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How to Fulfill the Wedding of Your Dreams in a Way You'll Love

You said yes, but is the wedding of your dreams not matching up with the reality of your wallet? Have no fear. Today, we'll discuss how to craft the experience you want at a cost you can afford when planning a wedding.

Getting engaged is exciting but that excitement can begin to wane when you start to consider all the costs when planning a wedding. So, let's discuss how to fulfill the wedding of your dreams in a way you'll love. While this list is in no way comprehensive, my hope is that you'll focus on what's most important while still keeping an eye on your budget. There are many ways to save (bartering, negotiating, DIY projects and more). Let's look at some of the common ways you can save as well as the less common.

Identify Your Priorities

It's important you begin by identifying what is most important to you so you experience the wedding of your dreams without a nightmare-sized bill. How big of a wedding do you want? The ever-growing guest list isn't just about who and who not to offend but takes some sincere consideration since it not only effects cost but also logistics. Instead, focus on what atmosphere you are going for and restrain your festivities to that environment. 

Understand Your Options

When planning a wedding, the flowers may be important but may also eat up a huge chunk of your budget.  When choosing a florist, you don't have to use the one the venue recommends. Likewise, a venue like a barn might save money but add more to logistics while a full-service location may provide everything down to the nuts and bolts of the day. Consider what is feasible while still maintaining your budget.

Prioritize Experiences Over Stuff

Most people won't remember the chocolate fountain, but they will remember the special touches you added that made your wedding unique. Now that we've looked at three common areas when planning a wedding, let's look at some of the more uncommon.

6 Uncommon Areas to Save

Make Your Own Centerpieces

That's what my wife and I did for our wedding. Our centerpieces pictured below cost approximately $5 each and were made up of items purchased at craft stores, Walmart and from our florist's excess pedals. It was a piece of cake for our trusted helper to set up and, in the age of Pinterest, a simple and tasteful centerpiece idea is a walk in the park. 

Make Your Own Favors

Favors are easily forgettable, especially in the day and age of minimalism. Keep it simple and inexpensive. In fact, if you connect it to your overall theme, it can turn into something quite memorable. For example, my wife and I got married in the age of the CD. For our wedding favor, we created a soundtrack of our wedding with all the memorable tracks in the order they were played throughout the day. Complement that with a truffle that matches your wedding colors and you've got favors that cost $3 a piece!  Here's what the finished product looked like. 

Make Your Own Stationery

Making your own stationery (aside from invitations) can be very cost effective. With basic tools like Canva, you create a simple but memorable save-the-date easily printable at your local print shop. Likewise, we had simple idea for thank you cards.  We took the picture below and then just printed them ourselves on cards stock and sent them. \

Ask a Friend to be Your Wedding Planner

Do you know someone who's been involved in several weddings and is organized or detail-oriented? If you are someone who isn't into details then that is an invaluable service. However, maybe paying a professional wedding planner isn't the best use of your resources. Make the call but if you do think you need a planner, find someone who is reliable and who fits your budget. 

Ask A Friend to Pickup Your Flowers

You can save several hundred dollars by having a friend simply pick up the flowers, bring them to the venue and set them up!

Host Your Own Rehearsal Dinner

While it is most common to hold the dinner following the rehearsal at a restaurant, consider hosting yours at your church or local hall and bringing in your own food or inexpensive caterer. This will allow for more friends and family than usual and create some lasting memories. 

3 Things to NOT Skimp On

Professional Photographer

One of the most common areas people love to cut back is on the photos. For a quality professional photographer, it is not uncommon to pay $3500 or more. However, you only get one shot to capture your special day so it is definitely not an area to skimp on. Invest in this area and you won't regret it.

The Food!

Make sure you have enough food and it is high quality. The last thing you want is for people to be hungry or for them to end up sick if the food wasn't up to par.


When planning a wedding, one thing you might consider is holding off an extra day after the wedding to leave for your honeymoon. My wife and I did this very thing. We held a gathering the day after the wedding specifically for out-of-town and long-distance guests. Local family and friends can be seen often, but you might not always have a chance to visit the family from far away. The wedding day is so busy so having a special event like this will take some of the pressure off to squeeze it into the wedding day and will allow you and those close to you to connect more deeply. They spent the time and money getting to your special day and will really appreciate being able to spend the additional time together. This can be something very simple like a backyard cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers. It's about the quality time!

Remember to Prioritize the Marriage, Not the Wedding

There are a couple of easy ways you can protect this important principle.

Don't overload the day with so many experiences that you miss the people and moments.

Prioritize, keep it simple, and allow room for memorable moments, including the things that will go wrong.

Invest in Pre-Marital Counseling

After all, your relationship is what it is all about. Don't take the easy way out and avoid talking about the big three (sex, kids, money). These are the top areas that can rip a marriage apart. If you need help in the money area, contact me and we'll chat. 

Commit to Not Going Into Debt

Lastly, it is easy to justify spending more than you can afford in the name of the wedding day, but you may find yourself bitter about the costs and debt brought into the marriage by doing so. Make a plan, count the costs and save that money! My wife worked her tail off working overtime but we cash-flowed our entire wedding! All things considered, planning a wedding is a monumental task and can easily turn you into a bridezilla or groomzilla. Make sure to note some of these key points so you can experience the wedding of your dreams but also find more money to fund the rest of your dreams!

Question: Are you ready for the wedding of your dreams? Are you already seeing the costs pile up? Don't let that happen. Avoid dragging debt into your new marriage. Contact me today.  

Action Items: Come join my FREE Facebook community, the “Strong Together Money Community,” to stay informed and encouraged as you prepare for one of life's biggest events, planning a wedding. Check out my free e-book to gain additional tips on how to build a budget that will last well after you say "I do." Not sure how to break free of that cable bill without feeling like you're missing out? You can cut those costs and still keep your content! For more information, check out my Cable Cutting Academy today!


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