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5 Budget-Friendly Tips for Planning Your Dream Wedding Without Breaking the Bank

Updated: Jan 9

Let's face it - weddings are EXPENSIVE! Many couples are lucky to have family pay for all or some of their wedding, but not everyone is so lucky. If you have found yourself paying for your special day on your own - first of all AMAZING! You deserve to have the wedding you have ever dreamed of, and you shouldn't have to let money get in the way. Below I'll share my top five tips on how you can plan a wedding on a budget while still making your wedding day everything you want it to be.

money for planning a wedding

Go to Wedding Shows

If you live in (or near) a large metropolitan area, it's not too hard to find a wedding show! A simple google search should lead you right to the spot. If you are in the Triangle of North Carolina (where I'm a planner) check out the Triangle Wedding show, put on by Forever & Co. or the NC Bridal & Wedding expo. Wedding shows are filled with freebies, raffles, and special discounts for booking your vendor that day.

Pro Tip: find a list of the vendors attending the show and research them ahead of time! That way, if you see a discount for booking them the same day, you'll feel prepared!

Another Pro Tip: make a wedding email address before you go to the show. You are going to get a lot of emails from vendors following up with you. This will help you avoid junking up your personal email, and you can use it to stay organized as you wedding planning process continues!

Bride attending a wedding show

Use Faux Florals

If fresh, aromatic florals are what you've always dreamed of for your wedding day, skip this step and get those beautiful flowers! But if the flowers aren't your biggest focus, consider faux flowers instead! This is becoming increasing popular and honestly, most of the guests can't tell the difference (and they probably don't care!)

There are a lot of great options for artificial flower arrangements out there. Check out this post for some unique artificial flower arrangement ideas!

artificial flower arrangement

Get on Facebook

I know I may sound old saying this because I actually have a Facebook page... but seriously, if you want to save some money on your wedding decorations, check out Facebook groups and marketplace. There are TONS of groups called "Weddings Recycled" specific to your city or region. There are many engaged couples just like you that have done a little DIY work, and are selling those items now that their wedding is over.

You can also search for "Wedding Decor" on Facebook marketplace. A lot of people will post in a group and on marketplace, so you may find some duplicate results. But on Facebook marketplace you could also find some home decor items that could also be used in your wedding - such as lanterns, frames, vases, candle sticks, and more!

Pssssst! Speaking of faux flowers, you could find some used ones on Facebook!

browsing facebook for weddings recycled groups

Check out Thumbtack for Vendors

Thumbtack is a platform for freelancers to find gig work, and you'd be surprised by how many event professionals you may find on the space. A lot of people are picking up on the fact that the wedding industry is a lucrative business. While I do not recommend doing this for vendors like your photographer or planner (people who you need to be sure have plenty of expertise,) you could check out thumbtack for other vendors.

On this platform, you may find lower prices because a lot of these are single individuals (rather than big companies) and some are just getting started! I have used Thumbtack to find DJs in the past and the guy I found did a great job. In fact, our dance floor for that event was one of the biggest I have ever seen!

Wedding DJ spins a track

Hire a Planner to Help with Budget Wedding Planning

While yes, this is a shameless plug... this is also solid advice that you'll find elsewhere. Wedding planners are a great way to help you find areas where you could save money, and maybe where you shouldn't cut corners. They have been to and seen a lot of weddings, and they know price tags of what it takes.

Wedding planners are definitely not an area that you want to cut corners on. You need to make sure you do your research before choosing one. For example, if a planner advertises as "luxury" they may not be your right fit. Instead, maybe look for planners that advertise themselves with custom packages or a personalized experience.

Pro-Tip: if you have already picked your venue, check out their "preferred vendors" list to see if any planners offer a discount for having booked at that venue!

wedding planner helping bride on a budget


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