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Throwing a Wedding on a Budget

While it’s commonly known as the month of love because of Valentine’s Day, February is also National Weddings Month. Oddly enough, February is one of the cheapest months to host a wedding. Even though many weddings are associated with high price tags, there are numerous ways to throw a beautiful wedding on a budget. If you plan on getting married in the near future, below are some suggestions to consider. 

Plan for the offseason

It’s common knowledge that summer weddings tend to be the priciest. According to Nerdwallet.com, the cheapest months to host a wedding are January and February. October and November are also inexpensive months of the year to have a wedding, and by then, the summertime heat has subsided. When choosing a wedding date, avoid Saturdays at all costs - it’s the most popular and most expensive day to have a wedding. Keep in mind that most wedding venues will charge you a lower rate for Sunday weddings. If it works for you and your guests, consider tying the knot on a weeknight!

Opt for nontraditional venues

As already stated, most wedding venues charge a fee for using their space. You can easily avoid this hefty expense by having your wedding at a venue that doesn’t typically cater to this type of celebration. Having a wedding at a restaurant is a great example, as they don’t typically charge a venue fee. Rather, they make their money from food and drink sales. Choosing a restaurant with elegant decor can save costs on wedding decorations while providing a unique wedding experience for your guests. A backyard or gazebo is also a charming setting to host a wedding, especially if planning it for the spring or fall. Wherever you decide to have your wedding, ensure that the venue is equipped to handle a large event. Also, be sure to factor in potential rental costs for things like lighting, speakers, tents, or other necessary rental items. 

Go secondhand

A brand-new wedding dress can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. While shopping for secondhand wedding attire isn’t for everyone, it’s an economical choice. Secondhand wedding dresses can be found at bridal consignment shops, thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, and other buy/sell groups. You can also shop thousands of once-worn and never-worn wedding gowns on websites like Nearly Newlywed or Stillwhite. As most wedding dresses are made-to-order, you can save money by shopping sample gowns from bridal shops. For veils, shoes, or other accessories, utilize family heirlooms or borrow from friends. If you’re looking to decorate your wedding space with flowers, borrowing from other newlyweds is the way to go. You can also ask floral designers about excess inventory; they may be able to sell it to you at a discounted rate. If you’re dead set on fresh blooms, go for something that’s in season, as they’re less expensive.

  

Don’t overpay for food

Food catering is one of the most expensive wedding costs. That said, it’s important to ask potential caterers about dining alternatives. While seated, plated dinners tend to be the priciest, some catering companies offer lower-cost buffet and family-style options. When it comes to drinks, keep it simple. The more options you provide your guests, the more you are likely to spend. A fun and often cheaper alternative to traditional catering is hosting a food truck. Just be sure your wedding venue is equipped and has enough space to do so. When shopping for a wedding cake, go for a shorter cake. The more tiers to your cake, the more expensive it will be. There’s also nothing wrong with serving an alternative to wedding cake, such as pie or cookies. All in all, picking something you and your partner love will make the day feel extra special, and you’ll likely save money in the process. 

DIY it

One of the easiest ways to save money on your wedding is by getting crafty. Instead of splurging on decor, consider making it yourself. You can also pick up decor and supplies from craft and dollar stores. When it comes to wedding invitations, a simple way to save is by printing them yourself. This also allows you the freedom to design them, letting your imagination run wild. You can save even more money on invitations by going paperless and sending your invites via email or text. Instead of opting for a live band or DJ at your wedding, consider creating your own playlist. For most music streaming platforms, creating a playlist is simple and cheap. Just be sure your subscription includes ad-free music; you don’t want an advertisement ruining your special day!

The bottom line for planning any wedding on a budget is to cut out all nonessentials. Only you and your partner know what your dream wedding looks like, and only you and your partner know what you can afford. Weddings are a milestone in someone’s life, so it’s crucial to plan with diligence. After all, you don’t want to start a new marriage with a financial strain!

Need some assistance financing your wedding? Gulf Winds can help you out.


Hunter Morrison

Hunter Morrison

Hunter has freelanced for various print and radio publications across Northwest Florida, including The Bay Beacon, Navarre Press, Inweekly, Crestview News Bulletin, and WUWF. He was also the Editor in Chief of the University of West Florida’s student newspaper, The Voyager. In 2023, Hunter moved to Kenai, Alaska to take up a news reporting position with KDLL Public Radio. For fun, Hunter enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, photography, thrifting, traveling, and looking for the best Thai food around. 

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