How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget, A Shoestring Budget..

How to plan a wedding on a budget challenge I had was to do all of this and do it for $3,000. Yes, you heard me right, just $3,000. I expected to pay for my own wedding however; at the last minute my parents came through and offered me three grand as a wedding budget to plan it, start to finish. Since my expertise is getting the best deal, I was up for it. See what I did with my wedding checklist!

  • Announcements
  • Newspaper Announcement
  • Dress
  • Tux Rentals
  • Shoes
  • Cake
  • Catering of Food
  • Venue
  • Decorations
  • Priest
  • Music
  • Thank You Cards
  • Flowers
  • Photographer

It started with the date. I found that if you don’t set a date you really have no starting point. Number one on my Wedding checklist  was to pick a date. Picking a date locks everything else in. I suggest picking the venue first. Without a place to have your wedding it won’t matter if everything else is set up. Picking the venue may take a few tries if the original location you want is not available or not affordable. I picked the VFW Lodge for my venue.

I had my ceremony and reception at the local VFW Lodge. I talked my dad into becoming a member so I could save money. This saved me half price. There was a bar on the other side of the wall which worked out well for me. My guests bought their own alcoholic beverages by simply walking to the window where a bartender was. I estimate my savings to be around $500 not serving alcohol.

The longer your engagement is, the more time you have to plan your wedding and find good deals. I purchased all the drinks, plates, utensils, etc myself. I simply watched for sales and stocked my house with everything I was going to need in advance. Many of the sodas I bought were buy one get one free – add coupons to that price and you have a real bargain.

I ordered my dress and my announcements online. While looking through Bridal magazines I found the dress I had been searching for. I visited over 10 bridal stores searching for a dress within my budget that I liked without finding anything. The minute I came across the dress I ended up purchasing I knew it was the one for me. I called the manufacturer and was told how to order it. I visited my local dress shop and put in a request for them to order the dress. I paid $400 for my dress while everything I was looking at on racks were $1500 and up. This is a great way to save. I also bought the announcements online. I found someone local who worked out of her house that ordered them for me. She helped me pick  just what I needed and stay within my budget. I believe I paid just over $1 an invitation to include the yes or no response card.

Again, the DJ I chose was willing to introduce the bouquet toss, the first dance, the cake cutting, and took requests for songs. He did an amazing job and was reasonable for the work he provided. Ask for reviews from past customers and if available, call them. Check out any copies of weddings they DJ’d for and watch the work. This is an important part of your day and it must be right.

Have you been to weddings only to wonder what you were being served for dinner? The food was something you would never order while dining out. Well, I decided not to follow the same path that many others do on their wedding day. I had BBQ at my wedding. BBQ is one of those foods that everyone likes and everyone can afford. I paid $300 for the food, delivered, and served. I had more compliments on my choice of food. Actually I had quite a few compliments on  my wedding. It was so unique and fun that others wanted to have something similar to what I did.

My suggestion when hiring a photographer is to look around again. Look for the cheapest package, which is the one I recommend. You want a few professional pictures and some where no one is posing. Add a few throw away digital cameras on the tables for anyone who chooses to use them. Encourage some close friends to bring a camera as well to take pictures. This way you will get shots that are impulsive. With so many cameras around you could never be ready for all of them and you will get some awesome shots.

Omg, I forgot to mention the flowers, or the lack of flowers in my case. When you realize how expensive flowers are you will find another solution. I used balloons for decorations at my wedding, but if you are set on fresh flowers do them yourself. Yes, I found a place that teaches a quick technique to make your own wedding flowers.

With just a few simply modifications to the standard wedding anyone can  do it on a shoestring budget. Here are a few recommendations I have, check them out and see if they will help you too.

Get this wedding organizer. It took the place of a real life wedding planner and I brought it everywhere with me.

See if ordering your wedding invitations/reply cards online will save you money.

Find out how to simply and quickly make your own wedding flowers.

Have a wonderful wedding on a budget.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Planning a wedding