How to Plan a Minimalist Wedding and Keep Costs Low

Let’s face it – weddings are expensive. With the average wedding coming in around $20,000, it’s no wonder couples everywhere are turning to Las Vegas elopement packages and smaller-scale weddings to cut costs. If you’re recently engaged and looking to keep your wedding minimal, but you don’t want anything to feel cheap, check out these tips! If you’re recently engaged and looking to keep your wedding minimal, but you don’t want anything to feel cheap, check out these tips!

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Decide Your Priorities.

In every wedding, there are priorities and things that couples care less about. For example, some couples couldn’t care less about having traditional metal bands, so they opt for silicone wedding band sets. Others prefer to spend their money on catering, so they have a plated dinner. Either way, having a minimalist wedding is about deciding your priorities. Sit down with your fiance and discuss what elements of the wedding you want to spend more money on than others. For example, choose electronic invitations instead of paper ones, or opt for an hors d’oeuvres reception instead of a full dinner. Deciding these priorities now will help both of you as you plan the rest of your event.

Create a Budget.

Even if you’re trying not to look cheap, a budget is still necessary for every wedding. Otherwise, you run the risk of going way over budget, potentially plunging into debt well before you get hitched. As you decide your priorities, you should also set a budget. Even if having a five-star photographer is your main priority for your event, you still need to decide how much you’re willing to put forth for the said photographer. Recognize that some aspects will cost more than others, regardless of how much of a priority you place in different categories.

Your budget will serve as your guide for moving forward. You’ll need to include everything you spend money on in relation to your wedding, such as signage, shoes, and tuxedos. Anything that’s purchased for your wedding should count towards your budget. Many couples set a low budget thinking they will easily stay below the limit, but they quickly find that it’s easier said than done. By setting a realistic budget and keeping track of all the things you purchase towards the event, it’ll be easier for you to stay well below your budget.

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Consider Decreasing Your Guest List.

One of the number one ways to keep your costs low is to evaluate your guest list. It’s highly unlikely you can have a low-budget wedding for 200 guests unless you host a potluck at your grandma’s farm. If you don’t have access to a free venue, food, or music, then you’re going to have to spend some money.

To make decreasing your guest list a bit easier, write out all the guests you want to invite. Then, go through all the people you’ve spoken to within the past six months. Put an asterisk next to their name. Then, go back through and place a mark next to each person you’ve spoken to within the last year (the people you’ve spoken to within the last six months should get a second mark next to their name). Keep doing this until you reach the maximum amount of money you want to spend per person for catering. Your caterer should have provided you with a cost-per-plate during your consultation or shortly after. If you’ve set your budget for catering at $5,000, then you’ll want to craft your guest list around meeting that maximum. Keep increasing the amount of time you’ve talked to the people on the dream guest list until you meet your maximum. Do this for each vendor where the guest count impacts cost, such as rentals, decor, florals, and your baker. Reference your priorities list as you do this. When you max out in a specific category, decide whether you need to go back and adjust for another category or decrease your guest list to ensure you can get all that you want in that priority category. For example, if you are absolutely certain you want to use peonies instead of ranunculus, but having 15 guest tables will cause you to go over budget for your floral centerpieces, you might need to decrease your guest count by a table so you can afford the flowers. This takes time, but it’ll help you in the long run!

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Decide Whether You Really Want to DIY.

DIY weddings have reached an all-time high. However, DIY-ing isn’t for the faint of heart. The more guests you have, the more you will need to DIY. Each table needs decor, including the cake table, the guestbook table, and even the center aisle for your ceremony. Really consider whether you want to DIY your wedding. Do you really want to spend the day before your event setting up tables and chairs, steaming linens, and putting up a ceremony arch? For some brides, they’re comfortable with this. For others, they simply don’t want to do anything besides show up on their wedding day and get pampered. You’ll also need to consider the others in your wedding, too. If you enlist the help of the bridal party and family, you run the risk of them not being ready on time for your wedding. If your mom has to spend three hours steaming linens, that’s three hours she won’t have to get her hair or makeup done. While it’s a bit more costly to hire a designer, you’ll need to decide whether the cost efficiency of your DIY is worth the stress of not having someone else take care of the heavy lifting on your big day.

Use Flowers that Can Be Found Year Round.

While all flowers have a specific season they bloom, there are some flowers that are more easily accessible year-round, such as roses and gerbera daisies. Using flowers that are found year-round will help to keep your costs low. If expensive flowers are more of a priority for you, you can decrease your costs in other areas, such as renting tuxes instead of buying and ordering silicone rings instead of diamond ones.

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