Last Updated February 2, 2022
Are you planning a wedding on a budget of $1,000 or less? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, I’ll provide tips and advice on how to plan a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. I’ll discuss everything from choosing your venue to finding affordable catering options. So whether you’re just getting started with your wedding planning or you’re looking for ways to save money, read on for my best tips on how to plan a wedding on a budget of $1,000 or less!
What Should Your Budget Be When Planning A Wedding?
When planning your wedding and setting a wedding budget, you want to take into account a range of costs. These costs include the cost of the venue, food, entertainment, gifts, and additional costs.
When budgeting for a wedding, it helps to first understand the total dollar amount you want to spend or can afford to spend on your special day. To determine what that number is, start by figuring out who’s contributing to the cost of the wedding. Is it just you and your fiancé? Or maybe your parents or other family members want to chip in.
Once you know who (if anybody) is willing to chip in, you need to decide what your personal contribution will be. To help you figure that out, sit down with your partner and decide how much money you are ready, willing, and comfortable spending on your wedding.
Ask yourselves these questions:
- Given the day-to-day expenses you have to cover, how much can you and your fiancé realistically—and comfortably—afford to spend?
- How much can you save between now and your wedding based on your monthly income?
- How much money (if any) can you withdraw from a savings account while still being responsible?
Finally, based on your responses to the questions above, calculate your total budget for your wedding.
How To Break Down Your Wedding Budget
According to The Knot, your wedding budget should break down as follows:
- 50% – Venue, Catering, and Rental Costs
- 12% – Photography and Videography
- 9% – Attire, Hair, and Makeup
- 8% – Decor
- 7% – Entertainment
- 3% – Wedding Planner
- 2% – Stationery
- 2% – Officiant
- 2% – Transportation
- 2% – Wedding Bands
- 2% – Goodies for Guests
Once you’ve learned the basics of how to allocate the money in your total wedding budget, you’ll be ready to go.
Is It Possible To Have A Wedding For $1,000?
Weddings can be expensive affairs. In the United States, the average wedding costs $22,500 according to The Knot. However, with a little bit of creativity and planning, it IS possible to have a beautiful wedding on a budget of $1,000 or less.
32 Simple Tips To Plan A Beautiful Wedding On A Small Budget
Here are 32 simple tips to help you plan a fabulous wedding on a budget.
1. Get Help From Family Members and Friends
The easiest way to save money on your wedding is to enlist the help of family members and friends. Ask them to lend a hand with tasks like setting up, serving food, and cleaning up. Not only will this free up your time so you can relax and enjoy your big day, but it will also save you a lot of money.
Also, make sure to ask friends and family for help when it comes time to choose decorations or catering options. They may already have experience with these things and be able to recommend reliable affordable vendors!
2. Choose A Casual Venue
The average cost of a wedding is in the tens of thousands of dollars, with most of that money going towards the venue. So, if you’re looking to save money a good idea would be to choose a casual venue for your wedding. Look into using public spaces for your venue such as national parks, a city park, or some other public park.
You can also opt to use someone’s backyard as your wedding venue. These venues are often much cheaper than traditional event spaces, and they can be just as beautiful if you put a little bit of effort into styling them. Plus, having a casual outdoor ceremony and an outdoor reception for your wedding will help you save money on everything from catering to decorations.
3. Consider Having a Potluck Instead of a Reception
Wedding receptions are usually the most expensive aspect of a wedding. If you’re looking for ways to cut back on wedding costs, consider having a potluck instead of an expensive reception. This will allow your guests to contribute their favorite dishes and help save money that would otherwise be spent on food or drinks. You can also have people bring their own plates and utensils to cut back on expenses even further.
4. Skip The Catering And Serve Food Yourself
One of the biggest expenses when it comes to weddings is catering. If you’re looking to save money, consider serving food yourself instead of hiring a caterer. This can be as simple as ordering takeout or going to the grocery store and preparing a few dishes yourself.
5. Use Thrift Store Wedding Dresses or Bridesmaids’ Gowns
One of the most expensive parts of any wedding is the bridal gown, which can cost upwards of $500 or more! If you’re looking for ways to plan a budget-friendly wedding, consider shopping for your dress at a thrift store. You can also ask your bridesmaids to wear dresses they already own or choose a simple and affordable gown from thrift stores or a discount retailer.
6. Get Married At City Hall
If your goal is to plan a budget-friendly wedding, consider getting married at your local city hall. This will save you the cost of a venue, food and drinks for guests, decorations, and more! You can still have an intimate celebration afterward with just close family members or some of your closest friends if desired.
7. Skip The Flowers
Flowers are another big expense when it comes to weddings, so if you’re looking for ways to save money, consider skipping them altogether.
Use simple decorations instead of buying expensive floral arrangements. You can still decorate your venue with candles, balloons, or other decorations that don’t require fresh flowers.
8. Have A Ceremony And Reception At The Same Location
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, one of the best things you can do is have the ceremony and reception at the same location. This will help cut back on transportation and venue costs.
9. DIY Your Wedding Decorations
One of the easiest ways to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget is to DIY your decorations. This can include things like making your own centerpieces, creating a backdrop for the ceremony, or putting together a photo booth. Not only will this save you money, but it will also allow you to personalize your wedding day exactly how you want it!
10. Serve A Buffet Dinner Instead Of A Sit-Down Meal
A buffet dinner is less expensive than a sit-down meal because you don’t need to pay for servers or waitstaff. Buffet dinners are great options if you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, and they’re perfect for couples who want a casual and relaxed wedding reception.
11. Have A Smaller Wedding
If you want to plan a wedding on a budget of $1,000 or less, it’s really important to keep your guest count low. Limit the guest list to people you really want to be there, such as super close friends and family members. The lower the total number of people, the cheaper your wedding will be.
This will allow you to save money on the cost of invitations, food, drinks, and other wedding expenses. Plus, a smaller wedding will be less stressful to plan and much more affordable.
12. Rent A Rustic Or Vintage Venue
Renting a rustic or vintage venue is a great way to save money on your wedding. These venues are often much less expensive than traditional event spaces, and they provide a unique and intimate setting for your ceremony or reception.
13. Have A Smaller Wedding Party
If you want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget, one of the best things you can do is have fewer people in your bridal party. This will help cut back on costs like gifts for them as well as their attire for the big day. For example, eliminate having flower girls and a ring bearer.
14. Have A Wedding Weekend Instead Of A One-Day Event
Consider having a casual wedding weekend instead of a one-day event as a way to save money on your wedding. This will allow guests to come and go as they please, and it can also help reduce the cost of catering and other expenses. Plus, it’s a great way to spend more time with your friends and family!
15. Don’t Send Formal Wedding Invitations
If you’re on a tight budget, you can save money by sending informal wedding invitations instead of formal ones. This will allow you to forgo the cost of printing and mailing invitations, and it will also give your guests a more casual vibe for the wedding. For example, consider sending an electronic invitation via email or a Facebook event.
16. Don’t Send Thank You Cards
Want to save money on your wedding invitations? One of the best things you can do is skip sending thank-you cards altogether. By doing this, you will save on printing and postage costs. You can then put that money towards something else you need for your wedding.
17. Rent Wedding Attire Instead Of Buying It
Another way to keep your wedding budget under $1,000 is to rent your wedding attire instead of buying it. This will save you a lot of money, and it’s a great way to avoid having to store the dress after the wedding is over.
18. DIY Your Wedding Cake
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding cake, consider baking your cake yourself. There are some great recipes online that show how easy it can be to make your own cake, and this will allow you to save a lot of money on one of the most expensive parts of having a wedding. Plus, it’s always fun to bake something new!
19. Have A Simple Wedding Cake
If you’re not a great baker and can’t DIY your wedding cake, then opt to have a simple wedding cake. Most wedding cakes cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to make because of the time it takes to add those intricate details. The simpler your wedding cake is, the more affordable it will be.
20. Have A Dummy Wedding Cake
Another way to save money on your wedding cake is you can have a dummy cake. A dummy cake is a cake that looks exactly like your wedding cake, but it’s not real. You can have one piece of the cake as your cutting ceremony and then serve guests sheet cakes in the back or even cupcakes.
By using a dummy wedding cake, you can have the look of an expensive, elaborate wedding without spending a fortune.
21. Choose A Venue That Is Affordable
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, make sure you choose a location that is affordable. Your venue is usually one of the biggest expenses you will have when it comes to your wedding. So you will start off your wedding planning on the right food if you choose a venue that’s affordable. This will help cut back on costs and allow you to have more money left over for other aspects of the big day.
22. Be Your Own DJ
Having live music or a DJ at your wedding can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. So, skip the live band or DJ and use your own music collection instead. This is a great way to save money on your wedding and still have the music you love playing throughout your event. Plus, it’s a fun way to get involved in your own wedding planning!
Need help trying to figure out what songs to play? Ask your weddings guest to give you some song ideas. This way everyone will enjoy the music that is played at your wedding.
23. Use Natural Decorations Like Leaves And Fruit
One of the best ways to save money on your wedding decorations is to use natural items like leaves and fruit. These items are often free or very affordable, and they can be used to create beautiful arrangements that will add a touch of nature to your big day.
24. Have A Casual Ceremony
Want to save money on your wedding ceremony? The best way to do that is to have a casual ceremony instead of a formal one. This will allow you to cut back on costs like flowers and attire for the wedding party. Plus, it’s a great way to make your wedding more personal and unique!
25. Skip The Professional Photographer
Have friends or family members who are talented photographers take pictures instead of hiring a professional photographer. This is a great way to save money on your wedding and still have the photos you love. Plus, it’s always fun to see how other people capture special moments during such an eventful day!
26. Have A Super Simple Wedding Menu
If you’re looking to save money on your wedding catering, an easy way to do that is to serve simple food like sandwiches and salads instead of a full meal. This will significantly reduce the cost of catering, and it’s a great way to make sure that everyone will find something they love to eat.
27. Have A BYOB Wedding
Instead of having an open bar, ask guests to bring their own booze. Having a BYOB wedding is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money on your wedding. This will allow your guests to bring their own drinks, which can save you a lot of money on alcohol costs.
Not only will this save you a lot of money on alcohol, but it’s also a great way to get people involved in your big day! Plus, they’ll feel like they’re contributing something meaningful when they bring their own beverage selection. Just make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options available for those who don’t drink.
28. Have A Backyard Wedding
Consider having a backyard wedding as a way to keep venue expenses low. This is a great option if you have plenty of space in your yard and it’s also a great way to save on venue costs.
29. Skip The Wedding Favors
Wedding favors are a nice touch but they’re not always necessary. So, if you’re trying to save money on your wedding, skip with wedding favors altogether. I promise no one will notice or care. You’re already taking care of your guests with food and drink.
By skipping the wedding favors you’re saving money that you can spend on other aspects of the big day.
30. Be Your Own Wedding Planner
If you’re looking to save money on your wedding, then consider being your own wedding planner. This will allow you to stay within budget while still having the perfect day that reflects who you are as a couple. Plus, it’s always fun to be involved in the planning process of such an important event!
31. Have A Non-Saturday Or Afternoon Wedding
Opt to have your wedding on a day other than Saturday or in the afternoon instead of the evening. Most venues offer discounted prices for non-Saturday evening weddings or weddings held in the afternoon.
Choosing an afternoon wedding is a wonderful method to save money on your wedding venue since afternoon weddings are less popular and more casual.
Saturday during the day, Friday night, and Sunday weddings are typically discounted by at least 20%, while Monday through Thursday reservations can have as much as a 50% discount from the Saturday evening rate.
32. Use A Family Member As Your Officiant
If you’re looking to save money on an officiant, consider using a family member as your officiant. This is a great way to save money and it can also be really special to have someone close to you officiate your wedding ceremony. Just make sure that they’re comfortable with the responsibility!
These are just a few of the ways you can plan a budget-friendly wedding for $1,000 or less! You don’t need to have an expensive wedding to have the wedding of your dreams. By using these tips, you’ll be able to plan an amazing wedding without breaking the bank.