Wedding bells will soon be ringing, but this doesn’t mean that you have to hear the ding of a cash register as the costs pile up. On average, Americans spend between $25,000 and $45,000 on their weddings. The reality that the media doesn’t promote, however, is that not everyone has the budget for one of those extravagant weddings that Hollywood is always showing us. Let’s talk about some romantic, elegant, and fun wedding ideas that are also affordable for real people. Check out these smart tips for planning a cheap wedding and starting your new life without the wedding-debt headaches!
Take a Good Look at Your Venue
Are you planning to host your wedding or reception at a venue that charges top dollar? It might be time to reconsider where you’ll host your big, enchanted day. The fact of the matter is that couples spend the bulk of their wedding funds on venues. Most places are so pricey that they actually require down payments. The good news is that alternatives do exist. You might want to consider inquiring about holding your reception in the basement or attached hall if your ceremony is taking place at a church or place of worship. Many places will actually allow you to rent an attached space for events for a fraction of what traditional venues cost. What’s more, your guests won’t have to get in their cars and shuffle to another location.
Backyard weddings are really in fashion at the moment. You might want to consider using your yard or the yard of a family member to host your reception. You’re not totally out of luck if you don’t know anyone with a big yard. You may actually be able to rent a home using a platform like Airbnb to host your reception if it will be fairly small and intimate. Places like libraries, museums and historical societies often allow people to rent space for events like weddings. Don’t forget that many parks allow you to host events for free or next to nothing.
Make Your Own Decorations
Rustic is very in at the moment when it comes to weddings. That’s good news because you can hit tag sales in search of vintage-looking picture frames, weather-worn mirrors, rusted wind panes and farmhouse-style decorations that can be used to create a very country-inspired, rustic wedding theme. The beauty of this is that nothing needs to match because you’re creating that flea-market look that is so popular right now. You can also put on your crafter’s hat and make some inexpensive decorations. Start saving all of your empty jars from now on and use them to create a theme of mason jars with tea lights or string lights as table centerpieces. Another idea is to create pom-pom balls out of tissue paper that can be hung over the dance floor at your venue. There’s no need to rent pricey chair covers. Simply tie some gauze around the back of each chair and pin it with a silk flower from the craft store.
Flowers can be extremely pricey. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need polished bouquets of roses. There are some smart ways around paying a florist. One is to pick up several packets of sunflower seeds and sow them in the spring. You can use your yard or the yard of someone you know to do this. The sunflowers will be ready by the middle of summer and you will have tons of free and very beautiful flowers. You can also choose a field that is open to the public and scout for wildflowers that can be used to make beautiful bouquets. Many stores now sell seed bags for wild flowers that you can scatter in a yard. This will give you a nice variety of colorful wild flowers that you can pick and use to make amazing bouquets for just a few dollars in total.
Rethink the Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
You shouldn’t go broke planning a wedding. You also shouldn’t make your friends go broke. The reality is that many people feel like they are being forced to spend money when they get invited to bachelor or bachelorette parties. There’s no rule that says you have to get on a plane and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars as part of a destination party in order to have a memorable time. Here are some cheap ideas for bachelor and bachelorette parties:
- A paint-and-sip party.
- A wine-and-cheese party at home.
- A local pub crawl.
- A backyard cookout.
- A manicure/pedicure night at home.
- A scavenger hunt at a public park.
- A poker night at home.
- A backyard bonfire.
The nice thing about these ideas is that they encourage bonding without forcing spending. What’s more, nobody will need to take time off from work or have to deal with scheduling an extended weekend. That can be very helpful when you’re in the middle of planning a wedding.
Make Your Wedding Your Own
Having an amazing wedding doesn’t come down to dollars and cents. It’s important to remember that your friends and family are coming to support you on your big day. Nobody is really going to care where you host your wedding or how much the decorations cost. Have fun using your creative side to cut costs and put your own spin on your big day!