posted 2 months ago in DIY
Post # 61
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

harleybaby :  I never said you had no right to get married nor was I rude to you.  I was simply saying that if you are on government assistance you should not be spending $3,000 on a unnecessary party.  Having that money in savings for a rainy day is more important than a wedding.  What are you going to do if you need immediate car repairs or any other emergency comes up?  I have been at the point of purely being broke and living paycheck to paycheck.  It is tough.  I would have killed to have extra money in the bank to even go see a movie.  What living like that tought me was that saving money for actual needs is very important.  My fridge died yesterday so now money I had been tucking away for our vacation now has to be reallocated.  My wedding cost me $25.00.  It is just as legal as a wedding that would have cost $25,000.  

Neverbeenstungbee is right.  Asking for donations for a unnecessary party does scream entitlement and that is why people were rude to you.  If you want to get married, get your SO and a witness or two and go to the courthouse.  

Post # 62
1440 posts
Bumble bee

If you can’t afford a party, then don’t have one.  I know that women dream of a big sparkly day, but it doesn’t need to be.  You and your Fiance and a justice of the peace is all that you need.  Period.

Post # 63
35 posts


harleybaby :   harleybaby :  

My wedding is in one month, and my budget is as cheap as possible, but not over 3500. I get you. 

My big savings was the venue. Go to a state park, girl. I’m getting married at the red barn area in Golden Gate Canyon State park, and it was $208. We cpuld have rented an even more beautiful site for the ceremony for 200 more, but we have too many people to fit there. 

Speaking of which, people. We have 130 coming. And, yes, we’re going to feed them all. We’re doing a waffle bar, and having some close family and friends help us out with a few extra dishes. Not sure of the exact cost, but under 400.

Cake, I’m making a sweetheart cake for cutting myself, and then my photographer offered to make cupcakes for about 150. I’m supplying her with rose water and cardamom to make them amazing and fancy πŸ™‚

Drinks, we’re just doing mint lemonade and iced chai .Alcohol is expensive, and it’s a morning wedding. Not sure the exaxt cost of this yet, but it’s gonna be under 50 since I have access to a mint bush.

Dress, I bought a goregous one off of Etsy for 220. I got a veil off of AliExpress for $4. Seriously. It’s chapel length and cut edge, but there are way more elaborate ones available. I’m wearing some shoes I already have which are sentimental, and a necklace I wore the first time we met. I did get new earrings, again off of AliExpress for $1. 

Decor, we are getting married outside so we can go pretty minimal in some ways. We’re borrowing chairs for the ceremony and the reception area comes with tables with benches. The tables are ugly, so I go to the thrift store every Saturday when they have half off sales and pick up tablecloths for $2. $20 total on those. I’ve also been picking up vintage glass bottles from them, about $18. I’m getting two huge pots of ferns from a greenhouse, $45. I got tulle off of Facebook marketplace cheap (but it’s only double this on Amazon) 2 entire bolts for $10. I’m going to drape one across the trees at the ceremony site for an arbor, along with two paper lanterns with fabric hanging from them ($10). The other tulle will go down each side of the aisle on the ground, with greenery and candles on it (not lit). Candles, $20 from the dollar store (seriously, get theeself to Dollar Tree). Those vintage bottles I mentioned go for centerpieces with ferns in them. I also have tine wood vases (Facebook marketplace, $2 each) I’m going to put wildflowers in, and have someone move the candles to the tables. I also have been pressing flowers and greenery to scatter on the tables, free. There are hooks from above for decor, and I’m making little “chandeliers” out of crossed branches and ferns hanging from fishing line. Estimated $60

Bouquets, ImI just going to be the only one with one. Greenety from the greenhouse and a lantern bouquet, $40

Officiant, I’m religious and my family friend and pastor is doing it for free.

Music, borrowing their sound equipment and using Spotify premium student $5

Games, I wanted some fun for non-dancers. Borrowing a bunch of lawn and board games.

Signs, ugly big frames from the thrift store, white paint, and chalk marker to write on the glass, $35

Plates and such, I wanted ecofriendly things, so spent more like $70 on bagassee plates, wood utensils, and paper cups

Lights, just a few string lights inside, $20

Photography was my biggest spend on purpose, but still less than normal– $500 for a dear friend.

I’m doing my own haur and makeup, but did make a floral hair comb for about $25.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but there it is! I’d be happy to give you more tips if needed.

Mainly, crowdsource, and ask for these favors instead of gifts

Hit up thrift and dollar stores, and watch tutorials on how to flip your finds

Good luck!

Post # 64
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Evynstar :  this is really impressive! I hope you come back and do a photo recap

Post # 65
2826 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Sorry, but I agree with PP who said if you’re on government assistance you shouldn’t be spending $3K on a wedding. I’m not saying you don’t deserve a wedding or to get married (for some reason you took PP’s comment that way?) but it seems incredibly irresponsible to spend that much money on a party if you can’t even take care of yourselves on your own. 

Go to the courthouse and get married.

Post # 66
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2016

*warning- Long!* – edit for fix some content- Sorry if anyone has already suggested it, but one thin you can do is set  up a camera on a tripod on the corner to video tape the ceremony, then edit a video yourself.   Between myself and friends my age that in some cases have had 3 weddings, we all agree that the video isn’t the place to drop the money if you can avoid it. Since there are so many options to do it as a DIY project now. You can have still shots from the wedding and add footage from before and after if you don’t have enough pleasing footage from the actual wedding day. It can be a fun,  as long as you are happy with it, that’s all that matters. πŸ™‚

I had a wedding 20 years ago, then another for our 15th anniversay and first time I just ordered some bulk roses and put the bouquet together myself tied with ribbon instead of using a florest to arrange them. I had intended to get more flowers from the supermarket , but since there had been some big typhoon somewhere, my bouquet was the only frest flowers in town maybe the state that week. :/ I ordered peach roses, I got light pink. I intended to use the peach roses for my headpiece and use the supermarket roses for bouquet, I wanted white beause it was family tradition. Had to use the pink for my bouquet. so though my bouquet was pretty, I was never in love. Having a pro do the flowers wouldn’t have helped. The flower place I got them from told me that they had several crying brides because their flower orders couldn’t be filled. By mine was because it was only 30 roses. My family made some moss DIY centerpieces and I used some silk ivy to fill in my bouquet and headpiece. It did turn out very nice, people asked me for the card for who did my centerpieces afterwards, worked out well. But since I am someone that is NOT good as ‘letting it go’ the fact that I never had the bouquet of my dreams hung over my head.

for the anniversay wedding I went to 3 different supermarket places and got a bunch of white and candleight ivory roses and put them together with ribbon. mind you, this time a handmade looking bouquet with ribbon was VERY in style vs 20 years ago. My roses were conflict free roses, they were a fraction of what a florest would have charged (about a dollar each) and they were in such good shape!  I got  a excellent priced bouquet and it was the bouquet of my dreams I had waited 15 years for πŸ™‚

I would go to craft stores and see about getting a veil in a bag, and just stiching it to a comb. I know that the veils in the bag come out creased and stiff, but if you hand wash it in some shampoo (I like mane and tail) with just a drop of hair conditioner it gets soft like the stores. Steaming it can help too, but if not done right you can burn yourself or melt the veil. I prefer handwashing, then rinse it out in the shower and let it hand dry. That works out wrinkles too.

another idea is that IMO you don’t have to wait to get married. Many couples get married in private, wearing a nice dress they like, even a veil and get married and get their paper then they have a wedding later.  It’s your day, and totally up to you, but if ti was me I’d get married small and then have another wedding for your 10th anniversary. Many would dissagree, I did my anniversary wedding over the top in many ways and nobody died in shame. lol After my 1st wedding I had regrets over not wearing a veil, so I shamlessly walked down the aile in a handmade cathedreal veil with big lace trim, crystals and pearls. So heavy I had to attach it to a headband because it fell off with a comb. lol

The number one way to keep cost down is to keep the guest list small. If you can’t, having a evening wedding with cake and drink is another way.

-using internet music is a good way didnt’ have that for my 1st wedding, but we used taped music in a rented sound system that time. 2nd time I signed up for a free no adds trial on spotify and used it and worked great.

– buying classes and sparkiling fruit juice at places like IKEA helps a lot vs renting them or having a caterer bring them in- if it’s a option

Favors can be nice, but they can break the bank. If you don’t want to skip them, you can either wrap things like hershey kisses in netting with ribbon….but I didn’t bother the second time. I got Bagged Hershey kisses candy and put them on the tables in fancy bowls for people to help themselves. Don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but I have never met anyone that said they kept and treasured their fancy ordered wedding favor. Most say they take it home, make a fuss over it to make the bride feel good, though they do appreciate the thought, they just toss them. :/ I feel bad when people spend time money and efford on something that really isn’t wanted. I vote for candy wrapped in pretty tin foil in bowls for the tables πŸ™‚

-Floating candles from IKEA were just the ticket for my 2nd wedding! They were very inexpensive and looked so classy! made for excellent ambiance and wonderful close up pictures!  We didn’t need any mirrors or any plants they were wonderful as they were.

You can do it, enjoy being a bride! it doesn’t have to be pricy to be beautiful.

Post # 67
968 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

Overjoyed :  Wonderful article, thank you for sharing! Hopefully some of the bees who’ve made less than helpful comments will take the time to read it.

Post # 70
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I read the article Overjoyed shared… and yep, I’ve been there. 

HOWEVER, that doesn’t change OP’s reality. Making crappy financial decisions when you’re poor is never the right move.  There’s a huge difference between buying a burger when you have $50 in your bank account ($50 won’t get you much farther than $40 can) and spending $3,000 on a party when you don’t have a safety net. 

$3000 could provide emergency housing if the current situation becomes unsafe.  It could pay for childcare for herself, or help a family member out who needs a couple hundred in an emergency.  It might provide reliable transportation to a new job offer a couple of hours away– or facilitate getting an apartment near better job opportunities. Unless the $3,000 is the “wedding budget” that is separate from her emergency savings, it’s still a party that will keep someone who is in a precarious situation living right on the edge. 

OP, if you don’t have savings that can help you if you need it, I recommend a courthouse wedding or DRAMATICALLY reducing your wedding budget to $500-$750.   Use whatever low-cost location is available to you: a park, a friend/ family member’s backyard, a church rec room…  Provide a pasta bar/ bbq/ potluck. Skip the alcohol, or make large batches of some kind of alcoholic punch.  

Have the wedding you can afford right now without further compromising your security.


Post # 73
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Cortland, NY

I know this isn’t the most related situation but my friend got married in a park and had a potluck picnic for a reception and a simple stereo on the lawn for dancing. Her grandmother made her dress, and the officiant was a relative. The wedding cost her $60 total (minus legal fees that I don’t really know about for sure). 

The first hour felt like a real wedding for sure, with the ceremony, but the rest felt like a family reunion, and it was cute πŸ™‚ There were like 50 people in attendance, and noalcohol outside of beer, but it was a fine day! She was happy, and he’s adorable. That’s all that mattered!

Post # 74
2499 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

harleybaby :  I know this is leaving it to chance a little bit, but the only way I can afford fresh flowers in my house is to buy clearance at my city market.  Some weeks I can find a dozen roses for $3.  Maybe start scouting out the flowers at your local grocery store and pay attention to what days they put the flowers in the discounted section.  

I personally think there is something so elegant and beautiful about baby’s breath.  It is SOOO cheap and so beautiful, imo.  My recommendation is to set a plan for what you want, and then figure out how to make it work for you.  Let’s say you really want the traditional sit down dinner reception.  Ok, make it a simple an inexpensive meal that you (or someone willing to help) can make in bulk.  Spaghetti comes to mind.  I know it’s not ideal because it can be messy, but it’s inexpensive & feeds a crowd.  

Tea lights are also inexpensive and they add a touch of softness and elegance.  Renting out a hall that is less than desirable?  Turn down the lights, (the imperfections fade away), add some twinkling white christmas lights, tea lights on the table, discounted flowers,etc.  You get the idea.  

I noticed your wedding is in August 2020.  Hit up the after Christmas sales at Hobby Lobby & Home Depot.  You can get a SERIOUS discount on twinkling white lights!  Be strategic about when and wear you purchase your items. 

Hang in there!  I know government assistance is a touchy subject.  One of my sisters and my BFF had to go on government assistance for a bit and they are two of the most frugal and hardworking people I know.  It happens!  Keep your chin up and you’ll find a way to make it work!


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