How To Plan A Wedding For 10k (And Under!) - Tay Meets World

How To Plan A Wedding For 10k (And Under!)

9:46:00 AM

This post is going to be a long one but it's worth the read if you're looking to cut costs but still have the best wedding ever.


1. Pick the right vendors. Of all the things that add to the bill for your wedding, picking the right vendors is essential to saving money but also having a great time. Getting the cheapest vendor in town doesn't necessarily mean you will be saving money - they could be awful! It's so important to ask around, read reviews, and 'interview' each one of them.  Below I am sharing how you can cut costs dramatically for each vendor but still get what you want.
  • Venue - this will be one of your most expensive if you don't look around. Hotels, large convention centers, and actual wedding venues are going to be pricey. Use The Knot to find local vendors, their website tells you which ones are inexpensive.
    • Tour all inexpensive venues listed and read the contract thoroughly so you can detect hidden fees.
    • Try to stay under or around $1,000 for the venue.
  • Caterer - this will be the most expensive vendor if you don't do your research. I would again look at the The Knot's website but also try to negotiate with the caterer you're interested in. If you can rent napkins, plates, silverware for cheaper at a rental company - see if that will reduce your cost. A lot of times that works and the caterers want your business so they're happy to oblige. 
    • Catering will range from $2,500-$7,000 - do your research! You can find places that will cater good food, for cheap!
  • Photography - This day in age, everyone can hold a camera and take a picture. If you want great photos, hire a photographer that is not the most established and expensive in town but the may be an up & comer. They are also paid by the hour - stick to a tight timeline with them.
    • Hire a photographer for the essentials, then, have a DIY photo station or polaroid cameras for guests to use to take their own photos. This is definitely the most personal way to capture the day.
    • There are also apps on iPads that can take photos and save them to an album. 
  • DJ - Consider finding DJ's that are very inexpensive but will take requests and play specific songs that you want. 
    • To cut costs, see if the venue where you are getting married has their own AV system. If they do, you can create playlists yourself and have the music on continuously. That will save you the DJ bill completely
    • Also look into music programs at various colleges or high-schools. There are a lot of kids that start up DJ businesses that are cheap but are "hip" and play great tunes.
  • Florist - If you are really looking to cut costs then consider doing all the arrangements yourself. Costco and Sam's Club have beautiful flowers for a very low cost. You can order them all so they get to you a few days before the wedding. 
    • Choose non-floral centerpieces such as candles, lanterns, etc.
    • Use faux-flowers if necessary. I wouldn't go overboard on the faux-flowers because these can be expensive too but it's something to consider to cut costs!
  • Cake - Consider renting your display cake and having sheet cakes for your guests. There is a place in Iowa that does this and the owner is phenomenal and the bill is super cheap! 
    • If you aren't hip on cake, cupcakes are a lot cheaper, as are donuts! Think outside of the box here - what is your favorite sweet treat and how much will it cost to have a large amount?
  • Officiant - Don't forget to tip the officiant. Tips can range from $400-$800 depending on how large your church is. Consider having a friend or family member become ordained and give them a small gift of your appreciation. 
  • Dress - There are so many great boutiques you can go to now to find gowns at great prices. Places like BHLDN, J.Crew Weddings, & Lauren Conrad's Paper Crown  all have incredibly chic options at not-bridal store costs. 
    • Shop for dresses off-the-rack and at trunk shows
    • Also shop closeout sales or large seasonal sales. Once you find your gown and know your size, look online to see if you can find it anywhere else that will ship it to you free. 
2. Shop local and used. 
There are many places where you can find gently used wedding items. Iowa has a store called Something Blue Wedding Consignment that houses everything from vases to gowns. Etsy, craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to find decor for CHEAP. 

3. DIY 
When in doubt, do it yourself. Every decor item, invite, etc., you can do it yourself - it's just a matter if you want to or not. Ask friends or family that are creative to help you! 

4. Use the 'pick 2 rule.' 
From my previous post, pick two things that you want to splurge on and save for the rest. This will significantly reduce your costs. Read more here!

5. Have a contingency fund worked into your 10k budget.
Realistically, have your budget be $8,500 but set aside an additional $1,500 for any unexpected costs that come along. You can plan a wedding for this price you just have to take the time to do it. I will say that things happen and people make mistakes so a contingency fund will help significantly!

6. If you aren't good at budgeting, have someone help you that is!
The first step is admitting that you are not good with budgets, the next step is enlisting someone that is and that will hold you to your budget. Close friends are great for this - they can keep you in check but also be apart of your day!

7. Cut the guest list. 
This is a no-brainer but definitely true. The less amount of people you invite the less amount you'll pay - end of story. Decided if you really want that person at your wedding and think about if they weren't there, would you miss them?

8. Ask For Help Instead of Gifts.
Most relatives will gladly help you on your wedding day. If you need an extra hand or two - ask for help from them instead of a gift. Chances are they will still get you a little something and will love to be apart of the process.

These are some simple tips you can use to cut your wedding costs significantly. If you have any other ideas or any questions, share below! I would love to hear them!

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