How to organize awesome wedding on a budget, part 1

by Nikoletta Ven on December 29, 2015
Organize wedding on a budget


Congrats, you are engaged to the love of your life! He has proposed, you have brilliant engagement ring and now you have to plan the loveliest moment for each couple – your wedding day. Each girl wants to have romantic, beautiful and fun wedding, but this does not mean that it has to cost a fortune. When it comes to planning a wedding, budget is the first part you have to figure out and usually the hardest. But, if you take clever financial decisions, you can organize your wedding on budget without looking cheap! Some rules you have to remember before we start:

Rule 1: The most important details, needed for a wedding: a bride, a groom, and an office-bearer.

Rule 2: This is your day. Plan it as you want it to be. Don’t follow advices if your heart says “No”.  Remember: “The more opinions you have, the less you see”

Rule 3: The wedding industry offers plenty of choices. Choose wisely and prioritize. I have been to a 5,000$ wedding which was as good as another one, which was 15,000$.

Rule 4: Forget about what the other people will say. “Who spent too much, who spent too little” does not matter. The only thing that matters for your wedding budget is its compatibility with your expectations.

Rule 5: Except for professional event planners, the rest of your guests can no tell what the cost of your wedding is. What your guests want to see is one happy couple celebrating their marriage.

Rule 6: The number of guests – think about the closest people that are important in your life and that really care for you and think twice before you invite classmates you have not seen since graduation, for example.

Now, let’s take a look to two random, mid-range wedding budgets:

The first idea in short: Restaurant, or family property without rent, full ceremony, buffet dinner with caterers, and DJ for 100-150 guests.

Venue rent: $0
Catering plus family-made appetizers and coffee: $4000
Decoration,rentals, dishware and tableware: $1300
Desserts/Cake: $400
Beverages: $1300
Photographer: $3800
DJ: $800
Wedding planner: without
Invites: $300
Floral decoration and balloons: $700
Other decor: $450

Total wedding budget:  13050$


The second idea in short: Famous event venue, offering full package with dinner multi-course meals for 100-150 guests

Venue rent: $12500
Catering and service: included in the price
Decoration,rentals, dishware and tableware: included in the price
Desserts/Cake: included in the price
Beverages: $1600
Photographer: $3800
DJ: $800
Wedding planner: $3400
Invites: $300
Floral decoration and balloons: included in the price
Other decor: $450

Makeup and hair expenses: 1000$

Total wedding budget : 23850$


Both options listed above for wedding can look fabulous. Now, let me give you some tips for cutting unnecessary expenses for your wedding:

The guest list:


If your budget does not allow to invite all the people you want, plus the kinsfolk and family friends, then you need to be diplomatic. It is still a matter of family honor to invite kith and kin, although you may not know some of them. Talk to your parents, be tactful and consider offering some compromises. For example, plan to invite to dinner some of the guests- neighbors or your cousins you haven’t seen since you were in dippers, or business associates with whom you or your parents only socialize to network – after the big day. This will save you wads of cash and you will spend your special day with the people you value the most. After all, this is an intimate moment and you should share it with the ones you want to. If you make a compromise, make sure that you won’t regret after that.

The wedding dress:

Ladies, let’s be honest – each little girl dreams about being a princess on her wedding day. And yes, it is possible to have the dress you are desire for far less than the astronomical prices in the bridal salons. Cut the price you would pay for the brand of your dress and ask your friends to recommend you  a dressmaker, then pick up a model of a dress and tailor it. That’s how your wedding dress will be unique and especially made for you and your body! Furthermore, you can use your creativity and add special details. Remember – details make the difference.

Alternatively, you can find a nice gown for reasonable price in specialized party planning marketplace, where vendors and event suppliers submit offers at far lower prices, or you can use e-platforms like eBay.

The same applies to veils. You can spend 180$ for a fabric one, when in fact it costs a few dollars per yard if you tailor it. Or, you can skip the veil and wear jeweled comb, or flowers in your hair.

Venue and reception


This is the most expensive block for each wedding. To cut costs, make a research in a website for events planning services and look for package offers. If you choose a restaurant, or hotel, whose offer includes cake and wedding decoration, then you will save at least 500$.

Tip number two: look for a venue which is light, specious and has beautiful interior, so you can skip the additional decoration. Consider making the reception in a beautiful garden with restaurant, or on a top-roof restaurant, with stunning view over the town, where candles and white balloons will be enough for the perfect romantic wedding. However, if you choose these outdoor options, always have plan B for indoor venue nearby in case the weather gets worse.

Tweak three: hold the reception on a Friday, or Sunday. Pick up different reception style such as cocktail with brunch and hors d’oeuvres, accompanied with wedding cake and champagne. If you insist on the dinner 4-step menu, then go for a buffet with meals made from in-season ingredients. That’s how you will cut the expenses for extra personnel and expensive ingredients. Stay away from gourmet meals. Your focus should be on the quantity, the outward of the meals and the way they will be served. These are the factors that matter for the guests, believe me. The buffet option has another plus for the guests – they will be able to interact with each other and move around, rather than staying on the tables.

Finally, do not hesitate to negotiate the price. Usually the cover per person is exaggerated for exact the same reason :)

Read also:

How to organize awesome wedding on a budget, part 2


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