The day of your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. A day when you decide to tie the knot is not just about proclaiming to the world that you have decided to spend the rest of your days together; it’s also about committing yourself to another person, your other half. You undertake this gigantic responsibility of dedicating yourself entirely to another person and it’s no mean feat. You’ve made plans with your partner about celebrating your commitment, your love and your happiness in a room full of people who love you and who you love back which makes it a big deal.
But times are tough. People are more materialistic, money-minded and cynical than ever and they cannot be blamed in this overpopulated, crumbling economy where the rich have more than they can waste while the rest spend their days struggling to make ends meet.
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For the millennial, marriage is not always the only alternative to lead their lives in peace. For us it does not seem as compulsory as it may have seemed to our parents. Imagine all the money you could be saving if you didn’t spend on these extravagant events where you feed hundreds of people. Think about all the things you could be doing instead: get a pet, buy a new car, a new home, a costly camera, start a business, go traveling around the world, to name a few. This is why the 3 billion dollar industry is beginning to decay because spending so much is not an option everyone can consider. Big brands and names in the industry are shutting down rapidly owing to causes like bankruptcy. And so wedding planners have found a new area of expertise: wedding on a budget.
For any successful event, there needs to be a proper plan and it has to be executed well. So first things first, there has to be a discussion where it will be decided who will be contributing what and how much so that an initial budget can be determined. If it is chalked out whether they are financing any particular aspect of the whole affair (catering, decorations or the honeymoon), then it will be more plausible to decrease the costs incurred due the wedding.
The first thing that comes to mind when planning a wedding on a budget is the venue. Obviously, a fancy ballroom, or a destination wedding at a beach, hilltop or in a vineyard will be much more extravagant as well as expensive than a small wedding thrown in your backyard, almost like an afternoon tea or dessert party for all your loved ones as you unite in the holy bond of matrimony. Of course, it does not sound half as lavish as the fancy party but makeshift outdoor weddings have a charm of their own, there is no denying that.
However, it is not possible for everyone to throw a quick shindig at their place and some have to opt for a destination wedding. Some big cities are going to cost more than other smaller towns while in remote places, as quaint as they are, transportation costs for the delivery of the flower, food and other services that are not available in the area are going to up the overall costs as well. So you have to be aware of the fact that if any of your family, friends and acquaintances have any contacts or resources where you may get some services at discounted or no prices.
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Venues are also dependent on the style and theme of the wedding- warm, vibrant and colorful? Simple but elegant? Posh and exuberant? Centering around your favorite fandoms? It all comes down to the setting, inspirations and ideas. The more formal the tone of the wedding will be, the price of the musical entertainment, food menu and decorations will go up.
A DJ will be far more affordable than a quartet or a swing band. If you want a wedding on a budget, why not settle for mixed tape of some wonderful, soothing songs or instrumental pieces rather than live music? Game of Thrones themed wedding? Play the violin covers of the Rains of Castamere and watch people get actual chills as the bride walks down the aisle. Want to watch your wedding party turn into the fun and happening night we all need once in a while? Get friend to play the dance numbers from the late 90s and early 2000s and watch the guests simply dagger it on the dance floor. Something more fun? Set up a karaoke! What could be more fun than watching your drunk uncle Sal raise a toast to young love and belt out a tone-deaf yet passionate rendition of Careless Whisper?
One can never ever underestimate how vital the food is any wedding. Keep your guests full and they will be smiling. But a five-course menu will not just be pricey but also unnecessary when the remaining food goes to waste. First and foremost, one has to make sure that the food compliments the weather, especially if it’s an outdoor weather. Don’t impose heavy, filling food or food that goes runny or spoils on a hot, sultry day. Instead rejuvenate and refresh by opting for popsicles, iced tea, lemonades with bite-sized appetizers and plenty of finger food as well as casual snacks like pizzas and nachos being included in the menu. In an outdoor wedding, assemble a chic cocktail lounge in your garden or greet them with warm wine, champagne and prosecco in dainty gardens and introduce a little taste of Napa in your tiny little world.
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The aspect of the wedding where one can save the most is probably the decor. In that case, there’s nothing like the natural decor of the blue skies and the wonderful breeze that will enhance the ambience. People appreciate little details where one can use all sorts of aesthetic creepers plus potted plants and not just exotic roses and tulips to adorn the aisles, gazebos, walls and arches. Place wild flowers into old light bulbs, used beer bottles, spare shoes and even invitations and watch the how much more aesthetically appealing it becomes. One can use fairy lights and camping lanterns for lighting, substitute chairs with bales of hay covered with colorful blankets and even suspend the tables with ropes to high branches. Instead of spending on flexes and large framed portraits, cherish nostalgia by using string lights to wind around tree trunks and one can attach pictures to create collages to the strings and even create a family tree over a tree trunk. Create a photo booth by making fun signs as well as assigning booths under cute little arches, gazebos or even make one by putting some lace curtains around an arch or simply tying a dangling frame to a branch with some satin ribbons. People appreciate creativity more than you will know.
The head count of your guests matter a lot. It might be tough to cut down but consider how much one would be saving by reducing even 5 people off the guest list. It is on the basis on the number on the guest list, that your venue can be altered to a cheaper one for popular locations may have a minimum head count. The smaller your guest list is, the less formal it can be and the lesser you have to spend! If it becomes just close friends and family, one can even make it a BYOB(Bring Your Own Bottle) wedding. Ergo, one doesn’t even have to pay for alcohol.
The date and the time of the wedding has to be cleverly fixed as well. One must avoid the wedding season to ensure lesser costs.
How to stay on budget, though?
Be smart about what you’re going to spend on. Every time you agree to spend on something rather expensive (special effects, a huge car, party favours and mementos), do ask yourself whether or not you really need it. If the answer is that you could do without it as well, the cost effective way to go would be to discard it.
Because no matter how less you will be spending, you have to consider the hidden costs. Tips, service charges and gratuities are often not factored in. Always set aside a certain amount of money in order to ensure that the ship sails smoothly in case of emergencies and accidents like a drunken guest, damp invitations, wilted flowers and the worst nightmare of all: a torn wedding dress.
So, one can invest a little less in the ceremony to save up for the fun part: the honeymoon.
Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License