It is possible to get your dream wedding on a budget. Check out this list of tips and tricks for saving money on your big day!
Okay brides, we’re going to let you in on a little secret… Having an unforgettable wedding on a budget isn’t just a thing from fairy tales like unicorns and dragons.
That’s right. Having your dream wedding on a budget IS possible. The WeddingMix team turned to REAL brides who saved REAL money and still had amazing weddings for advice on how YOU can do it, too!
Showcased in their affordable DIY wedding videos, these brides show off how they made their weddings absolutely incredible while still maintaining financial sanity. Check out the 13 insanely affordable wedding ideas they gave us!
1. Ask loved ones to help out
“I did a ton of planning and work before the wedding, but honestly I could not have done it without help. My mom sewed the pew cones that held lavender, my matron of honor helped me make the twine ball decorations, and a whole army helped us haul everything to and from the reception site.” – Jennifer
2. Add Personal Details
“I’m most proud of how many personal details we were able to include in our wedding, especially in our ceremony. We wrote our own vows, had our friends sing an a capella song, and used readings and music that really meant a lot to us.” –WeddingMix bride Eileen
3. Find Pretty Flowers at a Prettier Cost
“I loved every bit of our wedding, but my favorite planning piece were the flowers! I knew I wanted A LOT of flowers, but I didn’t want to pay a lot. So I ordered fresh flowers from a wholesale distributor and picked them up the week of the wedding. We supplemented with additional wildflowers from a local Amish farm.” – Rider-Baker Couple
Or, opt out of fresh flowers and do what Jessica and her hubby did!
“We ordered dried bouquets and boutonnieres from Etsy for our bridal party. I have always had a hard time swallowing the cost of real flowers and not getting to enjoy them but for one day. I found a lady on Etsy who made exactly what we wanted for our flowers and now I get to enjoy my bouquet every time I walk into my closet!” –Jessica
4. Plan the day yourself – it really pays off!
“I’m an event planner for my full-time job, so I’m very organized and used to dealing with budgets. I was most proud that I was able to plan the day myself and craft a lot of items to save my budget from going over. I realized that the more I personally put in, the prouder I was that all of the decor and details really represented us. It truly made the day a celebration of our life together and the future ahead of us.”- Kelly
5. Make a Budget
“Very early on, we knew the style of wedding we wanted, and had decided on a budget. We had a pretty long engagement, and spent almost two years crafting, bargaining, and thinking of inventive ways to get the same high-end looking at less the cost.” –Lauren
6. Look for bargains and get creative
“One night Craig and I decided to sit down and brainstorm what we wanted for our wedding. Refinishing desks, designing pencils, contacting library after library to find card catalog drawers, visiting antique stores, and finding all the items we loved from our elementary school days not only helped bring our vision to life, but also brought us closer together. We were so proud of each detail, no matter how small, because we envisioned it, designed it, and created it. Our planning and crafting created a wedding that was perfectly us.” – Burns-Vital wedding
7. DIY your wedding video
“Our budget was maxed out, but due to last minute decisions about wanting a videographer had us trying to decide what else we could possibly cut. I came upon WeddingMix DIY wedding videos on Pinterest and checked it out. It was going to be more affordable than going with a videographer that we would not meet beforehand, yet we would be using a big chunk of our budget for this stranger. Having friends and family, people we knew, film our wedding seemed like a better idea! Plus, WeddingMix saved us a lot of money so we did not need to cut back on anything!” – Amanda
8. DIY little things (like wedding favors and snack bars) instead of buying them
“From the corn-hole boards made by our friends Doug (best man) and Kerry (bridesmaid) and then hand spray-painted by myself, my mom, and Matthew; to the incredible jelly and jam favor display that my mom created; and the other countless other little design elements that kept us busy right up until the final week.”- Taylor
“I penned out our entire ceremony, I made all the centerpieces, the Candy Bar, the invitations, the escort cards, the wedding website, I even made my neck-shoulder piece and birdcage fascinator. Anything that could be crafted, I did. In the end, I was practically sweating glitter. (I even made a kids coloring book!)”- Alexandrea
9. Infact, just DIY your heart out
“Our wedding had a lot of DIY projects like shotgun shell boutonnieres and individual silverware bundles for guests, not to mention doing all our own flowers and baking cookies for the favors!”- Jennifer
“We didn’t plan to homemake very much for our wedding, but in the end we made centerpieces, the seating chart, table numbers, chalkboard program, card-box, favor labels and so many other things. We had a lot of great helpers– my dad put together all the favors! It was painful (sometimes literally, yikes hot glue!) but totally worth it. I saw little pieces of us in everything”- Amy
10. Find a unique wedding venue
“Pinstripes Georgetown – Bowling, Bocce & Bistro” in Washington DC. Yes, we got married at a bowling alley! The restaurant is two stories – the second floor is a large event space where we had the ceremony and reception. After the reception, everyone was invited downstairs for bowling & late night snacks.
We are not big dancers (clearly, from the WeddingMix videos we recorded!) so it was nice to have a few hours of dancing & then relax and bowl with our guests. Plus, we’ll be able to tell our (future) children that “Dad & Mom got married at the bowling alley”. – Diane
11. Consider brunch for your reception
“Coming up with the idea to do a brunch wedding– not only did using breakfast food cut our bill in half, it was a sentimental choice too. Our first date was breakfast at a diner because we both worked overnights at the time. Plus, who doesn’t love breakfast? People loved the originality of the idea and the delicious food!” – Amy
12. Keep your reception causual
“Our dinner was very casual – BBQ but served on antique mismatched plates that I collected during our engagement. We really wanted our reception to be a ton of fun.” – Jessica
13. Games, games, games!
Atlanta wedding planner Natalie Bradley adds, “If you want a fun and lively reception or cocktail time filled with games, but you need to scale back on the money spent, you can whip up some entertainment the (new) old-fashioned way. You can create your own giant version of the Jenga game if you are talented with a saw, sander and some stain … hard costs are less than about $50 and your guests will love playing!
The same is true for a giant Yahtzee game. You just need some wood cubes and a wood burner and you’re in business. You can also add things like horse shoes and corn hole games. Keep an eye out for deals at Good Will and other places where you can find gently loved items.”