Every bride wants to have a beautiful wedding day. To all my budget brides out there, you can have an amazing and memorable wedding day without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that if you don't have the money, then you don't have the money. It goes without saying that you will need a wedding licence and a celebrant to legally marry, plus two witnesses to sign the wedding licence.
With that being said, lets jump straight into the top 5 things you need for your wedding day:
Location - You will need to decide on where to have your wedding. You can compare costs against different venues and find one that fits within your budget, or you may want to opt for a low cost option and have the ceremony in a church or local park. You could stay at the local park for your reception or book a community hall as a wet weather option. Keep in mind that having a reception outdoors can get pretty pricey when you consider the cost of rentals, how to provide enough power, and having a bar or kitchen set up for catering. Other location ideas can include hiring a bach which can provide you accommodation as well as a kitchen space, or you could consider having a backyard style wedding at a family home. Your options are truly endless, and you can definitely pull off a beautiful location while sticking to your budget.
Attire - You and your fiance are going to want to wear something special to mark this very beautiful occasion. You don't have to buy brand new suits and dresses, you can find the perfect attire second hand, you could rent a dress, borrow a dress, or better yet you can thrift a dress and spend a little on alterations, and you'll still save a ton of money. Whatever colour or style of attire you choose to wear, make sure you feel amazing wearing it.
Seating - You are going to need to organise some type of seating, a lot of venues provide seating for ceremony and reception which is included in the total cost, but if you choose a local park wedding for example then you may need to hire chairs or benches for guests to sit on. The cost of chairs can add up, so one way to lower costs can be to hire a hand full of chairs for the front two rows at your ceremony, and have the remaining guests stand behind the chairs. This will also allow you to create an aisle, plus it will give some direction to the space and guests will know where to sit or stand for the ceremony . For reception you could have a picnic style reception, which is such a vibe! Throw down some blankets and cushions for guests to hangout on, and allow the same chairs from your ceremony for any guests who struggle to sit on the ground or can't stand for long periods of time.
Food and Beverages - There is a presumption in the wedding industry that guests will be provided with something to eat and drink after the ceremony. I highly recommend that your food is bought, stored, prepped, and cooked by a certified catering company. Trying to do this yourself, or getting parents and extended family to help is a really big and risky task to achieve. This isn't Christmas, please let everyone just enjoy your special day without the pressure and stress that they might give grandma food poisoning.
If you don't want to spend a ton of money feeding everyone then there are a few options you can consider:
1 - Cut the guests list, the more guests you have, the more mouths to feed, the more money you are spending. To help you picture this, just imagine each person on your guest list is adding $100 to the overall cost.
2 - Choose the buffet option, this may also save you on the cost of servers required.
3- Choose to have a grazing table for cocktail hour , you could even get some cute and delicious, personalized cookies made for the graze. Yum!!
4 - Check with your caterer if vegetarian options cost less and offer a mix of meat and non-meat options. I mean, who doesn't love pasta!
5 - Choose to skip a main meal and go heavy on the appetizers. Instead of 3 per person, increase this to 5 to 7 per person, and then have an open desert bar. This would suit an afternoon tea style reception, but not the best option if you have a full evening of dancing planned, we don't want your guests passing out during the final countdown.
6 - Only offer beer and wine. Spirits cost a heck of a lot more, plus you have to spend extra on all the mixes and garnishes. Keep it simple. This will also minimize the amount of glassware you may need to buy or hire if your location doesn't offer them.
7 - Request for guests to BYO if you are having a backyard wedding. Backyard weddings offer a more relaxed atmosphere where this request would be completely fine to ask. You know your people, and you'll know if this is a potential option.
8- Skip alcohol all together and offer iced tea, juice, and water in drink dispensers. It looks super cute, and guests can stay hydrated and refreshed.
Music - The song selection can set the mood and create the exact wedding atmosphere you desire. If you have the budget, and it suits your wedding vision, then hire a DJ, they are fantastic!! They read the crowd, amp up your guests, can act as a bit of an MC, and save you managing the playlist through the evening.
As a low cost option, if a DJ just isn't in your budget, then you can create or find a wedding reception playlist on Spotify. Spotify has a very cool song transition feature so you don't get that awkward 10 second silence at the end of each song, which helps to keep the dancing going, and keep the party alive! If you do choose to go with Spotify as your music source then you would need to include having a speaker and microphone!
BONUS NUMBER SIX
Photography - If you can splurge on a professional photographer then please do so! The photos are what you will take away from your beautiful day and a professional photographer will capture the beauty in each moment. To make this as cost efficient as possible, you can see if you can cut their hours from 8 hours to maybe 6 hours, but research and compare pricing to see what can work for you and your budget. If the cost of a photographer is just not going to work, because if you don't have the money then you don't have the money, I have a couple of options for you:
1 - Purchase a camera for a couple hundred and designate someone to take photos the entire day. You could offer them compensation for their help. I would not recommend asking a close family or friends because they will miss out on enjoying your wedding.
2 - On top of point 1, opt for a plugged ceremony and let your guests take photos as much as they want, you know they want to anyway. Remind guests to not share pictures on social media until you're ready.
3- Once you're ready for your wedding photos to go viral, provide a hashtag for all of your guests to use when uploading the pictures to Instagram, this will make sure that all photos go to the same place on IG and allow you to have a little mini album.
So there you have it! Only 6 things you need to have for your wedding day, and ways to incorporate them at a low cost. I hope this relieves any stress or pressure that you have had about planning your wedding. As always, if you do want someone to walk with you through your wedding journey then be sure to get in touch with me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in the contact form on my website.
That's all for today,