Want a simple, affordable wedding? Here’s how to save


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How can you decide what to keep and what to toss from your wedding day plans? We’re discussing essentials vs non-essentials for your wedding.


Above all, we want to help make your wedding planning process simple. One sure-fire way to have a stress-free process is to plan a simple wedding. Simplicity means cutting out the non-essentials, stripping away the excess, and focusing on the true must-haves.


There are very few *true* must-haves when it comes to a wedding:

  • A couple
  • An officiant
  • A marriage license
  • An agreed-upon time, date, and location.

These things are truly the only “essentials” or must-haves for a wedding day. But it’s so surprising how quickly things can spiral out of control once you add guests! It’s like having witnesses causes us to all go overboard with flowers, decorations, and personalized details for every little aspect of the celebration.

So how do you decide what’s essential and what’s not?

Making wedding decisions

Part of planning is doing things and making decisions. Doing things can look like this:

  • Choosing your wedding date.
  • Deciding on your venue.
  • Picking out wedding bands.
  • Finding an officiant.
  • Ordering save-the-date cards.
  • etc, etc

Another part of planning is deciding what you’re *not* doing.


Part of keeping things simple is not taking on tasks that you don’t love, that you’re not any good at, or that will cause you stress.

Too often for couples on a budget, the options are either do it yourself and be stressed out (and perhaps unhappy with the product) or throw a lot of money at a vendor to do it for you. Those are both valid options, but you could also just nix things entirely.

Keep it or toss it?

One option for wedding aspects you’re not into is to just not do them. Just like we talk about on The Bouquet Toss Podcast, you have to decide what to keep and what to toss from your wedding plans. If something costs too much, stresses you out, or you simply don’t care about that aspect of the day, feel free to toss it!


You may do this with a lot of things right off the bat, both for money-saving purposes and for simplicity’s sake. Things many savvy couples cross off their list from the get-go:

  • Hiring a wedding planner
  • Having a professional DJ
  • Wedding favors
  • Extraneous decorations
  • Ring bearer/flower girl
  • Expensive centerpieces

You may find you cross some more things off as the wedding approaches. Some things, on the other hand, you might decide are actually important enough that you want to include them, but maybe you don’t feel you can tackle them yourself.

Outsourcing help to vendors or friendors

These are things that you can decide to hire professionals for or enlist the help of friendors if you have a talented and willing pal. Examples could include:

  • Designing and printing your wedding invitations
  • Baking a cake
  • Musicians for your ceremony

You’ve probably seen it many times in the real weddings section here on The Budget Savvy Bride that couples lean on their network for wedding help. From “We have a friend who’s a photographer who did our wedding as a gift” to “My sister is an amazing chef who catered our whole wedding and made three hundred individually piped cupcakes” to “My uncle owns a sweet vintage car that we got to use for our wedding photos,” and even “My husband’s great aunt owns a vineyard which was the perfect wedding location for us.”


You might read those stories and feel like those couples were super lucky to randomly know florists or be related to graphic designers or whatever their super-talented family connections were. You may be thinking you don’t have any connections that would be helpful … but we’re willing to bet you do!

Results may vary, so decide what’s important to you

Just because you don’t know someone in every area of the wedding business doesn’t mean you can’t enlist people to help out! People love to be involved, even if they don’t have expertise. So if you’re not incredibly picky about results, letting an amateur friend assist you is a great option. Even asking a friend or family member to simply do the research for you is super helpful in taking wedding planning tasks off your plate.


Sure, you might end up with a slightly lopsided cake, imperfect invites, or a less “polished” feeling event, but the key here is that these are the things that aren’t crucially important to you. If any of these things go wrong, it will not ruin your day– and things might actually turn out wonderfully in the end!


Ask yourself if the time, money, and peace of mind you’re saving by letting these tasks go is worth the risk… and if it is, friendor up!


This article originally appeared in Budget Savvy Bride and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

More from MediaFeed:

The most & least expensive states for weddings


When a couple says their wedding vows, they commit to a lifelong union of their aspirations, life goals and finances. However, many couples kick off married life by taking on thousands of dollars in debt to finance their wedding: About three in 10 engaged couples plan to take out debt to cover wedding expenses, according to a LendingTree survey conducted in April 2020. Read on to find out how much they borrowed, what kind of debt they borrowed and why they borrowed it.




LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 920 Americans who are currently engaged to be married. The survey was fielded April 6-10, 2020.




Wedding bells are often followed by wedding bills — nearly three in 10 engaged couples take on debt for their wedding, meaning that they could be left paying for their special day long after they say “I do.” Additionally, 18% were unsure if they would take out debt, meaning that the total number of couples left in debt over their wedding could be higher.

Among couples who changed their wedding plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 35% took on debt, compared with 29% of couples as a whole. It makes sense that the couples who had to change plans might need more money to fund their weddings. By changing dates, some couples may have lost deposits or had to book new, costlier wedding dates than originally planned.




Of those who took on debt to help pay for wedding costs, 72% took on less than $10,000 worth of debt to finance their wedding. Just over one in 10 couples took out $20,000 or more.

See the breakdown below:

  • Less than $1,000 (6%)
  • $1,000 – $4,999 (31%)
  • $5,000 – $9,999 (34%)
  • $10,000 – $19,999 (17%)
  • $20,000 or more (12%)

Couples will likely use a mixture of debt and other financing methods to pay for their big day, seeing that the average wedding costs about $25,000, according to research from companion site ValuePenguin.

Credit card, personal loan debt are most common among couples

Engaged couples that took out debt were most likely to use credit cards when compared with personal loans and borrowing from friends and family.

Using a credit card to finance a wedding is an option to cover big-ticket wedding expenses rather than dipping into savings, and it can even be an opportunity to help couples earn rewards, like airline miles. However, paying for wedding expenses with a credit card also means you’ll have to pay compound interest when a balance is carried month over month.

Personal loans were also a popular option for couples who needed wedding financing, with nearly four in 10 turning to wedding loans. As an unsecured loan, the borrower doesn’t require collateral, though strong credit will likely be needed for qualification. Even then, personal loans can come with high APRs, meaning that a couple’s wedding expenses will come with the added cost of interest even as they benefit from a fixed interest rate and repayment timeline.

Nearly 8 in 10 couples plan to pay off wedding debt within a year

It may be concerning that so many couples plan to take out debt to cover wedding costs, but the good news is that they don’t plan on keeping that debt around for long. The vast majority of couples (77%) who plan on taking on debt to cover wedding expenses plan to pay off that debt within one year.

Here’s when the couples we surveyed plan to completely pay off their wedding debt:

  • By the day of the wedding (17%)
  • One month after the wedding (16%)
  • 2-6 months after the wedding (31%)
  • 7-11 months after the wedding (13%)
  • A year after the wedding or longer (23%)

Just under a quarter of those taking on debt to cover wedding expenses will need more than a year to repay that debt.




Engaged couples go to great lengths to plan the wedding ceremony and reception they’ve always wanted. Making that dream a reality is easier said than done, though, and it comes at a price that often goes beyond the literal cost. Our survey found that 37% of couples argued about wedding expenses.

The arguments don’t start and end with the couples, either: Fifty-seven percent of couples received financial help from their parents, and of those, nearly four in 10 reported arguing with their parents over wedding costs.




You can’t put a price on having the perfect wedding day — at least that’s how 33% of the couples we surveyed see it. In addition, nearly half said that they took on debt to pay for their wedding to help them afford the day they’ve always dreamed of having.

See the breakdown of why couples decided to take on wedding debt below:

  • Want to have the wedding of their dreams (46%)
  • It’s worth it (33%)
  • Didn’t see any other option (28%)
  • Committed to using a certain pricey vendor (20%)
  • Didn’t plan on it, but the costs keep adding up (20%)

But many couples were unprepared for the cost

Many of the couples we surveyed didn’t feel they had a choice but to take on debt to finance their wedding, with a fifth of them admitting that they didn’t plan on it but were unprepared for the total cost of the wedding.

The cost of renting a venue was the biggest surprise to couples. One in five couples were most surprised by how much they’d end up spending booking a venue. The other most surprising costs were: photographer (12%), flowers (11%) and caterer or baker (10%).


Pexels / Pixabay


Couples in some regions of the country take out wedding debt at higher rates than couples elsewhere. Nearly four in 10 engaged couples living in the Middle Atlantic region (which comprises New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) are going into debt for their wedding. Just 21% of those living in the East South Central region (which includes Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi) said the same.

The average cost of a wedding depends on where you live. Wedding venues in certain parts of the country, for example, are far more expensive due to increased demand, so it makes sense that engaged couples in some regions need to lean on financing tools to pay for a more expensive ceremony. Couples in some areas of the country are likely to pay twice as much for a wedding as they’d pay in others.

Keep clicking to see the top five most and least expensive states to get married in.







Average price to get married: $35,702




Average price to get married: $35,966




Average price to get married: $36,082




Average price to get married: $36,903




Average price to get married: $37,827







Average price to get married: $18,346




Average price to get married: $18,228




Average price to get married: $17,607


Thomas Kelley


Average price to get married: $17,433




Average price to get married: $17,216

This article originally appeared on LendingTree.com


and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


Sean Pavone/istockphoto


Featured Image Credit: Serhii Sobolevskyi / istockphoto.