Budget Savvy Brides: $10K and Under

How have you saved on your wedding


I am planning my wedding for 10K (minus rings) Apart from my wedding gown, shoes and a tent rental which i splurged on (couldnt resist) everything else i have managed to save some bucks on! here is my breakdown.


1. Ceremony and Reception of Rental place was all inclusive (tables, chairs , set up, cleanup, white table linens) - $ 1600 for $150 guests


2. Glassware and glass plates for 190 guests (we needed only 150) we purchased from Criagslist for $350.00


3. Linens purchased wholesale at $16.00 per piece instead of renting for $15.00. Purchase 150 linen napkin at .70 per piece


4)  Paper lanterns decor (80 pieces)- purchased from brides on craigslist + the nest for $~120


4a) Aisle decore DIY paper tissue pomanders


5. Photographer for 7 hrs   $ 500.00 (photographer will provide edited images on discs for us to make our own prints).


5b. Engagement photography was $50.00 for 1 hr shoot. photographer was a young artist looking to build her portforlio


6. Videographer, (family member & friend) free


7. DJ (family member & friend) free


8. Drinks; serving wine, beer and champagne only! (budget for this is $400. we will be serving alcohol for only 3 hrs during reception & 1 hr at cocktail) Cost for bartender with pouring license -$90.00 + tips


9) Cake- $ 435.00


10) Invitations (pocketfolds), programs, table numbers, thank you cards, escort cards, and all paper supplies for wedding - DIY projects Total cost ~ $298.00


11) Groom's suit purchased from italisuit.com for $141.00 (includes 15 shipping)


12) Earrings - purchase $10.00 from a knottie bride


13) Veil & hair flower- DIY  for less than $20.00


14) Cake stand- purchased for $80.00 instead of renting for $60.00


15)  FG dresses ($55.00 each) & ring bearer ~ $160


16) Honeymoon: 1 week in Costa Rica ~$1300.00 (includes plane tickets for 2 from chicago). I booked flights separately and researched resorts we were interested in staying at . We Booked hotel rooms directly and through expedia (with 20% summer discount) rather than through a travel agency to save. For the same itenerary .


17) Food: We choose a location that would allow outside catering, so We are ordering food (Ghanaian) from a resturant for 75 persons for $500.00. The remaining food will be cooked by FH's aunt who owns a Liberian resturant. We supply the ingredients for $300.00. (Total cost for food for 150 guest- $800.00)


 


18. Flowers- purchasing wholesale from online for $500. We will use a family member florist to make flowers


19. DOC/planner- $ 540.00


 Overall, i have purchased stuff off brides from PW or the nest or CL. I asked around family members to see if they could help do something for free. I have negotiated for prices AND DIY DIY DIY..... 


 


Lets hear you budget saving tips


Posted on August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am
Ghana_Bride
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10/10/2009
Ghana_Bride

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St.CroixBride
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01/22/2010
St.CroixBride

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St.CroixBride

So far we are saving on costs by going away, wedding and reception less than 6k. Got dress for 99$ and DIY'ing my invites!

Posted on August 13, 2009 at 5:01 am
erindira
4
01/30/2013
erindira

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Our wedding, including rings and honeymoon, cost around $6500. Here are a few of the things I did to make it work:


- I DIY'd everything instead of having a florist do the corsages/bouts, centerpieces, etc.


- I nixed everything that didn't matter to me. The ceremony and reception site were mere blocks from each other, so we nixed getting a car to transport us for our "grand exit." Instead, we exited the church with our dog and took him for a walk while our guests went to the reception.


- We had a friend of the family cater - we paid for the food at cost and nothing else, just got her a nice gift as a thank you! I had to buy all matching servingware, but now I have a nice set of serving dishes for future events!


- We found a reception site that wasn't all inclusive, allowing us to shop around for the best price on eveything. It took more time but we saved a bundle!


- I found a dress that I bought off the rack - $99!


 


 

Posted on August 13, 2009 at 5:30 am
shutterbug07
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07/31/2016
shutterbug07

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One way that I'm saving is DIYing a LOT...flowers, all things paper, photobooth, photobooks, and possibly the garter and ring pillow and hairpiece. I'm also buying where it is cheaper than renting, this way I can also try to resell the items after the wedding and recoup some of the expenses.

Posted on August 13, 2009 at 7:22 am
Ghana_Bride
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10/10/2009
Ghana_Bride

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Come on ladies, i know you have several tips on how to be budget savvy!! Lets hear the stories

Posted on August 13, 2009 at 10:47 am
ladyhannah
4
05/23/2009
ladyhannah

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1. Dress:  $300


2.  venue:  my church= $0


3.  Food:  DiY $300


4.  Alcohol:  none $0


6.  Flowers:  silk and whimsical  $200


7.  table linens:  $100 - fabric $1 a yard


8.  photography:  future brother in law $200


9.  Guest book:  shutterfly code  $8   (with shipping)


10.  veil:  approximately $2  DIY


11.  parasols and lanterns:  $40      (bought only when they were 30% off or more at


                                                            hobby lobby)


12.  Cake:  $200 for about 80 guests   (did not eat nearly all of it though)


14.  Grooms cakes:  $40


15.  Invitations:  $150 (with postage) about 100


 Family and Friends worth spending the greatest day of your life with:  PRICELESS


 


I diyed a lot, borrowed stuff from people who offered instead of renting from businesses, had an afternoon tea themed mingling reception rather than a sit-down dinner.


 

Posted on August 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm
hurleygrl135
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04/10/2010
hurleygrl135

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hurleygrl135

Our budget is around $7500


Our venue is all inclusive minus the cake: $5,000


Florist is Mom's best friend we're getting those at cost and my mom is paying for those


The photographer is a friend I grew up with that has a start up company: $700


My FI is wearing his dress blues: Free


We don't have a DJ picked yet but my mom's friend's son is a dj he'll charge us about $200 if we choose him.


We're getting our cake at a local grocery store for: $150


Invites from invitations by dawn: $140


I'm DIYing my signs or decorations I want which we don't need much of the venue is beautiful to begin with doesn't need much.


Costco for the candy/dessert buffet and we're borrowing the containers from my mom and her friend.


We're using my FI's childhood baseball glove for the RB to carry the ring on


My mom is paying for my dress


My engagement ring came in a set with my band

Posted on August 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm
bremt7
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05/15/2015
bremt7

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Our budget is $6500, minus rings. Fi and I are paying ourselves! ALOT of saving! Can't wait till it's over! =)


Our wedding and reception are in the same place. It is big enough for 200 people, and our guest list is SUPPOSED to stay at 100. So we are saving $$ there. This is $3100 for 100 people, 6hrs, includes food with beer and wine. Cash bar for liquor.


We have included a few other things, like linens $100, fruit & cheese app. $200, Late night pizza $130....


Favors are budgeted at $75


Cake $240


Centerpieces and table decor (including DIY table #) budgeted at $100.


Fi's tux will be free through MW Tux.


My brother paid for my dress, (300). $115 for my veil, slip, bra, shoes.


My mom is paying for the limo


Fi's mom is paying for the dj


I'm sure theres more I'm forgetting... but mainly looking for items on sale, when I can!


 

Posted on August 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm
2dBride
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10/06/2009
2dBride

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2dBride

Here is my list:

1. Rental of reception location was $750 for 100 people.  This included tables, chairs, staff, a stage, a dance floor, a sound system, etc.  Also, because the club owner was a friend, we are able to get a key a couple of days in advance, so we could come in and decorate.


2. 300 china-look plastic plates were purchased from the WEBstaurant store for $99.98.  We resold 150 unused ones after the wedding.


3. 252 plastic drinking glasses were purchased from the WEBstaurant store for $66.06.


4. 432 stainless steel forks were purchased from Instawares for $65.69, and resold afterward.


5. 60 teaspoons purchased from Instawares for $12.77, and resold afterward.


6. Coffee and tea mugs, toasting glasses, wine decanter, sugar and cream set all purchased from the Salvation Army.


7. Linens purchased wholesale at $10.00 to $17.00 per piece (depending on size) instead of renting for $15.00. Purchased 250 linen napkin at .70 per piece.  All items were sold afterward.


8. Chair covers purchased for $2.60 each.  These were a bit of a splurge.  However, we purchased them at a deep discount, and were able to sell them for as much as we bought them for.


9.  Paper lanterns decor (50 pieces of 10" lanterns)- purchased from PaperLanternStore for $68.93.  Cost-sharing arrangement with two other brides brought the price of 27 more lanterns (18") from AsianIdeas down to $34.20 per bride.  We resold all the paper lanterns that were not part of the cost-sharing arrangement afterward.


10.  Paper lanterns were lit with DIY LED lights, Westinghouse Stick-Up Bulbs purchased for $2.97 each from an Amazon seller, and/or OnTel Stick N Click Lights purchased for $1 each on eBay, rather than with more expensive plug-in lighting.  We resold all the lights afterward.


11.  Nonfloral DIY centerpieces, $7.50 each.  We have resold most of the pedestal candle holders and all of the mirrors used for them.


12.  Aisle decor- ivory pew bows.  No ceremony decor other than those, gold satin sashes that were reused for the reception, and the chuppah (see next paragraph).


13.  Built my own chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy), using the frame from a portable popup gazebo found on eBay, which I was then able to resell for more than the cost of materials after the ceremony.


14. Photographer for 3 hrs $400.00 (photographer provided edited images on discs for us to make our own prints).


15. Engagement photograph was $25.  It was taken on a cruise we got free tickets for.


16. Videographers (friends) free


17. Musician (friend) was supposed to be $300 for three hours, but she ended up waiving the cost as her wedding present.


18. Drinks. The club owner gave us a deal on open bar:  $250 for 60 people for five hours.


19. Cake-Made by my fiancee.  Cost for ingredients about $100.


20. Invitations (pocketfolds), programs, thank you cards, photo sharing cards, and all paper supplies for wedding - DIY projects. Total cost including postage ~ $250.00.


21.  Dresses both purchased from a consignment store for $450 each.  We have already resold one of them.


22. Veils both purchased from a consignment store on a half-price sale for $60 each.  We have already resold one of them.


23. Cascading cake stands-purchased for $40.00, and resold after the wedding.


24.  Wedding party consisted entirely of a maid of honor and a "dude of honor," both of whom wore clothes they already owned.


25. Food: We hired someone on an hourly basis to purchase food from BJ's, prepare it, serve it, and clean up.  Total cost ~ $700.


26. Flowers- purchasing two bridal bouquets, one MOH bouquet and one bout for $247.44.  Only other flowers were freeze-dried rose petals ($56.74 for 50 cups).


27. DOC/planner- Not using one.


28. Rings.  She gave me a plain gold band she inherited from her grandmother.  I gave her a plain gold band I purchased on eBay UK.  We did not have engagement rings at all.


29.  DIY "photobooth" was less than $200 including goofy props and DIY backdrop.


30.  DIY uplighting.  We sold the spotlights, gels, and stands for only $37 less than we paid for them.


31.  Hair and make-up.  For both the ceremony in Boston and the reception in DC, we found people on Craig's List who would come to the site and do both hair and make-up.  Total cost for two of us in Boston was $100.  Total cost for two of us in DC was $120, and that included a free trial session.


32.  Bought a chocolate fountain for $45 instead of renting it, and resold it afterward.


Posted on August 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm
Prettywoman88
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10/02/2011
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Prettywoman88

Hi,everyone. As you will see by my bio, I am not engaged yet; the man in my life and I are on a bit of a break as he sorts out some issues in his life. Meanwhile, I am having fun unofficially planning the wedding we'd talked about before. Hey, I know it sounds nuts, but Im having a good time, and if its not him, well, maybe what I have learned can help someone else.


Anyway, being as how I am far from rich, I have gleaned a few money saving ideas. Here goes:


1. Start shopping for your DIY materials over a long period of time as opposed to all at once (Since I hope to be a fall 2011 bride, I am checking out craft stores like Michaels, and will start buying stuff around november 2010, when the clearence sales start).


2. Check out venues that will be no or low cost, and can have the ceremony and reception in the same place (My church could host both, for very little cost).


3. Catering: I checked out the local cullinary school and found they do everything a caterer does for 1,000.00. That includes a three tiered cake, 2 sheet cakes, decorating, buffet or family style dinner, and passed apetizers for the cocktail hour. You can NOT beat THAT!


4. You can hire a local civic group (like a youth group, etc) to clean up the place for a donation.


5. You can hire the local high school choir- again for a donation- for the ceremony music.


Just a few things I have come up with. Hope I didnt repeat anything from other posts.


 

Posted on August 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm
bschwitz
1
07/05/2010
bschwitz

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Hello, I've been married a year and did my wedding around 10k. Here were things that helped me:


1. Lots of time to plan = lots of time to shop around. Craft stores (michael's and joanne fabrics) issue a 40% off coupon weekly. You can find these online or in the paper usually. I used these often to buy decorations like vases and other odds and ends. 


2. Martha Stewart has tons of low-budget decoration ideas. I used her directions to make different sized paper balls to hang in the tent we had our reception in. I bought the tissue paper online. I think all the paper balls probably cost about $20 and they were tons cheaper than buying paper lanterns. The internet is your friend! 


3. You don't need one cake to feed everyone. We had a small two tier cake to cut for pictures that we decorated with flowers ourselves. Very simple. Then we had costco sheet cakes waiting in the wings that were way cheaper and tasted just as delicious when the tier cake ran out. Nobody was sad to get costco cake. 


4. Instead of renting tux's, my husband bought a nice suit at JC Penny (around $120). All our groomsmen bought a pair of black slacks ($25) and a shirt in our wedding color ($25). I bought them each a different tie in our wedding color at macy's using the discount from our credit card and endless amounts of coupons as well as cruising the clearance rack every time I had to make a trip to the mall. I believe 8 ties ended up being around $100. So not only was it cheaper, now they all have a nice set of dress clothes that they can wear again - and believe me, some of them needed it. 


5. Recruit your friends! Our photographer was a friend that does photography as a hobby. iPhoto took her pictures to a professional level. We made a book for $80, and have all of the digital copies. We also have pictures from the other 5 or so people that showed up with fancy cameras. I was able to spend a few hours editing photos and creating an album that was perfect. Just make sure that your friend has a list of exactly what pictures you want, and make sure they have it with them the entire day. If they can't be assertive and make sure that you get all your pictures, have someone be with them that can be. This was my only regret in not hiring a photographer.


I bought all bare-minerals makeup for myself and my bridesmaids (about $60). I had them bring their own foundation. A friend of mine does fantastic makeup - again not a professional but may as well be. She did my makeup and it was perfect all day. She also did a few bridesmaids. Another friend of my sister's did my hair. A friend played guitar for the precessional. Two of my friends (also bridesmaids) sang the flower duet. One bridesmaids boyfriend is a piano player so he accompanied. My mom and her friends assembled all the tissue paper balls for me. Another bridesmaids boyfriend djayed the reception. 


Find out what your friends can do and use them! Find out what your friends friends can do and use them! Often you will get better than you expected. I certainly did! 


 

Posted on August 24, 2010 at 7:29 am
Boricua_Bride
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12/31/2015
Boricua_Bride

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How did I save money on my wedding.


1) I cut $600 by no adding the bm and moh flowers, no boutonier and no cake flowers.  I DIY the kissing balls and starfish bout.


2)reception - instead of renting a place for 4 hrs I rented a house for 2 weeks.


3) bought the alcohol, only water, beer and wine was served.


4) no videographer - a friend took the initiative to record the most important part of the wedding.


5) transportation - cost $400 for 2 limos and 5 checker taxi cabs for all the time I needed.

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 12:48 am
cbethmanning
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04/11/2012
cbethmanning

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What a great idea to rent a home instead of an actual reception venue!  I'm going to look into that. That way, if you do want to do your own food, the kitchen's right there! 


And then we could decorate the home all Christmasy, etc.


Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 6:15 am
krosa
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09/16/2012
krosa

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we are saving by having a very short guest list and having no alchol  because of my relgious beliefs. since we are doing the photos before the ceremony, there is no need for a coctail hour especially with no coctails.

Posted on November 13, 2010 at 7:41 am
mmichelle
1
12/20/2012

mmichelle

I'm planning to buy a wedding dress online around $250, do you think it's possible?

Posted on April 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm
bschwitz
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07/05/2010
bschwitz

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I think it's possible, it may just take you awhile to find what you want in your price range. I actually have a dress that I'd sell to you for that if you're interested - it would just be a bit of a challenge to try it on haha!

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 6:41 am
msluther
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10/01/2011
msluther

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msluther

1. Dress:  $80 (Bought by my Dad)


2.  Venue: music hall $95


3.  Food:  DiY $150 (Hambugers, chips, potatoe salad, mac salad, etc)


4.  Alcohol:  none $0 (BYOB)


6.  Flowers:  silk and whimsical  $50 (Bought at hobby lobby for 50% off)


7.  table linens:  $20 (OrientalTradingCompany)


8.  photography: $0 (Best friend)


9.  Guest book:  Autograph Frame $10


10.  veil:  $4.00 (DinoDirect.com)


11. Wedding Favors : DIY 6oz coke bottles w/daisies on them. $72


12. Cake: $100 (2 small cakes @ Walmart that feed 68 each) 


13.  Invitations: $30 DIY


14. Dinnerware: ( plates, napkins, plasticware etc) $20 Dollar General!


 


I have gotten most of my wedding supplies through OTC, Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Walmart! We are pretty much gonna have a huge party so its nothing elaborate! I think all in all we have spent about $1,500 for everything.


 


 

Posted on July 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm
wolfmaure
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09/25/2015
wolfmaure

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I'm DYIing everything I possibly can with coupons, sales and dollar store items. With researching nonstop I have found a ton of ways to save and have a big look for less. I am also having my gown designed and made by a maker in China. I'm having 2 dresses and all accessories (2 purses, 2 shoes, 2 headpieces, etc) all under the price of $450! I also love EBAY! I'm also having an Autumn wedding so I'm collecting a lot of pinecones and nuts I find in the park ~ gotta love free!!!

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm
Yasmin84
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10/26/2013
Yasmin84

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I'm Diying alot too our budget is 10K. I got my dress off Ebay for $150 but it will require alterations. I got my bridemaids dresses off ebay too all 3 of them $ 120 but they will need alterations too.My father is paying for my photographer as a wedding gift so that is saving us a lot.


 


Breakdown so far!


Bridal Gown $150


Groom Suit $99


Bridemaids Dresses $120


Flower girls dresses  $100


Groomsmen suits     $297


                           $469


Ceremony              $105- Appilcation fee to use public reserve


Venue Hire             $350


Catering                $3120- $39 per head x 80 guests


                           $3575


Flowers                 $686


Ring Pillow              $9   


                            $4270


 


 


 

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:24 am
leese33
2
05/17/2014
leese33

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leese33

one way we save was that we agreed to have our ceremony in our backyard....we have about 3 acres of land so it will be more then enough space ....


two- was to have a cook-out buffet style reception


so when all done i will post the list and cost of everything ....


 

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

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