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Top Ten Tips for an Inexpensive Wedding

Updated on January 14, 2015

Save money on your wedding

A wedding is a beautiful time, but we don't always have the money we would like to have to pull it off. Fortunately, there are ways to save money and still have a wonderful wedding to remember.

All wedding photos are copyright Barbie Crafts.

Wedding photos by Barbie Crafts
Wedding photos by Barbie Crafts

Tip 1

Buy a vintage gown

Some of the most beautiful wedding dresses I have seen lately in pictures have been purchased at the Goodwill! A vintage wedding dress adds an element of classic charm to your look, and it leaves you with a lot more money in your pocket the day after your wedding!

It is such a feeling of waste when you see that wedding gown hanging there in the closet that you spent hundreds of dollars on and you know you will never wear it again. You may envision your daughter wearing your wedding gown one day, but I can almost guarantee you she won't. Consider an immediate savings of at least $500-$1500 by wearing a vintage gown.

Tip 2

Save money on Bridesmaid Gowns

You can have beautiful bridesmaids without spending or requiring anyone else to spend a fortune. Find a street length dress that suits your colors and then buy tulle netting to make big sashes to tie in a bow. These are gorgeous. The length depends on the size of the girl and the size of the bow you want to tie.

Tip 3

Inexpensive cake decor

Regardless of the budget for your wedding cake, you can make the presentation elegant for not much money at all. Using white netting, wrap white Christmas tree lights around the cake. This is also pretty with a few white Japanese lanterns hanging overhead.

Tip 4

Make your own Bride and Groom goblets

Purchase inexpensive goblets at the Dollar Store, and glue on ribbon and pearls to make it perfect for that wedding toast!

Tip 5

Order invitations online

You can save tremendously by ordering your invitations online. This allows you to take your time in planning exactly what you want instead of making a rushed decision in the print shop. Be sure and consider the price of mailing each selection; oversized envelopes cost more to mail.

Tip 6

Save on attendants' gifts

You can spend a fortune on gifts for your attendants and flower girl. A good way to save on this and also get the effect you are looking for is to let the accessories that you prefer be the gift. For instance, there will be a gift bag for the flower girl at the rehearsal that contains a beautiful headband with a flower or feather, a fancy basket, or maybe a piece of jewelry. Of course, thrown in some candy, too!

For your bridesmaids, why not prepare little gift bags with earrings or bracelets that you like so that you don't have a gazillion types of jewelry coming down the aisle.

Tip 7

Who really notices the punch?

Save on punch by not using the traditional, expensive punch recipes that require several types of white grape juice, etc... You can use fruit punch and ginger ale or even Koolaid. Instead of sherbert or ice cream, you can also freeze strawberries in a muffin tin, surrounded by the Koolaid for beautiful floaters.

Tip 8

Save on crackers, chips, nuts, etc...

We did my daughter's wedding reception with crackers, nuts, and candy from Amazon. They have specials on odd flavors of crackers that would be just fine for a cheese tray. You will need a lot more crackers than you think you will!

Tip 9

Clear plastic plates and cups

Instead of buying or renting expensive wedding party plates and cups, why not use clear plastic? It gives a nice presentation, and using clear allows you to incorporate other clear plastic items and it looks like a set. Depending what you are serving at the reception, you may only need the small 6" dessert plates. The 9" plates allow for additional food items.

Don't get sucked into using dishes that have to be washed afterward; nobody will feel like it.

Clear plastic plates and cups - inexpensive elegance

Tip 10

Label your own water bottles

You can make the cutest personalized water bottles with just computer paper and shipping tape. Label them with a clever little saying and then put the couple's name and wedding date on there too.

Bonus Tip for You

Get free photos

Ask all of your friends to snap photos with their cell phones at the reception. Have an email address on a card for them to email the photos. You will then have a wide variety of photos for your memory book. The reason we don't want to do this in the sanctuary during the ceremony is that it can be very distracting. You might ask one or two special friends to snap some during the ceremony.

Different vantage point make your memory book more interesting.


Your wedding is a special day for you, but don't allow it to grow into something you don't want and can't afford. No matter what the magazines say, it does not have to be over the top. You are getting married, and you should enjoy the process!

Big wedding on credit or small affordable affair?

Did you choose to go in debt for your wedding or have an affordable affair?

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Leave a comment - I would love to hear any ideas that you have

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, I like your tips. A wedding doesn't have to cost a arm and a leg. Go with what you can afford. It is not wise to have a big wedding and put yourself in debt before you start life together as a couple.


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