Plan a Wedding on a One Income Budget

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recession or not, people are still getting married! And, with lots of people looking for jobs, many couples are getting married and living on a one budget income. So how can you cut costs without cutting corners? Here are a few ideas for you.

Keep it small. Generally speaking, costs go up for every guest you add to the list, especially if you’re providing them with food and drink. Consider a family and very close friends only wedding and reception. Not only will you save on food, but you’ll also spend less on a smaller venue, fewer paper goods (invitations, ceremony programs), and a lot of other per-guest purchases.

Think outside the sit-down dinner reception. You don’t need a big band, towering cake, colorfully lit dance floor, and a five-course meal to have a fabulous wedding reception. Your main objective should be for everyone to have a good time! Consider having a late night cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception or a light brunch morning soiree. Or, keep it simple with cake and punch in the church or temple gathering place.

Go without the unnecessary things. Do your guests need tulle wrapped candied almonds? Nope. Do you need to spend $300+ on a pair of white shoes? Not really. Do you and your love need to drive off into the sunset in a vintage Rolls Royce? Of course not! Sometimes we get wrapped up in the details of wedding planning and forget that many of the things we dream up in our heads are in fact, completely unnecessary. Prioritize what’s important to you – the photographer, the cake, the reception location – and put those things first. Then, cut things like favors that will most likely end up in the trash. If there are things you can’t live without, look for the cheapest options.

Forget an open bar. If you chose to have alcohol at all, opt out of the open bar, even if you can bring in your own. Support your community by going with a local brewery for beer, a local vineyard (where applicable) for wine, and serving a single signature cocktail. And just remember – no wedding needs alcohol. Your friends and family will be at your wedding no matter what’s on the menu.

Go on a staycation for your honeymoon. Who doesn’t want to spend some newlywed alone time after all the wedding festivities?! If a two week stay in Europe doesn’t exactly fit into your budget, consider taking a staycation instead. Yes, a staycation – take a vacation in or close to the town in which you live! Consider spending a few days seeing all the local sights that you never took the time to see before, trying out a few new places to dine, and stay a few nights in a hotel to get the real “vaca” feel.

Katie Olson is a lover of all things wedding and runs, a custom made wedding dress company that provides brides with custom gowns at reasonable prices

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