At a Glance

Planning a wedding can be an exciting yet financially daunting task. Some couples may even find themselves regretting how much they spent. A recent Credello survey on wedding financial regrets of that used 1000 people found that 20% of all respondents said they thought their wedding was unnecessarily expensive. However, with careful thought and resourcefulness, it is possible to have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. Let’s discuss planning a wedding on a budget, from creating a budget breakdown to incorporating cost-saving tips. In this article, you’ll learn:


$16 million

The value of the destination wedding market in the U.S.

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How to create a wedding plan on a budget?

1. Determine the type of wedding you want

The first step in planning a budget-friendly wedding is envisioning the type of wedding you desire. Whether it’s an intimate gathering, a rustic outdoor celebration, a unique museum or art gallery setting, or a destination wedding, knowing your preferences will help you allocate your budget more effectively.

2. Discuss the wedding budget

Setting a realistic budget is one of the most crucial aspects of planning a budget-conscious wedding. Sit down with your partner and discuss how much you can afford to spend on the wedding. Consider contributions from both sides of the family, if applicable. A clear budget will guide your decisions throughout the planning process. If you’re struggling to come up with the money for your budget, you can consider wedding loans, which provide quick and easy access to the cash you need for your wedding that you can pay back over time.

3. Make a list of non-negotiable things

Create a list of elements that are non-negotiable for your wedding. These might include specific must-have features or aspects that hold sentimental value. Prioritize these items when allocating your budget to ensure you get what matters most within your financial constraints.

Wedding budget breakdown

Now, let’s delve into different budget breakdowns for various types of weddings. Be sure to use a wedding budget calculator to get the most accurate prediction of what you’ll spend.

1. Simple wedding

A simple wedding can be an intimate affair with close friends and family. Allocate a significant portion of your budget to a small venue, catering, and photography. You can save on decor and entertainment by opting for minimalistic and personalized touches.

  • Venue: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Catering: $3,000 – $6,000
  • Photography: $1,500 – $3,000
  • Decorations: $500 – $1,000
  • Entertainment: $500 – $1,500
  • Wedding attire (bride and groom): $1,000 – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous (favors, stationery, etc.): $500 – $1,000

2. Rustic wedding

Rustic weddings often take place outdoors and have a charming, laid-back ambiance. Allocate more of your budget to natural decor elements like flowers and greenery. Consider using local vendors and repurposing items to add a rustic touch.

  • Venue: $1,500 – $4,000
  • Catering: $2,500 – $5,000
  • Photography: $1,500 – $3,000
  • Rustic decorations (flowers, greenery, etc.): $1,000 – $2,500
  • Entertainment: $500 – $1,500
  • Wedding attire (bride and groom): $1,000 – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous (favors, stationery, etc.): $500 – $1,000

3. Museum or art gallery wedding

Booking a museum or art gallery for your wedding can create a unique and sophisticated atmosphere. Allocate a considerable part of your budget to venue rental and focus on enhancing the art-inspired setting with elegant but straightforward decorations.

  • Venue (Rental and Fees): $3,000 – $8,000
  • Catering: $3,000 – $6,000
  • Photography: $2,000 – $4,000
  • Elegant Decorations: $1,000 – $3,000
  • Entertainment: $500 – $1,500
  • Wedding attire (bride and groom): $1,000 – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous (favors, stationery, etc.): $500 – $1,000

4. Destination wedding

Destination weddings can be memorable and intimate, combining your wedding and honeymoon. However, they can also be costly for both you and your guests. Allocate your budget wisely by negotiating group rates and being selective with guest invitations.

  • Travel expenses (bride, groom, and close family): $4,000 – $10,000
  • Venue (rental and fees): $2,000 – $6,000
  • Accommodation (bride, groom, and close family): $2,000 – $6,000
  • Catering: $3,000 – $6,000
  • Photography: $2,000 – $4,000
  • Decorations: $1,000 – $2,500
  • Entertainment: $500 – $1,500
  • Wedding attire (bride and groom): $1,000 – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous (favors, stationery, etc.): $500 – $1,000

Learn more: Wedding Budget Breakdown

Tips for budget-friendly wedding plan

1. Limit your guest list

A smaller guest list can significantly impact your budget. Be selective and invite only close family and friends to keep costs down without compromising intimacy.

2. Look for a free venue or host reception at home

Consider free or affordable venues, such as public parks or beaches, for your ceremony and reception. Alternatively, hosting the reception at your home or a friend/family member’s home can save a substantial amount.

3. Exchange skills for present

If you have talented friends or family members, consider trading their skills (e.g., photography, baking, or flower arranging) for their wedding gift instead of purchasing costly services.

4. Time your wedding wisely

Choosing a less popular wedding season or day can lead to significant cost savings on venues and other services. Off-peak dates are often more budget-friendly.

5. Scout out vendors

Research and compare different vendors to find the best deals without sacrificing quality. Negotiate prices and look for package deals to save money.

6. Send E-vites over invites

Save on paper and postage by sending electronic invitations. There are numerous creative e-vite options available online.

7. Choose officiant wisely

Instead of hiring a professional officiant, consider having a close friend or family member get ordained to perform the ceremony.

8. DIY your wedding cake

If you or someone you know is skilled in baking, consider making your wedding cake instead of purchasing one from a bakery.

9. Rent your wedding dress

Wedding dresses can be expensive, but you can save money by renting a dress or buying a second-hand gown in excellent condition.

10. Do your own styling

Instead of hiring a professional stylist, do your hair and makeup yourself or ask a talented friend for help.


Yes, a beautiful wedding on a budget is possible with careful planning, creativity, and prioritization of essential elements.

Planning a wedding on a $1000 budget would require strict cost-cutting measures, such as a small guest list, simple DIY decor, using a free or low-cost venue, and seeking help from friends and family for various services.

A $10,000 budget can still provide a lovely wedding, especially if you implement budget-friendly strategies, like limiting the guest list, seeking affordable vendors, and making some DIY elements.

The budget for a wedding varies based on individual preferences and financial circumstances. A decent budget could range from $15,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the scale and location of the wedding.