How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Finding where to spend and where to save is difficult when planning a wedding. A stress-free wedding is ideal, so we asked a popular southern California wedding planner her advice on how to know when to take a deal on a wedding venue, DJ, or cake and when to splurge on them!


Heather Arena of Three Sisters Event Planning gets real on how to know when to take a deal for your wedding or turn it down.


The West Tenth app let's you shop local and nab a good deal. Find the hidden gems in your community to make your wedding day special and unique. Without corporate or rental space as overhead, you only pay for the true expertise of local wedding planners, cake bakers, florists, photographers, and make up artists.


Three Sister's Event Planning can be found on the West Tenth app. Heather, the lead of Three Sister's shares her wisdom on all things wedding budget:


When to stick to a budget and when to splurge on different wedding costs can be a difficult decision. Heather says, "Avoid saying yes to someone who's gonna do a job for you for free, unless they are a professional.


For example, your fiance's best friend's brother is a DJ he hasn't been doing it for very long. He's just getting into the industry and he says, “I'll do this for you for super cheap for your Wedding!” Well can you trust him do you know that he's any good? Is he going to do a great job? Maybe he's really good at mixing music but he's not really good at getting people on the dance floor. Maybe he's super friendly and and loves people but he's not very good on a microphone so he's not going to be a good mc.


If you're willing to not spend a lot of money but also get a not very good job knowing he's not a professional, then that's totally fine. But if you want a professional you should hire a

professional so that's kind of the number one don't.


Now on the flip side let's say you have a really good friend who is a professional photographer. This person's been doing it for 10 years and they offer to do it for you for a discount family and friends rate. You've seen their work and you know that they're amazing... always say yes! We say “always say yes” to people who come out of the woodwork to help you. The lesson is: know what you're getting into.


I always ask our clients to make a list of three things their top three things. The bride, the groom, or whoever it is that's planning the event: make a list of your top three things

that you would want to spend money on. It might be it's most important to me that we have

really good food for our guests and then the next thing is that everyone is on the dance floor all night. We just want the best dj ever right?! Potentially you love flowers and you really want your flowers to be incredible. So those are the top three things that you want to spend money on.


Another person involved in your event with you might say, 'I really, really want incredible photographs, I also want really really good food, and I also love the idea of a photo booth and I want to make sure there's a photo booth there at the wedding.'


Then we take those three things on either side of the list and we kind of see where you both care about the same things and we make sure that money is spent on those things that are the most important to you then we kind of move down the list from there then everything that's below those top three things on both lists. Then we spend whatever is left over to make that happen but then again you know that you've walked away from the wedding and that the things that were most important to you happened."



Download the free West Tenth app and plan a wedding with local vendors in your area. A wedding on a budget can be beautiful and cost effective. Congrats!