How to Plan a Wedding When You’re Broke
We talked about The Core Four in our blog, How a Couple Can Embrace Wedding Planning and Keep Their Sanity. If you haven’t seen that yet we highly encourage you to go back and read that.
The Core Four revolves around your Budget, Guests, Venue and Entertainment. This is first step you should take when researching how to plan a wedding when you're broke. Now let’s talk about essentials. When planning a wedding when you’re broke, or on a limited budget, you need to look at the essentials for the day. Notice that we didn’t say what you want for the day.
The difference between Need and Want…
This is something that you need to constantly be asking yourself with literally every decision you make. You and your bride-to-be need to remind each other of this question all the time, there will be sooooo many times where your answer will be “eh, sure! whatever!” All the little costs add up.
- Open Bar
- Cocktail Hour
- Beer & Wine Only
- Beer Only
- Keg in Uncle Buck’s Backyard
Listen, we love an open bar, you love an open bar, we all love an open bar. But this is a WANT not a NEED. Like everything else involved here, understand what price bucket you’re in. NOBODY will complain with whatever you choose, we promise.
At each venue you explore have them clearly list out how the pricing works. You want nothing ambiguous or a wedding coordinator walking around with the bill for $3k at the end of the night. Have them explain everything to you like you’re a 10 year old. Seriously. Say that to them. You can’t afford any surprises along the way.
Broke Grooms Advice: Covering an hours worth of Beer and Wine at Cocktail Hour for your guests is a nice gesture, but if you can’t afford that it is OKAY. People are going to drink, have fun and party no matter what, it’s wedding season!
Need vs. Want… Chicken, Steak, Fish, Vegetarian. Here are your choices, choose wisely. Cool part is that you’ll get a taste test. You’ll pick several options from the menu and try them all out with the venue coordinator.
Don’t be overly picky here and complicate things. A very simple chicken, pasta and vegetarian dish will cover the basics and help keep money in your pocket. (When is the last time you critiuqed wedding food?) If you can afford to put a little more towards the food opt for the beef. Everyone loves beef. If a backyard wedding, Uncle Buck can make his giant pancake speciality.
Photo Booths have been really popular over the past 5 years, so popular that we advise you to skip it. It’s roughly $1k to rent for the day, you can spend your money elsewhere. Little things like glow sticks, confetti, balloons, go old school with disposable camera on each table etc. Need vs Want...
Think about getting creative with stationery ideas for table cards and nameplates. When it comes to decor just think outside-the-box. Do you know how much fun a bunch of drunk people have with glowsticks? Do you realize how cheap glow sticks are?
Broke Grooms Advice: Need vs. Want every decision you have to make. The important thing is that this is the only time you’ll ever have all of your loved ones in the exact same place all for the same reason... to celebrate you!
Don’t let table linens, glassware, gluten free menu items and party streamers add so much stress that you lose sight of it all. Keep the main thing, the main thing. You won’t go wrong.
For advice on how to work with each vendor please check out our free ebook: How to Negotiate with Wedding Vendors. Cheers!