On average, people spend $33,391 on their wedding according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study. This number is tough to fathom, especially as you and your partner are trying to start a life together. If you’re looking to have a budget-friendly wedding, look no further than advice from the couple who pulled off their big day for just under $1,600.

Why did they do it?

Tayla and Ken decided to have a small wedding because saving for a home was at the top of their priority list. By having a “micro-wedding” they would be able to save money and avoid overspending. However, even with a small guest list, there are still hidden fees, added expenses, and tempting details that can have you spending more than you planned for your big day.

In fact, over 40% of couples underestimated how much they would spend on their wedding. Regardless of your guest list, it’s easy to overspend on your wedding day. Tayla and Ken knew that a fancy wedding wasn’t exactly going to fit into their budget as they tried to save for a home. Thats when they decided to embark on a journey to have a wedding under $2,000.

How did they do it?

Planning a wedding on a strict budget had Tayla and Ken coming across unique ways to save on wedding expenses that they had to share. The first tip? Not using the word “wedding” when talking to vendors.

Anything with the labeled “wedding” attached to it packed an unnecessary premium,” explained Tayla. They asked a florist how much a “wedding” bouquet would cost and were quoted $150. They called back later and asked the same question without mentioning “wedding” and they were quoted $80.

They learned that companies simply up charge you if they know you’re hosting a wedding.

Wedding Attire:

When it came to picking out the perfect dress, Tayla avoided wedding boutiques. Cute and trendy? Yes. Within budget? Not exactly. Instead, she took on department stores to land a beautiful, ivory cocktail dress at just $110 perfect for her big day.

Again, this dress wasn’t labeled a “wedding” dress which is why she suspected it was so affordable compared to other gowns she was looking at. Ken, being low-maintenance, used his existing suit for his wedding attire.

Wedding Favors:

As for the extras? They decided to go without things like gifts for the wedding party, RSVP cards, and floral centerpieces. Omitting a few things from your wedding can save you more than you think. Most of the time, guests won’t even notice they are missing.

Cut your costs down and stay within your budget by eliminating these 5 things from your big day.

To document the day, they had a good friend photograph the wedding as their gift to the couple. Whether a professional photographer or not, look for a friend or family member with a knack for photography. This will help save your big on your day without omitting it completely from your budget.

Venue:

Booking a venue can be the most expensive part of wedding planning. It can ruin your budget before you even pick out the band, flowers, or cake. The average cost of the ceremony venue is $2,197, with the reception venue being $16,107, according to The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Study. Tayla and Ken rented a space in a small park on a cliff, just above the beach, for $180. It was a scenic spot that made for the perfect venue. You don’t have to sacrifice your dream venue to meet your wedding budget.

These 3 venues are inexpensive alternatives that will make your big day special without the financial stress.

Final touches:

For food, they had a simple, non-wedding cake from the local deli and brought their own Champagne. It wasn’t fancy, but it was still a crowd pleaser. Turns out, you can’t go wrong with cake and champagne no matter what they cost!

“I hadn’t anticipated the biggest side benefit of a miniature wedding: It was nearly stress-free,” Tayla admits. Letting go of budget pressure, made planning a wedding that much more exciting. 

When it all was said and done, Tayla and Ken had spent no more than $1,600. Weddings don’t have to be expensive to be special. With just a few simple alterations you can save thousands!