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How to Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

Planning a wedding can be a stressful time for couples. The myriad choices and ideas available now thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and Tik Tok are just overwhelming. One way to work toward a less stressful wedding is to set a budget and stick to it. Most couples are working within a budget anyway; however, the way you view your budget is the key.


Rather than thinking of your budget as a negative, limiting factor, it’s important to see your budget as a boundary that offers peace and direction for the months of planning ahead. The average cost of a wedding according to is approximately $20,300. This article is interesting and you can read the full content here.


Let’s start with a typical wedding cost breakdown per guest so you can begin to see where wedding budgets are spent. Most wedding coordinators suggest planning to spend $100 per guest. Most of the guest related expenses occur after the wedding at the reception. Most of the expenses per guest include:

·      invitation $3-8

·      rented seat $5-8

·      plate of food $30-70

·      slice of cake $2-8


If you take the high end of these numbers, you’re spending approximately $94 per guest once you reach the reception. To invite 150 guests, you’ll spend $14,100 just based off of these projections. Let’s look at several ways to keep costs manageable and offer a beautiful, fun wedding and reception.


1.     Set a number of guests and work together to make sure that each of you includes the people most close and meaningful to you.

2.     DIY your invitations or send online invitations.

3.     Select a venue with everything included – even chairs, tablecloths, tables, etc.

4.     Plan food selections based on what people will actually eat.

5.     Select a cake artist that fits your budget or consider a DIY option.


Set a number of guests.

This is a challenging task because we all have people we know, love and want to share in the celebration of a wedding. As you create a list, separate people into 3 groups: the definite group, maybe group, and no group.


It may also be helpful to consider this sad fact: many people do not RSVP to a wedding invitation. No-shows for weddings are sadly, very common. If someone on your guest list is known for being a no-show at weddings or other special events, consider moving their name to the maybe or no group. If you invite them and they do not RSVP, you will likely include them on the guest list and pay for them anyway only to have them not show up and waste your money. It sounds harsh and cruel, but it’s not. Their lack of RSVP is an indication of priorities.


According to The Knot, approximately 15% of invitees will decline an invitation for a local wedding and about 20-30% for a destination wedding. Keep this in mind when you create your list.


Invite only the people whom you are closest to and spend the most time with. Take a moment to think, “if this person weren’t at my wedding, I’d be disappointed.” If it wouldn’t be sad if they don’t show up, they can be excluded from the definite list of guests.


DIY invitations.

Another cost saving measure is to create and print your own invitations. Ordering from a service like Vistaprint can be a cost-saving measure, but it’s still a cost to consider. You can order in sets of 10 for as little at $13.99 per set, which is about $1.39 per invite. Keep in mind that postage will still be an expense you must consider.


Another option is to create an online invitation to send via email or text message. It might help to think of it like this. Most people will keep a wedding invite through the wedding. Once the wedding is past, the invite goes into the trashcan. I know, I know! All the beautiful paper and printing goes into the trash. It’s hard to think about, but it’s true. So perhaps online invites can be done tastefully and beautifully…and it might even help people RSVP right away rather than procrastinating. Wouldn’t that be nice?


To track RSVPs, a Google form can be created in about 10 minutes and results will be emailed to you once the form is complete. How simple is that! Additionally, there are gorgeous online options to send via email or text with a unique QR code or link that will take guests directly to your Google form to RSVP. Not only is this a budget friendly option, it also simplifies the RSVP process. Win-win.


Select a venue with everything included.

At Royal Affairs Ballroom, our package pricing includes many of the things that other venues charge to use. You can quickly see what is included with our venue packages for the ballroom here. Taking a look at the list of what’s included for up to 125 guests, you can quickly see how a la carte pricing for these items can add up. Our packages make it simple for couples to host a beautiful wedding and reception without breaking the budget.


Plan food selections around what people will actually eat.

It’s fun to think of and plan for fun options at your wedding, but keep in mind that hot food should be hot and cold food should be cold. No one wants to eat a cute martini glass full of cold, fancy potatoes. They just don’t. If it is going to sit out and get cold, think of doing something different. Conversely, if the food will sit out and become warm, opt for something else. Leftover food at a wedding is frustrating at best and wasteful at worst. Pick items that will get eaten.


Select a cake artist within budget.

We love our preferred cake artist. Irene’s Bakery in old town Lewisville is an artist and her cakes are delicious and exquisite. She’s our preferred cake artist because of her expertise and ability to work with all of our brides and grooms. 


This article from Nerd Wallet is packed with great ideas to create a budget-friendly wedding. The article suggests to “go for a shorter cake.” The cost increases with more tiers on the cake, so selecting a shorter cake and then having additional sheet cakes for cutting and serving as well is a great option to fit a beautiful and delicious wedding cake into your budget.


At Royal Affairs Ballroom, we work with our clients to create beautiful weddings and receptions. Our wedding packages include many of the things that some venues charge extra for brides and grooms to use. Come see us today and see how we are different. We can’t wait to meet you!

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