How to Plan a Wedding on a Tight Budget

25 May 2015
| Last update: 29 Aug 2017

We all dreamed since we were very young to have a wonderful, princess-like wedding. However, while growing up, we realized fairy tales do not come true. At least not for everyone. Usually you have to bootstrap from here a little, from there a little, and sometimes, it happens to have to bootstrap where it hurts the most – your wedding. But no worries, my fellows. It is possible to have a wonderful wedding on a tight budget. Here we will give you some advice.

Before going into details, remember that the only things you need to have a really successful wedding are a bride, groom, and an officiant. Everything else is optional. Yes, even the family and guests. Remembering this will encourage you when you have to make the tough decisions.

So, here we go. Things you can improve or remove when organizing a wedding on a tight budget:

The Guest List

First of all, slash your budget by slashing the guest list. We understand that a wedding is a celebration, but again, it is a very personal thing. Choose to invite only the people who were really close to you.

Do you really have to invite the people you are in business with or your parents just network with, or the very far, far cousin you haven’t seen since you were in diapers? Is it really necessary to invite your college classmates with whom you keep in touch only on social media but not in person? No? Good! Then don’t. Inviting people only who really matter to you and your significant other will not only help you on organizing your wedding on a tight budget but will also make the wedding itself fun.

Choosing your dress when you have a wedding on a tight budget

This part is rather complicated, but it’s not impossible! What you have to do first and foremost is to not spend a chunk of money on a dress. No, really, it’s not worth it. Yes, you will feel beautiful, but it will be just for a day.

However, there are some alternatives. You can find a cheap, yet designer, dress on the Internet via craigslist, eBay, Etsy, etc. You can also find one in thrift stores, but those are second hand. If you have some talented friends or people you know, they might be able to copy the model themselves and make it from scratch. Here there will be no designer label, but it will be the same model and much, much cheaper.

If you really want to go with a brand-new designer dress, give up on the veil. You spend a really large amount of money on it. You could make it yourself or replace it with a beautiful jewel you resolve this issue of your wedding on a tight budget.


The Reception

This is the thing that will cost you a huge amount of money. Immediately, the honeymoon follows. So, what can you do? First of all, you need to have the ceremony and the reception in the same place. To cut out costs, of course. Secondly, it is highly recommended to find a venue that doesn’t require the use of their vendors.

You can also rent a B&B in a different location, if you want, such as in the mountains. Usually, if you fill up the rooms, the wedding venue is free. This is just a suggestion that might help you on organizing a wedding on a tight budget.

Food & Drinks

Don’t aim for a sit-down buffet because the vendors will charge you a huge amount of money. Pick a Swedish buffet instead and offer different types of food. If you need, you can include main courses, too.

Don’t offer a huge amount of drinks. Go with wine, beer, or vodka and a signature cocktail. Of course, the bar has to be free. You don’t want your guests to pay for each glass of wine, do you?

Flowers & Decor

Try to look out for a venue that doesn’t need too much decoration. If this happens, try to make them yourself or borrow them. Yes, it’s possible to borrow them. You will save a huge amount of money for your wedding on a tight budget.

When it comes to flowers, try to pick seasonal ones. And you don’t need to combine your bouquet with fancy, impossible to pronounce names.


You don’t have to hire a DJ or a band. If you have an iPod or anything that can play music, ta-da, you have a DJ! It’s even more recommended to have your own playlists. This way, you can make sure you won’t fail with music.

You can talk with one of your friends about being the MC when there’s something important to announce, but don’t invest a bunch of money in this. It’s too expensive. If you really want a live band, you can choose one that plays in pubs or is from art schools because they’re cheaper.


If your friends or family want to help you, let them! Delegate the tasks you cannot accomplish by yourself to them. Hiring a planner will be much more expensive, and this is a great way to cut costs.


I know you have a wedding on a tight budget, but this is the one thing where you should invest most of the money. When looking back at the photographs (and you will), you will be filled with regret because you went all cheap on this matter.

All in all, it is possible to have a wedding on a tight budget and still to be great. If you have any other ideas or stories, please feel free to share them with us.