How-To: Create a Wedding on A Budget

(Courtesy Of Hannah Jacob)

How-To: Create a Wedding on A Budget

By Hannah Jacob

Being a child from the 90s, the most iconic wedding movie I can remember watching Father of the Bride. Watching Steve Martin’s character stressing out over paying for every little detail in the wedding made me think, “Weddings can’t be that bad to plan.” Of course, ignorance was bliss! Once I was engaged I had a few days where I felt like Steve Martin. I wanted to burst at the thought of paying so much money for something insignificant like bubbles and ice!

I want to keep you from all the Steve Martin stress I had with these three easy steps in creating a dream wedding on a budget.

1st Step: Creating a wedding budget and finding out who is paying for it.

The tradition is that the bride’s family pays for the wedding and the in laws pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, not every bride has a family with enough money in their savings for an expensive wedding. Some couples pay for the wedding themselves while others go more traditional. It’s important to discuss this with your family and future husband before you go out shopping for a wedding dress.

2nd Step: Establish your budget.

I can’t stress how important it is to come up with a real figure of how much money you can spend. Believe it or not, there are wedding sites on the internet state that an average wedding in America costs between $26,000 to $32,000! If you were as shocked with this amount as I was, don’t stress. The average couple spends less than $10,000. There’s nothing wrong with having a wedding that’s less than $1,000 or more than $5,000. To avoid any family and finance drama, it’s important that you know how much your limit is so that you won’t go over that amount.

3rd Step: Brainstorm.

Do you want a big and glamorous wedding? Maybe something small, intimate, and minimal? Perhaps you really want to be married and don’t care what kind of wedding you have. Either way, take your budget to see if that dream is a possibility, remember to spend on your priorities and save on others. I recommend going to The Knot and filling out their wedding budget calculator. 

The calculator helps divide your budget into various wedding categories (ie. ceremony, dress, food) and it lets you adjust the amount if you prefer spending more or less in a certain area. I HIGHLY recommend it!

For myself, I took the traditional route and my dad offered to pay for the wedding. With my own parents being missionaries, I knew that I couldn’t have an expensive wedding. My dad and I agreed on a budget of $2,000 and the guest list would be around 250 people. My priorities were for a dual venue for the ceremony and reception, as well as food. Both of those added up to $1,000.

Crafting and borrowing various items from family and friends is an easy way to save money. I made paper flowers for the centerpieces and the groomsmen’s boutonnières while a friend helped me make fresh flower bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids. A friend’s mom gave me vases for various decor and I used old records that my mom didn’t want anymore. I had my dad and brother set up a coffee bar for the reception. A friend offered to take our wedding pictures and another did the wedding videography. My grandfather owned a printing company so I saved on printing invitations and did most of the designs myself. My close friend knew of a vendor to rent chairs and tablecloths from that gave us a great deal. The groomsmen and groom took care of the music at the wedding. One of the groomsmen was DJing while the others set up the sound system. The list goes on and on!

Weddings are fun, but for the bride they can be very stressful. Planning well and sticking to your budget will help keep stress levels down. I’m sure if Steve Martin’s character on Father of the Bride gave his daughter a budget, then he wouldn’t have had as many meltdowns as he did.

Once you’re married you’ll (hopefully) be budgeting with your spouse. I hope you see this as the first step forward in planning a life together that brings glory to God in the way you use the resources He has given to you.