Our Bright Occasions team wants every couple out there to get the wedding of their dreams. Unfortunately, not every couple will have the budget of their dreams. Stretching the budget is possible as long as you allow for compromise, and we have a few tips for you on how to accomplish that. The most important thing to know when you start planning is what you are absolutely firm about. Write up a list of what you know you just can’t compromise on. From there things to think about are the date/time, guest count, decor, and vendors/venue.


Winter and July/August dates may be cheaper at certain venues due to the extreme cold and heat (in the DC area). Weekdays and Sundays also tend to be less expensive than Saturdays. A great idea, if you’re open to it, is having a brunch wedding. You can cut costs more than in half. Not only may the venue cost less, but the food itself is also significantly different and your guests are not likely to drink as much. Speaking of alcohol, another great cost saving idea is instead of having a full bar, serve only beer and wine. Maybe even just a signature cocktail or two, and you will be surprised at the money you will save. There is a lot of money to be saved if those are options you are open to.

Bright Occasions, Boutonnieres, Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Image by Sara Lucero

Guest Count:

Moving on to guest count– from your wedding party down to every plus one is an extra expense. Your guest count is probably the biggest factor in your budget. The idea is simple enough, the more mouths you have to feed the more expensive it will be. But beyond that, how large your wedding party can make a big difference as well. Each person in your wedding party will need either, bouquets, boutonnieres, hair, or make up, and so on. Keeping your wedding party small may be something to really consider.

Bright Occasions, Reception Centerpiece, Planning a Wedding on a Budget, Photo by Laura Luis Photography

Bright Occasions Real Wedding, Photo by Ken Pak Photography


DIY seems to be the typical couple’s go-to when trying to save some money, but you should be mindful of what you choose to DIY. Paper elements that are made beforehand tend to be successful, however we don’t recommend any DIY floral arrangements due to the fact that they are so time consuming and have to be done right before the wedding to be their freshest. If floral arrangements are pushing you outside of your budget, maybe try to get by with having only the essentials – bouquets and a center piece or two – and compensate with decorating mainly with candles and votives. No one would notice that there weren’t as many arrangements in the candle lit romantic glow of the room.

Bright Occaisons, Venue & Vendors, Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Image via Riley & Grey

Vendors & Venue:

Some vendors are worth putting out the money for. One we recommend you keep room in your budget for is a DJ. A DJ tends to keep things running smoothly and overall help make the night a success. If you are trying to decide between a band and a DJ moneywise, DJ’s tend be less expensive. Plus, it’s usually only one mouth to feed instead of ten. And finally, venue research will be your saving grace. Traveling a little outside of your area can open you up to many more options that may not charge as much. Big city venues typically charge more so that may not be the way to go on a tight budget. Hopefully these tips help a few couples out there take charge of their budget and buckle down to decide what is absolutely necessary and what can be compromised on to fit their needs.

Xoxo, Cecilia – –