The wedding budget, ahhhh the dreaded wedding budget! Here’s the deal. Every couple has a budget. In the same year, we’ve photographed weddings with a total budget of $14,000 and $300,000. Yes, you’re reading that correctly! They were both beautiful in so many ways. And they were both emotional. They were both full of incredible moments that made me want to be their best friends. They both had guests calling it the wedding of the year. And they were both published.

A wedding vendor silently grimaces when a couple says “we’re on a budget.” We grimace not because we think you’re cheap but because it’s a given that you’re on a budget – everyone is. Unfortunately, all too often what is “budget” for one area of the wedding would be extravagant for the next.

We’ve photographed weddings in which there were no flowers at all and the bride wore Jimmy Choos. It’s all about the priorities. If you feel very strongly about great food and great service for your guests, you’ll probably end up hiring a top notch caterer. They’re likely to have higher prices. You get what you pay for 99% of the time. And if you have sticker shock while getting quotes from those caterers, consider redistributing your budget. Instead of that pricy 7-piece invitation suite, consider ordering a simple set from Minted or purchasing your own supplies from Paper Presentation and doing a DIY set of paper products. This will easily free up money for an extra entree option during your dinner.

The next few images show a few of our favorite ways to inject personality into your wedding, all reasonably inexpensive.

In the photo below, Jen is holding a glass of a local pink champagne. By purchasing a large quantity of local alcohol, they saved a bit of money. By choosing her favorite alcoholic beverage, they added another layer of personality to their wedding toasts as well as enjoyment throughout the getting ready portion of the day. As an extra special bonus for their guests, welcome baskets included a mini bottle for each guest staying at the inn!

destination wedding planning on a budget

Deconstructed arrangements are not only trendy, they save quite a bit of money as well! Instead of 50 blooms, 7 or so can make a big statement! Most florists offer rentals for the pieces like the trunk, terrariums and branches.

jupiter hotel wedding photos

All of Tina’s jewelry came from an old Ziploc bag the morning of her wedding. It’s from a collection of costume jewelry her grandmother passed down to her and her sisters and she dumped the bag on the bed as she prepared for the day. She chose the pieces according to their general look together and her memories of each piece. Not only was it personal to her, it was the perfect way to honor her grandmother. Costume jewelry can be overpriced, but particularly once you attach the word wedding to it. Tina found the perfect way to add meaningful touches to her ensemble while also saving money for other areas of her wedding – they had a very large guest list!

wedding planning on any budget

Adam and Michelle had a daytime wedding in a local park and envisioned a lot of activity and laughter, so they set out quite a few different lawn games for their guests. From croquet to bocce ball, the options are endless. Best of all? All the afternoon entertainment was sourced from friends and family. Michelle also wore Rainbows to her wedding, my favorite footwear that she got plenty of use out of after the wedding as well!

wedding planning on a budget; daytime wedding entertainment