How to have an awesome wedding on a shoestring budget

Updated: Apr 7

We love the latest trend of micro-weddings that are intimate, meaningful and conveniently bucking the over the top-send you broke big ass weddings. Who needs more unnecessary fluff when you can have the wedding of your dreams. 

So, how can we do it? Budget first. Work out what is your max. Spend where it matters and scrimp on the things that don't. So how do you decide? Firstly, think about, at the end of the day when it's all done with, what are you left with? 

For this reason, I think hiring a quality photographer is important, but rather than getting that leather bound book, ask for affordable options, or even digital prints on CD that you can print out when you can later. How you look in your photos for that reason would be second on the list, so hair and makeup is super important to get right and not stingy out on. How to cut down the cost you ask? Have a small bridal party. Who needs 6 bridesmaids! Two really special people in your life is much better than 1 good one, 2 drama heads, and 3 to keep the family happy. Less people=less drama.

Time and time again, it is so much more enjoyable, affordable and special to have a very small invite list of those who you actually keep in contact with, have meaning in your life than inviting the whole village just to keep some distant relative happy. Its about you and your day, not honoring some obligation to invite people just for the sake of it. Be brutal with your invite list. This will allow you to save on the total cost of catering/food. To save on the per head cost of many reception venues or catering, ask yourself-do you really need a seafood buffet and five courses? Most guests complain about the food regardless of what is served, and at the end of the night it all ends up in the toilet, with people forgetting about the menu. There's nothing wrong with serving less alcohol or having a set bar tab, or even you providing the alcohol that you buy up when on special. 

To save on the reception, shop around. If your on a super tight budget, think outside the box. Many motels, hotels, clubs and restaurants offer free room hire as long as you hire them for the catering. It just means you need to get creative with diy decorating. 

With flowers, the best way is not to skimp out, but rather choose your flowers according to the season. Locally grown in season flowers are much cheaper than those rare roses that are imported to match the shade you want. My advice, have an open discussion and ask for options from your florist. They will be happy to work with you. If you can't afford a florist, there are some beautiful fake flower arrangements some businesses make or even buy 2nd hand ones from other brides from bridal buy sell groups. 

For invitations and other stationary, have a go at DIY, there's plenty of supplies out there at local markets, online and keeping it simple is the way to go. At the end, they end up in the bin, you will be the only one that keeps one as a memento. Why not pay a graphic designer to create a master file of your invites, then send them virtually. It makes tracking RSVPs much easier if the whole process is online and it's much cheaper too.

For the dress. Do you really need a designer custom made gown? or those prada white wear them once shoes? You would be surprised by how many designers have sample/end of season sales with some pretty awesome specials with as much as 50% off RRP. Shop around. Even consider buying a second hand dress. Op shops have some cool dresses you can alter to update and maintain a chic antique/classical look. Many buy sell bridal groups are great for wedding dress shopping. Also, go for a bit of a drive, you may find bridal shops that are in regional centres are more affordable and will give amazing customer service. 

Hope this gave you some interesting ideas to start your own journey to intimate micro-wedding bliss. Let us know what you did to reign in the wedding cost without missing out on the experience. 

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