My husband and I paid for own wedding, reception and honeymoon. We had a cheap wedding, charged nothing and paid it off without going into debt. We paid under $1,000 for a 200-guest wedding, including wedding dress, accessories, tuxedo, invitations, stationary, flowers, decorations, church, music, minister stipend, rental equipment, hairstylist and pictures. Here’s how.
* Cheap wedding dress, wedding party attire: I paid $170 for a last-season white prom dress, veil and hoop skirt. I got free lace mitts with a coupon from a wedding expo. We got discounted bridesmaids dresses and tuxedo rentals ($70 for groom) because we ordered from the same bridal boutique. We reused a first communion dress for the flower girl. Shoes cost $10 at a discount store. My hairstylist charged $20 (with bride’s discount).
* Cheap wedding invitations, stationary: The bridal boutique gave me a thank-you coupon for reduced-price invitations. I bought cheaper single-page card-style invitations with standard (less expensive) font style. I printed RSVPs on index cards and used the post card rate to save on postage. I designed and printed wedding programs. I bought thank-you notes from a dollar store. Total cost: $100.
* Cheap wedding accessories: I used gift card I got from the invitations printer to pay for a guest book, memory album and quill pen. I made the ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket and garter. Cost: $8.
* Budget wedding ceremony equipment rentals: The church lent us two candelabra and we rented a kneeler, white runner and unity candle stand. I saved buying tapers and unity candle from a discount craft store. I used another wedding expo coupon, too. Cost: $100, after $25 deposit refund.
* Cheap wedding flowers, decorations: I got a discount on silk corsages and boutonnieres from the florist because I bought my bouquet there. I made a toss-away bouquet. My mistress of ceremonies decorated the church pews with repurposed holiday ribbon, lights and bead strings. We purchased potted plants and clearance tulle. I ordered cut gladiolus from a grocery store. While pictures were being taken, she took the church flowers and decorations to the reception hall and reused them. P lants were given as wedding party thank-you gifts. Total cost: $220.
* Cheap wedding pictures: We hired a friend who gave us a discounted package price: $200 for 100 4×5 photos from reception and wedding. We didn’t order enlargements. Family paid for reprints they wanted.
* Savings on church, music minister stipends: As members, we used the church free. The minister and organist-soloist were our friends and discounted their services as wedding gifts. Total cost: $100.
It’s still possible to plan a cheap wedding under $1,000. Just follow my strategies.