Many times a tight budget means brides and grooms, parents, or whoever is forking out the dough, think they just can’t afford to throw a really nice wedding.  But hear me out!  You do not have to exceed your budget to throw a nice wedding.  Just simplify!  And simple does not mean shabby.

It means you must look at your money more critically, and be choosy where you spend it.  There are obviously many ways to stay on budget with planning a wedding, but something I’ve learned about the quality of a wedding, regardless of the budget, is that food matters.  While some of your guests will be smitten by the centerpieces, and others impressed by the music selections, all of your guests will remember the food.  Now this doesn’t mean you have to serve your guests lobster or else they’ll walk away unhappy.  It means what you decide you can afford to spend on food should be spent on good, quality food.

There are so many options for weddings today, it can blow my mind!  Google “wedding reception food ideas” and you’ll see things like “breakfast buffet” where your guests enjoy a spread of waffles, french toast, bacon, fruit salad, and breakfast potatoes, or a “make-your-own-salad bar” where they can cover a bed of greens with killer toppings like hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chicken, and a hundred other things.

And if you can’t afford to serve your guests a full meal, fret not!  Just simplify.  Do a cake and punch reception, or a simple “something sweet, something savory” spread.  Just make sure it’s understood through your invitation what your guests should expect—then hit ‘em with deliciousness!  If you spend your money on quality food, however simple the meal may be, it will leave nothing but the best taste in everyone’s mouth.

Along the lines of saving money, another tip is to prioritize.  If you must make concessions, choose details of the wedding less crucial than others to either eliminate or spend less money on.  And, as a wedding vendor myself, I am definitely not suggesting that some vendors are more important than others, only that you should decide what’s essential and nonessential for your particular wedding day.  While one bride imagines a spring wedding filled with luscious flowers, professionally prepared into bouquets and arches and flower crowns, another may prefer to buy her flowers in bulk and employ the help of her friends to arrange quaint center pieces and bouquets.  That’s just one example proving there is no one way to accomplish a beautiful wedding day, the key is balancing your budget with 1) what you can take on yourself—with lots of help—and 2) what you should pay a professional to do.

A few other tips to keep your overall costs down:

—Keep the number of guests you invite between 100-150 people

—Avoid a wedding date between the months of April and November

—Have a Friday night or Sunday wedding

And remember, through all this wedding planning madness, to keep your chin up!  Once that day is over a new adventure is just beginning.


All The Best To You & Yours,

Hannah (& Ben)