I have 3 months to plan my whole wedding by myself. Nobody is helping me to pay for it and my budget is $5000. I don't really want to spend more money because I want to save it for some traveling after, and I believe that is going to be more expensive. I'm looking for something special but simple. Any ideas?
By Luis from Berkeley, CA
My daughter's first wedding was planned in less than 2 weeks with a very very low budget. She made her bouquet herself with items bought from Wal-mart and Hobby Lobby. We made her veil ourselves with tulle and lace, a small decorative comb that we added flowers and lace to. The wedding itself was at a local wedding chapel that was low cost-I think it was max of $350 and we used their flowers. For the reception-wedding cake was a full-sheet sized cake (similar to a birthday cake) but done in her colors and type of flowers she wanted which turned out absolutely gorgeous! The bride and groom glasses were champagne flutes that we bought at goodwill for maybe $1 each, decorated with ribbon and flowers that we added at the base with a little hot glue. The bridesmaids bought their dresses and their bouquets were all handmade to match the bride's but on a smaller scale. Altho we didn't spend too much on it, we were complimented on how well everything turned out and how beautiful it looked.
By Annie Rios Hill07/25/2010
I got married in San Diego at Presido Park with an outstanding view. Park fee was cheap. Had reception
at my home. Cake was by Living Room, chocolate & white chocolate cake, gorgeous, wonderful, Swiss chocolate,
and fresh flowers by grocery store Vons, cheap!
Decorations hand made. Appetizers.
Champagne Cake Reception it was all so easy and inexpensive. We took a month long honeymoon up to San Francisco, drove to Washington had a wonderful trip. Borrow friends & family white or clear Christmas lights
Mine did not seem as cheap it was! People asked how I did it and I just was cheap and careful. Saving
money for trip was wonderful.Leaving on our trip not owing a dime was great.
It is your day do what you want and let friends help. Amazing what can be done.
Make your invitations. I cut tissue paper and used that also. No need to buy or spend on that.
A small idea is to have a smallish wedding cake and then a sheet cake in the kitchen to serve your quests. They won't know it's from a sheet cake, and you will save a bundle. Wedding cakes are a huge expense. Cupcakes or individual cakes for each table work well too.
I got married in my parents home, it was beautiful! I had a harpist and arranged my own flowers and bouquets etc. My mother-in-law made the dresses and I borrowed plants for decoration. You could always rent a tent or gazebo or even a barn for the wedding and reception. I would keep the food to a minimum such as cake and punch, small sandwiches if you need to. Best wishes. :)
$5,000 doesn't seem simple to be but I'm from the old school. The single man that finds someone to get married in a cornfield will be a lucky man. It sounds sweet and romantic to me. I think even a $5,000 wedding is a wast unless you already have an emergency fund and down payment on a home. I could find a better use for $5,000. And in a few years you'll wonder why you did it.
You said you are paying for the wedding but that does not mean you have to do it all by yourself. Ask around your friends and find out what their talent is. Family members love to help and so does neighbors. I have a few suggestions: Have your wedding & reception at the same place. Keep an open mind and ask about a motel that might be off the beaten path that has a wonderful banquet room. afternoon wedding is cheaper. Serve only cake & punch. Have a brides cake & groom cake and decorate each table very nice. Rent a fountain punch bowl (it is cheap) and you won't have to have anyone serve it. A few nice touches add a lot for a little money: imprinted napkins, nice wedding cake, fountain punch bowl. Rent table clothes for brides table, use a more "masculine" fabric for the grooms table such as broad cloth or old fashion burlap. The grooms table is usually a little more relaxed and sometimes done to reflect a hobby or interest.
netting is cheap cheap cheap. You can cut it and make bows. Gather it or drape it.
Fall touches that show up real good in pictures would be mums, pumpkins, squash. As around and see if anyone happens to have any hanging ferns.
My son has always said he would like his wedding in the middle of a corn field--lmao--maybe that is why he is still single. Anyway, my point is....it is your wedding and it should reflect both of your personalities.
And of course-best of luck to you!!!
Here are questions related to Planning a Wedding on a $5,000 Budget.
I would like to know if anyone has any good ideas for DIY decor/creative wedding transportation ideas for an autumn wedding?
By Raye91 from up north
If you can marry and celebrate in the same place that simplifies the transportation issue, unless you have already chosen. DIY crafts, have you ever seen the rose petal candle holders?
Also I copied sheet music onto stiff paper and made pretty cones for the favors. I put Hershey kisses in them (not exactly low budget). They looked elegant and go with everything 'cause they are black & white. We married at an inn, so there were no other decorations. Best wishes!
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I really need help planning my wedding, the date is May 30, 2009. I have a $5,000 budget however I don't want my wedding to look cheap. I have nothing planned, not even a venue. Is there someone that can help me with my budget and such short time? I'm not creative at all.
Vernice from West Palm Beach, FL
Also, a serve yourself buffet is a really good idea. A few different cold meat sandwiches, a couple of crock pots full of soups, veggies/fruit and dip, the wedding cake/sheet cake, and there you go. It is a thrifty, but beautiful idea to use a small cake for you to cut, and then serve sheet cake in the same flavor for everyone else. Also, buy any ham/lunch meat in whole packages, and have the deli slice it for you, it's cheaper, and have family help you make the sandwiches. My family has found that people are hesitant to "build their own" because they don't want to seem greedy. Just wear plastic gloves and make them up the day before. We aren't going to serve any alcohol, because we don't drink, and both sides of our family have beautiful punch bowls that we are going to use. One of my uncles is skilled at baking (he wants to open a store) and is going to be making our cakes as his gift. You will be surprised to see how much stuff your family might have and is willing to lend, if you just ask.
Tulle and Christmas lights look stunning, and some ribbon can really personalize it. As a wedding gift to us, one of my friends is going to be ordained online, which is legal in my state, and will do the ceremony for us. I am making our outfits, since I am very good at sewing, and my dress will be made for under $45. My fiance's outfit is a bit more expensive, since we are going for a very personally themed wedding, and will be around $90. If you have a family member who is very good at sewing, ask them to help you make your dress as a gift, or the thrift stores have some very beautiful dresses, and you can have one altered to fit your tastes. Also, if your aren't too picky about the style of dress your attendants wear, they can find inexpensive dresses at sales, and the groomsmen can wear nice dress suits rather then tuxes.
Use disposable cameras for party favors, and ask for copies when they are developed, on CDs (or e-mailed) so you can pick which ones you want to print. Bowls of floating candles or confetti always look pretty, and are cheaper than flowers, find matching clear bowls at thrift stores or garage sales. We are using fake flowers for our bouquets, and our attendants will be able to keep theirs.
I am getting some very comfortable white slippers-shoes (they can be dyed as well), that way I can dance and walk comfortably all day. We are going to make our own invites, and some of our friends are going to help serve the food and get things moved for us. We are going to make a mixed CD of our music, and just have a stereo.
In all, we have spent $150 so far, and we have all the material for our outfits, all the candles/candle holders for the reception and ceremony, all the serving ware, and some other things, I can't remember at the moment. The only other things we need besides food and actually renting our venue, are our shoes, half the price for the attendant's wear (we are renting the clothes so that I don't have to worry about making them, since it is themed.), tablecloths, and our rings. We found the bands that we wanted, and together they will be $70-90.
Best of luck, and congratulations on your big day! (01/06/2009)
I found ways to save on everything else. Our wedding was in August so it was not too hard to find some outdoor venues. We found a gazebo on a beach that the town allowed the public to use. It cost us $25 to reserve it for our wedding day. There was wedding already scheduled for that morning (ours was in the afternoon) so we didn't have to pay for any decorations. Other great ideas are outdoor public gardens and parks, of course, the beach, or even a back yard if you have any friends or family with gorgeous back yards.
I saved on my flowers by buying them a month ahead of time from a florist, buying them in bulk. I recruited a bunch of family and friends to get together the night before and arrange them. We just happened to have a big fridge in the reception venue that was for our use so we kept them in there.
Which brings me to the reception. We rented a hall through a family friend who worked there. It wasn't the prettiest place in the world, but it was close to the ceremony location and inexpensive. We decorated it with white Christmas lights, flowers, velvet, and lots of candles. By the time we were done it was beautiful. I even decorated the bathrooms. I draped velvet, brought in my own mirrors and propped them up on a long table to make a place for the ladies to freshen up. I put out baskets with hairspray, lotion, towelettes, and baby wipes, mints, etc. Finished it all of with the right lighting and more flowers.
I saved on a wedding dress by shopping in boutiques for a dress that could pass off as a wedding dress, but wasn't intended to be. I had to do a lot of shopping to find it, but I ended up with the perfect dress. I am not the type to wear a crazy princess wedding dress anyways. If your looking for a deal on a wedding dress, or just want something unique, or inexpensive, try Etsy.com.
I also made my own wedding invitations and all other stationery needs. Check out do-it-yourself-invitations.com. There's a lot of tips and ideas for help to make them yourself without going crazy or breaking the bank.
Oh, and the cake, I found a woman in town who makes them right from her own kitchen. The cake was only $200 and it was beautiful and tasty!
And then there was the DJ who was a well known local talent. He was more of a wedding singer, but also DJ. He owed a favor to a family friend so he agreed to do our wedding. I wasn't very familiar with him, but he ended up being the big hit of the wedding. People are still talking about it to this day (our wedding was in 06) about how much fun it was.
Just check around locally and do a lot of research. Try to enlist the help of those around you to sniff out deals and discounts. It can be pulled off and done tastefully. Just remember to keep it fun. For you and your guests. (01/07/2009)
Choose a scenic outdoor location (like the beach) for your ceremony. If its already breathtaking, you won't need to spend much on decorations. To save even more money on your reception, I suggest limiting the number of invites to include only an intimate group of close family and friends and reserve a room at a restaurant. The money you've saved may get you and upgrade from a cash bar and fried chicken buffet to fillet Mignon and fine wine.
For your dress, David's Bridal has great dresses as low as $100, and consider a resale shop or even a rental. Overall, I suggest a non-traditional approach to planning the day, do what makes you feel comfortable and you'll be happy with the results. Best of luck! (01/07/2009)
My father-in-law dabbles in photography, so he took pictures for us. The DJ cut us a deal because our wedding was on a Thursday (and who gets married on a Thursday anyway?). Our local supermarket made, delivered, and set up the cake for $180. Good luck and congratulations! (01/07/2009)
My first husband and I had an even tighter budget than yours, and managed all right. My traditional sheath-style wedding dress was a "lucky find" at our local consignment shop for $25. I was much thinner then (size 10,) so needed no alterations. My mother-in-law picked some tiger lilies from her garden for my bouquet.
Our reception was actually a couple of days after the wedding, which doesn't work for everyone. Again, my mother-in-law's doing: she talked to her pastor, and he let us use their fellowship hall free. Everyone pitched in food for a pot-luck dinner, and the cake also came from my mother-in-law, a woman of much energy and many talents!
To make a long story short, I'd give you one word: delegate. Find someone whose judgment you *really* trust, and let him or her take the bulk of the burden off your shoulders. Or, at least, as much as you can stand to let go of. There's no need to turn into a "Bride-zilla" from stressing out over every detail! (01/10/2009)
Do your own wedding cake. Hobby and craft stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge all have the everything you need to do it. Hobby Lobby even has online coupons every week. Dollar Mart (Tree, Zone) has some items for weddings, check clearance sales. We ordered our wedding invitations online at weddinginvitations.be and got a 3 day 2 night honeymoon for only $25. Ladies if you are on a budget and you don't know how or where to start I suggest weddingsolutions.com.
Online wedding planning is great. No papers to keep up with and you can download your guest list right to word and print off your address labels. It's great. I too was on a small budget. (01/13/2009)
Wedding invites, $80. We saved hundreds by doing the wedding invites ourselves. My sister works at Office Max and used Photoshop. We didn't do any fancy ribbons or bows, but used a nice heavy gold shimmery paper. This included invites, response postcards, cards for the motel, envelopes, and Thank you cards for 50 people.
Professional photographer, $1600. I hired one and his wife for only 4 hours and bought the complete CD with full liberties to use as I want ($275 per hour, $375 CD). In my area, below $2000 is a deal.
Catering, $2000. My honey desperately wanted great food, he took care of the catering. Limited to 50 people, everyone raved. Plus the caterer worked at the location so all the food was prepared fresh on site and linens, tableware, water/coffee, and clean-up were included!
Flowers, $100. For flowers I went all baby's breath, even the bouquets. It was beautiful, delicate, and an elegant surprise. Only $100 for 10 bunches and we had too much. Then around $100-$200 for additional decor.
Dress, $500 after tax, and it was on sale from $800. You can find nice and cheaper. I would have bought a used one or from Craigslist, but my honey was passionately against it (possible bad luck). It cost $100 to alter and bustle. Make your own veil. I bought my shoes at the thrift store $5.00 and spray painted them silver. I would do white if given the chance again, but they were still very nice. I found my jewelry at Claire's in the mall $20.00 and used a $10.00 coupon. The last week I found opera length gloves for $16.00, but otherwise I never would have bought them as they're normally $30+. My honey wanted professional hair/make-up so he paid $300 for the professional, which included a pre-wedding consultation and she came to the location on the wedding day to do everything.
My bridesmaids found and bought their dress themselves. I specified color and limits (no cleavage). They were $60 each from Dillard's. Shoes and hair was up to them individually.
DJ, $675. I found a DJ through recommendations. For all day and the ceremony.
Cake, $350. It had to be lactose-free or we would have got it much cheaper through Safeway or Costco. We didn't do all the extras like groom cake, etc.
Officiant, $150. Which was cheapest we could find and at that price he doesn't come to the rehearsal dinner. That was okay because we didn't do one anyways! You might know someone in your family who can do it for free.
Location, $1100. Not great, but low-average for my area. Wedding and reception same place. We just drove ourselves away afterward and didn't need to hire a fancy limo or anything. Check out parks for better prices. (01/17/2009)
Dollar Tree! I know it may sound cheap, but it doesn't have to look it. Check online and look for the link to the bulk ordering page. You can literally buy serving sets: plates, bowls, wine/champagne glasses cheaper than you could rent them.
Also, venues. Check college campuses in the area. A lot of times they may have really nice spots or buildings that they usually rent. We reserved ours that way. We paid $300 for a 2 story lake house that seats 80. It can be done. Or does a friend or family member have a nice house/yard? Maybe you can do something more casual like that.
Remember, think "Simple Elegance". (01/17/2009)
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