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Budget Savvy Bride: Bride from Minnesota


Our Budget= $5K

I met the love of my life at the age of fifteen.  Three years later, he asked me to be his wife, and six years after that, we picked a date.  Our college loans are almost paid off and we just knew that we will not put ourselves through debt for our wedding.  With this in mind, I started on an adventure to try and prepare for what will be the most special day of our lives. I have gained a wealth of knowlege from so many brides before me and from a little research of my own.  Here is what I have learned.


Our Venue 

We were fortunate to find a location where we could have the ceremony and the reception.  This spiritual center has a church and reception room.  Renting the location means that everything will be inclusive.  This includes usage of the piano, music sound systems, projector system, chairs, tables, stages, extra rooms for getting ready, parking, and a kitchen. There is a wedding cordinator for the day included in the package and a clean up crew.  If you want to decorate the day before, this can be a possibility if the rooms are avaiable at no extra cost. Total Cost= $1,400.

Key Tips-

1. Find an all inclusive location.

2. Find a location where you don't have to have a caterer.

3. Find a location with great architecture so you don't have to decorate.

4. Look at your local state parks and pavilions.

5. Checkout your local community centers.

6. Checkout your local colleges and schools.

7. A friend or relative might have a large yard you can use.

8. Some locations come with decoration and candles you can use.



We are very lucky to have family members who have experience with photography.  They will provide their services on the day of the wedding. I have come to find very cheap ideas even if a photographer is hired. Cost-$200

Key Tips-

1. Ask how much it would be to just get a CD of the photos.

2. Sams club and local stores print pictures for less than 20 cents an image

3. Websites such as Blurp allow you to make a wedding album for less than $100

4. Buy a really nice camera and ask someone you know to start practicing for the big day.



The church in which we will get married respects all faiths.  They don't mind if we want another minister or someone who is not a minsiter to marry us.  Since we are getting married at the courthouse, we will have a family friend be the officiant.  This way they already know us and our families.  If you live in minnesota, check out Fab Weddings on a Budget for ministers that charge a very reasonable rate.  I will be making my own programs and invitations from cardstock from Michaels.  From the same place, I will buy a wedding asile and paint for a DIY monogram for the asile.  Ribbon from the dolorstore will add a touch of elegance to the programs. Ribbon= $2/ Aisle and paint= $30 Stationary Cardstock= $10 /Courthouse wedding= $200/ Our Officiant= $0

Key tips-

1. Have someone you know be the officant if you will already be legally married before the ceremony.

2. Express to your minister that you are on a budget, sometimes they might even     do it for free if you go to their church.

3. Being on the email list of your local craft stores ensures coupons.

4. The sunday paper can offers coupons at local craft stores.

5. Going to your local dollor store can help you save a lot.




Because our venue package allows us to use their kitchen, we decided that we will order our food from Chipotle. This is so reasobable and we LOVE their food.  For seak or chicken, it will be under $7 a person and therefore less than $700 for 100 people. The fantastic thing is that our local Chipotle will give us a discount because we are ordering so much food.  Even more fantastic, since the food was so reasonable, Michael's parents have agreed to pay for it.  Drinks will be bought from sams club. My parents will be paying for the drinks. Food= $0 (a gift) Drinks= $0 (a gift)

Key Tips-

1. Use a restaurante 

2. Don't forget that a restaurante most likely will not charge for utencils and napkins

3. If your parents or his parents ask how they can help, tell them about great deals you  have found.

4. You can try and ask for a discount if you are ordering a lot of food.

5. Wholesalers are great for drinks and cups.


Reception Decor

Before                                                   After

I am so excited to share my plans for my reception decor. The tables and chairs are included in the package. I feel that I will be saving so much $ here.  I have found that it will be cheaper to order table linen rather than renting.  I will be ordering them from either or  I have the option of selling the items after the wedding too.  This will mean even more savings.  I will be ordering candelabras from koehlerhomedecor.   Candles and lighting are very cheap after Christmas.  This is how I plan on saving on those.  Table numbers and menus will be made on my computer with cardstock from Michaels. From my local thiftstore, I have bought 16 identical tall glass vases for $1 each. I will be getting bulbs, gels, and cans for extra lighting from bulb america. This is one of my great finds.  For the amount you would pay to rent lighting, you can buy it. Lights-$300/   Linnen- $150/ Candelabras $100/ Lighting and candles $50-$100/ Cardstock $6/ Glass vases $16

Key Tips-

1. Don't rent if you can buy in bulk and save

2. If your location provides chairs but they are not elegant, covering them might be cheaper than renting different chairs. Check out wedding linens direct.

3. After holiday sales are great for decoration items.

4. Thrift store and garage finds are great especially if you are having a vintage theme wedding.

5. DIY projects are a great way to personalize your wedding. I love Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty, and of course Project Wedding.

6. Avoid anything what says wedding. Sometimes things are charged a little more just because of this.


Pretty Flowers

I can't wait to tell you guys about my ideas with flowers.  I will be ordering my pink and purple flowers in bulk and making centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and extra decor.  This will save me over $1500.  There is a lot of stress in planning a wedding and worrying about flowers the day before your wedding adds to it, but knowing how much I will be saving will be worth it.  I will also be getting flowers from my local farmers market.  This is very eco friendly because they are not shipped from far away. Flowers- $500

Key Tips-

1. Order in bulk from sites such as gamma flowers and global rose.  Both sites offer FREE shipping.

2. Online sites like youtube will give detailed instruction on how to arrange flowers.

3. Order from your local farmers market or grow some in your garden if your wedding is during summer or spring.

4. You can always call your local florist for instructions on how to care for your flowers.

5. You can always practice on flowers that your fiance gets your throughout the year.


The Cake


Our cake will be made by Michael's Mother's friend. I feel so lucky that we know someone who will be able to make us a delicious cake. Though this is true, I have search everywhere for deals and came up with some other ideas.

Key Tips-

1. Think about all of the people you know, someone must love to bake.

2. Look into your local community college's culinary programs. They might be making wedding cakes that semester.

3.Ask your baker to make the first two bottom layers fake or the whole cake fake.  This way you can have a nice big cake but not the price of one.

4. Cupcakes from Sams Club with a stand is under $100. 

5. Don't have a cake. Treats are just as yummy!



I would love to share with you great shopping tips when it comes to buying a dress. You can get something elegant and don't have to pay a lot of money.  I will be getting my shoes at payless and dyeing them black after the wedding.  Payless offers custom shoe dyeing.  I will be borrowing my mother's bracelet.  I waited for a semiannual sale and bought sterling silver earrings at the mall.  My budget will be $300.

Key Tips-

1. After Prom sales are great for your bridesmaids.  his inclues dresses and accessories.  This takes place during the summer. Prices are 40%-70% off.

2. Have the dress custom made.  Websites like Milly brial offer very affordable prices and no one will have your exact dress. You can spend $200 dollars and get a beautiful dress.

3. I seem to find the month of October to be when sample dresses are one sale at bridal shops.

4. Trunk sales are great if you like a designer.

5. Attend Bridal Shows.  Just for going, you are entered into a drawing most of the time for a free dress or wedding item.

6. Get a dress that is used off the internet or borrow a dress from a friend.

7. Get shoes that you can dye a different color after the wedding.

8.  This goes for accessories too. Buy something you can use again later.

9. This is the perfect time to borrow his grandmother's necklace or your mom's bracelet.

10. Go to a makeup store such as Macy's and get your makeup done at one of the counters for free.  Buy one or two of the products after the sesson as a thank you.

11. Try to do your hair on your own or ask that one friend who always does great hair.



His Attire 

We will be buying Michael a very nice suit that he can use again after the wedding.  This is a great way to be resourceful.  We see no reason in renting something we have to return when we can buy it and use it again. His budget will be $150.

Key Tip-

1. ebay has cheap cufflinks.  I have found some for $5.

2. K&G have very reasonable suits and men's accessories.

3. Menswarehouse offers a deal where if you are renting a number of tuxedos, the groom's is free.

4. Have him wear a suit he already has.


We will be getting our rings online from an ebay seller.  I can't wait to wear my band and be future Mrs. C.  I have found out that you can save on buying rings that are not gold.  This seems to be the trend not because of costs but because of other benefits too.  Tungsten and Titanium are great alternatives.  Before you buy, look into the benefits of each type of metal.  We are going with titanium because it is light weight and durable and Michael likes how it feels. Our budget for rings will be $300.

Key Tips-

1. You don't have to buy gold but first, go try on different metals.

2. Shopping online mean can mean no taxes.



We are getting support financially from our family and this is going to be so helpful.  My cousins and siblings are helping me decorate and coordinate.  Michael has been there through so much.  I remember the other day standing at a Michael's store stressed about which vase to get because they were having a 50% sale.  My wonderful future husband quietly found a place to sit down for twenty minutes.  He then whispered, "I hate seeing you stressed out.  Why don't we think about it and we can come again tomorrow."  I love him so much. And I have you PW ladies. I can come to you and vent , express my joys, and share my plans.  Cost= Priceles


Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 12:24 am
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