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Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

Let’s face it: Weddings are EXPENSIVE. Thousands of shekels and dollars are easily spent on food, flowers, and that antique car you just HAD to arrive to the chuppah in. While we do think having the wedding of your dreams is worth saving for, here are some tips on how to  keep from going broke by planning your wedding on a budget.

Tip #1: Actually create a budget!! 

While this may seem obvious, it is often the case that a lot of wedding overspending is simply the result of never creating actual limits. Most brides and grooms have very little, if any, experience with planning a wedding, and therefore making up a budget seems trivial when they are unsure of what is realisitc. So how should you figure out your wedding budget? Here are a few ways:

  1. If your parents or family members will be paying for the wedding, knowing the budget in this case is as simple as just asking for the set number.
  2. Paying for your own wedding? Sit down with your fiance and decide what you can really afford. Do you have savings? What are your financial plans after the wedding that money must be reserved for? Are you willing to take out a loan and pay it back with gift money? How long can you realstically wait to get married in order to save extra cash
  3. Do Your Research!! If you are still completely in the dark, start finding how much things cost. That way you will be able to have a better estimate of what you can get for the money that you are willing to spend and whether or not your budget is realistic or needs to be raised.
  4. Once the budget is set, stick to it! Keep everything organized on wedding budget form so that you can keep on track.

Tip #2: Set Your Priorities

Its only natural that you want the perfect wedding with your dream venue, dream photographer, dream dress, and so on… but sometimes all these dreams can be pricey. Decide as a couple what is most important for you to have at your wedding by putting the following values in a list from most important to least important. The higher the importance the more you can go with your intiial choice, the lower the importance the more you should be open to alternative and less expensive options.

  • Dress & Attire
  • Venue
  • Music
  • Photographer, Videographer
  • Stationery
  • Event design and decor
  • Food
  • Honeymoon
  • Makeup and Hair
  • Other details
“That’s what you get for saying we don’t need flowers!”
Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

photo: Omer Bar Photography

Tip #3: Be Creative About Your Wedding Venue

Don’t be afraid to think outside the wedding venue box! Before you give the down payment on a space just because your cousin had it there, take several weeks to do as much research as you can to find a space you love. In addition to looking on wedding websites and traditional venues, take a look at restaurants, art galleries, parks with picnic houses, bars, lounges, and other alternative spaces. You are likely to find a spot that’s well equipped and perfect for your celebration, and still unique and personal to you.

Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

photo:Jessica Ennor on Pinterest

Who needs a venue? Check out local parks and have a wedding picnic!

Tip #4: Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

If you’re thinking “If I’m on a budget, why would I hire a wedding planner? Won’t that be an extra cost?” you’re only partially correct. While some wedding planners only focus on high end weddings, there are plenty of affordable planners who take on smaller jobs and have the experience, know-how, and connections to create a great wedding under a budget. Wedding planners often have access to vendor and venue discounts due to the quanities they bring to the vendors therefore you may find that the planner’s fee is often paid off by all the savings they bring you. To see wedding planners in Israel, click here 

Tip #5: DIY

You don’t have to be an artist to have some DIY elements at your wedding as a fun way to save some costs. The key to DIY is planning and having realistic expectations. For example, if you are a natural with photoshop, consider making your own wedding invitations and stationery. On the contrary however, if you have no graphic design knowledge you are probably better off just ordering inexpensive stationery from small stationers on Etsy. Low risk DIY elements can be:

  • Party Favors
  • Centerpieces (we HIGHLY recommend only doing a SIMPLE DIY centerpiece and testing it out before hand)
  • Your chuppah
  • Your hair (if you want it simple)
  • Stationery
  • Got a photographer friend? Ask them to take pictures during the second portion of the reception (during dancing) to let your photographer go home early and possibly save
Planning Your Wedding on a Budget
Elements You SHOULDN’T DIY
  • Wedding Cake Unless you have a lot of baking experience, a wedding cake should be left to the experts. A cake takes hours to prepare and you will most likely be disappointed with the result.
  • Party Music- While you can get away with an ipod for the ceremony music, your itunes playlist wont make the cut when it comes to creating a great party. DJs and bands understand your crowd and can switch things up as they go to get the party pumping.
  • Your Makeup- It’s a shame to spend thousands of shekels on a wedding photographer and then be disappointed with the results because you’re makeup doesn’t come out right. Unless you are known for your wonderful makeup skills, hire a professional makeup artist. They know how to prepare your face for the camera and lighting, and will have you looking stunning. For makeup artists in Israel click here. 
Hire a professional to make your cake so it looks like this (by Tamar AlHahar)
Planning Your Wedding on a Budget
Instead of this…
Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

Tip #6: Rent  or Buy Second Hand

One of the great things about getting married in Israel is that it is very common for brides to rent their wedding dresses  thereby keeping costs down. If renting isn’t an option and you must have a top designer dress, consider buying a dress second hand from websites like OnceWed.com and Recycledbride.com

In addition to renting or buying a dress second hand, many brides today are also renting out wedding jewelry, and event decor.

Tip #7 Keep it small

Big weddings cost big money. While some weddings have no choice but to be big due to your enormous family, if you have the option to have a small wedding it is a great way to keep costs down.  While your venue options will decrease, small weddings have the option of being in alternative spaces like restaurants and lounges that don’t have wedding price tags, and “per person” variable costs like stationery, food, and tables to decorate will be much lower.

Categories: Planning 101