(Closed) Budget Weddings – $5k and less

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Hi! I didn’t do an exact line by line at the end, but ours was around $6000. We invited 105 guests and had about 70 attend.

We rented a shelter and gazebo by the lake owned by our county. The total was $550 for both for all day. THe shelter is enclosed with a kitchen. They allowed alcohol and it allowed us to cater ourselves.

Darling Husband already owned a nice suit, so we didn’t have to get him anything. I didn’t want our bridal party to have to spend $ so we provided most of their outfits. I found a pair of slacks at Kohls that matched groom’s suit and purchased the ties at Sam’s club, of all places for $7 each. We asked them to wear their own white shirts and brown shoes.

My mom made my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses. She purchased my gown as a gift, which I found at DB. I knew I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on my gown. It was about $600 with all the undergarments and alterations.

Mom and I made all the food. Darling Husband wanted a taco bar, so that’s what we had. I made carnitas and taco meat the day before. We made several homemade fresh salsas and had all the fixings as well as layer dip, a fruit and veggie tray. I spent about $600 for food and plates….and could have spent less but I WAY over-estimated how much i needed. We used disposables. The wedding had a casual feel and it was not out of place. We provided a spiked lemonade, beer (keg), soda, water and iced tea.

I was able to borrow linens from my husband’s cousin who had just gotten married the year before. My mom helped sew some place-mat things for decor in the center of the tables. I collected as much white milkglass vases at garage sales and thrift  stores as we could find the months before the wedding. I bought a few things at Michaels (little birds, dried flowers) to help with the decor.

I purchased my flowers from Sam’s club. They let me down a bit and the hydrangea I ordered was not delivered on time, so we used only baby’s breath, which was okay with me, as I was planning for that to be the main flower anyway.

A friend of DH’s family made our cake as a gift.

My friend did our hair as a gift.

We did our own makeup.

Darling Husband did all the music, we used Ipod and were able to borrow sound system from his step-father who is a musician.

My Brother-In-Law officiated. He is internet ordained.

I spent over 1/3 of our budget on photography. I realized in the end, when the day is over, that is pretty much what we’ll have left to remember the day. I was pleased with our photographer and it was worth the $ to me.

THe little things do add up, gifts for bridal party and all the little extras you don’t think about.

I am from Kansas, where there is not a huge expectation for some luxe event. I never felt pressure to be more “fancy.” That’s just not how folks roll in my neck of the woods. I think that if you manage your expectations, and shield yourself from the “wedding industrial complex” you can see your money will stretch.

Post # 8
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I just posted a thread about ours πŸ™‚ 

We had our wedding on the lawn at a barn in the  teeny tiny village of Caledonia, MO. Our “venue” is actually owned by city hall and cost a whopping $125 (+$50 deposit) to rent. We both grew up about 30 minutes from that area, wanted a cheap rustic wedding so it seemed to be the perfect spot! 

Next to the barn is a house that was built pre civil war, the couple who owns it is super sweet and let us use one of the bedrooms as a dressing room. It used to be a bed and breakfast and was completely adorable! 

If you don’t mind I’ll copy and paste our budget from the other post,

The Necessities

The Venue: Cute barn in the middle of nowhere: $175. Major score!

The Invites: I think the materials ended up being around $70, we made around 150 invitations and had extra supplies.

The Dress: I planned to get a $99 David’s Bridal special and be done with it.

Ended up with one that was $450+$99 preservation kit+$60 in alterations.

Veil: $18 ($3 for the tulle, $2 for the comb, and $13 for the pearl/ribbon edging.)

Groom’s Tux: $135

The Shoes: Found some on clearance at Rack Room shoes for $15

Hair: $35

Make-Up: I think I spent around $50 at Sephora but I am still using it 2 months later πŸ™‚

The Flowers: I made the bridesmaid bouquets for about $30, my bouquet was around $25

The Cake: $80

Cupcakes: $75

Cake topper: $5 (plus black paint that we already had)

Catering: $600

Photography: $800 (this one killed me folks, but it was well worth it!)

Officiant Gift: $100

Bridesmaids Gifts: $50

Groomsman’s Gifts: $35

Plates & Napkins: $45

 The Decor

Burlap Table Runners: $40

Books for Centerpieces: $15 (we frequented the Habitat ReStore)

Flowers for Centerpieces: $25

Firefly Jars: $20

Jar Hangers: $5

Mason Jars: $20 + lots of donations from family and friends.

Wall Coverings: $40

Christmas Lights: $15 + lots of borrowed ones from family and friends

Wagon Wheel Lights: $25 (hula hoops and PVC pipes)

Random Stuff:

Guest Book: $10

Pen: $10

Bubbles $12

Ribbon: $15


Tables $6.75×10

Chairs $1.15×80

Tablecloths: $7.50×10

Estimated Total: $3395

Post # 9
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Eek! Sorry for such a ridiculously long post!

Post # 11
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Subscribing so I can post mine when in a couple of weeks. Tongue Out

Post # 14
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Wow, amazing weddings.

My budget is $4000-$5000 (trying to stay under $4000 though.

So far, the only thing that is killing us is the catering.  Can’t find anyone for less than $1000 (but I guess that is good with my guest list… I am planning for 150 people).

Post # 15
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@futuremrsk18:  Thank you! We also did our planning from 500 miles away, so glad it’s all over! It’s been 2 months and I still have nightmares sometimes haha! I forgot to mention that we had about 90 guests there and there was a lot of food leftover. 


@bridalprincess:  We went with a really tiny little restaurant. It was real home-cooked food and they gave us a great deal!

Post # 16
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Our plan is to spend $5,000. DIY’ing a lot and having sort of a destination wedding. Our plan is for 60-70 people. I should have more details in the coming months.

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