(Closed) Broke Bride – Tips for a wedding on a budget

posted 3 years ago in Money
  • poll: What's your wedding budget?
    Under $5,000 : (14 votes)
    15 %
    $5,000 - $10,000 : (24 votes)
    25 %
    $10,000 - $19,000 : (23 votes)
    24 %
    $20,000 - $29,000 : (18 votes)
    19 %
    $30,000+ : (16 votes)
    17 %
  • Post # 17
    81 posts
    Worker bee

    Some tips I can offer after having my own wedding on a budget this past July:

    1. Hire your vendors on Thumbtack.com 
    I wasn’t able to find all of my vendors there, just my photographer. You type in your budget, and vendors will come to YOU. I stated that my budget was $500 and her photos were pretty good, espcially for the price. There weren’t engagement photos included, I didn’t want those anyways. 

    2. If you want a photobooth, get it combined with another service if you can, so you can get a cheaper deal altogether.
    My DJ also owned the photobooth company we went with, and we spent only $800 on the DJ, lights, and photobooth combined. 

    3. Buy flowers from Kroger or another grocery store. My flowers for my entire wedding was about $300. I did NOT get flowers for church decorations, because the church is already beautiful enough and did not need it. My mom kept insisting, but that would have been another $200 or more, and much more stress. Instead I only got bouquets for myself, my 2 bridesmaids and maid of honor, a buttonniere for my husband, and flowers for 8 tables. For the flowers we used daisies, gerbers, and roses. 

    4. Real vs. Fake plates… just go with which ever is much cheaper!
    If the plates aren’t much more expensive to rent, then rent them. The place I rented plates from were only 10 cents more than fake plates from Party City. I did however get fake silverware. 

    5. Have your bridal party bake treats for the reception! Each of my bridesmaids baked something for our snack table. Find a reception hall that will allow you to bring your own food in.

    6. Find cheap bar prices. Our reception hall was only $8 per person for a beer and wine bar. We did not need a complete open bar, and we only had it for the first 3 hours. If the reception hall is forcing their ridiculous prices down your throat, find a new place to go. Food/Drinks are the most expensive part of the wedding. 

    7. Go with a small caterer. Our caterer served our guests amazing chicken breast with green beans, roasted garlic potatoes, rolls, and they cut the cake. They were $9.75 per person because they were a cute elderly couple who just did this on the side. Guests loved the food and we didn’t need 2 meat options and didn’t have any vegetarians. 

    8. Buy a dress off the rack. My dress was $600 and I loved it. You also won’t think about how expensive alterrations will be until you get to that point. 

    9. Design and make your own invitations on minted.com
    They usually have specials and you will save a lot of money!

    10. Get creative/personal with your wedding favors. For our wedding favors we printed off a bunch of magnets with a cute drawing that matched our theme and our names & date. We didn’t want to have candy/food as a wedding favor because we had a snack table. Magnet sheets can be bought at the craft store for $5 to $10 and you can print on them with a regular printer. Easy and cheap!

    11. Find a local cake decorator to make your cake. Our cake was $160 and big enough to feed 80+. The person who made the cake owns a coffee shop and he just does cakes on the side. Just make sure you look at examples of cakes they’ve done first!

    You can still have everything you want in a wedding, as long as you do a LOT of research about your cheapest options! 

    Post # 18
    209 posts
    Helper bee

    I had a pretty healthy budget ($15k), but I chose to spend the majority of it on having awesome food with a fancy restaurant reception, which meant I had save elsewhere. 

    I saved money by…

    -Sending out free wedding e-vites using paperless post

    -Having a small 55 person guest list 

    -I had 2 uncles as photographers

    -Only one Maid/Matron of Honor and best man

    -Sourced all flowers from Costco – my mom made the bouquets, boutonnières, and centerpieces

    -Brother was the officiant 

    -Sister made the wedding flavors

    -Other sister made decorations and place cards and was the make up artist

    -I did my own hair

    -We made our own photo montage and music playlist so no need for a DJ

    -No engagement photos

    -No wedding cake since dessert was provided

    -I’m also going to resell my wedding dress to try to recoup some money 

    Post # 19
    13 posts

    my fiance and i are planning on a 2k-ish budget wedding.

    so far we’ve spent $700 on a custom made dress because the dress was the most important thing to me (being an avid dress-wearer all my life) and plan to have the ceremony in an orthodox church, which the price depends on the availability/demand of the church unless it’s his home church which isn’t desirable to have a wedding.also, since the wedding ceremony is technically a religious sacament, it will be on a sunday, which regardless of your religion is always a bit cheaper than a saturday wedding.

    we were gonna do potluck, but now are decided on abundant hors deourves like cheeses, breads, greek pasta salad, wraps, ceviche, etc. we also plan on having wine and 2 cocktail choices in abundance.

    i’ve been collecting wedding decor since last year- all from thrift and antique stores, clearance sales at target, dollar and 99 stores. so i can’t say the price i’ve spent on decor but it technically hasn’t made any noticeable dent since i’ve been collecting these items for over a year. (thinks liek brass candlecticks, crystal candlesticks, lace tablecloths, old picture frames, tea saucers, vintage glass serving trays)

    I hope on having the entire reception be 100% candlelight, and his church uses beeswax candles in their services so we will be having a parishioner make our beeswax tapers for cheap. beeswax also is dripless, smokeless, and burns the brightest flame! Also, i’ve been collecting dried flowers i think are beautiful for about a year, though i do not have enough for decor, so i will hope to be purchasing some dried flowers from etsy. i know dried is more eclectic than fresh, but it is still cheaper.

    if you want fresh flowers, go to farmers markets!!!! or go with baby’s breath

    our guest list is about 70 for reception, so my advice would be plan ahead, collect as much as you can when you can, think minimal- the beauty is in the details!

    Post # 20
    2060 posts
    Buzzing bee

    We’re having our ceremony in a rose garden that the city owns – free!! Check out parks and other government owned properties. That’s the best way to find affordable, beautiful places to get married!

    There are a lot of things you can rent for the wedding, but be careful because some stuff is actually cheaper to buy if you have coupons! Pllus you can sell stuff after you buy it. Check out facebook and craigslist for people selling and renting wedding stuff.

    You can have good food and not spend a ton. We got quotes as low as 10/pp for a food truck meal and 12/pp for drop off catering. 

    Our reception venue is BYOB and has a bar area so we won’t have to rent the bar. We’re going to have beer, wine, and signature cocktails. I bought drink dispensers on sale for $11 each with chalkboard lables so we are doing the signature cocktails in there.

    I found a month of coordinator for $800 and she was running a half off special so we will have her refill the drinks and start the few songs we need for the ceremony and reception (two at the ceremony 4 at the reception, so not much) and then we just have a play list for the rest of the night. We will do the speaker set up ourselves for cheap bc Fiance is into that stuff, but I saw systems as cheap as $90 for rental. 

    Lights I’m buying on clearance after the holidays. 

    I got hanging glass terarriums for as little as $1.11 each on ebay.com glass orbs

    speaking of ebay, I ordered stuff from overseas for cheap and ended up with “ebay bucks” after a while so I got about $7 back for more stuff, haha. I got a cake cutting set for $3.71 that I saw for $19.99 at michaels 

    Speaking of places like that, they often have 40% of coupons and 50% off sales. I don’t buy anything there unless it’s on sale like that. They also send a LOT of their stuff to TJ Maxx and Ross, so check there.

    We’re doing our own flowers from globalrose and 48 flowers. I’ve used global rose before and 48 flowers was awesome when I talked to them plus they can save us on shipping because we can drive the airport and pick up the flowers (you need to get them a few days in advance) instead of them needing to be same day delivered. Global rose has free shipping. 

    I really wanted Dusty Miller, and I found some already growing plants for $2.22 so I’m going to grow a few. It’s trendy and kinda expensive IMO, even wholesale. 

    Candleholders, candles, candy buffet jars, et cetera were mostly bought at the 99 cent store and thrift stores. 

    I got vases from the LA crafts website for super cheap. Wholesale floral places are the place to go to for vases for sure. 

    I did invites on shutterfly for 40% off, then did super cheap business cards for $5 each for the enclosures. 

    We got engagement pictures done afforadably with groupon. I had a coupon for groupon and spent about $35 on an hour long session with an outfit change and we got almost 300 photos

    We bought Fiance a Kenneth Cole tux on sale at Macy’s for $99. We got a suit that way for rehearsal dinner as well. 

    The groomsmen will be getting tuxes here for $59 https://nationaltuxedorentals.com/build-a-tuxedo

    The BM’s dresses are coming from Wet Seal, $18 each because of a 40% off sale. I will buy them all at once and get free shipping.

    Found and independent makeup artist that does my style of makeup and my trial and day of makeup + travel is $150. 

    You can get 3 tier cakes for under $70 at sams. We didn’t want buttercream so I’m going to get cakes iced in our colors and buy some gumpaste flowers on them.

    Fiance really wanted a chocolate fountain but the cheapest to rent one was $90 or $250 if I wanted the chocolate and fruit. We bought a four tier one for $33 on ebay and I tested it out on his birthday. $10 worth of chocolate bars and $20 worth of fruit and rice krispies will be plenty for our guest list…

    Getting the hotel for the wedding night on groupon for 25% off

    Borrowing my sister’s $298 fully beaded cathedral veil 


    I could go on lol but I’m tired 🙂

    Post # 21
    551 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Get married midweek(Tue-Thur), in the warmer months so you don’t have to pay heating costs

    Go to clearance or factory shops for your wedding dress

    Don’t have a large or any bridal party- go to main dress store rather than a bridal shop for dresses

    Do your own decorating of the venue- create your own centrepeices, buy flowers from the market,

    See if you have any useful friends that might be able to offer you cheaper rates- any musically inclined people, any electronic inclined people that might have lights they can bring in, any amateur photographers, theatre inclined people that could lend props from their company, any talented home bakers

    Small guest list

    Using things you already have, like family cars

    Focus on three key areas between you and your partner and make sure the main money goes on those things that are most important to you

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