How to Have a Wedding for Under $1,000. Yes You Can!
Say what? Have a wedding for less than $1,000? Yes, you can I swear to you. I am going to tell you how I did and hopefully some of my ideas will rub off on you and your wedding can cost you less money! That’s the goal of best frugal wife is to help those needing and wanting to save money honey!
DIY As Much as you POSSIBLY Can
This is a big one! Now with the help of pinterest where you can fall deep down into the black hole of ideas that many people didn’t have access to just a few years ago, because it didn’t exist. I found a ton of great DIY and cheap budget frugal friendly ideas here, as in hundreds of them. Of course not everything is going to work for you, which is alright, but some ideas just might do the trick.
I DIY the following Decor along with prices:
1. DIY coffee filter garland. I purchased two packs of 150 coffee filters at the dollar tree = $2.00. My wedding colors had blue in them, so I purchased blue food coloring for $3.99 a pack and bought 2 =$7.98. I needed ribbon to string them and Walmart has thin ribbon in many colors for .48 a roll. I got 3 rolls. 1.44. Total spent =$11.42 for garland. Go ahead look at how much decorative pom poms cost I dare you…. Now pick up your jaw from the floor…. Make them!
Lace Curtains hanging on back drop. First of all my brother and sister-in-law lent us the backdrop they actually made out of a trashed trampoline base (pretty neat huh?). I got them from the Good Will on 50% day. They were each $3.99 before discount. I bought 4 of them total cost = $7.96
2. Wine bottle decor. (check out my post about the wine bottle DIY) Those were my center pieces on the cheap!
3. Card Holder. DIY style baby. I bought a vintage birdcage at a yard sale, oh probably, 4 years ago. I’m pretty sure I paid $5 for it or LESS. I purchased a pack of hanging little chalk boards from Amazon for $7.99 and the chalk board marker for $3.99 (I used both multiple times). $16.98 for the card holder. I already owned the table everything is on, yard sale buy. The basket I owned, pen holder, and lamp all already in my house. I bought the lace table-cloth for $13.99 from amazon and the Jenga tower as our guest list on amazon as well for $9.00. Total that table for card holder and “guest book” $39.97
4. Pretty Lights. Christmas is the mecca of little white string lights being sold. #1 problem is price. Naturally those lights don’t run hundreds of dollars, but when you need to buy let’s say 6 boxes of 300 lights it sure does add up. I was lucky my wedding was in February. SO when the lights went on sale after the man in the red suit vacated town I bought them at 70% off of $12.99 yes 70% off so I paid $3.90 a box. I got 6 boxes of 300 lights costing =$23.40 full price that would have been $77.94. Total savings $54.54! Of course my little white lights have a long life ahead of them lighting up the front of our home at Christmas time for many years to come!
5.Cute Signs. My husband and I have a great Realtor whose also a friend. She came to the wedding, but back when we got engaged she offered up her remaining wedding decor. I happily accepted. I didn’t use every item she gave us, but I did use a fair amount. There were cute “Mr. and Mrs.” and “Let Them Eat Cake” burlap flag signs we used. She had these great chalk board signs that we stood up on the tables between the wine bottles with adorable sayings on them we used as well. Total Price for these items =$0.00 (Free hand me downs WAHOO)
6. Odds and Ends. Amazon is my best friend, no really, best. I got a ton of stuff on amazon.com for cheap and I mean CHEAP. We decided a chocolate fountain would be fun for the kids, price to rent one, INSANE. I instead bought a small one, like fun sized for $20.00 on amazon.com. Also the bamboo skewers for the food were $5.24 Worked great, kids loved it, and was better priced compared to the $200 to rent one. Get the heck outta here $200, please!
7. Hobby Lobby Spree. My mother gave me a gift card to Hobby Lobby for Christmas, knowing I’d use it for the wedding. How thoughtful of her! Yippie! The chip board letters for the photo booth, gift card also 50% on sale. I ONLY buy items on SALE. Repeat this mantra over and over in your head. Get in the habit of searching out ON SALE items. Hobby Lobby is constantly doing sale, all the time, every day (except Sunday Funday).
Total spent on Decor
1. DIY Coffee Filters = $11.42
2. Wine Bottles = $30.21
3. Guest Book and Card Holder Combined Total = $39.97
4. White Lights for Yard Decor = $23.40
5. Signs from Realtor Friend = $0.00
6. Chocolate Fountain = $25.24
7. Drink containers = $30.30 (for 2)
8. Streamers for Photo Booth = $
9. Lace Curtains = $7.96
Total For Decor = $141.50
Now To the Food
We did a “pot luck” style reception. I mentioned this in one of my previous posts and now I shall elaborate! I budgeted $300 total for food. Since there were other people making and bringing dishes I didn’t need to spend my original budget of $500. Savings! Cha Ching!
I made the following items myself:
1. Caprice Skewers
2. Spinach Artichoke Dip
3. Meatballs in BBQ Sauce
4. Veggie tray (purchased already made)
5. 4 bottles of Merlot, 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio. We made a white peach sangria and a red raspberry blueberry sangria for alcoholic beverages. We did not do a toast of any kind and did not purchase any champagne, except the 2 bottles for my Mimosa 🙂
6. 2 bottles of sprite, 2 bottles of cranberry juice, one bottle of white peach grape juice.
I already had frozen raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries from the summer when they were on sale. (a post about this will be coming in the next month or so)
7. 5 cases of beer. There were men. They drink beer. I had to buy some. Average case price was $19.99 BAM $100 of budget on beer alone.
Food that was brought by my family really helped keep the cost down, big time. Not only cost, but the stress relief knowing people were helping out with food was a huge relief as well.
Music and Merriment
Most people when they get married hire a DJ or a band for the music. Being frugal means unless a good friend or relative is opting to “offer” their DJ services you need to think outside of the expensive little DJ box… Ipod… CHECK… Play list…. CHECK… Solution!
In other words, if you’re having a fairly informal wedding and don’t feel the need to have first dances, cake cutting songs, etc grab your phone plug that puppy into some speakers and hell play Pandora. You can upgrade your Pandora to one that has fewer interruptions and no ads for only $4.99/mo. The first week is free. So activate this a few days before the wedding, find some play lists to shuffle, and after the wedding cancel the upgrade and this won’t cost you a dime.
Music cost us = $0.00
All in the Family
My in-laws are awesome. So are my friends and immediate family. There were so many people offering help for us that it saved big time. My one sister-in-law spent many hours at my house helping making those wine bottles and garland for the day. My other sister-in-law took care of securing tables and chair rentals along with table clothes and runners (HUGE SAVINGS). Also my mother in law knew some neighbors who make wedding cakes. They made ours, not only was the cake beautiful, but tasted incredible.
My now brother-in-law spent the $19.99 online to be able to marry us legally. So there was another savings on not paying hundreds for an officiate.
Sometimes you have to get with the program and ask yourself do I really NEED to spend so much money on the wedding, or do I want a fabulous honeymoon? We opted for option 2, honeymoon. We went to Maui for one week, which was fabulous. I am as frugal as one gets, however, honeymoon was on a pricey side. We decided that we deserved a good honeymoon, a good vacation with each other if we never get another one we wanted this one to really be amazing and every bit of the trip was awesome.
Total Spent On Wedding:
1. Decor = $141.50
2. Dress = $189 +35 in Alterations TOTAL = $224 (however my mother bought my dress, so I paid $0.00 for my dress)
3. Music = $0.00
4. Cake = $0.00
5. Venue = $0.00
6. Food = $300.00
7.Husband and Son Clothing = $225 (Kohls)
8. Girls Dresses (2nd hand) = $40.00
9. Misc odds and ends = $50.00
Grand Total = $756.50
Yes, you can get married for less than $1,000. Imagine the wonderful feeling you will have after the wedding is gone and your life has begun without wedding debt!?! There are people out there who spend more on just the dress than what I spent on my ENTIRE wedding!