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Summer Wedding Ideas on a Budget

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Summer is wedding time in most of the country, and this year could see life breathing back into the wedding industry after what has undoubtedly been a rough year due to the coronavirus.

It’s been over a year of muted weddings with limits on gathering sizes and concerns for the safety of guests and people working events.

More people opted for civil ceremonies in hopes that they will one day soon arrange a celebration that everyone can enjoy.

The chances that you’ll have an opportunity to arrange a wedding and get people together are looking brighter by the week.

Whether you’re planning for a summer wedding this year or some time off in the future, budget is always a concern.

Having an amazing summer wedding is an incredible experience worth all of the planning and stress.

Thankfully, money stress doesn’t have to be something you worry about.

Summer is the season for great outdoor weddings that can save you money.

Have the time of your life and celebrate your union with the wedding of your dreams.

Here are 10 summer wedding ideas on a budget.

beach wedding preparation

1. The Destination Beach Wedding

The beaches in Hawaii are amazing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other incredible beachfront spots in the country!

Most Americans don’t see enough of the country, so we define the whole thing by what we see on TV or in magazines.

The United States has fantastic beaches in a variety of colors, climates, and settings.

You can find great sandy beaches on Georgia’s Tybee Island or enjoy something picturesque on the Oregon Coast.

No matter where you live, odds are you can find an affordable beach destination that will fit your budget instead of asking everyone you know to fly to Cabo.

2. The Airbnb Hack

Airbnb is most well-known for overnight accommodations or to get around having to stay in a hotel.

Looking through the app or on the website though, you’ll find some amazing properties that would be terrific for a wedding event.

Now, there may be some restrictions around certain properties, but most likely luxury home hosts are used to hosting weddings.

They’ll probably even have caterers, florists, and other companies they can recommend.

This can be a lot more affordable than booking an official event venue and you’ll deal with less red tape.

Just don’t try to book the property without telling them you’re using it for a wedding. That could lead to problems.

3. Look for Covid Deals

While it may feel strange sort of capitalizing on the dearth of public events due to the coronavirus, businesses everywhere will be eager to host your wedding and will often offer incentives to seal the deal.

There is nothing wrong with asking for discounts on the venue, hair & makeup, catering, and other services you’ll need.

You could get a good deal on something that may have been out of your budget in years past.

bride and groom in a backyard wedding setup

4. The Backyard Wedding

The backyard wedding can be more intimate and memorable than something in City Hall.

There’s something special about being outside on a warm summer’s night with the people you love.

If you know someone with a nice house and an amazing yard, ask them to use their yard!

Saving money on the venue gives you much more leeway to spend on food, lights, entertainment, etc. to make it a ton of fun.

5. Grill Instead of a Formal Groom’s Dinner

Everyone’s typically in a great mood in the days before the wedding.

Yes, there is a lot of stress around getting through the ceremony, but people are excited.

By skipping the formal groom’s dinner and opting for something less formal, like a barbecue, you let out some of the steam of planning and worrying and give everyone a chance to let loose and relax before the big day.

You’ll save money and probably will have more fun grilling burgers or making ribs.

wedding flowers on a wooden table with rings

6. Seasonal Flowers Are a Great Choice

There are a lot of “rules” when it comes to traditional weddings.

One of them is around what types of flowers you should have. Roses and lilies are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but you’ll save a lot of money and still create a wonderful atmosphere with seasonal flowers.

You can buy more of them and build bigger bouquets for the wedding of your dreams.

7. Ditch the Dress Code

Dresses and tuxes, especially depending on your wedding party size, can be a huge cost for the bride and groom.

If you’re getting married at a beach or in a backyard, stick with the theme and keep the dress code casual.

You and your partner can still dress to the nines if you’d like, but let everyone in the party and working the wedding hang loose.

By making things less formal, everyone will be more ready to dance once the music starts.

bartender mixing colorful cocktails

8. Signature Cocktails Instead of the Open Bar

Wedding receptions are the big getdown.

It’s time to party, and for a lot of people that means drinks! Alcohol costs if you’ve got an open bar can run into the thousands of dollars easily.

For an open bar to satisfy all of your guests, there need to be a lot of bottles.

Instead, create a curated list of signature cocktails that guests can choose from.

It will help regulate which types of alcohol you need to stock, so maybe you can even get a deal by buying in bulk.

The bartenders will get in a rhythm as well, so they’ll make them faster for happier guests!

9. Natural Hair & Makeup

Summer is all about the outdoors, so don’t feel like you need to go all out on hair and makeup for a wedding.

If you’re having a beach wedding or something more casual, then choose a natural aesthetic for wedding party participants.

Long hair and natural tones are in fashion right now, so you’ll be on-trend as well.

bride and groom on lavender field

10. The Non-Traditional Wedding Venue

Another great way to keep costs down for a summer wedding is to look for a non-traditional wedding venue.

By putting in some legwork months in advance, you can secure a venue that will fit your wedding theme perfectly.

A lot of people have found success calling around to, for example, farms and ranches in their area to ask whether they’d be open to hosting a wedding.

Many of these properties aren’t used to running events, so you will probably have to do a bit more work on logistics, etc., but the savings will be worth it and you’ll still have a memorable ceremony and reception.

Explore local orchards, farms, parks, and even golf courses, to see whether they’d fit your wedding theme and accommodate your group.

If you find somewhere you love, think about a creative way you can pitch them on the idea of hosting your wedding there.

Remember, these people aren’t used to having large events, so their first inclination may be to say no because they feel like they won’t do a good job.

Let them know that you’ll be doing most of the work and will only need them to open the gates.

You shouldn’t have too much trouble doing reconnaissance because many of these venues are open to guests during the summer.