How To Work With A (Very Tight) Wedding Budget
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How To Work With A (Very Tight) Wedding Budget

According to a survey fromThe Knot, thenational average cost of a wedding is just under $34K. We spoke with Claire from Denver, 29, on how she and her partner paid for their wedding,mostly on their own, on a budget of $13K. It should be noted: Before they started planning, they wanted to prioritize buying a house over having a wedding, which helped them determine their initial budget.

Wedding planning on a tight budget

1. Cut down the guest list

“We quickly found that in order to stay within our budget, we’d have to cut down our guest list. We started with a guest list of 70 and cut it down to 40 of our closest friends and family. It was a tough decision, and yes, some family and friends were upset that they weren’t invited, but are they paying for it? NO! We couldn’t offer a plus one to every invited guest. Our rule was that we’d only give a plus one if the guest was married or in a committed relationship, or if we’ve met their plus one on multiple occasions. The last thing we wanted was to look out into the crowd and see faces we didn’t recognize.”

2. Accept money help where you need it

“Our family did help us pay for a few wedding-related things: our hotel suite, the small rehearsal dinner the evening prior, and my mom actually made my wedding dress with over 200 hand-cut, sewn, and beaded silk flower appliques.”

3. Instead of a wedding planner, hire a day-of coordinator

“I planned the entire wedding myself, but we did hire a day-of coordinator throughFRVR Events. A good friend of mine Gabby started FRVR Events, so she helped coordinate everything from the catering to the tablescape to the band on the day-of.”

4. Exhaust all your options

Don’t be afraid to email a TON of vendors before landing on one. You’d be surprised at how different (in price) vendors can be. For example, we were quoted $5K for flowers through one vendor, and the next quoted us $1K. I probably emailed over 10 florists before finding one willing to work within our budget of $800 and within my vision of what I wanted: organic-looking bouquets for the centerpieces. Shop around to get the best deal and don’t be afraid to negotiate!”

5. Be collaborative

“I did most of the searching for vendors and reaching out. My husband was amazing at keeping all the data organized. We kept detailed spreadsheets with to-do lists, and how we were tracking (budget-wise) at any point in time.”

6. Get on the same page with your partner (& make sacrifices as needed)

“My biggest tip: Pick three things that are important to you and your future S.O., and make compromises on everything else. For us, our three things were food, venue (we knew we wanted to be outside in a garden so we landed on the Denver Botanic Gardens), and tablescape, so we splurged on those items (opted for the slightly more expensive clear chiavari chairs, gold cutlery, farm tables, etc.) and made sacrifices on everything else.”

7. Make decisions on a deadline

“We planned our wedding super quick (in 52 days once we found our venue!) so we had to be super organized and make decisions quickly. Which, ultimately, I think helped us stay on budget. I didn’t have time to obsess over every Pinterest board or (expensive) craft I had pinned years prior. I had to make decisions quickly, and pick the most economical option that was still within the aesthetic we were going for.”

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