Ed Note: As wedding season marches along, saving money is the name of the game. Ashley C. of Bride on a Budget joins Block Talk to show us how she was able to pull off a beautiful wedding for just $7000. Enjoy!
Everyone knows how expensive it can be to host a wedding. So when I tell people that I pulled off mine for under $7,000, they’re always shocked and ask me how I did it. Well, I’m here today to tell you how!
First, let’s start with my budget breakdown.
Paper Products — $94
Attire — $709
Floral — $350
Decorations — $300
Catering — $1,500
Venue — $2,100
DJ — $700
Officiant – Free (we used a family friend)
Photography — $700
Other costs — $460
The easiest way to keep the cost down on your paper products it to make them yourself. You can design them in Photoshop, print them on some cardstock and then assemble them.
If you’re not design savvy, you can pay designers on Etsy to create the image for you and then you can print them and assemble yourself. It’s still cheaper than paying an invitation company to make them for you.
I bought my dress at David’s Bridal for $299 and bought my accessories online for a huge discount off what they charge at the bridal stores. You can find some great dresses at David’s Bridal for under $1,000. Also, shop sample sales to find designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price.
A lot of tuxedo rental shops will give the groom a discount or a free tux if you rent a certain number of tuxes from them, so use that to your advantage.
I found a florist that was just branching into the business and needed work to boost her portfolio. She did the work for free and only charged me for the flowers, which was great because I was able to use higher end flowers and still stay under my budget.
I picked a venue that had a lot of character so I didn’t have to do a lot of decorating. For the decorations I did use, I either made them myself or I got them for free off Freecycle or from a friend.
Instead of using linens that I could rent from the venue, I ended up buying my own linens. It was cheaper and I was able to sell them after the wedding to make back a little bit of money.
Food is very important to me, so I did a lot of research on this aspect of our wedding. I wanted something delicious, but didn’t have a ton of money to spend. I ended up finding a restaurant in town that gave us a great discount, so we got a delicious dinner for an inexpensive price.
I splurged a little on our DJ because I wanted to make sure we had a great party atmosphere at our reception. It was important to me for our guests to have a great time!
Photography was another important aspect to me, but I ended up not having to spend a ton of money on this. I researched cities around where we lived and found a photographer for a great price! I contacted her and asked how much she charged to travel and since she was originally from our city, she traveled to us without charging anything extra!
- Do your research. There are so many different options out there, so make sure to look at them all before you make your decision. Weigh the pros and cons of each to find the best one for your budget.
- Ask for discounts. A lot of vendors offer them, but don’t make them well known. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know about them.
- Negotiate. Let vendors know you want them to be a part of your wedding, but you only have so much to work with. Usually they will make an effort to work with your budget.
- Price it out before you DIY. Sometimes doing things yourself can cost more than if you just paid someone to do it for you.
I hope my experiences and tips will help you save some money while planning your dream wedding!
All pictures in this post were taken by Micha Everett Photography.