This may sound a bit blunt, but it’s worth saying.
Anyone who thinks that planning a wedding on a budget means kissing a dream wedding goodbye, is wrong. Simple as that.
Most guests are just as impressed with the creativity, charm, and heart that’s put into a wedding with a small budget – and that’s if they stop having fun long enough to even notice.
If you’re still unconvinced that a budget wedding can’t be a gorgeous occasion worthy of a Pinterest dream board and all of that, we’re here to show you how it’s done.
We’ve broken it down into categories that cover things like how to land a dreamy venue, and break free from the pricier aspects of the overall wedding day. This way, you get to have the perfect wedding experience without owing Wells Fargo your first-born child. Or at least their college tuition.
Table of Contents
On average, wedding venues cost around $6,000 without entertainment, drinks, and catering.
Here are some excellent alternatives, many which are free.
From local parks and botanical gardens to the more untouched raw beauty found on Forest Service and Bureau of Land management Land. Even someone’s backyard or farm (bonus if they have an old barn!). One of the best things about choosing mother nature as your wedding venue is there’s less to decorate – it’s already beautiful.
2. Local Restaurant
Love a restaurant, winery or brewery for both ambiance and food? Why not see if you can book it for the wedding? Wineries especially are notorious for charming courtyards, sprawling green lawns, and vineyards that stretch into misty rolling hills. Check in with a few of your favorites to see if they’d be open to hosting your big day.
3. A Friend’s Home
If you know someone who has a big enough property who’d be willing to let you use it for your wedding, this is an excellent option. There’s so much you can do, and you’re not crippled by a brief window to get ready. Who knows, maybe they’ll even let you start setting up a week beforehand to make sure everything’s perfect. Obviously, you want to be respectful and leave the property better than you found it.
The average wedding dress costs almost $2,000. That’s a ton of money to spend on something that you only get to wear once!
Your dress isn’t the only dress to consider either – you’ve got bridesmaids dresses, too.
4. Bella Bridesmaids
If you’re looking for a one stop shop with a huge assortment of gorgeous dresses at all sorts of price points, check out Bella Bridesmaids. As their name suggests, they have bridesmaid dresses. But they also have wedding dresses, stunning designs at a fraction of the price.
If you’re a fan of thrifting, you know. Thrift stores can be a wealth of hidden treasures, gorgeous vintage pieces with intricate beading and design. Thrifting is about the hunt, so if this is something you’d like to try, the earlier you start the better.
Wedding décor on average runs the gamut from $2,000 to $10,000 but – you guessed it – you can achieve high-quality results with less.
6. Incorporate Nature
Make tree branches sparkle with little fairy lights. Suspend branches vertically from the ceiling. Attach silks and drapes for a flowy dreamy feel.
Natural grasses add a gorgeous touch. Their neutral oatmeal color is so appealing – it goes with everything.
Peel the label off of little glass jars, and place a tea light inside each. Cinch a little lace ribbon or burlap strip across the top, and you’ve got yourself an adorable little glittering addition to your aisle or centerpiece.
Wine bottles make beautiful vases, spray paint them if you like or leave them as is.
Make a dreamy wedding arch to get married under – something you can keep in your backyard after your big day.
Make lace curtains to suspend from pieces of wood. Add string lights and fairy lights.
For seating, consider hay bales, wooden or plastic chairs. Rectangular tables are transformed with cotton and linen painters drop cloth available at your local hardware store.
Use the aesthetic you’re going for to help inform your décor choices.
The average cost of a catered wedding works out to about $75 per guest. That’s $3,750 for a mere 50 guests.
9. Midday Celebration
Host your celebration midday, and serve fun snack food items. Charcuterie boards are excellent; so visually appealing they’re almost part of the décor.
Make a large batch of different kinds of pasta and salad, and let guests serve themselves buffet style. Include a side salad and garlic bread, and be sure to add fresh herbs in the pasta.
Everyone loves a BBQ, and if you’re holding an outdoor wedding, perfect. It doesn’t have to be a sloppy casual thing either. Print out little menu cards with different burger options, and have each guest check which one they’d like. You can give each a fun name. Include different cheeses, sauces, patties, and veggie options.
Remember, this is your special day. The love shared between you, your fiancée and everyone else is what matters most – it’s the reason you’re celebrating in the first place.