Simple Wedding Planning Blog

3 Ways to Plan a Simple Wedding Today

Your fiance just popped the question, and you said yes! 

Your emotions are running high. You call up all your favorite people and show off that new diamond ring on social media for everyone to see. You are getting married

You let that sink in for days–maybe even weeks. Then, your adrenaline starts to balance out. The dust settles, and you start getting back to life. You start thinking: How do I start planning a simple wedding?

As you slowly catch your breath, questions start popping into your head:

Where to start when planning a wedding? 

Do I need to pick out colors now?

Do I need to create a Pinterest board?

Are there any small wedding venues near me?

Who pays for the wedding?

I need to figure out how this thing will be paid. What exactly can we afford? 

Okay breathe, I get it! 

Planning a wedding isn’t as simple as it seems to be. So where do you even begin? I am so glad you asked. I have three critical steps you should take to get your wedding planning off right! 


Don’t fall into the “planning a simple wedding” trap.

simple wedding

I meet many couples who say, “I just want something simple,” and my first thought is: No, you don’t want to plan a simple wedding.  

Planning a wedding is never simple. But I guess “simple” means different things to people. Sometimes it equates to not putting in much effort. When it comes to weddings, there is no such thing. Sure, you can trim down your wedding venue must-haves into a smaller list to make things manageable. But there will always be some sort of effort involved. 

Don’t let “simple” trick you into believing it will not require some critical steps:

  • Creating a wedding budget
  • Organizing your money
  • Hiring vendors


And so much more.

If you’ve noticed, weddings involve a lot of budgeting. Be intentional with your wedding budget breakdown. Even the tiniest detail can make a huge difference later on as you plan a simple wedding for yourself. 

It is easy to find yourself glazing over things you don’t believe are necessary at the moment but can and will cost you later.  As you get closer to your wedding date, you’ll probably revisit those items because you now see the importance of diving into those details and how they will impact your day and budget.  

For example, “Oh, we’re just going to play music on our phones instead of hiring a DJ.”  But the week of the wedding, you realize, “I’m not sure if I have enough music to play.  Will my guests be able to hear it on the Bluetooth speaker?  What music will play when guests arrive early and just wait around?”  A DJ (or musician) has all that figured out and more, meaning one less thing on your to-do list.

Sometimes simple does not mean saving money–it just means skimping on the bells and whistles or having fewer guests. 

You need to ask yourself: What does it mean to me? Simple could mean:

  • Trimming down your guest list

A shorter list can make your wedding day more manageable. 

  • Shortening the wedding program

Weddings don’t have to last until the evening unless you plan on starting late in the afternoon 

  • Hiring a wedding planner

DIY-ing your wedding can save you some cash. But if you want everything to flow seamlessly (from planning to the actual wedding), you need a professional who can handle the planning.  

That “simple” question will save you time, money, and sanity!


Prioritize what’s important to you and your fiance.

wedding budget

One step most couples overlook is prioritizing how to spend their money.  Weddings are expensive, and knowing what is important to you, and your fiance is essential to controlling your money.  

Knowing how much you have, how much is going out, and who is contributing can get you closer to the wedding day you two want.  Otherwise, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop–you will likely overspend, overeat, and regret it once it is all over. 

Let’s avoid that entire situation. No sugar crashes today! Here are some things you need to do:

  • Write down all the expenses you might have.


Who knows what you find essential? But just write it down, big or small.  Writing these items down will help you understand where you will most likely spend more.  Take a few minutes to research how much those three items will cost you. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some expenses you might encounter in planning your wedding:

  • Food and drink
  • Venue
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Hair and makeup
  • Wedding dress
  • Invitations
  • Decorations
  • Wedding favors

  • Find out how much each item will cost.

It’s tempting to guestimate wedding expenses, especially when planning a simple wedding. But you need to have a realistic wedding budget breakdown, so there will be no surprises. Factor in extras such as service fees, overtime, gratuities, and more. These things can blow up your expenses if you’re not organized with your planning. It’s not fun, but hey, it’s better than getting bill shocked on your wedding day. 


  • Identify your top, middle, and low priorities. 


Not everything in your initial list is a must-have. Some are just nice to have, so you can skip spending on them altogether. Categorizing wedding day expenses can help you determine which would make your big day more memorable, fun, or stress-free. Take the list from above and put them in columns. There are no right or wrong answers here–just take the time to think about what is super important to you and your fiance. 


  • Narrow your list to the top three wedding must-haves. 


I know it’s hard to pick only three. But hear me out. When you identify your priorities, it’ll be easier to say no to things that will not impact your wedding. You can plan for other things, of course. You can have a band, a mobile tender, a 10K wedding dress, and red-bottom shoes–whatever floats your boat. But your top three are the non-negotiables. Without them, your wedding will be a colossal flop. So, it could be food, venue, and photographer. Again, these are non-negotiables. It doesn’t mean you can’t spend on other stuff. You just need to be intentional about what your wedding day must-haves are.


  • Adjust your budget. 


Now that you have a list of priorities, it’s time to look more closely into the numbers. Take a few minutes to decide if you are now over your budget. Are you in the red or still in the black?  If your numbers look funky, then do more adjusting. If you are in the red, think about where to scale back without compromising your wedding day.  


Don’t underestimate a wedding budget breakdown.

Wedding budget

You are probably thinking: I already have a typical wedding budget. Haven’t I already done this?  

Yes, you have. But this part is super important that it’s worth repeating. Because sometimes people would go into wedding planning blindly and just spend away.  But you deserve the wedding of your dreams and a bank account that is not yelling at you for overspending.  

According to, 49% of the 15,000 US couples interviewed went over budget by an average of $6,373. That is a lot of money down the drain.

I believe one of two things probably happened to those couples:


  1. They did not have a budget mapped out. AND/OR 
  2. They probably went into the wedding venue and bought the biggest package with all the bells and whistles or all the chandeliers and uplights (which adds up so fast!). 


When I was buying my house, my realtor told me I needed to go to the design center and pick out the specs. Easy right?  

Hell no, I went in there thinking I wanted something “simple.” Lies! (see, even I fall into the “simple” trap). They had every option I could dream of–upgraded flooring, new paint colors, brand-new countertops, and beautiful lighting. It was like a mini Ikea store for my house! 

I was so unprepared, overwhelmed, and excited all at the same time.  I managed to come out only by adding an extra 10k, which may sound like a lot, but it was like three things.  Meh!

So going back to the couples. They probably did not take the time to work through what was most important to them. They were kids in the wedding candy shop! 


Final thoughts


To recap, be intentional so you can have control of how your wedding will go. Sit down and write what is most important to you and your fiance on your wedding day. And don’t forget to map your wedding budget to know where all your money is going.   Now that you have some solid tools to get you started on your simple wedding planning journey let’s celebrate (again)!  You just got engaged, so get back to celebrating with your favorite people.  Knowing you have a clear starting point for a fantastic wedding day, you can plan confidently.

48 Wedding Pitfalls (& how to avoid them!)

Enter your name and email address below and we'll send the PDF!

Thank you! Check your inbox ✉️