How To Plan a Cheap or Low Cost Summer Wedding

Planning an Affordable Wedding

Summer weddings are always fun and that’s why most brides prefer to be June brides. But the fantasy that comes along with a wedding is often too much for your pocketbook to handle. This article lists some of the things you can do to make your summer wedding look like a million bucks without going bankrupt. Let’s start with:

Step 1

Bridal party flowers. Stick with flowers that are in season as importing flowers will increase your expenses. Pick one or two kinds of flowers for your bouquet. You can use one type of flower for your wedding party. For example, you can use pink and red roses for your bouquet tied with silk ribbon, and then use pink roses for your bridal party. Silk flowers are just as expensive as the fresh ones. Going with alternatives to bouquets for your bridal party can also help keep costs low. For example, using flower bracelets, fans, or even having each bridesmaid hold a single stem will look just as good.


Step 2

Pew flowers and centerpieces. Use a bow and maybe a single flower vs. a cluster of flowers for the pew flowers. For centerpieces, use the bridesmaids’ bouquets (if you went with bouquets for them) as centerpieces for some tables at the reception. Or you can eliminate flowers altogether and use floating candles in a bowl of water, which creates a very dramatic effect. You can also use framed old photographs of past weddings in your families as centerpieces (i.e. your grandparents’ wedding pictures, etc.). These always tie the family to your big day and keep costs low.


Step 3

Cake. Square–shaped cakes generally cost more per slice than round-shaped ones. Since many people do not eat cake at weddings, you can give the baker a smaller number of people than the actual number that you expect to attend. Let’s say for 140 guests, you make a cake for 100 or 120, thereby cutting costs for you. Since eating cake is really only ceremonial, the cake slices can also be quite modest.


Step 4

Catering. If your reception is at a hotel, it is better to go with a buffet dinner rather than a sit-down dinner. You can do a sit-down dinner if you have fewer than 50 people. High cost kicks in after 50 people. When giving the total numbers of guests, make sure to account for more kids (kids pay half of the price). As for drinks, bring yours if they let you, and if not, do a cash bar. If you think that won’t sit well with you or your guests, deposit a small amount for drinks and have them tell you when it runs out. Do it this way because the hotel will never return any unused money to you. If hosting your guests somewhere other than a hotel, then by all means buy your drinks yourself and stick with foods like pasta, cheese or veggie trays, etc. If at all possible, have a morning wedding, so that you can serve lunch (which is much cheaper than dinner)


Step 5

Transportation. If you are making use of a limousine, have the driver drop you off and leave, because you are paying by the hour and there is no reason for him to sit and wait while you are in church or the reception.


Step 6

Video and photography. Getting both the video and photo in a combined package is cheaper than booking them separately. Let it be clear to both parties when and how long they are to cover your occasion.


Step 7

Music. Going with a DJ is always cheaper than hiring a live band or singer. But if you really want a band, have them come and perform only at a particular part of the ceremony--let’s say your first dances--and then fill in with a DJ. This way you get the best of both.


Step 8

Invitations and placement cards. These can be printed from your computer. You can buy the stationery from any office supply store. This saves you at least 100 dollars, depending on the number of guests.


Step 9

Favors. You can combine your favors and program for the day together. For example, you can print the program on a hand fan, which the guests can use during the wedding, and also take home. You can also give customized M&Ms with your initials on them. Those are always affordable and unique.


No matter how you choose to plan your big day, remember the most important piece of advice on that day, which is smile, and smile some more. Congratulations, and have fun planning!  


Jaden Jade is an event planner at

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