Aug 05, 2015


Have Your Dream Wedding (But On a Realistic Budget)

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What words come to mind when you think of the word wedding? For many it’s a long white dress, a walk down the aisle or a couple dancing to their first song. And while all these ideas are indeed what you might see at a wedding; there is one major component to making this day come true and that is money, and very often massive amounts of it that go into planning a wedding.

Indeed weddings can be very costly. In most cases, people spend tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, into this special day. And with so many choices out there, the expenses can quickly start piling up on a bride if she doesn’t start with and stick to a plan. The truth is, that even in today’s economy, you can still plan your dream wedding without blowing the bank. The key is creating a plan and a budget which will allow you to have all you need in your dream wedding and most of you want!

Understanding What You Can Afford
Throughout much of this year, I have been planning a wedding on a pretty tight budget. As my fiancée and I changed cities and careers, we stayed committed to seeing our wedding day become a reality. And with little money to splurge, I took on the challenge of creating my dream wedding on dime.  And now I have some pointers for those of you who might also be planning a wedding on much less than a champagne budget. To begin, the most important tip I can share is understand what you can afford. Knowing what you can afford is the root of the happy budget tree, and everything else will grow from there. When deciding on just how much you can afford, sit down with your fiancée and realistically determine how much each can contribute to the big day. When determining this important money figure, also consider whether your parents or other family members are contributing to our big day as well.  Decide what other expenses or financial obligations you will encounter throughout this time. Once you and your partner have found that magic number, you will know just how much you can afford to dream.

Deciding What You Need
Another tip for planning a wedding on a budget, is to deciding what you need. By this I mean really think about what are the things that you must have at your wedding no questions asked. For some it’s a couture bridal gown, for others its imported orchids or beautiful horse and carriage. Indeed everyone’s needs are different. For me, I knew I needed to have all my family and friends at my wedding. ALL 150 of them!!! And therefore, early on I knew that a great chunk of my budget would go to catering. Once I figured what I needed, I was able to plan accordingly and find a venue which accommodated my taste, my needs and most importantly-my budget!

Prioritizing Your Wants
Now that you know what you need to have in your wedding, it’s time to prioritize your wants. Of course, everyone would love to splurge on every wedding detail, sadly however, that is the fastest way to drain your budget. In the last few months, I have learned that in order to have my dream wedding, I’ve had to be very selective in terms of choosing my wants. And so I narrowed down my wants and I chose to incorporate in my wedding only those details that made sense financially while reflecting both mine and my fiancée’s style.

Shop Around
Who says you can’t be stylish on a dime? Sure you can!! My last tip for all you brides-to-be is to shop around. In today’s technology-filled world, you may be able to get some excellent bang for your buck by researching the web. Also, discount stores often carry a great variety of colors and themes for any wedding. By shopping around and spending wisely, your dollars will definitely stretch much further than when buying at those pricey bridal boutiques!

Having a dream wedding doesn’t always mean spending lavishly. Sometimes it can simply be the happy union that occurs when your needs and wants meet a carefully set budget.  Add to that some careful organization and planning and you’ve got a recipe for a happy bride!


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Marlyn Nunez

Marlyn Nuñez is a graduate of New York University, earning a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies. She also received a Masters Degree in Education from CUNY's City College.

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  1. As Marlyn’s Fiancé I can truly say that we have lived and breathed this topic for the past year or so. All credit due to her focus and drive to have our dream day. Babe, just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work and patience throughout this process.

    Congratulations on the first and hopefully not the last. Keep up the good work hun!!!

  2. Really helpful but most importantly realistic! xo

  3. Ayda Melo says:

    Now that we are BOTH married, I couldn’t agree more.. This brings helpful insight to many brides-to-be trying to plan their dream day on a budget. I have a few friends on their way to planning their own and I will forward this link for tips!! Looking forward to more blogs! =)

    • Marlyn Nunez says:

      Very true. Now that we have crossed that finish line, I think its important to share what we have learned with other budget conscious brides – That you really can make it happen without breaking the bank. If I can be of any help to your other friends please let me know =)

      Thanks for the support and encouragement! =)


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