What Wedding Details Really Matter?

My husband and I got married with pretty much no budget. Our reception was in our church’s fellowship hall, potluck, with friends playing acoustic music outside. It was a blast and we had no stress about bills to pay. Our one regret – we probably have the world’s worst wedding photos (haha – isn’t that ironic?) So we totally get it when we hear couples stressing about their wedding budget (or lack thereof). What’s a couple to do when they want to get married, but money is tight? Here are tips we’ve accumulated over the years that should help to slash some costs.


    This sounds like common sense, but is hard to do when you’re newly engaged and people are asking you a million questions about your wedding plans. But, if money is limited, you can rein in spending by choosing the top areas that are most important to you. Maybe it’s dress-photos-honeymoon. Perhaps huge party-flowers-live music. It’s way better to have a few amazing highlights than to have so-so stuff all around. And consider WHY you’re spending. If you don’t like cake, why spend $500 on a cake? Is your mom pressuring you to get a limo when you really don’t care? If you can put on a thick skin and accept that people may challenge your decisions, you can focus on what’s important to you. And let the rest go.
    I will shamelessly recommend that couples not skimp on wedding photos because they are ultimately one of the few things that last. Plus, a skilled wedding photographer can deliver amazing pictures even from the most simple, frugal wedding. We’ve done plenty of weddings in backyard tents, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the photos. Remember that a wedding is one day, so how much are you really willing to spend on items that will be used for a few hours?
    Our society today has crazy high expectations of what a wedding should be, but traditionally, weddings were much smaller and simpler. I blame reality television (mostly because you can blame reality TV for almost anything). Ask your parents and grandparents what their weddings were like. My parents got married in a pastor’s house, my mom wore a cute dress she made herself, and they celebrated afterwards by eating at a nice Chinese restaurant. Seems lame by today’s standards, but it was totally normal back then. And you know what… they’ve been happily married for almost 40 years.

What are your best tips for keeping the wedding budget in check?

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