Budget-friendly wedding planning for the frugal bride and groom

Planning A Wedding On A Budget – For The Frugal Brides & Grooms


Planning a wedding on a budget is stressful as many of the costs can be so high, which is why I’m here to give the best tips on planning a frugal wedding (on the cheap) for all my brides and grooms on a budget.

Each section of this blog will have an overall area of the wedding planning (i.e. the venue & the catering) and under that heading will be several different ideas to help you achieve your budget-friendly wedding.

Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

Finding the perfect wedding venue that fits your budget.

  1. Have your wedding on any day but Saturday.
  2. Consider places that aren’t actually wedding venues. Some places like local gardens will accept donations for using the property.
  3. Go to a small town rather than a big city (these venues are generally much prettier anyway) for budget-friendly venues.
  4. Find the venue who will allow you to BYOB, talk about weddings on the cheap!
  5. Try to stick to the actual amount of space that you need. If you only have 50 guests, don’t plan for enough space for 200.
  6. Shorten the reception & amount of time needed at the venue. The costs of a wedding can be increased quickly when more time is spent at the venue.
  7. Why not get married in your back yard? Skip the cost of a wedding venue altogether!
  8. If you decide to shorten the reception, you can always have a party later! This way the cost isn’t on you.
  9. If you’re comfortable with it and able to do so, ask your venue if you can pay in full for a discount on the cost.
  10. If you find a new venue, or someone looking to start a venue, chances are their costs will be lower as they enter the market. Do your digging, find that cheap venue!
  11. Finding an all-inclusive space to host your reception can save you some big bucks, as well.
  12. Get married in the off-season. If you’re somewhere warm, chances are the summer is the busiest for weddings. With more competition, you have less bargaining power. Whereas in the off-season, you have more ability to shop around.
  13. Tell the venue manager that you’d like to rent the location for a PARTY. Not a wedding. Telling them that it’s for a wedding will immediately jack up the price.
Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

Catering, drinks & dessert.

  1. Ask your favourite local restaurant or food truck about catering! Bonus points if they don’t already offer catering, you may just get the price knocked down even more.
  2. Consider alternatives to a wedding cake, they can be pricey. Donut wall? Cupcake mansion? Your options are endless.
  3. Ixnay the champagne service, or ask your guests to bring their own.
  4. Offer only 2-4 types of drinks – perhaps two beer and two liquors or a wine and a cider and a beer or whatever you would like! Having a large selection open bar gets quite costly.
  5. Have you thought about ordering pizzas? Talk about a crowd-pleaser!
  6. Consider a brunch wedding service. Breakfast items are much less expensive to provide for a lot of people.
  7. Don’t serve wine with dinner. Wine’s expensive.
  8. Order take-out! Just like the pizza as mentioned above, ordering take-out for your wedding reception can be a great cost-effective option for feeding your guests on a budget.
  9. Stick to minimal entree options. Perhaps only two. Guests can’t be choosey with free food!
  10. Serve family-style meals. Don’t want a buffet or the extra cost of service? Serve communal dishes placed on the table. I.e. Lasagna, casseroles, fajitas, etc.
  11. Do a basic buffet or a potluck dinner!
  12. “Build your own…” stations are so much fun, easier, and inexpensive! Build your own tacos? Yes, please!!
  13. You could skip dinner entirely. Hold on! Don’t shoot the messenger, all I mean is you can keep the appies coming! Appetizers are cheaper than entrees, and usually more fun to eat, anyway.
  14. Don’t choose a venue that requires in-house catering. It’ll be much cheaper to bring your own.
  15. Ask your guests for help! See if anyone would like to contribute.
  16. Have a wedding party potluck.
  17. Consider off-the-shelf appetizers like those found at Costco for a budget-friendly catering plan.
Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

Wedding dress shopping for the thrifty bride.

  1. Check out consignment stores first.
  2. These websites buy and sell secondhand dresses:
    OnceWed, Still White, Tradesy, Nearly Newlywed
  3. Check out the sample dresses! They’re hardly been worn, only to try on, and they likely won’t have any damage but will be much cheaper.
  4. Boutique prices > retail wedding line prices. Retail wedding lines often have a much lower cost than boutiques.
  5. Why not rent a dress? I’m honestly shocked that more brides don’t do this.
  6. Don’t shop during the busy season! Shopping during off-season will greatly lower your cost. The off-season depends on where you’re located.
  7. You could always borrow a dress?
  8. Simplicity: minimalistic wedding gowns are much less expensive than gowns with appliques and jewels and bedazzled tops.
  9. Check Facebook! There are likely pages dedicated to wedding shopping & swapping in your area, likely full of brides looking to sell their gown.
  10. Wear whatever the heck you want. You don’t need a big extravagant wedding gown just because it’s the norm. You can wear a white denim skirt if you really wanted, it’s your big day after all.
  11. If you’re in the Okanagan, here is a list of the Bridal Shops in the area.
Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

Decorating your wedding venue on a budget.

  1. You and your wedding party can collect natural items like pinecones, moss, baby’s breath and other flowers for your decor. These are absolutely beautiful and cost nothing.
  2. Repurpose the bouquets used in the wedding ceremony as table centerpieces during the reception.
  3. Check out Facebook for used decorations! There are likely buy/sell wedding groups local to your area or a town nearby, and there will be others selling their used wedding decorations who understand there are others looking to plan their wedding on a budget.
  4. See if you can purchase someone’s entire wedding decor soon after their big day!
  5. White Christmas lights (something your wedding party can pool together) are always already on hand. Ask around, label the lights, and return them after your wedding day.
  6. See what other brides who have already had their wedding day are ready to give up! Perhaps you can make a classifieds post in the wedding section.
  7. Pick a naturally beautiful setting that doesn’t need much work. Planning a wedding on a budget is easy with venues like botanical gardens (which usually only charge a donation) or a mountain-top view.
  8. Buy lots of tulle. You can use it everywhere and it’s gorgeous.
  9. Get potted plants! Or, ask your wedding party for potted plants as gifts (if you like them) and ask them to bring them as decoration!
  10. Use candles instead of flowers, or simply replace some of the flowers with candles. Flowers are expensive!
  11. Check out this guide by The Knot for decoration ideas that are inexpensive but elegant.
Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

Other frugal wedding hacks.

  1. Don’t send physical invitations – go digital! Make a fun video and send it via email or messenger. Printing paper & buying ribbon gets pretty costly!
  2. DIY your photo booth. Click here for some ideas.
  3. Ask for help instead of gifts – maybe your guests would prefer to help with food or decorations or the cost of the venue rather than buy you another gift.
  4. Ask around at local schools for student photographers, videographers, stylists, or even musicians & DJs.
  5. Hire new vendors who are just getting started in the industry. These folks are stoked to expand their portfolio and will likely be inexpensive.
  6. Rent suits. Don’t buy.
  7. Buy a used ring or choose cheaper materials for your wedding bands.
  8. Your honeymoon doesn’t need to be insane! Try to keep it local & simple.
  9. Combine the escort cards with the wedding favors rather than buying both separately.
  10. Design and print your own programs, menus & signs at your local print shop.
  11. Make your own favors in bulk – these could be cookies, jam, etc.
  12. Borrow accessories from friends and family.
  13. Use your own car. You don’t need that limo.
  14. Ask a friend to be your officiant!
  15. Standing ceremonies will save you BIG time – chair rentals are nuts.
  16. Keep your tables simple, don’t worry about big extravagant plating & decoration.
  17. WAIT FOR SALES!!!! Planning a wedding on a budget is all about patience.
  18. I offer reasonable pricing on wedding photography, as well as much lower Monday – Friday pricing. Check out my packages here.
Budget-friendly wedding planning for frugal brides and grooms.

I hope these ideas help with your wedding planning on a budget! For more ideas, feel free join me on Instagram or facebook, and check out my website for more resources.

Ciao for now!

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