How to Plan a Small Wedding on a Budget: The Quick and Easy Way

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/23/24
How to Plan a Small Wedding on a Budget: The Quick and Easy Way

How to Plan a Small Wedding on a Budget: The Quick and Easy Way

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/23/24

Part of the Wedding

How to Plan a Small Wedding on a Budget: The Quick and Easy Way

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/23/24

Financially Confused couple

Are you planning a small wedding on a tight budget? Wedding planning can be a daunting task, especially when you’re trying to save money. However, with careful planning and strategic decision-making, it is possible to have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. In this guide, we will provide you with tips and tricks for planning a small wedding on a budget, including budgeting advice, cost-saving ideas, and more. With our help, you’ll be able to create an amazing wedding day experience for you and your guests.

What Is a Good Budget for a Small Wedding?

The average wedding cost can vary greatly depending on the size and location of the event. A typical budget for a small wedding will usually range from $10,000 to $20,000, although it can be much lower depending on the couple’s needs and preferences. The biggest costs tend to come from the wedding venue, catering, and photography, with the rest of the budget going towards clothing, decorations, flowers, and miscellaneous items.

Why Plan a Small Wedding?

Planning a small wedding may not be the traditional route, but it can be an incredibly satisfying and budget-friendly way to celebrate your special day. For one, it saves time and money, as there are fewer people to coordinate and fewer details to manage. Small weddings also tend to be more relaxed and laid-back, allowing you to focus on the important things like the vows and the celebration.

And because there are fewer guests, it’s easier to make sure everyone is taken care of and has a great time. Finally, small weddings often result in more meaningful relationships with your family and friends, as they can be involved in the planning and execution of the event.

The Best Way to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Planning a wedding can be expensive, especially if you don’t have a large budget to work with. However, it is still possible to have your dream wedding even with a small budget. Greg Jenkins from Bravo Productions, says, “Do not be afraid to negotiate with every vendor, florist, and venue to get the best price for your wedding! From lowering your service fee to saving on the menu by asking for the luncheon menu over the dinner option to serving the guests from sheet cakes over the traditional wedding cake. There are SO many ways to save and anyone can do it!”
Women with money

Stick to Your Budget

When planning a wedding, it can be easy to get carried away with the costs. However, sticking to a budget is a key way to help reduce your expenses. Start by setting a realistic budget and listing all of the costs associated with your wedding, such as the venue, catering, decorations, and more. Of course, a budget will help you keep track of your expenses and make sure you don’t overspend.

Then, decide how much money you are willing to spend and allocate funds for each item on your list. Once your wedding budget is set, make sure you stick to it. This may mean making some hard choices and saying no to certain items or services (wedding planner, designer wedding dress, etc.), but it will help you stay on track financially.

Choose a Smaller Venue

Smaller venues tend to be less expensive than larger ones, as they require fewer staff and amenities. Just make sure to consider the size of the space and what kind of atmosphere you’d like to create.

If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate atmosphere, then a small venue like a restaurant or family home may be the perfect option. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something a bit more grandiose, a small outdoor space or garden venue can be just as beautiful. 

Opt for a Less Expensive Menu

Cheap wedding food and drinks

Here are some tips to help you plan a cheap wedding menu:

  • Choose dishes that are in season and locally sourced. This will help keep costs down as you won’t have to pay as much for ingredients.
  • Consider buffet-style meals, which require less staff and serve larger portions.
  • Consider offering a variety of small plates or appetizers instead of a traditional sit-down dinner.
  • Opt for an average wedding cake rather than an elaborate dessert table.
  • Avoid expensive alcoholic beverages; instead, offer guests simple drinks like wine, beer, and soft drinks.

Following these tips can help you plan an affordable wedding menu without sacrificing quality or flavor.

Seek out Deals on Various Items

One of the best ways to save money is to seek out deals on various items. Of course, the key is to be smart about where you look for deals and discounts. A few tips include the following:

  • Research vendors in your area for special wedding rates.
  • Seek out coupons or discounts on rental items such as chairs, tables, and linens. 
  • Look for deals on wedding attire, shoes, and accessories. 
  • Consider pre-owned items such as decorations and centerpieces. 
  • Have your wedding at an off-season time, or at a venue that offers discounts for weekday weddings.

Keep the Guest List Short

This may sound like a difficult thing to do, but there are a few tips that can help. First, it is important to make sure you are only inviting people who are important to you and your partner. This means that you should not just invite people because you feel obligated to. If certain people will not be able to make it, consider sending them a card or letter to let them know they are in your thoughts.

DIY as Much as Possible

DIY projects can help you get the look you want without breaking the bank. You can make your own wedding invitations, decorations, favors, and even your own wedding cake.

For instance, when it comes to decorations, you can get creative with items you have around the house or buy a few supplies from the craft store. For food, you might want to look into recipes that can be prepared in advance and won’t require too much time or effort on the day of the wedding. Another great DIY idea is to make your own wedding favors. These could be anything from homemade cookies to a small potted plant for each guest.

Ask Friends or Family Members to Help out with Some Tasks

Family Help

Whether it’s helping with decorations, catering, or photography, having a few extra hands around can be a great way to save money. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is comfortable with what they’ve been asked to do, and that they feel appreciated for their efforts. 

It may also be worth considering offering some sort of incentive, like a thank-you gift or a small contribution towards their travel expenses. The goal here is to make sure everyone involved feels appreciated for their help.

FAQs - How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Wedding

Can the Groom’s Parents Help Financially?

As the groom, your parents may have some financial obligations, such as covering the cost of the rehearsal dinner, the marriage license, the officiant’s fee, and any wedding gifts. You might also want to ask them to contribute to the cost of the wedding reception, including renting a venue or providing food and drinks. In addition, asking them to help cover some of the other expenses related to the wedding, such as flowers or decorations, may help you plan a budget-friendly wedding almost effortlessly.

Needless to say, it’s prudent to want to discuss these financial obligations with your parents early on in the planning process.

Does the Bride Buy the Groom a Gift?

Traditionally, the bride should buy the groom a gift, but that is not always the case. Some couples choose to go with the more modern approach and both give each other gifts. The type of gift is entirely up to the couple and can be anything from a watch or a piece of jewelry to something meaningful like a framed photograph or their favorite book.

Yet, it’s the thought behind the gift that matters, and it should reflect the strength of the couple’s relationship.

What Can You Ask Your Groomsmen to Pay For?

You may want to ask them to pitch in for certain costs. Generally, it is appropriate for your groomsmen to pay for the cost of their outfit, including their tuxedo or suit rental and any accessories such as shoes and ties. Depending on your budget, you may also ask them to contribute to the cost of the bachelor party or rehearsal dinner. Learn more about tuxedo costs here.

Yet, it is important to be respectful of your groomsmen’s budgets and be mindful of any financial constraints they may have when making such requests.

Who Pays for Honeymoon?

The age-old question of who pays for the honeymoon still remains a bit of a mystery. Generally, it is typical for the groom’s family to pay for the wedding while the bride’s family pays for the honeymoon.

However, this is not always the case. The couple can decide to pay for their own honeymoon or split the cost between them. Other family members may also contribute to the overall cost of the honeymoon, such as grandparents or siblings.

Ultimately, it’s up to the couple to decide how they want to cover the cost of their honeymoon.

Get to Planning!

Weddings can quickly become a costly affair. Whether you choose the traditional route or not, ensure this momentous day aligns with your vision as a couple.

Visit our website for more information on how to plan a small budget-friendly wedding. We have a ton of resources that will certainly hold your hand and lead you on in this topic.

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