4 Brilliant Low Cost Ideas for Small Weddings in Kalamazoo

Congratulations on your engagement! Now it’s time to get planning and budgeting for your big day.

Maybe you’ve been planning this since you were in middle school, or you never thought you’d ever get married. Either way, here you are and my best advice, enjoy the process and don’t sweat the small stuff.

First, the most important part, have a budget!! Save yourself from frustrations and let downs. Second, prioritize the elements that are most important to you and your partner!  

Next part can be difficult but it’s one of the big expenses, the guest list. Choose thoughtfully on who will get to share this  moment with you both. Be prepared for the parent’s guest list. Respectfully, parents should be able to invite friends but their friends should know you and not just heard of you (awkward).

Maybe your considering an intimate wedding with 10-20 people, or micro wedding with 20-45 people, or small wedding with 50-100 people, or a large wedding with 150 more people (start smiling exercises now). Your guest count will help determine a venue size. Venues are the biggest expense followed closely by food/drinks. At The Kalamazoo House we are an affordable choice for those wanting an intimate wedding or a micro wedding. From our elegant and charming setting to inviting and cozy accommodations. Book a tour and see for yourself.  

Do you need a wedding planner? Well, ask yourself this, does planning anything other than a family dinner stress you out? If you said “YES!”, perhaps you should consider a wedding planner. Reach out to Missie with Fineline Events for assistance. However, if you enjoy planning and throwing parties then, you can definitely plan your wedding. Team up with close friends and family members who have expertise in certain areas (i.e. food, decor, music, flower arranging). It can take pressure off of you both and create a strong bond for all involved. 

Below are some helpful ideas to get you started. Remember, keep it fun.

Wedding ceremony

Create lasting memories on a budget without compromising on the special touches

Saturdays and Sundays are the most popular and most expensive days of the week to be wed. Here are a few budget friendly suggestions:

  1. Consider Monday or Friday as a ceremony day.
  2. Afternoon weddings are less expensive.
  3. Air fare is less for those departing on a Tuesday and for those arriving on Thursdays. 
  4. Guests driving will deal with less traffic on these days.
  5. Weekday lodgings is less expensive for guests and/or honeymooning (Sunday is considered a weekday-hint, hint). 
  6. Catering companies and DJ’s have better pricing and availability prices.

The Venue:

  1. If you like nature, consider having your wedding at a park, nature center, or on a Michigan beach. 
  2. Perhaps you both are art enthusiast, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is just the place (Next Door to us), or maybe you love historic planes, consider the Air Zoo (unforgettable for sure).
  3.  Maybe you find your guest count on the larger side, The Blue Heron Barn is an ideal setting combining nature and historic features with relaxed elegance. 
  4. The Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast is an ideal venue for an intimate wedding to a micro wedding with macro love. With its cozy ambiance and personalized service, it sets the stage for a memorable celebration without breaking the bank. 

The Food:

  1. Having an afternoon wedding can save you money on serving a big meal. Sit down serve meals are the 2nd biggest costs (alcohol excluded).  Therefore, with an afternoon wedding you can give your guests fun foods like a Taco Bar, Brunch Style Buffet, or provide appetizer stations. We had a cater, Latitude 42, at our daughter’s afternoon wedding and they went with a Taco Bar. It was fantastic. 
  2. Pot-Luck Dinner or Lunch. Request a handful of your favorite guests to make their family favorite dish(es) (make sure you’ve had their cooking before).
  3. Low-Country Boils are under estimated. They can be a served meal, free grazing or buffet style. It’s a great meal for anytime of the day. 
  4. Lastly, consider a Wedding Food Truck. Food trucks at weddings offer a unique experience as guests can choose from a menu, it’s convenient, and most of all affordable. 

Music and Flowers:

Good tunes can make or break a reception so know your ‘audience’. When selecting a DJ, make sure you meet and LIKE the DJ who will work your wedding. Decide what you want from the DJ; will the DJ play tunes before ceremony, do all the wedding announcements, and make sure your reception is fun for everyone. There are better options out there……

  1. Are either of you good with a computer, have a music app, or know someone who is? Save money by creating your playlist and arrangements. DYI DJ (wish I saw this article before we hired a DJ)
  2. Perhaps a friend or a friend of a friend is a musician and looking for gig! Or check with your church band. 
  3. Step up the entertainment by having a Karaoke system. Guests will have fun and be occupied while your having photos taken. 

Wedding flowers are a key part of the wedding as they are a symbol of fertility, fidelity, and new beginnings. Yet again they are one of those top expenses. 

  1. However, I found a way around those inflated prices; let me share. I called up my favorite florist and ordered themed colored bouquets. The flowers were picked up before ‘The Day’ and I de-constructed the bouquets and put together hand-held bouquets for the bride and bridal party. I then made groomsman’s  boutonniere and corsages for the moms too. 
  2. Another budget friendly idea is to DYI your bouquets with artificial flowers. Artificial flowers have advance to where they not only look real but feel real. Hobby Lobby florist selection is top notch. A great reason to choose this avenue, your bouquets will last much longer than real flowers. Plus, the bridal party will have a keep sake.

In conclusion, whether you’re planning a micro wedding, a bridal shower, or any intimate event, Kalamazoo offers a unique blend of charm and budget-friendly options. After all, in Kalamazoo, celebrations are about the experience and the love shared, not the price tag. The Kalamazoo House can offer complete inclusivity as we cater to your every need, offering overnight accommodations, delectable breakfasts, and can recommended vendors. Unforgettable moments and treasured memories await, here at The Kalamazoo House.

Fresh flowers on dining table
bouquet of artificial flowers
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