If the idea of planning a budget friendly wedding evokes visions of polyester and streamers, we are here to help. Budgets do not always equate to a compromise on style or quality when it comes to weddings. Sticking to a budget can free up funds for an amazing honeymoon, down payment and other life priorities – well worth the effort. As event planners, we know that it’s easy to get carried away when you’re planning your dream day. There will be times when it seems as if the only thing that matters is a luxurious venue, a designer gown, haute-cuisine catering and party favours your guests will cherish for years to come. It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that to stay within budget, some of your ideas might have to be adjusted along the way. With the average wedding in Canada ringing in at over $30,000, we are confident that our tips for budget friendly wedding planning might be just what you need.
Get Thrifty During the Off-season
You might be surprised to hear that one of the simplest ways to plan a budget friendly wedding is to book your big day for the right time of year. Peak wedding season (June – August) can be particularly pricey. Venues, caterers and décor vendors take what they can get during these popular months, meaning that holding your wedding outside of peak season is an almost guaranteed way to save on costs. Remember, there are twelve months of the year, and July is only one of them.
Intimate = Budget-Friendly
While hosting your entire Facebook friend list on your special day might be an appealing thought, limiting your head count can not only make for a more personal and intimate experience, but can also save you thousands in weddings costs. If an intimate affair might be suitable for you, we suggest inviting those whose presence will really complete your day, rather than who you ‘should’ include. A smaller guest list will make it possible to consider smaller venues, lower catering costs, and reduce your budget on invitations and favours. Even the reduction of a small amount of people, can help to shave thousands off of an overall budget.
DIY for Budget-friendly Elements
Consider constructing wedding elements such as your invitations, table cards, programs, centrepieces or favours by hand. Crafting materials can go a long way, especially if you are able to recruit members of your family or wedding party to help. Turn to Pinterest or blogs for inspiration and visit your local craft store. You may be surprised with the range and quality of items available. DIY elements to a wedding are often more personal and special, on top of being cheaper. If crafting isn’t in your skill set, consider turning to local artisans on Etsy or through your community who may offer hand made items at a lower cost.
Dress for Budget Success
While the spend on your wedding dress might be the last place you want to cut costs, we are here to shine a spotlight on new options available to the modern bride. To get the runway look for less, consider renting a designer dress. Alternatively, many gowns (often unworn) can now be found for sale on credible wedding websites and at bridal swaps and sales. If your dress just isn’t an area for compromise, there are other ways to save costs on wardrobe. Choose a pair of classy yet inexpensive shoes, particularly if your gown is long and they won’t be visible to your audience. Or borrow jewelry and hair accessories from family or friends. Gentlemen, remember that tuxedos are not mandatory – if your wedding is a more casual event, consider suits for you and your groomsmen. Better yet, go with a trendy unmatched look by specifying a suit colour and letting your groomsmen pick something from their existing wardrobe. For added cohesion, provide a tie or belt to align the look.
When you are planning a budget friendly wedding, it is so important to remember that this is, after all, your wedding day, and sometimes it’s okay to splurge on a few items that really matter to you. While you’re skimping on costs, remember to treat yourself and hold on to some of the things that are going to make this day unique to you, your personality and your culture. Looking back twenty years from now, you aren’t going to remember how expensive your shoes were or who made your invitations, you’re going to remember the day as a complete event. So don’t stress, and start savin’.