Wedding on a Budget: How To Throw an Affordable Wedding

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How To Budget For a Wedding

It’s wedding season! And what better way to start off your new life together than by NOT going into massive debt?

I get it, weddings are once-in-a-lifetime, extravagant occasions, and you certainly want it to live up to your childhood expectations. That said, you don’t have to break the bank (or your future financial situation) to achieve this.

A few pointers in the right direction can save you hundreds, if not thousands in your wedding planning budget. Here are just a few ideas that’ll help you trim off excess wedding spending, while still having a day you’ll never forget!



Related posts:

How To Create a Fail-Proof Budget For You and Your Partner

50+ Insanely Genius Ways To Save $1,000 For Your Wedding

The Best Free Resources That Will Save You THOUSANDS of Dollars in One Place!



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Sticking to the wedding budget

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive.

According to a recent study by Brides, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $26,522 and accommodates 135 guests. Whoa – that’s a lot of change! Especially if you’re one of nearly half of Americans who finance their wedding themselves. Much of this can be attributed to a common problem many of us face: overspending. So common in fact, that one in three couples exceed their wedding day budget!

You can avoid this pitfall by being a bit more realistic with your financial situation throughout the process of wedding planning; cutting out any unnecessary expenditures, and establishing a budget based on what you can comfortably afford.

To do this, gather you and your partner’s savings, as well as any additional financial support from family members you might have been fortunate enough to receive and put it into a separate savings account for your wedding.



Related post: The Free Budget Printables That Will Help You Conquer Your Finances



How much should I put into my wedding savings?

Ideally, you should be setting aside 10% of your income each month, leading up to the wedding. Some mobile bank companies automate your savings every time you get paid, ensuring you’re consistently adding to your fund.

Once your account has been established, create a detailed spreadsheet for your budget based on what you currently, and will have by the time of the wedding, and maintain it throughout the wedding planning process.

You should designate 15% of your total budget to cover any miscellaneous expenses that you didn’t initially foresee to ensure you don’t go over budget. Any remaining resources in your budget post-wedding is just money back in your pocket!

Your budget will also give you an idea as to the number of guests you can afford to invite. Ensuring your guests are well fed can cost anywhere between $30 – $100 a plate!


💡Pro tip: Many caterer’s offer children’s meals at half price. When you’re giving a headcount of the number of guests who will be attending, be sure to let your caterer know how many of your guests will be children.



Setting the right wedding date

Your wedding venue is one of the most, if not the most expensive item on your list. So choosing the right venue, at the right time, can save you serious amounts of cash (and planning stress), as well as make room for other items on your budget!

You may hear the term “wedding season” a lot, but might not be so sure when it is. For most of the U.S., wedding season is typical during the later spring months until early fall. This is primarily because temperatures are quite moderate around these times, but it can vary depending on where you’re living.

Venues are at their busiest during June and September, so you’ll want to avoid setting your wedding date at some point within those months if your goal is to save money. You’ll also be able to pick a more suitable day and time, due to the fact that you won’t be competing with as many couples all trying to get hitched at the same time!


Which season is most affordable for a wedding?

Winter is a far more affordable time to set your wedding date (excluding December, as this is a popular time for corporate holiday parties). Just think how catchy “winter is coming” will look on your invitations! If you’re living in a hotter climate, summer months, like July and August, are typically considered off-peak. In which case, you might want to consider booking a venue then and choosing one where most festivities can be held inside.


💡Pro tip: If you have your heart set on a specific venue and you’re still quite a ways away from booking, subscribe to your favorite vendor’s newsletters and/or follow them on social media. You might just come across a promotion and land yourself a great deal!



Amazon’s Wedding Registry:

Did you know that Amazon has their own online wedding registry?


You can make it SO easy for your guests to shop all in one spot. Amazon even allows you to add other items from other websites into your Amazon Wedding Registry when you install their Universal Registry Button. Another benefit of their online wedding registry is that Amazon Prime members can get a 20% discount on any item that is left on their wish list after their wedding. For non-prime members, that’s 10% off. So what that means is, you are offered a discount even if someone doesn’t buy that programmable coffee maker you wanted! 🙂

Here’s one more thing you might want to know — Amazon offers you FREE bonus gifts when your guests buy registry items from select brands.


👰🤵 If you’re interested, you can learn more here. Or, you can get started by creating an Amazon Wedding Registry through their website here.



Be mindful of which wedding vendors you choose

A successful wedding takes an assortment of vendors – some necessary, some not. The trick is to determine which vendors you absolutely can’t live without, and which would be nice additions if your budget allows.


Prioritize: What are your wedding essentials?

Consider a few wedding essentials. A great venue, catered food, bar service, and professional entertainment are common components of an unforgettable wedding. Meanwhile, wedding favors, invitations, decor, and the wedding cake may be areas where you can scale back.

Think about it, while the internet can be a great place for wedding planning inspiration, how much has looking at pictures on Pinterest influenced your wedding day preferences, and catapulted your expenses as a consequence?

There are, after all, cheaper alternatives to setting up an event that’ll make your guests want to snapchat away! Don’t believe me? Just search “DIY wedding decor ideas” online. If you don’t mind putting a little work in, you can save hundreds and even thousands on these extra accessories that add up fast!


💡Pro tip: In some cases, you can skip out on the costs of a vendor entirely by employing the help of a close friend or family member with a particular area of expertise.

Have a close friend or family member who’s good with a camera? Hire them as your photographer!

Know anyone in graphic design or has a knack for artistry? Hire them to create digital invitations or stationery!

Not only will you be cutting costs on your wedding, but they will feel honored you acknowledge their talents! For a list of other ways, you can save money on wedding expenses, read here.



Put more money back into your wallet for your wedding fund!

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m all about finding ways to save money and make money to reach financial freedom!

Below are a few of my favorite sites and resources that may help you save money! They are all 100% FREE to use!


Swagbucks allows you to earn cash and FREE gift cards just by surfing the web (like how you search for things on Google), watching videos, playing games, and completing easy surveys. Check out the gift cards they offer here. My fiance and I have redeemed many $50 to $100 Starbucks gift cards which helped us save money and reduce our spending!

🌟 You can get your FREE $5 bonus here when you sign up through my link.


Ebates: You get FREE cash just for shopping at over 2,000 of your favorite stores. This includes Walmart, Macy’s, Apple, Kohl’s, Target, eBay, and so many more! I use Ebates to save over a few hundred dollars just for shopping for the things I normally buy. To learn more, read my full review and tutorial on how to use Ebates here. You won’t be disappointed with Ebates!

🌟 Sign up here to get a FREE $10 welcome bonus after making your first $25 purchase through Ebates.

If you live in Canada, use this link to sign up for your FREE $5 bonus.


Trim is an awesome free personal finance assistant bot. He can help you save money by negotiating most of your monthly bills for you (e.g. cable, Internet, cell phone, etc.). He will even help you cut the ones you don’t need. Overall, Trim has helped their users save over $1,000,000 last month.

🌟 Sign up for Trim here for FREE and start saving money each month!


Paribus: Ever heard of price-adjustments? This free app helps get your money back when an item you purchased goes on sale (there’s no effort on your end). When Paribus finds a price drop in your e-mail inbox, and you’re eligible for a price adjustment, it will notify you and the retailer. Yes, Paribus will do all the work for you and you keep 100% of the savings! Paribus has helped users saved over $24,000,000 to date!

🌟 You can sign up for Paribus for FREE here and start putting cash back into your wallet!


Survey Junkie: I personally use this free resource to earn extra cash by answering simple surveys online. This can help you save money or pay some of your monthly bills because you can redeem cash or FREE gift cards (your choice). They are rated 8.7/10 which is one of the highest on TrustPilot reviews.

🌟 You can sign up for Survey Junkie for FREE here and start earning FREE gift cards or cash each month!

If you live in Canada, use this CAD link to sign up.



Related reads on how you can start saving money for your wedding:

50+ Insanely Genius Ways To Save $1,000 for Your Wedding

How To Create a Fail-Proof Budget For You and Your Partner

How To Reach Financial Independence For Couples

15 Creative Ways To Make Extra Money That Can Help You Build a Wedding Fund

13 Passive Income Ideas That You and Your Partner Need To Know About



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    1. Congrats to your daughter’s engagement again!

      It’s exciting news and I know you’re great with money so I’m sure you’ll be able to offer tons of wedding and budgeting tips to your daughter! 🙂

      I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  1. These are great tips! As a former wedding photographer, I have spent so much time paying attention to the small things people did to keep their wedding elegant but on a budget!

    1. Wow, that’s cool that you were a photographer!

      I’ll soon need to find photographers and plan my wedding on a budget too! Lol 😀

  2. We had around 200 guests for our wedding and spending just over $15K which is way cheaper than other ones that I heard with that many guests. One tip that we did was try to have the wedding and venue all in one area. I’ve been to some weddings where we would have ceremony in one place and the reception at another area of the city. Having everything in one area can help save on your budget and also be more convenient for the guests and the wedding entourage.
    These are all great tips Panda especially trying to have it in the winter when it’s low season. For someone who likes having the wedding events indoors, it would be more preferable to try and book it around the winter time so you don’t have to worry about the weather.

    1. Your wedding budget sounds amazing! It’s so smart how you two were able to hold a beautiful wedding under such a small budget. I would freak if my wedding costs are $50k.

      I know many people who actually spent that much (or even slightly more) and are in debt. I think it’s okay to splurge on a wedding as long as one can afford it, but to go into debt is a different story! yikes!

      Thanks for sharing your story! I remember you writing a post about it and you provided great tips as usual! 🙂

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