How To Plan A Small Wedding

Small weddings are becoming increasingly popular among couples, with a focus on creating intimate and meaningful celebrations. Discover the benefits of planning a small wedding and tips on how to make your special day truly unforgettable. Learn how to easily manage the process, from choosing the perfect venue to personalizing your ceremony and reception.

If you’re looking for a picturesque location in Long Island, consider East Wind Long Island for your dream wedding! It is important to note that our minimum wedding count is 100+ Guests. 

Choosing the Perfect Venue

Before planning a wedding, you must first select a venue. The venue you choose sets the tone for your wedding day, from the ambiance to the photos.

East Wind Long Island’s Vineyard

The vineyard at East Wind Long Island provides an enchanting setting for an intimate ceremony. This outdoor venue is filled with beautiful, blooming flowers, lush greenery, and a picture-perfect setting for many couples. Many brides and grooms have agreed this was an ideal location for saying your vows in a tranquil and romantic setting.

East Wind Long Island’s Estate Setting

For a grander feel, consider East Wind Long Island’s Estate Setting. This location offers elegance and intimacy with beautifully manicured lawns and architectural features ideal for unforgettable photographs. The Estate provides you with an intimate setting while maintaining the grandeur of a traditional wedding venue.

Considerations for Small Wedding Venues

Considering the capacity of your chosen venue is important, even when planning for a small wedding. Ensure that your selected venue can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Additionally, consider the ambiance of the venue and how well it aligns with your wedding theme. Check the offered customization options. Can you arrange the space to fit your vision? Can you personalize the decorations, layout, and overall aesthetic?

The venue plays a significant role in shaping the experience for you and your guests on your special day. Take the time to find a location that truly resonates with you to ensure a memorable celebration.

Planning the Ceremony and Reception

The beauty of planning a wedding lies in the freedom to truly tailor the ceremony and reception to reflect the couple’s personalities and tastes.

Personalized Ceremony and Reception Ideas

Consider writing your vows or incorporating a special family ritual into the ceremony. For the reception, opt for a family-style dinner or a buffet with your favorite dishes instead of a formal plated dinner. You can also choose unique music selections that hold personal significance to you.

Coordinating With Vendors for a Small Wedding

Aligning with vendors suitable for intimate celebrations is key. Carefully select your florist, caterer, photographer, and videographer, considering their experience with and offerings for small weddings. They should be able to adapt their services to your vision and not force you into a one-size-fits-all package.

Budget-Friendly Tips for Small Weddings

Managing costs is often a priority for couples planning a small wedding. Luckily, there are several cost-saving strategies you can employ.

Personalizing Your Small Wedding

A modest wedding enables you to incorporate unique touches, giving your celebration an extra layer of intimacy and personalization. From designing your menu to décor elements, East Wind Long Island provides various customization options. Work with our in-house professionals to create the perfect day that reflects your unique style and love story.

Plan Your Wedding With East Wind Long Island

Embracing the concept of a small wedding allows you to create an intimate, meaningful, and memorable celebration. East Wind Long Island offers the ideal setting, packages, and customization options to align with your vision and turn it into reality.

To begin the exciting journey of planning your intimate wedding and to explore the offerings at East Wind Long Island, reach out to us today.

Here’s to a day filled with love, laughter, and the creation of unforgettable memories.

How Long Does It Take To Plan a Wedding?

A wedding is a one-day event, but you can expect it to take much longer than a single day to plan your wedding. Professional recommendations for planning times range from 6 months to more than a year. Yet, the length of your engagement will be the determining factor in the amount of time you have for planning. The type of wedding you envision will also impact your planning time. 

How long will it take to plan your wedding? East Wind Long Island is here to help you look at the factors that affect a wedding timeline to find out. 

The Timeframe You’re Looking at If You’re Planning a Wedding

It’s estimated that it takes 200 – 300 hours to plan the typical wedding. That’s a full 8 – 12 days of planning if you start immediately and don’t stop until you cross the finish line. To avoid frantic planning, a common recommendation is to take a full year to plan the wedding. 

A 12-month wedding planning timeline might look something like this:

12 Months Away

  • Set the date and include a backup date
  • Discuss your budget
  • Create a guest list and choose your wedding party
  • Explore options for venues

10 Months Before the Big Day

  • Book venues and vendors
  • Say Yes to a dress
  • Create save-the-date cards

8 Months Before the Big Day

  • Refine the guest list
  • Create gift registries
  • Select hotels for traveling guests
  • Plan your honeymoon

6 Months Before the Big Day

  • Purchase invitations
  • Schedule dress fittings
  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Plan wedding party attire

3 Months Before the Big Day

  • Ensure all travel and planning documents are in order
  • Send out invites
  • Purchase wedding accessories 

1 Month before Exchanging “I Do’s”

  • Check-in on guests who haven’t RSVP’d
  • Create a wedding day timeline for vendors
  • Apply for a marriage license
  • Write vows

Final Week

  • Confirm with vendors
  • Prepare final payments for the venue and vendors
  • Give the caterer a final headcount

What Planning a Wedding Looks Like

As a newly engaged couple, setting a wedding date will be a top priority. After taking a few days to enjoy your status as an engaged couple, you’ll want to consider what your wedding will look like and how many guests will be attending the ceremony. Crafting a unique schedule becomes easier when you have a firm idea of the ceremony you’re planning and your budget. 

If you’re planning a large wedding with many guests who will require travel plans, it’s best to stick to a longer engagement. Even if you’re planning a modest ceremony with a small guest list, you’ll need to consider the time needed for booking your venue in advance, dress alterations, and honeymoon plans. 

Expect your wedding planning to include these tasks at a minimum:

  • Coordinating travel plans with guests
  • Booking a venue
  • Choosing a wedding dress
  • Sending invitations
  • Booking vendors
  • Getting a marriage license
  • Planning a reception

The Importance of the Right Venue

The venue you choose for your wedding can play a big part in reducing your planning requirements and the time needed to plan an unforgettable wedding. An all-inclusive luxury resort complete with locations for the ceremony and reception along with lodging can take many steps out of the planning process. When you book your wedding at an exclusive resort venue like East Wind Long Island, you can select your choice of on-site venues and get assistance with everything you need, including hotel accommodations for guests, restaurant reservations, shopping, spas, and more. You can book your wedding and stay on the property for the entire affair.

Planning Your Wedding Has Never Been Easier with East Wind Long Island

East Wind Long Island is more than a venue; it’s a magical wedding experience that includes everything you desire for your dream wedding. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or a grand affair, you can find the ideal environment for an unforgettable event. Let us help you plan your wedding. Get in touch to learn more about our wedding packages.


Image Credits: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock 

How to Plan a Romantic Getaway

You have been dreaming of your next getaway while reminiscing about the last one you went on? You remember how much it helped your relationship, as well as how much fun you both had. But, you always have difficulty when it comes to planning these getaways. You feel overwhelmed and you worry that you might make the wrong decision. Of course, you want the getaway to be both relaxing and fun for your significant other. This guide will help you with planning the perfect romantic getaway for you and your loved one.

What Activities Do They Enjoy?

Answering this question and questions like it should be on the top of your to-do list before you even think about the planning phase. This is because knowing what each of you enjoy will help you determine what time of getaway you will prefer, as well as what activities you will want to be available to you.

For instance, you may both enjoy drinking wine. This means the two of you may really enjoy staying at a winery hotel that features winery tours. You may also be looking for things to do on long island this weekend because you both enjoy the location. In that case, you may choose to stay at a long island resort.

If you do not know what your significant other likes or think they may dislike what you have planned, it never hurts to ask. It is not a requirement that weekend getaways to a resort need to be a surprise. Getting their input can help you to plan little things here and there throughout your weekend that can help amplify your experience together. For instance, you may schedule them a massage in the resort spa.

Book a Room

If you are planning a romantic weekend getaway, you will always want to call the resort in advance to make reservations to stay at the hotel. It can spell disaster if you wait until you have arrived at the resort to try and book a hotel, as they may be all booked up. This can quickly sour your romantic getaway.

Instead, call in advance. This is also a great time to inquire about additional activities you are interested in doing. This is because this can provide you with more information on those activities, if there is a waitlist for those activities, and the occupancy for those activities. This information could help you determine what you partake in during your romantic getaway.

Leave Plenty of Room for Free Time

One of the most common mistakes people make when planning a resort romantic getaway is that they overbook activities. Couples who do this end up feeling rushed and do not get to fully enjoy each activity. Instead, leave some room in your schedule for free time that should accumulate to at least a few hours each day. You might see something that you want to do that you did not plan for and now you will have the time to do it!

Always Stay Optimistic

Sometimes, life will throw a wrench into your plans. It is oftentimes unavoidable and there are two very different ways you can handle it. You could let it ruin your trip or you could prevent it from ruining your trip. Let’s face it that sometimes plans just don’t go as planned. But, this does not mean that your whole romantic getaway is ruined. Remember the reason why you are on this trip and keep in mind that as long as you two are together, there is nothing that could ruin your getaway.

Out of all travelers, 42% feel more romantic when they are on a vacation. Planning a romantic getaway for you and your loved one does not have to be a headache. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience, just like the getaway itself. Follow this helpful guide the next time you are planning a romantic resort getaway to help make the most out of the trip.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Venues

Unique wedding venues can set the pace for the biggest day of your life. Choosing the right wedding venue gives you the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable event. A lot of couples are faced with the same dilemma when it comes to finding wedding venues Long Island guests are really impressed by.

It can be a challenge to whittle down your options to find the best unique wedding venues near me when there are many good ones to choose from. Of course, there is only one best wedding venue for your big day. Following a few tips can help you to choose the wedding venue that bests represents your vision for your wedding.

What is Your Vision?

It is important that you form a vision of your wedding before you start searching for wedding venues. The more detail you can come up with the easier it will be to rule out some venues. For example, your vision is for a one of a kind wedding that is elegant, weddings in a mansion can be the perfect place for your wedding.

The point is that choosing the right wedding venues really comes down to personal preference. Consider the following:

  • Are you envisioning a rustic wedding? Or do you see yourself immersed in elegance?
  • How many guests do you plan on having? You always want to be sure that you choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guests.
  • Are you looking for a turn-key approach to your wedding? Many couples choose a venue that can meet all of their needs.

Searching for unique wedding venues near me can put you in touch with some beautiful venues that will make your event a hit with guests. The perfect wedding venue will check all your boxes off the list and deliver a memorable event that is sure to please everyone.

Your wedding day should be created in your vision. With the right venue, you will have every detail taken care of and your event will be exactly as you hoped it would be. The right venue will house all of your guests comfortably, and it will offer added value options that can make wedding planning simplified.

Simplifying Your Wedding Planning

Ideally, the venues that you are considering will offer a turn-key approach to wedding planning. The right venues will have preferred vendors to choose from and be a real asset in helping you find the vendors that bring a wedding together.

Rule number one when it comes to choosing a venue is do not settle. Your venue is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Learn more about one of Long Island’s most unique wedding venues.

Luxury and Adventure Combine to Create the Perfect Romantic Getaway

Almost 42% of people that travel tend to feel even more romantic while on vacation. It’s good to get away. It’s even better to get away with a loved one so you can spend quality time together and reconnect. Romantic getaways that are located near beaches, wine country, and at a romantic hotel are sure to set the ideal tone for a weekend, a few days, or an entire week. No matter how long you choose to stay, make a luxury resort your destination. The luxurious décor combined with extraordinary hospitality and modern conveniences will impress your partner and bring you even closer together.

Plan Romantic Long Island Getaways

Romantic getaways do not have to be difficult to plan. This is especially true when you choose iconic resorts that provide luxurious hotel rooms and accommodations that range from traditional to exclusive ambassador suites. Even if you only want to plan a few afternoon romantic getaways, top resorts provide special promotions and offers that make you feel as if you’re miles away from home. Relax, get pampered, and book a wine tour to fully set the mood. If you and your partner enjoy sports together, schedule a golfer’s package with an overnight stay with boutique hotel accommodations. Your evening should include exclusive dinner reservations at a top-tiered Zagat-rated restaurant too.

Luxury Matters When Planning Romantic Getaways

What would romantic getaways be without luxury? They wouldn’t be nearly as exquisite or relaxing. Book romantic getaways with luxury hotels that offer unique dining experiences, specialty packages, tranquil spa amenities, and local activities available year-round. The hotel itself should provide luxury amenities including a heated indoor pool, scrumptious eating establishments, spa and hair boutiques, and even business services for working people who still want to get away with their loved ones.

Get More Connected with Your Partner

Life can get busy and make even the closest couples feel disconnected. Reconnect during romantic getaways. Even the shortest trips can make you feel more connected to loved ones. While there are many options available, keeping your destination romantic is an exciting way to build anticipation. Just planning this type of trip is fun from the very start. Plan out as many as the logistics as you can ahead of time so you and your loved one can enjoy the entire trip from beginning to end without any disruptions. Getaways are a way to bond even before the trip has officially begun.

Getaways Make Couples Happier and Healthier Mentally

Are you looking for a way to become happier and mentally healthier with your partner? You guessed it, romantic trips are perfect when it comes to helping reduce stress levels and increase happiness. Who doesn’t love spending time with their significant other? Everyone needs time away from the hustle of life. Research within the U.S. has already shown that trips, no matter how long, are healthy. Take time for yourself and your partner. Your health, relationship, and sanity will thank you for it.

Trips Give Couples a Chance to Communicate on a Different Level

A romantic trip is great for the structure of your relationship. When you get the chance to get away from the daily grind, you are both able to spend true quality time together. The opportunity to communicate on a special level is present while on a trip versus when you are just stuck at home. When you slip into a relaxed and fun environment, lines of communication that were more than likely neglected are more open. Get a different and better perspective on your relationship while enjoying your next romantic vacation.

Restore Lost Intimacy

The best thing about romantic escapes is the ability to restore lost intimacy. It takes work to keep a committed relationship happy. Spend time away together to renew intimacy even after you get back home. A luxury getaway is exactly what couples need to be reminded about the things they love in one another while strengthening their commitment. Book your next romantic trip now to start rekindling your love and affection.

4 Tips for Choosing a Honeymoon Destination

Choosing your honeymoon location isn’t an easy task with so many bustling cities and romantic getaways out there. About 1.4 million U.S. newlyweds travel for their honeymoon while other couples prefer to stay local at spa resorts. Either way, it can be a challenging decision that takes a lot of planning.

Whether you’re looking forward to a jam-packed honeymoon or a more relaxing getaway, here are a few tips you can use to help you choose your honeymoon destination.

Start with narrowing down your options

It’s easier to compare honeymoon ideas when you’re only working with a few options. Talk to your partner to determine what kind of destination the two of you are going for. Do you like the idea of traveling abroad or would that put too much stress on the two of you so soon after your wedding? Do you prefer to stay local to cut down on travel costs?

Consider making a list of your top destination sites for your honeymoon and have your partner do the same. When you each have a small list, compare destinations and start narrowing down.

Consider your budget

The average honeymoon lasts between seven to nine days, but some couples will honeymoon for up to a month depending on their budget. Make sure to take the time to consider the budget you and your partner have for your honeymoon.

You can typically narrow down which destinations fit within that budget. Plane tickets, for instance, are a major expense depending on how far you’re traveling. Out-of-pocket expenses for items like transportation and passports are also necessary to plan for.

Think about the weather

If you’re honeymooning somewhere like Long Island, you can easily plan for the weather at your honeymoon destination. But if you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, it’s important to take a look at the local climate. For instance, certain destinations experience rainy seasons that could put a serious damper on your honeymoon if you were expecting lots of sun.

Check out local destinations

East Wind Long Island offers romantic spa resorts and weekend getaways for you and your partner to enjoy whether it’s your honeymoon or you’re looking for a romantic trip. From winery tours to luxury amenities, you can find everything you need right here. To learn more about our romantic spa resorts and packages, contact East Wind Long Island today.

Things to Look For When Booking a Romantic Hotel for Your Wedding Events

Are you worried about where you’ll hold your wedding ceremony and host a bachelorette party? Worry no more! Whether you’re looking for a destination wedding venue or a local romantic hotel to host your wedding events, there are a few essential factors that you’ll need to consider. The issues to consider may make the process look a little intimidating, but here are a few considerations that can make your work easy.

Consider Proximity and Comfort

How close is your chosen romantic hotel? Does your prospective wedding venue present the comfort that you desire? Delaying your bachelorette party or honeymoon can have a devastating impact on your big event. As such, you should do an early and diligent search to find a hotel that is near your hometown.

Booking a wedding venue that is close to you will ensure that you don’t travel extra miles to get to your romantic hotel. Traveling for long distances can cause great exhaustion, and with such fatigue, you may be unable to focus on your wedding events. So opt for someplace that is close enough.

Consider the Hotel Amenities and Ambience

Does your prospective getaway destination have a lobby or bar lounge where your guests can convene and enjoy the event? Will you need a dance floor to host your wedding party? These are some of the questions that you should ask when making choices. Indeed, a romantic hotel with a spa, dancing room, bar, swimming pool, parking lots, and other essential hotel amenities will be a better choice for you. The presence of a wide array of amenities makes any romantic hotel more comfortable.

Weigh Your Privacy and Time Spent With Guests

Once you’re on your romantic getaway, you may need some time with your spouse if you’ll be spending the honeymoon in the same hotel. You may also need some privacy in your spa or during bachelorette parties. If you choose to get hosted in the same hotel as your guests, then you’ll have to give up some privacy. To get more privacy and comfort, you can book rooms on different floors from the rest of your guests. It’s all up to you to figure out your preferences: will you need more romance and privacy, or more time with your friends and family.

Check the Location of Your Room and Noise Levels

Ideal rooms for newlyweds shouldn’t be close to busy streets, swimming pools, construction sites, or elevators. The noise from such sites can disrupt your special occasion or make you sleepless.


What’s the ability of your romantic hotel to host your event? A long island resort with a 350 room capacity can’t host your wedding event that will receive 500 guests. Overcrowding may breach the safety codes of such venues. You should also check the FandB minimums from previous events to get proper records that can help you in planning for your wedding event.


Accessible wedding venues make it possible for all guests to access the amenities and buildings. Accessibility is essential for guests with special needs. You’ll first need to know who your attendees will be. You should also assess their unique needs to determine whether they can get better access and movement around your venue. Also, ensure that your wedding venue has facilities that can meet the needs of children who may be part of your guests.


An average of 44,230 weddings take place every weekend, and this buzz of wedding activities make most wedding venues busy all weekend. Selecting a perfect romantic hotel for your wedding getaway is a crucial thing to do to get a fantastic wedding and honeymoon experience. But if you get it wrong, then you may end up ruining your special event. Consider the tips cited in this post, and the chances of having an elegant and successful wedding will be high.

What You Need To Do To Set Up A Romantic Getaway

Did you know that 42% of travelers feel more romantic on vacation? Romantic hotels offer a variety of luxuries that can help make a romantic getaway with your partner as enjoyable as possible. Sometimes it can be challenging to put together a romantic trip. Here are some tips that will help you put together a romantic getaway with your partner.

Plan ahead of time

Planning ahead of time will allow you to make your time with your partner as special as possible. Determine how you and your spouse will want to spend time together at the hotel. Some couples want to spend time relaxing near a pool and going to a spa. Other couples would rather go enjoy the city they’re in and might be interested in a hotel that’s near some local activities. Deciding what you and your partner will enjoy most will help you narrow down the romantic hotels to choose from. Find one that has the amenities and activities that you desire.

Book at an opportune time

It’s best to avoid booking a hotel during Valentine’s Day, as most romantic hotels are usually busy during this time. It’s also helpful to avoid school holidays when families are likely to be booking up hotels for vacation. If any special anniversary between you and your partner is outside of these time periods, this would perhaps be the best time to schedule your romantic getaway. In addition, weekdays tend to be more available for hotel booking. Booking at a time that most people aren’t booking will mean you’ll deal with fewer crowds. In addition, book your room through the hotel rather than through a third-party booking site. If you tell them that it’s a special occasion, it’s possible they may even upgrade you to a nicer room. You can also potentially be able to request a room that’s away from elevators and other busy areas to ensure you and your partner have a quiet stay.

Consider romance packages

If you’re unsure what you and your partner would enjoy most, a romance package could put you in the right direction. Romantic hotels put together a full list of activities and special amenities that couples can enjoy in one package. As an example, some hotels may provide a discount on using their spa services. Other romantic hotels may provide transportation to activities such as wine-tastings, or overnight accommodations in their most luxurious rooms. Look through the packages to see what’s offered. Be in communication with the front desk concierge as well. They can help you decide on some unique ideas to really give you and your partner a special time together.


Following these tips will help you pick out a good romantic hotel, and set up an enjoyable romantic getaway. Be sure to look through reviews to see which hotels were given high ratings. Do this along with discussing with your partner what they would most. This will all be helpful to put together a successful romantic getaway.

Tips for Planning a Successful Bachelorette Party

You may have heard that planning a bachelorette party is hard. Yes, it can be, but not if you nail the planning and location. It doesn’t matter whether you are planning a weekend getaway or an east end winery tour. You can use this outline to organize an event the bride will love.

Be Careful with the Schedule and Timing

You need to set aside time for all the planning before the bachelorette party. You can nail it if you take the time to pick her brain to get a feel of what she likes. Some brides love to party, while others want to give their bridal party a chance to celebrate before the wedding.

Six to eight weeks before the celebrations should be enough time to consult the bride and the rest of the group. You will first come up with an overall initial plan before you can zero in on the details. Here are some questions to guide you:

· What theme would she prefer? Perhaps she wants a party on the beach, or would she rather a bachelorette wine tour? Think about the mood you want to set, while keeping the bride’s inclinations in mind.

· Would the group love a bachelorette party that lasts the whole weekend, or would they want one night out? If the plan involves traveling out of town, you may want to consider an event that lasts for more than a day or two.

· Would it be better to hold the event in a spa, or would a resort be ideal, especially for weekend getaways? You need to factor in the travel logistics and budget for the event. How convenient would it be for attendees to get to the venue?

Honing In the Details

Now you can start compiling your list of attendees. You’ll need them to make clear judgments about the venue and the timing. Sit down with the bride and take a list of people she would want at the event. Remember to note the invitees that she considers VIP. That way, you’ll be in a better position to prioritize invitation and make better decisions when focusing on the details.

Remember to take in all the particulars when you confer with the bride on invitees. You should have the full names, email addresses, and phone numbers of all the people who will attend the event.

Keep updating everyone in the group about your plans. You want to give the girls time to clear their schedule and also give you their feedback for the bachelorette party on time.

Decide how you’ll send the invites. Will you use a glossy paper card that is in line with your theme? Or will online invitations be more convenient? You may want to consider digital versions; they are often the most accessible and effective option.

Don’t forget to organize transportation to the party. You have many options a limousine, party bus, or even carpooling. Perhaps for a wedding in a mansion or a resort venue, you may choose a luxury car service. Don’t rule out sharing a vehicle with the rest of the group. Not only to reduce your carbon footprint but also to set the mood for a fun and upbeat event.

Planning the Bachelorette Party Celebrations

As the planner, you should have fun too for getting this far. Arrive early at the venue with someone to assist you. The earlier you get there, the more tasks you’ll move out of the way so that you have time to enjoy with the rest of the group.

Before the merrymaking is in full swing, find out if the bride is comfortable with sharing pictures and videos on social media. You should convey the information to the rest of the group, especially if there is concern about oversharing.

So you have taken your time to painstakingly plan the bachelorette party. Now it’s time to let go and have fun. Don’t stress over minor hiccups along the way. Remain attentive as the celebrations build up to a climax, but let loose and rock on.

You can avoid the stresses of planning by anticipating and avoiding some common missteps that happen during planning. Use the steps outlined as a framework, choose a unique venue, and enjoy the celebrations you’ve taken time to plan.

Here Comes the Budget: How to Get the Most For Your Money When Planning Your Wedding

wedding budget

For many couples, getting married is a lifelong dream. But while planning a wedding can be exciting, it can also be incredibly expensive. In fact, The Knot found that the average cost of a wedding in 2018 was $33,931 — and that doesn’t even include the honeymoon! 

That means that you’re likely going to have to save up (and maybe even rely on the generosity of loved ones) if you plan to have the dream wedding you’ve always wanted. Even so, you’ll want to make smart spending decisions. Otherwise, you could end up going over-budget or running out of resources before you ever even say “I do.” 

While it might seem like spending a small fortune on your wedding is a foregone conclusion, there are actually a number of ways to save and to get the most for your money. Here are just a few ways to keep costs low and stretch your budget for your big day.

wedding budget

Decide on Non-Negotiables

Before you ever book the venue or decide on the date, you’ll need to make a list of your priorities. What are the aspects you aren’t willing to compromise on? And which components are you fine with letting go of? Once you know what your non-negotiables are, you can make sure to prioritize them in your budget and make appropriate cuts to accommodate them. If you know your fiancee has strong feelings about the food but doesn’t care about the music, you can make better financial decisions that reflect what you want most. That way, the aspects you do spend a little bit more on will really be worth it.

Limit Your Guest Count

Most people realize that the bigger the wedding, the bigger the costs. You might feel forced to invite lots of family members or old friends to the reception to keep up appearances, but you should resist the urge to give in to social pressures. If you can whittle down your guest list to the must-invites, you’ll have a much easier time crunching the numbers. Don’t feel obligated to invite people you don’t know well or to even out the number of attendees from each side. Having a more intimate celebration will allow you to save money on catering, alcohol, linen rentals, flowers, and the venue. If you feel guilty about leaving people out, compromise by having a get-together sometime before or after the wedding at your home. That way, your friends and relatives can still take part in the festivities without adding any financial pressure.

Put a Twist on Tradition

Sticking with tradition can come with a price. If you feel like it’s necessary to be married on a weekend or at a conventional wedding venue, you’re going to pay more for the privilege. If you want to get more for your money, try picking a less desirable date and time for your nuptials. Sundays and weeknights tend to come with less expensive fees and greater vendor or venue availability. Getting married outside of the June-to-October busy season can also allow you to save some money and may ensure your guests can attend. Opting for a less traditional venue space can also put your money to better use. Don’t be afraid to explore unique options like parks, libraries, museums, breweries, or botanical gardens to see what they might have to offer. In many cases, you’ll benefit from a picturesque and private setting without having to pay a premium.

wedding budget

Make It All-Inclusive

That said, you don’t have to give up on the idea of a fancier wedding venue just to stretch your budget. You’ll just need to find a venue that’s all-inclusive. Many hotels will offer all-inclusive packages for weddings and events that make costs more manageable and operations more central. In other words, your guests can stay overnight at the location where your wedding will take place. Even more importantly, the venue will often offer on-site catering or have a list of preferred vendors prepared for couples to make things even easier (and less expensive, in some cases). Since you won’t have to cobble together a plan using a bunch of outside vendors, you can be assured you’re getting a great price without the headache. You may not even need to enlist the help of a wedding planner. Some hotels that offer these packages will also have spa services or other special offerings that can make your celebrations all the sweeter.

With these budget-friendly tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a wedding that perfectly captures your unique partnership — all without going into debt.