During your wedding planning, you’ve probably scrolled through Pinterest a lot and read a few blogs (or a few hundred) about gorgeous ceremonies and receptions. But not everyone can afford a celebrity-style wedding day.

Fortunately, anyone can have a beautiful wedding, regardless of budget. To help you create the day of your dreams, we’ve put together some basic tips for crafting a wedding day without breaking the bank.

  • 1. Pick a stunning venue

    If you want to get amazing photos of your big day, booking the right venue can be a huge step in the right direction. A gorgeous venue will require less décor and will be a perfect background for your wedding photos. Hence, it will not eat a big chunk of your wedding budget.

    When you’re touring potential venues, take note of architectural details in the walls, ceiling, and even the floors. These details may not seem important, but they will show up in every photo of your wedding day.

    And if you’re planning to have your ceremony outside, keep an eye out for a venue with beautiful natural details, like an ocean view.

  • 2. Scour your local thrift stores

    While you’re looking for wedding décor, be sure to stop into your local thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace on a regular basis to look for secondhand pieces that could work for your reception. This is the time to get creative! Look through Pinterest for ideas or enlist a craft-obsessed friend to help you turn drab old vases into stunning centerpieces.

    Also, reach out to family and friends, especially if some have gotten married recently. You might be surprised how many people you know have boxes of gently used wedding décor stored in their garage. Ask if you could borrow a few items or even purchase them for a low price to save your wedding budget. 

  • 3. Add pops of color

    Keeping everything all-white may look elegant, but it’s also costly—and makes for dull photos. Instead, add little bursts of color on simple items to brighten up your décor. Whether it’s colorful ribbons tied around your centerpieces or even bright dessert plates or placemats, a pop of color can add more fun to your day.

  • 4. Craft a signature drink based on your relationship

    Want to add extra elegance but can’t afford the cost of an open bar? Consider creating a signature cocktail that fits you and your fiancé’s personalities. Choose a fun glass to serve your drink in and give your friends and family something fun to try and talk about. And don’t forget to create a non-alcoholic version as well, so everyone can join in on the fun.

  • 5. Invest your wedding budget on the things that matter most

    While it’s important to be thrifty and creative, there are some items in your wedding budget that are worth the cost. Your wedding photos—and video, if you so choose—are something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, and you definitely don’t want to go for the cheapest option. Find a photographer you can trust, who can help bring your vision for your big day to life.

    Talk to your fiancé about what other details of your wedding are important for the two of you to invest in. It may be your gifts to each other or your wedding party, your venue, or your flowers. Regardless of what it is, choose the two or three things that are most important to you and direct the majority of your budget toward those items, finding cheaper ways to accomplish the rest.

    No matter what's your wedding budget, you can craft the perfect wedding for you and the love of your life­—one that captures your unique personalities and feelings for each other.