Many of us have daydreamed about our wedding day since we were little. That image is ubiquitous; bridge and groom arm in arm as they’re leaving the church, raining down ticker tape, bells ringing, family and friends cheering as a limousine pulls up to sweep them away. The bride’s gown is ubiquitous; Princess Diana, fluffy white cream puff. As well as the groom’s sleek black tuxedo. Some people couldn’t imagine their wedding day any other way.  

But some people imagined their wedding day to be a little different. Some of us don’t imagine our wedding day at all.  In fact, many would say the 2020 image of a wedding is more of a backyard ceremony, decorated with fairy lights, with your closest family and friends all partying together and having fun. Many brides and grooms are more focused on casual wedding planning. There’s a lot of reasons the aesthetics of weddings have changed but one of the major reasons is cost.

Not only have the aesthetics changed from the ’80s, so has the economy. Things are a lot more expensive these days while median household incomes haven’t actually increased that much along with it. So, unfortunately, a lavish wedding with a fountain and a stretch limousine and a designer gown isn’t in most people’s budgets these days.

With this in mind, many couples are picking and choosing which parts of their wedding to focus their budget on. This is making many modern weddings a lot more DIY and better fit for casual wedding plans. Couples decide on what is most important for them on their big day and downgrade the cost of other parts. The cool thing about weddings is that there is no right or wrong way to do it and there are a lot of ways to put your personal spin on age-old traditions. 

The Ring

The element of a wedding that lasts long outside of the actual wedding day is the ring. Traditionally, the engagement ring is a bigger, fancier, and flashier ring used to propose to the bride. And the wedding ring is a complimentary band that is placed on the finger along with the engagement ring on the day of the wedding. 

Perhaps you want your partner to have a diamond ring but don’t want it in a traditional setting you could get from a store. With many jewelry artists who can make custom rings if you have a stone to place around it. In this case, you could get look into a wholesale diamond buyer. That way you would be able to afford a bigger stone and get it custom designed for your honey. 

This is also an opportunity to channel your budget into a specific artist that you’re fond of. Independent artists are like their own little business and often don’t have the same kind of exposure as a jewelry company like Kay Jewelers. This would be a thoughtful way to give a little to your community and help an artisan out, rather than a huge brand.

But a custom artisan ring setting is not going to be cheap. This method is great for those confident in placing a good chunk of their budget on the ring but what if you’re not that couple? If a couple finds having very nice high-quality rings important but doesn’t wanna break the bank there are some other options. Family heirlooms might be a way around that.  But other couples are less concerned with a glitzy ring. If you still want something nice without it being too expensive, jewelry buyers are a good avenue. 

Perhaps you’d rather spend the money on appliance installation costs. Often, newlyweds end up getting home appliances from close family at engagement parties, to help them start their new life together. But installing these appliances isn’t easy and most of us don’t have the skill set to do it without hurting ourselves or damaging the equipment. So set aside some money if you’re moving in together is smart. 

Non-traditional wedding band stones are becoming more popular these days which also saves on the cost of a diamond. Diamonds are increasingly expensive because of demand and because of the social image and desirability. Some couples are wholly unconcerned about a ring and would rather use a ring pop or a plastic dollar store ring to express their love to each other. Another popular trend has been no ring at all, but a tattoo of a ring around their finger. The permanence symbolizes an undying love for couples interested in alternative expressions of their commitment

The Venue

The wedding day is, of course, a very special occasion. This is where a lot of photographs will be taken and where most of your memories of this time will be from. The venue you chose to have your wedding is a big part of that.

Some people chose to prioritize the venue price-wise. A common choice is to get married in one place and have the reception at another. Couples marrying in the eyes of a specific faith will often choose their house of worship to get married in. Though not everyone is religious and prefer getting married in a beautiful garden, or on the grounds of a beautiful estate. 

From there they will have a reception, often catered by a favorite restaurant. Some people will have their reception at a hotel or bed and breakfast where their guests are staying. This creates a magical atmosphere around the whole event even for your guests. 

This all sounds wonderful of course, but it is also, wildly expensive. This is why cutting down on the choice of venue has been a smart choice for a lot of couples. When it comes to designing things, you’ll be hard-pressed to find stuff as beautiful in its poetic honesty as nature. So let her take over the decor and venue.

Many people are getting married in outdoor venues, or even just in their own backyard. Artisinal barn weddings are particularly en vogue right now. They have a lot of space and give a rusti feel to your wedding without losing any of the class or elegance. Outdoor venues often cost a lot less money than going to an establishment. But even an artisanal barn will cost you something.

This is why couples are opting for backyard weddings a lot of time these days. If you and your future spouse already live together and don’t mind have a slightly smaller guest list, then cutting out a venue cost will save you a lot on your wedding budget and is perfect for a casual wedding planning.

Backyard weddings will require a little cost and more elbow grease than other options. It’s usually smart to at least get some landscape maintenance done before your big day. Having professionals clean up your yard is prudent as they will have to tools to make sure your yard is picture perfect. From there all that is required outside is some decorating and the setting up of chairs and tables.

Though backyard weddings certainly focus on the outdoor aspects of the wedding, people will surely be using your home during the reception party as well. This is why it might be smart to get a commercial cleaning done so your home is as neat and tidy as the outside. Professionals will make you home sparking for guests without you having to split your focus from important bride/groom stuff. If parts of your home are in disrepair perhaps this would be a nice time to fix these up. Getting oriental rug repair to a sturdy oriental rug will help keep the rug in your home for a long time. 

Casual Wedding Planning

By cutting costs on the ring and the venue, this can open up your budget to spend a little extra money on other things. Perhaps food is important to you as a couple and having your wedding catered by a certain restaurant would mean a lot. With some casual wedding planning, you can take care to reach out to your favorite food place in time. 

But there’s more than just the reception dinner to prepare for, there’s also the wedding cake! Wedding cakes are usually tall, extravagantly decorated white cakes. It’s hard to argue with the art of crystallized flowers and they add such a special element to your big day. There’s a special delicate beauty that they add to any celebration.

This couple is an are of the wedding you’re splurging on a little if it means a lot to you. There are other locations you can cut the budget a little. If the cake isn’t terribly important to you you could try an alternative route. Candy bars are a very fun new way to do dessert at weddings. This is particularly popular if there is going to be a number of children at your wedding. 

Another thing that often costs a lot more money than people realize is wedding invitations. If you want a company to handle them it will not be a cheap addition to the budget. Especially for those looking for casual wedding planning options, digital invites are a potential choice.

Perhaps mom and grandma aren’t crazy about the idea of a digital invitation and would rather have the real thing. You couple send digital invitations to all the millennials attention your wedding and get digital prints made for family and scrapbooks. 

This would also be a great opportunity to hire an artist for your wedding. Many graphic designers would make a lovely invitation and itinerary for the big day. They can make it aesthetically pleasing, consistent and you’ll be supporting an artist all at the same time. 

In Conclusion

For some couples, all of this wedding planning is the small stuff and they’d rather spend their money on the nice honeymoon. A quick trip to the city hall on the way to the airport is certainly a smart way to save on that wedding budget. If you’d rather spend the money going to spas rather than on a designer dress, that is always an option. 

But for couples hoping for a little of the best of both worlds, it’s good to know there are a lot of alternative options available. Some creative solutions and casual wedding planning and you could find yourself with the wedding of your dreams without breaking the budget.