Wedding season is almost here, and it’s crunch time to start planning one of the most memorable days of your life. Turns out you have expensive taste, but a low priced budget. Fret not, here are seven ways to have a champagne wedding on a beer budget.

  1. Consider an Unconventional Venue. Most wedding venues can sometimes ask for thousands of dollars upfront and require you to use their list of in-house vendors for additional services (e.g. catering, flowers, photographer, you name it). If spending thousands on a flashy venue isn’t an option, consider asking a close friend or family member — with a nice home or scenic view — if you could use their space for your event. If that’s not an option, renting a picturesque house in your chosen wedding destination is pretty easy nowadays thanks to several home rental sites. You could even split the rental costs with select out-of-town guests who need a place to stay.
  1. Don’t Over Invite. It is easy to get carried away and invite every person you’ve had positive interactions with. Keep in mind that this is a meaningful, special event best spent with your nearest and dearest. Keeping the list tamed will significantly decrease costs and allows you to splurge on other aspects of your wedding.
  1. Think Outside the Catering Box. Catering alone can take a significantly large portion of your wedding budget. We get it, you want your guests to be ‘wowed’ by the food at your wedding. Luckily with today’s restaurant industry, the options are endless. Instead of doing a traditional sit down meal, hire your favorite food truck or get a local restaurant to cater for a fraction of the cost of premium catering companies. You could even host an upscale taco bar from your most beloved fast casual place. The point is you don’t need to have the typical ‘chicken, fish or steak’ sit down dinner. You can save money and still have guests raving about the food.
  1. Consider Evites for Tech-Savvy Guests. While electronic invites or “evites” aren’t the traditional way to send wedding invitations, they’re becoming more common. Plus, in our high tech world people are always on their phones or electronic devices. By sending evites, you’ll likely receive RSVPs and follow-up with guests more easily, while also saving hundreds on postage. Yes, we get that some guests prefer mailed invites or may not even have email (ahem…grandma!), so consider sending paper invites to the folks that need it.
  1. Skip the Hard Liquor. As much as you may want to provide your guests every drink option, serving top-shelf alcohol can get VERY expensive. Many are opting for an open bar, featuring just beer and wine. If you really can’t let go of that cocktail option, providing a “signature drink” is a great way to incorporate liquor without breaking the bank.
  1. Buy Flowers in Bulk. Pricey, over-the-top flower arrangements are a thing of the past. Nowadays you can visit your local grocery store to place a surprisingly affordable bulk order of flowers. You might be surprised by how fun and easy it is to create beautiful, inexpensive flower arrangements that ‘wow’ guests. Or better yet, you can repurpose these household items for décor and centerpieces.
  1. Say No To The Pricey Dress. Can’t say ‘yes’ to that hefty price tag? We don’t blame you. Wedding dresses are expensive. Fortunately many bridal shops hold “Sample Sales,” where you can get designer dresses at more affordable prices. Another great option is to consider renting a dress from sites like Borrowing Magnolia. Chances are you won’t have plans for that dress after the wedding day, so why pay thousands? There are also several retailers that sell wedding gowns starting from $160 on up.

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