Anyone else on a budget of $5000 or less??

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
849 posts
Busy bee

We’re on a buget of $3,500 in a fairly big california city, eep! We’re still in pretty preliminary planning stages, but our biggest budget saver has been deciding to have a backyard (“garden”) ceremony and reception. And we’re doing as much DIY as we can for invites and such.

Post # 5
849 posts
Busy bee

I went with fake flowers just cause it gives me the flexibility to buy stuff whenever I see a good deal, and just hoard them ’till the wedding.

I got a bunch from, you can order them online if you want a bunch of the same kind. It’s also a good place for vases and plates and such.

Post # 6
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

my budget was $3000 although (FI doesnt realize this) we ended up spending around $3300.

I did EVERYTHING MYSELF except for the cake. You will save alot of money by doing a lot yoruself.

Im using fake flowers outside but real in my reception. I ordered bulk and having my grandma help put all the bouquets and bouts together.

-Go with SIMPLE..simple is easier, cheaper and less stressful when DIY

I rented all my linens and made my own chair sashes and table runners all for under $200

Post # 7
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We have a $1000 budget in Southern Ohio which shouldn’t be difficult, but it will be in the winter so we can’t do an outdoor wedding. 

Post # 8
3788 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

We are, and we live in a similarly inexpensive area in PA. Definitely doing things yourself saves money but adds stress. But definitely saves money. Our biggest costs are the things you can’t really compromise on, like a tent/tables/chairs and food.

Shop used, but do your homework. Linens especially it seems like brides are trying to “make their money back.” I am not going to buy someone’s used tablecloths for $8.00 when I can get new ones for $8.50, you know? That goes for everything else, too.

Friendors! Use them but with caution. We are having a friend play guitar for the ceremony, and our friend who is a chef is going to be in charge of food. However, we did not want to go that route with pictures despite knowing a lot of hobby photographers. We are spending $700 on photography, which is meager by some standards, but it’s really important to us. This is an area where I feel people try to save money because so many people are handy with a point and shoot camera. I didn’t want to burden anyone with that responsibility, and I didn’t want to end up disappointed. I definitely recommend scoping out a deal for that.

Post # 9
10714 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Were on a $5000 budget (not including my dress the rings or the honeymoon) Were having about 120 guests and we cut 2 major costs from day 1. No flowers / 2. hiring a friend to photograph us (he’s semi pro and is charging us $600 for the entire day) Were also having a self serve sandwich bar/ and a cupcake cake for the reception. For the tables I’m getting the dollar store white plastic covers and putting mossy green overlays on top for the fancier effect which are pretty cheap! Tha dinnerware is all from smarty had a party (disposable) I’m making my bouquet out of butterflies and my bridesmaids are caqrrying lanterns! The centerpeices are branches in $2 vases I found at AC Moore. I also found a roll off 100 ft of crystals pretty cheap and fake dogwood flowers to attach. We saved a ton on the venue and are having our ceremony downstairs for an added $100. So far my best advice for others on a small budget is shop around… This has proved effective for me over and over again I recently fell in love with some earrings that were $56 online =( So I kept searching and found the exact same ones for $30. I have 10,000 tricks but I don’t want to put you to sleep lol.

Post # 10
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We’re sticking to a $5000 budget – but ours is a Destination Wedding so we’re spending most of the money on airfare and accomodations. We’ve spent about $2700 so far and this is what we got:

-Venue/Catering:$1500 we’re having a sit down dinner instead of a big reception. We were able to find a place with good food and a private room w/o a room rental fee, just a minimum food purchase of $1000

-Flowers: $200 I skipped the flowers for the bridal party all together and elected to purchase colorful paper parasols for my BMs instead. They were $3 – $4 a piece vs. the $75 – $100 I was quoted per Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquet. I will be carrying a very simple bouquet that my mom is putting together for $50. The men will be getting leis ($25 a piece) and we’re going to have candles as centerpieces.

-Photography:$800 this is where we splurged! We’re having someone come in to photograph the ceremony and take pictures immediately afterwards. We’re not having any photography at the reception, and are going to rely on a photographer friend of ours.

-Cake: $175 we opted to nix the cake and go for the cupcake tier instead. Cupcakees were $2.5 each, tier rental was $50 plus delivery charge. We couldn’t decide on the flavor of the cake so we figured what the hey, let’s get them all!

-Dress: $780 from David’s Bridal. This expense isn’t coming out of the wedding budget and I paid for it myself. I figured since he’s already bought the e-ring it only seemed fair.

Post # 11
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Our budget is $3500.00. We are having a small outdoor wedding with 35 people. All the decor and flowers are DIY by me. I bought my gorgeous dress online for $125. For dinner we are having BBQ pulled pork and lots of sides that will be made by my inlaws. And for dessert, a cookie bar which I am just pre-making the cookies and then freezing them. I bought my linens for $2 a piece and the table and chairs we rented. Most of the money is being spent on booze and food. Lol.

Post # 12
1359 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We have a 5,000 budget in a fairly big/expensive city. Honestly I would have loved to have a backyard, DIY wedding but we don’t have a yard and don’t know anyone who could conveniently host either. So we decided to have a very nice, but intimate ceremony and brunch reception, followed by two extremely casual receptions at each of our parents houses for our extended relatives, etc. The biggest cost is the venue at 1600, followed by the catering at about 1500. We’re skipping professional photography for the whole day and simply having a “love session” done in our outfits (like a portrait or engagement session.) I’m hand-making paper flowers for our centerpieces and my bouquet. I’m also making my dress. We’re getting simple wedding bands for now and will “upgrade” at a later anniversary. It will be close, but we can make it. 

Post # 13
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Ours was around $7000 (a little higher than yours).

Ways we saved/cut costs:

1. Sunday afternoon wedding – More of a luncheon than an all night party so we skipped alcohol.

2. Chose a venue that needed little decor  – Very ornate building with interesting interiors and a garden – no need for additional lighting or flowers to make it pretty.

3. Limited our guest list – Kept it to family and very close friends – 150 invited: 115 attended.

4. No wedding party – we wanted to keep it simple but it also meant less in terms of floral arrangements.

5. Ipod for music – since it was during the afternoon we didn’t really care if people danced much, we just liked having everyone together socializing.

6. DIYed – I did my own flowers with the help of a friend and did my own invitations.

7. NEGOTIATED! – We got our cake for $150 (originally $350) and we brought our own drinks for the caterer (for about $50 as opposed to $175) – it never hurts to ask.


Post # 14
3977 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our budget is around $5k. I’ve not been keeping strict count like my mother but we’re spending:

$1,100 on food
$1,000 on photographer
$600 about on venue
$800 on dress
$500 on flowers and other decor

I know there are some other costs floating about that I haven’t really kept track of, but most are little things, $50 here and there so I think we’ll keep to our budget! Yay!

Post # 15
112 posts
Blushing bee

We are having a 5000 budget wedding (minus rings and honeymoon). Finding a venue that has alot off stuff included or is super cheap (ie. park), is the ticket for having a budget wedding. So many of the venues I looked at had catering requirements or didnt include tables/chairs/linens. Also, picking the right time in the day has allowed us to keep our food budget smaller. Instead of a dinner, we are doing a light refreshment ceremony at 2PM and then throwing an after party.

We are getting married in a park ($200), making all of our own invitations (scored 20% off our paper), doing all of our own food, using a mayor of a small town to marry us ($100), bought a chinese replica dress ($300), found a photographer for $550 (including Epics, and rights to all of photos), no favors (having a cookie bar, made by family), buying flowers from a local dalia farm (find what is in season locally, otherwise we would be using flowers), and doing all of the decor myself.

And most importantly… Ive been asking friends who have special talents to help us out. An old friends fiance is in a really good band, and we might be using them for the reception. My boss loves making cheesecakes and has offered to make 20 of them! Another friend who got married 2 years ago just donated 3 HUGE boxes of ikea vases for free! Im also buddying up with my other friend who is getting married 2 wks before me to share as much stuff as we can.

Post # 16
16 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

I also have a budget of 5k this includes everything but the honeymoon. I had to sit down and really determine what was important and would be memorable and not left behind from the guests.

I bought my wedding gown a year in advance when David’s Bridal had a huge sale. I looked at the book over and over before I decided what price range to stay in. My father is paying for most of our wedding so anything out of the budget we are paying for so he paid for a portion and I paid I believe 100.00

We decided to have our reception at the local American Legion only $400 the down fall they did not supply linens. We ended up renting linens around Valentines so we got free table runners and sashes table clothes for $7 each and we have long tables so more seats around the table so less table clothes are needed. We did have chair covers on the list too but we just decided to opt out of them bc they are not truely a must.

We are getting married in a historical courthouse that is going well with our Vegas theme and it was only $85.00 for whole time we need it. Its very unique so decorating will not be a huge need.

We saved big on the following

Fiance is a Firefighter and their chaplin is marrying us for free

We opted out of favors

My future SIL will have left over glass and votives after her wedding this weekend that we can have for free.

Caterer is a friend (my bff father) and is doing a Vegas Style buffet for only $6 a person Huge saver!!!

 Photography we went with a contracting company not a private photographer and will save us probably $1000

So now we are only at 3500.00 so I have splurged a little bit and found a local woman who has created her own style of photo booth! This thing is huge you can fit like 16 people in it at once for 7 hours unlimited pics (replaced the favors) a disc with all the prints and special vegas props and a handmade scrap book with every picture taken for 950.00 will be totally worth the money!

I have saved tons by making stuff myself and opting out of alot of stuff! Uniqueness and non traditional is totally me so its saving me money!!


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