How to Have a Dream Wedding on a Budget

by Crystal Carder
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Getting married doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Having a dream wedding on a budget is possible, read on to find out how you can have your perfect wedding with a tight budget.

How to Have a Dream Wedding on a Budget

A while back, I had a friend tell me she wished she could have a big expensive wedding like I did, but what she didn’t know was, my wedding cost less than $1500 for 200+ wedding guest! Planning a wedding on a small budget doesn’t have to be hard, but it will take some creative planning to have the perfect dream wedding.

With a little hard work and some sacrifice, you can have a dream wedding on a tight budget. There are so many ways to plan your dream wedding on a budget, here is how I saved thousands on my wedding day.

Shop Dress Clearance

The wedding dress is one thing most brides don’t want to sacrifice on and that’s completely okay. But instead of buying fancy designer dresses, consider shopping dress clearances at bridal shops. When I bought my wedding gown, I found a gown that fit me perfectly for only $100! The gown had all the bells and whistles that I was looking for and I was able to use the extra money I saved to put into my dream wedding.

Cater Your Own Wedding

 Catering your own wedding may not be possible for everyone, but if you are fortunate to have a family that knows how to cook, consider having them cater your wedding. Although this option will not be easy and catering a wedding on a budget takes work, you can save thousands by using this option. Considering most cheap caterers charge $9 a plate, having even 100 wedding guest can cost almost $1000! When my family catered my wedding, we spent under $500 and had enough food and drinks for 200 plus wedding guest. If you think you may want to cater your wedding, check out this post on How to Cater Your Own Wedding for more tips.*

Consider having your wedding in a more traditional location 

It may sound a little out-dated, but having a wedding at a church doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. With a little bit of effort, you can find a perfect church to get married in and save a lot of money on your wedding budget. Many churches only require a small donation for using their church as opposed to the thousands you may spend to rent out a venue location.

Have a family member take photos

 Although, I recommend this with caution, having a friend or family member taking your photos can save you tons toward your dream wedding on a budget. These days, most people have a family member or a friend who practices photography, so ask for a discount.* Just be sure when asking a friend or family member to take your photos, you are at least a little familiar with their work since you only have your wedding once.

Shop around for cakes

Cake shopping is easily one of the more expensive things of any wedding reception on a budget since cakes can cost an upwards of $1000 or more. That’s why I recommend shopping around for a cake if you can’t afford this kind of price tag because fortunately, you can find someone who may be willing to cut you a great deal on a cake. When I got married, I was fortunate to find a cake baker who was willing to make a cake for only $100. Not only did she over-exceed my expectations, but my family still can’t get over how great that cake was.

Wedding Cake at My Wedding, having a Dream Wedding on a Budget

 Don’t have a strict dress code 

You can still have a beautiful wedding on a budget, even if the colors aren’t exactly what you had planned. Don’t be a stickler to certain colors when you get married and you can save a ton of money. When I got married, my sisters were my bridesmaids and they actually found matching dresses on clearance for $15 each. Even though, I wasn’t planning on using green in my wedding, the colors actually worked out nicely. Be willing to accommodate your wedding party, especially if you ask them to pay for their tuxedo rentals and gowns.




Don’t hire a DJ 

DJ’s can cost a lot of money for a wedding, so consider not hiring one. Instead ask a friend to announce the wedding party and other important things at the wedding. For music, check on using a friend’s iPod and playing music through speakers.*

Borrow your getaway car 

Not everyone can afford a beautiful getaway car, so consider borrowing one from a friend or family member. Most people have no issue with lending their car for a few hours and would be happy to help. If they need more persuading, let them offer to you to use as their wedding gift. Just be sure to check with your insurance company before doing this.

Brides, did you make any sacrifices to have your dream wedding? 



  • These are recommendations. Check with state, local, and federal laws before deciding to anything on your own. Also, photographers, this post intended to offend you, I have great respect for your work and offer this only as a suggestion for someone who may not be as fortunate to pay for an expensive photographer.

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