brides with budgets 6,000 or under

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We’re trying to keep our budget under $7000, but with our ever expanding guest list, I don’t know if i’ll happen.  Under $10,000 is completely possible with what we’re working with.  I don’t want my wedding to be a financial burden on my parents.  We found a venue that gives a huge discount for a wedding on a Sunday, so we’re moving our date to a Sunday to save $.  We’re not having a ton of flowers, or a big wedding party, and we’re just trying to overall be concious of where our money is going for that day.  After all, it’s a very important day that we’ll remember forever, but it shouldn’t break the bank!

Good luck! I’d love to hear other bride’s opinions/ways you’re saving money!

Post # 4
3285 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Our budget was $5-7K and we stayed within it by:

  • Prioritizing – what did we want to spend most on?  We chose photography/catering.
  • Looking outside the box – our venue was a gated community’s clubhouse, where we happen to live.  Gorgeous lawn and gazebo for our ceremony and lovely reception hall area.  Total cost? $500, and about $125 for the dance floor, plus we got $300 back after the event as our security deposit.  So it cost less than $400 altogether!
  • Flowers limited to bride’s bouquet – we got married outside, in FL, lots of great flowers and plant, didn’t need extra!!
  • My dress was purchased for $125 on eBay!
  • Did an open bar with beer and wine only!
  • Found bridesmaid dresses in untraditional place – formal dresses.
  • I diyed all the decor.
  • Cake from grocery store!

Those were just a few of the things off the top of my head I can think of, and we still had the gorgeous day we imagined.  And that budget, we stuck with it, and that INCLUDED honeymoon!  We took a 7 night cruise, booked last minute, so that was our good deal, too!

Post # 5
348 posts
Helper bee

We’re shooting for under $6,000 for about 50 people.  The hard part is that we are having a weekend-long wedding, so the venue rental is more expensive and we are feeding people for three days.  We are making it work by:

DIYing the food (just hiring servers to heat it up and serve it out on the day of the party, and getting our friends to help us barbecue the rest of the weekend).

DIYing the invitations, and no fancy embossing or anything – just ink on paper.

Buying a cheap dress ($250 all in).

Using shoes and jewelry I already own, and wearing a suit my husband already has.

Buying almost no flowers – making a bouquet and centerpieces out of bunches of chili peppers, which are $1 each, and sticking them in mason jars I already own (I can things).

Skipping extraneous paper goods (programs, menus, etc)

Only using the decorations, plates, etc that our venue already owns (which, luckily, should pretty much cover it).  I might make some bunting if I have time, from scrap fabric.

Ipod for music.

Venue lets us bring in our own wine and beer, and we are going for $5 wine (there’s decent stuff if you hunt for it) and kegs.

DIYing hair and makeup (although I’ll spend some money buying better makeup than I already own).

Aside from the venue, we’re spending most of our money on photography (although even here, we are going with a pretty cheap person, at least for our area) and on the ingredients for all the food we’re making. 

Obviously, this works because we are OK with a casual vibe.  It would be harder if we wanted something more formal, although that would have been doable as well – we would have had to sacrifice the weekend-long party, though.  It also works because we are having a small party.  Although it wouldn’t actually cost loads more to have more people, (the actual variable per-person cost is probably about $40-50), I wouldn’t want to be DIYing so much with a larger group, and I would have wanted some more professional help on the day.



Post # 6
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We’re staying under budget so far! The biggest expense has been my dress, which might be a bit fancy for our plans, but I don’t really care if it matches. 🙂 Some of the things we’re doing:

– we’re having an outdoor picnic reception

– DIY decor, flowers from the garden and farmer’s market

– no big wedding cake, but 3-4 small, delicious, gorgeous cakes from local bakeries, plus lots of homemade desserts on the side

– iPod music

– only a Maid/Matron of Honor and best man

– designing and printing our own invitations

Post # 7
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

*raises hand*

We set our budget at 5k. Everything is going to be as DIY and financially ‘creative’ as possible!  We’re early in the planning stages but I think we can do it 🙂  Thanks for the ideas krissy and historienne. 

Post # 8
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We are trying to keep ours under $8,000. We initially planned on having an evening wedding and an open bar. We cut that down to a lunch reception bc it makes it about $10-15 cheaper per person. We also found a reception site and were able to get a great deal of only $40 per person but that price included my Fiance and I’s room for the night, the table linens, hurricane vase centerpeices, the wedding cake, plated dinner, champagne toast and 2 bottles of wine for each table during the meal. Also by doing this we did not feel so obligated to have an open bar because it is a lunch reception so we opted for a cash bar. I am also doing some DIY stuff, such as making our STD’s via Photoshop so they were only $26 to print off and they are postcards so that saves on envelopes. The bridesmaids bouquets are also going to be done by 2 of my bridesmaids and I. One other thing I did to cut costs it I purchased my dress from (which I know is out of the question for some brides but I am not above anything); I understand they are a knock-off and what not but I am perfectly fine with only paying $150 for them to recreate the dress I love and I have seen hundreds of great reviews ( I searched for about 2 months before choosing them). I understand it will not look exactly the same as the original dress but since I am only wearing it for about 5-6 hours and I am going to be the only one who knows that but thats fine with me. I have a friend who is great at photography and is almost done with school and all he is charging is a flight to Vegas for 2 and the hotel.  

Post # 9
5497 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We’re aiming for 5k and asking a lot of people to help out. We have a friends who edits pictures, someone who takes pictures for a hobby,  FI’s parents are doing our cake, we DIY’d our invites, and we are getting married in FBIL’s backyard. We’re cutting in all sort of places. My dress was less than 400 with the undergarments. If we didn’t have a lot of people doing things for us we would have to hold off for awhile since we are paying for everything ourselves.

Post # 10
392 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

totally going for under 3k! so far going good. I just know that i can’t do anything extravagant, which isn’t me anyways. not doing fresh flowers, only having my bouquet, its small stuff like that.

Post # 11
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Woooohooo! Love this thread. 5K wedding here, so far we haven’t laid down any money yet, our venue is free ‘cuz it’s my parents backyard and we are still 8 months out. Buuut the estimates I’ve been looking at make me think we can do it. A lot of DIY, a lot of prioritizing on what matters and what’s not so important. The chiavari chairs I desperately want for the paper plates, that kind of thing. And a lot of ideas already mentioned like:
-iPod music for ambiance (no dancing/dance floor)
-Virtually no flowers except for what’s already in the garden. Our centerpieces are tissue paper flowers on branches in mason jars.
-I think I’m baking cakes!
-50 people max
Our splurges are the infamous chairs, catered food, and maybe a videographer for FH’s parents who aren’t willing to cross the pond.
I love the hive but sometimes I feel like I can’t do this on our budget, especially because I swoon over the blogger Bees posts everday. Refreshing thread, looking good ladies!

Post # 12
807 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We are paying for everything ourselves and knew that we did not want to go over so that we would have to be in debt for any of our wedding.

We actually set our budget at $3,000… far below what most people have set… but i must admit we actually had a $6,000 budget for our honeymoon.

I honestly dont think that we will go over the $3k mark we are not even close yet. Here is things i done. I live in a small town though so i notice the price differences are HUGE with most of the other peoples areas.

Keep the guest list small only invite those who you care come… we are having around 80-90 people

The first thing i did was Prioritize everything… I splurged where it was more impotant and I skipped what wasnt

I am splurging on Photographer which is still a good deal…. $800 &  it includes a man and wife team and engagement session & we negotiated with them by cutting out the bridal session and replacing it with prints and other things we wanted.

I bought an off rack on sale simple dress below $100 & had it altered & dressed up  to be what i wanted by a private Seamstress for an additional $100

A simple but pretty outdoor venue a score at only $195  plus $100 damage deposit(local historical spot infront of their pond and using a renovated barn into a picnic pavillion as reception spot… picnic tables included …. so nixed out the need for table and chair rentals for reception)

Renting chairs through our venue for ceremony only $1 each


Fake flowers… I bought all my flowers from a store called Ben Franklin & for all the flowers to do my centerpieces & bouquets & bouts the glassware to put my centerpieces in I have $300 invested

Using Jewlery my sister had

Made My Hair fascinator .. grand total $6.00

Only spent $45 on my wedding shoes

(Bridesmaids & Groomsmen providing their own attire) I provide flowers & bought Groomsmen ties (so they all match bought on sale at JCPenny buy one get one $1)& Bridesmaid or Best Man hair fascinators ($4 each Burlington Coat Factory)

DIY Invitations.. bought a Wiltons kit for $20 dressing them up with $15 worth of cardstock & ribbon… $35 dollars total for 40 invites & RSVP cards

Cutting out things like Programs, menus etc…. unnecessary paper goods

Since my Venue has picnic tables …  I didnt see the need for  linens I am doing nicer paper tablescloths with Plastic Tablecloth runners…. (GASP) yes you heard me right lol $45 for all my 16 tables

Using private in home cake decorator who only does it on the side as a hobby vs as a  Buisness  $100… for our 3 tier fondant cake

DIY my cake topper’s ( Clay Bride & Fireman Groom) $30ish dollars for supplies(definately didnt save time but on round 3 of my bride i was pleased)

Lining my aisle with less expensive things… I  am using Shepards Hooks & hanging Paper Lanterns with ribbons

Since my Venue has picnic tables …  I didnt see the need for  linens I am doing nicer paper tablescloths with Plastic Tablecloth runners…. (GASP) yes you heard me right lol.. I am also doing Paper napkin & silverware as well as the sturdy clear plastic plates & Cups

Found a DJ to cut us a good deal for a sunday wedding… $350 for 6 hrs including playing music for our ceremony

Having a friend sing at our wedding

Bought a used garter & toss Garter… $10 for both


DIY CATERING…. well with loads of family help & since my wedding is in the heat of the summer we are keeping it simple and we havent made a definately decision but are either doing finger foods… OR a Build your own sandwich type thing with everything put out on platters.

We might not provide alcohol at all or if we do we will probably do… Beer (via Kegs) & maybe wine.. or a Signature Drink we could Make ahead

Post # 13
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

My fiance’s mom originally thought we (she) could do our ceremony and reception for around $6000…for 250 people. Thankfully, she later realized this is an absurd budget for a wedding with 250 guests.

Sometimes I wish that we could have a small wedding, about 50-80 people, not only to reduce the budget but to make it a more intimate occasion, but then again, Indian weddings are supposed to be big and over-the-top!

Good luck with your plans everyone!


Post # 14
3 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

We are planning the ceremony and reception for around $7,000.

It has been a little difficult, but we have been able to utilize a lot of personal connections.

The dress we got for half off since it was discontinued

The DJ is a friend and I got him for about half price, same with the photographer so that saved us around 1,000.

A family member owns the reception site so we have been able to get really cheap alcohol and food prices.

We chose to do fake flowers for the reception and buy the decorations off of ebay and we hae been able to save a lot of money that way. Plus we ordered the cake and the flowers through a local grocery store and that was way cheaper.

We also aren’t doing a limo or any special transportation.

Honestly, it has been a little difficult but I have been just searching for the best deal possible, and so its all on track.


If you have any good ideas, let me know!

Post # 15
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I wanted something in that budget.. the issue is too much fam. 200!

so it gets hard.. were still keeping it pretty close though by eliminating a lot of things that go into a wedding.

& finding an all inclusive hall.

Post # 16
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We started out with a $5000 budget when we didn’t know our guest list and didn’t know how much things cost.  Then we realized we have 150 close family/friends, and my parents wanted to pay for a lot of things, and didn’t like some of my ideas.  So the budget is going to be somewhere between $5K and $10K now, I hope on the lower side.  Around $1500 for the venue and rentals (I’m not counting the $5K that my dad will spend to finally finish the patio if we have it at their house), $4K for catering (heavy hors d’oeuvres), probably $1K for attire (my dress is $250 but with alterations and buying ties and jewelry for the gm and bms…), $1K for photography, invitations, programs.  I hate that we’re spending so much, but some of it is non-negotiable – in our area, you need a rain plan in August, and indoor places/tents are expensive.  Even public venues for 150 are thousands!  And you can’t really skip the tables or chairs or food if you want to be a good host.  I’m hoping to wear my shoes and maybe even my dress again, if I get it altered. 

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