Having a beautiful budget-friendly wedding is possible!
According to The Knot, the average cost for a wedding in the US in 2018 was $33,391. If you’re anything like me, your jaw dropped when you read that number. That’s a down payment on a house! The truth is, big, fancy, expensive weddings haven’t always been popular and having a budget-friendly wedding doesn't mean it won't be beautiful!
I found this on Wikipedia,
“In the 19th Century, weddings were typically small, intimate ceremonies at the home of either the parents of the bride or the parents of the groom. The announcement of the newly married couple took place at their church on the Sunday following the wedding. In the 1820s and 1830s, weddings became more elaborate, when upper-class couples had wedding ceremonies similar to modern custom. The bride usually wore the best dress she owned, so her dress was not always white, as white dresses were impractical to own. Not until the middle of the 19th century did brides start buying a dress made specifically for their wedding day. At the same time, couples began to hire professionals to prepare floral arrangements and wedding cakes, rather than making them at home.”
I don’t know about you, but the small intimate wedding pictured above really appeals to me - inside a family home, in your best dress, eating cake that was prepared by a family member. Who wouldn’t want that?
It’s no secret that I love the dollar store, and when I saw the statistics, that made me extend my frugal ways to weddings as well. When my daughter got married, we saved a lot of money by making decor on our own, planning well in advance, and setting a budget we could all live with.
It really isn’t hard to have a beautiful wedding on a budget. Let me show you how.
Tip #1: Make Your Own Budget-Friendly Wedding Decor
Dollar store wedding decor is a great way to expand your wedding budget!
Inexpensive glassware and yes, even floral supplies are a steal at one of my favorite places - the Dollar Tree. I put together simple centerpieces and guest favors for just a few bucks. No one has to know they came from the dollar store (and it’s likely they’ll never guess anyway!)
Dollar stores are also a great place to find ribbon, card stock and picture frames (think place cards!) that look just as nice as more high-end versions. Ask the bridal party to help out with putting things together. Buy pizza, supply drinks and make a night of it. Making memories is free!
Tip #2: Let Your Wedding Decor Do Double Duty
For my daughter’s bridal shower, we put together beautiful mason jar centerpieces. They turned out so well that we knew we were going to use them for both the shower and the wedding itself. They made a gorgeous statement on the big day with just a few fresh flowers tucked inside. (Bonus tip: You can get bulk flowers from Costco and Sams for a fraction of the price that a florist would charge you.)
Don’t be afraid to use your wedding decor at other wedding events during your planning phase. Each new setting will allow them to feel new. And you can always add extra small touches for the main event.
Tip #3: Host an Inexpensive but Entertaining Bridal Shower
Perhaps you aren’t planning the wedding, but instead, you’re hosting the bridal shower. There are plenty of budget-friendly wedding ideas for the bridal shower as well. (As a matter of fact, I have FREE Printable Bridal Shower Games you can download right now!) At my daughter’s shower, we sent guests home with a small bag of yummy cookies. Bake a batch or two yourself and you’ll save even more. I’d never turn down a bag of homemade cookies, would you?
Thinking about those cookies makes me also think about keeping the menu for a shower (or even a wedding) under budget. The food doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious. Remember, you’re there to make memories with family and friends. If you’re comfortable, make it a potluck. Or ask special family members to make their signature dish or a traditional family menu item. It will make things feel more special to the bride and groom.
Don’t worry, if you’re stumped I also have a round up of delicious Bridal Shower Food Ideas that are easy to make and won’t break the bank.
Tip #4: Treat Your Bridal Party to Something Budget-Friendly but Never Basic
If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, it’s likely that your bridal party will also be part of your labor force when planning, setting up and taking down the event. Make sure you treat them to a budget-friendly gift to say thank you.
Some of my favorite ideas for the ladies are snack baskets that can keep them fed and happy (no one needs a hangry bridesmaid!) on the big day; a comfy pair of flats or slippers they can dance the night away in at the reception, or a crafty custom hanger for their dress.
Snack baskets are a great idea for the guys too - or consider mini bottles of their favorite spirits. The Dollar Tree also sells small grooming kits that would be perfect to have on hand for last minute hangnails or hair emergencies. Put these together and you’ll have an inexpensive, thoughtful gift that they can also use in the future.
Yes, if you’re planning a budget-friendly wedding, you’ll have to get a little creative, set realistic expectations and ask people to help out here and there - but that doesn’t mean the wedding will be any less special. In our daughter’s case, it made things more meaningful and we all had a great time!