Greg and I had been together over four years when we got engaged. So naturally we were ready to get married right as soon as we got engaged. I remember one of the first conversations we had about wedding planning Greg very hesitantly said something about not wanting to have a huge wedding where we spent all our money and had to wait a long time to plan it because he just really wanted to be married. To which I kind of laughed in his face a bit and said, “Do you even know me?”
Sure I, like most girls, had dreamed of that Pinterest wedding at some point but once I got engaged I realized a couple of things:
- I didn’t want to plan that wedding. (Or put off the wedding in order to plan it.)
- I didn’t want to pay for that type of wedding.
Also, I just really really wanted to be married too. Like, stat.
So I told him in that conversation, “Greg, I don’t want that either, give me a timeline and a budget and I’ll make it happen.” He basically said he would like to be married by July and spend around $1000.
Well the cost came to a little over $1500 but out of our pockets was probably around $1000 and we were married on June 8th. So it kind of compromised itself. ;)
So for your perusal and just curious minds I’m going to break down how we did that.
A Wedding on a Budget: My Wedding Under $2,000
LOCATION – $0
I said ever since my sister moved into her house that I loved it so much I wanted to get married there. It was a beautiful house but the property around it was just magical and initially I thought maybe it would happen in the barn that was on the property once they owned it and the barn was cleaned out (they were renting the house at the time) but they were still renting when Greg proposed.
I didn’t really have any other place in mind, I loved the property so much. But I officially asked her if we could use her home after he proposed and thankfully she said yes!
DINNER – $250
I was still working in the kitchen of a retirement home at the time and had been for four years at that point. I think it had been joked around a little bit about some of the cooks getting together and doing my food (they were all relatives and cooked for family parties all the time) but I mentioned the idea to Greg who likes that type of food and he was all for it. So I hesitantly asked them if they would be willing to come out and do it. (My sister’s house was an hour and a half away.) Luckily they said yes and charged me basically the cost of the food and not anything more!
CAKE – $75
I really didn’t want to have some fancy cake and truly didn’t think it was worth the cost of most wedding cakes. So I again asked the main baker we had in the kitchen if she would be up for it. She was super nervous because she wanted it to be perfect but she agreed. Again, I just had to buy all the supplies!
DRINKS – $37
For drinks we had water bottles because it was a pretty hot day but we also had a couple of dispensers with Crystal Light Lemonade and Peach Tea. My favorite. :)
DRESS – $18
I had a heck of a time finding a dress. I knew I didn’t want your typical ballgown but was having a hard time finding the perfect mixture of special occasion and yet understated. I had basically settled on a dress I had found but didn’t really get butterflies with it. I was out shopping for something else with one of my bridesmaids when I came across a beautiful little number. I called my friend back into the dressing room and told her I thought this was the one. She was a little hesitant at my decision because I had sort of cried wolf a lot about this. But she loved it too and I walked away with butterflies. Oh, and it was $17.99 from T.J. Max.
VEIL – $7
I wanted those small birdcage looking veil so I bought some tool, a flower and a clip and put it all together for under $10.
SHOES – $12
I had wanted to wear lace Toms but sadly waited too long to order them and then didn’t want to pay to have them rushed. It was about 2-3 days before the wedding and I still didn’t have shoes. I knew what I wanted, kinda, but I hadn’t actually found/bought them. Two of my bridesmaids went with me and we found a knock off pair of red Toms for $12. I ended up wearing them all throughout our honeymoon and they are probably my shoes with the most sentimental memories and adventures. I love them!
TUX – approx. $100
Greg’s tux was a rental for a little over $100. But his family went with him and graciously ended up covering that cost!
Music – $135 // We rented speakers and a microphone and had one of our friends “DJ” using music we had downloaded onto my Macbook.
Tables & Chairs – $178 // We accidentally ended up renting way more than we needed because I put extra on hold and forgot to tell the person picking them up that we didn’t need them all. So we actually would have paid a lot less had I remembered that!
Flowers – approx. $80 // Greg’s mom and aunt took care of the flowers for us and I never knew exactly how much but this was her estimate from memory. I know she did purchase the flowers from Fred Meyer. She picked up the bundles the day before and then put the bouquets together there for us.
Flower Girl Basket & Pedals – $4 // Goodwill! ;)
Invitations – $30 // I designed them myself and just had them printed on white card stock.
Photography – $500 // This was pretty much the thing I was willing to fork out some cash for. Even more so than my dress because I wanted my photos to turn out lovely and I ended up getting a great deal.
Tablecloths & Cutlery – $39 // We used plastic for both but wrapped the cutlery in ribbon to make it look nicer. Also we used two tables cloths per table and used one as a “runner” down the middle.
Marriage License – $64 // The technical stuff is always no fun.
Like I said our family chipped in on a bunch of stuff but the cost to actually put our wedding on was very low overall. Now we did have a fairly small wedding. We joke that if we got married now it would be totally different due to how many people we have met and gotten closer to in the last few years. But at the time we had our family and close friends and we really didn’t need anyone else there.
I know it can be hard to scale down your wedding both budget and size but here are a few of my tips.
- Choose a budget, (a what are we willing to spend amount) and stick to it.
- Decide ahead of time before getting numbers, what the most important things to you are, aka what you are willing to spend the most on.
- Remember no matter what the bride is always beautiful no matter what the dress looks like, and your pictures are always magical no matter how expensive or inexpensive the photographer is because they are pictures of your wedding.
- Don’t invite out of guilt, ever. EVER. EVER. EVER.
- Allow people to help or even ask them. Whether it’s food, or using someone’s property, or some of their canning jars for centerpieces. You’d be surprised how many people would feel honored to be even asked and to be apart of your day.
- Invitations will be thrown away by 80% to 90% even if there is a picture with it.
I hope you enjoyed a peak into our day and our finances. I like being open with you all here on the blog. It makes us feel like real life friends! :)
P.S. All photos done by Fyrelite Photography
Psst! If you are at the beginning stages of planning and need to start saving your pennies! I’m offering a free mini course to help you spend minimally which can help you save all the extra money you need!
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