How to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget

wedding kiss

When I got married 2 years ago, I wanted a beautiful wedding (like most girls do). But we also had to pay for most of the wedding ourselves, which many couples have to do. So one our first big decisions as a new couple was to decide how extravagant, or how stingy, we wanted our wedding to be.

By nature, I’m a pretty frugal person, so spending the least amount of money possible on our wedding did seem appealing. On the other hand, I’d been planning my wedding in my head for years and only plan to have one in my lifetime. So where do we draw the line? That was our burning question throughout the wedding planning process.

I found out that budgeting a wedding is a lot like

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13 Responses to How to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget

  1. Teri says:

    We did much as you did. I just have to say also consider getting married on a Sunday. It is easier to book vendors (who do mostly Saturday weddings) and we saved $1k on the banquet hall doing it this way. Instead it was free. Was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and most people would guess we spent far more than we did. The same wedding could have easily cost twice as much on a Saturday…

    You can also do very elegant invitations at home with a laser printer – Michaels has beautiful invitation cards we used. Most people really wouldn’t know the difference. Technology is pretty grand.

  2. Ann says:

    I saved money by getting married shoeless. My dress touched the floor, I was inside and it was warm, why bother with the expense? I also made my own flower arrangements.

  3. Mike D. says:

    Elope. You will save enough for a down payment on a house.

  4. A very interesting post. I think it’s also a good idea to expand on the point Cortni made about registering the honeymoon – try to include as many things in the registry you’ll actually use, as opposed to what one particular store offers.

  5. cptacek says:

    All of my bridesmaids are wearing a different cut of dress (same color, though) and we found 3 of them on sale. I ordered my dress on ebay…it is hand made and will cost $300 less than at David’s Bridal, but is the same style (check out the ebay buyer comments before trying this!). I might sell my dress after the ceremony, too. Why keep it and store it? It will be out of fashion when my future kids are getting married.

    Go with sheet cakes for the bulk of the guests to eat. I’m going to have a small fancy-decorated one for the official cutting, but it will be taken to the back room to cut for the guests so they won’t know they are eating sheet cakes. Not that they should care…free cake for them!

    We bought the groomsmen gifts with three 33% off coupons, and an additional coupon I got at the register. Over all, with the coupons and that additional coupon, I got 26% off.

    Never buy anything without checking for a coupon or comparing with some other store.

    I made the bridesmaid gifts – pearl necklaces and earrings (REAL PEARLS!). I spent $140.11 on materials, and I made a set for 5 bridesmaids, 3 sisters not in the wedding, my mom, his mom, and his soon to be sister-in-law (his brother’s fiance) and me. I have enough material to make 1 more and probably a bracelet for me. That means their gifts are $100, and I’m not paying that!

    A different sister took our engagement pictures with her digital camera and she had them developed at Walmart and gave me the CD. They look awesome! We are out in the country, so we had a lot of neat backdrops (in a barn, trees behind us, limestone bridges, etc) but if you are in town, you can use a nice park or arboretum.

    Remember, postcards are much cheaper than a card and an envelope. The postcards themselves are cheaper, and the postage is definitely cheaper. We have a lot of people coming in from out of town, so I thought save the date cards would be a nice touch, so they could plan way ahead of getting the official invitation. Postcards can save you a LOT of money! I used one of the engagement pictures and went to printsmadeeasy.com and made them up myself. I got 300 of them for $44.84 (including shipping), or about $.15 a piece. Postage was $.26 each vs. $.41 for a card and envelope.

    I bought a ream of gray paper and two 100-piece sets of vellum and printed them out. Some ribbon I found at an ebay store, and some time, and I tied them all together. I also made RSVP postcards out of the same gray paper. I had Copy Max cut them for $1 a cut. Much cheaper than buying kits.

    I also made Thank You postcards using printsmadeeasy.com. Again, $.15 a piece plus $.26 for postage.

    I’ve looked into getting those M&M’s with the words on them, but they are very underwhelming. I had a few friends have them for parties in the past, but you can’t hardly read the text and most people won’t notice anyway. So I won’t be getting those…and they are expensive!

    I’m going to make my own veil. Veils cost > $100 at David’s Bridal, but tulle is like $1 a yard. I can make a lot of mistakes for $100!

  6. Publishers Weblog says:

    So basically plan this in full with the internet. And I agree with Mike D. Elope, will have more than enough money.

  7. mark says:

    Try and convince a women that has spent her entire life imagining how her wedding will be to elope. Good luck!

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  9. Sophie says:

    This is a great article! I got married in August and struggled to to make the wedding as nice, but as affordable as possible. We saved money by using a wedding website as well. We chose http://www.designourday.com because it was affordable and let us do our RSVP’s online and invites online. It saved us a bunch of money.

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  12. Ashley says:

    For my wedding invitations, I used vista print and printed them onto business post cards, they are post card size, and were front and back. It cost me only 2 dollars plus shipping! Everyone thought we spent a fortune on them!

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