Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How to: Plan a Budget Wedding

It's amazing to me how much weddings cost. The average wedding where I live costs ~$20,000 for about ~$150 guests, according to Cost of Wedding. It's a special day, so it makes sense to fuss over the details, and make everything beautiful.
At the same time, how many young couples have a discretionary $20,000 to spend on a perfect wedding? We don't, and if we did, I'd rather spend it on building a wonderful new life together than on a perfect wedding (that's the point of getting married anyway, right?).
Our budget for the entire event, including wedding bands and the marriage license, is $1,000. Our goal is to keep the cost for the event itself close to $500. Here's how we are doing it:


We sat down together and decided what is most important to us for the wedding and reception. We said goodbye to expensive options, such as serving dinner or hors d'oeuvre or renting a nice, outdoor venue, opting instead to host a simple cake reception after the ceremony in his grandma's backyard. Fresh flowers looked a bit pricey, so we've left them out of our budgets, and I'm finding many other beautiful options, such as these paper flowers!


We decided to design our wedding theme around items that we already have or can borrow from family members. My mom and I have a spectacular collection of mismatched teacups, so I'm planning to use these for table decorations.
I found these lovely items in my parents' storage unit, including little bags of birdseed leftover from their wedding!
We're also doing a lot of shopping at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift shops so we can reuse other people's things as well. We even found my wedding dress, made in the 1920s, at an estate sale for $30!


We're avoiding buying brand new things as much as we can, and instead, focusing on upcycling items from our families, thrift shops, and garage sales. It's incredible what you can do with a bit of paint and glue!
I should note that sometimes even buying supplies for DIY projects can be expensive, so we've done our best to use what we already have or to buy supplies while they are on sale.
Stay tuned for details on my upcoming DIY projects, including decorative chalkboards and my brooch bridal bouquet!
Sneak peek! Some of the supplies for my upcoming projects!
More tips on wedding budgeting to come! Post-wedding, I'll be writing about our expenses to give you a fuller picture of how we pulled it off (because we will!).

Leave your money-saving ideas in the comments!

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