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Budget-Friendly Wedding Planning Tips for 2024 Couples


May 6, 2024


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I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about our lives, weddings, and engagements. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Kristin.


As the cost of weddings continues to increase, 2024 couples are looking for creative ways to stay within budget. Weddings are exciting, yet expensive, events. Constantly worrying about your budget can add stress to what should be a time for celebration. How will you plan your dream wedding without breaking the bank? In this post, we will break down practical tips and strategies for planning a budget-friendly wedding in 2024.

Establish Your Wedding Budget

One of the first decisions you will make while wedding planning is what your budget will look like. This can be a little more complicated than it initially appears. First of all, you will need to consider what your budget includes. Is the budget the total amount you can spend on everything for the wedding—venue, dress, invitations, showers, etc.? Or will someone else be responsible for certain expenses, meaning they will be excluded from your budget? Next, you will need to take a realistic look at your wedding day. What type of venue are you considering? How many guests will you have? What services and amenities are important to you? After you have decided what your wedding day will look like, do some research into the typical costs of services in your area. This would be a great time to reach out to a few venues and photographers to get their pricing and availability. Finally, you will be able to create a realistic budget for your wedding. Don’t forget to leave some leeway for unexpected expenses and last-minute items!

Prioritize Must-Have Elements

Your ability to stick to your budget successfully will largely depend on setting priorities early. Sit down with your partner and discuss what the most important things are to each of you. As you break down your budget, you can allocate more funds towards those non-negotiables. Some couples decide that their venue is the most important factor on their wedding day, so they will set aside more of their budget to book their dream venue. And some couples want to relive their wedding day through meaningful photos taken by an experienced photographer. Those couples might choose to book a photographer who is more of an investment. Once you have decided on your must-haves, make another list of less essential aspects. These are items that you are willing to be flexible with and choose a more cost-effective option. You can even do some things yourself to save. 

Pro tip: While it may be tempting to opt for a budget-friendly venue and handle decorations yourself, keep in mind that pricier venues often provide comprehensive services and decor packages that might actually save you money in the long run.

Research Cost-Effective Vendors and Services

After setting aside funds for non-negotiable items, it’s time to shop around for lower-cost options for less essential details. It is possible to find vendors and services that are within budget without compromising on quality. Some vendors are looking to increase their experience or add to their portfolio. They might offer better pricing to work in a specific location. Look for newer vendors or service providers that are new to the area. Freelance vendors who work in the wedding industry part-time may be more cost-effective. You can also join a local wedding planning group on Facebook and ask for recommendations.

When you reach out to vendors, make sure to let them know what your budget is and that you are shopping around. That will save time and energy for you and the vendor you are in contact with! If you have a tight budget for your venue, look at alternatives like outdoor spaces or community event halls. Or venues about lower pricing for Friday or Sunday events. You could even have a weekday wedding for a much lower cost! Finally, look at what you could tackle yourself with the help of family and friends. Some close friends and family members might be able to donate an afternoon to put together bouquets or maybe you are close with someone who has a talent for keeping things organized and could take the place of a wedding day coordinator.

Creative Cost-Saving Ideas

There are also some creative ways to save money on your wedding day. Here are some ideas you may not have thought of:

  • Second-day flowers

Some couples are looking for other weddings on the same weekend as theirs to share floral costs! You could look for a couple who would buy your flowers after your wedding day, or purchase second-day flowers yourselves.

Couples are choosing to reuse flowers with couples having weddings the same weekend to save on costs
  • DIY floral arrangements

Alternatively, you could create your floral arrangements! If you have some willing volunteers, you could enlist their help a day or two before the wedding to create arrangements and bouquets from wholesale flowers.

  • Thrifted dinnerware

Another way to save on costs is to thrift dinnerware sets or glasses instead of renting. You could also look for full dinnerware sets from past weddings on Facebook pages for wedding items!

  • Upcycled decor

There are all sorts of used wedding decor items for sale! Search places like Marketplace or Facebook wedding decor groups local to your area to see what you might be able to snag used instead of paying full price.

  • Digital invitations

You could opt for digital invitations to save on printing and postage costs. It might also be easier to collect RSVPs as guests can simply click on a link or hit reply!

Budget-Friendly Alternatives

Budget-friendly alternatives to traditional wedding elements can help you stay within budget without sacrificing your vision. For example, one typical expense on a wedding day is cake. A traditional cake is large and intricately decorated, making it a bit pricey for some couples. Instead of a traditional cake, you could choose to cut a small cake with your partner and then serve sheet cakes to guests. This would cut down on your total cost while still allowing you to have a cake-cutting moment and provide guests with a slice of cake! You could also ditch the wedding cake tradition altogether and serve a different dessert at a lower cost.

Some couples choose to have a cocktail-style reception instead of a traditional sit-down dinner. Another option is to switch up the time of day or day of the week from a traditional Saturday to something off-peak. Winter weddings also have lower costs versus high-demand wedding dates in the summer and fall. You can always cut down your guest list to eliminate per-guest costs and opt for a smaller, less expensive wedding venue. By making a few tradeoffs, you could potentially save thousands of dollars.

Stick To Your Budget

Wedding planning is a long process, so it can be difficult to stick to your budget over time. It is essential to track expenses and stay organized during the planning process. Make sure you have effective tools for tracking expenses like a spreadsheet or wedding planning app. If unforeseen expenses come up, look at where you can cut costs in other areas to cover them. And communicate clearly with your partner regarding your budget so you can stick to it as a team.

Although wedding costs are on the rise, you can still plan your dream wedding while sticking to a budget! I hope these tips will help you approach wedding planning with creativity and flexibility so you have more options for your big day. I hope you have the best wedding day ever!

Lively Photography is a Wichita-based wedding photography team providing full-service photography and content creation. Looking for a photographer in the Wichita or Kansas City areas? Reach out to us today!

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I'm Kristin and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about me, wedding tips, and engagements. Stay a while and say hello!

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