(Closed) Brides with really tight budgets, $5000 or less.

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

The best way to do this usually is by doing a non-Saturday wedding, like a Fri/Sun! Most vendors give discounts for these dates. I know a lot of our brides have $5000 budgets but are having almost $10,000 weddings just by doing it on a Fri/Sun!

Post # 4
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As far as dress goes, mine was $200, off the rack at a small bridal shop in town :3  It was from 2010 but I love it, I don’t care if its the ‘newest fashion’ or whatever lol  You could also check out craigslist to get an inexpensive dress 🙂


Invites my graphic designer fiance is making for us, you can see if an artist friend will help you out!



Post # 5
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hey there! Well my wedding is under $4000. We are having it in the community hall for $200 both ceremony and reception in on place. I ordered my dress from a China knock off site (dressilyme.com) I’ve herd wonderful things about them and am anxiously awaiting my dress, that has so far only cost me $275. I have made my own bouquets, and flower girl dress’. We are having a late ceremony and sticking to a cocktail, dessert and dancing reception, where my best guy frien will be master of ceremonies, and control a MUCH organized and planned out music list on an ipod sound station that we are renting for $75 and dance/party lights renting for like $10 each. Spending about $500 on food, different appies, desserts and candies, about $500 on alcohol, Wine, Beer and ONE cocktail and got a great deal on chair covers, think my total with them including candy buffet vases was $190. 


Anyway those are just some of the things I’ve done and saved money, and so far putting it all together seems like it’s still going to be a wonderful wedding 🙂

Post # 6
1725 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Get Vistaprint Groupons and Living Social Deals for Invites…I paid $27 for $120 worth of product from them.

Get veil/slip/accessories off of classifieds, ebay, or etsy

I got my dress off the rack at a small salon nearby. It was only $399 + tax.

Think about having friends/family buy bulk foods to make for reception from Sams Club (or some other place like that)

Post # 7
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Backyard weddings can get extremely expensive since most people need a tent (in itself could blow your budget) along with tables and chairs it can climb very very fast. Printing your own invitations can save you a lot of money but require more time. For a dress there are options from make your own to a chinesse knock to a sample dress on clearance to a discount retail or an untraditional option. Favors is something that can be a great DIY especially for a home made food favor you are passing some great fruit seasons for jam or all sorts of other options. Once youve got a bit of a theme going in your head there are incredible bees on here that can help with ideas and sourcing. Dont forget those micheals coupons which most of those are addicted to.

Post # 8
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It is possible!!  Our 120 person wedding cost is know at $3,700.  We are having a friend cater.  I think food is the most expensive.  We are having a buffet.

I got my dress at David’s Bridal for $150.  It was several seasons old.

You are going to have to DIY alot of stuff. 


Post # 9
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We’re doing it at 7:00 at a Bed and Breakfast which really help cut down on the costs!

Venue (Chair, Table Rentals, Sound System, Tent, and night of Hotel): $1800

Food (DIY, Cold, Plentiful): $600

Dress (Sample): $600

Decorations (DIY): $500

Vistaprint/Handmade Invites and STDS (DIY): <$50


Post # 10
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Im getting married in June of this year and our budget is also 5k for 75 people but I must say it is a true commitment. Here are some suggestions:

Cake or cupcake – SAM’S, COSTCO, OR BJ’S

Caterer – finger foods – $12.50 pp

Venue – 400

Flowers – DIY (farmer’s market)

Dress – Davids Bridal (found mine for 199.00 and I love it)

Candy Bar – Vases from goodwill

Pictures – Friend

Singing – sing

Invitations – Michaels -20.00 (with personal touches) & printed at staples – $15.00

Flower girl dress & accessorites – $30.00 (easter sale)



Post # 11
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Link heavy (sorry)!

A friend of mine just purchased her dress from: http://www.9dresses.com/c/bridal-gowns-for-less.html?gclid=CI7V8aX39a4CFUXc4Aod-jN8KQ

I thinks she spent about $200 or so. Go to David’s Bridal and check out clearance, and also try on a few dresses to see what shapes you prefer.

I also found her this site for centerpieces: http://www.efavormart.com/wedding-centerpieces.aspx?referral=adwords&kw=Wedding_Centerpieces

Her bouquet: http://www.bunchesdirect.com/index.php/Affordable-Wedding-Flower-Bouquets/View-all-products.html?direct=asc&orderby=product_price&gclid=CNmFpuz39a4CFYuK4AodJ2jGLQ

Favors: http://www.weddingfavors.org/cheap-wedding-favors

ALSO! You can save a more $$ by having a friend sign up to be your minister or Justice of the Peace. It costs about $100 for a Justice of the Peace where I am. If you have a friend willing to officiate. I already had a friend who had used this site and I found it much more meaningful that he officiated our ceremony, he did a fantastic job! http://www.themonastery.org/ordination?gclid=CLSNlpv49a4CFcRM4AodrnE_Hg

I also agree with going with Vistaprint and a non-Saturday Wedding. A friday/sunday wedding can cut 3-6k off your total right there.

Hope this helped!

Post # 12
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

My wedding is coming in right over $5,000.  I am a major bargainista.  So, it hasn’t been so hard on me.  Here is what we’ve done/spent:

Wedding ceremony package (includes lots of goodies, including two nights in hotel for honeymoon)- $750

Reception room fee (includes room, tables, chairs, linens, and silverware/glasses/plates)- $750

Food for the reception- $2500- $3000 (not sure yet)

Save the Dates- Free from Vistaprint

Invitations- $22 on Vistaprint

Aritificial flowers- Bought on sale at Michael’s for $.99/stem.

Vases for centerpieces/accent artificial flowers- Borrowing for free

Water beads and Aqua Brites for centerpieces- $24 on eBay

Favors-  We’re doing a candy buffet.  We just saved all of the salsa jars that the Future In-Laws bought, so those were free.  Future Mother-In-Law bought the vases that we’re serving candy out of.  I spent about $14 on fabric and ribbon to decorate the jars.  All I have left to buy is candy, which we plan to spend $100 on.

My dress- Bought it for $233 at a consignment shop.  They had much cheaper gowns there, but I had to have mine!

Veil- $30 on eBay

Shoes- $40 at TJ Maxx

My bouquet-  Someone is making my bouquet out of the artificial flowers I bought.

Programs- I spent $3 on cardstock paper at Wal-Mart and about $2 on flip-flop brads at Michael’s, then I made them myself for a grand total of $5.

Photographer- We found an amateur who will do it for $500

My originial budget was $3000, but obviously that didn’t work out.  We’re almost double that now, even though I really have been trying to be thrifty.  I’m still not even done shopping and getting things and I just calculated that with all of the things listed above (which doesn’t even include everything I’ve bought), I will have spent over $5000.   Maybe more like $5500.  You CAN do it for $5000 or less.  My mistake was choosing a pricey venue, which you do not have to do.

Here are some tips for making things as cheap as possible, but still nice:

  • Lower the guest list!  This is the number one tip I can give for cutting costs.  The more people you have, the more expensive it is going to be.  You’ll have to have more seats, more programs, more favors, more food, etc. if you don’t cut the list down.  If it is not too late for you, cut that list down to the bare minimum.
  • Look into cheaper venues.  Most parks let you rent space out to have your ceremony, for cheap.  If you know of a nice park in your area, check out your town’s parks and rec website or call them for rental rates.  Also, if you know someone with a nice property, they may let you marry in their yard for free.  Of course, if you or your parents attend a church, a lot of churches will let you have your wedding/reception there for free for just a small donation.
  • As far as food goes, try to find a venue that will let you self-cater.  Some venues will not allow outside catering, they want you to pay for their catering, or to use their preferred caterers.  If you can find a place that will allow your relatives to make food and bring it in, that would save you so much money.  FI’s cousin got married in a church and only had to pay a donation (of her choice) to the church, and a lot of her relatives brought food and drinks so she ended up not paying for food at all.
  • Photographers can be expensive, but we all want pictures of our day.  If there are any amateur photogs in your family/friends, they will probably do your wedding free.  That’s how FI’s cousin got her wedding pics.  I don’t know anyone, so I am actually looking on Craigslist for an amateur photographer and have found several that I can surprisingly afford.
  • Dress, try a consignment shop.  That’s what I did.  You don’t have to have a $3000 designer gown.  The dress I bought is beautiful and has no signs of wear and it cost me $233.
  • Favors.  Either don’t do them at all (they’re not necessary), or try to find something around your house that you can re-use, or something you can collect from others.  I collected all of our salsa jars (we eat a lot of salsa) and am using them.  You can ask friends/family for baby food jars and make cupcake in a jar, or fill it with Jordan Almonds or something.

Post # 13
2031 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

If you’re concerned about rain, look into having the reception at the state park where your ceremony is. I’m looking into a state park here with a pavilion that can accommodate 200 people for $100 for the day, including picnic tables.

Invitations can be printed for you relatively cheap…walmart.com has them (you have to google it) cheaper than anywhere else I’ve seen. Or if you have a Michael’s, they ALWAYS have printable coupons online for 40-50% off….print a bunch and have your friends each help you buy the kits.

Dresses from Davids are beautiful and cheaper than bridal shops, see if you can find a sale or even look into dresses for destination weddings or bridesmaids dresses…some are available in white.

I don’t know how you feel about flowers or if you can DIY but my first wedding I got my flowers from the grocery store, so much cheaper than a florist and no one could believe where they came from.

Post # 14
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

my family is giving me 5,000 for our wedding… here is what we have used on so far.. also I live in NC and prices here may differ than else where….


venue: 1000

Dress: 850

Photography: 800

food: 1500

Flowers: ?

decorations: DIY

cake: 200

DJ- 300

I went over budget on my dress by 350 dollars. I am trying to decide if I should pay for my cake or have a friend do it. I found my photographer thru craigslist and he is amazing. I cant wait. it really can be done. you just have to do a lot of research and don’t take the first offer you find when it comes to food/cake/photography! I promise you will be able to find someone to do anything for you in your budget 🙂 my wedding is in Oct and every week I just spend a few dollars on decorations I will need. Also Michaels and stores like that have coupons in the mail and internet every week… take advantage of that!!!

Craigslist also has a lot of people selling stuff you might can use for your wedding as well.

Good Luck!!

Post # 15
3452 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s not easy!  We are doing ours for less than $4000.  I think it depends on how big the wedding.  Our wedding is going to be small with about 35 people.  I am cutting corners where I can.  We are getting married on a Sunday.  We are having a brunch.  I won’t be doing boutonnieres or flower centerpieces.  Luckily the venue we found has fresh flowers on the table all year.  No photographer, because we have two family members who have offered to take photos for free.  We aren’t having any dancing, so no DJ or band; we’re not the dancing types, so that was an easy one to cut out for us.  I shopped around a lot for a venue that was affordable.  I felt like most places hear “wedding” and double the normal function price.  My dress was less than $400.  I’m still wondering what to do about favors.  I feel like they aren’t really necessary, because everyone coming is close family and friends.  Not sure what we can do that hasn’t already been done.  I’m also not sure about a wedding cake.  The package price for brunch includes cupcakes, so I think that will be enough.  We’ll see!

Post # 16
1962 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I decided to get my dress at David’s Bridal. I went with an Oleg Cassini that was being discontinued so that helped with the price quite a bit. As far as decor goes, we are having a vintage/rustic picnic wedding so I’m doing a lot of DIY. 40% off coupons from Michaels makes that sooo much cheaper. I’m also not using real flowers so that cuts down the budget. I plan on doing paper flowers instead. There are some fantastic alternatives to traditional elements that are inexpensive.

I think the style of your wedding can help direct the cost if you are willing/able to do a lot of digging and DIY projects. My favors were found on clearance for instance after quite a bit of looking. Favors are not necessary so if this adds too much to your budget you can drop them altogether. Most people don’t take them home or toss them later anyway. For invites I bought those at Michaels and am modifying them. Try Vistaprint or Catprint like some PPs said. Target has some nice invite suits every so often as well.

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