Wedding on a Budget: Rule 1 Prioritize!

Yes, I said wants not needs.  All you really need to get married is the license and someone to sign it for you. But most of us have the privilege of having a wonderful wedding, and get all the wonderful things we want, or at least some of them, and being smart with your budget will get you even more of those wants.

 I had a wonderful wedding, on a budget.  The average wedding in our area, Southern Missouri is around $10,000 to $15,000. Now prices are lower here than in some parts of the country, but the principals of savings is the same everywhere. 

The first thing you need to do is make a list of the things you want on your wedding day and put them in the order of importance.

Things I wanted on My Wedding Day

Pink Everywhere

Great Pictures

A Beautiful Dress

Reception at the Elfindale Mansion (dream of it for years!)

A stringed Quartet 

Food at Reception, but not necessarily a sit down meal

Flowers but not all have to be fresh or arranged

Lots of Candles

Little girls dressed like Princesses (say more about this later)

Beautiful Invitations

 When you decided what you want, and in what order, you can look at the money you have available for your wedding.  I really wanted great pictures, but videography was not that important to me.  I was willing to give that responsibility to friends.  We are just now putting those together, but like I said, not my first priority.  I really wanted a String Quartet and was willing to give up all fresh flowers for the chance to have the music.  You may want fresh flowers everywhere, great, just decide what you want to spend your money on.  The reception may be very important to you, but the ceremony, not as much.  Thinking about these questions will help you decide where to spend your money.

 A note:  This is YOUR wedding, well you and your fiance, lol.  You need to decide what you want, not a blogger, not your friend, and not your mother.  

So after you decide what you want, you can decide how much money you are willing to spend on each.  Here are some of the things we did to help cut costs:

1. Get a Little Help From Your Friends: We had friends help us with pictures, cake, food, decorating, making favors, invitations, and music.  It saved us thousands of dollars; some friends did things for free and some gave us a great discount.  Look at the talent of your friends, could they help, give discounts, or even barter. 

2. Plan Ahead:  You can really save money by planning along the way.  We had friends and family saving us coupons for Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, and Jo-Ann's.  It saved us hundreds of dollars buying supplies. 

3. Do Your Homework:  Look around and compare prices. I think most people do this, but we took it to a new level.  We had friends help us call and be on the look out for prices. 

4. DIY:  Most of us love doing things ourselves.  I made the bouquets, boutonnieres, hand corsages, programs, helped with the invitations my wonderful friend made (I just printed stuff), my veil, favors, and some of the decorations.  Talk about saving money!

Pictures by Jones Photograph



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