5 Ways to Get Married on a Budget

Have you thought of how you can get married on a budget? If you recall from the 6 Things You Didn’t Think Could Put You in Debt article, weddings are one of those events that can throw your budget out the window. While getting married and budget aren’t preferred to be in the same sentence, it’s a necessity.

You don’t want to start your marriage off behind financially, right? The CGS Team is sharing 5 ways you can have a wedding and get married without breaking the bank. Start your marriage off on the right foot by staying on track with wedding spending.

Get Creative with Flowers

Flowers are always a nice touch to any event or décor space; however, their short life span makes them very cost inefficient. Instead of spending hundreds, upwards of thousands of dollars on flowers for your wedding, and reception, get creative with how you use flowers. Think about your bouquet and the bouquet of your bridesmaids. Maybe each of your bridesmaid holds a single white lily, while you hold a simple, yet elegant bouquet of roses. Or vice versa.

You can also consider fake flowers for the table arrangements. If you create them yourself ahead of time, you can make them look as great as you’d like. With all the effort you put into the arrangements, no one will notice or focus on the fact that they aren’t real flowers.

We also like this tip from the Huffington Post: “One of the best secrets is to set aside some money and go to a local flower shop, flower mart, or even the local grocery store the day of your wedding. You may not get exactly what you have your heart set on, but I guarantee you will have plenty of options at a fraction of the price.” They suggest using flowers as “accentuaters” as opposed to the main feature.

Go for an Intimate Event

You can’t get out of providing food for your wedding guests. You can save a lot of money by doing your own catering or hiring a family-owned restaurant to provide the food. While you may want to focus on other things on your special day, you can limit the number of people who attend (and therefore need to eat). Opt for an intimate wedding, as opposed to a lavish “full house” event.

The less people you have attending, the less amount you have to spend on food, place settings, and the venue. It may be tempting to invite everyone you know to the wedding, but keeping your guest list to a smaller number will help you stay in budget. Does your fiancé’s fourth, fifth, and six grade teacher really need to come?

Think Through Your Photos

Shelling out money for professional photographers can add up quickly. You want great photos to remember your wedding forever, but there are some cost-effective alternatives. First, think through what parts of the wedding (before and after) you want a professional to capture. Do you need professional engagement photos and professional photos on the day of your wedding? If you answer yes, then consider which event is the most important.

You can hire new and budding photographers from your local university or community college for a fraction of the cost of a full-blown professional. This could be a good option for your engagement photos. If you don’t like them, fortunately you didn’t spend much and you can have them retaken. If you do like them, then you got engagement photos for a steal!

You can also try Eversnap, which was voted as the number one wedding/photo app by the Huffington Post.  How it works is before your wedding you create an Album through Eversnap, which comes with a code. Then, Eversnap sends you customized instruction cards for your guests.

The cards tell your guests to download the Eversnap app and enter your Album code. Any photos or videos they take throughout your wedding can be uploaded to your Album. The number of photos and videos your guests can take is unlimited. There are also fun filters and no data connection is required.

Drinks, Drinks, Drinks

Alcohol is another costly part of the wedding. If you hire a party planner or venue that offers alcohol in the package, you may be spending more than you need to. You can avoid the cost of an open/full bar by only offering beer and wine. You can also opt for a free cocktail for each guest followed by a cash bar.

Another option is stocking the bar yourself and hiring out a local bartender. Coordinate with your new hire the types of drinks he/she specializes in making, then purchase your alcohol based on what drinks they can make. Head to the liquor store and price out your alcohol. There are always low-cost alternatives to specific liquors. You also want to make sure to always have the basics on hand: beer, red wine and white wine.

Ask for Cash instead of Gifts

If you know that overspending on your wedding is inevitable, skip the registry and ask for cash from your guests. You can use that cash to cover any debt that may have been incurred for your wedding. If you didn’t incur any debt, the cash can be used as a nice savings for you and your new spouse.

You can use the cash for anything – cover the costs of your honeymoon, savings for a down payment, or just a “get ahead” fund. It’s not rude or inappropriate to ask for cash, especially when it can take you further than presents.


Your wedding is a special day, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars to show it. Think about what is most important for you during your wedding, and put your money there. Anything irrelevant or unimportant doesn’t need a lot of money devoted to it. 

Have you planned a wedding on a budget? How did it turn out? Do you have any tips you can share with others who may be thinking about their special day? Share your tips, experiences, and questions by leaving a comment below!

-The CGS Team



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