Budget Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding on a small budget 

As we seem to entering a recession, many engaged couples are now cutting back on some of the luxuries they dreamed of on their wedding day and are taking a more frugal approach to wedding planning. So, in their honor, we are sharing some of our planning secrets to keep you withing budget without making you feel deprived. Here are some tips:

  1. Venue…have your wedding in your parent’s or friend’s backyard. Or in a public park. Your reception can be held in a community center or in someone’s home.                                                                                                                       backyard ceremony
  2. Food and drink…why not have a cocktail reception where your serve hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Or, have a brunch reception with Proseco and orange juice. The Wedding Pavillion in Calgary provides a beautiful brunch for a reasonable price.
  3. Invitations.…Forgo sending invitations in the mail and send e-vites. Have your guests R.S.V.P. via your wedding website which you can create on the many wedding planning websites available on line.
  4. Wedding dress…instead of buying dress at a regular wedding boutique, why not purchase one from a consignment shop such as The Bragging Bride or attend a sample sale...Novia Mia always has a great sale at the Calgary Bridal Expo every September and I believe, Durand Bridal always has a sale rack that offers lovely dresses for a good price. You can also borrow a dress from a friend or a relative which may have some sentimental significance.

    Northridge Photography
    Northridge Photography                        
  5. Hair and makeup…in lieu of hiring a hair stylist and makeup artist, have your maid on honor style you hair and do your own makeup. Have your bridal party do the same. This could save you up to $1000.00.
  6. Groom’s apparel…the groom can always wear a nice suit that he has hanging in his closet instead of purchasing a new one. Also, it is much cheaper to rent a tuxedo that it is to purchase one .
  7. Flowers…this is a big topic. My advice is that you speak to a florist and give her an idea of your budget. The florist should suggest flowers that are in season and/ or , fill the bouquets with lots of greenery to cut back on the cost. You can also choose to have silk flowers or flowers made of coffee filters (yes, I know it sounds crazy but if done properly, they can be beautiful). Check for instructions on the Martha Stewart website.
    Bouquet made out of coffee filters. Northridge Photography.
    Bouquet made out of coffee filters. Northridge Photography.                                                                       

    Centerpieces that are DYI can be just as effective as ones from a florist.

    Northridge Photography
    Northridge Photography


  8. Music…instead of hiring a musician or a soloist for your ceremony, you can hire a music student from the university. Also, have an IPod play your favorite playlist through the venue sound system rather than hire a DJ.
  9. Transportation….have a friend do the driving so that you don’t have to rent a limousine or a car. If you have a large wedding party, renting a yellow school bus can be fun too.                                                                                                                                                                  Yellow school bus
  10.  Marriage Officiant….  You can go to City Hall and get married privately and then ask a special friend to perform a vow renewal ceremony in front of your family and friends. This can be very special.
  11. Cake…. don’t have a cake…have cup cakes. Or many couples these day are having a dessert bar and a small cake to cut for photos.

    Kristy Reimer Photography
    Kristy Reimer Photography
  12. Photographer….instead of hiring a photographer for the whole day, just hire one for a few hours. Studio Lumen ( a new photography studio in Calgary) offers great prices and would be happy to fit your budget. You can also make your own wedding album instead of having the photographers make one for you.
  13. Decor … these days many brides are making a lot of their own decor items. Also, Kijiji is a great place to buy overlays, card boxes and even centerpieces.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sweetheart table
  14. Wedding planner… hire a planner for day of coordination rather than full planning. If you need some help during the planning process, many planners off hourly service to help you if you are stuck or feeling overwhelmed and need some advice on wedding etiquette.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 wedding planner at work                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Good luck with your wedding planning and my your wedding day be filled with joy, laughter and lots of hugs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   By Alexandra Slawek, Calgary Wedding Planner.