brides on a budget, bride and groom portraits at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee

You want the absolute best, most perfect things for your Wedding. Second best or hand me downs are not on your radar and this is okay. There are totally things that you can do to spend less on without making huge sacrifices. Weddings are expensive and this is no surprise anymore. The average cost of a wedding in 2018 according to The Knot was $33,931. HOLY SMOKES that’s like buying a brand new car!! There are ways to bring the price down and your day can still be everything you dreamed of but what it comes down to is what is important to you and what you think is the best bang for your buck in the long run. For my brides and grooms on a budget or just looking to cut costs where they can, this was written just for you :)

Wedding on a Weekday

Did you know that getting married on a weekday is cheaper than a weekend wedding? But, why Rachel, would anyone wanna get married on a Tuesday? Hold up, let me explain. Think of the whole supply and demand- If something is extremely popular, the price goes up. If it’s not as popular, the price is lower. It’s very simple. Yes, most couples don’t get married on a Tuesday and there’s a fear of people not being able to show up. While that could be the case, if they really, really love and care about you both, they will show up. 

The “Off-Season”

Getting married during the popular seasons (May- October), just like the tip above, are more pricey than the ‘off-seasons’ which are November- February. The estimated rates of a venue during the not so busy season is around $1,000 OFF.

Limit the Guest List

A small wedding is typically 50 guests and under. This one is tough because you want to celebrate with everyone! Every guest is an expense (yes, I know that sounds harsh but it’s true). With less guests that’s less food to make/have catered, less favors, and smaller venues can have different packages for the number of guests. 

Have Family Make Dinner & Desserts

Ask your families to make the dinner and/or the desserts. Make it a buffet style dinner! One wedding I went to had a full table of cookies that several family members made from scratch. A few years back I photographed an Indian wedding and family members had made their family’s authentic dishes.

In Season Flowers or Fake Ones

Find flowers in season or look at fake flowers. You can find inspiration on pinterest or just the good old google. Fake flowers are looking more realistic these days and they last foreverrrrrr. But, if you do get fake flowers look for the more realistic colors as these will photograph really well versus super bright/neon, unnatural colored flowers.

Have Your Reception at Home.

If you or your family has a house or property that you love and is big enough for an event GO FOR IT. This is a beautiful personal touch that adds more meaning to your day. Of course, if you don’t have a family farm to get married on that’s all good. Getting married where you both love and have a special connection with is so much more important than feeling like you have to cram your entire wedding in your parents tiny house just because of this paragraph.

bride and groom portraits with a horse on family farm, brides on a budget

So, while these may seem like just small cuts here and there it adds up a lot in the end and you can still have your royal wedding without the royal cost to it. Put that extra money towards the honeymoon ;) 

In the end it’s your day and you should have it however you want it. You shouldn’t feel like you have to do what every one else is doing. Make it your own, add your personalities to it, incorporate the things you love most. But, most importantly, make it about why you’re doing this in the first place- your marriage and less about the fluff. You can be a bride on a budget without being cheap.