How to do a Budget Friendly Wedding

How to do a Budget Friendly Wedding
Tips and tricks on how to throw a budget friendly wedding
Today, I’m continuing the anniversary week fun and giving you tips on how to a budget friendly wedding.  When we first started planning our wedding, my DIY-loving heart immediately headed to Pinterest. Pin after pin, it became obvious what I wanted. Pink, gold, antique accents, garden party-ish. Once I established the look I was going for, first, I stopped Pinterest altogether (it’s dangerous, you may never decide what you want if you keep pinning) and then, I started scheming on how I could achieve this look the cheapest way possible.
 1. Get Thrifty with Bridesmaid Gifts
On a budget, but still want to give something to your sweet girls? I knew I wanted all my girls to have a monogrammed, button-up for the day of the wedding, but the lowest price I could find in-store was around $14. Sure, not bad for one, but when you’re buying for five, it adds up. So, I started hitting up my local Goodwill stores. I think the average cost for each shirt was around $5. Now that, I can do! The only down-side to this is you have to start stockpiling them about a month or more before the wedding to make sure you find them all. So, with monograms, which I had done at a local shop (still haven’t figured out my dang sewing machine!) the shirts were less than $15 a piece.
 2. Skip the Faux Flowers
I know, I know, this seems like the exact opposite of what you would do to keep costs down. Let me tell you, when I worked at Hobby Lobby, so many people came through my line with tons and tons of faux flowers for their wedding and they were spending A LOT of money. For us, we had to go with Plan B at the very last minute for flowers because our florist bailed, but, after a moment of panic, I really think it worked out for the best and the most cost-effective way.  We ended up going to a local florist, ordering a bundle of flowers (enough for the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages) and then my Mom made a stop at Trader Joe’s two days before the wedding to get some extra for centerpieces, the cake, and filler for bouquets. Using real flowers was a great option for us and in the end it was a little cheaper than buying faux flowers and it provided a great upscale look for our garden party theme. Thankfully, I have a very talented Uncle who is great at floral arrangements and he did all of the bouquets, etc.

3. Use Common Thrift Store Goods For Centerpieces
I’ll admit, I went back and forth on what I really wanted for our centerpieces. I mean who doesn’t want beautiful gilded hobnail vases from BHLDN? But, at over $10 a vase, it starts to add up quickly.  So, again, I took to my local thrift stores. I think for weddings, it’s important to go for items that you see pretty regularly. That way you can be sure that you can find enough. At our thrift stores, I regularly come across milk glass, in fact, I don’t think I can make a trip to Goodwill without coming across a bud vase. If you would like to include an item that you don’t see as frequently, make sure it’s something that you don’t need a lot of. For us, this was the mirrored vanity trays. These were harder to find at reasonable prices, so, I was buying these up to days before the wedding.

Brass candlesticks are another thing I thought would go great with our garden party theme. And, they were something that I often came across at thrift stores.

4. Make your Own Cake-Topper
This was another thing that I went back and forth on. I originally wanted a wooden calligraphy topper, but I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted it to say and then when I had decided, it was too late to order one at a reasonable price. So, Plan B yet again! I found these gold foil letters on one of my many shopping trips to Hobby Lobby and I knew they would be perfect for a cake topper. So, some of my awesome family members hot glued some skewers to the back, covered the back with gold foil flakes, and then we had a cake topper. Easy for me, but I think they were covered in mod podge and gold foil flakes by the end of it. Oh, and this was extremely affordable. I think the whole topper ended up costing less than $10!
5. Splurge on What your Guests Care About
Let’s be real, people come to weddings for a nice, tasty dinner and cake. If you have a good meal, your guests will be happy, so if you splurge on anything, let it be the food. I cannot take any credit what-so-ever for our food, my Mom definitely takes the cake (no pun intended lol) for this one! Our food was seriously the best wedding food I’ve ever tasted. Our caterer made sure everything tasted great, stayed warm, and she even came around and grabbed everyones plates as they finished. She was seriously the bomb and our guests noticed. We are still hearing how good our food was to this day. When you splurge on something that they care about, they forget about the little imperfections or glitches of the day (if there were any).
I know that some of these things are smaller (hence the cake topper), but let me tell you, that DIY cake topper ended up saving me around $30. When you’re planning a wedding, every little penny counts and it’s extremely easy for it to get out of hand. I hope for you brides-to-be, this helps and fuels your creative, do-it-yourself hearts and helps you save some coins here and there!

All photos courtesy of Brooke Nicole Photography. Check out the disaster that happened just four days before our wedding here.

And, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to pin the image below! Thanks!



  1. September 19, 2016 / 9:52 am

    It’s important to define a budget while planning a wedding. Couple of months ago, I arranged my best friend’s wedding at one of affordable San Francisco venues. It was simple but yet quite an elegant wedding. He thanked me a lot for all arrangements.

    • September 19, 2016 / 4:03 pm

      You're right, it is so important! Your friend sure is lucky to have someone like you that is talented enough arrange a wedding. It takes an eye and so much time!

  2. January 23, 2017 / 7:51 am

    There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. wedding bbq

  3. January 23, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Wow! Thank you so very much! I'm so glad this post was of help to you and that you found it! Have a great day!

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