaning!
    We also had a buffet style dinner, so we were able to invite a lot of people without breaking the bank.
    I did not have any brides maids- my sisters we like my brides maids. My mom and sisters were also able to borrow gowns from another charity organization. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law were also able to borrow gowns.
    We were able to get fresh flowers from a previous wedding that was a few days before my wedding! they were still good and with a little ingenuity we were able to set them up so nicely.
    there are also silk (fake) flower charities in my community and tons of people borrow these flowers instead of investing in real flowers that will wind up in the garbage.
    we also opted for a DJ instead of a full band!
    we did have a bar- but only with a few select wines. this was included in our package deal with the caterer.
    also, our caterer provided us with linens and other decorations- so we saved on that.
    overall, it was a beautiful, meaningful and a very joyful and enjoyable wedding- and we really managed to pull it off with a very limited budget!

  3. There were definitely things we splurged on and things we saved on. We went with beer, wine and champagne (not saying that didn’t still cost some, sheesh can people drink!) but it was a heck of a lot less than adding hard alcohol…and I think also meant less drunk issues! We also had some great large flower arrangements from the florist who did my bouquet but then small table arrangements that my Mom put together from flowers she bought at a local market. Oh, and only two best men for my hubs and two best women for me…when there are only two, why can’t they both be the best? 😉

  4. Amazing details! I think every future bride must read this post as I found so many amazing points to consider when planning a wedding especially when you are on a tight budget. I also agree with Elizabeth’s ideas!

  5. This is such a good post for couples to read. I would second the whole too many bridesmaids too. We’ve seen it cause more drama than anything. Keep it simple.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Great ideas! You can skip the following too:

    1) Favors–no one cares.
    2) Printed programs.
    3) A bridal gown over $1K. ‘Nuff said.

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