Planning a Wedding on a Medical Student Budget.
Medical school is expensive. Like, crazy expensive. And if you’re like Josh and I you will rely on financial aid to get you through these treacherous years of becoming a doctor.
So when Josh and I got engaged last summer and began to dive into the depths of wedding planning, we realized something REAL FAST…WEDDINGS ARE CRAZY EXPENSIVE TOO. I think the average cost of a wedding in the US is about $30,000. WTF. FOR ONE DAY?! We were absolutely shocked by how much businesses and vendors JACK UP the price of their services when they know that it is for a wedding. I mean…how is this the social norm?
Since Josh and I come from average, median family households….who don’t have an extra $30,000 to spend on one day to feed all of our family friends. We had to do our wedding planning on a super strict budget.Here are the tips and tricks that we used to keep our wedding planning as low cost as possible….while still getting everything we wanted out of our special day.
Plan it yourself. This one is super obvious…save some of the $ that you would spend on a wedding planner….and DO IT YOURSELF. Get some of your girlfriends, sisters and moms to help with a bulk of the planning/preparing.
Have your ceremony/reception in a small town. For the past couple years Josh and I have lived near the Milwaukee area. So naturally when it came to picking a venue…we looked there first. And HOLY COW, the prices for renting a space, food and beverage minimums and literally everything else…were at least double what the prices for similar venues were in a small town outside of Milwaukee. We are going to be having our wedding in northern Wisconsin (the small town where I’m from)…and it’s going to be beautiful. I would take a rustic, country wedding over a city wedding any day.
- Buy your dress at a department store or David’s bridal. This one might offend some of you ladies who are all about designers and high-end fashion. But I totally am not. I wanted a dress that I felt beautiful in, that’s it. The first (and only) bridal shop that we went to was a David’s Bridal and I found the dress of my dreams within an hour…and it was on sale…so it was only $290. WHAT?! I personally know women who have spent more $$$ on their wedding dress, than we are going to spend on our entire wedding. If you have all that extra cash, more power to you…but id rather spend less on my dress and have those extra hundreds/thousands go towards our honeymoon. Plus…you’re only going to be wearing it for 8ish hours. So is a $5,000 dress really worth it? In my opinion, no. Wedding shoes? Make them cheap too because you probably will never wear them again. Tbh, I really want to get a pair of Birkenstock sandals with white straps so at least I will be able to wear them all summer.
- Hire a budding photographer. The amazing girl who is going to be capturing our wedding for us was actually the younger sister of someone that I went to undergrad with. She is just starting her photography business and is eager to get experience!!! And her prices are much less than most other photographers in the area.
- Don’t waste your money on super fancy save the dates, rsvp cards or invites. I was absolutely shocked when I saw how expensive some wedding invitations are!!! Um, excuse me…I don’t want to spend $5.00 on an invite that someone is going to hang on their fridge for a month and then throw away. No thanks. Josh and I bought our save the dates from Snapfish….they looked super great and were super cheap (because Snapfish always has amazing sales)!! We just ordered our wedding invites from Shutterfly because they had an amazing sale. And instead of ordering the matching RSVP cards for the invite….we are ordering RSVP cards from amazon because they are SO MUCH CHEAPER. Who cares if the invites and rsvp cards don’t match, they are all going to end up in the garbage anyway.
- Rustic decorations. We are using mason jars, candles, water, leaves, branches and flowers as decorations for our reception. SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL and CHEAP.
- Keep your guest list minimal.
*Obviously there are a lot of ways to save $$$ on food and drinks based on your own opinion and what catering options are available in your area. But I figured those ways to save $$$ were more obvious .
I hope that you guys enjoyed reading these tips on how to plan a wedding on a medical student budget. If you have any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear them!!!