When it comes to getting married, most of us don’t have an unlimited budget. Which is sort of unfortunate because weddings are really expensive. Whether you’re getting some help from family, or you’ll be footing the bill yourself, getting married means getting real with the budget.
First thing’s first: if you are having a wedding you will spend money. Some people will spend less than others, and there are definitely ways to save. But if you’re looking at traditional venues and want your guests to eat and drink and you also want a pretty dress and it would be nice for your tables to have flowers and getting a good photographer is a must… you see where I’m going.
The truth is, there’s only one way to tackle planning a wedding on a budget. Figure out what is important to you and start to let other things go. Maybe not let go completely, but start to find other ways to get your desired result—call in favours, DIY or come up with something completely new. The important thing is figuring out what you don’t want to compromise on.
For my partner and I, it was food and drinks. We want to eat good food at our wedding, and we want our guests to eat well too. We want everyone to drink as much as they want—but that also means our budget only allows for beer and wine (not liquor). I knew I wanted a professional photographer and to get my hair and makeup done, but that meant keeping our flower order to just a bridal bouquet and a boutonniere (and opting to decorate in other ways) and forgoing a DJ. We’re saving money on a venue by hosting in a private backyard—but that means renting tents which aren’t cheap. For everything that you want to spend money on, you’ll need to find ways to cut from other areas. That’s just the way a budget goes. And it’s important to be up-front and honest (with your family, your partner and yourself) about what you’re expecting to spend on the day.
The good news is, the actual marriage stuff—the license, basically—isn’t too expensive. So if all this budget talk is making you groan, there is always the option of heading to City Hall and saying your I dos there. No tent or bar tab required.