How to plan a wedding on a budget

26th March 2020

Avoid huge guestlists

Although its can be tempting to put everyone & anyone on your guestlist, sometimes it’s good to take a step back & look at who you really want to be there for your big day. Every additional guest means an additional cost. Intimate weddings are lovely & almost even more special than a HUGE affair because you really chose those that are most special to you (& Dode is perfect for smaller sized weddings). Never feel obliged to invite anyone because you feel you should & definitely don’t invite people you don’t know.

Make your own invitations

You can make your own invitations so simply, whether you are super creative or not, you can do them to suit you. Maybe you can even rope in friends & family to help, it’s a fun pre-wedding activity! You can often get blank invitations online or from craft stores & then add your own touches, but more often than not doing them yourselves will always save lots on the budget!

Ask for help towards your wedding instead of wedding gifts

Now, this does depend on who you’re inviting, but maybe you have friends or family who sing or play an instrument, someone might be a photographer or at least a very good amateur. Maybe you know someone who can bake a good cake or that’s a florist,  any talents that could be used to help on your big day would help you saves on costs & guests always want to give a gift of some kind & what better way than using their skills & helping you all in the same breath.

Keep flowers to a minimum

Flowers for a wedding can really blow the budget & couples are often very shocked when they get their wedding quote in. Now, if your not inviting a florist to the wedding & can’t ask for help our main recommendation is keep it simple. Rather than a bouquet, why not a simple single rose?

Could you use flowers from yours or a friend or relatives garden?

Or would you consider fake flowers, you could make them ahead of time & might even be able to buy second-hand from someone that used them for their wedding (something borrowed!)

Do the catering yourself

Caterers can costs a lot of money, so why not consider doing it yourself, with help from friends & family of course. Not only will you be able to do exactly what you want it, it will work out a lot less expensive. But, we do understand that cooking isn’t everyone’s forte, so if doing this isn’t an option then why not look for a local, family-run business. You’ll be able to go to the owners directly & they’ll tend to go above & beyond to make it perfect for you & will always want to accommodate budget needs.

Skip the gifts

More often than not its considered the thing to do to give gifts to bridesmaids, ushers, groomsmen, mum of the bride or groom etc. but you don’t have to. A simple thank you card will do, don’t spend extra money when you really don’t have to, especially if you just feel obliged because you think its what you have to do.

Stock the bar yourself

Alcohol can often make a real dent in the budget, but it’s also the one area in the budget that you can really make savings if you are smart 7 if your venue allows. At Dode you can do what you want, so you don’t need to offer a fully stocked bar, maybe just beer & wine & some soft drinks.

It is also worth keeping in mind that whilst it’s more cost efficient to buy a keg of beer instead of cans or bottles, any leftover beer will go to waste, whereas you can store excess bottles for months.

Remember after a wedding couples normally have lots of things they no longer need

You’ll often find lots of couples selling things after their wedding, from excess favours, table decorations, wedding signs, candles, cake stands, you name it…so why not hunt out the things you need, you’ll always get them for a fraction of the original cost & even better, once you’ve had your big day you can sell them on again & make your money back!

Search for your dress…

For both your dress & bridesmaids dress (if you’re having bridesmaids) make sure you look around, don’t just go for the first one you find. Lots of dress shops have sales on & you might just find the dress you want on the sale rack. Or you might try lots on, find the style you want & then source that style online for a fraction of the price.

Choose affordable wedding rings

Wedding bands are traditionally an important part of the marriage ceremony, symbolic of your commitment to each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to cost you a small fortune. Take your time to find the right rings for you, if you even want rings.

Plan a simple honeymoon or don’t do it straight away

A huge, extravagant honeymoon sounds like fun, well no it is fun, there is no denying it, but sometimes it is better to keep the honeymoon after your wedding a little more low-key. This doesn’t mean you can’t plan something bigger for a later date, but when you have the expense of a wedding, adding another expense of a honeymoon, can sometimes just push things over the edge.

Go for something relaxing, with not too much travel time, somewhere where you can go & reflect on the amazing wedding you’ve just had, rather than doing something that entails lots of traveling, lots of expense & you come back more tired than you were before you left!

OR, you could ask for money towards your honeymoon as gifts, this is becoming really popular & you can create an account that guests pay into & this means you ca plan it all prior to the wedding too!


If you’re trying to have your wedding on a budget, it’s important to plan ahead. Get everything written down & go through it bit by bit. The earlier you plan ahead, the better deals you can get, it’ll give you more time to search & find discounts, special offers & will also allow you to work out what is best for you & your wedding. If you leave things to the last minute they generally cost more & you might not get what you want. It’s a known fact, if you leave your wedding dress to late you end up paying lots of extra costs to get them delivered on time etc.

Last, but not least, DON’T stress!

Wedding planning is not always straight forward & things do go wrong. Someone might be late, one of the bridesmaids might get a mark on her dress, things happen. BUT, the most important thing to remember is not to worry & don’t always feel like you have to solve every problem. Last-minute issues can sometimes cause you to feel like you have to throw money at them to fix them, but you don’t, most likely no one will actually notice, even if you do. Everything will come good in the end…

Enjoy, happy wedding planning from all of us at Dode!