How can I do a wedding on a 1,500 dollar budget?
By swan from Nashville, TN
You can make your own boutonierres and corsages as well as table decor and ceremony flowers using silk flowers. Use floral tape and pins for the boutonierres and corsages. Buy assorted vases at garage sales and partly fill with shredded glossy paper or some marbles then insert silk flowers into vases for table decor and ceremony. Wrap stems of silk flowers in ribbon for bridesmaids and your bouquet. Hire a college student or ask a family member to photograph and put a few disposable cameras around at the reception for candid photos. See if a family member can make or contribute a cake and another be a dj for the night. Have the wedding in the morning and you wouldn't be expected to have as much food. Maybe have the reception in a park.
Good luck and have fun!
1. Keep your guest list to a minimum
2. Instead of a traditional wedding cake try a giant cookie or a variety of desserts. If you really want to do the "cake cutting" part have a small cake.
3. Food wise if you have the ceremony in the morning have a "brunch themed" reception. Mid afternoon you could request your guests bring a dish to share in lieu of a present. Early evening you could just do a mini reception with drinks and hor d'oevres. You could also also have a bbq reception where you and the groom and family supply the meat while guests bring a dish to share.
4. Depending on the time of year you are getting married farmer's markets are a great place to find fresh flowers cheap. If you can be flexible on the colors you will have more options. You might want to also consider decorating w/ seasonal items i.e. pumpkins, apples, etc.
5. Rent or borrow a dress instead of buying one.
Hi Swan. It can be done, here are a few suggestions:
Sheets from Walmart for tablecloths (covered with sheers give a dramatic look), or glue some flowers on them. Wild flowers are free. Bake small cakes. $1.00 for a box cake and a $1.00 for the frosting, add some cream cheese and a little lemon, tastes just like homemade. Use boxes and cover with a sheet for different levels.
Keep your food basic; pulled chicken, pork, or beef. Broiled potatoes cut into 8 pieces, add some butter and parsley, bake uncovered. Add a veggie and voila, you have food for everyone. Pasta goes a long way, use some of the chicken for pasta salad.
After Christmas, look for beaded garland at 50% off. Glass squares from Menard's for the table centerpieces, add some glitter (Walmart), some beaded garland. Use PVC or some kind of tubing at about 2 feet high with the flower of your choice, or use tree branches painted your colors. Hang colored plastic stones from the branches, glue fish line and hang.
Sam's club sells chafing dishes (disposable but still nice looking). Ask a few friends to take pictures then choose from them (you can always have a portrait picture made later).
Balloons are fun. Go with white and you color, let them fly around or tie them to string and hang them everywhere.
VFW posts are cheap and you can bring in your own foods or park pavilions. We catered a wedding and bought all the liquor, but still charged for cocktails just to cover the cost, a dollar a drink. I know I would be happy to pay that. Nowadays people understand what it costs to have a wedding, so do what you can and enjoy your day.
Find someone that just got married or is getting married before you get married and see if they will sell any of the decorations, dresses, etc. OR
Just elope and use the money elsewhere......
Actually, I did JUST get married, 6 weeks ago this Sunday. What I did was I registered for things I want/need for the wedding. I did an online registry called Myregistry.com. You'll get a "button" on your toolbar and then when ever you come across anything anywhere online that you want/need, you click on that button on your toolbar and it will add it to your registry. Then when you have a shower (I had 2, one for the "adults" like my mom and mother in law and elder family members from both sides, and the 2nd was my girlfriends.) people can buy you things for your wedding off this registry. And what I did for center pieces on the tables at the reception, was a candle on a square piece of mirror. I ended up with more than enough silk flower petals from the flower girls, that I used the extra silk flowers and "sprinkled" them around the candle and on the mirror. By the way, you can get artificial flowers and candles and mirrors at Dollar Tree (every thing is $1), which also has a website that you can buy in bulk.
Oh, something I thought about doing but didn't end up doing it, but for your bridesmaid and made of honor, have them carry a candle with maybe some artificial flowers around the bottom of it.
If you want to do your own music, check out http://www.worldcat.org/ which will do a search of libraries for anything you want. If you don't have a card at a library, get one first. Then look up whatever music artist you want and request it from WorldCat and it will be sent to your library, for free. Then you take it home, put it on your computer and then can burn your own CD's for your own music.
Also, I bought my wedding dress for only $99 off of ebay. Kid you not. It was brand new, never worn, still had tags on it. It was a $600 dress. But make sure you go to a local dress shop to know your dress size, because wedding dress sizes are different apparently, as I ended up with a too big dress but luckily it could be taken in, but they can only take it in so much. But there are companies on ebay who sell the dresses, they buy them when they are "out of season" from stores... I don't know if you have a Hobby Lobby near you but they are all the time having sales. I got our vases for the altar flowers for a total of $30, it was a 50% off sale so basically I bought one and got one free. Also, for a flower girl or bridesmaid/maid of honor, if you are getting married sometime after Thanksgiving, you can find some really nice elegant "evening" dress or "holiday" dresses the day after Thanksgiving online at major stores like JCPenny's or Macy's. I think I got my Maid of Honor dress for $20 off of sears. But my maid of honor was my 14 year old daughter so I had to pay for it. lol.
Buy your rings at a pawn shop. Some people are funny about it but I am not.
Make your own invitations off the computer. Just buy some nice card stock at a paper store.. and envelopes. Ask family members if they have a nice table cloth or a lace one to go on the table for your cake.
I hope this helps. Sorry so long... it's just my wedding is still so fresh in my mind, lol. If I come up with any other ideas, I'll post again.