10 Ways to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Cheap Budget

10 Ways to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Cheap Budget

Wedding Budget Aisle Runner with Photos

Photo Credit: The Other Sister Photography/via Oh Lovely Day

Are you looking to have a beautiful wedding on a cheap budget? So he proposed to you. Now what? Oh my goodness, I realized a few days later, after the initial excitement came down, that I was getting married. I grew up in a humble home financially. My parents did a great job at making my brothers and I feel like we had money, yet we knew the truth as we got older. Just like other girls there were a few things I just had to have in my wedding, that I always dreamed of, since I was little. I wanted fireworks and lots of sparkles in my dress.

So what have you always dreamed of having in your own wedding since a little girl?

Have you ever seen the tv show Extreme Cheapskates? I am not that bad, however I have always been a frugal kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong here, I like expensive things (that is my Grandmother in me), but I just will not pay for it. I will make it myself, or wait till it goes on sale. Every now and then (like one per 3 years) I may see something that I know I cannot make and will not be in my size or something like that, if I do not buy it “now,” so I go ahead and buy it “now.”

So as the wedding preparations begin, I started to collect many different free bridal and wedding books to get ideas from for my wedding. Let the imagination begin.

1. Go to stores like Goodwill, or borrow wedding planning books from friends, or go on the internet and download Free wedding checklists.

2. Start looking for family and friends to help pitch in financially by making crafts, decorations, dresses for you, etc. If that is not available, then there is power in social media and you just might find someone who has connections to others who can make things cheaper for you rather than buying in directly from a store new. I was able to combine several ideas I liked from different wedding dress pictures, and then have my husband’s birth mother make my wedding dress. Not everyone is that fortunate to have someone in the family like her, but you can find stores that are re-sell or wedding dress discount stores around the world. Again, just use Google to find some or ask a friend.

3. I know it is not for everyone, but my husband and I just wanted to make sure we had a cake topper and main cake to save for ourselves, so we found a nice decoration that looked like a gazebo and we put a photo of us in it, then put that on top of a small nice cake from Walmart, as opposed to buying a very expensive cake. We then bought several other sheets of a similar cake to ours, for our guests. The cake tasted great. The only difference is it was not in stacked layers like an official wedding cake. That does not mean that you could not purchase a tiered cake stand and layer it yourself. Be creative.

4. Find someone you know or call a local photography school and ask if anyone there need to put together a portfolio and would be willing to take your wedding pictures on a budget.

5. As far as the flowers, I know not everyone would go for this but I always wanted my wedding day to last forever. I did not want it to end, especially since I have been planning it for so long. I chose to use fake or silk flowers, so that I can keep them years into the future. I currently have some saved in our own decorative Wedding Time Capsule, along with other memorabilia and mementos from the first year of our marriage. I plan to open the time capsule on a special anniversary, years into the future, to reminisce about what life was like the year we were married. I cannot wait. You can get your own Wedding Time Capsule here.

Wedding Day Mementos - wedding time capsule

6. The decorations – In addition to having family and friends help you make them, you can also plan your wedding after a holiday or season, or just watch throughout the year at craft stores and purchase decorations half off. If you are like me, I took a chance and kept waiting and purchased fall color decorations for 75% off. That thrilled my parents, which made me happy because we all were happy.

7. The venue – Some like tradition, some people are open to new things. I am a mixture of both. Because my husband and I have gone to church almost all our lives, and were regulars, we chose to have our wedding at his church (due to the set up compared to the church I came from). Having the wedding at his church made things very inexpensive, practically free, since he has gone there for so many years and they knew him. If you just take the time to plan your wedding, shop around and compare prices, and even strategically plan to have the wedding during a dead time, you may get better discounts off of the venue. Again, always ask your friends who have been married already, for their suggestions too. You could also have your ceremony at home or outside somewhere.

8. The reception – Create your own mix of music and use your own or borrow a nice stereo system to play the music. Luckily we had a friend who would DJ for us. Who says it has to be a full catered meal for everyone? Rent table cloths, napkins, dishes, and other needs for the wedding and reception. Again, my family could not afford that. So, we made it look nice with our discounted decorations, and had snacks we made ourselves. You can also have a pitch in reception. I have heard from other friends that these can be very fun, yet different. Have each guest bring the meal with a recipe card so the couple can have their first cookbook made that day at the reception, with all the recipe cards put together in one nice book. What a great idea?

Wedding Budget Post Cards

9. Thank You cards – Send out nice photo post cards to everyone, instead of a letter to each of them. You can make these like very nice, yet they are less expensive. We even made our own invitations and ended up liking them better than the store bought ones, because we could make them personal with our own photo on them. This was great, for family or friends who could not come to the wedding, yet now had an updated picture of us to keep.

10. Make your own aisle runner. You can be creative and add your own personal touch. Check out this creative time capsule aisle runner with the couples photos on it in a sequential order from when they met until the day they get married. What a great way to capture their milestone moments together as a couple, and have an aisle runner to keep the rest of their lives in their own Wedding Time Capsule. I love it.

With so many helpful websites, blogs, and people willing to share their ideas on the internet, it is easier to plan a beautiful and luxurious looking wedding on a frugal budget. For other great helpful websites on this topic, check out 101 Ways to Save Thousands on Your Wedding and The Knot’s 30 Ways to Save Money on your Wedding.

Oh and one more thing, just so you know the janitor at our church who has helped set up thousands of weddings there said “that was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen here.” It touched my mother’s heart and helped her feel at ease. She and I did not want it to look cheap, but had to make it frugal due to our budget. He made our day. Mission accomplished in our minds.

Have fun being creative with your wedding. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun.

So what is the best idea you can offer someone getting married, to help make their wedding day cheaper? Comment below.


Making Milestone Moments Count,

– Marcie