Planning a Frugal Wedding

November 2, 2010

Bride and groom adding money into a piggy bank.When planning a wedding, there are ways you can be frugal. One of them is to make your invitations instead of getting them made. Buy pretty printer paper, type them up, and decorate them with your personality. People never notice the difference and it's so much cheaper.


Another thing you can do is have family members help with setting up. Your nieces and nephews think they are playing when making paper mache flowers and folding napkins.

Although these ideas may seems a little too cheap, no one notices that there is anything different and studies have shown that people like when the bride and groom use their own creativity in a wedding!

By Claire from Columbus, OH



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November 3, 20100 found this helpful
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I can't vouch for the frugality of my daughter's wedding, but I do know it seemed to be a "neighborhood affair." One neighbor's wedding present was the whole hog for the pulled pork, which they served on large croissants. The rest of the food was mostly various chips, cheese cubes and a couple of kinds of hummus (which I think was the most expensive food served, except maybe for the croissants.)


Another group of friends, a classical quintet, provided the wedding music. The reception music was simply a CD player or something of the sort, I think. They designed their own invitations, and I believe they got a deal from the printer who duplicated them.
The party favors were the unique thing I remember best. My daughter and son-in-law found origami patterns online and printed enough of them to allow each of the 150 or so guests to take home their own creation. They cut off the excess paper, rolled each printed page into a small scroll and tied it with a thin ribbon.
Last but not least, the wedding and reception were in my son-in-law's parents' back yard, so there were no rental costs for the venue.
My oldest son took the super-frugal route this past August: they almost eloped, lol! The wedding was at the county courthouse, with a post-wedding lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Everyone paid their own way. My youngest son's wedding was also in his in-laws' backyard, too, but the reception was in a local party room that used to be a roller skating rink. Subway sandwiches and fruit punch were served. Too bad he forgot his sister's pineapple allergy; she had to request bottled water. Sigh, "pobody's nerfect," I guess. Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas!

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November 25, 2011

My husband and I were single until we were thirty, so we agreed that a "full blown" wedding was not what we wanted. Instead we opted to save our money for a honeymoon trip to England, and to put together a more economical wedding.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 163 Posts
November 15, 2010

In 2008, a series of events were brought to our family. Our oldest daughter decided she wanted to get married in October (the month and day they met).


So, that was one wedding. Then, the next wedding was for my step-daughter in May.

wedding flowers


December 3, 2004

Our daughter is getting married in June of '05 and we need to be careful about the amount we spend on the wedding.


April 4, 2007

My wedding to my new hubby was a blessed event. It cost us a total of $150.00, not including the marriage license cost. We held it in our apartment.


September 10, 2008

When my husband and I got married, we only spent $300 out of our pockets for the entire wedding. That included the flowers, my dress, invitations and programs.


You can have a great wedding for a lower price as well.

Tips for a $300 Wedding


October 24, 2007

You can have a large beautiful wedding if you limit your shopping to thrift stores, Walmart, and Dollar Tree. This wedding cost under $600.

Frugal Wedding


April 5, 2010

I got married in October so I used the flowers in season. This was very cost effective. I also did a small round two layer cake to cut, and did a sheet cake in the kitchen to serve to the guests.


July 25, 2005

I have listed several things about my daughter's wedding but realized that I don't think I sent in the prices for the items to decorate, etc. The greenery was either borrowed from friends or else purchased at Wal-Mart. It came in 9 ft. sections for $3/section.


November 16, 2013

When planning your wedding, ask the groom's family to be in charge of, and pay for any alcohol beverages served. If you aren't serving alcohol, the groom's parents can pay for another part of the reception.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

December 15, 2010

We have a small budget for our wedding and catering is so expensive. If we do it ourselves with frozen lasagna, salad and bread will it look cheap? How can we have a nice meal on a tight budget?

By sarah from Sacramento, CA


December 15, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I echo redhatterb, you can do what you'd like (and can afford!). True friends and loved ones will be there to help celebrate your union. The rest is just gravy!


My reception was buffet style. We had croissants purchased from Sam's (sliced the night before) with meat and cheese trays so guests could make their own sandwiches. We made barbequed meatballs, little mini-quiches (also purchased from Sam's), and some of my mom's Japanese friends offered to make a few dishes. It worked out just fine. But I think I had maybe 2 or 3 bites of food. You should have your maid of honor get you a plate, and please sit down and eat some food. It's a big day, and you don't want to pass out!

It's possible some close friends or relatives would be happy to help you out. Look into some finger foods and don't worry about serving a big formal meal. I hope you have a wonderful wedding (and marriage). Enjoy it!

December 15, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

It will not look cheap. It will look like you are a financially responsible couple with a great deal of common sense and down-home hospitality. Too many couples spend lavishly on the wedding day, robbing funds from the marriage, itself. By keeping to a budget within your means, it will be a wise and rich investment for your future. If anyone fails to notice just that, it's their problem, not yours.


*You can save money by asking friends to help (cook, serve, clean-up) as a gift.
*Serve as a quasi buffet line (people walking through) but have your server friends on the other side of the table to actually serve and control portions.
*The disposable, hard plastic dinnerware looks better than paper plates, but won't cost as much as rented china. Some of it is actually dishwasher (top rack) approved and could be reused in your home after the wedding day.
*If you offer a variety of side salads (a green salad, a meatless antipasto salad, a jello salad, veggie casserole, whatever,) and a few differently seasoned kinds of bread sticks, guests that either don't eat meat or don't like lasagna can still fill up.
*Be sure to have some individually wrapped mints at the end of the serving line so that no one gets embarrassed about "garlic breath" from such a great meal. :-)

Have a wonderful day!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I went to a wedding once where they served deviled ham sandwiches. That being said, I thought no less of the happy couple. They were staying within their budget and that is commendable. If your friends and relatives are that narrow minded, then fooey on them. I say go ahead with your lasagna idea, salad and rolls. Sounds very nice and remember presentation is everything. Set the table with a flower in a look alike crystal vase, add baloons, and of course a wedding cake. That should do it and Happy Everafter. Blessings.....


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December 16, 20100 found this helpful
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Sarah, it's your day. I say do what works best for you. My oldest son got married at the courthouse, with just a handfull of us attending. Then we all gathered at a local Mexican restaurant and paid for our own meals. That in no way detracted from our joy in the union!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

What we did was, prepare a menu together, cook for 3 days together and we enlisted parents for the cake and we provided beer on tap, coffee and tea, also a lovely punch and kept our expenses low. Our reception was in our rented home and we fed 50. It was fabulous and we knew that our love would last. It has for 30 years. We still cook together too.


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December 17, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

In addition to what has already been said, have you considered an afternoon wedding? You can just serve cake cookies, nuts, mints, and drinks. If you like, you can add fruit and finger sandwiches, or maybe a chocolate fountain. Good luck.

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November 2, 2010

I'm interested in any suggestions on how to contain the cost of a wedding. For example, I need help with dresses, flowers, food, venues, etc.

By Lucy


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November 3, 20100 found this helpful

If you need ideas for a frugal wedding, just plain go and get married. It is the thought between the two of you that counts, not a showy affair. Have a couple friends or relatives stand up with you and go out for a meal after the ceremony. Otherwise have the ceremony in somebody's house with just immediate family attending. Have it during a time of day that you won't be expected to serve a meal and just have a small wedding cake with coffee, tea, and punch. Have a couple relatives do the serving. As far as dresses, flowers, etc. you know better than anyone what you like.

When I got married we got married in the pastor's study, and I wore a white brocade street length dress that I had made with a white hat and shoes and a red carnation corsage. My sister wore a red dress that was a hand me down from me a couple years before and a white hat and shoes. That was it. The men wore dark suits and had boutonnieres. Back then if I had bought my dress it probably would have cost at least $100.00, ready made. I can't remember what the fabric cost but it was pricey for the early 60s. However, even now you can find really nice looking street length dresses or even really dressy suits that can be worn for other occasions.


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November 3, 20100 found this helpful

Just look up "wedding" here & you will find lots of frugal ideas. It can be done, I have done 2 weddings for very little (Under $1,000).


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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

My first wedding was ultra-frugal. My wedding dress came from a consignment shop, as did the groom's suit. The only people in attendance were the pastor, the best man, matron of honor, and the groom and me. I typed announcements after the fact. We bought some semi-fancy plain cards that I typed on a borrowed typewriter (this was in 1982.) His family gave us a pot-luck reception at their church's fellowship hall a couple of days later.
My current hubby and lifemate and I also had a very small wedding, although my dress was new and from Sears or Penney's. Again it was the attendants, the pastor and us. We went to a local Chinese buffet afterwards.
Our oldest son got married at the county courthouse, with a handful of folks other than hubby and me, and we went to a local Mexican restaurant afterward. I'm not sure where my daughter-in-law and her maid of honor got their outfits, but the rest of us just wore nice church clothes.
These three weddings are the most frugal I can think of. Best to you and your new spouse!

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January 11, 2014

We want a super small wedding! Either just the two of us, or very few people. We live in Washington state and need some help with ideas. We don't know if we should travel somewhere to get married or just do it around home? Help!

By Ashley3112


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January 16, 20140 found this helpful

This was exactly what hubby and I wanted 20 years ago. We were married at the Wedding Chapel in Hamilton, ON and had two of our best friends with their spouses share the special day with us. After the ceremony, the six of us went to Shakespeare's Steak House for a fine dinner. No muss, no fuss but everything done with a touch of class.

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December 10, 2012

I would like some ideas for planning a wedding with the theme, soul food. Please provide thrifty ideas. Thank you.

By Tawana


December 12, 20120 found this helpful

My nephew got married in May of this year. He and his bride to be didn't have a lot of money, so she wanted to get married at her moms house, and they asked each guest to bring a covered dish. We live down south, so he asked his relatives to bring their soul food, like they have around the Holidays. They did, and it was just wonderful!

Also, my hubby & I just did finger foods at our wedding that pulled it off nicely and it was a small get together because we didn't want a huge expensive wedding. I really liked my nephew & niece's (yeap she's family now!) Idea of covered dish! Wish I'd thought of that! Hope this helps!

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February 19, 2020

When my boyfriend and I decided to get married on our one year anniversary of dating, we didn't give ourselves a lot of time for planning or saving, just a few months. However, we still managed to have a beautiful and very frugal wedding with help from all our friends and family.

Wedding Cake Topper

February 6, 2019

Weddings take a lot of planning and tend to come with a big price tag for the new couple. Discuss what you and your future spouse consider to be essential to a "perfect" wedding and start from there. This page contains advice for planning a wedding on a budget.

A pair of golden wedding bands on top of a spread out hundred dollar bills.

January 12, 2018

There are many ways you can have a lovely memorable wedding on a budget. Consider all aspects of the event from clothing to venue and food to find money saving ideas. This is a page about wedding ideas on a budget.

Woman Saving Money fro Wedding


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

November 2, 2010

Frugal ideas pertaining to any and all aspects of the wedding, from the ceremony to the reception and everything in between. These are tips from the ThriftyFun community.


November 2, 2010

We are getting married on February 20th, 2010. I have almost no budget. Our colors are burgundy, champagne, and ivory. We will be doing all of the decorations, food, etc. ourselves. Please help.


April 5, 2010

To save money on your wedding reception, you need to think seriously about the number of guests that you invite.

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