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.