More than a quarter of couples in the United States have reported running into huge debt to pay for their wedding ceremonies. But you don’t have to be among them! Your wedding is about your partnership and love, and starting your life as a couple in the red isn’t ideal.
One of the problems that worry many couples when facing their wedding is calculating the budget. The desired or expected amount is not always available to organize a spectacular wedding, and since the average for weddings amounts to even more than $20,000, many couples have to settle for much lower figures.
But don’t worry — your wedding on a budget of $5,000 does not necessarily have to be so splurgy to be amazing if you have the right skills and people around you to lend a helping hand.
Are you aware the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. ranges from $16,000 to slightly over $46,000, mostly depending on the state where you live? But although weddings can be expensive for several reasons, you can save money without compromising on quality or the style you desire in several ways.
One of the most practical options is to hire a wedding planner service that will help you organize everything. They have the power to make everything happen so that it is as economical as possible, and offer you advice and alternatives by analyzing the number of guests, choice of venues, dates, decoration, etc.
So, if you were planning to have the best wedding on a budget, today is your lucky day! We give you the experts’ keys and formulas to a cost-effective but awe-inspiring wedding. After all, the more funds you trim off from your wedding expenses, the more you will have to start your happily ever after.
Below are a few helpful tips to have an unforgettable wedding on a budget of $5,000:
1. Trim/minimize the size of your wedding invites
This is one of the first steps of the wedding planning process — you need to know the right number of invitees so you can start the wedding venue hunt. The first budget-friendly wedding tip is to keep that number as low as possible.
Even though you may end up disappointing some of your friends, you need to keep in mind that a smaller guest list translates to lower wedding costs. With a small guest list, you’ll require a smaller venue, more modest cost of beverages, food, tables, table settings, and invitations, to mention a few.
Create a wedding guest list of all the people you would like to invite, and then ask yourself if it’s appropriate. Are you still in touch with your schoolmates? And will your colleagues want to take part? Now reread your guest list cross out the ones you haven’t spoken to in the last year, and keep only the ones with whom you would truly want to share the special day.
If possible, consider having an intimate wedding — which happens to be a great way of celebrating love in style without going into debt. The right formula on how to do a wedding on a budget is that fewer wedding guests equals fewer wedding costs!
2. Get married during the low wedding season.
If you aren’t aware yet, holidays tend to be a popular and significantly pricey time of year for wedding ceremonies.
Choosing an off-season wedding date is the best thing you can do to lower the overall costs and still have the best wedding on a budget. If you aren’t afraid of the cold and have always dreamed of a winter wonderland wedding, picking up a date in December, January, or February will be your best option.
During deep winter (except at winter resort towns like Telluride and Colorado, where many snow lovers don’t mind paying top dollar to tie the knot with a backdrop of mountains and snow), you’re guaranteed of low-cost venue options. On the other hand, if you are not a fan of the cold weather, October can be a great choice.
Many services can be cheaper during these months due to the low demand for wedding celebrations. The low wedding season has advantages since most wedding venues are discounted
It is also highly likely to get exclusive offers, packages, and reasonable prices for wedding decor. Hosting a winter budget-friendly wedding will not only be a good way to save money, but it will also make your wedding special and unique.
Something similar happens with the days of the week — Thursdays and Sundays are generally cheaper to tie the knot. Normally, the locations and services related to the wedding world cost much more on weekends and from May to September.
You’ll be surprised to know that choosing a date outside of peak season and during the week could cut as much as half of your rental or catering budget.
3. Choose a non-traditional wedding venue.
If you aim to host a wedding on a budget of $ 5,000, you better forget all about those lavish and pricey sites. Opt for original and cheap wedding venues like museums, parks, or even backyards that will be romantic, creative, and budget-conscious.
Who says you cannot get hitched in a bar over an informal gathering of your most important people or say ‘I do’ in the middle of a forest, surrounded by nature?
You can also hold your wedding celebration at a restaurant, especially if you’re on a budget. If you look around, you can find decent restaurants with amazing layouts where you can work around the floor plan goals you like. Some restaurants can easily accommodate your wedding and offer amazing food in-house, plus access to the bar, thereby saving you a lot of costs.
4. Consider DIY invitations
One of the main wedding on a budget tips is DIY invitations. Why waste money on fancy invite cards when you can hand-make them using recycled paper, ribbons, and other craft materials? It’s a great way of giving a personal touch to the first thing people will see at your wedding.
Another way to do it so to go digital. You can find countless online designer sites that provide templates of digital wedding invitations to help you find your desired card look and keep that invitation money in your pocket.
5. Minimal Printing
Closely related to the above point, another effective means of hosting an amazing wedding on a $5,000 budget is ensuring you employ minimal printing. Here, you can print two larger menus on a table instead of printing individual menus, which could be costly.
To further reduce your costs, consider invitations through email that allow your guests to RSVP easily. Additionally, with email invitations, you can include any additional notes for all your guests, thereby saving money and guests’ time.
6. Let your wedding attire be ‘something borrowed.’
There’s no harm in borrowing a suit and a dress for only a day. Dare to rent your bridal dress and groom’s suit! Wedding attire is among the most expensive items and takes a large part of the planned budget. You can cut those expensive half or more if you go to a rental boutique and find the perfect design.
When it comes to the bride’s look, one of the ways you can get married on a budget is to wear a vintage wedding dress worn by your mother or grandmother, making some little adjustments to fit perfectly. Also, buying a second-hand model or a designer dress from a previous season will be much cheaper. Another alternative is to look for special sales and discount offers.
Regarding footwear, brides can opt for models from other seasons, colorful designs from party collections, or cheap bridal shoes. The result of this equation is saving money while looking pretty and radiant.
The groom’s attire is also included in this wedding on a budget tip since they have the same diversity of opportunities. The leading recommendation for the groom is to visit the suit outlets, where great items at reasonable prices, such as shirts, ties, or belts, can be found. There are also rental stores for men offering models for all sizes, tastes, silhouettes, and styles.
7. Create your wedding playlist and fire the wedding DJ
With a wedding budget of $5,000, another effective way of reducing your expenditure is by creating your own wedding music playlist. You can rent an excellent sound system for around $150-$200 and do the rest –creating a wonderful wedding playlist- on your own.
Furthermore, your wedding expenses will significantly decrease if you replace the DJ with your wedding playlist or a live band. Wedding DJ costs are slightly higher, but you can eliminate such costs by creating your own playlist.
For more fun, ensure your playlist has everyone’s favorite retro hits from the 80s that are still fashionable today. If the wedding is outside the high season, it will be possible to negotiate a better price and more services such as lighting and disco balls for the dance floor. The idea of a wedding on a budget of $5,000 has never sounded better!
8. Look for alternatives for the classic wedding menus.
If you want to moderate the reception costs, choosing the menu carefully is the best wedding on a budget tip. If you have chosen an informal celebration, you could choose a mixed reception formula: a welcome aperitif followed by a buffet lunch or dinner, which will certainly reduce the costs compared to the classic table service.
Are you good at cooking, or do you have a friend who is a pro chef? If that’s the case, why don’t you prepare homemade food or request your friend to do so to limit the costs of hiring chefs to prepare expensive wedding menus?
If you are hunting for some outdoor wedding ideas on a budget, food and drink stations must be part of your celebration. We are talking about burgers, veggies, and even sushi made right in front of the guests so they can indulge in their taste.
Don’t forget about the drinks too — include cocktail bars and beer stands for a quick refreshment between the dance breaks.
9. Choose seasonal flowers
Flowers have always been an essential classic in the bridal bouquet and wedding decoration, and they tend to be expensive, especially if you want unique flowers. For this reason, you must take special care in choosing them if you are going for a budget-friendly wedding.
The advice is to always bet on seasonal flowers or those simpler varieties present at all times of the year. This way, you can save as much as possible on floral decorations for the table centerpieces, the wedding arch, and the bridal bouquet. In addition to being cheaper, it will allow you to use a greater quantity without entailing excessive spending.
10. Make the decorations yourself.
For a shabby chic or vintage-style wedding on a budget of $ 5,000, have fun while finding objects and accessories at flea markets or in your grandma’s attic. We bet you can find some pretty cool stuff you can include in the decor for free.
Budget-friendly weddings are all about DIY. Consider using DIY wedding ideas such as wooden boards and paint to make one-of-a-kind wedding stationery pieces that could be used for welcome signage and table numbers.
Another DIY décor idea is to use your Christmas lights as string lights for the wedding. They will work like magic.
Don’t forget about wedding favors! Some time and a little effort are all you need to create small special gifts for your guests to say ‘thank you for being part of the most important day in our lives.’ Some affordable wedding favor ideas include small potted plants, handmade soaps, or tea bags, or write love notes and pack them as messages in a bottle.
11. Have your friends help you with some tasks.
There is no reason to rely on expensive music, decoration, or makeup services. The ultimate tip for planning a wedding on a budget of $ 5,000 is to list people who will take that role. Everybody has that friend who is super creative and has great taste, so you can assign them to do the décor.
Why not let your best friend, who is so good with makeup, do your bridal look? Why not do that now if she could do that before every night out? Entitle another friend to take care of music, creating a playlist with your favorite hits. And if you have a pal who is good with pastries, entrust them with the wedding cake.
To further minimize your costs, ask a close friend or family member to be your officiant, have somebody you know better take your wedding photographs, or find a friend who could easily serve as the day’s coordinator.
12. Take time to find an affordable yet stunning destination venue.
Do you wish to host an amazing destination wedding but feel limited with your $5,000 budget? There’s no reason to worry; you can find several cheap yet amazing destination wedding venues.
For instance, for less than $5,000, you can take some of your close friends and family to the beach and enjoy wonderful destination weddings at the ocean’s shores.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of your budget, you can still plan and host a stunning wedding ceremony that perfectly stays within your careful financial boundaries.
After deciding what matters and finding the perfect options for a wedding on a budget of $5,000, it’s time to get down to business and organize your wedding without getting into debt. Remember: Your wedding is all about you and your partner alone, which will last longer than a single day of celebration.