By Toni from Oakland, CA
That's not much, but certainly doable. I suggest looking at just what is most important to you in the wedding. Spend more of your money there, and cut out or cut back the rest. Centerpieces can just be simple votive candles that you get in bulk at a craft store with a few petals scattered around. Favors can be bulk candy that you wrap up in little squares of tulle with a ribbon. You can do your own flowers either by buying them online in bulk or making paper flowers. Project Wedding usually has a whole load of diy projects you can do. The only thing I suggest NOT doing yourself is music. Unless you have a friend who knows what their doing, a professional DJ will make a huge difference in the way the party is run.
Get all types of clear vases at garage sales and fill with silk or real flowers for table decor.
Try face book for bakers or decorations. I post all of my cakes I make, as well as one of my friends. Post a message, you will be amazed how many people do things that you might need. Someone might have some decorations you can use. You can also try youtube for ideas. Go with what grows in your area, branches painted gold are free, hang your Christmas lights on them.
Also a lot of brides are renting their gowns, or go to Davids Bridal, it seems like they are always having gowns on sale for $99.00. Skip the dance and the big meal. Have the wedding/reception at at time of day where the guests won't expect any more than cake, coffee, tea, and punch, maybe ice cream. Ask cousins to be waiters and waitresses, instead of catering. Find a friend that can take good pictures and skip the professional photographer. Skimp on decorations, flowers, etc. Sometimes less is more. If you know anybody that is handy with flowers buy silk flowers and have that person make bouquets, ets. Oh yes, for the people that help with the reception, etc. you can buy them a momento. of the occasion.
You said you have venue so I won't comment on that. My wedding was held at a college and we were able to get the caffeteria area real cheap so we could concentrate our funds on the cake and stuff. You could check at a college in your area or even a community center, church or banquet hall (especially if you or a family member are members).
How can I plan my wedding on a $1500.00 budget?
Tara from Port Charlotte, FL
We found wedding invitation stationary on the clearance rack at OfficeMax and bought all of what was on the rack. There were several different kinds, so our invitations didn't match, but who compares those anyway? I sent the fanciest ones to family, the next fanciest to friends, and the least fancy to people who I didn't think would really come, but I wanted to invite anyway.
We had the wedding and reception at a church that just charged a couple hundred dollars for use of the facilities. When friends asked what they could do to help, we alternated between telling them to bring cookies, a fruit tray, or a veggie tray to the reception, so we had plenty of food and it was free and delicious.
A friend loaned me her grandmother's beautiful silver serving pieces, platters, utensils, etc. and lace tablecloths so the layout was beautiful and sentimental as well. We didn't worry about table cloths on the tables at the reception because their tables were almost brand new and looked nice enough. I called a florist and told her I wanted pink flowers and told her my price limit. The flowers were beautiful and I didn't spend any time agonizing over finding just the perfect kind.
A friend sang and another played the piano, which was great because they could still be part of the wedding, but I didn't have to have a gazillion bridesmaids. The guys all wore the least expensive tuxes I could find in town. I called around to find out which place had the best price. They looked great and there was no hassle with anybody's size being out of stock, since it was just the basic style. The tux rental place even threw in a special vest for my husband-to-be for no extra charge. I bought 2 dozen pink roses at a grocery store and with a friend's help turned them into boutonnieres for the guys and corsages for the special women besides bridesmaids at the wedding.
We did a couple of special things to make the ceremony memorable that didn't cost anything. The flowergirl scattered dried rose petals from roses my husband gave me when we were dating, and we did the entire ceremony in both English and Spanish so my husband's family in Ecuador could understand it all and it kind of symbolized the blending of our two cultures in our marriage.
We had friends video and take pictures. This was great because it was free and we could specify what we wanted and they really listened. Also, we got to keep the negatives of the pictures so we can make copies whenever we want. We went to Washington DC for our honeymoon. Most attractions are free there. We're nerds so we enjoyed looking at the Smithsonian museums and the other historical touristy spots.
It is totally possible to plan a wedding for under $1,500. You do need to have an open mind. If you have something very specific in mind it may be hard to come by inexpensively, but if you are willing to accept anything special that is inexpensive, you will not feel cheated out of a beautiful wedding. I know I didn't. By the way, we planned our wedding in 6 weeks, so you don't even need a lot of time to plan an inexpensive wedding. (09/04/2006)
The invitations we printed using a black and white laser printer, not an Inkjet. You can find those for $70 on sale and the toner lasts forever. We printed all the invitations and then probably used the toner cartridge at home for another year. The printer has given out, but it was already 10 years old or so. Anyway, I think printing on an Inkjet printer would be more expensive than buying a laser printer. We printed programs the same way. I don't think an Inkjet would've done all that. OK I think that's all. :-) (09/04/2006)
Consider not having a traditional wedding dress you can only wear once and/or get a dress from a discount place/resale store/thrift shop. Do your own flowers. Get flowers of the season and/or bedding plants which can be planted afterwards. You can even get holders to make your own bouquets from a craft store.
You can even make your own wedding cake! I got my dishes and napkins at Target, not the wedding variety. Nowadays there is so much inexpensive decorative stuff available. Be creative. Does your groom have to wear a tux? My dear husband just wore a nice jacket. Have friends take pix/do a video. Buy only champagne for a toast and limit the amount of alcohol or make a wine-based "punch" and have other N/A drinks. Do not have dinner and limit food to coffee and cake. Maybe some relative will make taking the wedding party out to dinner their present?
You have to be creative. You can decorate with tulle you get at the fabric store. Tulle swags look really nice. They even have bowers now in craft stores! The main point is to celebrate the happy event with family and friends, not to spend oodles of money. My parents married with my father in a suit and my mother in a suit, too and lived happily til the end of their days. Be iconoclastic. Remember that party planners charge lots of $ for creative ideas! Just use your imagination instead. Only you know what is important to you. (09/05/2006)
My Frugal Wedding thriftyfun.com (09/05/2006)
Think outside the box for your decorations. Don't go to the places you would normally go to get things. Instead shop in thrift stores, rummage sales, and consignment shops. A lot of the time they will have the perfect things to help you make your day as special as you want it to be. (09/06/2006)
Ask if you can borrow a friend's or relative's wedding dress or make one yourself. There are so many to choose from in the pattern books believe it or not. My mother made mine for about $20. When we planned the rehearsal dinner for our daughter, it cost about $200 at our local Donato's. This was for 35 people and included salad, drinks, and pizza in a private room. My brother's was in an ice cream parlor's private dining room, and he had a full dinner and the most heavenly ice cream desserts. Check your local restaurants and fast food places for catering. You may be surprised. I know that you will have a wonderful wedding, and may God bless you in your married life. (09/06/2006)
Ask around and decorate with clear or white Christmas lights. Borrow as much as possible. Relax and remember it's the marriage that counts. I have been to very costly weddings and unfortunately I am the only one still married. Involve him; my husband and friends loved running errands and helping. (09/06/2006)
I am planning a $1500 wedding. I need help on ideas?
By Van6 from Columbus, OH
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