#1 Tips For Planning A Budget Friendly Wedding

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All Things Wedding Utah asked: What is your #1 tip for planning a budget friendly wedding?

I would say find a venue that doesn’t have conditions on food. That way they don’t specify where you have to get food from and preferably they don’t require that it be professionally catered.

Find a venue that has cheaper rates for morning events. Ask family & friends what their talents are & see if you can use them to your advantage. For instance, my Momma made our wedding cake and my Dad & Cousin did all of our photos (Engagements & Wedding). I would also recommend making your own flowers & centerpieces. Shop around for bridesmaid dresses, I bought all of mine on Amazon, the cost for 3 dresses was under $100. Do the same with your wedding gown, places like David’s Bridal have huge sales quite often. I was able to get a $400 gown for $100. And last but not least, plan early! I hope you can use some if this info

Get crafty! Make your own things- it’s much cheaper to buy fabric than it is to buy the ring pillow or table cloths. I hand made just about everything for my wedding. Exceptions were my mom did simple snack wraps for food, along with a fruit bowl and small waters, and I ordered my two tier cake from sam’s club for just $35. It was amazing and tasted delicious! I also went online and ordered my dress. I spent less than $300 for my entire wedding including my dress and it looked like it would have cost a couple thousand. -Corinne

Plan early, don’t do the reception on a Friday or Saturday if possible, rates go way up. Just by doing it on a Wednesday we saved $500. Being crafty also saves alot of money. I did my own flower arrangements and for 16 different arrangements it cost me around $150 for everything. Also doing your own food, mostly finger foods ( you don’t a need to serve a dinner lol) helps… For 100 plus people I spent 250 on food and just made it all myself the day before haha -Tabitha

I’d say temple wedding and reception at church! -Mariah

All of the above are great ideas, but I would not leave the pictures to someone who is not a professional. The pictures are the only thing you get to keep after the wedding, and they can be preserved for generations to come, so make sure they’re done right. -Beth

Photography should be the last place you cut corners. -Judy

Get married on a weekday and have your reception during the evening so people can attend after work.. Saved us thousands because venues/DJ/etc charge less. -Caitlyn

#1 Tip – know where you can and can’t compromise. A DJ is often over looked because very few see the benefit before the event. For instance, I’ve had a number of photographers and videographers complain to me that it’s hard to get AMAZING footage when there is no DJ, and even though music is playing, they still have a hard time capturing the best moments. Anyone can plug in a device to play music, but a device will never read a crowd, make adjustments on the fly or help your guests get on the dance floor. PS, I don’t change my pricing depending on the day. Only venues do that to my knowledge. While you are looking for ways to save money, your DJ/entertainment shouldn’t be overlooked. Your pictures and video memories will thank me later.
You don’t get what you don’t pay for. -Trevor

Used dress, silk flowers, do your own hair and makeup, don’t go crazy on photographers. There are some DANG good ones in Utah for less than $1500. No one needs to spend thousands on any part of their wedding. -Madison

I may not really apply to this, but in order to have what we wanted we had an 18 month engagement. I wasn’t going to compromise on anything!! This day was the biggest and most memorable day for the both of us at the time. We made up a budget and stuck to it, but planning that far in advance helped the budget stay in place and get what we wanted. There are only 2 things I would change about my wedding day and that would be – spend less on the flowers and hire a videographer. I had a beautiful 5 layer cake and 3 of the layers were fake, but decorated. We made our table squares and spent exactly what I knew was worth on my photographer. I also made the most important investment on hiring a Wedding Planner. Ladies, I understand that planning a wedding is stressful and unfortunately most of you have to pay for your wedding yourself, but don’t leave that day to chance. You will never get it back!!! -Bellinda

Connections to people who can do things for a wedding gift or for the price of what it takes to make it. -Autumn

But don’t burn bridges and friendships over it!! Seen this done too many times. -Sharida

Silk flowers are NOT necessarily less expensive -Jessica

I spent a lot of time in Goodwill and the DI! Those were definitely some of my best scores for decorating. I also got some great recommendations for a super affordable photographer and caterer. The caterer was huge because that adds up so fast! -Meagan

Find out your “must haves” and really compromise on the rest. DIY everything you can. Avoid an open bar. Keep the ceremony and dinner as intimate and small as possible! -Kailey

Buy a used wedding dress…many of them are already altered/personalized and therefore will be more unique than what’s in stores. If you don’t love it, you can use some of the money you saved to alter it into something you DO love. Remember that your wedding day will FLY by (because it’s so busy and happy) to the point that very little of the stuff people usually blow money on will affect how fondly you look back on your special day. Get good pictures (by that I mean look carefully at their past work, not the price tag), don’t rush the wedding planning, compare prices, and don’t make the whole thing too complicated. -Emilie

Get crafty and start early! Don’t wait until the last minute or you’ll be forced to buy more expensive things because you’re rushed and desperate. Shop around, look for used things, check different places for cheaper prices on what you want. I got a lot of stuff on Amazon and a lot of it was half the store price, some was more, you just need to spend the time figuring it out. -Tiara

Buy a used dress or rent a wedding dress. You’ll save hundreds on that alone. -Holly

Great ideas! Get help, even a church reception needs an army to decorate, plate food, serve and clean up. Make sure everyone knows what time you need them and to clear their schedules. If you have specific ideas on decor, center pieces, etc, communicate that to who ever is helping you. Plan ahead, schedule building ( nothing like decorating for hours and have a bunch of men show up for an unscheduled volleyball game or a ward showing up for a dinner).
Enlist talented friends to assist you with details.
Keep food simple and inexpensive.
Share costs of videographer and photographer with grooms family. -Suzi

If your on a super tight budget the first place to cut back and save is your guest list. Don’t invite anybody and everybody because you will spend more in table linens, centerpieces, food and decor than what their gift will bring you. 
If you can enlist the help without burning bridges, food is the next largest consumption of budget. Find a venue or location that lets you DIY but keep in mind that means a day or two of prepping plus the full wedding day and those helping with food will miss out on your big day. So mom, sisters, close family isn’t a good idea. Neighbors, extended family is a better way to go. 
If you really want the big wedding with all the details then have a longer engagements, save and pay things slowly. Then you and those most important can enjoy! -Sharida

The best advice I received while I was planning my wedding is – Invite those only who has been constant in your life in the last year. A year is a long time, and it made sense. -Bellinda

We ordered a lot of things on eBay and in bulk from Amazon. Also check out great deals at places like Hobby Lobby. You can even
dollar store some items like “fancy” serving trays. And share! We all know people who have done weddings recently-see what you can borrow/salvage from their decor. 
I have a big family so instead of matching suits they had matching shirts and ties. Some had vests. They were all in the colors but not identical, which was fine with me. We also didn’t do everything in one night (Bridals done early, wedding date, later reception in hometown) so we opted to purchase essentials-tux for hubs and dads, etc.-on eBay which saved us a lot in rental fees. -Madeline

Be prepared financially. Save up for this ahead of time this day will come. Or plan a longer engagement so you can give yourself the time to pay for what you need. All to often Brides try to do everything on nothing because of the rush that they are in. Or not wanting to spend $ When asking professionals to do a service for you Please be informed on prices so you know what to expect and save for it. Instead of trying to get Their services for as little as possible. It’s really hard for those vendors to make a living when being nickeled and dimed. I know every little bit adds up and everyone is on a budget Just be prepared to pay vendors what they are worth for all of the hours they will put in to make sure your day is perfect. Respect what they do and plan your date around your budget. So many just pick a date and rush and try to find anything before its time. Take time to figure out what you need then figure out the date based upon when your financially ready to spend on what your looking for. It’s the responsible thing to do. -Jennifer

When you’re buying things don’t tell people that you’re getting them for your wedding- prices automatically jump up. Like our simple cake. $20 for a round birthday cake $60 for the same cake for a wedding. -Samantha

Honestly the thing for me that has helped me the most in budgeting is to keep the day in perspective. The day is for us to celebrate getting to be together forever. It’s not about $1000 cakes, perfect flowers, and fireworks. It’s been easier to decide what’s worth spending on and what isn’t by deciding if I won’t care about it a month or year after, I don’t need it. Photography is important and a fun reception is important. Everything else doesn’t really matter as much. Weddings are so consumer-driven that I think I forgot the point and instead was trying to show everyone how perfect it was going to be. Glad that changed quick. People don’t necessarily remember a pretty wedding, they do remember the love in the couples’ eyes. -Liberty

DIY we did a lot of things ourselves. Almost all of our decorations were hand made. It’s a lot of fun too, I got to bond with my in laws a lot too. Also find your dress on sale, Davids Bridal will be having their annual sale here soon and that’s a good time to go look. They have really good deals too, my dress was a $1,200 dress and I got it for $500. As for venue find somewhere that does tables and chairs of possible, that will help a lot in cost. Also look on Amazon for little things like your ring bearer pillow and knife set. -Lexi


Thank you for all the great tips!

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