10 Tips for Wedding Planning on a Budget | Rivers and Roads

7.15.2019

10 Tips for Wedding Planning on a Budget



Let me start by saying, I am in no way an expert in wedding planning (and never want to be HA!) But Shane and I took budgeting for our wedding pretty seriously, wanting to stick to it or even come in under budget, and we learned a lot of ways to save money in the process. Here they are!

1. SET A BUDGET
Obvi. When creating a budget, you have to decide what's important to you. Everyone is different, and we each care about various things. So while having the best food in all the land might be important to you, photography might be the most important to me. So you have to decide your list of priorities when it comes to wedding planning so that you know how and where to spend your money. But set a budget and do your best to stick to it. No one has to go into debt for their wedding.

P.S. I used a simple excel spreadsheet to keep up with every little wedding expense.

2. SETUP YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE + REGISTRY
We used The Knot to host all of our registries (Target, Amazon, etc.) I've also heard that Zola is a great option for this

In order to save money on postage we had folks RSVP via our wedding website instead of providing another envelope with postage for guests to mail back to us. Obviously, this was personal preference, but it's a great way to save if you're pinching pennies.😊

3. FIND A VENUE THAT DOESN'T BREAK THE BANK
GIRL. Here are my two cents...you wouldn't be here if you didn't want them, right? Listen very closely -- It does not matter where you get married. You do not have to get married in the newest, prettiest, most pinterest-worthy venue. I know you're going to feel all of this pressure to, but you don't have to. Find a place you can actually afford and make it yours. Maybe it's because I'm so practical, but even when we visited the most beautiful and perfect venue I had ever seen (and Shane gave me permission to book it) I couldn't do it. It was HALF of our wedding budget, and I knew we could find something less expensive.

4. BUY YOUR OWN FOOD
A lot of venues require that you use a caterer from a list they have created. The issue with this is that your options are limited and you're stuck paying a ton of money per person. So we decided one of our requirements in looking for a venue was that they would allow us to cater our own food from wherever we chose. We saved a ton of money this way! BBQ all the way, baby.

5. SAVE ON PRINTING
Invitations -- When it came to invitations, we knew they weren't something we wanted to spend a lot of money on (especially when most of them end up in the trash.) We ended up ordering a cute template from Etsy and printing them postcard size (printing smaller saves money!) on Vistaprint, and they turned out great!

Programs -- Again, these weren't super important to us, but we still wanted folks to know important details like our parents' names, bridal party names, etc. So my sweet friend Mary created a beautiful chalkboard program for us that sat at the entrance to our venue, and it was perfect!

6. GET CREATIVE WITH FLORALS
You can still have beautiful florals without spending half your budget. How? All hail Costco. I knew that I wanted to go super simple with flowers, and I landed on using eucalyptus and baby's breath (and a dozen roses that I used in my bouquet. Trader Joes coming in clutch.) Y'all, I bought all of my flowers for bouquets, boutonnieres, moms' corsages, flower girl's floral crown, and all of my decorations for $160. No, that's not a typo. So, it can be done. You just have to get creative!

7. DO IT YOURSELF
I really wanted a wedding arbor to get married under. We looked at buying one, but they are SO expensive. So my hardworking husband bought the materials himself for less than half the cost, and with the help of a couple of friends, built exactly what I wanted.😊

Back to the florals -- We didn't want to pay extra to have someone else make the bouquets and things, so I just bought the bunches of flowers from Costco and my bridesmaids and friends did all the work creating beautiful arrangements and making my wedding day floral dreams come true.

8. BORROW OR BUY USED
We had some incredible friends who had kids get married a few months before us, and they had a ton of glass vases that they let us borrow. So we didn't have to pay a thing for any of our glassware, which was amazing. Find some friends like that. OR look at places like Facebook Marketplace for used items.

We bought all of our linens during a super duper President's Day sale for a steal. So they weren't used, but we got them at a lower cost than renting. So low that we didn't bat an eye when they were all stained and ruined and even bleach wouldn't save the day, so we tossed them all. (Sorry to everyone who spent so much time ironing them for us! They looked great the day of!😂)

P.S. Most anything you buy for your wedding can be sold afterward to recoup some of those costs! We had great success selling several things on Facebook Marketplace after our wedding -- highly recommend.

9. GO SIMPLE WITH WEDDING PARTY GIFTS
Sometimes simpler really is better. We bought all of the groomsmen's ties as their gift. For the girls, I wanted to do something meaningful and Colorado/mountain themed, so I bought adorable cards off of Etsy with a watercolor painting of Garden of the Gods. I wrote each one of my bridesmaids letters, but the front is so pretty I knew it could be kept and framed if they wanted. I also got some tiny wooden mountain photo holders they could put their card in to display it.

10. FORGET EVERYTHING AND JUST ELOPE
Only kind of joking.😉


What are some things you've learned from planning a wedding?