Ed note: Budget weddings are actually pretty trendy. Besides saving money (which is always cool), they force you to make more inventive and unique choices, as Dana LaRue outlines below.
So, you’re engaged! Yay! Aside from the lovey, giddy feelings, you’re now staring down some major benefits of the betrothed. Namely, you get to file as married filing jointly instead of single – which is usually beneficial for most. The difference in the standard deduction is an additional $6,300. Besides being a benefit at tax time, that’s actually enough dough to throw a pretty great low-budget wedding.
Yes, you read that correctly. Despite seeing a barrage of celebrity weddings totaling in the hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars, it is absolutely possible to have a wonderful wedding without reaching five digits. Here are some creative ways to make this happen. (So you can spend the big bucks on your honeymoon. Bora Bora, anyone?)
Here’s a budget breakdown, based on recommendations from The Knot and what that looks like in terms of real money for a $6,300 wedding.
|Miscellaneous/Just in Case||5%||$315|
Best Ways to Save
Sure, ballrooms are gorgeous, but they’re also expensive, and they come bare bones. All those pretty little extras, like the draped tulle and soft lighting are going to bump up your bottom line.
If you think beyond the box and take inspiration from your daily life – like where do you and your fiancé enjoy spending time – you might find the best budget alternative. Art galleries, gardens, museums and even restaurants! Typically these places come pre-decorated, so you won’t have to worry about hauling in a lot of stuff.
Speaking of restaurants, food doesn’t come cheaply, but it can. For smaller weddings, a favorite restaurant can be a huge money-saver. They already have the staff, the alcohol and the food. Sure, you’ll probably have to shell out some cash to rent a private room or buy out the restaurant for the night, but you save money (and a headache) on servers, corkage fees, linens and décor.
If you choose to have a reception at another location, ask your favorite restaurant to prepare some chafing dishes that a member of your party will pick up for an affordable buffet. For something a little more casual, food trucks are a super fun option.
And when it comes to the sweets? You can opt for a smaller tiered cake for the cutting and have a big supermarket sheet cake hiding in the back. Also, no one will complain if you have a dessert bar instead – hello wedding pies!
Blooms aren’t for everyone – and that’s a good thing, because those petals pack a pricey punch! If you’re dead set on stems, use them sparingly. Know what’s in-season and check out local farms or farmer’s markets for larger quantities. Sure, you’ll have to put a little elbow grease into arranging the bouquets, but there are tons of great DIY ideas to help with that. Re-use your bridal party’s bouquets and any flowers from the ceremony as centerpieces during the reception, so you get the most bang for your blooms.
Not in love with flowers? Brooch bouquets can be tough to make, but they last forever and are a wonderful way to include sentimental heirlooms from family members.
This one is super simple: does it make you feel fabulous? If you’re happier in a knee-length cocktail dress, then wear that for your wedding! It’ll likely save you hundreds, if not thousands, to get something you’re happy, comfortable and feel amazing in!
A wedding at $6,300 is totally doable with the right amount of pluck and determination. Creativity is our currency – because it’s not about how much you spend, it’s about how you spend it!