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5 ways to stick to your wedding budget

While C and I are planning our wedding it is important for us to use our budget wisely. At first we had no real idea of how much things cost for a wedding, but it quickly became clear to us that things can be very expensive (if you allow them to be). We sought to find ways to get the most out of our money and to prioritise it to the areas that mean the most to us. Today we will  be sharing our top five tips to save money and help you stick to your wedding budget. 

1. Be prepared to negotiate
Don't assume the price you are quotes is the price you have to go for. Especially if you are in a position to pay in full ask for the opportunity to bring down the price. For our reception we altered the package to remove alcohol (as we are LDS) and canapés and a few elements that were not that important to us. These changes reduced the price by over a 1/3 and meant the venue of our dreams was within our budget. Ask is an off-season or military discounts is applicable, you won't know unless you ask.  

2. Build your 'foundation'. 

Start by planning and paying for the things that are absolutely essential for the day (i.e wedding license, ceremony location, attire for bride and groom, photography), from here expand to things that are of high importance (reception location, food, flowers, attire for bridal party). Your essentials are those that should take paramount importance in your budget. We avoided buying 'bits and bobs' and decorative accessorise until the essentials were paid for, that way we know that it is within our budget to buy these things, also it helps prevent impulse buys if you have to go and check if you have all your essentials covered. A good way to do this is to create a list of priorities having three categories (essentials(needs), high importance wants, low importance wants) and assign items to those lists. When looking to purchase something assess what category it falls under and if you are ready to make purchases for that category yet.

3. Simplify stationary

Firstly consider what is actually necessary, do you need to send out engagement announcements if you will soon be sending out save the dates? Does every individual attending need a ceremony program? Consider only sending save the dates to out of town guests. We kept our stationary budget low by taking advantage of the many great free printable sites out there (we used this site). By using the designs on the site we were able to create beautiful pocket fold invitations, save the dates and order of service for the fraction of the price we would pay to have it professionally made. I will be uploading a post in the coming weeks on how you too can make beautiful wedding invites on a budget. 

4. Work your contacts

Know a budding photographer, a wonderful baker or a musician? Take advantage of your friends and families talents and ask for their help at the wedding. Friends and family discounts are great and sometimes you'll get stuff for free as a wedding gift. We have been fortunate to have a friend offer to play the organ for us at the ceremony and the reception. Whilst another friend is making cakes for us and we just have to cover the cost of the ingredients. Whilst my parents are using their car to drive the bridesmaids around. 

5. Don't be afraid to use second-hand

At the end of the day most of what you will use on your wedding day will be used for a matter of hours. We are borrowing some second hand chair covers from a friend. Plus a lot of the decorations we have bough we got second-hand on ebay. Lots of people have barely used wedding items in their home that they are looking to get rid of. In fact I even got my dress second hand on eBay. The dress had been worn once (as to be expected) and was in beautiful condition. I ended up spending £150 on the dress plus £75 for alterations which is a fraction of the $1200 retail price 

What ways did you manage to save money and help stick to your wedding budget?

Disease Called Debt


  1. The number one way we saved on our wedding was probably planning a morning wedding followed by brunch, rather than an afternoon wedding followed by dinner. Brunch has the advantage of being generally cheaper, with less alcohol consumed and less expensive foods. Plus, I hear so many couples say they were completely exhausted after their weddings. Ours was over earlier, so my husband and I got to enjoy our wedding night.

    Don't forget to be kind to your bridesmaids. There's nothing worse than having to spend a bundle on an unflattering dress. I told mine "Wear a black dress (figuring that with black I wouldn't have to worry about shades.)"

  2. Great tips Rebecca! You got such a great deal on your dress. Is that the actual same style of dress that the link points to? If so, beautiful!

  3. I second Emily - I love every bride who has just let me wear my own black dress. I still cannot believe that other brides have actually told me "don't worry, I picked a dress you can wear again." Let's be clear here - if it comes from David's Bridal, I am almost certainly never wearing it again. That doesn't mean I don't love you and won't buy it and wear it anyway, but don't lie to me. I am a horrid pink/purple/blue monstrosity for you today. This is true love.

  4. A friend did our video-this was back in the days of big camcorders and VCR tapes. It was just a straight video of the Mass and a few minutes of the reception. I'm sure I watch it as much as those who got the professional version done. We got married at my church rather than the big pretty "wedding" churches downtown. We skipped the parade of limos with a police escort--though my in-laws insisted on getting one to tranport me and my attendants to the church and my husband and I to the reception (which was just a couple of miles from the church). The reception hall was good enough--not the fanciest place in town but conveniently located, the right size for our group and the food, while basic, was good.

  5. These are all great tips! Plus I bet you guys saved a bundle on the venue! ;)

  6. These are all great tips! Plus I bet you guys saved a bundle on the venue! ;)

  7. Wow, great tips! You're definitely stretching your dollar to get the wedding you want at a price you can afford. I love these ideas.

  8. We splurged on stationery, because I valued it (former newspaper editor and layout person!). Keeping spending inline with your values is hard to do when wedding planning. I think everyone wants to please their guests. But I say do what you and your partner value! Excellent tips. I could have used some of these!