Is planning your wedding making you lose sleep? Are you tearing out your hair trying to figure out how to afford it all?
The average wedding costs more than $35,000 to put on. That’s more than you’d need for a down payment on a house!
The good news is that having a non-traditional wedding can save you thousands of dollars. You can have a great ceremony and a memorable party without going broke.
If you need to upgrade your wedding while downsizing your budget, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the inside scoop about putting on a wedding that works for you.
What to Skip
As you’re starting to cut your budget, take a look at the most expensive items on your wedding list. We’ve got a few suggestions for optimizing your wedding dollars.
Every bride needs a long, flowing white dress. Or does she? The non-traditional bride might want to wear a pink dress, shorts, and a t-shirt, or even a stunning pants suit.
What you wear is up to you. If you do want a white dress, may we suggest pairing it with comfortable footwear like sneakers or sandals?
If you want to skip the dress, you might want to wear a traditional white veil anyway. It’s a romantic touch that will look great in pictures.
We know that finding the perfect engagement ring is key, but do your wedding rings have to match?
You can connect your rings by having them both inscribed with your wedding date, or you can skip the rings and get matching wedding tattoos.
If you do need to find an unusual ring, check out these rings. Black diamonds are so trending right now, and custom engagement rings look amazing on Instagram.
One way to let your guests know they’ll be attending an unconventional wedding is to use digital invitations. Your guests will be more likely to respond and you’ll be able to keep track of your guest list more easily.
Another benefit of online invites is that you can send a reminder email a few weeks before your wedding to get a final headcount.
Who said wedding planning had to be hard?
If you do want to stick with printed invitations, talk to your local post office about getting a discount on postage. If you mail more than 50 invites, you should be able to receive a bulk rate.
What to Keep
As you plan your own wedding, there are a few traditional wedding ideas that you should hold on to. We recommend including a few wedding day features that will make your party run more smoothly.
Every wedding should have a photographer. Even if you’re leaning toward non-traditional wedding ideas like an outdoor wedding, it’s key to have a photographer to document all of the action.
If having a photographer is too expensive, you might want to rent a photo booth. Guests will have fun using it and you can get your own prints after your wedding takes place.
Even if you have friends and family doing most of your photography, it’s a good idea to invest in some formal portraits of your wedding party. It’s an investment that will last you for the rest of your married life.
If you want to make your wedding memorable, you should invest in your catering. We’re not saying that you have to have steak and lobster, but you should definitely keep your catering budget open.
One way to save money on catering is to have an open buffet rather than a sit-down meal. It’s a more casual take on wedding food, but you’ll be able to offer your guests a wider range of food options.
When you create your wedding invites, make sure that guests can specify any allergies or food requests.
Even a non-traditional wedding party needs a cake. If you choose to make it out of cheese or hamburgers, that’s your decision.
If you’re going to have a traditional wedding cake, you can save money by getting a smaller cake.
You can also get a few smaller cakes to make sure all of your flavor options are covered. Carrot cake, anyone?
About half of all married couples live together before they tie the knot. That means that they probably don’t need traditional wedding registry items like plates and kitchen appliances.
Having a registry is a good idea, however. Your guests can contribute money towards your honeymoon or future trips, invest in baby gear, or even flat-out make cash donations.
How to Pick the Perfect Location
Now that we’ve given you some ideas on planning a non-traditional wedding, it’s time to have The Talk.
Yes, that talk. It’s time to consider possible wedding locations.
When you’re thinking of venues, it’s okay to think outside of the box. Whether you want to have your wedding on a beach or inside an art museum, follow your muse.
If you’re going to have a destination wedding, try to give your guests as much lead time as possible. Ideally, you should give them six to eight months to save for tickets, outfits, and hotel rooms.
When you book a destination wedding, you may be able to get a bulk discount on your hotel rooms.
Finding a Non-Traditional Wedding Planner
Once you have a venue in mind, it’s time to find a wedding planner. We recommend hiring a wedding planner because it’ll save your sanity.
An experienced wedding planner can also help you find catering and a DJ, two essential components of any wedding. They can often connect you with good deals on hotels as well.
Above all, don’t compromise on your vision of your non-traditional wedding. You might be feeling the pressure from your family to have a traditional wedding, but it’s your day and your memories.
Need more information on weddings and DIY party ideas? Come check out our blog.
We have a wide range of articles on everything from engagement rings to inspirational gift ideas! Party on and have a great wedding!
Now that you have some great information from this post, please feel free to check out some of my favorite vendors to help you with your unique celebration.