40-Plus Brides

Low budget wedding. Advice

We cant afford much of a wedding. Any advice to save lots of money? We are already having it in my fiances parents backyard.

Re: Low budget wedding. Advice

  • Pot luck picnic?

    A friend taking the pictures?

    Recorded music from a IPOD?

    I got my bridal shoes from the Goodwill.

    Check Goodwill....they get donations from lots of weddings.

    Wedding things as wedding presents (photo album, guest book, cake topper, etc)

    Bouquet from the Kroger flower shop?

    Dress from Craig's list?

    What skills do your friends have?

    Cup cake tower instead of a big wedding cake?



  • edited November 2013
    eBay or Amazon or craigslist Make your own flowers Make your own invitations, programs, etc
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Is there a Michaels near you?  When I buy something at Michaels, I get a 40% off coupon.  I take that and buy the next item, get another coupon, buy something else, etc.  I don't know if this would be practical for you or not.  Michaels is on my way home from work so I can stop in every day.  I've saved a fortune.
  • A simple cake / dessert and punch reception. You can put sparkling juice in it for some bubbles. A brunch, who doesn't like breakfast foods. I have heard of breakfast for dinner! OJ and sparkling juice. Used dress websites! Do a catered main dish with pot luck sides and salads. Cut down on flowers. I am having a bouquet but everyone else in the wedding party gets a simple, one rose boutineer. No favors. Non floral centerpieces like small board games or card games. I am going to check out Trader Joes 2 buck chuck, a bottle of wine for 2 bucks and it is supposed to be pretty good. Maybe a brew pub nearby has 1/4 or 1/2 kegs of beer. Good luck!
  • Pick an "off" day like Sunday for example. Keep the guest list small. Like Kbastis said do cake and juice/ punch reception. To further cut corners, no alcohol, favors, or attendants ( bridesmaids ect,).
  • I got my dress on preowned wedding dresses and saved a fortune. We are getting our wedding bands on amazon, a lot cheeper than a jewelry store and depending on how many ppl you are having, if you need more cake, have a cake that you cut in front of everyone and the rest be from a sheet cake, or just make cup cakes.
  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    You can also check simplybridal.com for dresses. They will make any of the dresses in white/ivory and they have a slew of dresses at or under $100. They have a try it at home program for $20 - I used it to have them send 2 dresses to me as my FMIL is a seamstress by trade and worked in a wedding salon for many years she looked them over and said the trial dresses were really well made so if there was a dress on the site that I loved to go ahead and order it - I was really worried because I've read so many troubling stories about online dress ordering. But my dress came in and it was great but too big (my mistake not theirs - why oh why didn't I have my FMIL take my measurements ;-) ) they shipped a replacement no questions asked that is perfect. Best of all if you do use the try at home program they give you a $20 credit towards the cost of your future dress order so it's not lost money if you do decide to order from them.
  • I'm no a really tight budget too. If you're on a tight budget your friends & family know this. Skip the favors & the attendants gifts unless you can find something cute & inexpensive that hits you just right. (I found totes & flip flops through ABC Distributing for $6.95 that say "Bridesmaid" and "Maid of Honor" on them.) Check the web for discounts on dresses there are a lot of wholesale places where you can get some nice wedding dresses for anywhere from $65 and up. 
  • I love the board games idea! I think I might use that. Thank you  =  )
  • I plan to order my dress online but I am going to be one of those annoying people who go into a bridal shop & try on dresses so I can get the size right.... sorry to all the bridal shops employees and owners
  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    One other thing I am doing is making our wedding favors - it is a small wedding (20 including officiant and his wife) and a lot of those are out of town guests.  So our favors are actually going to be breakfast items for their hotel rooms for the morning after....  A couple of homemade buttermilk biscuits, a small jar of my homemade berry jam, and a small jar or local honey.
  • For invites opt for simple diy where you can just run them through your printer. They have them available at craft stores & party supply stores. It's a simple 5x7 invite and a response card. It saved me money because I didn't have all the extra inserts and it was light enough that I only needed a standard forever stamp to send them out.

    Look on facebook to see if there are any local buy/sell wedding item groups in your area. We have one where I live and lot of unused dresses & extra decorations available for sale at great prices. My advice is, keep it simple and just take good care of your guests and everyone will think it is beautiful. And when I say take good care of your guests that means either have a full meal if time you are hosting falls in a dinner time or have an earlier time and just do desserts & a few apps. If family & friends offer to help out & bring food, great, but please don't require all your guests to bring a dish.

    For clothing, check out Target online, they actually have a bridal department online. The dresses are your typical big fancy wedding dresses, but depending on your taste, they may have something that will work for you.

    Good luck!!!

  • You may want to try a rental gown. 

    Use something besides flowers as a centerpiece.  One wedding I attended, the bride choose candles. It was beautiful.  As for food, you might want to have a lunch. 

    Good Luck! 

  • claudialrodasclaudialrodas member
    edited May 2014
  • Lot's of great ideas here!  Have it in the evening after dinner so you can just serve dessert and champagne and don't have to serve a meal. 
    We had our dream wedding in Las Vegas - 11.29.2014
  • Got beUtiful candle centerpieces for under $20.00/table at Walmart
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Things I have done to save money:
     - got catering from a local culinary school. I saved $1000 on this alone.
    - I'm doing cupcakes (also made by the culinary school for $1.25 ea)
    - I'm buying cheesecake from Costco as our cake to cut. Will also have extra cheesecake for guests
    - Got a friend to do video, my nephew will do the editing
    - I bought lamps and candles for centerpieces. I'm selling the lamps after the wedding.
    - Bought tablecloths from tableclothfactory.com. Also selling those after the wedding.
    - Bought gold satin chair sashes for .56 cents each, using them for table runners
    - Bought curly gold ribbon from the dollar store to put around the cupcake stands
    - made my own cupcake stands with a JC Penny clearance pedastal cake stand ($15) and a plate from the dollar store with a $1 glass taper candle holder glued in the middle. Honestly, it looks great.
    - I shop sales like a mad woman. Always use coupons for every little thing. It adds up.
    - Used Vistaprint and a Groupon to get 90 invitations for $45, and they are 5x7 folded with color printing on both sides. Amazing deal. I printed a map to the site on the back of the invitation.
    - no save the date cards, just got the word out via email and facebook.
    - no RSVP cards, I set up an email just for RSVP and having people email their RSVP to us.
    - got silk flowers online too, bouquets and bouts and corsages for 4 attendants plus moms for $125 total. They are a bit plain so I'm adding some crystal jewels from the craft store and extra ribbon (add $20) Also glitter glue if you like bling (go easy if you do this)
    - There is a grocery outlet where I live and they had 20% off wine one weekend. I got enough wine for 100 people for $80. My guests can drink less expensive wine for 1 day of their life :)
    - Found a DJ through thumbtack.com for $400 (a bargain where I live)
    - Try finding students to play music if you want live music for cheaper
    - Look for instructors who teach cake decorating and see if they do wedding cakes on the side
    - focus on the things that matter - writing a really meaningful ceremony people will talk about for years, thoughtful toasts to your loved ones, making people feel happy to be there celebrating with you. No one will care if the decorations are sparse.

  • My family had the same problem regarding the budget because we were low on it ,So we had few friends who did the job of taking pictures and we had limited guest so my dad’s friends had done the food and stuff, And we dint had that much money for decoration to purchase the decor so we rented them from sculptware which was quite affordable and hence the marriage was quite good. 

  • If you want to donate left over food from your reception it's a tax write off. ;-)
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