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How to plan a Wedding cheaply

Updated on February 25, 2012

Just a few pics to enjoy!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bride and Father of the BrideSee?  A disposable camera!!Had to include the ring bearer!
Bride and Father of the Bride
Bride and Father of the Bride
See?  A disposable camera!!
See? A disposable camera!!
Had to include the ring bearer!
Had to include the ring bearer!

Nothing wrong with being informal

So you’re getting married? You’ve decided after reading “How to begin planning a Wedding” that you need to plan your wedding on a budget. That’s where I come in! I’m great at cost cutting! Yes, I admit it; I have been called ‘cheap’ from time to time. That’s ok, I figure why spend extra money when you don’t need to? No one says that all weddings have to be ‘formal’; keeping a relaxed atmosphere can make your guests feel welcome and ready for fun.

We are going to address items from ‘the list’ from part one and go from there. Even in a back yard (or anywhere else) wedding you still need to make preparations. Keeping a spiral notebook handy will save you a lot of worry! Tuck it with you wherever you go so you can make notes as you think of them.

Shop around!!

A budget wedding in 20 easy steps!

1. When, Where and What (type) – In order to have a ‘cost cutter’ wedding, being able to have an outdoor wedding and reception is going to save you TONS of money! Why? Why not have it all in one place? This way there is no Limo to rent, not to worry about having a fancy car to drive around town beeping your horn. You can roll from the wedding to the reception quite easily! So plan on having your wedding during warmer weather.

2. HOW much money do you have to spend? You can spend a little each week from your paycheck to make things as nice as possible if you get your list ready first. Saving your money for the BIG things is key to planning a lovely wedding on budget! You have to decide what those ‘Big’ things are. Dress? Cake? Food? Hair and Nails? Whatever they are, you decide.

3. WHO – will perform the ceremony? If you look around you may find there are numerous people who are able to do this for you. There is an online place someone can go to the get their certificate to be able to do this for you. It’s called Universal Life Church. Anyone can easily be eligible to join, and then perform a marriage ceremony. Why would you want to do this? So you can have a backyard wedding of course!! Or a wedding standing in a lake or in a mud bog contest, wherever it is that you and your intended want that wedding to be! Some ministers would be willing to do this for you, but what if they weren’t?

4. Either you or someone you know could make your dress. This could save you LOTS of money! There are also places that you could purchase a ‘ready-made’ dress ie; Craigslist, Ebay or your local newspaper! Mom or Grandma may have saved that wedding dress with the hopes that someone else could use it.

5. Your Bridesmaids dresses DO NOT have to match! They can be different. They may already have something in their closet that would suffice, maybe they were in a wedding once before.

6. Invitations can get costly, but there are a lot of great computer programs that allow you to make your own. This way all you have to do is provide the ink, paper and stamps!

7. Your Groom may have a suit or possibly his father has one he can borrow for the event. You may want to consider he if even needs one, depending on the type of ceremony you wish to have.

8. Back yard weddings can be loads of fun but you may have to plan ahead just in case of rain. Yep, rain happens at the most inopportune times. Calling your local tent and awning and checking on renting a covering will give you peace of mind if you don’t have garage everyone can congregate to.

9. Tables and chairs will be needed to rent as well. You are going to want your guests to have a place to sit and eat. You will need a place to have your food set up as well. If you or someone you know belongs to an organization they may allow you to borrow them or rent them. Having people traipse in and out of your kitchen might not be the thing that you want.

10. With an outdoor/backyard wedding you can get away with just serving beer. Go to your local liquor store and purchase a keg for your guests. You will need a barrel to set it in and fill it with ice to keep it cold. If you plan on this you can let your guest know in the invitations that beer will be provided but BYOB (Bring your own Booze) will also be allowed.

11. Decorations – Keep it simple. Table coverings and balloons will work just fine! If you want more, hit your local dollar store and see what they have.

12. Port-a-potty – You may want to consider renting one of these for your party. They generally run around $125.00, will deliver it and pick it up. With food and drinks people WILL need to use the bathroom.

13. Music – Maybe you know someone who can DJ music for you? Possibly you know some local kids who need band practice? You will need electricity for this so plan on having some extension cords for them.

14. Food – You will have to provide your guests with sustenance. Who do you know that can cook? Have you set aside money for a caterer? Mom might be the BEST cook in the world, but you may want to think about having her do this on your day. Unless the menu allows for cooking ahead of schedule and freezing prepared items, you may want to ask someone else to do it for you.

15. The Cake – Yes, you want to have a cake. Try to find someone who can make it for you. If not this will be part of your ‘big’ expense.

16. Pictures – You are going to want pictures to remember your big day. Maybe you know someone who has a really nice camera or video equipment. This might be their gift to you. You could also purchase disposable cameras and have them set on the tables for your guests to take pictures. This can be a lot of fun, that way you are sure not to miss a thing from your day! 2 cameras per table should do just fine.

17. Shopping at budget places for items such as champagne glasses, a guest book, table favors, ring bearer pillow (if you are having one) are not unheard of. Look around your world, if you can craft, making these items can save tons of money.

18. Make your own veil! Yes, that is a big expense. Using a comb (from a discount store) with some nylon tulle and fake flowers you can make a gorgeous veil!

19. Bouquet – Make your own bouquet or for a small fee you can purchase one ready-made that is fake and will last for years! These are great for tossing to all the single ladies as well!

20. Delegate! Yes, that will help you out a lot. Give your friends and family things to do. Most of them want to help; just don’t know what to do. They too may have some GREAT cost cutter ideas! Just because they give you an idea doesn’t mean you have to use it but listen to them and thank them for their input.


Now that you have your planning well on its way, relax a bit and pamper yourself. Take a little time to get some rest and look your best for your special day. It may seem a bit daunting at first but when you get started on the planning you may leave a few things out if it doesn’t fit into your budget. Don’t get discouraged, no matter how perfect the planning goes something may go wrong. It’s ok if it does, life will go on. You will still have the groom of your dreams and the marriage of a lifetime to get you through!

If all else fails and you decide this is just too much planning, get plane tickets (train tickets or gas up the RV) and head off to Vegas for that Elvis Chapel!! Wedding and honeymoon all wrapped into one!


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks! So glad you liked it!

    • traslochimilano profile image

      traslochimilano 5 years ago from USA

      Great Hub sweety,

      This is a nice topic that how plan a wedding cheaply and you gives different way of saving. I will be follow it...

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - Some day - right!! Best of luck to you in that endeavor!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Great info here! I'll surely use it, if he ever pops the questions in the next decade! lol, voted up.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      This is true!

    • Geraldnduru profile image

      Geraldnduru 5 years ago from Kenya

      great hub.weddings do not just happen they are planned and the budget has to be within your means

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York an experienced MIL ...."non-intrusive" = great MIL= Good relationships= happy family moments= YOU are a smart lady!! I like things as they are....happy & peaceful. I don't want to be "involved" in my son's personal lives!

      Of course, you'll be a terrific MIL!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      Oh boy don't I know about the Bridezilla!! My daughter tried not to be one, but... Well it does happen. One can only hope that I will have a good relationship with the brides of my sons. I'm a non-intrusive mom so one can safely assume that as a MIL I will be terrific!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York a mother of 4 married sons.....unless your future DIL "invites you" to share in the plans....don't worry your pretty little head.

      There's a saying about Mothers of the Groom....."Shut up, Show-up, Pay-up and wear beige." I did all that. No problem. I insist on a healthy, happy relationship with my sons' wives....have you heard of the reality show, "Bridezilla?" The sweetest, meekest young ladies in the world turn into a semblence of Linda Blair in the Exorcist......when they're planning their weddings!!! lol!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      LOL Oh yes, I'd wear a button that says 'I'm cheap' if I could find it at a goodwill store!

      I have to admit my wedding cost me less than $200. It was done on my folks' back porch and of course I had help with the food and beer costs! But we had the BEST time and that was 27 years ago. Yes, we are still together!

      The pictures are that of my daughter's wedding, the first of 5 weddings to be planned. Not that any more are up and coming yet!! My 2 other girls want backyard weddings, the boys? Well time will tell what they want.

      Thanks for being right there with me in the 'cheap' arena!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      sweetsusieg....We share some things my dear! First, I'd like to say, "you wear that label 'cheap', with pride!!" I've worn many-a-knick-name, but guess who everyone runs to when they want advice on budgets and financing??

      I agree with you 100% in terms of how foolish it is to SPEND MONEY THAT NEEDN'T BE SPENT! Especially in these times, if you can achieve your goal for XX amount of dollars, what could possibly justify spending twice as much, or more?

      I'm confident you can out together a glorious wedding for the least amount of expense!! You go girl! Up +++