Wedding season is upon us, and if you are a bride planning a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand if you want to pull out your hair. Wedding planning is stressful, and given our current situation, it can be something you want to avoid rather than anticipate.
For some, changes to your wedding plans may be a blessing to your bank account. For brides who are looking to spend less on your wedding day and still be the talk of the town, here a few ways you can spend under $1,500 to achieve perfection on your big day!
(To prove it, we will calculate all of our costs along the way. We will plan a wedding with a guest list of 50 people.)
Wedding Dress Hack
If you have ever been to a bridal shop or local boutique, then you know a wedding dress can range anywhere from $1,000 to 12,000 and sometimes more. All brides want to feel their very best on their wedding day, and the dress plays a big part. Instead of overspending on a wedding dress, check online stores for lower prices without knocking style. Online stores like asos.com, missguidedus.com, and lulus.com have wedding dresses ranging from 20 – 100 dollars.
We decided to go with this dress from Lulus.com. The cost of the dress: $79.00, with free shipping. The tax was an additional $5.33, which brings the dress to a total of $84.33
We suggest using the same method when picking out your bridesmaid dresses. We picked our bridesmaid dresses from asos.com. The cost of the dress: $46.90, with $4.99 for shipping. The tax was an additional $3.51, which brings the total to $55.40. Ask your bridesmaids if they would cover this cost so you won’t have to. (Bridemaids usually cover this cost, so we will not be adding it to our total wedding cost.)
Believe it or not, bridal shoes can cost hundreds of dollars. If your cheap like us, you can’t imagine paying anything over 50 dollars for any kind of shoes. Lucky you, we scouted a few sites to get more for your money. Stores like JCPenny, TJMaxx, and Forever21 have many bargains when it comes to the wedding shoe look.
We will be buying our shoes from JCPenny, allowing us to ship to the store, saving us money. The total cost of wedding shoes: $24.69, with free pickup from the store. Tax is an additional cost of $1.67, which brings us a total of $26.36.
Suits can get expensive. You want to make sure all your groomsmen can buy the same options for less. We decided to stick with JCPennys on this one. JCPenny has a large affordable selection of men suits and dress shoes. You can also check places like Walmart, Amazon.com, Target, and TJMaxx for bargains.
We decided to go with an untraditional look to save some money. We will be dressing the men in suit pants, fitted dress shirts, suspenders, belt, and dress shoes. The cost total came to $144.45, with a discount of -39.29. The tax was an additional $7.10 with free shipping, coming to a total of $112.26.
Just like the bridesmaids dress, have a conversation with your groomsman to see if they can cover the cost of their attire. We will not be adding the value of the groomsmen’s attire to the final price.
Instead of spending loads of money on stamps, envelops, and paper needs, opt-in for digital invitations and announcements. Sites like etsy.com and WeddingChicks.com have customizable invites for less than $5.00.
We will be using an invite suite from WeddingChicks.com.
Save The Date, Wedding Invitations, RSVP, and Detail Card will cost us a total of $12 ($3 each).
WeddingChicks.com will give you the option of downloading and printing your cards and invites. You can print out unlimited invited for 24 hours. For the sake of saving money, we will send all invites and announcements via email and text.
A wedding cake can get out of hand when we are talking about price. To avoid paying too much for your wedding cake, we advise you to buy a tiered cake from your local supermarket. DO NOT SAY THE WORD WEDDING! Saying the W Word can triple the cost.
We did some calling around and found some great prices. Walmart makes a three-tiered cake for $140, and Harris Teether only makes two-tiered cakes starting at $49.99 that only serves 24 people. Due to our guestlist being 50, we will splurge for the $140 cake from Walmart, decoring it with leftover flowers from the bouquet to save money.
The cost of the venue can rack up your overall costs pretty quickly; one reason why we decided to keep the guest list short. Depending on the number of people, your guest list can be a deciding factor on your final cost for the venue. When planning your wedding on a tight budget, think outside of the box when hosting your wedding. Places like the park, beachfront, and local community centers tend to be a bit more cost-efficient.
Planning local could also help cut costs as well. For our fabulous wedding, we will be choosing the Wayne County Museum. We used eventective.com to find venues and event spaces to plan the cost of the venue. For 50 people, it will cost us a $100 service fee plus $400 for a four-hour event ($100 an hour), bringing us to a total of $500.00. This price also includes tables and chairs, which is why we love the Wayne County Museum!
When you are looking for wedding venues, make sure you ask if tables and chairs come with the rental fee. This factor can be the difference between an affordable wedding venue or an overpriced one.
If you do not want to have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place, use your local church to hold your wedding ceremony. To stay on budget, we will keep both the wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue. Holding the ceremony and reception in one place can minimize the cost of transportation.
To minimize the cost of decorations, we will be going with a minimalist approach. Setting the dinner wear on the table before the guest arrives will give your guest tables a decorated look without the hassle. The time of your wedding can affect the cost of your decorations as well. If you decide to have a day wedding, you can eliminate the cost of candles and opt-in for a simple floral design. Something else to consider is the size and shape of the tables. For demonstration purposes, we will be using seven 8ft long tables; this will accommodate the 50 guest plus and an extra table for the bride and groom.
For decor, we will start at the Dollar Tree. Check out your local dollar stores and bargain outlet shops for significant discounts on wedding decor. We decided to go with two bud vases per table (the bud vases are from the Dollar Tree, $1 per Vase. We need 12, bringing our total to $12) with one stem of Preserved Weeping Willow Eucalyptus and one stalk of dried floral Echinops Globe Thistle, from Afloral.com. We decided to go with dried flowers due to their longevity, which will stay fresh throughout your entire event. In total, this will cost us about $92.20 (flowers plus shipping will cost us around $80).
Bouquet and Boutonniere
Traditionally bouquets and boutonniere are made with real flowers. If you are on a tight budget like us, then you know real flowers are out of the question. If real flowers are a must-have for you, we recommend Samsclub.com. Sams Club has an array of fresh flower bundles for a low cost. Making your flowers yourself will be time-consuming but can save you a hefty chunk of your budget. You can also check out your local grocery store’s floral section. Places like Harrist Teeter and Trader Joe’s have beautiful small floral arrangements starting at $4, so get creative.
To the rest of the Brides that are more concerned with saving money, artificial or dried flowers are the way to go! As mentioned before, we will be getting our flowers from Aflora.com. Aflora.com is a fantastic website where you can get beautiful artificial and dried flowers for a low cost. Keeping the bundles small, we will order all of our bouquet and boutonniere supplies from Aflora, saving some stems to decorate our cake.
We decided to go with the same flowers present on our table decor. Instead of spending money on the same items twice, we will upcycle the bridesmaid’s bouquets and use them for table decorations. This solution will eliminate paying $80 for flowers on the table, allowing us to -$80.
Two bunched of Dried Floral Echinops Globe Thistle in Blue Green and two bunches of Preserved Weeping Willow Eucalyptus will run us $109.05, including shipping and tax.
Music is a must-have at a celebration. To spend less, create a music playlist for all events – ceremony & reception. To make things fun for your guest, ask them to send in a favorite song to be played during the wedding reception. Using this idea, we come out of pocket $0.
The cost of feeding your guest can be massive. More and more people are finding creative ways to cut this cost, that may sound tacky until you see it on Pinterest. One Pinterest idea we found was a guest pot lot. If you went in this direction, you could immensely cut costs. You could even ask a few guests to donate food warmers instead of buying a wedding gift.
If you cannot wrap your head around this idea, we suggest feeding your guest one meal. We decided to go with a Pizza Bar for our meal selection.
To dress it up, we will add in breadsticks and give each guest a bite-size piece of cake for dessert. You can add in different spreads for the bread, making it a DIY station.
We decided to go with a local favorite, Brooklyn Pizza, in Goldsboro. Using the prices listed on their website, we can get ten pizzas for the amount of $220 (each pizza costing $22). Each 20” pizza feeds 7-8 people, allowing everyone to have about four slices. For 100 garlic knots, we are looking at the cost of $30, suppling enough bread for our guests.
Ask your family or friends to donate sweet tea and water to cut out the cost of beverages for your guest. In total, with the Pizza Buffet, we would spend around $300, budgeting for tax and tip ($250 for pizza and garlic knots and $50 for tax and tip).
Wedding Photographers can cost you thousands of dollars. We want to have memories of our wedding day to look back on and share with family and friends. To maximize your budget and still create those memories, look to your local college for students taking photography classes. Many undergrad students are excellent photographers and will capture your wedding photo for below cost.
If you are looking for a way not to pay any money, get your guest to take photos and videos with their smartphones. Make a digital photobook and allow your guest to upload their photos. By making a digital photo book curated by your guest, you can save money and receive unique photographs.
We decided to spend $0 on a photographer by created a digital photobook.
To cut costs, stick to one alcoholic beverage, and only use it during the toast. You can buy wine in bulk from places like Costco and Sams Club. If you are in the military, check your local commissary for deals on wines and spirits. For $127.78, we can pick up 15 1.5L bottles of Member’s Mark Pinot Grigio from Sam’s Club.
Do not stress over your wedding rings. It’s great to show off your wedding ring to all the girls, but remember, you can always opt for the low-cost ring and update it at any time. To save money on your rings, check out places like JCPenny, Blue Nile, and even Amazon. You can find nice-looking rings that shine to perfection, without the massive debt. Turn it into a special occasion, by saving up for new rings once you have reached your 1st year or 2nd anniversary.
We picked out our wedding rings from Amazon.com. The total cost of his and her wedding ring set came out to $49.18, including tax and shipping.
More Things To Think About
We know the importance of getting married and making it beautiful. We also know there’s comfort in knowing financial debt doesn’t await you in your new married life. Start on the right track, and avoid the over pricey wedding day. By doing so, you can spend more money on planning a nice getaway for you and your new life partner. Remember:
- Decorations and accessories don’t have to ruin your bank account or cost you your life’s savings.
- Traditional is always beautiful, but finding creative ways to accomplish an old tradition can also be impressive.
- Avoid saying the word WEDDING; this can lead to cheaper deals and significant bargains.
- If a friend can do it, ask for their help instead of receiving a physical gift from them.
- Borrow items to avoid paying for them.
- Stop at your local thrift stores and dollar stores for decorations and discounts.
- Don’t be afraid to use paper plates and plastic cups.
- If choosing between deciding to spend or save money, always pick the option that allows you to save money.
Finally, when we added all of our expenses listed above, our wedding averaged out to $1,345.38. With a budget of $1,500, this will allow us to plan for unexpected costs. Hopefully, this article helped you plan, replan, and cut costs on your upcoming wedding day!