Wedding 15K avaWedding planning can be tough, especially when your wedding budget isn’t that big. But it’s totally possible to have a wonderful and memorable wedding with a $10-15,000 budget. Of course, it depends on the length of your guest list and your ability to use money smartly. Here are a number of useful tips and pieces of advice from experienced wedding planners that will help you spend only $15K on the wedding of your dream.

How to divide your $15K wedding budget correctly?

Wedding venue – 19%

Wedding coordinator – 5%

Catering – 15%

Drinks – 3%

Dessert – 3%

Wedding rentals – 5%

Wedding attire – 5%

Hair & makeup – 1%

Wedding photos – 9%

Wedding videography – 9%

Wedding flowers – 9%

Music and DJ – 4%

Stationery – 3%

Emergency fund – 10%


Wedding venue

When your wedding budget is small, you have to be creative and think smart to get a beautiful and comfy but cheap wedding venue. Local, government-owned places are usually a lot more affordable than fancy specialized venues. But we’ve already posted plenty of articles on this topic, so just read these:

Top-10 inexpensive wedding venues for any wedding budget

How to book wedding vendors and venue cheap? Useful tricks

Difference between all-inclusive and DIY wedding venues. What should you choose?


To have full-service catering for $2 250 might be a challenge if your wedding is planned for 100 or more people. Obviously, the fewer wedding guests you need to feed, the more options you’ll find to choose from. But even with a large wedding, it’s hard but possible. There are food trucks, there are small local catering companies that might offer you a discount, there are bars with appetizers that are cheaper but cute and tasty, there are such options as using disposable dinnerware to reduce expenses, and so on.

For more tips and tricks on optimizing wedding catering, read this:

Wedding catering rules and hacks. How to feed your wedding guests properly?

How to make your wedding more eco-friendly. Reduce, reuse, recycle tips


To make your expenses on dessert more affordable, be inventive. You probably won’t be able to order a professionally-made wedding cake, but you can go for individual mini desserts or buy sweets in a local bakery and arrange a DIY wedding dessert table. Or you can cut the costs by delivering your cake from the baker and setting it up by yourself (not yourself actually but someone from your bridal party).

Useful articles:

How to make DIY wedding dessert table from scratch

Wedding dessert table ideas. Make a dessert bar instead of wedding cake


Having just beer and wine instead of an open bar will help you save a lot, like, A LOT. Serve 2-3 options of beer and 2-3 options of wine and your wedding guests will be perfectly fine with that, for the most part. Today, it’s common to offer free beer and wine and an option of getting any other alcohol for money.


The stuff people usually rent for a wedding includes tables, chairs, table linens and napkins, décor, signs, etc. Obviously, the largest expenses go for rental furniture, so if you can find a wedding venue that provides furniture for free, you’ll have to rent only linens and napkins, which are totally affordable. In this case, you’ll need less than 5% of your planned budget and the rest can be used elsewhere.

Read also:

How to rent wedding dinner furniture. Tips and tricks

Wedding photography and videography

Having 9% of your budget per each of these categories – $2,700 total – is by far not enough to pay for your wedding photos and video. Most probably, you won’t be able to hire professionals for this amount of money. If you’re ready to skip videography, you’ll have better chances of finding a good photographer. Another option is to look for a photography student whose services are more affordable, but note that the quality of your wedding photos might be worse (the same can be applied to makeup artists). Also, you can look for a small local business that might give you a discount.

Here are posts that will be useful for you:

Tips on how to have pro wedding photos even if you can’t afford it

Wedding planning tips: venue, photography, hair & makeup stylists

How to pick the right wedding photographer for your couple. Really useful pieces of advice

Wedding flowers

Again, if your wedding budget is $15K, the amount of money you can afford to spend on wedding florals is small. So, be inventive. If you’re skilled in DIYing, go for it – it’ll help you save a lot. Or search for a florist among your friends and family. Or try to find a local professional ready to work with you.

By the way, think wider about making deals with wedding vendors. If you provide some service in your line of work (maybe you’re a constructor or a baker or a shop owner), you can try to barter with a potential vendor – a favor for a favor, a service for a service. Sometimes, it’s advantageous for both of you.

Useful articles:

Top-5 tips to avoid wedding flowers drama

How to decorate your wedding aisle. Trendy wedding aisle decor ideas

Should you DIY your wedding flowers?

Wedding attire

If your wedding budget doesn’t allow you to buy a fancy wedding gown, look for other options, and there are plenty. For example, use your mother’s or granny’s wedding dress, rant or borrow a gown, wear something cute and festive but not specifically sewn for a wedding, buy a dress on a sale or in a thrift store, and so on.

Related posts:

Where to get affordable wedding dress. Pros and cons of buying cheaper wedding dresses

Emergency fund

Most wedding planners strongly advise reserving about 10% of your wedding budget for an emergency fund. This means that if you need extra $200 to hire a good photographer or you forgot to allocate the money for your wedding hairstyle, or in case of any other emergency, you just take what you need from this fund. Otherwise, where can you get extra money? These extra dollars will go to where they’re needed the most.

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