I know there are a lot of brides out there on a budget so I wanted to share our $1400 wedding. I really need to preface this by letting all of you know that Mr. Sin and I are NOT overly fussy people and we had some pretty tight finances while planning this. We wanted to keep it casual, the mood fun and the cost down. How did we do that? By limiting the guest list and having a state park/backyard shindig.
How did we do it:
- Above: Used a State Park as our ceremony site. Most parks are inherently lovely and so need no decoration. They are inexpensive and provide a memorable and unique experience. In fact, we had complete strangers taking pictures of us as we walked back from the ceremony site. Most were visitors from other countries and we met some great people in our first hour as Husband and Wife. It really helped to ground us and take some pressure off.
- I bought my dress online at a discount store. I added shoulder draping, handmade fabric flowers and a corset back.
- MOH, BM and I love to garage sale. Found Silver coffee urns for 10.00 each. forgot to get spigots to replace the broken ones so bought 2 $2 ladles. MOH donated glassware, found awesome rose garland that worked well to decorate posts, cake table and serving tables.
- Made my own cake. About $60.00 in materials to make a 2 tier practice and a 3 tier wedding cake. It was not as hard as you would think.
- Scoured Craigs List for photographer. She was great, just building her portfolio and I got a good deal.
- DIY music. I have about a million songs on my pc, we hooked up some speakers and put together some playlists. My MOH has a lovely voice and she sang for the walk up the aisle, which made that moment all the more meaningful for us. Prescreen your music files and assign someone to man the music for the special moments/dances. My advice, make a folder for each stage and along with the above, you will be fine.
- We bought EVERYTHING on sale or with coupons. Joann's and Michaels 40% were the most used and loved by me.
- I repurposed a TON of stuff. The damask table cloth was actually some fabric I bought a couple of years ago at the $3/yard place. I think I was going to make a shower curtain from it. My cake stand was a repurposed table top with lights under it.
- Got flowers from Costco the day before. They have an excellent selection of roses and carnations and daisies. It is seriously not hard to do bouquets. I did all 3 of ours, wired and ribboned in about an hour plus a boutonniere...at 2am by the way.
- We had one alcoholic mixer...a sangria but as it was a hot day I turned it into a spritzer with club soda. I believe that was the favorite drink of the day. We bought some beer, but hardly anyone drank it. by not having alcohol we avoided a huge expense and a liability in case anyone left our reception and had an accident.
- We shopped sales for food and froze it. We had a casual BBQ reception, served gourmet burgers, brats, hot dogs, baked beans, BLT pasta salad. Had a topping bar for burgers and brats, a veggie tray and some fruit. I did notice that most of the guys hung out by the grills and beer cooler...fine by me. Liquor them up, put them over by an open flame and, voila...free entertainment.
We made a decision not to buy into what the media and wedding industry put forth as necessary for a wedding. We decided that no one was paying for our wedding but us, and we did not want to go into debt over this. Yes, it is a special day. But it is ONE DAY. We chose to make it casual and worry free. If you take anything away from this, please let it be that last statement. I banned myself from watching any of the wedding shows, Four Weddings, SYTTD, Dream Weddings etc. I did sneak an occasional My Fair Wedding Episode while visiting a friend...I dont get the channel, thank goodness!
Here is my $120.00 dress and DH's $50.00 'suit'.
Dress after I "made it mine" Before I had my way with it
My reception dress $28.00.
Yes, DH is an Earnhardt fan.
Our wedding rings. I preferred to keep my engagement ring and not have another band for comfort reasons, and DH's band was a budget breaking $25.00 on Amazon.
The Bouquet. I used a mix of DIY fabric flowers and fresh...that way I would have something to save in my hope chest. Yeah, I could have made the bouquets bigger, I had another 40 roses left, but at 2am...just sayin'.
Here is my $60.00 DIY cake (look for a tutorial later...it really was not difficult) and the serving table set up. The cake stand is some repurposed LED christmas light up ribbon I bought one year on clearance for $4.00 at WalMart inside the top of a small side table top I had hanging around.
My DIY invitations and our toasting flutes...the cake server is an antique given to me by my mother.
The free wine glasses with my DIY name tags and my silver coffee urn 'punch bowls'.
Some of the accessories and deoroations I made. I had a pair of red flats that I updated with handmade flowers and feathers. I handmade the hairflowers and flowers for bouquets, card cage, boutonniere and scored the guestbook for 2.00. It is embossed in victorian/western design and says 'Live With Intention'.
- Dress $120.00 Bought on discount website and altered by moi, cost of alterations incl.
- We got our reception dresses and BM dresses from a non-wedding fashion retailer with locations nationwide on sale for 28.00 each.
- Husband's attire $50.00
- Husband's ring $25.00
- Hair Accessories $50.00 made by moi
- Flowers (inlcuding bout and bouquets) $65.00
- Veil...Free...made by friend from 12.00 worth of beads, tulle and a comb
- Bridesmaid totes with jewelry, hairflower, sunscreen and lotion, $12.00 total.
- Food and Drink $400.00 inluding cake
- Favors $25.00. Got valenties bags for .25 for 12 on clearance at Walmart, bought grahams, marshmallows and hersheys. Tealights I had bought on coupon for 1.50 for 50 from craftstore
- Photographer found on CL $300.00
- Minister $150.00
- Venue $150.00
- Misc Decorations/Linens that weren't borrowed or owned already $80.00
- Invites DIYed for $45.00
- Misc stuff not used $50.00 (punches, fabric, decorations)
- Toasting Flutes $15.00 at Burlington
I hope this is helpful to a future bride. Best wishes~SincityBride