If you’re a bride-and-groom-to-be, tying the knot in this age of extravagant weddings (Google: Harry and Megan) can be quite the feat–emotionally and financially.
Read more: What are Millennials Doing With Their Money
Because not everyone has the coffers of the British monarchy at their disposal, we’re here to show you how to have your very own royal wedding without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Realistic Budget
First things first, set a budget. This will give you a clear picture of how much you’ll spend so you can prevent your total expenses from ballooning. If you’re planning to get the cash you need through a personal loan, get pre-approved as early as you can.
Weddings on a budget are tricky, but this is a challenge well worth the time and effort. List down your different expense categories and then allocate a budget per category. Knowing where your money will go can help you carve out some wiggle room.
Here are some expense categories to consider:
- Bridal gown
- Dresses (and suits) for the entourage
- Bridal car and transportation
- Wedding photo and video services
- Flowers and decor
2. Pick an Off-Season Date
June and December weddings are usually more expensive. If possible, try to pick a date that’s significant to both of you but outside those months. If you really feel strongly about a June/December nuptial, then do it early. Like hotel and airfare, wedding booking fees skyrocket as the date draws nearer.
Actually, if you’re not in any rush, schedule your wedding at least a year ahead. This gets you more time to get your cash flow in order. More time to plan also means more time to find the best deals and wedding suppliers.
3. Go Traditional for Wedding Invitations
You’d be surprised how many couples make dedicated websites to shout out their wedding to the world. Don’t get me wrong, a website is great for keeping guests updated, but traditional wedding invitations are still more elegant, tangible–and more affordable.
Customize your invitations according to the theme of your wedding. A regal touch? That’s easy. Consider sealing the envelope with a customized monogram wax seal of your initials. For maximum fun and savings, make it a DIY project with your partner.
4. Let Your Bridal Gown Mesmerize Everyone
All eyes are on you.
My tip here is simple: exhaust your options and use your connections (In Tagalog: “kapalan ang mukha”). If you know designers, let them know you’re getting hitched and add them to the guest list, maybe even a bit of special treatment? They might design you a dress for free!
If you’re out of options, you can always cut out bridal magazines or show photos of your pegs. Having a clear vision of the dress will make it easier for the designer–saving you some valuable time.
5. DIY your Prenup Photos
There was a time when the term “prenup” primarily referred to prenuptial agreements. Nowadays, it’s common for the bride and groom to hire professional photographers to take prenuptial photos and videos. Just like invitations, you can save a ton by doing it yourself!
This lets you have a bigger budget for the wedding photographer and videographer (without a prenup shoot). Look for packages that only include the same-day shoot and edit.
6. Pick a Venue Carefully
Choose a venue that’s right for your theme and the number of guests.
The theme and ambiance of your wedding greatly depend on the venue, so schedule one whole day (or more) for canvassing. List them all down so you can weigh the pros and cons of each, both for the price and the overall feel. If you haven’t already, you should also make a spreadsheet to track all of your expenses.