Outdoor wedding by Tinywater Photography

Can you have a fabulous wedding on a budget? Yes You Can. How?

1. Courage. If you are planning a wedding on a budget, you’ll have some tough decisions to make in the upcoming months and one of those decisions will involve who you are going to invite to your wedding. Cutting back the wedding guest list to include only those who are close to you is the best way to reduce your wedding costs, but if you have a large family and a big circle of friends, this will not be easy. It will take courage to make the necessary cuts – and to face the uninvited. Just keep in mind that there’s a good chance that some of your friends and distant family might actually feel relieved that they don’t have to come up with hundreds of dollars in travel expenses and wedding gifts during these tough economic times.

2. Conviction. Go ahead and get starry-eyed over dreamy pictures of big budget weddings. Drool on your keyboard if you must, at wedding inspiration boards that look delicious enough to devour, but do not be tempted to give in to anything you can’t afford. Realize that you can create a fabulous event – that is true to you and your partner – without blowing your budget.

3. Creativity. The DIY wedding movement is white hot, and the lousy economy is fanning the flames. Brides are doin’ it for themselves because they realize that they can save bundles of money – and create a more personal and meaningful event with their own DIY touches. And one doesn’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull it off. There’s a plethora of websites on how to make everything from bridal centerpieces to edible favors. Bridal forums and DIY wedding books are also great resources for how-to info. The earlier you plan the more time you’ll have for DIY wedding projects.

4. Community. Why not get your friends and family involved in the wedding details? Maybe your uncle is a brilliant guitar player. Ask him to play at your ceremony. Maybe your sister-in-law is a graphic designer. Request her help for your invitations. Does your aunt bake raspberry cheesecake to die for? Ask for her help with the dessert table. Generally, friends and family are happy to get involved. Just make sure you show heaps of gratitude for their assistance. (Homemade chocolate chip cookies will warm hearts.)

5. Calm. There will be days when you feel overwhelmed, crazy even. You will wonder how in the world you are going to pull it off without going over budget. Take a deep breath, and trust in the process. A wonderful wedding is waiting for you at the end of this challenging journey. It’s your job to stay on the path that leads to this destination without losing any friendships along the way (conflicts often occur during times of stress) and without spending money you don’t have. If you are feeling frazzled, frustrated and afraid, remember to keep calm and realize that in the end it’s all about the love.

Photo: Julie and Jon’s Art Nouveau $10,000 wedding. Tinywater Photography.