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Planning a Frugal Wedding

Here are tips for Planning a Frugal Wedding. Love is in the Air 🙂 They say that Valentine’s Day is a very popular day for engagements so I thought we should talk about planning a frugal wedding.

I am going to have to admit that personally I did NOT have a frugal wedding.  I am also very blessed that I did not pay for my wedding.  I got married in 1998 to my best friend and planning our wedding and that day was of the highlights of my life.  With that being said, there are so many ways that you can save when it comes to planning a frugal wedding.

First of all, create a budget and stick with it.  You have to know what you have to spend so that you don’t find yourself overspending and going in debt.  Starting a life together in debt is NOT a good way to go.  After you know the bottom line then you can use some of these tips for planning.  A wedding can cost as much or as little as you are ready to spend.  If you have $1000 – 10,000 to spend then you work within that budget and make choices based on that.

Planning a Frugal Wedding:

1.  Guest List:  Keep your guest list small

2.  Date and Time:  Selecting a date that is on an off night will be a great way to save costs.  Also, if you have an evening wedding dinner will be expected, keep that in mind when you select the time and date.

3.  Venue:  Look for an affordable location.  Keep in mind what they provide and what you would have to rent and or purchase (food).  Look outside of the box when it comes to locations.

4.  Bridal Party:  Keeping the bridal party small will save you BIG!  This includes flowers, gifts, food etc.

5.  Dress:  Buy a dress off the rack or at a local consignment store.

6.  Invitations:  Print your own and save big.

7.  Photographer:  In my opinion this is not where you should skimp.  You want the memories that last a lifetime so hiring a friend may not be the way to go.  However, you could look for a good photographer who is looking to build their portfolio!

8.  Cake: You can get really nice cakes from local bakeries including Walmart, Kroger and Sam’s Club!  Consider a small cake and supplementing with a sheet cake!  Skip a groom’s cake (they are over-rated) or bake it yourself!

9.  Flowers:  Choose flowers that are in season and local.  You could even create your arrangements with whatever is on sale or clearance.  I personally think flowers are very overrated and a great way to save is go simple!

10.  DJ:  They are not necessary!  Find a karaoke machine and ask a friend or high school student to DJ for you.


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  1. Dollar Tree has several items that can be used for weddings. From catering trays (if your family is coming together to cook for the wedding) to plastic champagne glasses, favor bags, etc.
    Wildflowers can be beautiful if you have the right color scheme. Afternoons are a wonderful time for weddings and you can serve “light” food instead of a heavy dinner, which also means it’s not as expensive!
    You can use the same space for the ceremony & the reception, have chairs for ceremony moved away to create a dance floor for the reception. Also, you could make a CD of the couple’s favorite love songs, as a favor to guests. It’s a great, personal touch and something that will actually get used!

  2. I did a VERY frugal wedding. I went to a bridal shop and picked out a dress, then went home and ordered the same dress off ebay (still with tags) for about 1/4 of the new price. We used a small chapel on the campus of my alma mater (discount since I had been a student), and had the college cater the reception dinner for about $8 per person (we are talking linens, china/crystal, all the food/drinks, mints and punch). Found a baker to do the cake for $1.25 per serving, bought flowers at Sam’s and made my own bouquets and center pieces. Loaded music on my ipod that I was able to hook into the surround sound in the room. We got married in March and our colors were red and white, so we hit after V-day sales to get red decorations. And I have a friend who is a photographer and she did all my photographs for a flat fee of $200 and handed me the burnt disc, even the formals with the backdrop.

  3. We got married when we were 21 so we had a small budget. Our goal was to NOT go into debt over a wedding. We lived in NY but chose to go back to our small home town to get married. We used all the local family owned businesses. We had 260 people and a HUGE variety of food…5 meat choices and tons of side and salads. My mother bought my dress and my FIL paid for the booze. I made my own centerpieces and all the other decor aside from the flowers. We spent around $10,000…which is less than some people I know spent on the dress. Thirteen years later people are still talking about the food and cake from our wedding. The cake was this huge beautiful piece of art made by a little old lady for a whopping $150.

    If i were to do it over again the only thing I would chance would be the time of year. I wish we had gotten married at Christmas time when my MILs church is all decked out for the holidays.

  4. These are all great tips. Probably my biggest tip is to remember that this day is about what YOU want and not what everyone else wants. My husband and I decided that all we wanted was an informal party where his daughter and all of our nieces and nephews could have a blast. We’re not religious, so we rented out a movie theatre instead (we’re huge movie fans) and showed moves, had a bouncy house, pony rides, a bonfire, BBQ and more. While people scoffed ahead of time, and our family was originally disappointed pre-wedding, they changed their minds after the fact. It was a blast and everyone who was there still talks about how it was the best wedding they ever went to, and how we should get married more often — just for the party!

  5. When I got married my husband and my four year old were really into John Deere tractors. I wanted our venue to be fun for our son and my nephews and I knew I wanted something different and fun. We were married at a local farm (Daniel’s farm) in Walton. It was great and very memorable. The boys played on the playground, fed the animals and we all took a hayride to the lake. It was awesome and very US. Best of all we spent under $600 dollars for everything we needed for the wedding including all our clothes, favors, flowers, etc. We postponed our honeymoon because I had a summer coupon for a lake resort in a Kentucky Park so we stayed for FREE. Our wedding was perfect and frugal but you will hopefully only have one wedding so save where you can but that’s a day, in my opinion, that you shouldn’t make too many compromises. It’s a very important day. Saving in other areas of your life and budget could make paying more on that day more possible.

  6. These are all great ideas…..
    My mom and dad paid for my wedding – 15 years ago this June – to the tune of $1500…..this was EVERYTHING – including: my wedding dress, shoes and hairpiece, photographer, mother-of-the-bride dress, tux rentals for my dad and little brother, food and cake.

    We had the wedding at our church, the reception at my mom and dads – about 150 people total. My mother-in-law made her dress and my moms and the cake – she and my mother and grandmothers and I made the meal. My dress and shoes were bought from a co-worker and the headpiece was my mom’s. We rented an Army tent (no cost, my hubby was in the army at the time) in case of rain. Speaking of which, my hubby wore his uniform, so no extra tux rental there. We had two bridesmaids and we made our own flowers. The photographer was a semi-professional and we got some great pictures from him – and NO copyrights!!!

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