(Closed) Low budget brides please offer some advice…

posted 13 years ago in Money
Post # 47
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t know if your Fingerlakes, NY winery dream wedding leaves you open to these suggestions, but here what I’m doing for my less than $5K (but still striving for sophisticated) wedding [for clarity, I’m actually doing two weddings – this less expensive one is making the 2nd more expensive one possible]:

  1. Ditto on Friday/Sunday bookings (ours is Friday afternoon)
  2. Ditto booking a restaurant for the reception – Fiance & I picked one that is meaningful to us & local
  3. Book the restaurant for off-peak times; we’re holding our reception from 3-6pm…at this time, the restaurant has agreed to as low as $15/person minimum
  4. Have a cocktail or cake/champagne reception – we’ve opted for the latter
  5. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork – we’re a link to our website as the "Response Card" for our invites (added bonus: it’s an eco-friendly option, too!)
  6. Pick a restaurant that matches your theme to minimize decorations; ours happens to be a garden terrace, so flowers aren’t necessary
  7. Minimize guest list – it gives the event an intimate feel and allows the money to really stretch

Hope This Helps & GL!

Post # 48
12 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

I got married in Europe so I can only give some general advice:

1. The dress – you can have a beautiful dress for not so much money if you are willing to either buy second hand or check the sample sales. I wanted something different so I had a seamstress make mine with the total cost of €600 (about the same in US dollars) for her work and the silk.

2. Pick a beautiful venue – that way you can save money on decoration (a less expensive venue which needs a lot of work to look nice can in the end become quite pricey – and look at what’s included in the price)

3. If you go down the DIY route for invitations and programs etc – calculate first how much that will actually cost you and compare with Etsy or vendors around you (DIY can be more expensive than you think, so it doesn’t always save you money)

4. As somebody already suggested, buy flowers in bulk and do the centerpieces yourself.

For DIY I really like this blog: http://www.i-do-it-yourself.com/

Best of luck!


Post # 49
48 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Don’t be afraid to talk to your vendors.  Tell them what your budget is and ask them how their services can fit into that.  They want your business and many are willing to work out some kind of deal.

DIY as much as you can without making yourself crazy.  If you’re crafty, invitations are a good place to save money and still have them look classy and elegant.

Decide what is REALLY important to you and spend your money on that.  You will be happier in the end.  I decided that they most important thing for m (other than being married) was good pictures, so 40% of my entire budget is on the photographer.

Think outside the box.  Your reception venue doesn’t have to be the traditional "reception hall" kind of place.  Try a golf course, an old theatre, a carriage house, a winery or a brew pub.

Take advantage of coupons and sales!  Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons. 

Rings are another good place to save money.  Shop around online.  If you go the non traditional route you can save BIG.  Our rings are stainless steelbands engraved with roman numerals and the two of them together cost a whopping $26 bucks.  Cheap, yes, but they are very "us".  I wouldn’t trade it for a 5 karat diamond.


Post # 50
1 posts
  • Wedding: March 2006

Congrats ladies! For those who were asking about budget bride blogs I suggest definitely checking out http://www.BronzeBudgetBride.com for tons of tips on making a small budget wedding look like a platinum wedding.

Addding to the wonderful tips that everyone offered, I just got to say that customization and tailoring the wedding to you as a couple seem to always be the weddings that people remember most. I watch a lot of bridal shows and all the Platinum Wedding couples spent a lot of money on custom details because that is what will make it unique to their day and bling. You can get crystals or plastic diamonds to add to centerpieces, rhinestones to stick on wedding sets and it will make everything like you spent more than you did. Candles seem to be a big factor too, even if that’s all you add as decor. You can get 72 votive candles in the holders on Amazon.com for $39.00.

My hubby and I are planning a wedding for 2011 since we got married at a Justice of the Peace 3 years ago. I am having fun deciding the look but my decor budget with flowers included is $200 and I envision my wedding to look like a platinum wedding. Our venue right now is our local neighborhood park which is beautiful and with tables, chairs, food, dress, wedding set, we are still under our $2000 budget and we are hoping to keep it that way.

Cake – Donut Tower – $40

Flowers – Baby’s Breath – you can find it growing wild everywhere – FREE

[attachment=266964,30837] [attachment=266964,30838] [attachment=266964,30839] [attachment=266964,30840] [attachment=266964,30841]

Post # 52
1476 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009



This was the MOST important thing for our budget. Living in Atlanta, the venues are stupid expensive and have incredibly high food/drink mins. Find something a little different, maybe look in smaller towns near you. I’m getting married in a restored 1920’s theatre on a quaint main street in a little town right outside of Atlanta. We will get married on the stage and there is an adjacent reception venue that was included in the $1,075 fee. They also include the tables and chairs (nice ones, surprisingly) in the fee, which cuts costs. They rent the linens directly for $8 a linen, and all buffet tables, etc are included.


We aren’t having it catered, instead we are just doing a dessert reception with a mixture of homemade and store bought food. I’ve been scouring Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ikea etc. for apothocary jars and white serving items. I look online for coupons at Michaels and go to the 50% off sales at Hobby Lobby. 

We are able to bring our own alcohol and hire our own bartender. This is very important if you’re on a budget! We are having beer and two buck chuck. 

We have incredibly talented friends that are doing a lot of things as gifts – our DJ, videographer, officiant are all friends and free. Another friend is making the grooms cake for free.  Our photographer is a friend of a friend that is doing our photography for half off. We have a friend that works at a printer store, he is getting ink refills for our printer for almost nothing. You really don’t realize how many friends you have that can help until you start asking around. 


I bought my dress on Weddinbee! It was brand new, purchased at a sample sale by the original buyer, still with tags. Retails for around $800 here, I bought it for $85 with $30 shipping. The alterations are $260.


We are using babys breath and white carnations, like AnnieAAA suggested. I regularly scour Craigslist and got all of our centerpiece vases, a lot of candy jars for the buffet (about 10), bells to ring when we leave (we can’t throw anything), a guest book, and 100 new votive holders from a lady that cancelled her wedding and eloped, all for $65.


My FI’s suit is free when his groomsmen get their suits. He’s getting them all hats with their favorite teams on them and having them embroidered with their nicknames for $5 a hat (his is the store manager). I bought my attendants necklaces to wear in the wedding that are also their gift. I lusted over these at The Limited since Christmas and watched them slowly get marked down to $7 each, which is when I snagged them.


We skipped STD’s and are doing invites from one of the Letter Impress kits by Gartner from Target. We set up a website for wedding info, maps and RSVPS to save on extra stationary and postage costs. We both bank with Wachovia and signed up for the rewards program, where you get points for dollars spent when using your card as credit ilo debit. We almost have enough for a free night at the hotel on the wedding night.


Did I mention that I only started planning in May (because we couldn’t find a place, even though I’ve been engaged since last November!) and we are getting married on November 7th? It can be done, trust me!!!! 🙂  

Post # 53
1476 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Here’s a pic of the gown I bought on Weddingbee for $115!!! 



Post # 55
7 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

I live in Dallas Tx and Im getting married in about 45 minutes outside of Dallas (I work in the area).Im having my wedding anf reception in same building. Im renting their small convention center its 3885 sqft, they provide 28 round tables,20 rectangle tables and full access to kitchen,nice patio (where I will have my cocktail hour).They have a nice fire place that I will be using . Im renting from 1pm-11pm. My ceremony will start @ 6pm. All I paying is $400 which $200 is refundable deposit.My centerpieces Im making myself.My uncle will marry us.My cousin is a videographer.Dj $125.My dress will be $250 to get custom made.Lady at my church will cater for affordable price.It may not work for others,but it works for me and thts all that matters..

Post # 56
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Jenniphyr: $500.00 FOR YOUR OFFICIANT Surprised I live in Alberta too and ours is 125.00



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