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11 Crazy Smart Wedding Budget Ideas From Real Brides


It’s no secret that some of the most stress caused by a wedding is directly related to the amount of dough coming out of your pockets!  Everyone wants to have a beautiful, memorable ceremony, while also staying afloat financially.

“I loved every bit of our wedding, but my favorite planning piece was the flowers!  I knew I wanted A LOT of flowers, but I didn’t want to pay a lot.  So I ordered fresh flowers from a wholesale distributor and picked them up the week of the wedding.  We supplemented with additional wildflowers from a local Amish farm.” –

“We didn’t have a planner or anyone showing us what we had to do. During the last couple of months we found it hard to get everything done that we wanted but we were able to work together to make everything happen. We had a lot of help from friends and family and we couldn’t have done it without their support.” –

You do have to make quite the investment of time when planning your own wedding. Time=money. So, if you’re short on time or details make you crrrrazy, it’s definitely worthwhile to hire someone to handle the details. You may also find it worthwhile to hire someone to coordinate details the day of the wedding, so you don’t have 20 people tugging on your wedding dress wondering what to do next.

“For our ceremony outside in the Bedford Village Inn garden, we started with a very basic ceremony template, and built it from the ground up to make it our own. It was very personalized, and we were married by Matthew’s older brother, Ryan, who got licensed as an officiant just for this occasion. He did an absolutely beautiful job.” –

Keep in mind, while a friend can create a super personalized ceremony, there are also benefits to hiring a seasoned pro – like how to roll with the punches. In case something doesn’t go as planned, a pro will know how to make it all look flawless to both you and the guests.

“As for the details, our friends and our families worked together to create a lot of personal touches at our event. From the corn-hole boards made by our best man and then hand spray-painted by myself, my mom, and Matthew; to the incredible jelly and jam favor display that my mom created; and the other countless other little design elements that kept us busy right up until the final week.” –

“I penned out our entire ceremony, I made all the centerpieces, the Candy Bar, the invitations, the escort cards, the wedding website, I even made my neck-shoulder piece and birdcage fascinator. Anything that could be crafted, I did. In the end, I was practically sweating glitter. (I even made a kids coloring book!)” –

Natalie Bradley adds, “If you want a fun and lively reception or cocktail time filled with games, but you need to scale back on the money spent, you can whip up some entertainment the (new) old-fashioned way. You can create your own giant version of the Jenga game if you are talented with a saw, sander and some stain … hard costs are less than about $50 and your guests will love playing!

The same is true for a giant Yahtzee game. You just need some wood cubes and a wood burner and you’re in business. You can also add things like horse shoes and corn hole games. Keep an eye out for deals at Good Will and other places where you can find gently loved items.”

Very early on, we knew the style of wedding we wanted, and had decided on a budget. We had a pretty long engagement, and spent almost two years crafting, bargaining, and thinking of inventive ways to get the same high-end looking at less the cost.” –

“One night Craig and I decided to sit down and brainstorm what we wanted for our wedding. Refinishing desks, designing pencils, contacting library after library to find card catalog drawers, visiting antique stores, and finding all the items we loved from our elementary school days not only helped bring our vision to life, but also brought us closer together. We were so proud of each detail, no matter how small, because we envisioned it, designed it, and created it. Our planning and crafting created a wedding that was perfectly us.” –

“Coming up with the idea to do a brunch wedding– not only did using breakfast food cut our bill in half, it was a sentimental choice too. Our first date was breakfast at a diner because we both worked overnights at the time. Plus, who doesn’t love breakfast? People loved the originality of the idea and the delicious food!” –

“Ryan and I did quite a bit of research on photographers, videographers, combo packs, etc. in the area of our venue, as well as near our home towns. Because we weren’t willing to sacrifice the location and setting of our ceremony/reception, we figured that our budget wouldn’t allow for a videographer. After being able to hire a family friend for an extremely reasonable price to do our photography, we began to look into a more “do it yourself” route for video. Long story short, 

“We ordered dried bouquets and boutonnieres from Etsy for our bridal party. I have always had a hard time swallowing the cost of real flowers and not getting to enjoy them but for one day. I found a lady on Etsy  who made exactly what we wanted for our flowers and now I get to enjoy my bouquet every time I walk into my closet!” –

“One of the more unique things we did was our own flowers and they came out great!  The day before we did the bouquets, centerpieces, boutonniere’s, etc with the help of our friends and family…it couldn’t have gone smoother!” –

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