How Much Would a Simple Wedding Cost

Planning a wedding can be a magical and exciting experience, but it can also be a source of financial stress. With the average cost of a wedding in the United States reaching over $30,000, many couples are looking for ways to have a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore the importance of budgeting for a wedding, specifically focusing on how much a simple wedding would cost.

When it comes to planning a wedding, having a clear budget is essential. Setting realistic expectations and understanding the true cost of each aspect of the event can help couples make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary expenses. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or a larger celebration, understanding the potential costs involved in different elements of your big day is crucial to staying within budget.

In this article, we will delve into various aspects of planning a simple wedding and provide tips on finding affordable options for venues, catering, attire, decor and more. By setting clear expectations and making informed choices about where to allocate your budget, you can have a beautiful wedding without overspending. From finding the perfect venue to capturing timeless memories through photography and videography, we will guide you through the process of planning your dream wedding while staying financially savvy.

Setting Expectations

When it comes to defining a simple wedding, it’s important to remember that simplicity doesn’t mean sacrificing the beauty and significance of the occasion. A simple wedding can still be a meaningful and memorable event, even on a smaller budget. One way to define a simple wedding is by focusing on the most important elements of the day and letting go of unnecessary frills and extravagance.

Prioritizing What Matters Most

One of the key aspects of defining a simple wedding is prioritizing what matters most to you as a couple. Whether it’s the venue, the food, or the photography, deciding on your priorities can help you allocate your budget more effectively. By identifying what truly matters to you both, you can make informed decisions about where to spend and where to save.

Guest List and Intimacy

Another aspect of a simple wedding is keeping the guest list intimate. Having fewer guests not only reduces costs but also allows for a more intimate and personal celebration. It’s about surrounding yourself with your closest family and friends, rather than feeling pressured to invite distant acquaintances.

DIY vs Professional Services

Finally, when defining a simple wedding, consider whether you’re open to some do-it-yourself (DIY) projects or if you prefer professional services for every aspect of your wedding. This decision can significantly impact how much would a simple wedding cost. DIY projects can add a personal touch while saving money, but they also require time and effort.

On the other hand, professional services offer expertise and convenience but may come with higher price tags. Making intentional choices in this area can help maintain simplicity while staying within budget.

By setting clear expectations and defining what constitutes a simple wedding for you as a couple, you can begin to plan your special day with clarity and purpose.


When planning a simple wedding, one of the most significant factors to consider is the venue. Finding an affordable and unique location for your big day can help you save money while still creating a memorable experience for you and your guests. There are several options to consider when looking for a budget-friendly wedding venue:

  • City Parks: Many city parks offer beautiful outdoor settings for wedding ceremonies and receptions at a fraction of the cost of traditional venues. Some parks may even have indoor facilities that can be rented for a nominal fee.
  • Community Centers: Renting a community center or local hall can be an excellent way to save on venue costs. These spaces often provide flexibility in terms of catering and decorations, allowing you to customize your wedding while staying within budget.
  • Backyard Weddings: If you or someone you know has a spacious backyard, consider hosting your wedding on private property. This option not only saves on venue expenses but also provides a personal and intimate setting for your special day.

When considering potential venues, keep in mind the number of guests you plan to invite and any specific needs or restrictions you may have. By exploring these affordable and unique options, you can significantly reduce how much a simple wedding would cost without compromising on style or comfort.

Additionally, don’t forget to ask about any additional fees or requirements associated with each venue, such as permits, cleanup fees, or rental policies. Being aware of these details upfront can help you make an informed decision and avoid unexpected expenses as you plan your simple yet unforgettable wedding.

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Food and Drinks

When planning a simple wedding, one of the most important aspects to consider is the food and drinks. These are often some of the biggest expenses for any wedding, but there are ways to keep costs down without sacrificing quality or enjoyment for guests. From budget-friendly catering options to creative bar ideas, there are plenty of ways to serve delicious food and drinks while staying within a reasonable budget.

Budget-Friendly Catering Options

When it comes to catering for a simple wedding, there are many options to consider that won’t break the bank. One popular choice is to go with a buffet-style meal, as this can be more cost-effective than plated dinners.

Another option is to consider local restaurants or small catering companies that may offer more affordable pricing compared to larger, well-known caterers. It’s also worth considering non-traditional meal options such as food trucks or potluck-style dinners, which can add a unique touch to the wedding while being budget-friendly.

Bar Options

For the bar at a simple wedding, there are several ways to keep costs down while still providing enjoyable libations for guests. One option is to offer beer and wine only, which can be more cost-effective than providing a full bar with liquor.

Another idea is to create a signature cocktail for the wedding, which can cut down on the variety of alcohol needed and simplify the drink offerings. For those looking for an even more low-cost option, consider a BYOB (bring your own bottle) policy where guests bring their own drinks to share with others.

It’s important to remember that when planning a simple wedding, finding budget-friendly catering and bar options doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or taste. With some creativity and flexibility, couples can find delicious food and drink choices that fit their budget without compromising on their special day.


When it comes to planning a simple wedding, finding affordable attire is key to staying within budget. Many couples dream of having a beautiful and memorable wedding, but that doesn’t necessarily mean having to spend a fortune on the wedding attire. There are plenty of options for finding budget-friendly wedding attire without sacrificing style and elegance.

One option for finding affordable wedding attire is to look for sample sales at bridal boutiques or trunk shows, where you can find designer dresses at a fraction of their original cost. Another option is to consider renting a wedding dress or suit, which can save you a significant amount of money while still allowing you to have a high-quality outfit for your special day.

Additionally, shopping for your wedding attire during off-seasons or searching for second-hand options can also help cut down costs. Many consignment shops and online platforms offer gently used wedding dresses and suits at a much lower price than buying brand new. By exploring these alternative options, you can find the perfect attire for your simple wedding without breaking the bank.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the most important thing about your wedding day is celebrating your love and commitment with your partner. Finding affordable wedding attire allows you to focus on what truly matters while still looking and feeling amazing on your special day. By being resourceful and open-minded in your search for attire, you can achieve the simple and beautiful wedding of your dreams while staying within budget.

Decor and Flowers

When it comes to decor and flowers for a wedding, there are numerous options available to couples looking to stay within budget. DIY (do-it-yourself) decorations and flower arrangements can be a cost-effective way to add a personal touch to the wedding while keeping costs down. Many couples opt for this route as it allows them to customize their wedding decor according to their style and preferences without having to break the bank.

DIY decor can include creating centerpieces, table settings, and even backdrops for the ceremony or reception. Couples can also consider crafting their own bouquets and boutonnieres using silk flowers or flowers purchased from a local farmer’s market. By taking on these projects themselves, couples have greater control over the overall look of their wedding while saving money in the process.

On the other hand, professional options for decor and flowers may provide convenience and expertise but at a higher cost. Hiring a florist or decorator can ensure that the couple’s vision is executed flawlessly without adding additional stress leading up to the big day. However, it is important for couples pursuing professional services to carefully research vendors in order to find options that fit within their budget.

Ultimately, whether choosing DIY or professional decor and flower options, it is essential for couples planning a simple wedding to carefully assess how much they would spend on such items while staying within their desired budget. By considering all available options and weighing the costs and benefits of each, couples can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals for their special day.

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Photography and Videography

When planning a simple wedding, photography and videography are crucial elements for capturing the special moments of the big day. However, many couples worry about the cost of professional services and are often left wondering how much would a simple wedding cost when factoring in these important aspects. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly options available that still produce beautiful and lasting memories.

One way to save on photography and videography is to consider hiring a student or amateur photographer or videographer. Many talented individuals who are just starting out in the industry offer their services at a fraction of the cost of established professionals. Additionally, some may be willing to provide their services pro bono or for a reduced rate in exchange for permission to use the photos or videos in their portfolios.

Another budget-friendly option is to hire a professional photographer or videographer for just a few hours rather than for the entire day. By focusing only on the most important parts of the wedding, such as the ceremony and formal portraits, couples can significantly reduce costs while still getting high-quality images and footage.

For those who prefer DIY options, setting up photo booths with props and disposable cameras can provide guests with an interactive way to capture moments from the wedding. This can be a fun and inexpensive way to supplement professional photography services while adding an element of creativity to the event.

Photography/Videography OptionCost
Hiring a student or amateur$500-$1000
Professional for limited hours$1000-$2000
DIY Photo booth$200-$300


Transportation, music, and other necessities are often overlooked when budgeting for a wedding, but they can quickly add up and break the bank if not carefully considered. When it comes to transportation, couples should think about how they will get to and from the ceremony and reception, as well as any other locations they may need to travel to throughout the day.

Options such as hiring a limo or using a rideshare service can impact how much would a simple wedding cost and should be factored into the overall budget.

In terms of music, many couples choose to hire a DJ or band for their reception. However, this can be costly. Alternatively, creating a playlist on a streaming service or asking friends or family members with musical talent to perform can be more budget-friendly options. It’s important to also consider any equipment rental fees or additional costs associated with the chosen music option.

Other necessities that couples should budget for include marriage licenses, permits for outdoor venues, and any rental items such as chairs, tables, or tents. These costs may seem small in comparison to bigger expenses like the venue and catering, but they can quickly add up and impact how much would a simple wedding cost.

Overall, transportation, music, and other necessities are important factors in planning a wedding that should not be overlooked when it comes to budgeting. By carefully considering these elements and researching affordable options, couples can ensure that they stay within their budget while still having an unforgettable day.

Wedding ExpenseEstimated Cost
Transportation (limo/rideshare)$200-800
Music (DJ/band)$500-3000
Other Necessities (permits/rentals)$300-1000


In conclusion, when it comes to planning a simple wedding and staying within budget, it’s important to remember that the true cost goes beyond just the price tag. A simple wedding is not just about spending less money, but also about prioritizing what truly matters and finding creative ways to celebrate your special day without breaking the bank.

By setting realistic expectations and defining what a simple wedding means to you as a couple, you can focus on what’s most important and allocate your budget accordingly. From finding affordable venues and catering options to DIY decor and attire, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without sacrificing the overall experience.

Ultimately, the key to staying within budget for a simple wedding is careful planning, prioritizing what matters most to you as a couple, and being resourceful in finding affordable alternatives. By doing so, you can create a memorable and meaningful celebration without feeling overwhelmed by how much would a simple wedding cost.

Remember that your wedding day is about love and commitment, not about how much money you spend. With some creativity and flexibility, you can have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.

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