- Wedding: May 2013 - The bride's hometown United Methodist Church near Kalamazoo
Hi all: I’m a budget bride too, and our budget is $5,000 as well! We’re getting married in May so I don’t have all the details yet, but I definitely know how we’re saving money. I definitely think a great, beautiful wedding on a 5k budget is TOTALLY possible, but it also requires a lot of thinking outside of the box. A lot of what I’m doing for my budget wedding will be on the main page blog throughout my planning, but here’s the short version:
GUEST LIST: Over 200 people. Cutting size is the biggest way to save money, but clearly we’re nto doing that. We both come from big, tight-knit families and I have a great, supportive church family, and I wanted to invite this community that loved and cares about us and supports us. Because we wanted to invite everyone, we’re cutting our budget in pretty much every other way possible including…
VENUE: Both wedding and reception in my church; reception in the gym. It’s kind of ugly (but hopefully will look better with decorations) but all tables, etc. are included–no rentals!, we can bring in any caterer we want, and since we’re members the venue for BOTH ceremony AND reception, including musicians, etc. is less than $400!!
PAPER: Luckily, I’m not really a big paper person anyway–I wanted something pretty for our guests, but I knew most of them wouldn’t appreciate anything super-fancy anyway. So we used Retailmenot (free) coupons and got our Save the Dates, and will be getting our invitations, on Vistaprint, which are super-affordable: under $100 for both! We plan to get our programs printed there too.
FOOD: Our biggest expense: that’s a lot of people to feed! We’re having a lunchtime celebration so we won’t need as much food, and it’s going to be quite casual–we’re having our favorite chain Mexican restaurant, Qdoba, cater it, and they only charge $10 a person and $25 for delivery! A steal in the wedding world!
FLOWERS: We’re not having any. I’m making our bouquets out of ribbon (which is super-cheap) and making all our centerpieces, etc. too. We are doing super-easy DIY because i’m not particularily crafty!
CAKE: We’re having cupcakes instead; we found them to be cheaper and more delicious!
ALCOHOL: We’re having a dry wedding. This isn’t only for budget reasons, but also for other personal reasons (we have alcoholics in our family and my FI isn’t really comfortable around alcohol in social settings for that reason), but it definitely saves a lot.
DRESS: My mom is making my dress. If she wasn’t, I would buy a white prom dress–I’ve seen plenty of beautiful ones under $200. I would not buy a dress over $400…I just couldn’t justify it (for me, not for others; if the dress is a priority for you and you can afford it, I say go for it!).
PHOTOGRAPHY: I definitely advise student/just-starting-out photographers: mine is an acquaintance from high school who takes beautiful pictures and is giving us a GREAT deal: $75 an hour with all the pictures from the event on CD! We plan to make albums from Shutterfly, which also runs tons of great discounts and deals.
I know we’re cutting money in lots of other ways I can’t think of right now–if you have any questions, feel free to ask!