It is possible to have a cheap wedding without skimping on the classy elements of such gatherings, but the planning will need to be done well in advance and the couple will need to be willing to do a lot more of the leg work themselves. The most obvious way to have a cheap wedding is to invite fewer guests; generally, the more guests in attendance at a wedding, the higher the cost will be because more food will be necessary, more space will be required, more chairs and tables will need to be onsite, and more personnel will need to be present to tend to the guests.
Other ways to plan a cheap wedding without losing all the elements of a fun and appropriate gathering is to forgo services the bride and groom do not necessarily want or need. Very often a DJ is hired to act as a master of ceremonies and to tend to the music for the gathering, but with the prevalence of mp3 players and stereo equipment that is portable and easy to use, a friend or family member can easily create music playlists and tend to that music during the ceremony and reception. This eliminates one of the significant costs of the wedding while giving a friend or family member a special role in the festivities.
Choosing the location for the cheap wedding is an important step that can save a lot of money. Many brides and grooms choose exceptionally beautiful settings that cost a lot of money to reserve; it is possible, however, to find a beautiful setting that is inexpensive or even free. State or local parks, for example, often provide beautiful settings for a wedding, and permits to use the spaces are usually inexpensive or free. The trade-off is that it may not be possible to close down the park or section of the park, which means the public will still have access to the space during the ceremony and reception.
Regardless of the cost-cutting measures taken to organize the cheap wedding, it is important to set a budget and stick to it. Whoever is paying for the wedding should set a reasonable financial goal for the festivities and stick to it as closely as possible. Once the budget has been set, the bride and groom should decide on their priorities — if, for example, the location is most important, other areas of the wedding should be trimmed or cut in favor of a fine location. If food is the most important element, cuts can be made in other areas instead.