Secrets to Planning Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

As the excitement of your wedding day grows, don’t let money worries drag you down. Planning your dream wedding on a budget is possible with these tips.

Work With the Money You Have

The easiest way to make sure you are saving for your wedding is to open up a separate bank account specifically for wedding expenses. Find a bank that offers a free savings account with no minimum balance required, and then set up automatic transfers from your primary bank account into this wedding account for monthly, no-hassle savings. If you already have some money you can move into a wedding savings account, consider opening up a high-yield online bank account to earn more interest.

In addition, if you already have money coming in from a structured settlement or annuity, consider selling your future payments for a lump sum of cash that you can use for wedding expenses. Once you go through the process (about three months) and have the cash on hand, deposit this into your wedding savings account.

Save on Stationery With These DIY Tips

Save money by printing programs and reception place cards yourself. Guests are unlikely to remember what they looked like, and they’re just thrown out after the event anyway. For other paper goods, double check with your stationer about the total cost of the invitations you choose, including shipping. Some oversized, bulky options can run as much as $2 each to mail. Unless you plan to frame your wedding invitation, consider skipping the elaborate, multi-layered cards. Design a simple invitation to print out yourselves, or ask a graphic designer friend to design one for you.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

If you have a close family member or friend who would make a great master of ceremonies, ask him or her to get ordained online and officiate your wedding; you could save several hundred dollars. Similarly, if you have friends who can play photographer, DJ, or who have a band, ask if they will give you a deeply discounted rate for their services.

Another less-used option: Look for opportunities to have sponsors at your wedding. A company new to the wedding business might not yet have the money for advertising, so ask if they would be willing to provide the cake/dress/catering/venue in exchange for free advertising. Besides your own word of mouth promotion, you could offer to place signs and/or logos on-site at the reception, on your invitations and on your own social media networks. If they agree, draw up an agreement in writing to finalize the arrangement.

Alternatively, if you have any skills that would be useful to others, consider using the barter system for something you need for the wedding. If you are a massage therapist, perhaps that DJ could use several rejuvenating sessions; if you’re a graphic designer, perhaps that photographer needs a new logo and marketing materials.

No-Cost Honeymoon

Choose one credit card with a great rewards program to use for all of your wedding expenses so you can earn enough rewards points to book free flights and rooms for your honeymoon. Also, sites like Honeymoon Wishes enable your guests to contribute directly to your honeymoon instead of buying you a physical gift. Visit their website, lay out your honeymoon plans and share the website with your friends and family—you just may get enough financial support to take a dream honeymoon at little to no cost to you.

You can have a beautiful wedding that won’t break the bank. Good luck!

About the Author: Much like the laundry she does on a daily basis, Sara’s life has been one of many cycles: financial, life coaching and positive psychology, and now parenting. Now with two curious, energetic little girls now rounding out her family, Sara has kicked off her latest incarnation as a writer. You can find her on the hiking trails, behind a camera or at a coffee shop. More work can be seen at Mind-Body Rules.