Planning Your Gay Wedding on a Small Budget
Are you in the preliminary stages of planning your big gay wedding and suffering sticker shock from the prices of catering, venue sites and florists? You’re not alone. In these sparse economic times, many couples are more interested in saving for their future than planning a $50k wedding. In fact, it’s not just the expensive weddings that are the most memorable. Whether you are sticking to a budget out of choice or necessity, it is possible to plan a wedding on a budget and have a nice one at that, provided you use some creativity and are able to execute your ideas with perfection.
Coming Up with Inexpensive Same Sex Wedding Ideas
Selecting Your Venue
Choosing the location for your perfect wedding on a budget doesn’t have to be stressful if you are on a budget. Instead of looking at the expensive hotels and country clubs, take a peak at some local parks that allow you to arrange your wedding parties on a smaller scale. Some will even allow you decorate, for instance, with decorative bulbs that can be purchased inexpensively at a local hardware store.
Strive to keep things simple. You can bring your own flowers to decorate in hand-designed pots and bouquets can be made with flowers grown in your home garden. Not a green thumb? That’s ok – neither am I. Chances are you know a few, though. Put the word out that you are looking for contributions of fresh flowers for your big day. Also consider a visit to a local nursery to buy inexpensive seasonal flowers.
If you use a park, the scenery will generally take care of your “decorations” for you. Also be sure to select a place that can accommodate the number of people you wish to invite. If season or weather is an issue, consider an indoor hall or municipal center that rents rooms at an affordable rate. Either way, try to pick a venue close to your city to reduce transportation and accommodation costs.
Containing Music and Entertainment Costs
Most people feel that music and weddings go hand in hand and this is a “must have”. Perhaps but it doesn’t have to be live music. If your budget doesn’t permit hiring that string quartet, consider downloading some music to play during the ceremony and as background at your reception. If you plan to have dancing, you can hire a DJ, ask a friend to step in as a DJ or simply put a super cool playlist together and let it roll.
Photography and Video
There are many schools of thought on this and, frankly, we still haven’t decided what we are going to do about it – hire a photographer or not. However, if your budget is very strict, this is probably out of the question as wedding photographers are not cheap. What you can do is request that your friends take pictures, and even video, of the wedding and even provide some cameras to help with the task. This can actually be a lot of fun as you may get photos snapped by friends that professional photographer would miss.
Wedding Decorations and Catering
There are a million DIY Wedding decoration ideas on the internet (and Pinterest) these days that I wouldn’t even know where to start here. Suffice it to say, that many of these DIY projects are just adorable but be sure to keep track of your expenses for these as materials can add up. Catering is going to take up the largest percentage of your budget. Shop around and stick to your budget. Consider different times of the day for your ceremony to cut the meal costs – ie- a reception lunch is less expensive than a fancy dinner. Also, wedding cakes don’t have to be that expensive. There are many bakeries out there so shop around.
Whether you are planning to wear a traditional wedding gown, a nice suit or a tuxedo for your upcoming same sex wedding, affordable options are out there. Did you know that, in some places, you can actually rent a wedding gown? I didn’t either. There are affordable online stores, like JJs House. There are always used wedding gowns and, of course, ebay and craigslist. I haven’t found a super affordable source for my pants and vest but I do like the clothes on Fourteen. Of course, most men already own a suit and, if they don’t, these can be rented as well if you don’t wish to purchase.
Planning a wedding on a budget isn’t anything new – whether it’s a gay wedding or not. These sorts of weddings can actually be more interesting and more intimate. Speaking of intimacy, remember this word as you order and fill out those invitations. Rarely are budget weddings ones that we invite everyone we’ve ever met – “and guest”. If cutting down on expenses, this is an issue that needs to be explored deeply. By limiting the guest list, you will be able to more easily manage your wedding and serve your guests without feeling uncomfortable.
Planning your wedding on a budget can be both fun and challenging at times. And – who doesn’t love a challenge? But remember, those savings can be applied to other things. My fiancee and I are actually using the “budget wedding” savings to take a pretty extravagant honeymoon that will be sure to provide us with a lifetime of cherished memories. These will be in addition to the beautiful memories that we’ll have from what we know will still be a very nice wedding.