A wedding is undoubtedly one of the most magical and memorable events in every couple’s history. It’s the day when you officialize your own family. So, of course, you want it to be a day to remember for the rest of your life. Thus, planning for your big day is incredibly exciting yet very stressful.
One of the biggest challenges for couples is that weddings are expensive. According to Statista, the average cost of the event (including the rings’ price) reached $34,000 in 2021, and it’s getting more expensive yearly. This can be incredibly challenging for students who are on a tight budget. But don’t worry! It is possible to have a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank. In this article, we will tell you how to throw a great and budget-friendly wedding in college.
Before You Start Planning
Free Up Some Time
It takes an average of 6 to 12 months to organize a wedding. For the busiest couples, this timeline can extend to 18 months. The timeline depends on how much free time you can allocate to planning. Granted, you need to put all your other responsibilities on hold.
Before planning the wedding, you must plan who can cover your work shifts. For those studying, a trusty write my paper online service can help to stay on track with the curriculum. When all your bases are covered, it’s time to get to the next phase.
Get to It Quickly
The second crucial pre-planning tip is to get to this task as quickly as possible. When you make or receive a proposal and get engaged with your loved one, it can be easy to lose track of time and postpone the big day. Nevertheless, you must understand that there will be plenty of tasks to complete before making your relationships official. Moreover, some tasks, such as bookings, must be done well in advance. So you want to start acting fast unless you are willing to switch your plans because other couples have already booked your favourite options before you.
11 Tricks for a Budget-Friendly Student Wedding
So you already know that organizing a wedding can be expensive. The good news is that you can significantly reduce costs by choosing suitable options. This way, you won’t go off the budget and will still have a great event.
Here are some tips to help you make this real:
Set a Budget and Stick to It
The first step in planning a wedding on a budget is determining how much you can afford and are willing to spend. Before calculating the budget, you need to list all upcoming expenses. Traditionally, these will include:
- Reception venue;
- Decor and flowers;
- Attire for the bride and the groom (including the outfits for rehearsals, photos, and bachelor/bachelorette parties);
- Ceremony fees and licenses;
- Photo and video;
The checklist can look quite intimidating. All these things are essential and cost a lot of money. To save, you need to prioritize all these expenses based on what matters the most for you and allocate your funds accordingly.
Consider an Off-Peak Season Wedding
Wedding season typically takes place during the summer months. This seems like a perfect time for open-sky reception venues and beautiful pictures. Besides, planning a honeymoon in the summer is also easier and cheaper.
However, we must warn you that summer weddings are even more expensive. Thus, we suggest you consider having yours during an off-peak season. Venues, photographers, and vendors often offer lower prices during the fall and winter.
Keep the Guest List Short
The number of guests you invite can significantly impact the overall cost of your event. Namely, it will affect the size of the venue, the amount of food and drinks, and many other minor details. Therefore, the golden rule of every affordable wedding is to keep the guest list short.
Fill your list with close friends and family members. Even if your college friendships are meaningful, many won’t last in the future. So there is no need to throw a huge party to invite everyone you know. Instead, consider having an intimate ceremony with a larger reception later.
Hire a Wedding Planner
On average, the cost of a professional full-service planner in the US is around $3,000, whereas top-tier specialists can charge anywhere between $4,500 and $12,000. We know what you are thinking now. Why would you spend so much on hiring a professional if you can organize everything and save this money? Though this makes pretty good sense, this is a false belief.
A wedding planner can help you organize everything from start to finish, thus, reducing the load to almost zero. Moreover, a good professional can help you find ways to save money, as well as negotiate prices with vendors. However, you must hire a professional early on. We recommend doing this at least ten months in advance.
Choose an Affordable Venue
Whether your event costs you under $10,000 or beyond $40,000, the venue is always one of the most significant expenses in a wedding. So it’s essential to choose a location that fits within your budget.
Consider having the ceremony and reception in a park, a friend’s backyard, or a community center. These locations often have lower costs than traditional wedding venues and can be just as beautiful. After all, when you marry the love of your life, it doesn’t matter if you do it in a palace or a park.
Shop Around for Vendors and Negotiate
For your wedding, you will need various products and services from third-party vendors. This includes caterers, florists, photographers, musicians, etc. Even if the prices offered by each particular vendor look okay, they can accumulate in large sums when you add them up. Thus, shopping around for vendors is essential to get the best prices.
Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate every tiny detail. It’s okay to refuse some services or ask for discounts if your budget is limited. Additionally, consider reaching out to local students or small businesses for their services, as they may offer lower prices than larger companies. That’s where a professional planner will come in handy. They should have a list of the best and most affordable vendors and know how to negotiate the prices effectively and get the best deals for you.
Use Digital Invitations
Though not many realize this, traditional wedding invitations can be quite expensive too. First, you will need to pay for the design. And then you will also have to print out the right amount of invitations and send them out to your guests. The total cost can range between $400 and $650 or even higher depend on the chosen typography and materials.
Digital invitations are a cost-effective alternative to traditional paper invitations. They can be quickly sent via email or social media and customized to match your wedding theme. Moreover, you won’t necessarily have to pay someone to design your invitations. Now, there are plenty of great online tools with thousands of ready-made templates you can use to craft your invitations. For example, try Canva – this is a popular free tool for making your designs quickly and easily.
Consider DIY Decorations
You will want to have your venue beautifully decorated for the atmosphere and great photos during the ceremony and reception. However, you must understand that flowers and decorations can also make up a large part of your overall budget. Therefore, consider DIY decorations to save money for something more substantial.
DIY decorations can save you a significant amount of money. What’s more, this trick can help you add a unique, personal touch to your wedding. From centrepieces to wedding favours, there are many ways to get creative and save money. Consider using items from nature, such as flowers, leaves, and branches, to create beautiful arrangements. Feel free to hop on Pinterest to discover hundreds of great DIY ideas to help make the perfect setting for your big day. And don’t hesitate to ask your family and friends for help if you lack time.
Reuse and Recycle
Opting for DIY decor is just one way to save money on the setting of your wedding. There is also another trick to save on this. The tip is to reuse and recycle items from other events or your home. For example, you might use tablecloths or vases that you already have at home instead of buying new ones. Also, we bet that many other items at your home can be reused to create a beautiful wedding on a budget. This is a great way to save money on decorations!
Consider Having a Potluck Reception
Hiring a caterer is a traditional way to handle the food and drinks during weddings. However, it’s worth noting that the average cost of catering for such events is as high as $75 per guest. Thus, even after you cut down your guest list, catering will remain one of the most significant expenses of your event. But there is a way to avoid this.
Instead of opting for professional catering services, you can consider having a potluck reception. Have your guests bring their favourite dishes to share. First, this trick will save you a few hundred bucks. And secondly, this can be a fun way to feed your guests while creating a memorable experience.
Use Your Music
Undoubtedly, the right music is one of the essential attributes of every wedding. Knowing this, most couples either invite the band they like or hire a professional DJ. But do we have to say this can also drain your budget?
The average cost of a wedding DJ is $1,000. The average price of a band is $4,500. Whatever option you pick, this will be a large sum of money that you could spend in other, more meaningful ways. To cut costs, consider using your music for the ceremony. Also, don’t hesitate to take some time to create a unique playlist for the reception together with your loved one. If you do this, it can be a fun way to personalize your wedding and save money.
The Bottom Line
Weddings aren’t cheap. However, planning a budget-friendly event is possible with creativity and intelligent organization. If you’re not up to spending money on a wedding planner, ensure you find help with your work and studies (by delegating to the top paper writing services).
Define your priorities, count the budget, and follow our other tips from this article to throw a fabulous wedding that you will remember for the rest of your days. At the same time, these easy tricks will let you organize everything without going over your limited budget. So go ahead and use them to your benefit. Best of luck on your special day!
Author bio: Andy is an experienced content writer and skilled blog creator. He highly recommends using an online service with qualified academic writers to handle writing assignments. When he needs assistance with his papers, he turns to WritePaper.com and has been satisfied with the results.