Skip to content
Home » Topics » creativity on a very small budget

creativity on a very small budget

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #19902

      Hey there everyone! This is my first time posting here. Here’s my dilemma- my boyfriend just revealed to me this past weekend that the only reason he hasn’t proposed to me yet is because he doesn’t have enough money to pay for the traditional $20,000 wedding for me, and it’s been really upsetting him and making him feel inadequate. I was overwhelmed, of course, with love for the him and his sentiments, but I really don’t have any interest in that kind of extravagance! I’d be perfectly content to marry him at city hall tomorrow, but we both would really like to have a wedding that is very personal, and maybe start a few traditions of our own. So, I’m here trying to get some creative ideas from all of you! About the where, the cake, the decorations, everything! I’ve got a lot of ideas but I’m sure there are things you all could suggest that I’d never even think of! Mostly, we just want to celebrate our love in a style that is all about who we are together. So fire away! Any suggestions are VERY welcome and much appreciated!


        When my husband and I got married at ages 45+ we both had households already set up with the necessities. We decided to send out invitations with an insert containing that information. We requested that all who wished to celebrate the day with us to not bring a gift but instead to contribute a favorite dish to our pot luck reception.

        We hired three of my daughters high school friends to be at the hall where the reception was held to put out the food, buffet style, at a time right before we arrived from the church. They were there about an hour before the wedding and replenished food as needed for about another hour. They were each paid $30.00 for two hours work. They could have left then but stayed during the rest of the reception ate, danced and even put away leftovers in the refridgerator and cleaned up a bit before leaving.

        The reception was at a local VFW hall that we rented for $175.00. They even let us decorate it the day before the wedding and come back the day after the wedding to gather up our things.

        We had a beer keg, magarita machine and soft drinks, all self serve.

        We bought all the paper goods and supplies for eating and drinking at Sam’s Club.

        We got married the week after Easter and the church already had beautiful flowers in it from Easter, so we didn’t do anything but make pew decorations for the church.

        My sister did most of the decorating for the reception which was kept simple with a floral arrangement for the middle of the buffet table and some greenery on the cake table.

        We set up our own CD player and speakers, spread out our collection of music on the table by it and people occasionally went by and chose and played music that they liked and everyone danced.

        The cake, baked by my daughter’s best friend’s mom who bakes wedding cakes, was delicious and beautiful and cost $50.00 (special rate).

        The food was outstanding, a wonderful variety and we had more than enough. My friends said the food at our reception was the best they had ever eaten at a reception (and we live in the heart of Cajun country where food is ALL good!!)

        All costs for the reception totaled about $500.00


          Hey! I don’t know if you read my post about trying to find you.. lol anywayz, i have a lot of wedding ideas but i’m running out of time tonight… so i’ll post them asap for you.. how much time do you have?:):):):):)

          God bless gurl!



             Remember that your wedding and reception are your party to celebrate your day, especially as it seems that neither you or your fiance has anyone to foot the bill for you. Do what you love and don’t worry about meeting anyone else’s standards.   My husband and I put together a wedding with professional DJ dance for less than $1500 in less than 6 months, and we had a great time.

            These days home printed invitations from your computer are just as nice as anything from an engraver, and can be much more personal (You’ll notice a theme, here … :))

            If you decide on formal wear, your bridesmaids and groomsmen will foot their own bill for tuxes and dresses.  Usually if you rent so many tuxes you get one free, so you can cover hubby that way!  If you want to forego that expense, pick a theme that really means something to you: western, renaissance, biker leathers, whatever.  Chances are that the people close enough to you to merit being in your wedding party will share common interests and already have clothes in your theme.  This will also help with decorations, etc.  Scan your friends for people to read or sing and play for you, if all else fails, play recorded music, we did!

            Sometimes costs will depend on what part of the country you live in.  The church and pastor’s fee was $150.  GrannyFranny’s $175 VFW Hall is $50 here!  :)    The staff there set up a bar at no cost to us because they made all the money on it.  We paid $250 for a dj system that was awesome and a lot of fun, but you could find someone you know to run a CD player for you.
            Another couple we know had freezer and pantry space, so they  made a master list for a 3 meat buffet.  Each payday they’d go to Sam’s club and pick up a turkey or a huge jar of pickles or paper products, and little by little they got their food, which was cooked and served by volunteer relatives in a community center hall.

            I would suggest spending at least a little on a modest professional photo package.  We had ours done by a friend and I never did get the whole party in one picture, people kept wandering in and out.  I would say the same for video.  If you don’t want an elaborate “bells and whistles” video, you should be able to contract a videographer who will tape just the ceremoney or do a minimal package of ceremony and reception.  But don’t trust it to a relative or I guarantee you will regret it.  Two different, well-meaning cousins taped ours; the sound quality is rotten, you can’t see any faces, and there is a wealth of stuff missing.

            Choose what you want to spend your money on very carefully, and don’t be afraid to forego things that don’t mean much to you.  I had no fresh flowers; I’m not a flowery person.  We carried tea lights in brandy snifters, cheap, gorgeous, and much more “me.”  Our deco cake was a gift from a relative who makes them, my sister and brother brought sheet cakes and sandwiches as a gift from the bakery where they worked.  

            The people who truly love you will not mind contributing time and talents to your special day.  (Just don’t be crass like another couple I know; they asked all their friends and family for money instead of presents so they could go to Vegas and elope! No Class!)

            Show your boyfriend these lists and assure him that you can have a great wedding for not much money, so he should hurry up and make it official!  Best of luck to you!


              Check out the Finances Area for my reply to this question. ÝShe also posted the question there and I replied Nov. 6th,2003. ÝI wrote some of the same ideas as here. ÝThere are other tidbits there that might help one with a frugal wedding to include using the Dollar Stretcher for great ideas. is the web site. Ý Ý


                When me and my dh got married a few years ago we had an outside wedding.   We did not have traditional wedding decorations.  Most or all our decorations had other uses other than our wedding.  You may want to get a hat put a bowl in it and it become a chip bowl.   We bought all our food.  We had burgers, which my sil grilled, chips and dips.  You can always make your own flowers.    Instead of alcohal we had  cider instead.  

                As for a wedding dress, think outside the box.  It is not written in stone that a woman must get married in a traditional wedding gown.  You may find a dress in thrift store that you really like and embellish it.  

                My advice is……Just think outside the box.



                  I commend your desire to not begin your wedded bliss by jumping in thousands of dollars in debt due to overindulgence at the wedding.  Save the money for your honeymoon and life in general… That being said, here are some ways I trimmed down our wedding expenses:  I rented my gown and bridesmaids dresses at a local formal-rental store.  I couldn’t justify spending so much money on one dress for one occassion, then storing it for the next umpteen years.  It cost me $150, which included alterations & cleaning.  The cheapest wedding gown I saw anywhere was $600.  I bought white shoes that I could wear to church or other occasions, again, why the expense for a one-time use?  The men mostly paid for their own tuxes, as their gift to us.  We made it clear to everyone close to us that we would rather have them contribute to their part in the wedding than buy us any gifts.  We went cheap on floral, I think about $250 total, which sounds like a lot at first, but that included all bouquets, buttonaires, corsages, church decorations, and an arrangement for the altar.  AND the flower lady stuck around after decorationg the pews (simple but stylish and pretty) and helped everyone with their corsages, and even tucked in a stray ribbon sticking out of my dress just before my entrance march!  Go with a local florist that has a good reputation.  They worked with us and knew how to trim down the expenses.  My maid of honor and her mother (childhood friends) made the little seed satchels for us as their gift to us.  I went to the local Christian bookstore and bought blank wedding programs and designed my own & printed them off on my own printer.  That cost about $6.  I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting, but if you let the word out that you just want everyone to share in your day, and you really don’t want this to be a “gift gaining event”, as some seem to be, most everyone respects that and will be more than willing to share in the ceremony rather than shower you with gifts.   Don’t be afraid to delegate!  Friends want to help, give them a job & don’t sweat it.  Ultimately, the flowers, dresses, pomp & blahblah don’t matter.  It’s you and your beloved at the altar looking into each others eyes & saying “I do” that is the important part.  And that part is free.


                    We just got married in Sept and planned the wedding in 4 months.  We made our own invitations and church bulletins.  We had the dinner at a supper club that we like. They let us bring in our own champagne.  

                    My dress was $15.00 on clearance. It was a two piece suit. DH wore a suit he already had. He and BM bought matching shirts and similar ties. We made our own invitations.  I made the flowers and bouts. My and MH bouquets were a wreath shape and mine now hangs on the front foor.

                    We had 1 person stand up. I asked what color dresses she had and she had a few navy ones, so navy was the accent color.  I borrowed shoes and decorated a pair of cheap tennies to wear at the dinner.  My DHs BIL and DS did the pics and they turned out great. We bought cheap cameras in a box and had people take pics throughout the day.  They turned out great also.

                    For favors I bought small hershey candy bars and made a paper wrapper with our names and the date and glued them on with a glue stick. Went over great. Cost about $15.00.    

                    We didn’t do bouquets in church. We had a remembrance bouquet of roses for my parents his Mom and Grandparents.  We did register for gifts and struggled with this. We are over 40 and had two households. We found things that we did need though and were happy with our choices.  

                    I guess the best advise is to plan the day the way you want it to be.  Just because you stood up in a wedding 5 years ago, doesn’t mean you need to have person stand up for you.  I also think etiquette is smetiquette for the most part.

                    A few things to consider.

                    How much do YOU want to spend total?

                    Is your Mother or his Mother demanding? Will they want to do things a certain way?  Be ready with your response to them if so.

                    If you truly want a frugal wedding, stay away from ‘The knot’ and other wedding websites. They focus on keeping up with the Joneses in my opinion.    

                    If you plan it quickly, you stay away from the long engagement and the many months of listening to everyone’s wedding story. I think you will get the wedding you really want.      

                  Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.