posted 5 months ago in DIY
Post # 2
2 posts


I did my wedding for a little under that cost. It was for a total of 55 people so an intimate wedding. I bought an I expensive dress online and although it was too big I had it altered (found an inexpensive retired lady who enjoyed doing things like that on the side) so no cost. Dress and alterations were less than $700. 

I did online invites to guests, no cost. I did all my own decorations which I had a theme and just stuck with the colors and big decor which helped and was cheap. Also, I did a candy table in our colors which served as a to go treat (and/or while there treat) and decor at the same time. Bought bulk candy and used large jars found at Michaels and Goodwill. 

For location I looked long and hard for something that fit my budget but was what I imagined. I ended up finding a place overlooking The Valley and view of the mountains. I booked it in the off season of October (which I love the colors anyway) and got it rented with tables and chairs for $1000. 

For the cake I asked around and found a friend’s mom who does great work and did my cake for about $150. For the food I did the same thing and had great Mexican food which turned out delicious and cost effective. You can also rent taco trucks for about $10/person (which we’re doing for my sis wedding this year). 

For the photographer I called a couple of Art colleges and sent out a message to interested students who would like to add to their portfolio a wedding session. I got my photographer to do pre wedding dress up, ceremony, and reception for $150 and then I tipped her $50 so $200 total. 

For flowers I went to Trader Joe’s and got all my flowers, including for my boquet and I made everything myself. 

I had someone come in to put linens and do the arc with some decor of theirs along with my flowers I bought and that costed about $100.

With all of that I came in at a little shy of $3k. 

Hope that helps! No worries as it can be done, and will still look great and be fun! 

Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

harleybaby :  I know Costco does invitations for a reasonable price and the Dollar Tree has cute glasses, etc. that can be used for weddings. I would Google “Dollar Tree wedding”.

Post # 5
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

The best way to keep your wedding costs down is to keep your guest list as small as possible.  Food and drink are usually a large proportion of the costs, so if you have fewer people, it cuts the cost quickly.  Your other option is to do a cake and punch reception, not a full meal – this does mean you hold the reception during the afternoon and not over a meal time, but it can be lovely.

Post # 6
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for having an inexpensive wedding! You and your fiance are making the right financial decisions by having the wedding that you can afford. You can still have a beautiful and memorable wedding for not a lot of money.

I hope this doesn’t get rambly I’m just listing ideas that we used. 

Dress: Check out dresses from Modcloth – they have a nice selection and I got my reception dress from there. Anthropologie, Free People, ASOS, and thrift shops are all good places to check too, especially if you’re interested in something less traditional. 

Attire: Do your own hair and makeup. For your bridesmaids and groomsmen, don’t have them buy anything special, just have them adhere to a relatively simple theme. For example, my friend got married and asked her bridesmaids to wear any “blue, knee length dress” and none of the blues were the same blue but it was lovely and personal. Same with groomsmen “wear khaki pants and a navy button up” or whatever.

Venue: Have the ceremony and reception in the backyard or rent a shelter at a local park. If you’re looking for an indoor venue, also look at community centers or visitor’s centers.

Invites: Online invites with a free wedding website, like The Knot, where people can RSVP. So much easier too. But if you really want paper invites Vistaprint has some good ones and there’s usually some awesome sale going on that makes them affordable. 

Food: It varies by area but we did a whole hog roast plus like 4 sides for 150 people and food cost us less than $2k. And that was through a venue. If you do it yourself, or have a couple uncles that are grilling enthusiasts you could do it for much less. Or borrow some crock pots/warmers, have family lend a hand the days before, and make a taco bar or something fun! OR if a lunch/dinner isn’t fitting in with your budget you can always do a “cake and punch reception” where you serve light refreshments only. Just keep in mind the timing so that guests aren’t starving from skipping lunch or something.

Decor: Check out local facebook marketplace for used wedding decorations and centerpieces. You can always change up the ribbons or other accessories to make it your own colors. 

Flowers: I got all my flowers from Blooms By The Box (it’s a website). They arrived in beautiful shape and I got them all for under $500. I made my own boquet and all the centerpieces – there were at least 3 vases full of flowers on each table so you may be able to get by spending much less. For corsages (which really aren’t necessary) we went to Sams Club. 

Photography: Have a friend or acquaintance act as photographer and take photos. Or if you don’t know anyone or don’t feel comfortable, you may be able to find a student studying photography (like at a local university) who is more affordable than established wedding photographers.

Music/Entertainment: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, put together some lawn games like horseshoes, corn hole, etc. for people to do in groups. Make a playlist on spotify or even a station on Pandora. You could always time it to do a free whatever-day trial for your wedding date so you could be ad free. 

Post # 7
1101 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

We rented the private event space in a restaurant for $2500, open bar and food included for 50 people, for 5 hours. Our ceremony venue was another $300 on top of that. I spent about $100 on faux flowers and vases and made my bouquet and centerpieces. My dress, his suit, and the photographer put us over $3k, but you could definitely find an affordable dress and maybe have a friend take photos to save some money. 

Post # 8
12 posts
  • Wedding: November 2016

You’ve got some great suggestions so far. I’d say keep your circle tight. Family and some close friends. Do a small ceremony at a park or somewhere free and then head to a nice restaurant and have a lovely meal and reception with the people who mean the most. 

Post # 11
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

Girl don’t feel embarrassed!!! And it’s not being cheap it’s being frugal. You definatly can do it. I am doing mine for around 5,000. Not because we can’t afford a more expensive wedding but because I am frugal lol. And you have some awesome idea’s. I am doing alot of diy. Getting my cake’s from Costco also ( I refuse to spend 500.00 or more on a cake), our friend is our photographer, we just have to buy the memory cards so we are blessed with her. But things work out trust me. You got this. And look on wedding resale websites they have everything from candles to wedding dresses, you would be surprised. 

Post # 12
6503 posts
Bee Keeper

Have a friend or family member get ordained to perform a quick service with immediate family and a few close friends in a backyard or park followed by a picnic with DIY flowers, cute grocery store cupcakes, cheese/fruit and punch, you can even make it champagne punch if the area allows. You’ll be just as married as if you had a six figure reception. 

Post # 13
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

FH and I decided to spend our money on the honeymoon. Wedding is immediately family only (~13 people) at a local lake. Our friend is officiating. Buying inexpensive dresses/tuxes. Taking everyone to dinner at a nice restaurant after. We are skipping a lot of traditional things like bouquets and save the dates, etc. All in we should be under $1000

Post # 14
1823 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Consider a cake and punch afternoon reception instead of a full meal. 

Cake, punch, veggies, dip, fruit, tea and champagne. 

Or a brunch reception. And get a bunch of kolaches and doughnuts with mimosas and tea.

Then keep your guest list as small as possible. 

Post # 15
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

When you say “WEDDING… the whole thing”, what do you mean? What would your minimum definition of a wedding be?

As long as you and your partner show up, and you have an officiant and a marriage license, this will be a wedding. Everything else is extra, and not actually a necessity. The single biggest difference between an elopement and a non-elopmenet wedding is having guests present. So I’d suggest starting with that — make a list of the minimum guest list you’d need for this to be a wedding for you. Then figure out what your other minimum requirements are for this to feel like a wedding to you. Try to keep the list short, say five things. You’ve got a dress… what else? Do you want to carry a bouquet? Have a first dance? 

If you can keep your guest list small, you’ll have a lot more options. For example, if you keep it to 20 people you could probably do this in a home or garden, and feed everyone a meal. If you MUST have 100 people, you’ll have a much harder time finding a space (maybe a community centre or church hall?) and will need to keep hosting minimal — maybe an afternoon cake and punch reception that only lasts a couple hours. 

A small 20-person gathering in a relative’s backyard with a bbq dinner is just as valid a wedding, and can be just as beautiful and joyful a celebration as a 300-person $100,000 blow-out. 


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