My DIY Wedding on a Budget (Part I)

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 I may be biased, but I think our wedding was pretty darn beautiful. Despite being nearly two years ago, I get regular questions and compliments on how we did things, so I thought I would write a little about it.

If you've read my blog before, you might remember that Michael and I don't do credit cards. We were generously given some money from family members to go towards the big day, but we didn't want to go into debt for the part that we had to pay out of our own pocket. All together, our wedding cost around $10,000, including the venue, dress, food, and everything!  Given that we planned and purchased for 250 people (sadly, about 100 of those people that RSVP'd yes did not show up), not bad at all! Here's what I learned while doing research for our wedding.

1. The venue matters. The largest chunk of money went to the venue. When researching, I learned that venues are crazy expensive! Most people charge per person and that does not include tables or chairs. Many venues will require you to order food through them, which could be a huge expense, especially if that's not the direction you'd like to go. We got married at Postlewait's in Canby, Oregon. For about $4,000 we were able to get the venue for the entire day, a dance floor, tables, and chairs. It was absolutely perfect! Plus the grounds were so lovely that it cut down the need for floral arrangements and excess decor.

2. The theme sets the tone. This might be obvious, but it wasn't something I had considered previously. When planning a Gatsby-esque wedding for instance, it might be harder to getaway with BBQ or something more casual. When planning a country wedding, nearly anything goes! Luckily a vintage-y, shabby-chic wedding was what I was going for. I wanted something casual and fun (i.e. girls in sundresses, guys in vests and rolled up sleeves). Because of this, we were able to do a dessert bar instead of serving dinner! We had tons of yummy desserts (mainly from Costco) and fruit. Yum!

3. Brand names don't matter. My dress came from David's Bridal. Are there other brides on this planet that wore that same dress? Yes. But my dress looked unique on me and was exactly what I dreamed of. It was great quality too! My shoes came from ebay (that was an accident, however--I couldn't find some anywhere else that I liked), and so did my veil. Beauty doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg! The bridesmaid's dresses came from Kohl's and were about $40.

4. Take advantage of any connections. We asked around and were able to have a family member do the cake for a gift, and another did the flowers at cost. Another family member gave us discounts on other services, and helped us find a bartender that would be inexpensive. My mom brought a lot of the decorations from her home. Many people were happy to help us and were glad we asked. Use your connections!!

That concludes Part I! Coming next week is a look at the projects I made specifically for our wedding and whether or not I thought they were worth it. I hope someone found this useful! If you have any questions, please let me know!

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  1. Great post ! We also decided not to have debt for our wedding, as we were both students without job, and our wedding was really really cheap, but we were so happy to marry together that it didn't mind... I can't wait to see your DIY decor ! Oh, and thanks for the award. ;)



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