You have seen it all before. The huge elegant and extravagant dream wedding. No doubt you at some stage have also dreamt of this scenario and envisioned your wedding to be similar to what you would see in a romantic movie.
Unfortunately, a huge and extravagant wedding can cost an absolute fortune and leave you in debt that you most certainly do not need when starting your lives as a married couple.
In modern times people have become a lot more realistic as to how they want their wedding to be versus what would be financially viable when looking at all the expenses that are involved to plan a big wedding. A lot of couples opt for smaller weddings to cut back on the many unneeded expenses that go with it.
Smaller weddings are not without their benefits. In the long run, they are intimate and special and consist of the bride and groom and a few close friends and family members. A small wedding is usually comprised of 50 or fewer people. So, what is the estimated cost of a smaller wedding?
The average cost of a small wedding can cost anywhere between $5000 and $9000 all depending on where you choose to host your wedding, what food is going to be served, what decorations are going to be used, and your choice of wedding cakes and flowers.
What to Keep in Mind: Small Wedding Tips and Savings
A small and simple wedding will help you to manage your bank balance and save money for something that you as a couple may want to do later in your marriage. Remember if you cut out expenses and have a small wedding you can do other things such as renovate your home or finally go on that dream vacation.
In this article, we will give you some tips on how to host a small, intimate yet still elegant budget-friendly wedding.
# 1 It All Begins with A Plan
It doesn’t matter whether you are having a big or a small wedding, the reality of the matter is that the more time you have to plan, the more you can cut costs or look for alternative solutions. Try to start planning hour wedding at least 6 months before the wedding day.
# 2 DIY Invitations
Wedding invitations can be extremely expensive and at the end of the day, most are just thrown in the trash after the wedding has taken place.
An excellent way in which to save on wedding invitation costs is to get yourself a DIY wedding invitation kit and then print the invitations yourself.
It may sound very unromantic, but an even cheaper option would be to digitally send out your wedding invitations. The benefit of this is that it will cost you nothing at all and the guests cannot lose them as they would have saved the invitation to their phones or computers!
# 3 Keep the Wedding Close to Your Guests
If you have decided to have a smaller more intimate and budget-friendly wedding, then it is a good idea to have the ceremony at a location that is close to where most of your guests live.
If you go too far out of town you may feel obligated to pay for a guest house for guests who won’t be able to afford the expense themselves.
# 4 Have the Ceremony at Home or A Friend
Tip # 3 leads directly into Tip # 4! Wedding venues can be extremely costly largely because they are specifically geared towards hosting mainly weddings and can offer you everything that you need for your big day.
Tables, chairs, cutlery, and crockery are often included in the price when hiring out a wedding venue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap.
What other options do you have?
If your guest list is small enough then you could consider asking a friend who has plenty of space to host your wedding. Most family members will not mind doing this, especially if the wedding is going to be under 50 people.
Some public parks will allow you to have your reception in the park. Parks and other recreational areas may charge a small fee for the use of their facility, but this cost will be significantly cheaper than paying for a wedding venue.
# 5 Ask for Help from Friends and Family
You are going to have many friends and family members who are going to be more than eager to help you prepare for your wedding. Most times there will be people on your wedding guest list who can take amazing photos, cook very well, or even bake your wedding cake at a discounted price.
Don’t feel bad to take any help that is offered to you by your family and friends. It can be an honor for them to be asked to help with your wedding plans.
# 6 Do the Catering Yourself or Ask for Help
Having a smaller guest list means less money on catering, but catering can still be relatively expensive. There are a few ways in which to find lower-costing catering options.
Ask your family and friends to help you prepare meals, especially if they are used to cooking for larger groups of people. You will find that your older relatives will relish the fact that they are going to cook for your wedding!
If you have been going to a specific restaurant for years and know the owners well why not ask them to do the catering for your wedding. While you are still going to have to pay a certain price per head, they are more than likely going to be a lot cheaper than an actual wedding catering service.
# 7 Have a Cash Bar or Stock the Bar Yourself
There is no doubt that weddings are a celebration, and most couples are going to want to celebrate their special day by having a bar available to their guests.
A way to save on the expense of a bar is to hire a bartender in your capacity and even go so far as to buy the bar stock yourself. This applies only when you are hosting a wedding at home or a friend’s house.
If you are hosting the wedding at a venue, then you need to find out if bringing in your own alcohol is allowed. Many venues will charge you a corkage fee if you want to bring in alcohol.
# 8 Slowly with The Flowers
Flowers are one of the most expensive items of décor when it comes to weddings. Fresh flowers, even though beautiful are costly. Try to stick to simple yet elegant flowers for both your bouquets and table arrangements. The flowers can be used at both the church service and the reception.
Seasonal flowers are usually cheaper than other options and are still able to do the job of making the venue look beautiful without costing an arm and a leg.
# 9 Buy Used Decorations or Borrow from A Friend
Wedding decorations can be extremely costly even if you are decorating for a small-scale wedding. Try to save on the cost of decorations by doing the following:
- Try to look for cheaper decorations from second-hand or thrift shops.
- If you have someone with artistic talent in the family, ask them to help make your decorations!
- Ask friends who have already had their wedding if you would be able to borrow some of their wedding decorations if they still have them.
- You could even split the cost of decorations with someone who you know is also getting married.
# 10 Ask A Friend to Do Your Music
Hiring the services of a professional DJ for a small wedding is not worth the money. Why not get a friend to set up a playlist for you? All you need to do is put up some speakers, attach them to a laptop, and voila there is your music!
# 11 A Wedding Cake is Not Essential
The average cost of a professionally made wedding cake can range anywhere from $300 – $350. This cost can make a huge dent in your budget.
Try instead try to see what other options are available. You can even buy your cake from the local grocery store and get a family member to spruce it up for you.
Another idea is to buy cupcakes and arrange them on a cake stand to make a beautiful display. Try to buy these cupcakes from your local bakery and budget on them costing between $1.00 to $2.00 each. This is a much more cost-effective option than purchasing a whole wedding cake that won’t even be half-eaten.
# 12 Buy A Ready Made or Second-hand Wedding Dress
The bride’s wedding dress is one of the most important aspects of the entire wedding, especially for the bride-to-be. It is important to make sure that you are happy with your dress.
Bear in mind that this dress is only going to be used for one day and thereafter is going to sit in your wardrobe never to be worn again.
Nevertheless, every bride wants to look like a princess. Here are some ideas to consider if you don’t have the funds to get a dress made for you by a dressmaker.
See if any family or friends have a dress that you may like from when they got married. You can take it to the tailor for adjustments if you need to. This will be much cheaper than getting an entire wedding dress made from scratch.
Look around for used wedding dresses. There are plenty of brides who have used their $ 1500 wedding dress for their weddings and are now selling it for $300 just to give them more space in their closet!