Want to plan an amazing wedding on a tight budget? Money is one of the top concerns for engaged couples who want to have a traditional wedding. Getting married isn’t expensive per se, but having a wedding and hosting dozens or hundreds of people can be.
I get it though, you want to share your special day with your loved ones and make a celebration out of it. Luckily, there are many ways to pull off a frugal wedding that’s under $5,000.
With a $5,000 budget, you and your fiance would only have to come up with $2,500 each if you’re splitting the costs. Here’s a $5,000 wedding budget breakdown along with the best tips and ideas to help you plan your dream budget wedding.
How to Plan a $5,000 Wedding – Yes You Can!
Guests – Keep guest list below 100 in order to maintain your budget. Inviting around 50-60 of your closest friends and family members would be ideal but you can still stretch your budget with 100 guests.
Invitations: Free – Invite people online or call them. Since your guest list is small, this shouldn’t be a big hassle.
Venue: Free – $700 – If you belong to a church, you can ask if you can have your ceremony and reception there for free. Or, you can go to a restaurant for your reception. You can also try choosing from some affordable venues in your area but the pricing will be based on a number of guests you have so they fewer guests, the lower the price will be. ***The day you get married also affects the price of the venue. Saturday weddings will be most expensive while Sunday and weekday weddings will be cheaper.
Consider trying places that aren’t necessarily formal wedding venues and you should be able to find a better deal than a traditional banquet hall.
Wedding Dress: $300 and under – Consider renting your wedding dress or buying one that’s gently used. You can go to PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com to find beautiful gently-used dresses that are affordable and in good condition. Former brides list their wedding dresses on this site along with images and sizing details so you can shop online for your dream dress.
You can do your own makeup and for accessories, try retail stores like Ross or Charming Charlie and avoid expensive jewelry shops.
Tux: Free – $150 – If you have a few groomsmen, you can all rent your tuxes from the same place. Most companies offer a deal where you can buy so many tuxes and get one free. I think the place my husband went to provided every 5th tux rental free and that’s how my husband and son didn’t have to pay for their rentals. You can also consider buying something used or borrowing a tux from a friend or family member.
At the end of the day, ask for a discount if you’re renting a tux and the price seems to be over $150 because it won’t hurt to see what they say.
Flowers: $100 and under If you’re going to have flowers at your wedding, consider getting them wholesale or buying a small amount at a grocery store like Costco for under $100. Go with seasonal flowers and filler flowers like baby’s breath.
Just do a bridal bouquet and possibly a boutonniere. Avoid buying premade bouquets since they will cost a ton and stick to creating your own. You can use YouTube video tutorials to help. Then, use the remainder of the flowers for the decor and centerpieces.
Centerpieces: $20 There are plenty budget centerpiece ideas to try on Pinterest, so I won’t get too specific, but you can buy things like vases, pebbles, and candles at the dollar store to keep this expense low.
Food: $1,000 and under If you’re having a wedding reception, food may be one of the highest expenses, especially if you hire a professional wedding catering service like the high end catering service, Worry Free Catering, located in Las Vegas, NV. Again, keeping your guest count low will lower the costs of food. Also, avoiding a big buffet dinner will also help. There are many options to keep your food costs under $1,000 including materials.
You can serve snacks and hors d’oeuvres during the reception. Foods like popcorn, cheese and crackers, and seasonal fruit are all cheap and tasty. You can also get someone on the grill to make a simple BBQ-style menu. If you choose to go with a later, keep the menu simple and go with cost-efficient options like chicken, rice, fresh vegetables, and pasta.
If you can afford it, offer a signature drink but if you avoid having an open bar and paying for alcohol in general, you’ll save a ton.
Cake: $200 and under I know it sounds weird, but not every guest that comes to your wedding will eat the cake. I was surprised when we had quite a bit of cake leftover so keep that in mind. Also, go for cupcakes because they’re basically the same as cake but much cheaper. You can score beautifully decorated cupcakes for $2 each whereas wedding cake is often priced by the slice and starts at $3.50+ per slice.
Also, don’t feel restricted to cake for your dessert if you’re not a fan. You can also purchase something different like cookies or pies from your favorite grocery store. Sam’s Club has amazing fresh fruit pies for $10 each.
Photographer: Free – See if a friend or family member can take pictures at your wedding for free. Preferably ask someone has a good camera and they can consider the favor a wedding gift for you. You can also provide them with a tip as an act of courtesy.
DJ: Free – $30 – Skip the DJ and have someone from your wedding party of a family member MC when needed and announce your entrance. Then, make a playlist on your phone or iPod and use a Bluetooth speaker to play songs during dinner and your reception. If you don’t have a Bluetooth speaker already, you can buy one for cheap on Amazon. I only paid $27 for this speaker that I ordered for my husband’s birthday this year. It’s small, but it has a great sound quality.
Misc.: $2,500+ – As you can see, this basic wedding budget came in under $5,000 leaving plenty of money left over for miscellaneous expenses like decorations, transportation, hotels, additional food, favors, etc. Unexpected expenses pop up all the time when you’re planning a wedding which is why it’s always best to set your spending for less than what your actual budget is.
This is just a sample wedding budget breakdown and yours may vary greatly depending on your wants, needs, and the resources available to you. Just remember that it’s YOUR big day and you can have a fabulous wedding that aligns with your financial capabilities.