A wedding is one of the most special and memorable days in a couple’s lives. It’s a chance to celebrate your love with friends and family and start your new lives together on a joyous note.
But let’s be honest, a wedding and the planning involved with it can make life very stressful. A wedding and a wedding reception involves keeping hundreds of details in order from where and when you booked a venue to the catering menu to what you’ll wear on the big day. That stress can be amped up even more depending on the size of your guest list. Whether you invite 50 people or 100, it can be a challenge to keep everything in order for them.
Then there’s the cost. In 2012, the average cost of a wedding reception was north of $13,000. It’s very easy for couples to get overwhelmed during the planning process. With so many ideas on the Internet these days, couples can literally shop for hours, trying to find the perfect food, the perfect theme and the perfect cake.
It’s true that you can window (and screen) shop for hours when planning a wedding, but costs can add up fast. If you’re on a budget and planning to do a DIY wedding, here are some tips for pulling it off so it’s just as memorable as a big budget wedding:
- Curb the guest list: Creating a guest list for a wedding can be tricky. Of course you’re going to want your closest friends and family there, but after that, you may suffer from guest bloating (the average number of guests is 136). When it comes to a guest list, set a cap. That will help you figure out who absolutely needs to be there.
- Skip the catering: Catered food is undoubtedly delicious, but it can also be costly. Instead, you can also handle the cooking yourself and enlist family members to help you. This will help reduce the food cost and it should taste delicious since everything will be homemade.
- No gifts: Wedding gifts are great, but rather than hitting your guests up for presents, you can enlist their help instead. Do you have a sibling that’s musically talented? Do you have a friend who’s good at decorating? Know someone who’s a whiz at photography? Enlist the help of those folks and showcase their talents instead of gifts.
On the subject of presents, don’t feel obligated to get presents for groomsmen or bridesmaids either. It is customary to do this, but you can also take time to write each of them a personal note instead. If it’s understand that a DIY, frugal wedding is what you’re going for, hopefully your friends should understand.
- Shop around for decorations: If you’re going the DIY route for decorating, there are any number of craft stores that have sales throughout the year. Depending on what theme you’re going for, you can easily stock up on everything you need. Rather than renting linens, you can buy disposable table linens that can easily be secured with a tablecloth clip. You can also buy fitted a fitted tablecloth if you’re wanting something a little more durable.
You can also check around with recently married couples you know and see if they’re willing to sell you any of their decorations. They may have centerpieces, tablecloths, tablecloth clips and other items to sell or just give to you.
- Keep things simple: When it comes to decorating, simplifying the theme or colors makes planning easier. Pick three colors and use that as you pick up napkins, cutlery, plates, place cards, the tablecloth clip for your table covers and balloons.
- Use the comforts of home: If you have a large home or yard, it can be the perfect spot to hold your wedding and your reception. Set up tables, chairs and tents and get to decorating. You can easily transform ordinary tables into decorative spaces with a colorful tablecloth and a tablecloth clip to keep it in place.
Planning for a DIY wedding can keep things simple and keep the focus on what’s most important: the union of two people who love each other. There are many things you can do to create a memorable experience for yourselves and your guests without breaking the bank.