In order to produce the podcast and keep content up free for you, I work with partners so this post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.

Do you want your wedding day to be beautiful, memorable, and meaningful without spending a ton of money or getting into debt? Learn how you can plan your dream wedding on a budget! 

How to Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

Right now in the United States, the average wedding costs over $35,000!

Thankfully the Budget Savvy Bride, Jessica Bishop is here to help. In this episode we discuss:

  • defining your dream wedding
  • ways you can splurge and where you can save
  • a handy resource to help you plan your dream wedding without breaking your budget

Hope you enjoy!

If you want to hear from another bride who had a beautiful wedding on a small budget, listen to my interview with Jessi Fearon.

She and her husband Pat managed a sweet and special wedding for $500!

Resources to Plan a Fantastic Wedding

If you're getting married, please check out these resources so you can plan out your special day without going into debt.

Do you want your wedding day to be beautiful, memorable, and meaningful without spending a ton of money or getting into debt? Learn how you can plan your dream wedding on a budget!  #weddings #wedding #money #marriage #personalfinance

Planning Her Dream Wedding on a Tight Budget

Jessica: What I do for a living now I didn't really exist at the time I was a little girl dreaming about my career the way I kind of got to where I am now is. I was you know dating my long term boyfriend and we got engaged in you know dope head first and to the world of planning our wedding.

I was 2008 which as we all know was the recession in the States. And so both sets of parents were kind of in like precarious financial situations like some job loss issues and things like that. And so our parents our families couldn't contribute maybe the way that they would have liked to towards the wedding plans.

And my fiancee and I at the time we were fresh out of school working very entry-level jobs. And so we were penny-pinching.

And so we were like How are we going to have this wedding?

We want to get married. We want to be able to have all of the people who mean the most to us there. How do we do this in a way that feels good to us and that we're proud to celebrate?

But also while sticking to our budget and not overextending ourselves because one of the big things was we knew we didn't want to take on debt to pay for the wedding day I feel really strongly about not overextending to pay for a wedding.

I really started the blog as a way to kind of keep track of my own ideas and inspiration along the way and maybe kind of share some tips that I was coming up with and really just kind of grew from there.

It was kind of the right place at the right time. With the recession and then a lot of people going through similar situations to add to them the necessity of being budget savvy while we were planning we both ended up getting laid off from our jobs. It was a lot of pressure but we made it work. We pulled it off.

We made it happen and was really proud of how everything came together and also that we were able to do it without like I said taking on any debt.

Where to Splurge and Save with Your Wedding

Elle: Okay so you're listening to this new thinking I would love to save money but I'm afraid that if I'm trying to cut corners and stick with this budget that my special day is going to look I must be honest.

You've heard it's going to look cheap but if you check out Jessica's site the budget savvy bride and look at her Instagram feed you will quickly see she has an eye for design and for couples that are looking to have the best of both worlds.

To have that special day while still avoiding debt it does take some work. It takes some creativity and it takes some meaningful conversations together and that can be a great thing for your marriage.

Like Jessica mentioned in those conversations about priorities can really help you not only for your wedding but for your life. I know for most couples their wedding day is a special milestone but they get so many other dreams. And so when you are planning your wedding. See how it fits in with your dreams.

Jessica: Aside from planning the wedding was you know to get our first home together. And so we knew that we wanted to save up for a down payment on a home. And you know both of us had student loans. And so getting those paid off in a timely manner was also a priority for us. So we didn't want to add to obviously the debt that we had with the wedding. And so we just knew we kind of came to a figure that we felt comfortable like we're not going to spend more than this.

And that's kind of how we tackled it based on you know those priorities and when you guys sit down and talk about your big picture the goals you guys want to accomplish together it gives you perspective and it makes planning your wedding day a lot easier because then you can figure out what your priorities are.

I think our biggest focus was that we had a really strong close-knit group of friends and we wanted to be able to include all of them and have them there. We also have some large families. And so really the goal was to be able to have as many of those people there who are important to us to celebrate. And just like feeling that sense of community as we were beginning our marriage. And so I would say that being able to accommodate all the guests that we wanted was definitely a big goal for us.

Budgeting for Reception, Music, and More

Elle: Since a wedding reception has so many different parts talking venue guests less decor food entertainment taking care of the wedding party there's a lot of things going on. It really does pay to have a discussion to have actually several conversations on the things that matter what do you want to do for your wedding.

What does your dream wedding look like? What are the details that you're focusing on?

And for those things that matter most to you go ahead and spend your money there and for things that aren't as big of a deal. It's okay to cut corners, trim back, and get a little creative on those.

Jessica: So we kind of sat down and made our lists of our what was kind of most important to us. My husband is you know a bit of a foodie. So like he wanted to definitely have good food. He was pretty adamant I say adamantly.

So I think he was passionate about being able to serve them like a full meal. You know he didn't want to just do like a little bites appetizer kind of thing. That was definitely an area of focus for us for me obviously I think I was really passionate about the photography I wanted to make sure we had great photos to remember the day with.

And so I knew I wanted to hire a professional photographer whose work that I really liked. And so I would say those were probably the two biggest priorities for us and we kind of allocated our budget accordingly for those priorities. So we definitely had the typical line item list.

There's a list actually in the book of like all the typical items and vendors and you know aspects of a wedding to kind of decide what matters to you what doesn't.

I think for us one of the areas that we chose to save and was kind of wedding entertainment not to discount the hard work and expertise of a professional wedding deejay but for us we knew that that was something we could tackle ourselves. We didn't feel the need to hire someone to play music at the reception.

We opted to just set up a playlist on iTunes and run it through a speaker system that we borrowed from one of our groomsmen and that for us was a great solution because it wasn't a huge priority.

We are pretty laid back people we didn't need the whole pomp and circumstance of introductions of the bridal party or like any of that it wasn't important to us and that's just personal choice. So you know it's personal preferences.

So for us, that was something that wasn't a priority and so we chose to do that ourselves and save money and probably saved us between 500 and 1000 dollars which we were then able to allocate to other areas of the wedding that were more important to us.

I think it's so important communication obviously you'll hear a million times probably in your premarital counseling and beyond and in relationships and in a marriage especially like communication is so important and so having these conversations.

I think it is key you know whether you're planning your wedding or you know making other life choices together.

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast!

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and become financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on Apple or Stitcher.
  • Grab a copy of Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money. My book is designed for a busy couple to set up their finances in 4 weeks. Get tips and tools that have worked for other couples on their journey of building their marriage and wealth together!

Music Credit

Like the music in this episode? Our theme song is by Gentle Regime. Additional music by Lee Rosevere.

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..