This month, my husband “Mr. Frugality” and I will be celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. I cannot believe how much time has flown by! I remember frantically planning and executing our wedding celebration-we got engaged in November and our wedding was the following August. Not a lot of time by most wedding standards! And of course, we were on a tight budget and paid for everything ourselves, so that made the stress and time crunch even more daunting. But we did it-we did it our way, and we did it sort of on budget.
I say “sort of” because while we set out to spend only $5,000 on our wedding, we actually spent closer to $7,000. Of course, if you have any experience with weddings, you’ll know that budgets are very easy to blow through when it comes to weddings. All things considered though, I would say we did pretty darn good!
The following items are things we did to keep our wedding as inexpensive as possible while still throwing a party for all of our family and friends that didn’t look cheap!
With all the technology out there, it’s easier than ever to skip a DJ. With a bit of planning, you can choose a song list, edit the long pauses or weird intro/outro sections and plan out the perfect playlist. For our wedding, we chose to go the iPod route and had our playlist saved on several devices (as backups) and plugged into the audio system at our venue. We had songs laid out in a way that built up the night and was the perfect soundtrack for our special day. I had my brothers keep an eye on it and that was that. Simple! My father did our introduction as we entered the reception and made announcements as necessary. Check out my post about how we DJ’d our own wedding with an iPod to learn how you can do it too.
Photo credit: Tony Sou Photography
Have you ever kept the program at any wedding you have ever been to? Unless you were the mother of the bride, probably not. Don’t waste money on this unnecessary extra. Go with a nice, handmade sign. We chose to keep with our rustic chic theme and do a decorative chalkboard wedding program instead. It was easy to do, and was extremely popular with our guests. Plus, its become part of our decor in our home after the wedding! Oh, and it only cost me $15 to make. See that burlap aisle runner? I made that too. It has our last initial on it. I
This was one of the most time consuming projects for our wedding but possibly one of my favorites. I designed, printed and assembled our own invitations. We spent a couple hours at the local FedEx Office on a couple Saturdays and got the whole thing done. They turned out beautifully and were FAR less expensive than having them done professionally. There are many kits out there now that make it really simple even if you’re not skilled in graphic design. You can use programs like PicMonkey if you don’t have Photoshop. Check out my post on how to make your own wedding invitations.
Wedding gowns are INSANELY expensive, but there are many ways you can get a great deal on a dress. You will never guess where I got my gown from. It was beautiful, well-made and it cost me under $300! This post has a ton of tips for finding a budget-friendly wedding gown.
Photo credit: Jennifer Togal Photography
I used one of our engagement photos to create our own save-the-dates and had them printed using Shutterfly! It was easy to do, and so much more affordable than having them done professionally. How affordable exactly? We made our save the dates for free! Yup. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Just a little bit of my time, and patience!
Planning a wedding does not have to be expensive. If you’re careful and thrifty, you can make a beautiful wedding happen on a very tight budget. Our guests still talk about how nice our ceremony and reception were even though it was very low key and totally DIY. We paid for the whole thing ourselves and while we wanted to throw a lovely party for all our family and friends (some of which flew from half a world away!) we didn’t want to start our life in debt because of it.
What other tips do you have for throwing a budget wedding?
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