The most important thing to me on our wedding day were the details – the things other people might not have even noticed, but were special to me. Since we were planning our big day on an $8,000 budget, 1/3 of the cost of most American weddings, we had to be crafty in keeping costs low (quite literally). One of the biggest ways we saved money and kept on wedding on a budget was by putting in a lot of time ourselves.
Instead of having traditional fresh flowers, I made my bridesmaids’ flowers from paper. It may have been a bit unusual, but I loved their bouquets. Between my mom and Ty and many close friends, hours were spent making them. Those flowers saved us money, but even more importantly they gave me fond memories with loved ones that I’ll cherish always.
I also love the detail of our groomsmen’s socks. They could barely be seen on our wedding day, but the day we found them at Gap, I remember the excitement in Ty’s eyes. As a guy who loves fun socks, what better gift to give to the men in his life.
Whenever a friend gets engaged, I always share with them the same advice, “Enjoy the process.” It’s so easy to get wrapped up in planning, and the decisions, and the details, but remember, what really matters is that your wedding day is filled with love and joy.
All photos thanks to MeiLi Photography & Videography.
Details Cost Breakdown for $8K Wedding on a Budget
Invites $81, Stamps $33
We printed our own invitations using a similar method to how I create our holiday cards so we only had to pay for the cost of printing them at Kinko’s. We made them postcard size which saved us on postage since postcard stamps are cheaper than regular ones. We had all of our guests RSVP on our website which meant we didn’t have to pay for RSVP cards, envelopes, or postage. It worked out fine for us!
Wedding Dress: $1,226
Dress $988, Alternations $200, Slip $38
In high school, I never bought a prom dress I loved. My junior year dress was purchased on super clearance (I’m talking $15) in the summer and my senior year dress was borrowed from a friend’s sister. Both were fine, but I didn’t feel like a princess in either. I wanted that feeling on my wedding day so my dress was my main priority. And it shows by the cost of it. My dress was from David’s Bridal and the alterations were done there too. I tried on the slip in the store, but bought it for cheaper on Ebay.
Bride’s Accessories: $43
Shoes $38, Earrings $5, Necklace $0, Garter $0, Hair Piece $0
I searched high and low for the perfect shoes and I finally found them at Kohl’s. Of course I bought them with a coupon! My earrings were cheap ones from Claire’s. I got them because they matched well with my necklace, which was my borrowed from my mom. My blue garter was also my mom’s from her wedding day. And my hair piece was made by me using materials I already had at home. I made sure to have something old, new, borrowed, and blue.
Bride’s Hair, Makeup, & Nails: $80
Hair $80, Makeup $0, Nails $0
I went to my regular salon, Olivieri’s, to get my hair done. My good friend Brigitte was the master behind it and the cost included both the trial run and actual day. I definitely recommend doing a trial, especially if the cost is included! For my makeup, I went the DIY route since I personally enjoy doing my own makeup. And my nails didn’t cost me a dime since someone gave me a nail salon gift certificate at my bridal shower (great gift idea!).
Wedding Rings: $822
His $43, Hers $779
Based on advice given to us by my brother, we bought Ty’s titanium wedding ring from Overstock.com. The same exact ring cost nearly 10 times as much at the jewelry store! As for my ring, the stone is a family diamond, so we only had to pay to get it reset and for the jacket, both of which we did through Kay’s.
Bride’s Bouquet: $9
My mom made my fabric bouquet for me out of pieces of material with special meaning – doilies from my grandma and lace from an old dress of hers.
Bridal Party Flowers: $24
We bought scrapbook paper at Michael’s using coupons and followed this tutorial for making the bridesmaids’ flowers and made up the paper boutonnieres design ourselves. We simply hot glued a pin to the back to secure them.
Bridal Party Gifts: $200
Bridesmaids: Jewelry $33, Shoes $75
Necklaces and bracelets were bought at Gordman’s and the shoes were from Payless. I used a coupon for both!
Groomsmen: Suspenders $36, Ties $40, Socks $16
A friend from high school, MeiLi of MeiLi Photography & Videography, was kind enough to take our engagement photos and wedding photos for a killer deal.