On a budget? Tips to plan your wedding while staying on track with money!| By: Dana Arnold Photography

for brides

November 26, 2019

Let’s be honest, one of the most stressful (if not, the most stressful), thing about wedding planning is money and budget. It’s honestly how fights and arguments occur. However, it does not need to be that hard! It can be done even as early as when you first get engaged! I am here to show you some tips and tricks on how to save money and budget wisely when wedding planning so it can be as easy as possible! 

  1. When looking for decorations, check for online yard-sale pages for any used decor for weddings. There are many BST pages on Facebook specifically for brides that sell used signs, decorations, table pieces, and even lights! Most of the time, it’s half off which is a steal! 
  2. Amazon is truly the way to go if you are looking to buy in bolk. I searched wedding party favors the other day, just to see what would come up, and packs of 50 to 200 items of glasses for drinks, candy bags, bubbles, sparklers, etc. all came up in a heartbeat. Most were even under $200! Amazon pretty much covers every “theme” and has nearly every color from pink to rose to maroon. 

Now, when you are budgeting for the wedding, the money talk is one of the first things you have to have with your partner and your family. I know it’s always so weird to ask someone if they are helping pitch in, so I have some ways to make it easier! 

  1. Set a night to invite both sets of parents over. Offer to cook food or order pizza, and enjoy the night with the family. Let them know that you would love to sit down and talk about the wedding planning. When you talk about money and goals, it’s better to do it in person so it’s more personal. State that you do not expect any help but would like to know if anyone is offering to assist for anything such as offering an amount towards the food, or covering the photographer for x amount. Write this all down on whether or not you will be getting assistance and mention the name next to it so you can keep track
  2. Now, next is to figure out what you and your significant other will be able to put into the wedding. I usually let couples know that every financial situation is different. To figure out how much you can put in, simply sit down together and budget 15% or your income after taxes and see how much that is to put into a “wedding account”. If you have a lot more wiggle room, I would suggest putting in 25% to even 35% into the wedding savings every month. Again, every situation is different, but the savings do add up quickly, especially if you get engaged and decide to save up for two years before you get married. 

Now, that we figured out the money situation, the only thing that is left to do is talk about the wedding itself. Let’s say that you have a total budget of $15,000. It’s time to focus on a list and write down what is most important to you in order. For example, the importance usually is Venue, Food, DJ, Photographer, and Videographer. This will allow you to show where your money will go. To help with this, here are some tips! 

  1. When it comes to a venue, pick one that allows outside catering. Many of these venues start at about $2,000 and even offer chairs and tables. You just have to handle the vendors and decorations yourself. 
  2. Now if you do want a venue that offers people to set up, food service, tables, etc. It will cost more but it is less you have to worry about when it comes to finding a food vendor, bar service, and planning crew. You would just have to find the DJ, Photographer, and maybe Videographer on your own
  3. To save money, ask a few friends to help set up the decorations and gift them something special as a thank you 
  4. Use Wedding Wire or The Knot to find catering, florists, photographers, DJs, etc. Most of the time, their profile states what their prices start at so you can have an idea if you can afford them or not! 

Lastly, keep in mind that on average, a wedding date is picked out within the first few months of the engagement, when you are ready to book your venue (it’s important you find a venue first and see their availabilty before you pick a date). From there, you will have about 14 to 22 months to plan and save for your wedding! 

Thanks for reading and good luck in the wedding planning. If you’re in the Hampton Roads area, be sure to check out a list of vendors and venues I have on the resource page! 

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