For most couples, their wedding day turns out to be the most expensive event. There are numerous details to take care of, and they always end up exhausting or going over the planned budget.
If you are still studying and planning your wedding on a small budget, your challenges are more significant. Nevertheless, you can have a fantastic wedding!
Proper research and planning will help you overcome the challenges of wedding planning on a shoe-string budget and make it a day worth remembering.
Prepare yourself for this task with our expert list of Do’s and Don’ts for planning a wedding on a student budget, and don’t forget to have fun while you are at it.
Table of Contents
DO start with a budget and stick to it.
A wise wedding plan always begins with the wedding budget!
A budget will clearly define how much you can afford to spend on your wedding and encourage you to stay within limits. In addition, it will help you make intelligent decisions about what to include or leave out of the marriage.
So, start planning your wedding budget and take the uncertainty out of the equation. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, you can use it on things that matter.
Be thorough in budget planning to avoid unpleasant surprises later. Browse the internet for budget planning checklists. Use them as a starting point and add the necessary extras to make your customized checklist.
DON’T waste any time
Wedding planning is time-consuming and tedious. There is a lot of research, negotiation, and decision-making involved.
Pulling things off at short notice can prove expensive. So, the sooner you start, the better off you will be.
With time on your side, the chances of finding better deals and exploring all your options are better. You can explore different avenues, seek discounts and sales, and complete all DIY tasks.
We suggest that you create a practical month-by-month timeline with strict deadlines for each task to stay on schedule.
DO limit your guest list.
The most significant wedding planning expenses like the venue and food depend on how many people attend your wedding.
Your expenses will proportionally increase or decrease with the number of guests on your list. Hence, it makes sense to have a small wedding.
Surround yourself with only your closest friends and family members on this special day. It will not only make your celebration more meaningful but also more affordable.
DON’T choose a weekend for the wedding
Did you know that the wedding venue rentals and vendor rates go up during peak season and on weekends?
It means that you will spend more on a weekend wedding than if you were to get married on a weekday.
Apart from saving on the cost, a weekday wedding also improves your chances of getting the venue and vendors you like. You can even negotiate rates and get a better deal for the same ambiance and service by simply adjusting the time and date.
If you are very serious about cutting costs, a romantic winter wedding could be the perfect answer for your needs.
DO get your family and friends involved.
Professional wedding service providers charge hefty sums for their services. However, you can avoid spending too much money if you have talented people in your network.
Early planning will give you enough time to explore various options. For example, consider hiring businesses owned by your family or friends at more budget-friendly prices.
If your friends or family can vouch for amateur musicians, make-up artists, photographers, florists, and bakers, hire them instead of professional wedding vendors to cut down the overall cost.
DON’T forget to set your priorities
Wedding planning involves hundreds of details. Some of them are essential; others are excessive.
Setting your priorities will help you plan your expenses better. Remember that nothing is mandatory. You can simply list and keep the details that matter most.
Resist the temptation to include everything on your list since each aspect will add to your wedding budget. So, think it through and be decisive about what you should splurge on and what to eliminate from the list.
Prepare to compromise if you are having trouble staying on budget. You can cut down on certain costs or remove some of the items altogether if they exceed your budget. Consider if you can revise your vision or sacrifice parts of it if it brings down the cost.
DO review offers from multiple vendors.
Spending some time and effort on research is guaranteed to present endless options. So, set aside a big chunk of time for price research and contact and collect bids from multiple vendors.
Look for custom packages or vendors who offer pricing by the hour, and check if it will work out better for you. Having such options will help you develop a realistic plan and make your budget work better.
Nonetheless, you should also know the reasonable cost for a particular service in your area. It will help you steer clear of the high-end service providers and stick with those in your price range.
Also, remember that any deal that sounds too good to be true is most likely not worth it.
DON’T miss any sales or discount offers
Getting a head-start on your wedding planning should also include your wedding dress shopping plans.
We suggest that you start your wedding dress shopping at least nine to ten months before the wedding. It will give you enough time to research and compare options. More importantly, you will have more time to find and use sales and discounts.
Be on the lookout for any upcoming sales near you, and plan to make the most of these opportunities. Bridal stores host sample sales at least once or twice a year. You can find fantastic, unused wedding dresses for half-price or even less at these sales.
Since gowns get sold out quickly at these sales, you must make quick decisions. Prepare yourself by doing your research beforehand, deciding what styles will work for you, and getting the right people to accompany you.
It is unlikely that you will ever wear your wedding day outfits again. So, you can even consider renting your wedding dress and the bridegroom’s suit. Wedding dress rentals will help you look fabulous in a designer gown on your wedding day without spending thousands of dollars.
DO consider DIY seriously.
DIY is an innovative and cost-effective way to cut costs when planning a wedding. Once you make up your mind to do things yourself, you will be surprised by how much you can pull off without professional help.
With basic computer skills, you can easily design and print your wedding invites on cardstock for a fraction of the cost.
Find inspiration for DIY wedding décor yourself on Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram. By sourcing materials like mason jars, flowers, and candles in bulk, you can save money. The personal touches will also not go unnoticed and make your wedding one-of-a-kind.
DON’T opt for two venues
Skip the practice of having the wedding and reception in two different locations to offset extra expenses for travel, decorating, and cleaning up.
There are plenty of places where you can host both the wedding and reception without breaking the bank.
Look for community centers, parks, churches, conference rooms, and restaurants with ample seating. You can even have your wedding in your parent’s backyard.
You can transform these locations into spectacular wedding venues without exhausting your budget with some creativity and effort.
Vendor pricings offer often reflect their experience and skill. Be respectful of this factor when discussing rates. Being upfront about your budget will save you time, especially if a vendor is out of your league.
As long as you are reasonable and respectful, most vendors will be open to discussing options. You can ask for an itemized quote to identify extras you can forego. Some vendors will also be able to develop creative solutions that will take your budget further.
You can also look for talented wedding vendors who are new to the business. They will usually be open to negotiating prices while building their portfolio.
To wrap it up….
Planning a fabulous wedding on a small budget is challenging but doable when you have an optimistic and creative mindset.
These planning tips will help you stay ahead of challenges and easily plan your wedding on a student budget. And, remember that it is not the wedding day but the marriage that matters in the end!
Author Bio: Pat Nelson is an experienced bridal fashion and lifestyle writer. She started her writing career with “write my essay” projects for an academic writing agency. Later, she switched to blogging and article writing. In addition, she likes to read fashion magazines, go on long drives with her pet dog to offbeat destinations, and watch sci-fi movies during her leisure time.
Summary: Wedding on a Student Budget
- Start with a budget and stick to it.
- Limit your guest list.
- Get your family and friends involved.
- Review offers from multiple vendors.
- Consider DIY seriously.
- Negotiate with vendors.
- Waste any time.
- Choose a weekend for the wedding.
- Forget to set your priorities.
- Miss any sales or discount offers.
- Opt for two venues.
FAQ – Wedding Budget
What is the most crucial advice for keeping your wedding costs down?
Spend your money on the aspect of the ceremony that you are most passionate about. Spend your money on the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and seek ways to save money elsewhere. According to one poll, 81 percent of attendees believe that the most memorable aspect of a wedding is entertainment.
How can I organize a wedding on a budget of fewer than 5000 dollars?
The number of guests you invite is one of the most important factors in determining the cost of your wedding. More people means a larger — and probably more expensive — location. Food prices might rise as a result of large guest lists. For example, according to The Knot, the average cost of catering is $70 per person. The expense difference between feeding 20 visitors and feeding 100 people might be more than $5,000.
What are the groom’s parents’ responsibilities in terms of costs?
Despite the fact that the bride’s family and friends attend, tradition requires that the groom’s family pays for the entire rehearsal dinner. Food, drink, venue costs, entertainment, and transportation are all included. This obligation is often cherished by the groom’s family.
What do the bride’s parents pay for?
Nowadays, a loving grandma could offer to buy your gown, or you might have to pay for it yourself. Big-ticket items like a wedding planner, the bachelorette party, and the ceremony reception are also covered by the bride’s family (music, guest favours, rentals, etc.).