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Creating a Budget-Friendly Wedding: How to Save on Your Big Day

Section 7: Conclusion: Stick to Your Budget

Introduction: Planning a Budget-Friendly Wedding

Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most significant moments of your life, but it can also come with a hefty price tag. With the average cost of weddings steadily rising, many couples are looking for ways to celebrate their love without breaking the bank. Fortunately, planning a budget-friendly wedding doesn't mean sacrificing style or elegance. In fact, with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can have the wedding of your dreams while staying within your budget. In this blog post, we'll explore some savvy tips and tricks for saving money on your big day.

Start with a Realistic Budget

Before diving into any wedding planning, it's essential to establish a realistic budget. 

The very first step after you get engaged is to sit down with your partner and determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on your wedding. Consider your savings, contributions from family members, and any other sources of funding. Once you have a budget in mind, allocate funds to different aspects of your wedding, such as venue, catering, attire, and decor.

Not sure where to start? Grab my FREEBIE to start your wedding budget journey. 

A realistic wedding budget serves as the ‘guiding light’, ensuring that big day dreams come true without plunging head first into deep debt. It begins with an honest assessment of financial resources, taking into account not just the funds at hand but also any potential contributions from family members. Once the budget is set, your wedding planning follows, allocating funds to various aspects such as venue, catering, attire, decorations, and of course guest entertainment. It's very important to prioritize areas that matter most to you, the couple, while being mindful of costs. You’d be amazed at how easily a few thousand dollars can turn into a tens of thousands of dollars!

Choose an Off-Peak Wedding Timeline

One of the most effective ways to save on your wedding is by choosing an off-peak date and time for your celebration. Wedding venues and vendors often charge higher rates during peak wedding season (typically spring and summer) and on weekends. Consider getting married during the off-peak season or opting for a weekday wedding. Not only will you likely save money on venue fees, but you may also have more flexibility with vendor pricing.

In my neck of the woods in the valleys of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains in Southern Virginia, the peak wedding season is early summer and lasts through mid-fall. Virginia enjoys all four seasons, with the fall giving many beautiful colors to wedding photos and the temperatures not too hot or too cold, making it the perfect mix for a perfect wedding day. I always make sure that my team and I blockout Thanksgiving break for ourselves as September through November are our busiest time with weddings every weekend! We book out a year in advance, and sometimes two years. The sooner you, the excited newly engaged couple, knows their big dream day date, the sooner you can start booking everything!

Opting for an off-peak wedding date and time, like a 1:00 PM ceremony start time on a Wednesday in March, is a savvy strategy that can elevate both the experience and the budget of a wedding. By selecting a less popular date or time, couples open doors to a plethora of advantages. From increased availability and flexibility of vendors to potential cost savings on venue rentals and services, the benefits are manifold. Moreover, an off-peak wedding allows for a more intimate and personalized affair, as guests are likely to be more attentive and engaged. It also provides an opportunity to explore unique venues that might otherwise be booked solid during peak seasons. Check with the venues on the prices for off-peak season and you’d be amazed at how much you can potentially save. Whether it's a serene weekday morning ceremony or a cozy winter evening celebration, choosing an off-peak wedding date and time can infuse the event with a distinctive charm while alleviating logistical constraints and financial pressures.

Keep your Guest List Intimate

The number of guests you invite to your wedding can significantly impact your overall budget. Picture a normal day out with your friends and you guys go out to grab a bite or get some coffees. You offer to pay for everyone’s goodies. You’ve just spent about $150 on five people's stuff. That’s just grabbing a quick bite with your pals! Now, imagine the amount of food and drinks you’ll have to order for your wedding day guests. It’s probably going to be more than $150! 

To keep costs down, consider trimming your guest list to include only close family and friends. A smaller guest list not only reduces catering expenses but also allows you to allocate your budget more generously to other aspects of your wedding, such as entertainment or decor. Going from 200 guests to 150 guests can significantly lower your costs. Same goes for if you go from 100 guests to 50 guests. 

Bride and groom toasting with immediate family. Couple and guests are holding champaign filled flutes. Sunset is behind them with trees in the background.
Bride and groom toasting with immediate family.

Not sure where to start? Grab my FREEBIE to start your wedding budget journey. 

Benefits of an All-Inclusive Venue

Opting for an all-inclusive venue offers a multitude of advantages that can help the wedding planning process go smoother and enhance the overall experience for couples and their guests. One of the primary benefits is convenience – with an all-inclusive venue, essential elements such as plateware, linens, decor, and sometimes even accommodations are bundled into one package, sparing couples the hassle of coordinating multiple vendors. This not only saves time and effort but also alleviates stress, allowing the couple to focus on enjoying their special day. Additionally, all-inclusive venues often have established relationships with trusted vendors, ensuring a seamless and coordinated event. From ceremony to reception, every detail can be customized to fit the couple's vision, creating a cohesive and harmonious atmosphere. 

One of my favorite venues in Lexington, Virginia, is New Field Farm at Timber Ridge. Contact them today and ask about their Blue Ridge package, which includes day-of facilitation and more by yours truly, Leece Bachman, at Elegant Events by Leece.

Moreover, all-inclusive venues can offer cost savings, as package deals may be more budget-friendly than sourcing individual services. Finally, these venues often boast picturesque settings and top-notch amenities, providing a stunning backdrop for a memorable celebration. Overall, opting for an all-inclusive venue can simplify the wedding planning process while delivering a remarkable and stress-free experience for all involved.

Shop Smart for Wedding Attire

Wedding attire can be a significant expense, but there are plenty of ways to save without sacrificing style. Consider shopping for pre-loved wedding dresses or renting a tuxedo or suit instead of buying. You can also keep costs down by opting for simpler designs or choosing bridesmaid dresses that can be worn again. Don't forget to shop for sales and discounts, and consider buying off-season for even more savings.

Shopping smart for wedding attire involves a combination of savvy decision-making, careful consideration of options, and a keen eye for value. The first step is setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. By establishing clear financial parameters, couples can narrow down their choices and avoid overspending on attire. Next, it's essential to research different styles, fabrics, and designers to find options that align with both personal taste and the overall aesthetic of the wedding. Keeping an open mind and exploring various retailers, from bridal boutiques to department stores, can uncover hidden gems and potentially more affordable alternatives. Additionally, considering factors like the season, venue, and theme of the wedding can help guide decisions regarding attire, ensuring that outfits are both stylish and suitable for the occasion.

Timing is key – shopping early allows for ample time for fittings, alterations, and any unexpected delays, while also potentially unlocking discounts during off-peak seasons or sales events. Attending local bridal expos can also be a great way to see what’s available in your area, see and maybe even try on dresses that you like, and get to know the dress vendors at a more personal level.

Various colored dresses for wedding attire hanging on rack. Colors include an ivory, soft pink, lavender, and sky blue.
Brides maids dresses hanging on the rack.

Not sure where to start? Grab my FREEBIE to start your wedding budget journey. 

Moreover, shopping smart for wedding attire extends beyond just the bride and groom to include the wedding party. For bridesmaids and groomsmen, opting for versatile and budget-friendly options, such as mix-and-match styles or rental services, can help minimize costs while still achieving a cohesive look. Collaborating with the wedding party to select attire that fits their preferences and budget ensures that everyone feels comfortable and confident on the big day. 

Additionally, keeping an eye out for promotions, discounts, and sample sales can yield significant savings without sacrificing quality or style. For those on a tight budget, exploring second-hand or consignment shops can unearth designer pieces at a fraction of the original cost. Ultimately, shopping smart for wedding attire is about striking the perfect balance between style, budget, and practicality, ensuring that every member of the wedding party looks and feels their best without breaking the bank.

Conclusion: Stick to Your Budget

Planning a budget-friendly wedding requires careful consideration and creativity, but it's entirely possible to have a beautiful and memorable celebration without breaking the bank. Just plan accordingly and stick to your wedding budget to keep clear of going into debt! By setting a realistic budget, choosing cost-effective options, and getting creative with your decor and style, you can create the wedding of your dreams while staying within your monetary means. Remember, it's not about how much you spend, but the love and commitment you share with your partner that truly make your wedding day special.


Work with Leece and her team at Elegant Events by Leece for a wedding experience that exceeds your dreams and expectations. Learn more about Leece's affordable in-person and virtual wedding planning packages and book a free consult today!

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