My first wedding was ultra-frugal. My wedding dress came from a consignment shop, as did the groom's suit. The only people in attendance were the pastor, the best man, matron of honor, and the groom and me. I typed announcements after the fact. We bought some semi-fancy plain cards that I typed on a borrowed typewriter (this was in 1982.) His family gave us a pot-luck reception at their church's fellowship hall a couple of days later.
My current hubby and lifemate and I also had a very small wedding, although my dress was new and from Sears or Penney's. Again it was the attendants, the pastor and us. We went to a local Chinese buffet afterwards.
Our oldest son got married at the county courthouse, with a handful of folks other than hubby and me, and we went to a local Mexican restaurant afterward. I'm not sure where my daughter-in-law and her maid of honor got their outfits, but the rest of us just wore nice church clothes.
These three weddings are the most frugal I can think of. Best to you and your new spouse!
Just look up "wedding" here & you will find lots of frugal ideas. It can be done, I have done 2 weddings for very little (Under $1,000).
If you need ideas for a frugal wedding, just plain go and get married. It is the thought between the two of you that counts, not a showy affair. Have a couple friends or relatives stand up with you and go out for a meal after the ceremony. Otherwise have the ceremony in somebody's house with just immediate family attending. Have it during a time of day that you won't be expected to serve a meal and just have a small wedding cake with coffee, tea, and punch. Have a couple relatives do the serving. As far as dresses, flowers, etc. you know better than anyone what you like.
When I got married we got married in the pastor's study, and I wore a white brocade street length dress that I had made with a white hat and shoes and a red carnation corsage. My sister wore a red dress that was a hand me down from me a couple years before and a white hat and shoes. That was it. The men wore dark suits and had boutonnieres. Back then if I had bought my dress it probably would have cost at least $100.00, ready made. I can't remember what the fabric cost but it was pricey for the early 60s. However, even now you can find really nice looking street length dresses or even really dressy suits that can be worn for other occasions.
Well, the FRUGAL Bride's mother has pulled off another wedding on a budget! I had less than 5 WEEKS to get-er-done and boy did we do it up right! But needless to say things are a little more costly when it comes to your only daughter! I must say that I surpassed the $600.00 wedding for my son and Daughter-in-law, but less than $1000.
This included all the accessories, a rehearsal Dinner and decorations, and Reception supplies, decorations and Food! The tables were gorgeous with 50 cent (ON SALE) small topiaries, silver plated votive cups and candles, sage green pillar candles in small fish bowls with clear marbles. The most extravagant item was a clear picture frame which said "Sweethearts Forever" which cost $2 a piece. Moms, It Can Be Done.
I bought things on sale from Dollar Tree Stores, Walmart, Dollar General Stores and Family Dollar Stores. And I made all the Bouquets, Baskets Corsages and Boutonnieres. Rehearsal Dinner was kept simple with an Italian theme. We served Lasagna, Spaghetti, Garlic breads, vegetable and pasta salad with puddings for dessert. Reception foods included: chicken salad, tuna salad on croissants and heart shaped finger sandwiches, pasta salads, cheese balls and crackers, and huge vegetable trays and cut up fruits in watermelon and cantaloupe baskets carved to hold the fruit. There was food enough for over 100 people with leftovers.
Cupcakes along with a three tier cake were a hit and actually only 1 and a half cake was cut by using cupcakes. Do I sound like I'm patting myself on the back? Yeah Buddy, and I am in debt to NO ONE. It's all been paid! I bet a lot of Mom's wish they could say the same!
By Sharon Shearer
By Karen E
I'm planning a wedding around Howard County, MD and would like any advice you can give on an inexpensive wedding. I'm also struggling with finding an inexpensive alterations expert. Thanks for your help.
By Janineco from Howard County, MD
My second daughter is getting married this October and we are making the candy guest treats ourselves, I made their invitations, I am making the punch and we will pick up flowers the day of the wedding from Kroger's or Sam's or some such big store and put bows on them and place them as bunches (not in vases) around the reception tables and area. You just don't have to spend and spend; even having just nuts and bridal candies or fruit and veggie plates is enough. The celebration is what it's all about. Congratulations and have fun. (09/19/2009)
A lot of supplies can be picked up at yardsales and through trading sites. People are not going to remember what colour your doilies were or if you had roses or daisies, they will remember if it was a good time or not. (09/24/2009)
We are getting married on February 20th, 2010. I have almost no budget. Our colors are burgundy, champagne, and ivory. We will be doing all of the decorations, food, etc. ourselves. Please help.
By Katie from MN
The reception afterward was in the University cafeteria. They didn't charge much since all they had to make was the punch and they had to clean up afterward. Paper plates and plastic ware rule, especially when you can buy them in bulk off the internet in whatever color you want.
My mother made the cake. She actually made two cakes, cut them down into the shape of bells, put their tops next to each other like wedding bells and frosted them up. They looked and tasted good.
Just be creative on the location, it doesn't have to be a church. Of course being your wedding is in February unless you're in Florida or Southern Cally you need to be indoors.
Oh yeah, we bought invitations in bulk and wrote in every one to personalize them for the family they were sent to. We didn't pay for personalizing the cards with our names and the wedding details. But on wedding details you could order up some mail return labels to stick on the inside of the invitation with the date and location. The wedding dress was rented and the bridesmaids were coordinated with off the shelf dresses. I don't remember the details about the flowers. (11/14/2009)
Pick color/length of dress to coordinate with wedding and let the bridesmaids dress themselves (eliminates expenses for them = better gifts for you:)
Provide same color boutonnieres to further coordinate the look of your wedding party for pictures and such.
Use carnations they come in all sorts of colors = easy to coordinate and baby's breath (bridal white...) OR use fake flowers that color coordinate.
Look online for easy instructions on how to make your own boutonnieres if so inclined.
Get married by a justice of the peace (inside, do not have to rent church or hall saves $$$) and just have reception afterward. Pass the word around to your friends/relatives that you are looking for a minister (we have a friend whose father is a minister and he can marry people) who can marry people.
Having wedding in your home can save a lot of money just have the person marrying you come to the house.
To save money on a reception hall just have the wedding and reception in same place. Have people come in and seat themselves at the already set up tables and get married on the platform by the minister who came to location already. (saves people some travel time, etc) Festivities start right after.
Having wedding at your church's hall can save you money or even be free (you can try volunteering for some church activities in exchange for some/all money off the hall rental price).
Have wedding at a friends/relatives whose house is bigger than yours tell him/her that could be his/ her wedding gift to you. (If it is cheaper than a hall pay for a cleaning service to come after the party or have people in your bridal party clean up and let them keep the decorations.)
Rent (borrow from friends) fold out card tables as long as they are trimmed in the same color shape of table will not matter (white is always easy to find and then you can have the trim color be fabric dyed or etc. below)
Buy dollar store tablecloths.
Rent table cloths.
Buy lengths of canvas/cotton (sometimes 99cents/yd or below) in white/ tan (tan and champagne go well together because yellow base). You can also tea dye white cotton to antique it (awesome for romantic wedding lace).
If the card tables are long and rectangular and same height they can be covered in bedsheets (cheap white bedsheets) and the seams covered with lace.
Paper is cheap and can be found in huge rolls at a significant discount (buy tan/white and use red as accent- colored paper is more expensive).
In the case above tables may be made into two big long ones (saves materials).
Chairs can be rented at significant discounts from schools/churches-see above.
Use white glass vases from the thrift store (white is not see through and you don't have to put anything in for color. It can also be spray painted champagne). With red carnations and baby's breath, ivy is also good trim as it fills space and stays green. (Find someone with an overgrown garden and it is free.)
If your heart is set on clear vases (thrift/dollar store) you can use food dye in the water to give color.
For flowers visit a flower shop and ask for day-old flowers/throwaways = significant discount/free.
Spray painted twigs (free from garden you can also use evergreen) white/gold with tissue paper flowers (or paper punched ones-real ones). Make a nice centerpiece around a mirror tile with a candle on it. The instructions with pictures are online to make all of this.
Glittered candles on top of a mirror (thrift store) also work with a champagne glow.
Pine cones are also free and you can spray paint them to match if a winter decor is desired.
Shop after Christmas sales to get all sorts of things for favors (red/white/gold are Christmas/New Year's colors) at significant discounts (including wine or champagne)
There is a great book called "Trash to Treasures Christmas" ISBN 1574860941. It has lots of tips on making decorations out of cardboard tubes, milk jugs, etc.
Use bulk plastic/paper dishes and cups.
If small wedding buy china a thrift store and make sure that it is white or coordinating color.
Use paper sheet as place mat (bonus, children can draw on it).
Use several spray painted twigs and provide guests with strips of paper and ornament hooks so they can write write wishes on it and hang on tree. Same as above only a white pillow (other item can be subbed here) people get to sign and then you display.
A pack of note cards "blank" used for wish and "lined" used for address = instant address book.
Buffet style is cheap.
Use Boston lettuce instead of romaine, red vinegar and oil can be cheaply bought in bulk and mixed with herbs before for vinaigrette.
Rolls can be baked a few days before and frozen or bought at significant discount and frozen then refreshed the day of.
Chicken/ham/egg salad like someone suggested on here.
Soup or anything that can be made in a large crockpot is your friend (it saves time). Chili is red and coordinates. LOL
Get a small cake decorated with what you want (cake topper, too ). However you want, this is the showpiece.
Get an iced sheetcake with no decorations in the same flavor/icing as your wedding cake and keep in the back. This is the one distributed to guests after showpiece is cut into (this saves up to 85% off the traditional 3 tiered cake or more if someone makes both at home).
Use cupcakes instead of cake.
Okay, this is it. Sorry it is so long. Hope it did help. These tips were gathered over a period of time from different sources (Thriftyfun.com, Martha Stewart, Trash to Treasure Christmas, self and friends who all had weddings). (11/19/2009)
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