Monday, November 26, 2012

The $2,000 Wedding

I did my entire wedding for 2,000$. Yes, that's right (and this includes all "parental" donations also!)
What? You may ask, Isn't a cheep wedding, like, 10,000?

Well, that may be a cheep wedding for you, but we simply didn't have the funds. We wanted to make our day special, and not a stress to our pocketbooks! 

I'll tell you how I did it.

(Note: the pictures used in this article were taken by my bridesmaid Larkin and my friend Cari! I get my professional ones later on this month and will definitely be sharing!)
1) We decided to have a small, intimate wedding (less then 50 guests) and we shopped around for venues. Everything we kept finding was super expensive, but then we found two places that seemed really cheep. The Aviary rents for about 200$ every four hours. And the Craddock Terry Hotel (did YOU know hotels do weddings? And beautiful ones to boot?) The hotel was 500$ for four hours, but included set up and break down in the price, which The Aviary did not include. We chose the hotel.

2) We did our "reception" at a lovely Italian restaurant called Monte Carlo. It was 375$, this included a 25$ rental fee for a large party and the food for our guests (about 15 people came to the reception. 25 out of the 50 people we invited came to our wedding).

3) I bought a used dress. I LOVE my dress. Seriously, I died when I tried it on! It is used, and fits me P-ER-FEC-TLY. I was stunned to find a dress that needed no adjustments! I purchased it from the Shopaholics Outlet, a high end vintage/thrift boutique and bridal warehouse. I also got my necklace, earrings, and circlet there. All together it was 350$. They gave me the necklace as a gift, as they are dear friends of mine :)
*I got my shoes from a Facebook Yard sale page. Lol, anyone? They were 10$, and are from Jcrew. I love them! I also did my own hair. I basically did two braids around the back of my head and added flowers everywhere

4) I (blush) spend 100$ at Victoria's Secret. No scrimping was allowed in this area!
5) My dad paid for half of the photographer's bill. It was my friend Beth! Who else? She's amazing. I paid her 250$ and my dad paid the other 250$. Beth was invaluable this night. We stayed at the hotel along with my maid of honor Larkin and another one of my friends.
6) I made a few signs, and I used a basket I already had for cards. I wrote and printed our ceremony programs for 5$ at one of those copy stores.
7) I used an automated web-sight to make our invitations. Our wedding invitations were 50$ from shutterfly. I designed them myself with my engagement photos, which we also took ourselves. (Tripod and camera remote FTW!)

8) We paid our pastor 50$ (The standard for VA wedding, following the law) and my husband tipped him. I don't know how much, in all the excitement I never asked :)

9) Our cakes were made by a friend of my maid of honor. They were 30$ each. :) I chose a white cake with a lovely rose design all over it.
Thats about it; thats our wedding in a nut shell. It was beautiful, lovely, and amazing. I am so happy to be married and I think I'm the luckiest girl in the world! :)
My $2000 wedding did not include the premarital we took, or our honeymoon (both of these my husband took care of and I don't know how much he spent). I also took some of my friends and my bridesmaids out to get their nails done. :)

You can have a lovely and memorable wedding and not spend an arm and a leg! There is no sense starting your life off together in a big pile of debt.

Do you guys have any wedding stories to tell? How much did you spend?


Shawna said...

I love your dress. It is very much you! and a smaller budget like yours is my dream wedding!!

Also I nominated your for a Liebster Award :-)

Anonymous said...

I like this style wedding. Because it's not all flashy. I don't do flashy. Hell, I would be satisfied with a courthouse wedding!!

Congrats honey :)

Helene said...

wow! $2,000 is impressive congrats!!!

Rachel said...

We also had a really budget wedding--our goal was to keep it under $3000, and we ended up at $2300, and, considering that we had nearly 100 guests, we were pretty happy with that! We printed our own invitations and programs at home, and planned the wedding for early afternoon so then we had a dessert and snack reception instead of a meal reception. We got our wedding cake from Sam's club! The most expensive things--or what we splurged on, was the pastor (still don't know why he was so expensive but that's what his church charged and it was my childhood pastor) and the photographer.

Daisy said...

Congratulations on your wedding! It looks very beautiful. I cant wait to see the rest of the pictures

Empowered Momma J said...

$2000, You're a rockstar. Thank you for linking up to the Empowered Living hop. I really do hope to see more of you and your wonderful posts again.

Unknown said...

Yay!! I love seeing people plan their weddings with their pocket books in mind! :D Too many brides rely on their parents dishing out enough money.

I'm not married yet, but Lord willing will be planning my wedding next year. My goal is to stay under $5,000. Totally doable, right? ;)

katie said...

so sweet to see what you could do on a budget! that dress is perfect on you, and everything is so beautiful for a fall celebration.

our wedding came to about $12k, i think? given our druthers we'd have done it for about $5k (which would have been about what we could do if the mister and i had had to pay everything ourselves), but i seriously come from a clan and with 400 invitees, over half of whom were my family, things add up. (not that it ended up a 400-person party, but just for scale...)

we did do a lot resourcefully, though, so the only thing we'd really have done differently would have been food (we had a catered picnic, could've done a potluck picnic), and possibly venue (could've gotten married at the park pavilion we had for the reception, rather than paying for the church also). our desserts, swing DJ, photographer, and hairstylist were all friends, who either gifted us their services or gave us significant discounts. my girls and i did *all* the florals (decor, bouquets, and corsages/boutonnieres!) -- i tell you, nothing is more smile-inducing than coming home from the farmers' market with an SUV full of sunflowers! my getup was about $250 total -- shoes i already had, a vintage dress, a DIY veil, and truly luxurious underpinnings =) -- the mister's was a buy-one-get-one suit deal that fleshed out his formal wardrobe for life. pictures at my old blog:

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