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Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

I am starting to plan my wedding for May 2009, and am looking for reasonably cheap wedding reception ideas. I can get a ballroom for about 1K. But am needing all of the rest to be somewhat cheap. I would like to keep it under 3K for everything. There will be about 100-150 people. If anyone knows anything that might please let me know.


Erin from Novi, MI


Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

Dollar Trees have wedding items, I have been watching eBay and have found some really great deals. Good luck! (01/25/2008)

By wvrdnkwmn

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

We had 150 and kept it very simple. Cake, punch, mints, and nuts.
One unique idea I've thought of, is if you have any old movies of the bride and groom as children together, show them and serve popcorn during it. I saw this done at an anniversary and people loved it.

I have also seen (and liked) Power Point presentations up on a screen that flipped through pictures of the bride and groom, and of the wedding party with captions on the pictures describing the picture such as senior prom, maid of honor, best friend of bride, etc. Let it flip through the pictures several times so everyone has a chance to see them all.


You can make your own inexpensive centerpieces with a few flowers or a floating candle in a bowl, or small pictures of the bride and groom together. (01/25/2008)

By mom-from-missouri

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

Do a search on this site. Or better yet, click on the "Weddings for Less" tab on the side. There have been oodles of ideas posted. I'm sure you'll find some good ones. (01/26/2008)

By mckaysatt

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

When I got married 5 years ago, my mom and I had gone to the florist and gotten a quote for the bouquets, boutonnieres, flowers for the chapel, etc. My mom is pretty crafty, so we sat down and figured out that some of the flowers could be artificial. I wanted to keep the bouquets and boutonnieres real flowers, as well as, the flowers that would be on the reception tables, but my mom made silk arrangements for the chapel. The altar was pretty far from the guests, so it would be hard for them to know if they were real or fake flowers anyways! We managed to cut the cost of the flower bill in half by doing that.


Also, if you serve alcohol, what we did was we bought some reasonably priced bottles of champagne for the toasts and put one or two on each table. (I believe we got a "bulk discount" since we bought more than a dozen bottles). We had an open bar for a few hours, and then after that we served beer, wine and soda, free. The guests bought their own mixed drinks if they preferred not to have beer, wine, or soda.

I wanted to have certain music played during the reception, so I made my own CDs with the music I wanted played, and hired a DJ to just play the CDs and make sure it all went smoothly. Since they didn't have to do much work (putting on a bunch of different CDs, etc.), they didn't charge very much. I could go on and on, but hopefully some of these tips help! Good luck, and have fun! (01/26/2008)


By evan's "mama"

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

We did ours a lot cheaper. We got married in my parents backyard. We rented an arch from a local "rent-all" store and decorated it. The pastor stood under it, and I came from inside the house and down the aisle to stand in front of it with my husband. The chairs were rented from a local funeral home, for almost nothing.

We had the reception right there on our deck. We didn't use a caterer, my aunt and some friends made the punch and almost all of the food. We bought the cake from a bakery supply store and assembled it at home.

My dress (absolutely beautiful fairytale princess dress with a heart-shaped train!) came from the JC Penny's bridal catalog.

We ordered invitations, napkins and so forth from a local stationary store. Another aunt gave me a beautiful wedding album from Hallmark, and my mom bought a gorgeous plumed pen and stand from there as well. The same funeral home that provided the chairs provided a podium for the album, which our guests signed, and later we used the same album to put our wedding photos in.


There are lots of ways to save money and still have a unique, beautiful, and classy wedding. Good luck, and congratulations. (01/29/2008)

By bailegirl

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

I am also in MI, really close to you.

My daughter just had a big wedding in 2006. I think you may not be realistic as far as the $3,000, I myself would not spend one third for just the hall unless it included some other things.
There are many sites that you can get planners.

We used glass bowls with floating rose candles on the tables. My daughter had a friend make music CDs and had their names and date and on the back all of the love songs listed.

I made all of the pew bows myself with 1 roll of wide white satin ribbon and white tulle. We also used white tulle to decorate in the hall, it makes beautiful garland.


See if a family member or friend can make the cake, sometimes they will do it as a gift and it will save you a great deal. It all adds up, there are always things that seem to be forgotten until the last minute.
Good luck. (01/29/2008)

By diana1117

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

I got married this summer. We had very little money, but we wanted it as nice as possible. We got the cake top, cake serving set, the guest book and pen and a lot of the decorations at Joann's fabric, here in Oregon. Joann's always has 40% to 50% coupons weekly. Each week we would buy an item. We saved so much money and I had a beautiful wedding. I wish you the best. I learned it doesn't take a lot of money, just good planning. (01/29/2008)

By Rose

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

We bought beautifully decorated cupcakes from the bakery department at the local grocery store. They were a fraction of the price we would have paid for a wedding cake or "wedding cupcakes" anywhere else. (01/29/2008)

By Smileah

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

If you can use an iPod, your music bill will be cut to nothing. Hook up the iPod to the house sound system and you can have the exact music you have chosen. When I got married we had a pot luck wedding. My friends and family brought their best meals. They also included the recipe which was put into a card file, so that I could make the recipes at home.

The flowers I got from the local funeral home. It seems that when there is a funeral, families only take the smaller bouquets of flowers and the larger displays are left at the home. The funeral homes just throw out the flowers. So I got enough flowers that were restyled by my friends to fit the hall.


By bina

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

Well first of all start a theme, for my sisters wedding last year we had gone to Ikea and found a very cute cream coloured watering can and had it filled with flowers from my aunt's gardens. We used we eyelet that we found for a dollar a meter at a discount dollar store.

We also asked family and friends if they had tulle from their weddings. If you just ask you will find what you need. The wedding turned out great and looked like a Martha Stewart wedding.

For my own wedding next year I am using white branches (free) in galvanized buckets for a dramatic look. We may also use small mason jars hanging from the branches with tea lights. Also outside the church we are going to use used frosted mason jars or white paper bags with candles to line the street for our night time wedding. Best advise, do a lot of the stuff yourself. Have you thought of a Friday night wedding? Lots of venues will give you a cheaper price if it's not on a Saturday. Good luck, I hope it goes great for you. (01/30/2008)

By ruthie_trent

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

My daughter's wedding we did very inexpensively. When we went shopping for her dress, I mentioned we were on a budget and the clerk did wonderful things. $1 for gloves, $10 for veil, $100 for dress. We were at a department store, not at a bridal shop. She looked wonderful.

Her colors were navy, forest green, maroon, and ivory. I bought table cloths at an after Christmas sale, they were ivory colored and just right for her colors. We bought the flower girl's dress at an after Christmas sale. It was ivory as well. Her maid of honor wore a prom dress that she had, it was navy. Even though the dresses weren't the same style, they looked great together. My family has a tradition that all brides use the same ring bearer's pillow, so that came from my cousin.

We found her cake serving set on sale at a local department store. They matched her cake topper, a wedding Mickey and Minnie purchased on sale at the Disney store. We borrowed some serving items from church and from friends. Check with friends who have married in the past few years and they may have decorations and other items that you can borrow. We did only cake, fruit and veggie trays, mints, and nuts.

For photos, I had 2 friends who were excellent photographers, I bought the film, they took the pictures and we developed them at a store. So there was only the cost of the film and developing. We bought music CD's and a friend played these on the church sound system for the wedding. The same friend helped on a different system at the reception. We rented an arch and candelabra from a rental place and decorated these. My daughter's mother in law did all the flowers. It was only $200 for all the flowers.

We did not put flowers on the alter, but used angels in the sanctuary. Since my daughter married right after Christmas, the church's Christmas decorations fit her colors and we left them up. Last summer, my youngest cousin got married. She served pizza and veggie/fruit trays. It's up to the couple what to serve. She also had a friend who did the cake for more reasonably than most. Think outside the box when it comes to decorations, flowers, and other things. (02/03/2008)


Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

A couple of tips: Look on eBay for things you need, especially a veil, tiara, and tablecloths. I also purchased Michael's Crafts gift cards on eBay at a very reduced price and used my 40% or 50% off coupons for deeper discounts. We wrapped pillar candles with ribbon and attached a sprig of flowers. Also the website had great prices. I placed my order and got an email coupon for 10% off next purchase. Make a small purchase and hope for the discount to get the rest. Good luck! (02/06/2008)

By Mary

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

We spent more than we wanted to on the hall, but because is was a new venue it was far less expensive than it is now, 11 years later. My mom, girlfriend, and I did all of our own decorations. My aunt is a cake decorator so she did my cake. Now I'm a cake decorator :) Here's a tip about ordering cupcakes as someone else suggested. We charge more for fancier cupcakes, so if you can, just get them iced and order jimmies on-line that go with your theme. You may want to consider ordering full-sheet cakes that are pre-scored with a small sweet-pea on each piece. This is easier to cut and serve, and way less expensive. You can have the colors done to match your theme. You may want to consider not telling them it's for a wedding. I've seen the same cakes up-charged because it's for a wedding and for that reason only.

For a friend's upcoming wedding I'm doing her cake from my home, but I'm doing small individual cakes. I will start a couple months early and freeze them ahead and decorate the day before. If done properly no one will know the difference. I will probably use large muffin pans or egg-shaped pans for that. Then she can have a large variety of flavors and serving them is a breeze. She's also serving nice hors d'ouvres instead of a meal so the price is significantly less, about 1/3 the cost. (02/11/2008)

By kultgirl

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

Have you tried sports halls or town halls? Often these can be quite cheap.

To keep your costs low, get as many people to help out as possible! Many hands make light work and they'll love to be involved. You should also try and make as much yourself or DIY as much as possible. There are loads of ideas on this site! (03/03/2008)

By mrsnicolaray

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

My friend just planned and did at wedding for $1500 two weeks ago. First, renting community centers and town halls really are the best. I know where you are things are a little more expensive than Mississippi, but the community center she rented was only $75.00 for four hours. The deposit was $250.00, but she got that back because we cleaned ourselves.

As for the dress, I promise you this place is the bomb! Go to All the dresses that David's Bridal has; they have them for $189.00

For the meal serve something basic. My friend did baked chicken, rice pilaf, rolls, green beans, and punch. On where to purchase the food, if your area has a Sam's CLub you may look there, but let it be the last resort. Try wholesale meat markets and shops. We have plenty here around MS where you can actually purchase a case of chicken (up to 80 pieces) for $25.00. If you all don't have those then go to Sam's.

Decor- Of course there is always Hobby Lobby and Michaels, however you will be amazed, but if you want to get a little fancy, order real flowers from Ecuador. You can actually do that at Sam's club, too. The prices on the real flowers are the same as the silk flowers. You can put them in Eiffel tower vases if you like for a reasonable price at They have others though.

As for souvenirs, everyone does bubbles, but plastic cups engraved are very inexpensive as well.

For your cake, it depends on the amount of people; but she ordered her cake from Walmart and I must say that everyone actually enjoyed it. Many didn't know it came from there. For a three tier it was approx. $185.00. You can get your cake and the groom's for less than $300

Photography: the idea was stated earlier, find someone with a good camera buy film let them do the shots and have it developed yourself. Depending on the amount of the pictures this shouldn't cost no more than $300. (Note: start taking pictures at least 3 hours before wedding. The only pictures after the I Do's would be with you, but everyone else could take theirs.


For trinkets such as pillow, guest book, check Dollar Tree first then Walmart. Some of that stuff you can actually find in the dollar stores. She only spent $20.00 for all that.

Bridal party dresses: Everyone uses David's Bridal however, you have neutral colors that can easily be found. Tell the ladies to save up now so when it is time to order everyone can do it at the same time. Try:,, all the little stores and magazines. They have formal dresses that are nice and are designed as bridal dresses for like $50.00 bucks.

If you all have a Tuxedo Junction or a cheaper place try that. She got signed up where the guys got their tux for $49.95. With everything including shoes, shirt, tie, and vest the total was $83.00 bucks

Good luck!

Tricia (07/07/2008)

By Patricia

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

Go on the internet to Oriental Trading, they will have some nice wedding decorations, plates, napkins, cups, etc. Have them send you a catalog, also try the dollar stores for flowers. Most of the time the churches have halls you can rent for less. Also bed and breakfast inns have areas for smaller weddings or maybe a town gazebo. Good luck. (01/13/2009)

By Carmela

Need Help Planning an Inexpensive Wedding

We planned our entire wedding for pocket change. My dress came from my sister, flowers from the grocery store, cupcakes from Sam's Club, mints, and nuts. We did not even have tux rental for the guys, they wore khaki pants and pastel shirts. We got married at a church retreat and only paid $60 that was actually listed as a donation. It came out wonderfully because we had a serene lake as our backdrop.

We actually forgot flowers in the initial budget, but found great orchids, lilies, roses, and tulips at the grocery store the day before the ceremony. Sam's Club was able to make us 90 plain white cupcakes with white frosting for $45. Even my bridesmaids were on a budget, they both picked out a nice dress they would wear again for Easter and looked "natural-ish" as that was the wedding theme. (02/22/2009)

By Jennifer

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