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How to plan a simple wedding – expenses demystified

A wedding is one of the most significant milestones in a couple’s life, and planning for it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re on a budget. The average wedding nowadays easily costs $30,000 USD.

And can quickly shoot into the six digits without you even realizing it. But if you want to keep costs down and have a simple and beautiful day, it is possible; you just have to be creative. 

Here’s how to plan a simple wedding and save money while doing so. 

How to plan a simple wedding

1. Set a budget

The first step in planning any wedding is to set a budget. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your big day and stick to it. A budget will help you prioritize what’s essential and avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

2. Choose a date and venue

Once you have a budget, you quickly want to pick a date to secure a venue that fits your budget. It’s the first step for good reason. Venues can get pretty expensive.

Just google how much wedding venues cost and you will see what I’m talking about. Consider having your wedding on a weekday or off-season, as it may cost less. Choose an affordable venue with all the amenities you need, like tables, chairs, and sound equipment.

3. Keep your guest list small

A smaller guest list means less money spent on catering, invitations, and other wedding essentials. Keep your guest list to close family and friends, and avoid inviting everyone you’ve ever met.

4. Choose affordable vendors

You don’t have to go to the most expensive vendors to have a beautiful wedding. Research and choose affordable vendors, like caterers, photographers, and florists, who offer quality services within your budget.

5. DIY where possible

DIY projects can save you money, and they add a personal touch to your wedding. Consider DIY projects for decorations, wedding favors, and even the wedding cake.

6. Stick to the essentials

Focus on what’s important and skip the extras you don’t need. For instance, you may skip a limousine and have a friend or family member drive you to the wedding.

7. Be flexible

Be open to change, and be willing to compromise where necessary. For instance, you may opt for a buffet-style dinner instead of a sit-down meal to save money.

budget wedding venue

Wedding expenses to consider

Venue and catering

Venue and catering expenses take up the most significant chunk of your wedding budget. Choose an affordable venue that provides catering services, or find an affordable caterer who can provide quality food within your budget.

The venue typically takes up 20-30% of your overall wedding budget, with the average venue costing around $6,000. 

Photography and Videography

A professional photographer and videographer will capture your wedding memories beautifully, but they can be expensive. Research and find affordable photographers and videographers who offer quality services within your budget. You can expect to spend around $2,000 for a professional photographer, while a videographer costs slightly more at $2,100. 

Wedding attire

Wedding attire for the bride and groom can be expensive. Look for affordable options, like renting or buying second-hand dresses and suits. The average wedding dress costs around $1,000, while the average tux rental is anywhere from $250 to $500. 

Decorations and flowers

DIY decorations and flowers can save you money, but if you prefer professional services, choose affordable florists who can provide quality flowers and decorations within your budget.

The average cost of flowers in the U.S. is around $1,500. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 10% of your overall wedding budget to flowers. Other decorations will be an additional cost, depending on the look you’re going for. 

Invitations and stationery

Choose affordable invitations and stationery, like printing your own invitations or sending electronic invites to save money. The average cost of wedding invitations and stationery can vary depending on the number of invitations needed, the desired customization level, and the type of printing method chosen.

On average, you can expect to spend around $510 on wedding invitations and stationery. This cost typically includes save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, RSVP cards, thank-you cards, and other wedding stationery such as programs and menus.

budget wedding tips

Planning a simple wedding on a budget is absolutely achievable with a bit of careful consideration and wise spending. First and foremost, setting a budget is crucial to keep your spending under control.

Choose an affordable venue and vendors, keep your guest list small, and focus on the essentials to avoid unnecessary expenses. Demystifying wedding expenses is also vital in effectively managing your budget.

Prioritizing your expenses and choosing affordable options for venue and catering, photography and videography, wedding attire, decorations and flowers, and invitations and stationery can make all the difference in keeping your costs in check.