According to The Knot, the average wedding in 2021 cost $34,000, a steep price tag for a party that lasts all of four hours. If you’re like me (meaning you also do not have $34,000 to spend on a wedding), you’re probably thinking that there has to be a better way—a cheaper way—to celebrate your nuptials alongside your friends and family.
And of course there is. There is a large online support network out there for people eschewing the influences of the marital industrial complex. These folks still want to throw themselves a party, but recognize there’s a large gap between a courthouse wedding and a lavish ballroom affair, and they’re eager to share their advice for how to make it happen on a much smaller budget. Here are five essential online resources to help you plan the happiest day of your life without making it the saddest day for your wallet.
r/weddingsunder10k is an online community of over 93,000 redditors who share tips and tricks on keeping the cost of your special day to under five figures. Like any reddit community, many of its members are people who’ve been through the wringer and come out the other side with hard-earned advice to offer. Search through thousands of archived threads filled with tips on how to save money on food, dresses, photography, and more, and then ask your own questions if you need more specific advice.
Budget Savvy Bride
Founded by Jessica Bishop in 2008, Budget Savvy Bride is a resource dedicated to helping couples plan a wedding on a budget. It’s filled with money-saving tips, simple DIY projects, and practical wedding planning advice that will help you cut back on wedding costs, from the obvious (cutting the guest list), to the odd (get married on a Wednesday). There’s also a companion book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer.
Cheap Wedding Pinterest
Like Reddit, if there’s a topic you’re interested in, Pinterest is filled with thousands of related ideas to explore. It’s a great resource for cheap wedding inspiration, whether you’re exploring making your own invitations or buying and revitalizing a second-hand wedding dress.
Cheap Wedding Stuff
Cheap Wedding Stuff is an Instagram account dedicated to exactly that. The account frequently hosts online Q&A’s via its Instagram stories, and has archived information on topics such as affordable guestbooks, cheap and stylish cake toppers, and everything in between. There are also DIY tutorials that will cover a number of different parts of your wedding prep.
Wedding Happy is an iPhone app that attempts to serve as a stand-in for the services of a wedding planner. (If it works for you, it will keep a lot of cash in your pocket; according to The Knot, the average cost for a wedding planner in 2021 was $1,700.) Wedding Happy helps you stay on track by giving you a timeline to follow and helping you stay on target with deadlines and reminders, communicated to you via checklists, graphs, and a not-at-all stress-inducing countdown clock.