When we think of planning a wedding the first thing that comes to mind is the expense. There are so many things involved in planning a wedding so the cost can add up quickly and easily get out of control if we’re not careful. My hubby and I had a very simple, frugal wedding and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.
We were married in my parents back yard. They live on 1 acre and had the back yard landscaped beautifully. They also put a butterfly garden in just in time for our wedding. We kept the guest list to family and close friends, rented white chairs, bought a small tent for the cake and punch, made our own favors, and did our own decorating (although we didn’t have to do much because the yard was already beautiful!). I ordered the wedding cake and groom’s cake from Walmart and it turned out amazing! Because the wedding party was so small, 4 total, we were able to order real flowers which was important for me. We had our wedding later in the day so we even got to have a beautiful Oklahoma sunset in some of our photos. It was the essence of simple and it was perfect for us!
Getting married doesn’t have to put you in years of debt or break the bank. Check out these tips to help you plan your wedding on a budget.
- The invitation. Save a ton of money by printing your own. Find stationary that reflects your wedding theme, choose your font and print! This works for save the dates, wedding programs and menus, too!
- The dress. As we all know, it’s easy to spend too much on this important item. But if you’re careful and stick to your budget it can be done! Head to the bridal shops when you know there’s a good sale or wear the dress of a family member or friend.
- The hair and makeup. I got lucky in this department. My photographer happened to also be a great makeup artist and did my make up that day and that morning I headed to my salon to get my hair done. If you know someone who is talented in this department, give them a call or maybe head to a local cosmetology school.
- The jewelry. Stay away from expensive stores and the temptation to spend too much! If you do want to spend more on your jewelry just make sure it’s something you can wear over and over again instead of just once. This is also a great time to borrow jewelry. I wore my Mom’s pearl necklace on my wedding day. Not only was it perfect for the occasion but it also had sentimental value!
- The venue. Find a venue that has lots of character on it’s own so you can save on decorations. An aquarium, the zoo, a back yard or botanical garden are a few good ideas.
- The cake. Hire a family member or friend with baking skills to make your cake or go the route of the local grocery store. Once you check out their options you may be surprised with what you can get for your money. Adding your own fresh flowers can make a plain cake beautiful and custom! A cupcake tower is also a fun, unique idea.
- The seating. If your venue doesn’t already have seating, rent chairs from a local company and save money by picking them up yourself. If you add a little personal decor to the chairs you can make simple look expensive!
- The decor. Use natural elements as your main decor. For example, use tall vases filled with rocks and decorated tree branches or flowers from your garden to add touches of color here and there. If you know someone who is good at arrangements, ask them to help. Also consider using mirrors as tabletop decor. They will help reflect the light and add a romantic, elegant look to your tables.
- The candles. You can often buy candles in bulk so these can be a great source of budget-friendly decor. Lit candles all around the room will add a soft, sweet glow to the entire scene. And to dress the candles up, wrap with twine or ribbon.
- The centerpiece. Using fresh fruits such as lemons, limes, pears, and apples are a great way to add color to your tables without costing a lot. Search thrift stores for vases of different sizes and shapes and fill them with the fruits of your choosing.
- The sparkle. If you need a little bling at your wedding use fake crystals and add them to bouquets, the cake, and the tabletop decor. These can be found at your local fabric store or craft store.
- The music. Instead of hiring an entire band or DJ consider going with 1 instrumentalist for the wedding. A violinist, classical guitarist or harpist would be beautiful during the ceremony. For the reception, hire a local band or DJ or go the very frugal route and make your own dance mix!
- The food. If you don’t want to provide an entire meal make sure your wedding is not scheduled during a meal time. Keep it simple with a cake, coffee, water with lemon, and few appetizers. A candy bar or ice cream sundae bar would also add some fun and pizzazz to your reception. If you do want to have a meal, recruit family and friends to help you make it or if you don’t want to spend your time doing that be prepared to hire a caterer.
- The favors. Consider making your own. Something as simple as a bag or small jar of candy will be appreciated by guests and will also save you a lot of money.
Planning a wedding is stressful but it doesn’t have to be expensive or over-the-top. You can have a fun, perfect wedding without going overboard with your spending. Be creative, get involved and recruit! Remember, this day is about you and your fiance and the joining of 2 families. And that is what is most important!