It’s funny, but mention that your goal is to have a cheap wedding and you might elicit gasps of shock. Either people don’t believe it’s possible, or they think it’s unthinkable to “cut corners” on such a special day. My budget wedding tips for the bride will open your eyes of the possibly to have a wedding without breaking the bank.
There could be any number of reasons that you and your intended are on a really tight budget, and if that’s your situation, these tips are for you.
You will also want to read:
- How We Paid For Our Wedding With Loose Change
- Where To Find A Cheap Wedding Dress
- Destination Wedding or Local? How We Chose To Celebrate Our Wedding
- 10 Years Later – 6 Things I Would Change About My Wedding.
7 Budget Wedding Tips For The Bride
Did I have a cheap wedding myself? Compared to the national average, I guess the answer would be yes since we kept it under $2000. Here’s how:
Hire a student musician or search for a local band that does covers; both are cheaper than niche band or a DJ that charges by the hour. For my wedding, we picked out a huge selection of favorites, across all genres (for more broad appeal). A friend burned 5 CD’s for us and manned the sound system. If you really want to party you can buy or rent a karaoke machine. If you buy one you will have it for parties in the future.
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Look for used first. Try Ebay, Craigslist, friends (post ISO), local seamstresses or even consider borrowing. If you can’t find something you love used, shop off-season, peruse the clearance racks and try on discounted gowns that may not look that great on the rack. You may be surprised after you get the dress on.
Try doing them yourself, or with a little bit of free help. Flowers are naturally beautiful and there’s not much you have to do to improve on nature. My mother bought our flowers wholesale from a florist friend and then she and my future mother-in-law arranged them in inexpensive vases. To save even more money, don’t use fresh flowers to decorate the reception tables.
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Your wedding planner might be a trusted friend or family member. I was asked to cut and serve the cake at my cousin’s wedding. We attended one last week where two of the groomsmen took turns pouring wine for guests. Have your friends (or a cosmetology student) do your hair, make-up and nails.
We have a fun tradition in our family called The Money Dance. Get your DJ (or band) to play a few slow songs, one after the other. The groom announces that now is everyone’s chance to dance with the bride. But you’ve gotta pay to play. Slip her a little bit of money while you’re dancing and it will give the new couple some mad money for the honeymoon. My husband and I made about $300 bucks this way AND I got to talk with a lot of friends and family that I otherwise would not have seen because we were so busy.
Don’t overlook free reception spots like a local park, someone’s back yard or perhaps your church’s fellowship hall. Picking your venue wisely may even save you on decorations. For instance, if your reception is in a beautiful outdoor setting or an attractively furnished room, you may not need to decorate much at all. Look for discounts through family membership connections (American Legion, country club, etc.).
Think outside the (sand)box. You don’t have to pay thousands for a lavish spread of h’or douvres – it may actually be cheaper to serve a dinner. We actually hired a caterer to make gumbo (we’re from the South), and picked a few snacks and sides to go along with it. You can also make your own appetizers weeks ahead of time and freeze them (clam dip, deviled eggs, ham rolls, etc.). And don’t buy a cake with 7 tiers unless you invited a huge crowd. There is almost always plenty of leftover cake, so order only what you need.
Did you have to stick to a budget for your wedding? Do you have any tips to share?