Wedding on a Budget: How to Celebrate Without Breaking the Bank

How much do you plan to spend on your wedding? PHP 150K? PHP 300K? Half a million, or more? Depending on the place, size of your guest list, and other factors -- each couple may have an idea about the cost. But regardless of the actual amount, we all have one thing in our minds… Creating a wedding budget, and sticking to it!

Tips for Getting Married on a Budget

In this article, we’ll be sharing tips on how engaged couples can celebrate their big day -- without overspending. Get ready to take down notes, as we discuss pocket-friendly wedding suggestions!

1. Explore civil wedding and church wedding options.

These days, more and more couples are opting for a civil wedding, which are officiated by a city/town mayor or judge. Civil weddings are usually held in municipal halls, although recently it has become the trend to rent a private venue (e.g. restaurant, garden, or resort) and invite the mayor or judge to conduct the wedding there.

Civil wedding costs are considerably lower than a church wedding’s, especially since the program is usually simpler, and you can save on the cost of renting a venue. However, if you are keen on having a church wedding, you can save by keeping your guest list small.

2. Keep your guest list small.

Speaking of guest lists -- the shorter your list, the smaller your budget will be, as well. This is a simple yet general rule when it comes to wedding planning. After all, you don’t need to invite the whole barangay (although this was the custom in the olden days)!

Together with your spouse-to-be, create a list of the most important people in your life -- immediate family, relatives, close friends, and colleagues. In your wedding invitation, you can also indicate the number of seat(s) reserved for each guest. This way, you can easily keep track of the size of your guest list.

3. Hold the ceremony and reception in the same venue.

Unless you are having a church wedding, consider holding the ceremony and the reception in the same venue. This way, you can save on rental costs. What’s more, if some of your guests will be coming from far away -- choose a place with rooms for overnight stay, so that guests, too, can save on transportation costs.

4. Get married during a “non-peak” season.

In the Philippines, the “peak” months for weddings are June and December; costs tend to be higher during these periods. So if you want to save, consider getting married during a “non peak” season.

Speaking of schedules, Saturday is the most popular day to get married… But have you ever thought about getting married on a weekday? Sure, you may have to convince a few guests to take a day off work to attend, but weekday weddings usually cost less, since most suppliers would be offering discounts and promos.

5. Hire local suppliers and vendors.

Most likely, there are are local suppliers and vendors in your area… You just have to know where to look! Most towns and cities have bakers that make wedding cakes, seamstresses that create gowns and barongs/suits, photographers and videographers, and florists who can decorate your venue with colorful blooms. Compared to out-of-town vendors and suppliers, their rates are bound to be lower since their materials are sourced locally!

Better yet, if you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance who’s also in the wedding business, do not hesitate to ask about their services. They would certainly be willing to help you out for a good price! 

6. Consider ready-to-wear dresses and suits/barongs.

In case there aren’t any seamstresses in your area, you can always look for stores that sell ready-to-wear dresses and suits/barongs. Most malls and shopping centers (hello, Divisoria) have a pretty impressive selection of wedding attire. These may need a few alterations, but their cost is lower compared to custom-made attire.

Here’s another budget suggestion: Instead of having to buy new clothes, just give a “color theme” for your entourage to follow. Most likely, they already have a gown, dress, or suit in the color theme of your wedding. It doesn’t have to be in the exact same color; similar shades/gradients (e.g. sky blue, navy blue, etc.) will do!

7. DIY invitations, souvenirs, decor, etc.

Do-it-yourself souvenirs, invitations, and even wedding decor are all the rage these days. There are many invitation templates online that you can use; simply enter your details, customize, and print!In fact, why not skip the printing, and send digital invitations online?

At eKasal, one feature of our Couples Packages is the “QR Code Invitation,” which generates a unique code for each couple. Instead of having to send a printed invitation, just share this code to your family and friends. Once they scan it, the code will lead them to your eKasal webpage, which features all your wedding details!

The great thing about digital or QR code invitations is that you can share them via email or social media instantly. What’s more, guests are bound to RSVP their answer right away!

Meanwhile, when it comes to gifts for primary and secondary sponsors, and souvenirs for guests… There are plenty of DIY ideas out there, too -- health and beauty kits, home baked goodies, etc. They don’t have to be expensive! A simple remembrance of your special day is enough!   

Final Thoughts

No matter where your wedding will be, how big or small the guest list is, and whether you’re having a civil wedding or a church wedding -- you can always find ways to cut costs and stick to your budget. Because ultimately, it’s not about how much you spend, but how memorable and meaningful your special day would be!


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