So, you just got engaged to the person of your dreams. That means you now get to plan your dream wedding — or does it mean you have to plan a cheap wedding? Why can’t it be both?!
Weddings can be both as beautiful as you have dreamt about while also being inexpensive. You certainly don’t have to compromise beauty or elegance when you are on a tight budget. As a matter of fact, cutting back on expenses might even reduce stress and worry as you try to check off boxes on your detailed list.
I felt like a princess on my wedding day, not only because I was marrying the most wonderful man in the world (I still think he is, even after almost 30 years of marriage), but also for two other reasons: 1) I delegated practically everything on the wedding day so I could simply be present in the glorious moments; and 2) I learned how to plan a cheap wedding.
We were married near Christmas in a church that was decorated like a winter wonderland of beauty, so we were able to enjoy those decorations for our own special day. If I recall correctly, we purchased only two floral arrangements for the sanctuary because everything else had been taken care of by the church.
Here’s hoping your day can be just as special so that 30 years later you can say it was one of the greatest days of your life. Take these 7 easy steps and plan a cheap wedding that will be unforgettable.
I have seen breathtaking gowns on local Facebook garage sale sites, as well as on Craigslist, from women who sadly ended up not getting married, or women who simply didn’t want to hang onto their gowns. I have seen designer gowns go for literally a few pennies on the dollar.
Furthermore, while it may seem counterintuitive that bridal boutiques would have some of the best deals, they actually do (not all of them, mind you, so be particular where you shop). For example, the little town of 3,700 people we just moved from had an amazing little store where the owner purchased gowns she could sell for under $500.00. She also had an area in her store for consignment gowns. I found my gown at a local bridal store where another young lady had returned that gown. I bought it for less than half its original price.
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Plus, shopping at boutiques provides that personal attention you want for deciding on that perfect dress and help you plan a cheap wedding.
Honestly, people are coming to your wedding because they love you and want to support you, not for its location. So look at a local church or even someone’s backyard rather than that ritzy event center or city museum. Churches oftentimes have their own candelabras and flowers so you don’t have to rent or purchase quite so much. Our friends’ son had his wedding in their backyard where they had strewn poppy seeds in the spring, turning their area into a field of dreamy red poppies by wedding day.
I wish you knew my young friend Danielle who got married two years ago. While I was gushing over her photos, she told me she informed her bridesmaids to purchase a blush-colored dress, something each one liked and that fit her respective personality and would wear again, for under $50.00. The dresses were different styles, but the bridesmaids looked fabulous. Allow your gals to buy something they will wear again rather than spending $300 on a gown that will only take up room in their closet.
As far as the guys go, there really is no need to rent tuxes. Find a nice black or grey off-the-rack suit at your local men’s store or even department store like a JC Penney. Oftentimes these stores have buy 1/get 1 sales, or will even offer a discount when several are purchased at the same time. No one knows where they were purchased except for you and the groomsmen. Plus, it’s likely they will be able to use the suits for other occasions.
My son recently got married and did this. All his groomsmen were preparing to graduate from college and needed suits for job interviews, so their wedding suits performed double duty. My son purchased their ties and funky socks as part of their bridal party gifts so the groomsmen didn’t have to.
They have the staff and kitchen to prepare the meal as well as the means to transport and unload the food. And if you order from the right place, once again, no one will know where the food came from except for you. For my son’s wedding, the bride’s family chose chicken Parmesan, chicken Alfredo, fresh salad and bread from a local chain restaurant. The food was fabulous, and no one complained! Actually, some went back for seconds and even thirds!
I mean, have you had a Costco cake…with the creamy mousse filling? The cake is everything you would want to serve your guests. So go ahead, get a small but out-of-this-world cake for your new spouse and you to cut, but then serve the Costco cake to your guests. They may even thank you for it.
At one wedding, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of wildflowers they made themselves that day. At another wedding, each bridesmaid carried a Calla lily that had been ordered through their local large grocery store at a fraction of the cost of going through a floral service. For my wedding, it turned out one of the secretaries where I worked was very gifted at putting together arrangements, so her gift to me was helping in that way. Don’t be afraid to ask around; someone you know just might have that same hidden talent and is willing to offer the same as my friend did.
We have attended many weddings where alcohol was not even served; we also have been to weddings where alcohol was sparingly provided. One wedding included two bottles of champagne for each table and even incorporated the bottles as part of their centerpieces. Everyone had a great time, and the hosts didn’t have to worry about their guests drinking and driving.
There are many other ways to plan a cheap wedding, and really, you won’t regret the decision to do so. Save your extra money for a down payment on a house, or even for your honeymoon. Keep the day simple so the attention will go where it naturally will go anyway – on the bride and groom. Your wedding day really can be breathtakingly beautiful and inexpensive at the same time.