While extravagant weddings are so beautiful and I love attending them, the cost of $50K -$100K wasn’t in our budget for our own, nor did I want it to be. Because I haven’t seen any posts about budget friendly weddings, I thought I’d share what we did.
SKIPPED THE FIRST LOOK. We decided to skip the whole “first look” thing and decided not to sleep separately the night before. Many couples stay in separate rooms at hotels to do this and we saved hundreds of dollars by deciding to sleep at our apartment in our own bed together. I’m not huge on traditions and in my opinion it was fine for us to get ready together and see each other before the ceremony.
INVITATIONS. We didn’t do formal paper invitations, we simply sent a text. I know that this is tacky so I wouldn’t suggest it, but the main reason for this was because we decided to get married at basically the last minute and also because we only invited a few family members and friends because of Covid.
HAIR/MAKEUP. I saved hundreds of dollars on hair and makeup because I did my own. I looked up hair tutorials on Instagram and went with a cute and easy ponytail. I also love to do my own makeup so I created my own look, but if you can’t think of your own I would recommend looking up ideas on Pinterest or bridal makeup tutorials on YouTube. If you’re not the best at doing your own hair and makeup, but want to save money on it then you should set up some time to practice a few times during the weeks before your special day.
DRESS. Those wedding dresses that cost thousands of dollars are so BEAUTIFUL, but I personally did not want to spend that much money on my dress. Since it was a backyard wedding, something simple seemed to fit better anyways. My dress was from @revolve and was only $250. I love Revolve because they do 3 day shipping and free exchanges/returns so you can try on a few and send back what you don’t want. Another option is go on consignment websites and find a used wedding dress. One of my friends did that and her dress was so pretty.
SUIT/TUX. My husband bought a lightly used suit for a few hundred dollars. It was great quality and you couldn’t even tell that it was used. We got it dry cleaned and altered. I’ve also heard of suit/tuxedo rentals so that could be a good option to try as well.
JEWELRY. For my jewelry, my bracelet was borrowed, my anklet was something I’ve had for years, and my earrings are simulated diamonds that look real from @melindamariajewelry.
SHOES. My shoes were my “something old” so I didn’t spend any money on shoes. Mine were sparkly @stevemadden strapped heels that I bought on sale a couple of years ago.
VENUE. The least expensive wedding venue in my hometown charges $17,000 for a 75 person room and $26,000 for a 150 person room. Other venues costed even more than that! I couldn’t even fathom spending that amount of money, so I asked my parents if we could do it in their backyard and that’s what we did. FREE VENUE! If we weren't able to do it there, we would have just gone to the courthouse.
PHOTOS/VIDEO. Because the wedding was a short ceremony with only a few of our family members and friends, we decided not to hire a photographer and saved even more money. Everyone took photos on their iPhones and sent me the photos the next day. It worked out just fine! We will probably be splurging on a photographer for our reception next year though (if we even have one).. that is a place that I would spend money because the photos are important when it’s a larger and more thought out event. For the video, my dad set up his phone on a tripod. One of my best friends also brought a disposable camera and snapped pics of the day. Really nice way to make cute memories!
FOOD/DRINKS. We decided to go to a restaurant for lunch instead of finding a caterer. I wanted something by the beach and the quotes that we were getting to reserve a table at restaurants in Malibu were insanely over-priced.. I’m talking $1500 to reserve for every 10 people. We had 20 and I didn’t want to pay $3000 just to reserve 2 tables. Another restaurant in Malibu quoted us $185 a person plus paying for parking. No thanks. So we decided to go to Ventura instead and had the entire back room at beautiful restaurant right on the water with an ocean view that had normal prices. It turned out to be about $25-$55 bucks a person and the food was very good.
CAKE. We skipped cake. We knew we’d be eating a lot at the restaurant and would be too full to enjoy the cake. Nobody even missed it and one of our family members even said it was a good thing that we didn’t bother. It’s also very hard to find a good vegan wedding cake.
FLOWERS. We didn’t decorate my parent’s backyard with flowers. We got quoted $2000 for the most simple displays so it was decided that they weren’t necessary. I also know multiple people who have spent into the five figures on flowers. They make beautiful decorations, but we didn’t feel the need for them to be all over the place so we only got a bouquet and boutonnière for our pictures and that was more than good enough.
VOWS. This doesn't have to do with saving money, but writing vows adds a lot of stress to a wedding so we skipped that part too. From what I've been told, nobody remembers what the bride and groom even say in their vows anyways so we thought we would save on the time and stress of writing them. To be honest, I don't even think anyone noticed that we didn't do them either lol.
GIFTS. My husband and I didn’t buy each other wedding gifts. We have everything we want and need so we didn’t want to add in the time and stress of finding gifts.
THANK YOU CARDS. I designed the thank you cards on @canva and used their printing service. It was only $30 total for 25 cards. I also love that they plant a tree with every print order!
Overall, I can honestly say that day was one of the best days of my life. Believe it or not, there was absolutely no stress and everyone was relaxed and joyful. We are so pleased with how everything turned out!
Here are some of the pictures :)