Planning My Daughter’s Wedding on a Budget- Part 1


My daughter is getting married in July and we are planning her wedding and, as her parents, we are choosing to pay for it.

First off, I was surprised by the numerous comments I have received when people hear my daughter is getting married and we are paying for it (with a budget, of course). Well, my response is simple: we want to. So, I’m inviting you along with me and our experience of putting together a wedding on a budget for my daughter. 

My husband and I have set a budget of $3,325. We are covering the basic things: venue, dress, veil, photographer, late lunch, refreshments for reception, decorations, rentals, invitations, flowers, and cake. Hopefully, we can pull it off for that price! 

In this post, I am sharing our experience in choosing a venue. First of all, HOLY COW that can be expensive. Secondly, my daughter and her fiance are making choices. They know the budget we have set and I am simply along for the ride and a few suggestions.

Venue shopping became stressful right away as the prices are ½ to ⅔ the budget. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing venues in SE Idaho (AMAZING!!) Each one has something different to offer for a venue. Depending on your budget, you can go from there. I wanted to use every one of them as they are so beautiful, unique, and perfect. There are also other places you can hold a wedding like your own home or yard-depending on the season or your MIL’s yard, we explored this option for quite some time. You can also look for the nontraditional venue as a fun place that has a large banquet space to rent for a very reasonable cost with tables and chairs provided. Also, your faith’s meeting hall may be used for a nominal fee or even free. 

After lots of looking, we had become somewhat disappointed in the costs of a venue for a budget-minded wedding, I realize we also are looking at a Saturday. During the week, the prices are much better, however that is not an option for us. So we started looking at using our yard, which is big enough and has trees, but it just feels very wide open. My MIL’s yard is smaller and has that enclosed feeling that you are away from everything. This was the front runner for a stretch but my daughter wanted a barn, though she was willing to give that up. We happened to attend the Bridal Fair in Idaho Falls and wandered around and talked with all kinds of vendors, made appointments and happened on a new venue that just got started in the Fall. We made an appointment and they offered a special for making an appointment through the bridal fair. This turned out to be a savings for most of the vendors to get you to make an appointment. Basically, if you book an appointment at the bridal fair and end up booking or buying, you receive a designated discount. If you are planning a wedding and there is a bridal fair to attend, I encourage you to attend. It is great for ideas and discounts!

So 3 days later, we went and looked at this new venue to see what they had to offer. As a new venue, they are still working on a few things they will have done by summer and with it being a 100-year-old barn, we are sacrificing a few things such as a kitchen and bridal and grooms rooms, but we have a plan in place. The selling point for the barn for a cost vs. my MIL’s yard for free came down simply to the look on my daughter’s face when she saw the barn, though the price was a help. As a new venue, the price was ⅔ to ½ the cost of other venues. Final cost $575 plus $275 refundable deposit. Booked and down payment made. Check that off the list!

My thoughts, You can truly spend as much or as little as you want on a venue. Also, we are truly blessed in this area to have some really stunning options for event venues! When you need to look for a venue, you will have plenty to choose from. You can save some money by booking mid-week vs. the weekend and prices for some are a bit lower in Winter. Another option is a new venue because they will most likely have lower prices to get new bookings and get established in the venue game. You also can choose to simply use whatever resources you have like your own garden or a friend’s place. Next up, the wedding dress…..


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Laurel has lived in Idaho for the majority of her life, born and raised in Teton Valley. She lived in Utah for 5 years, and found it to be a good experience but being near family is more important. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 32 years. Spent too many years searching for answers to infertility. She is a proud adoptive momma to only girl who just turned 18. Working mom, and network marketing mom, photographer, savvy shopper, gardener and working on her healthy journey. She lives in the country with dogs, cats, chickens, and cows.