Tips for Planning a Wedding on a Budget [Slideshow]

From the flowers and dresses to the catering and cocktails, planning a wedding can be an exciting experience. It can also be stressful, especially for those with a strict spending limit. The average American wedding cost couples a record high of $38,700 in 2019. But there are creative ways to trim costs and lessen the chances of wedding-related finances causing a strain on newlyweds. These cost-trimming tips can help you plan the wedding you want while staying true to your budget to help you avoid overwhelming wedding debt.

Even though weddings continue to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry, clever couples can take a do-it-yourself approach to such items as invitations, decorations and services. Consider these DIY wedding ideas:

Avoid Luxe Invitations

Making your own invitations can save you hundreds. Three inexpensive options: handcrafting with supplies from an art store, printing free, personalized designs on store-bought paper and sending electronic invitations to save on postage and envelopes.

Deck the Venue with DIY Décor and Blooms

Decorations don’t have to cost you thousands. If you’re going with a rustic decor, for instance, forgo the florist and use potted herbs or place wildflowers in decorative jars for centerpieces. Something fancier? Centerpieces of homemade candles or hand-strung lights. Spray-painting objects gold can also give a touch of DIY elegance to your wedding.

Gift Homemade Goodies

Favors for guests can be another item to DIY. Homemade treats, like jam or s’mores kits, are inexpensive and popular. Seedling kits with miniature clay pots, seeds and instructions are a symbolic gift your guests will love. View more creative wedding favor ideas.

Ditch the DJ

Rather than hiring a DJ or band, consider being your own DJ and create playlists for the reception. Professional DJs are good at adjusting the moods of guests, so having a wide range of music on your fingertips is key.

Let Guests Capture the Moments

As an alternative to hiring a professional photographer or videographer, let your guests capture the day. Set up a private site using a free platform such as Shutterfly for guests to upload photos and videos of your special day.

Design the Dress

Before a wedding dress can take your guests’ breath away, its price might steal yours. Wedding dresses are expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you’re an experienced seamstress, making your own gown can be a financial lifesaver. If you’re a less-skilled sewer, consider designing your dress and working with a local dressmaker – a more thrifty option.

Fake Your Cake

If you’re a talented baker, baking your own cake may be easy as pie. For others, faking your cake is trendy and less expensive than buying from a wedding cake creator. Skip the high-priced traditional cake by arranging cupcakes on a tiered tray or stacking crepes for a stylish dessert display.

Even on a budget, weddings can still be sizable investments. That’s why it’s wise to be covered if something beyond your control happens. With reliable wedding insurance from Nationwide, you can protect yourself from the unexpected and have peace of mind leading up to your big day.