Wedding Planning .. On a Budget!

Weddings can be freakin’ expensive! All you have to do is turn on Say Yes To The Dress or grab a bridal magazine to get an idea – dresses that cost thousands of dollars, catering prices that are through the roof … but it doesn’t really have to be that way.  Yes, your wedding should be the best day of your life.  No, your wedding shouldn’t make you go empty your savings & go completely broke.

$8,000.  I have a friend who spent $8,000 on her dress.  That is also the cost of our entire wedding … yes, the entire thing.  My whole wedding cost as much as my friend’s dress for her wedding.   Sounds crazy, right? Its completely true though.  From the dress, to the flowers, to the invitations, to the catering, etc.  How, you might ask? Well, here are a few tips to give you an ideaplus, some photos from our wedding too 🙂

The Dress

Ohhhhh man, the dress.  My dress was actually off of the clearance rack at David’s Bridal.  I actually fell in love with this dress months before going dress shopping, but it was way out of my price range. I went to David’s Bridal with my mom to just *get ideas* for the type of dress I would like … and immediately we headed to the clearance section.  Why? Because the price was right, and they’re just as gorgeous as the full price dresses … seriously.

Now, I got lucky here.  My dream dress from months before was on the clearance rack! Not only that, but it was being discontinued & was the only one left at any David’s Bridal … oh, and it happened to be in my size.  However, had I not considered checking out clearance dresses, I never would have seen this beauty again.  I would never have thought of it!

Ladies, don’t be afraid to look at those clearance/discontinued dresses! It doesn’t make you cheap … it makes you sensible!


The Flowers

Flowers are another big deal! To me though, there really wasn’t a good reason for me to pay a florist tons of money for flowers that were just going to die after a few days.  Why not use silk flowers? Better yet, why not use silk flowers that my friend used at her wedding? When my friend asked me if I wanted any of her old decorations from her wedding, I immediately jumped on it.  She used silk flowers for her centerpieces … and I cut them up, rearranged them, and made them in to bouquets! All I needed to buy was some cheapo burlap from Michaels, some hair spray (this is a handy trick I’ll let you in on sometime!), and voila! Beautiful bouquets … that I could keep! Forever! For only a few dollars!


Go on … just try to tell me they aren’t just as pretty! 😉

The Invitations

Invitations … Admit it, do you ever keep them? Or do you throw them out right after you attend the wedding? Exactly.  I didn’t want to spend a bundle of money on some printed out paper, that people were just going to throw in to the trash or recycling bin.  So what did we end up doing? We went the frugal way! If you have a Michael’s Arts & Crafts near you, then you know all about the “40% off of one item” coupons that they send out in their weekly ads.  These are a wedding planner’s best friend.  We found some really cute, inexpensive invitations on & used one of the 40% off coupons toward it.  They were already inexpensive, and with the coupon, it brought the envelope/invitation/response card for each family down to a few cents.  Now, thats my kind of invitation!


displaying one of our invitations on the living room sideboard!

The Decor

Decor can definitely rack up … but if you’re careful, it doesn’t have to.  Remember those Michael’s 40% coupons I mentioned? I went through SO many of those while planning.  A lot of brides want to go out, go shopping, and buy all of their decor at once just because they are so excited.  I did it a little differently.  I got an idea of what I wanted, and proceeded to buy one item every week with that 40% of coupon.  Bird cages, hurricane jars, wicker balls, flower petals, chalk boards, etc.  One item each week until I had everything I needed.  Why pay full price if you don’t need to? Patience is a virtue anyway haha!

My other rule? I didn’t buy anything for decor unless I knew that we would use it again at home.  I currently have various hurricane jar displays, bird cages, chalkboards, etc. throughout our house as we speak! I couldn’t justify spending so much money on decor if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth out of it! This rule really helped me reign in the urge to buy every pretty thing out there, too.



one of our centerpieces going to good use at home!

ps. A bonus tip! Instead of spending money (and/or time) on little place cards … why not use a chalkboard? Its eco-friendly & convenient!

Seating Chart

What do you think? Were you a frugal bride? What tips do you have? Drop them in the comments!



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