It’s something of an art to plan and pull off a beautiful, frugal wedding and reception. With many people on a tight budget these days, more couples are looking at money saving options to keep from breaking the bank when they say “I do”.

Simple Doesn’t Mean Boring

Keeping things less extravagant doesn’t mean that a wedding ceremony will look cheap or be a dull affair. Make a careful list of exactly what theme is to be used and the absolute essentials that need to be involved and what can be omitted.

Keep things simple and omit small details that would go unnoticed by most of the guests or serve little purpose other than one-time decoration. Don’t splurge on flowers for every table when a small sprig or bouquet will do. Also, remember to check and double check your guest list; invite close family and friends to the wedding and have a more casual list for the reception.

Involve Family and Friends

Once you have the “absolute must” list, start recruiting family and friends to help out. There are plenty of ways that people close to the bride and groom can pitch in and help cut the cost of a wedding, and they are usually more than happy to do so.

Rather than hiring a catering service, relatives or friends who love to cook can be asked to prepare dishes for the reception.  If someone is a particularly good baker, it’s not unreasonable to request that his or her wedding gift be the actual wedding cake. Cakes in a bakery can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and while lovely and extravagant, rarely have the personal charm of a beautiful homemade wedding cake prepared by a skilled grandmother or aunt for a fraction of the price.

Find an acquaintance with a nice home stereo system and ask to borrow or rent it cheaply for the wedding and reception. A live band or DJ usually cost upwards of a hundred dollars or more an hour and can quickly add to the bill.

Some friends or family who are particularly good with craft projects or art may be more than happy to help the bride and groom make their own invitations on the computer for much less than they would spend ordering invitations. A friend or relative who has some experience as a hobby photographer can take wedding photos for the wedding album, while another popular choice is to purchase disposable cameras for all wedding guests to take candid photos of the ceremony and reception for the bride and groom.

The Right Timing and the Right Place

If possible, try to plan the wedding for the “off” season. Wedding apparel and rentals tend to cost much more during the busy season – typically May through September – than in other months. Keep on the look out for bridal shops having discounts on dress rentals for the bridesmaids, or ask the bridesmaids if they would be willing to purchase their own dresses to help save costs. Tuxedos are usually less expensive when rented as a package deal, too, rather than from separately.

Backyards can be a great place to have a wedding and reception for a much lower cost. Public parks and beaches can also be a wonderful spot to have a wedding. If the weather is too cold or wet to allow for an outside wedding, see if a family member has a spacious house that could be used for the wedding, or find a public hall to rent. Public halls are typically much cheaper than hotels or resorts.

This article was written by Karl Stockton for the team at One of the most significant things about marriage is the wedding band; visit tungstenworld to see their black wedding bands and other products.