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Weddings On A Budget... From The Dollar Store!

Updated on June 16, 2014

Everyone knows the economy is in the tank. People are struggling financially and barely able to make ends meet for necessities, much less for luxuries like putting on the wedding of their dreams. It's easy to spend in the ten's of thousands on a wedding if you're not careful, but what a terrible way to begin married life...saddled with a pile of credit card debt! There are ways to have a beautiful wedding without ending up in debtors' prison. OK, I lied. Not about the beautiful wedding, about the debtor's prison! I don't think those exist anymore---at least not in this country. Trust me, if there were, I know several people including myself, who would be locked up in one of them right now! on so you can learn how to have a beautiful wedding and still stay within your budget!

Creative Wedding Ideas

My friend Tess was on a serious budget for her wedding. I mean serious. She had been a single mom for a long time and it had taken it's toll on her finances. One thing about Tess is she is very resourceful. And creative. And she's got me for a friend. A winning situation on all counts!

Tess wanted to do a coffee and chocolate themed wedding, because those are two things she loves almost more than life itself. So the colors she chose for her wedding were chocolate brown and blueShe cut corners and still managed to have a fabulous wedding. And you can too, with a little creativity, a helpful friend,or two, and a few discount stores. One of the first things Tess did was look through magazines. She found a fabulous and easy idea for centerpieces in one of them that couldn't have been simpler. It was a beautiful arrangement done with a tall clear vase, tree branches, and bird's nests.

Coffee and Chocolate Themed Wedding

Easy enough. Tess bought the clear vases from Hobby Lobby, but you could just as easily buy them from a dollar store. If you hit a dollar store on the right day, you can even buy them by the case right from the store or you can go online and buy them. Many dollar stores sell by the case online which is great if you need things in bulk, but it's actually better to buy them from the store if you can, so you won't have a lot of extras and waste money.

The next step was a filler for the vases. Tess lucked up and had a friend give her a ton of coffee beans which we used as a filler for the vases. Great smell and unique presentation! Then it was my turn to traipse though the woods and find the tree branches. Luckily, I had a great friend who lived on a huge wooded property who let me come and cut branches down off off his trees. The tree branches were simply inserted down into the coffee beans for stability. You could just as easily use sand for a beach themed wedding or colored stones purchased from,,guess where...the dollar store!

Imaginative Wedding Ideas

You could also fill the clear vases with any number of things, even water with fresh flowers floating inside or just a floating candle on top. Another simple look is to fill your containers with fruit. Over-sized martini glasses you can purchase at Wal-Mart look particularly spectacular filled with fruit. If fruit is not particular abundant in your area, the dollar store also sells artificial fruit that looks very realistic like apples, grapes, and lemons. the dollar store has an amzing variety of vases, short and tall that you could mix to add interest to your tables from short little votive holders to tall cylinder vases. Don't forget, all these cute containers would look great on a candy buffet as well and you could buy the candy at the dollar store, too!

Picture these filled with things like votive candles and colored stones, water and submerged flowers, Hershey's kisses, or M&M's in your wedding colors.

Votive Holders & Vases

Or to save money on your head table decorations, how about alternating the short glass votive holders with colored stones in your wedding colors with the tall vases all the way down the table. As your bridesmaids arrive at the reception, have them place their bouquets in the tall vases. Tada! Instant centerpieces without spending extra money that you don't have! These star candle holders would look great with a silver or star-themed reception...i.e., "he promised you the moon and the stars!" Or you could fill them with Hershey miniatures and make new paper sleeves for them with your home printer or some pretty scrapbook paper to go with your wedding colors. None of your friends have to know how little you spent on your decor!

Use Found Items for Wedding Décor

Tess wanted bird's nest to perch in the branches of the "trees" so off to Micahel's, Wal-Mart, or whoever has the cheapest prices. Make sure to save those coupons and watch out for sales! Tess even found little eggs to put in the nests and we perched small silk butterflies on the edges and among the branches. For a beach themed wedding, you could use sand dollars or sea shells that you have picked up on past vacation.

Tess got even luckier in knowing the caterer and got all the food for the wedding at cost. My sister, who sews for weddings, made her a gorgeous retro style wedding dress and her arrangements were blue and white hydrangeas, many of which came straight from the bushes in my yard! Hydrangeas make great wedding flowers, because they bloom profusely in late spring, have huge blooms, and are relatively easy to find depending on your geographic location. Plus, they dry beautifully!

Chocolate Themed Wedding

We bought some adorable clear plastic high heels from the dollar store and filled them with chocolate covered espresso beans. Those were probably our biggest wedding expense since Tess's dogs helped themselves to about five pounds of them left on the kitchen table before we could even use them. Believe me, it wasn't pretty! We cut some very inexpensive tulle into squares, wrapped it around the high heels, and tied it off with thin ribbon than comes about 10 yards on a reel at Wal-Mart for around $1. They made adorable favors! And they were so Tess, since she is a retro nut and loves to wear extremely tall heels.

Favor Boxes & Wedding Cakes

You could just as easily use the little favor boxes they sell at the dollar store and fill them with your favorite candy. Or just print a cute card with a simple verse on it and glue a Hershey's kiss to it. Favors don't have to be expensive.

Tess knew two friends who could bake and had them make her coffee and chocolate flavored wedding cake and her John Deere tractor groom's cake. They were adorable and very personal! She had another friend who was a photographer take the pictures and still another who could DJ who spun the tunes at the reception.

All in all. it was a beautiful wedding, everyone had a ball at the reception and at the end of the day, Tess and her new husband could look back and say it didn't break them for life! So get creative and check out the dollar store and other discount stores like it. The wallet you save could be your own!



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    • Jicotea Kinsella profile image

      Jicotea Kinsella 

      4 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      Great ideas! We did our wedding on a budget too. We used little clear plastic dishes and filled them with fancy-looking chocolates as center pieces. It was a big hit and looked pretty, too!

    • Arco Hess Designs profile image

      Arco Hess 

      4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      The flowers in the glasses is very pretty.

      We spent way too much on our wedding. I dont think i'd do that again!

    • Besarien profile image


      4 years ago

      Awesome DIY wedding ideas here! I think it is so smart to make your day more special by putting your own creativity into it while saving money for the honeymoon and beyond. I love the Dollar Store. You can make anything out of stuff you can find in there. Just looking around can be so inspiring! For just about any project, it is always my second stop after I check what I have on hand and pick up whatever I know I can gather for free- driftwood, grapevine, kudzu, sea shells, pine cones, river rock, etc. Great hub!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks for stopping by, HTodd!

    • htodd profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Interesting ..Thanks for the great post

    • imatellmuva profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Absolutely DIY!!! I LOVE your sense or cents...of style!!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Ima, my latest thing has been foraging for sweet gum balls, pine cones, and sheet moss from the Dollar Tree for these fall wedding decorations I'm doing You can really do a lot with a little if you just have some creativity.

    • imatellmuva profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      What great ideas! I love party planning, and find these ideas useful for any gathering. I am totally into the Dollar Store for decorative items, as well as use what you got inside the home and out!!

      The decorating possibilities are endless, and the savings are enormous!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, RebekahELLE! I think a lot of people turn their nose up at using things for the dollar stores without even looking at what they have, but if they spent time lurking around them, as I do, they would be amazed at the kinds of things they have. Twelves cute favor boxes for $1! You can't beat that!

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      This is such a great hub! I love the ideas you used. My son recently married and I had the rehearsal dinner to plan and decorate. It was a beach themed wedding. I bought almost everything at the Dollar Tree and I never would of thought of it until the bride's mother told me that's where she bought all of her vases. So I bought the vases and was impressed with the quality! I also bought colored sand, decorative stones, votive holders and ribbon. I bought the candles at Pier One because I wanted to make sure they stayed lit! They looked elegant and the sand was one of the wedding colors. Now I use the same vases around the house and decorate them according to the holiday or season.

      I love that last photo!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Sunshyne, the dollar store is great. I think a lot of people overlook the deals that can be had there or don't have the creativity to see how they can use what's there to create something really unique and beautiful.

    • Sunshyne1975 profile image


      8 years ago from California, US

      Our wedding was very inexpensive and beautiful. I did a lot of shopping at the dollar store. Thanks for this hub. People need information like this.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      And you really don't need to spend a lot of money to do something really nice. I think fruit in a clear glass container is beautiful in itself.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      It sounds great. I love wedding planning...or any kind of festivity planning. my two daughters are awesome party planners and come up with great decorations.


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