(Closed) Budget Bride more like Broke Bride

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 18
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Dress: easy, chinese replica shop. The best quality affordable shop is hands down Dressilyme. Jasmine’s Bridal makes great replicas and customs too, but they can get very expensive. 

DJ:ipod! Alot of my friends had ipod djs, they made playlist for the entire reception. Another option is college, alot of colleges have places where you can list job opportunities.

Photos: same as above.Seriously,  probably at your local community college there are some starving art students that would be more than happy to shoot your wedding for the fraction of the cost of a professional. Decoration: diy via dollar tree and your local craft shop. My mom and aunt made all of my centerpieces and bouquets from those two stores. No 1 thing cost more than 5 bucks, but if we would’ve bought the same from someone the prices would’ve been quadruple. 


A great place for everything is craigslist. There are people there that offer great service at better prices because maybe they are new, or they work out of home etc.


Post # 19
32 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

I agree with everyone about cutting the guest list. In my head, my wedding is the event of the century that everyone has been waiting for, in reality only about 70 of my original 120 guests will even show up.

The replica dress option is good, another option is buying something preowned. There are SO many sites for this — ebay, tradesy, preownedweddingdresses, oncewed, sundaysbridal, etc. Often times you will find unaltered sample dresses.

For the venue, we’re getting married in a museum, only $200/hr. and we’re just having a lunch reception at restaurant (tip: lunch is cheaper than dinner, even if the menus are identical!)

My sister got married on the beach, and it cost her $400 for the ceremony, officiant, and photographer. She also had a lunch reception at a restaurant (I’m stealing her idea), the food was amazing and we had a great time. Only cost her $2,000!

I think the key is to forget about what a wedding should be and create a fun event that reflects your personality.

Post # 20
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I feel your pain!!!  

We have a guest list of 150 (of which I expect about 130 to show) and about $6,000 for the wedding. 

We have rented a mansion for the weekend for $1,800.  This mansion sleeps 23 people and has 9 gardens attached to it and an outdoor pavillion (the wedding/reception will be outdoors with the pavillion as back-up).  The mansion also provides tables/chairs for 130 people so at most we will have to rent enought for 20.  We are allowed to bring in our own food/alcohol.

I have been gifted the use of ivory table linens from a family friend who owns a catering company for use that day, I just need to have them cleaned and give them back

Our caterer has quoted us a chicken with chive cream sauce + jagerschnitzel buffet dinner for $2,587

My Fiance parents have agreed to provide the alcohol for our reception (beer and wine about $500)

My mother is purchasing my dress for me and we are having a custom dress made through Jasmines (I highly recommend them)

We are having a student from the local art school do photography for his portfolio for $300 not including any prints(I have already seen some of his work and sought him out)

We are buying bulk flowers (carnations and a few roses) and DIYing the flowers ($150)

We are just looking for a DJ that fits the budget and are, so far, under $5,400 for everything.  So that leaves me about $600 to hire a DJ

I hope that helps!!

Post # 21
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

First, yes, being poor sucks ass. It requires throwing a lot of “etiquette” out the door, and usually, people don’t really miss it anyways if they know you. $5500 for 80 guests here .

As others have said, trimming the guest list is a great start. 

Other simple ideas: 

Venues can be affordable. Check out hotels, parks/gardens, local halls and community centres, etc. 

Friend/friend of a friend as DJ. Or IPod, no DJ. Lots of wedding peeps have kick ass playlists you can literally copy and instructions for smooth running.

There are lots of budding photogs around, looking to build a portfolio. Or more seasoned photogs with really basic packages. 

Consider regular cars for transport, or rent-a-cars if you are over 25. You can always decorate them.

Dresses/suits can be found pretty cheaply-lots of ladies here can give you tips on that. Accessories-check out your basic clothing/accessory stores, aka Old Navy, Le Chateau, Claires-they have gorgeous jewelry options that look more expensive than they are. 

Hair and makeup can be self done or salon done, or something in between. 

Simple reception meal, a bar option you can afford comfortably- several delis also cater some delicious food if the formal meals are too expensive. 

Grocery stores really do have some lovely cake and flower options, for some or all of your needs. 

Wedding bands do not have to be expensive-you can upgrade them later in life. Mine is a simple white gold band for $120- his is a thicker version for $250. And people go even cheaper with less popular metals. 

Decor. If colour themed, pick popular, easy colors to find decorations for- red, blue, pink, black, white, etc. Raid your local dollaramas. They have everything you could need-flowers, tulle, ribbon, scrapbook paper, glassware for centrepieces, plates/cantlesticks for cake and dessert holders. Then raid the outdoors- branches, rocks, wood, sand, acorns. The church/reception decor and centrepieces will cost $75 max and I’m loaning them to a friend when I’m done. 

Plenty of options, they can be hard to see at first though. 

Post # 22
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’m in a similar boat… best of luck

Post # 23
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’ve had a vendor laugh when I give them my budget. “No, seriously, how much are you wanting to spend?” Another said I shouldn’t waste their time if I’m not “serious” about getting married. Yeah, because spending a ridiculous amount of money makes you more serious. Oh well, I’m not giving up my desire for a big celebration, I just have to find out how to do it cheaply.

Post # 24
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I feel you, OP. A lot of financial hardship just piled up on us in the last two months – lost my fulltime job that I loved (as primary wage earner), a leaky roof that has to be repaired this month ($4000), mold in our rundown bathroom (looking at $5000), a fiance who makes little money right now, and not much help for the wedding. We have been out of school for less than two years and have been reducing school debt as opposed to saving. I found a part time job to hold us over but we are in trouble right now. 

So our wedding just went from budget to broke 🙂 . I had a budget of $7000 that has to be halved. 

And you know what? Honestly and truly. People who love and care about you seriously do not care about the details. They will find your wedding beautiful. They will not find it tacky. The worst critics are ourselves and people who judge the surface without knowing the heart and soul behind the wedding. So honestly, cutting down your guest list to the people who care most about you is a smart move. They will appreciate any gesture you can make towards their comfort and enjoyment. 

Post # 25
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@RndmLAgrl2013:  The fashion district downtown will be your best friend. Seriously, just spend a couple hours walking through there one day (weekday is preferable, because it’s a zoo on the weekend). We ordered our tablecloths, overlays, chair covers, sashes, and napkins there, and are planning on selling them after, because it’s actually cheaper than renting. The flower mart has super cheap, awesome flowers, and vases/decorative ideas. You can get anything you’d need to DIY for a great price: fabric, beads, vases, ribbon, gift bags, etc. They’ve got jewelry, flower girl baskets, cake cutters, etc. We got our bridesmaids dresses for $39, our flower girl dresses for $35. They have wedding dresses and veils for unbelievable prices (I bought my dress at a boutique, but will probably get my veil there). They have suits for men, also at ridiculously low prices.


It can be overwhelming, but you have a year to get everything together. I had my mom fly out here last weekend, and we spent a few hours in the fashion district for four straight days. They have everything you will need for your wedding.

Post # 27
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

My budget is about 4,000 and ithink i will actually be under that. im getting married in the courthouse or outsidereal quick with very few people. My dinner will be a chicken family style sit down dinner. My Dj is 300 and my wedding dress from ebay was 129. im making the centerpieces and i made my flowers. My dinner is for 150 people at $10.50 a plate. soo i guess it can be done just depends on where you live.

Post # 28
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

There’s definitely ways to save. Diy projects,  ipod instead of dj, friday night wedding, non pro photofrapher, replica or used dress, but the best way is to cut your guest list. 

Post # 29
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree with ideas  stated above, HOWEVER the number one rule to being a budget bride is being realistic. So, maybe you could make a list of the non-negotiables (for me, it is the popcorn bar and photography) and a negotiables list. Then put the suggestions into action. Also, have you considered being married in a park ( park permits are generally cheap ) or at an unlikely venue? I’ve seen gorgeous weddings at warehouses.

Post # 30
2 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

There is a minnesota website for ideas and vendors for budget brides.  I found a great DJ and florist there!  They also take suggestions and referrals from brides who have had excellent vendors and only list referred vendors on the site.

Welcome to Minnesota Budget Bride

You would be amazed at how affordable some of the vendors are… and it tells you everything from how to get your minnesota marraige lisense to showing you where you can find a cheap location for your wedding and reception.  Lots of good stuff.  🙂

Post # 31
2 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

@danielleA:  Oh, and our wedding budget was $5000, and we did it! 

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