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Planning a Wedding for Under $1500

August 19, 2010

Planning a Wedding for $1500How can I do a wedding on a 1,500 dollar budget?

By swan from Nashville, TN

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August 20, 20100 found this helpful
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You can make your own boutonierres and corsages as well as table decor and ceremony flowers using silk flowers. Use floral tape and pins for the boutonierres and corsages. Buy assorted vases at garage sales and partly fill with shredded glossy paper or some marbles then insert silk flowers into vases for table decor and ceremony. Wrap stems of silk flowers in ribbon for bridesmaids and your bouquet. Hire a college student or ask a family member to photograph and put a few disposable cameras around at the reception for candid photos. See if a family member can make or contribute a cake and another be a dj for the night. Have the wedding in the morning and you wouldn't be expected to have as much food. Maybe have the reception in a park.

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Good luck and have fun!

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August 20, 20101 found this helpful
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1. Keep your guest list to a minimum
2. Instead of a traditional wedding cake try a giant cookie or a variety of desserts. If you really want to do the "cake cutting" part have a small cake.
3. Food wise if you have the ceremony in the morning have a "brunch themed" reception. Mid afternoon you could request your guests bring a dish to share in lieu of a present. Early evening you could just do a mini reception with drinks and hor d'oevres. You could also also have a bbq reception where you and the groom and family supply the meat while guests bring a dish to share.
4. Depending on the time of year you are getting married farmer's markets are a great place to find fresh flowers cheap. If you can be flexible on the colors you will have more options. You might want to also consider decorating w/ seasonal items i.e. pumpkins, apples, etc.

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5. Rent or borrow a dress instead of buying one.

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful
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Hi Swan. It can be done, here are a few suggestions:

Sheets from Walmart for tablecloths (covered with sheers give a dramatic look), or glue some flowers on them. Wild flowers are free. Bake small cakes. $1.00 for a box cake and a $1.00 for the frosting, add some cream cheese and a little lemon, tastes just like homemade. Use boxes and cover with a sheet for different levels.

Keep your food basic; pulled chicken, pork, or beef. Broiled potatoes cut into 8 pieces, add some butter and parsley, bake uncovered. Add a veggie and voila, you have food for everyone. Pasta goes a long way, use some of the chicken for pasta salad.

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After Christmas, look for beaded garland at 50% off. Glass squares from Menard's for the table centerpieces, add some glitter (Walmart), some beaded garland. Use PVC or some kind of tubing at about 2 feet high with the flower of your choice, or use tree branches painted your colors. Hang colored plastic stones from the branches, glue fish line and hang.

Sam's club sells chafing dishes (disposable but still nice looking). Ask a few friends to take pictures then choose from them (you can always have a portrait picture made later).

Balloons are fun. Go with white and you color, let them fly around or tie them to string and hang them everywhere.

VFW posts are cheap and you can bring in your own foods or park pavilions. We catered a wedding and bought all the liquor, but still charged for cocktails just to cover the cost, a dollar a drink. I know I would be happy to pay that. Nowadays people understand what it costs to have a wedding, so do what you can and enjoy your day.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 30, 2011

I need help with my wedding. I have the venue, for an awesome price. Now I would like to stay on a budget of 1,500 dollars. I welcome any and all help please. I live in the bay area so I welcome the help. My wedding date is 3/24/11.

By toni from Oakland, CA

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January 31, 20110 found this helpful
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Also a lot of brides are renting their gowns, or go to Davids Bridal, it seems like they are always having gowns on sale for $99.00. Skip the dance and the big meal. Have the wedding/reception at at time of day where the guests won't expect any more than cake, coffee, tea, and punch, maybe ice cream. Ask cousins to be waiters and waitresses, instead of catering.

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Find a friend that can take good pictures and skip the professional photographer. Skimp on decorations, flowers, etc. Sometimes less is more. If you know anybody that is handy with flowers buy silk flowers and have that person make bouquets, ets. Oh yes, for the people that help with the reception, etc. you can buy them a momento. of the occasion.

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February 20, 20110 found this helpful
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That's not much, but certainly doable. I suggest looking at just what is most important to you in the wedding. Spend more of your money there, and cut out or cut back the rest. Centerpieces can just be simple votive candles that you get in bulk at a craft store with a few petals scattered around. Favors can be bulk candy that you wrap up in little squares of tulle with a ribbon.

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You can do your own flowers either by buying them online in bulk or making paper flowers. Project Wedding usually has a whole load of diy projects you can do. The only thing I suggest NOT doing yourself is music. Unless you have a friend who knows what their doing, a professional DJ will make a huge difference in the way the party is run.

Good Luck!

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May 8, 2009

I'm planning a wedding for August 1, 2009 (12 weeks from now) and have limited budget ($1500). I would like to find a place to have the ceremony and reception with about 80 guests. Does anyone out there have any suggestions? I'm running myself in circles without much help. So anything you've got would be helpful.

By april from N. Hollywood, CA

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May 8, 20090 found this helpful

State parks are great. you pay per person, but they have facilities there and are always beautiful. I did my wedding on mt philo (vemont) I think it cost $140.00. There was use of a large cabin (or small hall) tables/chairs and tables outside.
Best wishes!

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May 17, 20090 found this helpful

I've been creating & performed wedding ceremonies for nearly 15 years. If you email me more details, perhaps I could offer some solid suggestions.

1. Do you want your ceremony & reception to be in different places (eg, a church & a hall) or in the same place (eg, a park or a restaurant)?

2. Do you want an outdoor or indoor (or both) event?

3. How much donation of time/ services exists around you among family & friends? For instance, someone to take photos, or to run an iPod, or to cater, etc.

3. How formal or casual are you aiming for? Formal may cost more in terms of invitations, place cards, gifts for wedding party members, & all of that. Casual might entail such cost-cutters as home-made & non-calligraphy invitations, inexpensive or no guest favors, etc.

These are just a few basics for some good feedback. My email is bsvgs AT yahoo.com

Good luck, Nica

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May 17, 20090 found this helpful

This tip might be a help with food, if you're in a part of the country like I am where people expect a meal at the reception. Check on catering by a local fast food operation. I just attended a reception catered by Lee's Famous Recipe (fried chicken), to which the bride's family added some homemade side items to the sides they also had catered. The food was obviously much enjoyed!

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May 17, 20090 found this helpful

If most of your guests are family and friends, make it an informal wedding with more intimacy. You can have it at your home, your families homes, pot luck, picnic,ask your in-laws what your husband to be favs foods are and ask your guests to make their versions and give you their recipes, then you find out at the reception what your husband likes and you already have the recipes to make it. try informal at parks,vfw's, hire local high school or college for the day to help serve. I had mine in my parents back yard and inside and it was tight quarters but we all had fun and I got to know my husbands family better right away. i played games with the kids and had fun. very informal. use lots of flowers in any container buy flowers from wholesaler. farmers markets. main thing is have fun, its your day, enjoy it!

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

The first place is where to have it. If you have a friend or relative w/a big yard, that's your best bet, because it's likely that state parks, etc. will be booked already. (But it doesn't hurt to check.) Call your local town hall and see if they have any suggestions; a smaller town park might be available.

Next is food. Your whole budget comes to under $19/person, including everything else plus food, so think of the types of places you eat on a tight budget: home, pizza place, mexican, chinese, sandwiches, burgers. If you don't want to do pot-luck, see if some of the other places will cater. For beverages (or if you do potluck, for fancy desserts, etc.) try a bulk store like Sam's or Costco.

Next is photos. See if guests w/photo talent will take them for you and/or if a high school or college student will do it cheaply for the experience. Same for video. We ended up with pretty lousy photos (this was before digital cameras) but even so, there is never a day when we say, "Gee, if only we'd spent $1000 on photos." Most people never look at their photos anyway. (Heck, you could probably show up at Wal-Mart in your wedding clothes for a cheap package.)

If your budget includes your wedding gown, try thrift stores. I bought my gown, which fit perfectly, at a consignment store for $125. Still that would be 10% of your budget.

Remember that if you pick a park, you need to make sure there are bathrooms nearby. :)

If need be, there's still a bit of time between now and August for a part-time job for you and/or your partner to increase your budget a bit---if possible.

Best wishes! Let us know what you end up selecting!

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

Have you considered a local church? Large churches can be very expensive, but small country churches may be inexpensive or even free if you have a connection. Our church will even "rent" out our fellowship hall for $50 for receptions and showers. Since we're members, it didn't cost us anything. Our whole wedding, dress included, was under $1000. The one regret that I have, eighteen years later, is that we didn't have pictures made. I have a friend that is a talented photographer that charges $50 to take pictures and burn them to a CD. You can then print however many copies of whichever pictures you like (even large prints!) from someplace like walmart or Target.

I wish digital photography had been perfected twenty years ago! Also, with food, if you have your wedding and reception in the middle of the afternoon away from a standard mealtime, you may be able to get by with cake, punch, fruit, nuts and mints. I live in the deep south and have been to several different styles of weddings, each of them beautiful in their own way.

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December 27, 2010

My son is active duty Army in Alaska and just got married. We were given only 4 weeks notice so of course no one from our side of the family could attend. Tickets are a minimum of $1,100.

They will be here in March (he will be deployed in April). I am planning a wedding reception for them - semi casual. Probably at a VFW. We definitely want a dance with a DJ. I only have about $1,500 to spend on the whole affair, that includes venue, DJ, food, decorations, (drinks?). There could be just over 100 people attending including children. He loves children and is very close to his little cousins. I need food ideas and any other advice. Thank you.

By Pauline from MN

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December 27, 20100 found this helpful

When I got married my in-laws did the same thing. Of course back then only the rich had dances. They had the event in either the VFW or American Legion building(I can't remember which). It was kind of a blah room, but they spent no money on decorations, and the food consisted of wedding cake, icec ream, non-alcoholic punch, coffee, tea and water. There was entertainment, but it was provided by their friends and relatives. The payment for these people was inexpensive gifts. One woman sang a couple songs, and one of husbands aunt and teen age daughter did a skit of some kind that was absolutely hilarious and had even the stiff lipped pastor laughing. They had cousins, etc. serve the food, pour coffee, etc. Back then they also had people open the gifts and display them on a table. If you need decorations, crepe paper streamers draped from the ceiling and balloons would be fairly inexpensive. You could but 3-5 balloons in the center of each table. You could also use candles. I prefer the look of pillar candles and although they cost more, I use the battery operated ones for safety purposes, and they can be used at home too, and work really good during power outages. You can carry them from room to room without worrying about the flame going out. The batteries in the candles that I have last a really long time. I have a sister who lived where they had a power outage that lasted 3 days and she left one of these candles running in her bathroom 24-7 and never had to replace the batteries.

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January 8, 2018

Planning a wedding on a budget, requires that you research all of the possible ways to save on expenses. If the ceremony and reception are indoors, consider a church hall or civic group facility for the reception. Food, flowers, and entertainment can all be tailored to stay within your budget. This is a page about planning an indoor wedding for less than $1,500.

Bride and groom at Wedding

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 30, 2011

I am planning a $1500 wedding. I need help on ideas?

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August 19, 2010

I am trying to plan a wedding on a $1500 budget, and that's from start to finish.

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July 17, 2010

How can I plan my wedding on a $1500.00 budget?

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November 6, 2007
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