The first thing to figure out before beginning the wedding planning process is to decide your wedding budget. You should know how much you plan to spend before you can start working on the details. The good news is that you don’t need a huge budget to have a wedding. If you’re looking to spend a little less, here’s how to turn a $10,000 budget into an incredible wedding celebration for 50 guests. It’s just a matter of prioritizing. Adjust your funds to fit your style, whether that means splurging on food or skipping flowers to get a great DJ instead of a band.
Wedding Planner - Cost: $1,800 (B Eclectic Eventz)
A Wedding Planner can help you make the most of your wedding experience.
Ensuring you stick to your wedding vision and keep everything on track
Planners can keep things stress-free
Handle ceremony-to-reception flipping
Review legal contracts
Help you coordinate the entire day (as opposed to just one aspect)
Venue, Catering, and Beverage Service - Cost: $4,750 (The B Suite – 4 Hours / 50 Guest)
The venue will take the largest portion of your budget. Find a reception venue that includes basic rentals (think simple linens, tables, and chairs), and will allow you to bring in your own caterer and bar service all in one. Package deals can save you a lot of money. Many venues also make cakes on-site, which will be added on to your food and beverage package. If you’re planning to get a cake elsewhere, limit yourself to between $200 and $300 to help your budget go further, or look into options like cupcakes or pies, whichever will be more affordable.
Officiant - $200
A standard fee for a wedding officiant usually ranges from $200 to $800. Some civil officiants charge more for add-ons such as custom ceremony scripts, premarital counseling, and/or a rehearsal. Ask ahead to see what the fee includes before you book.
Photographer - $1,000
You’ve got to preserve those memories. In order to stay within the budget, booking a photographer by the hour is the way to go. Book the photographer for a total of 4 hours for the detail shots, bride and groom portraits, ceremony, family portraits, first dance, cake cutting, and champagne toast. You can choose to do the sendoff early and the photographer can be released prior to the meal and dancing. The photographer will most likely create a beautiful online high-resolution photo gallery. If you want them to print your photos, be ready to pay for additional costs.
Flowers & Décor - Cost: $1,000
The cost of the bridal bouquet is $100 and the bridesmaid bouquet is $50. Forego boutonnieres and opt for pocket squares. If you’re looking to stretch your floral budget, forego corsages. Choose a few simple arrangements for the ceremony space and go for simple elegant centerpieces for the reception.
Entertainment - $1,000 (DJ 4 Hours)
A smaller budget most likely means you’ll be hiring a DJ instead of a band, but it’s all about finding the right one, not how much you spend. Look for a DJ with lots of wedding experience who will work with you to customize the playlist. Hire a DJ that will bring their own equipment, including speakers, so you’re not stuck renting elsewhere.
Invitations - Cost: $250
Digital invites are a perfect choice for a micro wedding, they are usually free and it’s a way to cut costs. Guests can RSVP immediately. Click yes or reply to the email or Facebook invite and the host knows in real-time how many guests to expect without waiting on the post both ways.
Everyone can see who will be there. Some social and e-invite services let invited people see the guest list. As a guest, it’s nice to see if you’ll know anyone there without having to ask around.
Updating is a breeze. If the time or place changes, informing every guest is just a few clicks away. The event or invitation service might even sync to guests’ calendars, updating everyone’s appointments all at once.
They can be pretty. Email invitations don’t have to be a generic field of plain text and buttons. The e-invites from Paperless Post and Celebrations are some of my favorites, along with oozing personality and featuring designer collections from the likes of Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, Kate Spade, Real Simple and Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand. Online invitations allow for customizations too.
Weddings are pressure-packed enough without having to shoulder the burden of a $30,000 wedding. The fact is, you really don't have to dig so deep for a decent wedding experience, and the money saved can be put to better use, like for a down payment on your dream house or saving for a rainy day. Micro weddings are cost-effective and you'll still create great memories.