Second Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Need second wedding ideas on a budget? Our experts can help. Read on for our top tips.

By Janina Villanueva

Second Wedding Ideas on a Budget
Photo by Casey Durgin Photography

So, you have a second shot at true love. Good for you! If you or your partner have been married before, planning a wedding can be a little tricky, but one important piece of advice that we can give you is this: Always keep in mind that your second marriage is as much a reason to celebrate as your first. Get a wedding cake, pick out wedding decor, and plan a beautiful wedding ceremony—if that's what you want, of course. Just because you had a wedding before doesn’t mean that this can’t be as perfect as the first one.

Don’t feel the pressure to do everything completely different, or bigger than your first wedding, but don’t downplay it either. Find the right balance and list all the essential things that you want on your wedding day.

If you’re looking for second wedding ideas on a budget, we can also help. This guide is going to walk you through cheap wedding ideas so that you can save big on your special day.

Trim Down the Guest List

Let’s face it, the guest list is the main thing that makes a wedding expensive. The simple math is that the higher the guest count, the higher the cost. If you’re trying to save money on your wedding, the first thing you do is set a budget and work on a guest list. It’s tempting to invite everyone you have met to celebrate your big day, but focus on who matters, which are your closest friends and family. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. A small wedding can be a lot more intimate, especially if this is your second marriage. From a big list, work on cutting it down by 10 percent, and then another 15 percent in the next few weeks. You’ll find that the guests left on the list are the ones whom you really want to be there on your special day.

Know Where to Cut Back on Florals and Decor

Second Wedding Ideas on a Budget Photo Credit // The Still Life Photography

Another big expense at weddings is the decor and flowers. But, you can still have a beautiful set-up with minimal flowers. Inquire if you can move the wedding ceremony decor to the reception venue. Opt for wrist corsages or single-stem flowers for your wedding party, and a small bouquet for yourself. Skip the boutonnières for the young kids and buy cute headbands or ribbons instead of ordering fresh flower crowns for your flower girls. If you’re crafty, you can also look for fake flowers or greenery for centerpieces.

Choose Non-traditional Attire

Don’t be afraid to break the rules and go for non-traditional wedding attire. Do you want to wear a nice jumpsuit and killer heels? Do you want tea length or knee length dresses, instead of the long gowns, train, and all? No one will care how much your wedding attire costs, especially if you know what flatters your body. Buy off the rack or on sale. You can also rent designer dresses online. Be patient in trying out a lot of options—you’ll know when you find the one.

Create Your Own Invitation Suite and Other Print Items

Skip the custom-made invitations and create one yourself. Zola.com has a massive gallery of wedding invitation templates that you can pair with menus, programs, and even thank you cards. Choose a template, customize it, and then await your print outs, which will be delivered right to your door in 10 business days. If you’re planning to skip invitations, create a wedding website at Zola and share it with your guests so that they have access to all the wedding details right on their phones.

Save on Alcohol and Open Bar

If you’re doing the wedding at home or in a function hall, ask if you can bring the booze yourself. You’ll save a ton of money and may even have some left over after the wedding that you can share (or use on other parties). Get the standards: wine, vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and beer. While it’s tempting to buy beer in kegs because it’s cheaper, remember that anything left will be a waste.

Enlist Help from Family and Friends

Second Wedding Ideas on a Budget Photo Credit // Casey Durgin Photography

Your family and friends will always want to extend any help they can, so don’t say no. If your aunt is a skilled baker, let her make your wedding cake or contribute to the dessert spread. Invite your girlfriends to bond over wine, and then DIY your wedding favors, escort cards, and other decor. If your cousin or best friend has a cool car, ask if he is willing to drive you from the hotel to the ceremony and then the reception.

Armed with the lessons you learned from the past, you can plan your second (or third) wedding with wisdom on how to make it perfect for you, your partner, and your budget.

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola