Alternative Wedding Hosting Formats that will MAXIMIZE Your Budget!

Today on the Wedding Planning Podcast, we’re exploring some basic modifications to “traditional” wedding hosting formats that will result in MAJOR DOLLARS SAVED!

Tune in for easy ways to MAXIMIZE your wedding budget – aka get MORE of the things you want – simply by making a small adjustment here & there to your hosting format, timing, and/or season:

I did a survey in 2021 where I asked listeners to rank their wedding planning emotions, and it’s no surprise that OVERWHELMED came in first place, beating out second place finisher, EXCITED by a landslide.

NEWSFLASH – Planning a wedding is no small task. 

It’s the best day of your life, it has to be unforgettable and perfect, you need to splurge on all the things, you need to make 150 people happy and cater to their diets, and drink preferences, and make sure to do something super unique that tops the last wedding you went to … and oh yeah you also lost credit card roulette, and you have to be the one who signs the bill to pay for all of it.

It’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed!!!

In this episode of the Wedding Planning Podcast, we’re continuing our conversation from last week on ways to MAXIMIZE YOUR SPENDING POWER.

This time, we’re going to focus on some offbeat, creative hosting formats that just might check off all the boxes for you.


In my 1-on-1 wedding strategy calls with you so far this year, the majority of our conversations are centering around how to modify a professional product or service so that it’s more compatible with your overall budget and priorities.  

In other words, what are some easy ways that we can MAXIMIZE our budget so that we can have more of the high-quality things we want?

Well, one of the most obvious and easiest ways to do this is not to feed your guests, and send them home after the ceremony is over.  I kid!


Really, one of the easiest ways to do this is to rethink the hosting format.  If you’re 1000% set on a Saturday night wedding in May at a traditional venue and that’s your wedding vision, that sounds beautiful and I have zero vested interest in trying to change your mind.  

But if you’re just a tiny bit curious about how you could make a minor adjustment here & there to put $5, $10,000, or more BACK in the bank, then let’s go!


We’re going to start with considering off-peak days, and off-peak seasons to get the biggest bang for your buck.

So for days of the week, this would look like a Friday, Sunday, or any other weekday (in lieu of a Saturday or holiday).

For seasons, that’s really place-specific.  June in Michigan would be considered peak season.  June in Palm Springs, not so much – it’s 120 degrees and you could probably get a great deal.  

A $50,000 budget in June on a Saturday night in San Diego is going to be a very different wedding than $50,000 in February on a Friday or Sunday will get you. 

Moving your wedding over just one day could be the difference between having the extra funds to invest in a videographer, or having to skip video.  It could be the difference between a bougie 7-day honeymoon, or skipping your honeymoon for now because the wedding budget ran over.  Maximizing your spending power.  


Another great adjustment to your hosting format is time of day. 

Champagne brunch is cheaper to host than open bar dinner & dancing.  So is late afternoon / early evening cocktails & hors deouvres.  Afternoon dessert & coffee bar.  Something to consider.  


And next up is considering a micro wedding, or maybe even elopement.  Of course, this isn’t for everyone. 

But hosting a glam experience for your immediate family and best friends is a wonderful option for couples who want to stay within a super affordable budget, but also treat your loved ones to a fun and memorable experience.  

There’s nothing written in stone that you need to invite every friend you’ve ever had, and every distant relative on earth to your wedding celebration. 

You CAN do that, but there’s going to be more to go around when you’re working with a smaller group.  I always love the visual of a $50,000 budget – which is very generous – split between 250 guests.

That $50,000 isn’t going to go very far in terms of a Saturday peak season wedding with a sit down plated dinner. 

But a $50,000 budget if you’re hosting just 50 guests?  There’s a lot more to work with in that scenario.

And hosting a “micro-wedding” doesn’t need to be the 2020 definition where you literally invite your parents and that’s it.  Expand that definition, and play with what it would look like to keep your guest list to immediate family & best friends.  I think you’ll be surprised by the options it opens up.


There are endless possibilities for maximizing your spending power when using a non-traditional venue or hosting location.  I had a wedding strategy call just this past week with a couple who is renting an air bnb for 15 people, and celebrating their wedding over 4 days in a national park.  Talk about an unforgettable experience.  Their creative set-up opens the door to talking about an entire wedding weekend of events, which is hands down my favorite way to celebrate – but that’s another topic that we’ll be exploring much more in the coming weeks!

And speaking of fun things coming up, NEXT WEEK we’re going to do a deep dive into one more variation of a traditional hosting format – a destination wedding! 

You hear from Susan’s Travel Services each week, and this time Susan is going to join us to talk top destinations, tips for planning it all out, and maximizing your wedding celebration over an entire getaway with your loved ones.  Jump ahead to the next post for so much more!


If you have the beginnings of a really creative wedding vision that you’d like to talk through to discuss overall feasibility, options, or pricing comparison, I have 1-on-1 wedding strategy calls available!

Visit for more info & to book your call today.

Here are some sample topics from couples I spoke with this past week:

>>> “Our budget has ballooned since booking a venue, photographer, and planner – what are some ways we can get things back under control moving forward?”

>>> “We want to rent an Airbnb and host our wedding at a national park – is that even possible?”

>>> “I got quotes from 3 planners and 4 photographers, and I’m feeling overwhelmed with all the information and not sure how to make our final decision.”  

>>> “We have a unique wedding set up, and wondering what’s better – a day-of, month-of, or full service wedding planner?”

>>> “I want to do our own flowers & bouquets, can you give me a simple roadmap for what to do and when?”

Visit today to book a single call / series of calls.  Earliest available call dates start April 20th, 2023.  Book now, they will fill up fast!