One of the biggest days in your life doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. Here are a few tips to help plan an affordable wedding.

Budget-Friendly

A wedding isn’t exactly something you can organize at the last minute! The more planning you do, the fewer unexpected surprises and overages you’ll get.

A budget may help you plan the wedding of your dreams and live happily financially ever after. Identifying all the expenses will make it easier to allocate amounts to each and opt for affordable alternatives whenever possible.

What budget lacks in romance, it makes up for in cost-effectiveness. Affordable weddings are all about managing expectations and being creative (and artistic).

Needless to say, whatever you don’t finance is money in the bank. However, if you must finance, remember to calculate the interest.

The Million-Dollar Question: Who wants to be a wedding planner?

So, you think you can plan a wedding? Think again.

Weddings are logistical nightmares with tons of details to attend to.

If you don’t consider yourself as being meticulous and detail-oriented or if you just don’t have the time or desire to deal with all the minutiae, consider hiring a professional wedding planner.

Wedding planners tend to work with trusted suppliers, which means they can score discounts and deals that you would not be able to get. Besides, you’ll have enough on your plate as it is – from the moment you walk down the aisle until you leave on your honeymoon.

The Off Season

One easy way to save is by setting the date in fall or winter.

Venues tend to lower their prices from October to April (up to 50%, in some cases), but this also applies to caterers, hairdressers, photographers, florists and DJs.

Make a Guest List

The more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding is going to be.

You can save money by inviting only your closest friends and immediate family.

Opting for a monetary contribution rather than gifts is another way to offset the costs.

Remember, a wedding doesn’t have to be an open invitation to every branch on your family tree – go with a number that is reasonable for your budget.

Eco-Friendly Invitations

Email invites or evites are a great option for environmentally conscious brides and grooms.

Several websites have jumped on the zero-waste bandwagon, namely:

Send beautiful and modern invitations to all your guests and track your guest list online quickly and easily.

In Style (not in debt)

Thrifty brides and grooms will consider renting their wedding dress and tuxedo instead of buying them because they are not the sort of attire you can wear at many other occasions.

Plus, renting will cost a fraction of the price that you would normally pay at a specialized boutique.

As for the bridesmaids’ dresses, why not go with white? It’s a classic look for less.

Choose rings for their sentimental value rather than their actual monetary value. For instance, you can find a trove of affordable rings on Etsy or get a jeweler to resize a family heirloom.

If you can, buy your rings during the sales after St. Valentine’s Day.

Location, Location, Location

A lot of time and effort is required to set up a wedding reception, what with the tables, chairs, centrepieces, flowers and what have you.

Consider renting a special events room in a local restaurant to save!

Food for Thought

A wedding should be about celebrating the love you have for each other with family and close friends. When the time comes to eat, instead of a 5-course table service meal, try a buffet. You’ll get a meal that is just as tasty and save on the service staff.

Open bar, although customary for some, can run up a very hefty tab. Since moderation is never a bad thing, why not limit the number of drinks per guest and serve less expensive beverages (like beer)?

BYOB is also an option. Rather than impose drinks on your guests, pay for a liquor licence and let them bring what they enjoy.

A Very Pinteresting Decor

Pinterest is a DIY emporium that is chock full of original and frugal ideas for creating everything from centrepieces to floral arrangements.

If you have no artistic ability whatsoever, consider renting or buying used decorations.

Hire DJ Playlist!

A computer or any mobile device hooked up to a good quality sound system is all you need to make your guests hit the dance floor.

If you lack inspiration, there are loads of playlists on apps like Apple Music, Spotify or Google Play.

You can always ask a friend to DJ and make announcements.

Unforgettable Memories

The photos and videos taken at your wedding are often the only tangible vestiges of the event.

Your uncle may own a smartphone, but that does not make him a professional photographer.

Most (if not all!) wedding planners will recommend a professional who will capture quality souvenirs of your big day. Be sure to ask for a portfolio of their work before making your final decision.