My husband and I paid for own DIY wedding, reception and honeymoon. We had a cheap wedding under $800. We charged nothing on credit and paid it off without going into debt. Our budget wedding under $800 included wedding dress, accessories, tuxedo, invitations, stationary, flowers, decorations, church, music, minister stipend, rental equipment, hairstylist and pictures. One big way to save is by layering coupons from wedding expo and getting freebies for wedding purchases. Here are other ways.
* Cheap wedding dress, budget wedding party attire: I paid $170 for a last-season white prom dress, veil and hoop skirt. I got free lace mitts with a coupon from a wedding expo. We got discounted bridesmaids dresses and tuxedo rentals because we ordered from the same bridal boutique. Each person in the wedding party paid for their own. Groom’s tux was $70. We repurposed a first communion dress for the flower girl. We wore our own shoes and didn’t buy new ones. Bridesmaids had a girls’ night before wedding and did each other’s hair, makeup, manicures and pedicures.
* Save money on wedding invitations and stationery for cheap wedding under $800. The bridal boutique gave me a thank-you coupon coupon for reduced-price invitations. I bought cheaper single-page card-style invitations with standard (less expensive) font style. I printed RSVPs on index cards and used the post card rate to save on postage. I designed and printed DIY wedding programs. I bought thank-you notes from a dollar store. Total cost: $90. Now I would use free printable DIY wedding invitations and save more.
* How to save on accessories for a cheap wedding under $800: I used the gift card I got from the invitations printer to pay for a guest book, memory album and quill pen. I made the ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket and garter with stuff around the house. Wedding expo tips showed us how to create free or cheap accessories. Cost: free
* Budget wedding ceremony equipment rentals: The church lent us two candelabrum and we rented a kneeler, white runner and unity candle stand. I saved buying tapers and unity candle from a discount craft store. I used another DIY wedding expo coupon, too. Cost: $100, after $25 deposit refund.
* Flowers for DIY wedding under $800. Make flowers do double-duty as reception decorations: I got a discount on silk corsages and boutonnieres from the florist because I bought my bouquet there. I made the toss-away bouquet from repurposed silk flowers. The florist gave free flower girl petals. My mistress of ceremonies decorated the church pews with repurposed holiday ribbon, lights and bead strings. We purchased potted plants and clearance tulle. I ordered cut gladiolus from a grocery store. While pictures were being taken, she took the church flowers and decorations to the reception hall and reused them. Potted plants were given as wedding party thank-you gifts. Total cost: $149.
* Cheap wedding ceremony pictures: We hired a friend photographer who gave us a discounted package price: $150 for 100 4×5 photos from reception and wedding. We didn’t order enlargements. Family paid for reprints they wanted. Wedding expo advisers gave out cards for discount photographers.
* Savings on church, music minister stipends: As members, we used the church free. The minister and organist-soloist were our friends and discounted their services as wedding gifts. Total cost: $70.
Grand total for our budget wedding ceremony was $799. That was in 1987, but it’s still possible to plan a cheap wedding under $800. 28 years later, we’re still going strong. For more money saving tips visit me at Penny Pincher Post and Budget Weddings for $mart Brides. For more on how we’ve stayed together so long, visit me at Heart Smart Relationships.