How Do You Plan A Beach Wedding On A Budget?

Planning your wedding can be such a fun activity.

But if you’re on a budget, finding ways to cut your spending is the worst part of wedding planning.

The good news is that hosting your wedding on the beach is an affordable option for brides looking to save a little money.

When compared to other wedding venues, a beach wedding is relatively inexpensive.

But that doesn’t mean your spending can’t get out of control if you aren’t careful!

Follow these tips and tricks for planning your beach wedding on a budget to ensure you don’t overspend as you plan your celebration.

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How to Pay for a Beach Wedding

Finding the money to pay for your dream wedding is one of the biggest challenges many couples face as they start planning.

But if you’re savvy and thrifty, there’s no reason to go into debt to celebrate your big day.

There are a few simple things you can do that will help you plan an amazing wedding without overspending.

1) Start saving when you get engaged (or before).

When you know a wedding is on the horizon, it’s time to start saving.

But if you’re not sure how much to save to put together your wedding, simply take the budget of your wedding and divide it by the number of months you have to save.

So, if you plan to spend $10,000 on your wedding and you’ll be getting married in a year, you’ll need to set aside $834 per month.

2) Open a separate checking account for wedding spending.

To keep from overspending on your wedding, consider opening a separate checking account to pay for your wedding expenses.

You can transfer your wedding savings into the account and ask family members who are contributing to the costs to deposit money into the account, too.

A separate account will allow you to easily track each expense and keep you from going overbudget.

3) Cut back on expenses.

Once you have an idea of what you’ll need to save, you’ll need to take a look at your budget to find places to cut back.

Look at small expenses that add up over time, like getting rid of your Netflix subscription or eating out on Saturday night.

Continue making cuts until you’re able to set aside enough each month to reach your wedding goal.

Related articles on how to save money:

4) Earn more money.

If cutting expenses isn’t an option or you aren’t able to slash enough from your budget to reach your goal, look for ways to earn more money up until the big day.

Start a side hustle or get a part-time job to earn a little extra money to contribute to your wedding budget.

Related articles on how to make extra money on the side:

5) Ask your family.

While you shouldn’t rely on your family to contribute to your wedding, there are probably some family members who would love to help out.

Politely ask your family members if they would like to contribute to your wedding fund. But don’t be discouraged or disappointed if some tell you they won’t be able to help out.

6) Make a budget.

To keep yourself on track and ensure you don’t overspend, making a wedding budget is essential.

Your budget will help you determine how much you have to spend on your wedding and help you keep track of your spending as you plan.

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How to Create a Beach Wedding Budget

The best way to ensure you don’t overspend when planning your beach wedding is to create a budget for the event.

And while getting started on this task isn’t the most glamorous part of planning your wedding, it might be the most essential.

Taking the time to plan how much you’ll spend on your wedding will help you stay on track as you plan and keep you from going into debt before you and your spouse even start your lives together.

Although planning a budget for your wedding might seem like a big project, it’s not any more difficult than mapping out your monthly budget. Follow these simple steps to create your own budget for your beach wedding:

1) Start with a wedding budget number.

Before you can even start mapping out how much you’ll spend on each category of your wedding planning, you need to know exactly how much money you have to work with.

That means taking the time to figure out how much money you have available to spend on your wedding.

Ask yourself these questions to determine the amount of money you have available to spend on your wedding:

  • How much money do you currently have set aside for your wedding budget?
  • How much money will you be able to contribute to the budget each month until the wedding date arrives?
  • Will you be able to pull money from your savings account to cover additional expenses?
  • Will other family members be contributing to the wedding budget?
  • If so, how much will they be able to spend or what aspects of the wedding will they pay for?

After answering these basic questions, you should have a pretty good idea of how much money you have for your wedding budget.

That figure will be your starting point in creating the overall budget for your celebration.

2) Consult your guest list.

When planning a wedding, using your guest list as a guide will help you estimate the overall cost of a wedding.

The number of guests you plan to invite will determine a variety of factors in your wedding budget, including:

  • Venue size
  • Food and drink expenses
  • Invitation printing
  • Table and chair rentals
  • Cake size
  • Wedding favor count

Since so many aspects of your wedding depend on the number of guests you invite, taking the time to plan out your guest list is an essential aspect of creating a wedding budget.

And if you’re hoping to have a budget-friendly wedding, that means being very strategic about who you invite to the event.

Before you move on to the next step of the budgeting process, take the time to sit down with your partner and create a tentative guest list.

Having an estimated number of potential guests can help you figure out how much money you’ll need to spend in each budgeting category as you plan your wedding.

3) Pick your splurges.

Now that you know how many guests you’ll be inviting, it’s time to start discussing the aspects of your wedding that are non-negotiable.

Talk to your partner about the things you each want as part of your wedding, no matter the price.

Whether you’re determined to hire a professional videographer and photographer for your wedding or your spouse definitely wants an open bar at the reception, deciding on these must-haves before you map out your budget will help you determine where the majority of your budget will need to go and where you should try to cut back on your spending.

planning a beach wedding on a budget

4) Outline your budget categories.

After all that planning, you should have a pretty good idea of where your money will go as you start putting your wedding together.

But as you start booking and ordering, you’ll quickly uncover all the hidden expenses that go along with planning a wedding.

That’s why it’s important to create a list of budget categories and allocate a certain amount of money to each category to help you stay on track while you plan.

When planning a beach wedding, it’s a good idea to consider these spending categories for your budget:

  • Venues for the ceremony and reception
  • Beach permit fees
  • Photographer and/or videographer
  • Flowers and decorations for both venues
  • Food and drinks
  • Wedding cake
  • Music
  • Transportation
  • Wedding dress and accessories
  • Hairstylist and makeup artist
  • Groom’s outfit and accessories
  • Paper goods, like invitations, programs, and menus
  • Favors for the guests
  • Gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Lodging for you and your wedding party

While not all of these factors will be included in every wedding budget, it is important to consider each category as you create the budget for your event.

5) Do some research.

As you browse through the budget categories, do research online to figure out how much each aspect of your wedding will cost.

In addition to looking for general expenses involved in each category, do some research to determine how much the categories cost in the location you plan to hold your wedding.

And if you are open to different locations, take the time to compare costs among different beaches to pick the most budget-friendly option for you.

6) Set up your budget.

Use your favorite budgeting app or create a spreadsheet to outline and track your wedding budget.

Make sure to include the total amount you plan to spend on your wedding, as well as each category you know will be included in your wedding planning.

Work your way through each category and use your research to figure out how much of your budget you will allocate to each category, ensuring the total expenses do not go over your total budget amount.

If you want a ready-to-use wedding budget:

Here’s my wedding budget spreadsheet – available on Etsy. It has space for all of your wedding expenses, a summary and a chart so you can quickly see the big picture as well as the details. You can click here to get a 15% off coupon.

7) Start tracking.

Once you have your budget mapped out, you can start having some fun!

Call venues and providers to get price quotes for your wedding, then track the expenses as you start booking.

Keep a running tab of all the money you spend to ensure you don’t go overbudget as you plan your wedding.

How to Save Money on a Beach Wedding

Although creating a budget is a great way to start planning, you’ll still need to work hard to find cost-cutting options as you plan your beach wedding.

When finding budget-friendly options for your big day, consider these simple tips to save money.

1) Consider a beach package.

Many beach destinations offer wedding packages that will help you save money on a variety of aspects of your wedding.

These packages can include add-ons like decorations, flowers, photography, and reception venues, allowing you to bundle everything you’ll need for your wedding into one cost-saving package.

2) Book off-season.

Beach weddings have different seasons according to the area’s popularity.

And if you’re open to moving your wedding date around, booking a beach wedding in the off-season could save you a ton of money.

Since summer and early fall are often popular times for beach weddings, booking a beach wedding in the winter could be a great budget-friendly option.

3) Have a mid-week wedding.

In addition to having more expensive seasons, beach wedding venues also charge more for weekend wedding dates.

To get a great deal on your beach wedding, consider holding your event during the week.

Having your wedding Sunday through Thursday instead of Friday or Saturday could be a simple way to save a little money on the cost of your wedding venue.

We booked our wedding on a Sunday. As Monday was a public holiday, it was like booking on a Saturday, but with cheaper rates!

4) Book a public beach.

While booking a resort or private beach may make planning your wedding a little simpler, a public beach is often more cost-effective.

When holding your wedding on a public beach, typically the only cost associated with the venue is the permit fee.

Make sure to research your location to see what’s required to hold a wedding on a public beach before deciding on a beach for your event.

beach wedding on a budget ideas

5) Keep it casual.

With the sand, wind, and water surrounding you, trying to host a formal wedding on the beach probably isn’t the best idea.

And when you’re looking to save money on your ceremony, keeping the event casual is a great way to keep your event underbudget, too.

From casual dresses and suits for the wedding party to a relaxed dress code for your guests, creating a casual atmosphere for the wedding can also help you save money on the décor, drinks, and food.

6) DIY your décor and flowers.

Decorations and flower arrangements can cost a ton of money if you aren’t careful.

Taking the time to make your own decorations and flowers for your wedding is a great way to save money on the big day.

Create your own centerpieces for the reception, decorate with simple décor like candles, and make your own bouquets to save money on those small wedding details.

7) Trim your guest list.

Since you already know that many aspects of your wedding budget will depend on the number of guests you invite, having a small wedding is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t overspend.

Making cuts to your guestlist may be difficult, but the cost-savings will be worth it in the end.

8) Go digital.

Wedding printing can get expensive.

And with today’s technology, all that paper isn’t even necessary.

Instead of sending expensive invitations, reception cards, and envelopes, consider digital invitations for your wedding.

With email invitations, you can invite your guests and they can RSVP all online.

In addition to allowing you to save money on printing, digital invitations will make it easier to keep track of who’s coming to your wedding, which will make planning simpler, too.

9) Skip the open bar.

Although hosting an open bar at your reception may be a great way to celebrate, the cost can add up quickly.

Instead, offer beer and wine to your guests to keep the costs low.

Or create a signature wedding cocktail for your guests to enjoy instead of a full bar.

10) Don’t serve a full meal.

Another simple way to cut down on your food and drink costs is to schedule your wedding reception at a time that doesn’t require a full meal.

Hosting a sunset ceremony on the beach, for example, will allow you to serve appetizers and snacks instead of a full dinner at your reception, cutting your food costs significantly.

11) Rethink the wedding cake.

A huge wedding cake may be the traditional choice of dessert for weddings, but there’s no reason you can’t change things up.

Offering cupcakes or your favorite dessert for your beach wedding can save you money and make the reception a little more personal at the same time.

Where is the Cheapest Place to Have a Beach Wedding?

Finding the perfect venue for your beach wedding is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make.

And that means doing your research to find affordable beach wedding locations.

If you’re open to picking a budget-friendly destination wedding location, you’ll be able to save money on your venue by booking a cheap spot for your celebration.

These wedding locations are some of the most affordable spots for a destination wedding:

1) Belize

If you have dreams of hosting a beach wedding on the Caribbean Sea but think you can’t afford it – think again!

Belize is a great option for a budget beach wedding.

The island is filled with affordable resorts that offer cheap wedding packages, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a destination wedding on a budget.

2) Negril, Jamaica

With beautiful beaches and cheap resort options, Negril is another perfect tropical destination for your budget beach wedding.

In addition to popular resorts offering affordable wedding packages, the island is also home to several amazing boutique hotels that create unique beachfront weddings at budget-friendly prices.

3) The Dominican Republic

You’ll love the beautiful beaches and calm ocean waters in the Dominican Republic almost as much as your checkbook will love the prices.

When it comes to the cost of accommodations, food, and activities, the Dominican Republic is one of the best budget-friendly options in the Caribbean.

And thanks to the affordable resorts in the area, you can plan your entire destination wedding from your home without worrying about spending a ton of money in the process.

beach wedding ideas on a budget

4) Destin, Florida

There’s no reason to visit a tropical island for your destination wedding when you can get married in front of the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

With white sand beaches and beautiful, calm ocean waves, Destin is a great choice for any budget beach wedding.

The area is full of beautiful beach resorts offering great wedding packages, which means you’ll have a great selection of venue options available at this popular beach wedding location.

5) North and South Carolina

The rustic coastline of the Carolinas, featuring beautiful dunes and lush foliage, make a great backdrop for a beach wedding.

And since there are a variety of affordable options for lodging in these beautiful states, you’ll have several options to choose from for your beach wedding.

Book a resort stay or simply select a beachfront wedding spot and plan your beach wedding on a budget with a little bit of southern style in the Carolinas.

6) Southern California

When looking for a west coast beach wedding destination, southern California is a great option.

Many public beaches, like those in Santa Monica, allow you to set up a wedding of any size for a small fee.

Or book a site at a state park, like Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, for beautiful views and a low cost.

Beach Wedding Location Checklist

Finding the best location for your beach wedding is probably at the top of your list, which means it’s the first thing you should consider when planning your event.

Whether you’re looking at tropical locations for a destination wedding or a nearby beach your family loves, a lot goes into planning a beach wedding.

As you check out different locations, consider these factors:

1) Beach wedding permits

While hosting a beach wedding is typically simpler than other wedding location options, there is one thing you’ll need to do for a beach wedding that often isn’t required for other locations – get a permit.

Most beaches require that you purchase a permit for your event to reserve a section of the beach for your event.

When deciding on a location for your wedding, it’s a good idea to ask these questions regarding the permit for your location:

  • Is a permit required for a wedding?
  • What is the fee for the permit? And how is the fee structured?
  • How far in advance does the permit need to be secured?
  • How large of an area does the permit cover?
  • Do you need to get liability insurance for your event?
  • Is there a maximum number of guests allowed under the permit?

2) Ceremony logistics

Since your beach wedding will be often held in a public location, some extra planning may need to go into setting up your event. When planning the logistics of your wedding on the beach, think about:

  • Whether or not the section of public beach can be reserved ahead of time
  • Where delivery trucks will drop off the rentals and decorations for the event
  • The amount of parking available to guests
  • Location of public restrooms
  • When you can start setting up for your wedding
  • Handicap accessibility
  • Whether chairs and decorations are allowed at the location
  • Can tents and/or canopies be set up
  • If there are electrical outlets nearby
planning a beach wedding on a budget

3) Natural hurdles

In addition to considering the restrictions surrounding the location, you also need to take into account the natural elements that could affect your ceremony.

There are a variety of things to consider when it comes to planning a beach wedding that could not only help you decide which location is best for you but also the time of year and time of day that is ideal for your ceremony at each location.

  • When is high tide?
  • What is the forecast for your wedding day?
  • Is wind an issue at this location?
  • How noisy is the location on a typical day?
  • Will it be hot on your wedding day? Is there shade from the sun in your location?
  • How crowded is the beach on a typical day?

4) Wedding reception considerations

Hosting a wedding ceremony on the beach is just one aspect of planning your big day.

If you also hope to hold a reception on the beach following the ceremony, there are a variety of other things to think about.

  • Is a reception allowed at your location?
  • Is cooking allowed at the location? Can food be brought in?
  • Is live music or amplified sound permitted on the beach?
  • Is alcohol allowed at the location?
  • When does the beach close?

Related Articles For How To Save Money On A Beach Wedding:

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