How to Have an Elegant Wedding on a Budget

You’ve met the person of your dreams, and one of you has popped the question. The answer was yes, the champagne
was uncorked, and now the planning begins. About a billion ideas are out there for you to choose, from the setting of the
wedding down to the napkins. The sheer number of options is enough to make any bride or groom-to-be’s head spin, but
a budget can thankfully narrow down some of them. However, a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your

Set clear expectations

Regardless of the kind of wedding you want, it’s best to immediately outline what kind of budget you’re working with, with all
the people contributing to it. This is especially important if it isn’t only you and your intended footing the bill. Get together with
those who have expressed interest in helping with the cost of the wedding (and this can be all at once or with each separate
person or couple) to find out what they had in mind. It’s best to let them tell you what they can reasonably afford. Once you
have all of this information, coupled with what you and your fiance want to put in, you can make your plans a little bit more
stress-free, because you don’t want any surprises on the financial side.

Do your research

Now that you have an understanding of your price range, it’s time to research. Begin by looking in the area where you’ve
chosen to get married and see what the average costs of weddings are. This will help to avoid possible sticker shock when
you’re calling around for quotes. Armed with this information, it’s time to pick out the places you find most intriguing, the caterers
or restaurants your stomach is grumbling for, and the photographers that closest match your vision for your wedding pictures.
As you reach out to them, make sure to ask pointed questions such as, “If we use this venue, will we have to go with vendors that
you already work with or can we find our own?” “Will you charge a fee to cut our wedding cake or disassemble anything?” or “Does
this price include the rights to all the pictures you take? Will we have the option of getting all of our pictures back or just a set amount?”
Now that you’ve got the major (and usually the most expensive) parts of the wedding taken care of, you can move onto the smaller details.

The dress(es)

Whether you’ve been dreaming of your day since you were a little girl or the very idea of getting married popped into your head 20 minutes
ago, the dress is an important part of the day. Much like the venue, the wedding dress sets the tone and feel of the wedding. A long, corseted,
beaded, heavy creation will probably not work for a beach ceremony any more than a sequined, body-hugging dress with a plunging neckline
would work in a church. The good news is that with so many online options, consignment stores, and big chains getting into wedding dress design,
you can find a dress that’s perfectly elegant for whatever theme you’ve chosen at any price point available to you.

The decor

Decorating a wedding doesn’t have to be as stressful as reality TV or even Pinterest tells you. True elegance is rooted in simplicity; it always looks effortless. Stick to a few ideas and let them speak for themselves. Candles are an inexpensive way to bring warmth and romance to a room, so take advantage of value packs. Does one of you have a hobby that can be represented in a fun, easy way? Make it the favor on the way out or the centerpiece on the tables. Take pictures of the couple, whether engagement, bridal, or simply cherished memories from their past, and have them put on a canvas print for each guest or table. Not only is it a special, affordable way to display them, they can become decor in the couple’s homes after the event is over.

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