Budget Wedding Planning

Sure, we’d all like to be whisked off to a dream wedding celebration in the Bahamas, but let’s be realistic – not all of us are able to shell out $50,000 for an event that only lasts a few hours. However, don’t think that planning a wedding on a budget means giving up all the details you’ve been dreaming about. You can still create a picture-perfect wedding without going into debt over the event.

The Venue

Your wedding and reception venues will eat up one of the biggest chunks of your wedding budget, so this is a great place to look for low cost alternatives. Instead of the reception hall at your local country club, see if it might be cheaper to host your wedding at a neighborhood park, or even at home. You can also consider schools, community centers, botanical gardens and local restaurants. Whatever location you choose, make sure it’s handicapped-accessible – especially if you’ve invited any elderly relatives with physical limitations.

The Food

Food is an important part of your wedding celebration, but fancy, three-course dinners at a typical banquet hall can run $75/person or more. If you’re set on a traditional wedding hall but can’t afford that kind of bill, try to get married at an off-peak time. Most reception facilities offer discounts for couples who book the hall during the winter months, on Fridays or Sundays, and earlier in the day. Plus, a brunch reception may be more convenient for some of your guests who have traveled long distances to attend your wedding, since they won’t need to add another night in a hotel to their wedding expenses.

If you’ve elected a non-traditional reception site, like your home or a local park, consider hosting a potluck-style event. If it sounds a little cheesy, give it a second thought. Many brides report that potluck receptions feel more special and personal than catered events. In addition, it allows your friends and family members to feel that they’ve contributed something meaningful to your special days. Imagine the memories you’ll share about Aunt Marge’s meatloaf or Uncle Robert’s famous apple pie.

The Cake

Five-tier, decked-out wedding cakes may look nice – until you get the bill. Expect to spend at least $2,000 for a highly-detailed cake, or even more if you request special flavors or designs. However, it is possible to get a nice wedding cake for much less – if you know where to look. First, check to see if your local community college has a baking arts program, or see if you can find a local culinary school in your area. Contact the school and ask for the name of the professor in charge of cake decoration. He or she may be able to recommend a promising student who will be willing to decorate your wedding cake at a much lower rate in exchange for a portfolio picture.

Planning your wedding on a budget doesn’t mean giving up all the things you dreamed of – it just means making different choices that won’t leave you struggling in debt for years to come. And who knows? You may find that the thought and effort you put into planning your budget wedding result in a more personalized and memorable event.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings,Wedding Planning — vicky at 7:40 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008