We sometimes think a small budget means doing everything ourselves and giving up on the dream wedding. Not necessarily. The good news is that the dream can survive the pinch! It will, however, require thoughtful spending. Planning your dream wedding on a dime entails a budget-driven mindset, coupled with strategies that flow through every decision you make—from whom to choose as a planner to where to buy the centerpieces or even whether you will have either. Here are seven secrets for making that happen:
1. Smart money works for you. Knowing where the money is coming from, finding ways to spend it wisely, and earning more from it in between are all key to keeping your spending under control and making sure what you owe does not exceed what you can pay.
2. Time does more than tick. Do not underestimate the impact of time on your wedding—your time, as well as that of your helpers and vendors. Just like money, there is a finite amount of time that must be spent wisely.
3. Treasures lie upon the road less traveled. There are options beyond the traditional for every decision you make. Products and services can be bought from “non-wedding” vendors, or you can take the DIY route. You can utilize items in less-than-usual ways or even skip a tradition entirely, and you can often save money along these less-worn paths.
4. Recycling saves more than the planet. Choosing items you can use in everyday life, buying pre-owned, selling products, and donating to charities all have a positive impact on the bottom-line cost of your wedding.
5. Blending is best. Creatively mixing vendor services, help from others, purchased items, and/or DIY projects often results in the best value.
6. Request and receive. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask—to borrow, for extra perks from vendors, to be given parts of the wedding as gifts from family and friends, or for additional help with the wedding.
7. Stack and save. What you ultimately pay from your budget shrinks proportionately when you find multiple ways to lower the cost of items or services—shopping for the best value plus getting an added discount, having others pitch in on the cost of a purchase, or finding ways to use less.