When a couple gets engaged, what are the first three things they think of?

When will we get married? (wedding date)

Who will be in the wedding? (from maid/matron of honor, best man to flower girl)

What is our budget and who is paying for it? (which then leads to the wedding venue and vendors)


1 Have a wedding budgeter tool that you like and will use throughout the planning process. Even though there are beautiful wedding planners (from WS Publishers that you can purchase from a Barnes and Noble) out there, I prefer the ones online because it is easy to update.

Examples: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning-tools/tools-wedding-budget.aspx, http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget.html

2 Expect your reception budget to be 50-60% of your entire wedding budget. Work from there.

3 Don’t forget little items on your budget like postage stamps for your rsvp cards. Tip to save $: use a postcard vs. card & envelope because you save on the stamp… or use online rsvp with a wedding website.

4 You don’t have to have your wedding on a Saturday. Many people are choosing Fridays or Sundays because venues may charge less on those days. Consider the 3 day weekends like Memorial Day, Presidents’ Day or Labor Day. Even the Friday or Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.


5 Choose one vs. two venues. You will save on transportation, time and money.

6 Choose a morning wedding with a luncheon reception vs. afternoon wedding with a dinner reception.

7 For flowers, if you are on a budget, you can be creative. You can have simple stem bouquets for your bridal party. You can place baby’s breath or tulle on your ceremony pews. You can use silk flowers.

8 Your ceremony venue may be beautiful as is… and you don’t need any decoration for it.

9 If you are getting married at a church and there is a wedding before or after yours, coordinate with the church staff and see if you and the other couple(s) can get white altar floral pieces and split the cost.

10 Cut your guest list.