Today we are celebrating 4 years married and 9 years together. I decided for this post I was going to go back in time and show you how I managed to pull off a wedding for under $2,500. Seeing as though the average American wedding can be upwards of $28,000, I thought someone might appreciate some tips on how to have a beautiful wedding without a large price tag attached.
For us the wedding ceremony itself was the least expensive part of the day since the minister who married us only required a donation for the ceremony. A lot of people also opt for justice of the peace so they can put the money they are saving on a ceremony into the reception instead.
I had to do a lot of calling around before I found a reception venue within our budget and, luckily, it was also stunning. We were able to rent the Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre for the weekend for only $350 as they only used it throughout the week for business. I believe the price has since gone up, but thinking outside the box when it comes to a venue can save you big money.
We had a small reception, only 40 of our closest friends and relatives. The amount of people you invite to the reception can make or break your budget so keeping it only to those that are really close to you and your spouse will really help with the costs, although I know this can be a bit more complicated in some situations.
For the tables I rented table cloths, chair covers and sashes which came to $195 for 7 tables. I bought the decorative balls for the centerpieces from Wal-Mart and then wine glasses, centerpiece bowls, napkins, paper doilies, and tea lights from the dollar store totalling $152.
We applied for a liquor licence and served wine at the wedding which came to $110 altogether.
For wedding favors, I found these cute decorative soaps from Michael’s for $1.00 a piece, and since we were planning on having a candy buffet, I thought they would go great with the candy theme.
I already had this decorative bird cage so I decided to use it for cards and scattered some of our engagement photos around the table for guests to look at.
For guest signatures, I found this cute scroll on Etsy and just had to have it!
I made all of the decorations myself for about $100, I don’t have pictures of all of it but I found lots of ideas off Pinterest beforehand.
We skipped the traditional wedding cake and went for a cupcake tree instead costing $140.
My favourite part of planning the wedding was the candy buffet, we only spent $200 on it and it was a big hit, plus we got to take the leftovers home :)
The candy buffet also made a cute prop for photos.
We didn’t go crazy when it came to food, which is another way to keep costs down. We had lemonade, artisan sandwiches, and cheese and meat platters which came to about $300.
I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress, so I opted for a cocktail dress with a birdcage veil and some flats. when I was shopping around for a birdcage veil, I couldn’t seem to find one I liked for under $100, so I made one! and it only cost me $10. The cocktail dress was $140 and my lace reception dress was made by a girl off Etsy for $60.
My bouquet was purchased the night before from a local grocery store for $25 and then I just trimmed the ends and wrapped ribbon around them the next morning. I also made boutonnieres and a bouquet for my bridesmaid from dried Billy Button flowers from Etsy. I ordered a batch for $35 and just wrapped them in teal ribbon, I saved a ton of money this way.
My husband is big into music so instead of hiring a DJ we made our own Motown playlist on our laptop, which was then hooked up to speakers and a mixer for the reception. My brother controlled the music for us and, because it was about a 4 hour playlist, all he had to do was control the volume when it switched songs. This only cost us $100 for new speakers.
I also have a very talented cousin that does photography on the side, so I put her up in a hotel for two nights so she could be in town to photograph our wedding.
Oh, and we also had photo props as you can probably guess from the moustaches….and my gangsta husband below.
So there you have it, a cute intimate wedding that didn’t break the bank. The only thing I might have done differently was purchase more cupcakes as I had no idea how many this little boy could eat!!