Did you watch the Royal Wedding? CNNMoney reported that 29.2 million Americans tuned in to watch the ceremony, so it’s likely you may have caught a peek at the festivities. Even if you didn’t, there’s a large chance that you’ve already seen the countless highlights and photos that have now transformed into hilarious memes that have graced the likes of Buzzfeed and Twitter (thank you, good ‘ol Internet).
I, myself, didn’t get up at 3:00 AM to watch the arrivals. I also didn’t wake up at 7:00 AM to watch the official ceremony -- it was Saturday. Since then, my social media feeds have been flooded with the details of #TheRoyalWedding: from the coveted guest list, to the designer behind the dress. What I’ve gathered is this:
You read that correctly, $45,000,000 -- a lot of money, indeed. PopSugar revealed that an estimated $41,000,000 was spent on security alone! But, they are the royal family, and the wedding was a monumental event for not just them, but the entire United Kingdom 🇬🇧
While most of us don’t have that kind of money to splurge, it is safe to say that most people have dreams and expectations of what their big day should look like. Fortune.com reports that the national average cost of a wedding day shot up to $35,329. Nowhere near the millions, but still a hefty bill to pay -- you can only imagine what this number is at two years later. We, at Modern Gents, feel that it is undeniably possible to produce your dream wedding without waking up to a sad bank account at the end of it. Learn how to plan a wedding on a budget with our list below.
1. Keep the guest list on the small side
Harry and Meghan invited about 600 celebrities/officials and 1,200 others to join in on their celebration. Oftentimes, we imagine inviting practically everyone you’ve ever met to your wedding because, well, why the heck not?! After all, it IS the one of the most important days of your life, right? Put shortly, more people = more food, more drinks, more space needed, more party favors, more cake, MORE MONEY! Consider creating a full list and then doing a throughout rundown, highlighting only about 20% of the list to actually come.
2. Wedding HELP > Wedding GIFTS
Wedding gifts are fun, especially if you’ve just bought your first home as a newlywed and could use a few essentials. However, to help alleviate the costs of a wedding, try asking family or friends to help out with various wedding aspects as their gift! Your cousin is a photography major? Ask her to be the photographer for your wedding! Does Auntie bake delicious desserts? Ask her to make your wedding cake!
3. Alternative wedding locations
Scenic resorts and common wedding venues are expensive. Period. However, there are hundreds of alternative locations that can act as venues for a literal fraction of the cost! To host your wedding and/or reception at home or a family member’s home would be practically free (minus decor, supplies, etc.). Outdoor locations, such as national parks and beaches are significantly less than wedding/event specific venues. If you’re really looking for something special, consider utilizing the Airbnb service. You can find a enchanting backyards or entire homes with scenic views for as low as $1,995 a night!
4. Cater your own wedding
Considering a location (home/outdoor/Airbnb) that doesn’t require you pay for their catering service, unveils the opportunity to make this a family affair and cater your own wedding. Fill your menu with you and your sweetheart’s favorite dishes. Include dad’s famous dry rub ribs and mom’s irresistible peach cobbler. Cooking for the wedding brings not only an authentic feel to the event, but creates an unforgettable (and possibly a bit hectic) experience for your family members. If family members preparing the food is absolutely not an option, consider contracting a family owned restaurant. This option, depending on the # of guests, may yield lower prices without compromising the quality of the dishes!
Pro Tip: be sure to taste test ALL possible contenders beforehand! Like waaay beforehand, giving both you and your partner enough time to make a thorough decision, and the restaurant enough time to plan ahead. 🥩🌽🌶🥕🍗🥖🥘🍝
5. DIY invites
The invitation is the first real glimpse of the wedding. It’s natural to want to make a grand impression on your guests. However, custom invitation designs while beautiful, can run your bill up fairly high. Behold! Pinterest: a hub for all things #DIY and #Inspo. You’re likely to find a design you love or even create a board filled with different inspiration sources to create your own unique invites! Gather your bridesmaids and hold an invite-making party -- complete with all the materials needed (most are easy to find at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and snacks and wine, courtesy of all the money you’re saving by making your own invitations ;)
6. Be your own wedding designer
To continue on from our last point, a majority of wedding decor can also be DIY or relatively cheap! Release your inner Martha! Believe me, I completely understand the idea of wanting every little detail of your wedding to be flashy and regal from the flowers to the photo booth backdrop. However, Pinterest and Etsy can be your best friend when it comes to finding inspiration and DIY projects that still look the part, but don’t cost a whole lot!
7. Stock the bar yourself
Bartenders are convenient, but definitely not necessary! Costco has a wide selection of the biggest bottles of alcohol aaaand at wholesale prices? Nuff said. 🥂
8. Affordable engagement/wedding rings
It's no surprise that engagement rings and wedding bands can cost a lovely couple quite a bit of cash; cash that could potentially go into certain aspects of your wedding that you absolutely refuse to forgo (i.e. music and entertainment, photobooth). Obviously, a wedding is incomplete without weddings rings; but why not invest in affordable ones? We believe love doesn’t have a price tag on it… So why should anyone feel like they need to spend a fortune on wedding rings?
9. Less Money, More Honey (budget honeymooning!)
The title says it all - honeymoon on a budget. There will be plenty of time in your marriage to splurge on lavish, cross-the-globe vacations, and the overall purpose of a honeymoon is to spend quality time with your new spouse. This doesn't necessarily mean stay home on your honeymoon either! There are many affordable destinations that boast sunny skies, warm weather, and a far smaller price tag.
10. Plan a destination wedding!
When I first thought of the idea of a destination wedding, I couldn't get the vision of endless $'s to disappear from my head. Getting all of my family and friends to buy a plane ticket and book stay accommodations for themselves sounds like a never-ending nightmare! Fear not, there are actually websites that sell destination wedding packages to the most beautiful places! Hawaiiweddings.com offer three wedding packages at three different price points, based on location, services, etc. Yes, a big and extravagant wedding is beautiful, but at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your partner. Having only your closest family and friends in attendance will give you an intimate ceremony that will create memories to last a lifetime!
Now that you've read our tips on how to plan a wedding on a budget, we hope you feel more prepared as you tackle all the remaining details of planning for your big day.
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