Diy wedding menu cards ideas

First things first: Give your budget a little breathing room. Unexpected expenses will arise, so know that your budget will evolve throughout the planning process. Take those surprises into consideration by putting in a little bit of cushion. That way you own the flexibility to handle any surprise expense.

A wedding is a huge event to plan, so it’s helpful to know what you can get for a certain dollar quantity. What does $5, get you?

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

$10,? $15,?

Here are some budget breakdown examples for weddings ranging from $ to $30, and some suggestions for how to make them happen.

The Elegant Loft Wedding

If your budget is $21,, you could spend your money love this:

Venue and full-service catering: $12, for tables, chairs, linens, food, beverages and staff for 50 guests
Attire: $ for a dress; $ for a tuxedo rental
Flowers and decorations: $1,
Wedding Planner: $3, for assist with the details leading up to and the day of the wedding
Photography: $2,
Entertainment: $1, for a DJ
Dessert: $ for a cake
Invitations: $ from Etsy

The Little Destination Wedding

If your budget is $15,, you could spend your money love this:

Venue: $8, for a seven-bedroom villa for the week
Flights: $1,
Food and beverages: $2, for a buffet meal and beverages
Rentals: $ for tables, chairs, linens and lighting
Attire: $ for a dress; $ for a suit on sale
Flowers and decorations: $ for bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces
Wedding Planner or Venue Coordinator: $0, included with venue
Photography: $2,
Entertainment: $ for speaker rentals; $0 for a grand playlist
Dessert: Cutting cake and cupcakes for $
Invitations: $50, DIY

The Museum or Art Gallery Gathering

If your budget is $12,, you could spend your money love this:

Venue and full-service catering: $8, for tables, chairs, linens, food, beverages and staff
Attire: $ for a dress; $0 for a suit you already own
Flowers and decorations: $ for lighting rentals and DIY bouquets and centerpieces
Wedding Planner: $ for the hour minimum
Photography: $1,
Entertainment: $ for a DJ
Dessert: $ for a cake
Invitations: $, DIY

The Rustic Wedding

If your budget is $7,, you could spend your money love this:

Venue: $2, for tables, chairs, linens and bridal suite
Food and beverages: $1, for appetizers and beverages
Attire: $ for a dress; $ for a tuxedo rental
Flowers and decorations: $ for DIY bouquets, centerpieces and lighting
Wedding Planner: $0 for a friend who offers their talents as a wedding present
Photography: $2,
Entertainment: $75 for a speaker rental; $0 for a grand playlist
Dessert: $0, DIY-dessert table with dishes provided by friends and family
Invitations: $, DIY

The Basic Courthouse Elopement

If your budget is $, you could spend your money love this:

Marriage certificate: $25 to $ (depending on your state)
Here in Nashville, the fee for a marriage license clocks in at $ And $60 of that can be waived if the couple completes a premarital counseling course within the final year—hello savings!

The City Hall Wedding

If your budget is $, you could spend your money love this:

Venue: $25 to $ (depending on your state) for a short ceremony at City Hall, officiant included
Food and beverages: $ for lunch for a group of 10 shut friends
Attire: $ for a dress; $0 for a suit you already own
Flowers and decorations: $50 for a dozen roses
Photography: $0 for a talented friend

The Backyard Venue

If your budget is $3,, you could spend your money love this:

Venue: $0 for your future in-laws’ backyard
Food and beverages: $ for drinks and a buffet prepared by friends and family
Attire: $ for a dress; $ for a suit rental
Flowers: $0 for wildflowers you picked for a bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, and boutonnieres
Decorations: $1, for a tent, dance floor, table and chair rentals, lighting, and DIY centerpieces
Wedding Planning: $0 for an aunt willing to chip in and coordinate the day-of details
Photography: $ for a talented friend or amateur via Craigslist
Entertainment: $75 for a speaker rental; $0 for a grand playlist
Dessert: $50 to $ for a cutting cake, cupcakes, or pies from a bakery
Invitations: $50, DIY

Church Ceremony With Ballroom Reception Blowout

If your budget is $30,, you could spend your money love this:

Church rental: $
Venue and full-service catering: $15, for tables, chairs, linens, food, beverages and staff
Attire: $1, for a dress; $ for a tuxedo rental
Flowers and decorations: $2, for bouquets, centerpieces, other arrangements and lighting
Wedding Planner: $4, for a full-service planner
Photography: $2, for a top-rated professional photographer and an assistant
Entertainment: $4, for a live band
Dessert: $ for a cake
Invitations: $


Tips to Reduce Wedding Bar Service Costs

These ideas could reduce your final beverage service bill a massive, often overlooked outlay for most nuptials.

Purchase Booze in Bulk

Most full-service wedding venues require the happy couple or whoevers picking up the tab  to pay by the drink, not by the bottle or case.

If you can discover a venue that does offer bulk pricing to parties pouring its own supply, jump on that deal.

More commonly, some venues dont require parties to pour house-supplied drinks. Such venues permit exterior, bulk-bought booze, generally in exchange for a corkage fee typically $2 to $5, sometimes more at high-end venues  charged on each bottle opened by bar staff. For single-serve containers, such as beer cans, corkage policies may be laxer; you might not own to pay to serve your own beer at all.

Even after accounting for corkage fees, buying booze in bulk at your local liquor outlet will dramatically reduce your alcohol bill. My weddings entire alcohol spend came in just bashful of $1, about $7 per guest, the price of a single open bar drink.

Thanks to a couple of supplemental kegs of our friends signature homebrew, we had more than enough left over for an impromptu after-party at a nearby campsite.

It helped that we chose a venue that didnt charge corkage fees. If you cant avoid corkage altogether, at least attempt to negotiate below the per-bottle cost, perhaps in exchange for a guaranteed minimum bottle count.

Finally, if you dont expect to be capable to slough off excess bulk booze on your after-party, select a retailer with a buyback policy a commitment to repurchase or credit unused, unopened bottles or kegs.

You may need to negotiate buybacks individually since retailers dont always advertise them.

Stick to Beer & Wine

Light beer and home wine generally cost less per serving than the sort of mid-shelf liquor you wouldnt be embarrassed to serve your guests. Traditional cocktails, which may contain two or three 1-ounce liquor servings, are particularly pricey.

If you decide to forgo hard alcohol, offer a variety of non-liquor options, such as:

  1. Full-strength macrobrew beers (e.g., Budweiser, Coors)
  2. White, red, sparkling, and rose wine
  3. Light macrobrew beers (e.g., Bud Light, Miller Lite)

Congratulations, you’re engaged!

You’re probably flying high with visions of wedded bliss in your head, but here’s a statistic that’s certain to bring you back to earth: According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $35,(1) And that doesn’t even count the honeymoon expense!

After reading that you may be ready to elope! Compared to footing the bill for a lavish wedding, taking a simple journey to the courthouse is obviously more economical. But dreamers, don’t despair. You can still own a traditional wedding ceremony and reception without going overboard. You just need a budget!

Figuring out your wedding budget can be confusing if you’ve never planned a large event.

It’s hard to nail below a dollar quantity if you’re unsure how much bang you can get for your buck. Sometimes the wedding a couple wants doesn’t align with what they can afford, and that’s when the trouble begins.

Your wedding is one of the best days of your life, so you may feel pressure to plan an elaborate celebration. But there’s no need to go into debt. You can own a amazing, memorable wedding—no matter what your budget is!

If you don’t desire to sink boatloads of money into one (although extremely special) day, I own some practical tips to plan a cost-effective celebration you’ll still love!

Ready to start saving?

Download our free budgeting tool today!


How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Own the wedding budget talk.

Everyone paying for the event (bride, groom and parents) needs to sit below and glance at the entire wedding budget. This might be your first experience budgeting with your future spouse as a team. What a priceless experience! Learning to talk openly and honestly about how much you can spend—and how much you’re willing to spend—on your wedding is going to lay the groundwork for amazing budget date nights once you’re married!

As uncomfortable as this budget talk might be, just remember—it’s a heck of a lot easier than still paying for your wedding day on your fifth anniversary!

When I tell budget here, I’m not just talking about how much money you can spend total—I’m talking about how much you should spend in each specific area.

I propose breaking the entire wedding budget into categories and figuring out what percentage to devote to each:

Reception: 55%
Ceremony: 12%
Photography: 10%
Wedding Planner: 10%
Dress and Tux: 8%
Miscellaneous/Cushion: 5%

These aren’t set numbers; that’s just the ratio Winston and I used.

You should set your ratios based on what’s significant to you. Maybe you’re willing to splurge on photos, but flowers don’t really matter to you. If you care more about one area than another, change up the percentages.

Determine the helpful of wedding you want.

When you picture your wedding, what do you see? A swanky reception at a downtown loft? A backyard barbecue with every your friends and family?

A classic hotel ballroom reception?

If you need a little more inspiration, ponder about every the weddings you’ve been to, seen on TV, or scrolled through on Pinterest. What did you like—or not like—about them?

Don’t get hung up on the little details just yet. Instead, ponder about the overall feel you desire your wedding to own. When it comes to planning a wedding on a budget, knowing your priorities matters.

Decide what is nonnegotiable.

Based on your percentages, take a moment with your fiancé to decide on your top three must-haves for your large day. They can be practical or totally frivolous: an outdoor reception, a plated surf and turf dinner, loads of flowers, a live jazz band—whatever is most significant to you.

You can come up with your wish lists separately or together, but make certain you sit below and determine what you both really desire.

Let that vision dictate your budget.


Tips to Reduce Wedding Appetizer Costs

These tips could reduce the cost of appetizer service at your wedding reception, whether youre passing out apps during cocktail hour or waiting until guests sit below in their dinner seats.

Offer a Hearty Soup Option

As endless as its not sweltering exterior, offer a hearty, locally appropriate soup option to fill guests up before dinner. Creamy clam chowder or savory tomato bisque is far cheaper per serving than seafood ceviche or Caprese salad.

Avoid Passed Appetizers

Although passing apps having servers stroll through the crowd offering individual appetizers to guests invariably reduces consumption compared with buffet-style apps, its not necessarily cost-effective.

Those servers need to be paid, and passed apps tend to be pricier since theyre made from more expensive ingredients and require more prep. (Think: shrimp cocktail, bacon-wrapped scallops, and miniature savory pies with goodness knows how numerous ingredients.)

Cut the servers and pomp from the appetizer equation and own guests assist themselves to their own apps at well-spaced stations. Youll urge mingling this way too.

Use Off-the-Shelf Appetizers

Forgo the kitchen altogether with a selection of relatively low-cost store-bought apps, love crudités trays, pita and hummus, and cheese plates sans exotic or fancy cheeses, which quickly add up.

You dont desire your guests to ponder youre phoning in the appetizer circular, of course.

Attempt these tricks to elevate your off-the-shelf offerings:

  1. Break out ancient family recipes for sauce and topping ideas.
  2. Arrange multi-part apps in recyclable wine glasses or champagne flutes, rather than on disposable plates.
  3. Put colorful unused veggies on skewers for maximum visual impact, tapping guests to assist if additional labor is necessary.
  4. Type up cards to label dishes and origins, especially for unique or locally sourced ingredients, such as cheese.

Own a Wedding Party Potluck

This is a more manageable twist on the crowdsourcing theme. Instead of gifts, enquire each member of your wedding party to make their favorite app (or an app you assign) for the reception.

The same guidelines apply here. Since youll own fewer contributors, take additional care to confirm sufficient supply; depending on party size, each contributor might need to make 50 or 75 servings to ensure every guest can attempt more than one item.

If the entire wedding party is available the night before the wedding, consider hosting a cooking marathon in a low-cost commercial kitchen near the venue. Its common for houses of worship to rent out their kitchen facilities for nominal fees, for instance.

Put Out an Open Call for Contributions

Why not crowdsource your appetizer options? In your wedding invite and on your wedding website, invite guests to sign up to contribute homemade or store-bought  apps of their choice.

Remember to:

  1. Specify any universal dietary restrictions (for instance, if youre having an all-vegetarian wedding or hosting guests with life-threatening food allergies)
  2. Ask guests to reveal serious food allergies in advance
  3. Specify serving count in advance (most guests wont be capable to cook for or guests, but 25 contributors making 25 servings each means more than enough to go around)
  4. Cap entire contributions at a number youre comfortable managing, keeping in mind that you may need to field questions from contributors in advance and accept their submissions on the day of the wedding
  5. Check with the venue beforehand to confirm that exterior food is permitted (and ponder twice about holding your reception at a venue closed to exterior caterers more on that below)
  6. Use a spreadsheet to organize contributions
  7. Follow applicable safe serving regulations (in some jurisdictions, you may need to prep food on site)

Frolic Up Color Contrasts

Visually attractive appetizer ingredients, such as in-season vegetables, are often cheaper than drab fancy alternatives.

In summer, a colorful garden salad sourced from your local farmers market will almost certainly cost less than a two-toned shrimp cocktail or monochrome lamb skewer. It also looks equally fancy.

Make the most of cost-effective, colorful app options by:

  1. Slimming below low-color options portion sizes
  2. Giving them prominent placement on buffet tables or stations for instance, on the ends where guests are likely to see them first
  3. Making them in larger quantities
  4. Replacing costlier ingredients with colorful alternatives for instance, swapping out lump crab meat for diced mango and peppers.


Tips to Reduce Wedding Cocktail Hour Costs

Try these strategies to reduce the entire cost of the stretch between the finish of the ceremony and the official start of the reception.

Get Photos Out of the Way Before the Ceremony

At numerous weddings, cocktail hours primary purpose is to hold guests occupied while the wedding party poses for photos. If you can get wedding photos out of the way before guests show up for the ceremony, theres no need to draw out cocktail hour. Indeed, if the reception and ceremony take put in the same location, there may be no need for a formal cocktail hour at all.

Hold the Booze Locked Away

Nowhere is it written that wedding cocktail hours must feature cocktails or any alcohol at every, for that matter.

Whether BYOB flies at your venue or not, hold the booze locked up until dinner. In the meantime, stir a signature mocktail perhaps your favorite cocktail, sans liquor.

Stick to One Drink

If youre not sold on a BYOB cocktail hour, consider keeping things simple and offering just one drink between the ceremony and the official start of the reception. You might:

  1. Offer your venues home wine or purchase your own lower-shelf red or white in bulk.
  2. Hand out recyclable champagne flutes and break open the sparkling wine.
  3. Tap a keg from your favorite local brewery or cidery.
  4. Pre-mix a signature cocktail, perhaps you and your spouses favorite.

Your guests tastes wont be uniform, so dont agonize about choosing a drink that pleases everyone.

White wine might be the safest choice since numerous drinkers avoid beer or hard liquor and some guests might be reticent to knock back cocktails before dinner.

Urge Guests to BYOB

Its not as tacky as it sounds. BYOB doesnt mean bring your own flask, after every though youll probably glance the other way if guests do tug out their flasks, as endless as theyre not making a scene.

Make it clear in your wedding invitation, or on your wedding website, that you wont be serving booze during cocktail hour.

Then, set the stage for a respectable cocktail hour by doing any of the following:

  1. Set a theme for your cocktail hour drink, such as craft beer, and urge guests to bring their favorite examples of the theme.
  2. Post or send out a recipe for a signature cocktail that guests can pre-mix themselves and bring to share.
  3. Use a shared spreadsheet or your preferred organizing tool  to organize a drinks potluck, in which guests bring a variety of drinks to share.

These are examples only; your BYOB cocktail hour can glance however you desire it to look.

Serve Bar Snacks

Dont break out the serious appetizers until guests are seated for dinner, or at least in the room where dinner will be served.

At cocktail hour, whet their appetites with a variety of bar snacks, such as nuts, pretzels, and dried fruit. Those who partake will probably eat less during the official appetizer circular, keeping your weddings food costs in check.


Tips to Reduce Wedding Dinner Costs

Follow these tips to cut the cost of your wedding receptions dinner service.

Price Out Local-Only Menus

Local, in-season menus may wind up costing less than luxe menus with ingredients sourced from the four corners of the world.

Theyre certain to be more eco-friendly, as well.

Since local producers may not enjoy the same scale as industrial food producers, pricing isnt guaranteed to work in your favor, but theres no harm in checking this out in advance. Bear in mind that your local-only requirement may affect your choice of caterer; you may even need to purchase and prepare some menu items yourself using guests as labor.

Skip the Wine With Dinner

I dont ponder Ive ever been to a traditional wedding without the obligatory wine service at dinner. Dont get me wrong; I love wine with dinner as much as the next person, but I always thought it strange to compel guests still finishing their cocktail hour drinks to double up so early in the night.

Why not break the mold and believe your guests to enjoy their cocktail hour drinks with dinner?

At four or five glasses per bottle, depending on the pour, even a modest-sized weddings dinner wine amounts to a case or more.

Order Takeout

A stack of takeout pizza boxes on the wedding buffet may not be the most elegant visual, but its certain cost-effective. Besides, when shove comes to shove, how numerous guests are really going to turn below free pizza?

Rather than accepting pricey in-house catering or opting for a custom menu by an exterior caterer, consider ordering bulk takeout from your favorite local restaurant. Takeout is a grand accompaniment for casual daytime receptions, and for basic options love pizza, Tex-Mex, and sandwiches, your final cost should be well under $10 per person.

With enough advance notice a week or longer, most likely most decent-sized restaurants should be capable to accommodate catering for or guests.

Fast-casual chains love Chipotle are safer bets and may be amenable to day-before or even day-of orders. Dont pay menu prices without negotiating first; numerous restaurants are every too happy to charge less to move perishable product.

If you decide to go this route, you can further reduce the cost by purchasing discount present cards through

Focus on Non-Traditional Cuts of Meat

Weve alluded to this already, but count this as your official notice to swap out pricey cuts of meat such as filet, prime rib, and lamb cut for cheaper or non-traditional cuts. Well-marinated flank steak or sirloin tips are almost as tasty as your basic filet mignon, at a part of the cost.

Remember to do your research ahead of time so that you can counter your caterers suggestions with cheaper alternatives.

Research Ingredient Costs Ahead of Time

You dont need an encyclopedic knowledge of ingredient pricing or availability, but it can assist to own a general sense of the cost of various types of fish and vegetables, cuts of meat, and common sides.

The more you know about the per-serving costs of individual ingredients and fully composed menu options, the better equipped youll be to negotiate menu pricing or swap out costly items in favor of cheaper alternatives. This is especially significant if youre building your own menu from the ground up, rather than choosing from a handful of choices presented by your caterer or venue.

Go Completely Vegetarian

If skipping dinner is too bold for you, at least consider skipping the meat.

Most animal protein is expensive, particularly the fancy types and cuts wedding caterers shove, such as filet mignon, prime rib, lamb, and sea bass.

Swap out these pricey proteins for hearty vegetables and plant-based proteins such as tofu, seitan, Portobello mushroom, eggplant, and cauliflower. Use artistic presentations and complicated sauces and dressings to hold things interesting.

Record Off Venues That Require In-House Catering

This is probably the single most significant thing you can do to reduce the cost of your reception dinner, and it doesnt require much effort.

Simply call the venues youre considering and enquire whether they permit exterior food.

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

If venues that require in-house catering tell you theres no wiggle room in their policy, then eliminate them from your list.

Hold the Appetizers Coming

Heres a bold idea: Why not skip dinner entirely? Instead of a formal, seated dinner service, break out heavy apps during the cocktail hour and hold them flowing until toast time.

One wedding thats always stuck with me followed a hybrid app-and-dinner strategy. They kept the apps going correct up until they served a single-course, modestly portioned dinner that was far less memorable than the app circular.

Clearly, the thought was to get guests full enough that they wouldnt care about the skimpy dinner; I certainly didnt.

Serve Family-Style

If youre not a fan of buffets, or youre wary about traffic, consider reducing labor costs for dinner prep, plating, and service by serving family-style meals. Family-style service means seated guests serve themselves out of communal dishes placed on their tables an instant conversation starter and an chance for portion control.

Dishes that work well for family-style service also happen to be cost-effective.

Consider:

  1. Fajitas
  2. Pulled meat sandwiches
  3. Casseroles
  4. Stir-fry
  5. Lasagna
  6. Mac and cheese, perhaps with an animal protein for added bulk
  7. Rice-based dishes

Do a Basic Buffet

This is a slightly less engaging serve-yourself option. Cheap buffets emphasize filling, low-cost sides, such as:

  1. Cooking greens
  2. Rice and beans
  3. Corn on the cob
  4. Steamed vegetables
  5. Potato salad
  6. Mashed potatoes
  7. Rolls
  8. Casseroles

Limit protein choice to a few reasonably priced meat and vegetable protein options, such as:

  1. Pulled pork
  2. Cod filet
  3. Chicken breast
  4. Grilled eggplant
  5. Grilled tofu
  6. Grilled Portobello mushroom
  7. Stir-fry

Stick to Two Entrée Options

If youre set on traditional dinner service, limit the menu choices to two: one vegetarian (or, ideally, vegan) option, and a low-cost meat option.

Limiting the choices reduces prep and plating costs as well as the likelihood of service errors.

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

For your meat option, consider poultry instead of hoofed proteins; chicken is cheaper and more eco-friendly than beef, lamb, or pork.

Set Up a Build Your Own Bar

Traditional dinner service is boring. Engage your guests and cut below on ingredient costs with a build your own bar thats heavy on low-cost sides. Favorite ideas might include:

  1. Tacos or burritos, with an emphasis on cheaper types or cuts of meat (e.g., chicken, hanger steak) and traditional, low-cost sides
  2. Burgers or meat sandwiches with plenty of unused veggies, cheese, and condiments
  3. Fresh salads with chicken, fish, or vegetable-based proteins to bulk things up

If you go the build your own route, set up at least two double-sided stations so that up to four guests can serve themselves the same ingredient at once to reduce bottlenecks.

Go With Simple Serving Stations

Elevate your buffet service by setting out simple, themed serving stations with one or two items.

Its a sensible, visually engaging way to segregate guests who prefer, tell, chicken or pulled pork to those seeking out grilled tofu or eggplant. Just be certain to label stations clearly and optimize station placement for flow; you desire every guest to own simple access to every station and to avoid bottlenecks to the extent possible.

Opt for a Tasting Menu

Compared with a take-it-or-leave-it main course, a six- or eight-course tasting menu means greater logistical complexity and higher prep costs. But smaller portion sizes and slower pacing may justify these drawbacks; if you serve less food overall, youll spend less on ingredients.

Ponder of this as a creative alternative to heavy app-only dinners, with similar results.



A reader writes in:

What advice do you own for a frugal wedding on a budget? Were getting married this drop and desire to explore as numerous cheap wedding ideas as we can. Since were both in our early twenties and dont own a lot to spend, we were hoping to hold our wedding as little as possible. We were thinking no more than six to eight people including ourselves.

Glad you asked.

My wife and I were married in the summer of Although our wedding was actually fairly frugal, we recognized afterwards that there was plenty more we could own done to make it even less expensive.

Hindsight is always 20/20, so here are 20 tactics you could attempt to cut below the cost of your wedding without diminishing your experience or that of your guests.

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & OrganizerLearn MoreWorksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked QuestionsThe Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & OrganizerLearn MoreChecklists, Worksheets, and Essential Tools to Plan the Perfect Wedding on a Little Budget

0 Tips to Plan Your Wedding on a Budget

Plan, plan, plan.

When you’re trying to own a wedding on a budget, it’s significant to plan ahead.

List everything you can ponder of and stroll through these items step by step.

The earlier you get started and the more things you ponder about early on the less last-minute stress youll own, and the more time youll own to discover sales and discounts and research other excellent ideas.

Involve your closest friends and family in the preparations.

As youre brainstorming cheap wedding ideas, you should get your closest friends and family involved with the details.

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

Fairly often, theyll own surprisingly excellent ideas that can save you money and effort.

For example, they might know a vendor that would offer you a deal, or own something you could borrow for your special day. Excellent friends and family are always there to assist, and they’ll be especially happy to contribute to such a joyful occasion so you might as well take advantage of their generosity.

Select affordable wedding rings.

Wedding bands are traditionally an significant part of the marriage ceremony, symbolic of your commitment to each other.

That doesnt mean they own to cost you a fortune.

A typical karat wedding band can cost upwards of $1,, and wedding website TheKnot says American couples tend to spend about 3% of their overall wedding cost on the rings (plus thousands more on an engagement ring). If youre trying to tug off your wedding on a budget, this is an area where you can trim costs beautiful easily.

Unlike the wedding itself, which is over every too quickly, youll (hopefully) be wearing this ring every day for the relax of your life so its significant you love the way it looks and feels.

But again, that doesnt mean it has to cost $1, or more. Titanium, sterling silver, and other materials are less expensive, durable, and can be personalized for even deeper meaning. Check out some affordable wedding ring options here.

Plan a simple honeymoon, not an ostentatious one.

A huge, over-the-top honeymoon might sound enjoyment, but its far, far cheaper (and often more enjoyable) to stay closer to home.

Instead of planning a large, expensive journey, focus on what matters: Unwinding after those hectic weeks leading up to your wedding, and savoring some time alone with your new spouse. An hour flight across the world with multiple connections isn’t going to assist in that regard.

You could even just hop in the car and spend a week or two seeing every of the local sights you’ve never had time to see until now.

Whatever you do, just enjoy this time together.

Bonus idea: If youre set on a more distant honeymoon, attempt paying for most of your wedding expenses with a credit card that offers grand travel rewards or a sign-up bonus, which could assist cover the cost of your flight (but pay off the balance before it accrues any interest).

Hold the ceremony at home, or outdoors.

Renting a building or function hall for your ceremony and reception can be extremely expensive. Instead, consider using your own home (or the home of a parent) for your ceremony, or perhaps a public park with a beautiful view.

In each case, you can also own your reception outdoors, creating a picturesque, memorable ceremony while eliminating the cost of renting a venue.

If you go the outdoor route, however, it’s best to own a back-up plan in case of bad weather; you don’t desire to get married in a downpour that leaves every your friends and family soaked.

That might mean renting a sturdy tent if rain is forecast, or a few industrial fans if it’s an extremely boiling day or simply stuffing everyone inside the home to wait out a storm.

Skip the groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts.

While it’s considered customary to give gifts to your groomsmen and bridesmaids in some circles, it isn’t always necessary. Instead of buying gifts they may not even desire or enjoy, consider writing them a special note to tell “thanks” instead.

If your friends know that you’re trying to own a frugal wedding, they will understand.

Enquire for wedding assist instead of wedding gifts.

We were fortunate that several of our friends and family had musical talent, so they were capable to provide musical accompaniment for our ceremony. We also own a shut friend who’s an extremely skilled amateur photographer, and he was willing to photograph our ceremony as our wedding present. Then, after the ceremony, he provided high-quality digital images of everything.

Asking family and friends to offer assist or services that align with their talents in lieu of a present is a grand way to hold your wedding on a budget.

Avoid guest list bloat.

Although you might be tempted to throw everyone you know on your guest list, that isn’t always a grand thought. With each addition you make, youre adding additional costs while also making your wedding less intimate.

To a degree, this was a trap we fell into with our own wedding our guest list grew and grew to the point where we invited people that we didnt know well simply because we felt obligated.

To save as much as you can, attempt inviting fewer people and making the event more intimate. Start by whittling your list below by 20%, then another 20%. Then see if you’re happy with it.

Price store for decorations and consider buying used.

My Wedding Favors, Paper Warehouse, and Hobby Lobby every own sales throughout the year.

If you know what you’re looking for ahead of time, you can simply wait until it goes on sale and “pounce” when the time is right.

Meanwhile, you can also consider buying used centerpieces and decorations. Recent brides often sell their decorations on sites love , and you can save a bundle of money and effort going that route.

Stock the bar yourself.

Alcohol is a large expense when it comes to a lot of weddings, and its also a large variable you can frolic around with to cut costs. Instead of opting for a full open bar, for instance, you can save money offering just beer and wine, or a free cocktail hour followed by a cash bar.

If you do rent a function hall, enquire if they’ll let you supply your own alcohol instead of using the venue’s, which can be a large money-saver.

Glance for a discount liquor store in your area, and stock up on the basics: red and white wine and a few types of beer at the extremely least. If you desire to offer a full bar, pick up the standard liquors love vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey, plus a few mixers and soft drinks love sodas and juice.

Keep in mind that while it’s more cost-efficient to purchase a keg of beer instead of cases, any leftover beer will go to waste, whereas you can store excess bottles for months.

And that’s helpful, since it’s a excellent thought to overestimate you don’t desire to run out of drinks halfway through the reception.

If youre getting married in your own church, enquire the ladies auxiliary for help.

Most churches own a womens organization that is extremely happy to assist with wedding preparation in exchange for a little donation. Get them involved they can take a lot of worry off your shoulders for a relatively low price.

At our wedding, the church ladies were a grand assist with church decoration and other helpful things on the day of the ceremony.

Do the catering yourself, or hire a family-owned restaurant.

For our wedding, we handled our own food preparation and catering with a lot of assist from my wifes family. This drastically reduced the food costs for the ceremony.

If this isnt your forte, glance around your community for a family-owned restaurant and enquire the owners directly to cater your wedding. Family-owned restaurants are always the first put to check they will almost always go the additional mile to make your wedding special and are generally more understanding of your specific budget needs.

Rent tuxedos as a group, or simply wear matching suits.

Unless you own a specific reason for owning a tuxedo (and few people do), you should rent one.

Its often useful to rent the tuxedos as a group through the same trade, as youll often get a group rate.

If you don’t desire to go the tuxedo route, you can also own every of your groomsmen wear a black suit from home or other matching formalwear.

Purchase dresses off the rack and on sale.

If you desire to save on bridesmaid dresses, attempt to avoid ordering custom dresses altogether. Instead, head to a few stores with dresses on sale and see if you can every discover something “off the rack.”

This works best if your colors are chosen ahead of time and if the store you’re shopping at carries plenty of sizes. To minimize spats within your wedding party, you can also store ahead of time and only own them attempt on dresses you already approve of.

Another cheap wedding idea: Instead of buying new dresses, own every bridesmaid wear a specific color dress they already own.

Make your own invitations.

With a quality home printer and some time, you can make extremely classy invitations on your own. My wife and I picked up a simple empty invitation kit on sale at Staples and made our own invitations to our wedding. No pictures or anything just a extremely classic font and simple text. It looked stylish and didnt cost us much at all.

Sites love VistaPrint also offer cheap wedding invitations you can order from the comfort of your home. Their options aren’t too fancy, but theyll certainly do the trick. You can even hire a freelance graphic designer to whip up a custom invitation for you on Fiverr for beautiful short money (starting at $5).

Display vendor cards in exchange for reduced rates.

If youre hiring people to provide services for your reception (musicians, a DJ, florists, caterers, photographers, etc.), offer to advertise for them in exchange for reduced rates.

At the reception, put a little card by each persons put setting that lists the businesses responsible for each service at the wedding, along with their contact information.

Since this tends to be extremely effective advertising, numerous businesses will happily provide services at reduced rates in exchange for this opportunity.

Contact the local university.

If youd love live musical accompaniment for the ceremony (and perhaps for the reception), one put to glance for lower-cost musicians is your local universitys music department.

Contact them and enquire if there are any students who are studying a specific instrument or vocal work and see if theyre available to provide music for a wedding.

It can assist them develop their resume and save you on this typically pricey part of your wedding.

This goes for photographers as well if there’s an art school or photography program at your local college, see if there are any talented students or recent grads who would be willing to photograph your wedding at a discount for the portfolio-building experience and exposure they’d receive.

Go minimal with the flowers.

Instead of spending boatloads of money on flowers that will die shortly after the reception, hold it simple but elegant for instance, a single rose for each bridesmaid and a extremely little bouquet for the bride.

If you know someone with a rose bush, you can actually make your own bouquets the day before the ceremony by cutting the roses yourself and trimming away the thorns.

Another cheap wedding thought go with fake flowers instead. It’s likely that no one will even notice, and you could save a bundle by making the arrangements yourself well ahead of time.

Borrow stereo equipment or use yours from home.

Rather than hiring a DJ, just use your own home stereo equipment, or equipment you borrow from a friend. Put speakers around the dance floor area theres no need to spread them around the entire reception room.

Create a playlist on your iPod that features a few hours’ worth of your favorite songs or see if you own a friend who might desire to make a playlist for you. Choosing your own songs is a grand way to personalize your entire experience.

Dont stress.

Something will probably go incorrect at the final minute a little detail of some sort wont work out. For example, our pastor almost missed our rehearsal dinner, so we barely rehearsed.

Dont worry about it. Just assume something little is going to go incorrect and avoid the urge to throw money at the problem. Most likely, no one will even notice the little issue, and fairly often someone in your wedding party (or someone helping out) will come up with a beautiful excellent solution to repair things.

Good luck (and congratulations)!

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In a world full of Pinterest weddings (probably more fictional than real), most women own at least one moment in which they’ve seen a pin and said «I wish I did that at my wedding!».

Seeing other brides’ ideas and what has been done at other weddings is enough to inspire any bride-to-beand hold you glued to your computer screen for hours on finish. To assist you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite can’t miss surprises for your groom, your bridal party, your guests and even for yourself. From games to honoring the people you love, here are 34 grand ideas that you’ll desire to see come to life at your own wedding.

Take a picture of the rings with a newspaper from the day of your wedding. Photo by Ashley Bartoletti Photography

Guests throw darts at balloons filled with paint attached to a canvas. You hold the art.

Photo by Katelyn James Photography

Create a piñata for you to break open on your first anniversary filled with notes from your wedding guests.

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

Photo byjenny demarco photography

or own bridesmaids do the same thing. It’s said that whoever’s name does not wear off by the finish of the night is the next to get married! Photo by Ericson-Wolfe Photography

A live wedding painter to capture your ceremony/reception space and your guestsGrey Likes Weddings

A «Please Call Anyone But the Bride» list of phone numbers for your wedding party to hold stressful, last-minute problems away from the bride on her wedding day.

Photo byBrooke Courtney

Incorporate cake pops that match your wedding invitations, Cake Pops Designed bySweet Lauren Cakes,Wedding Stationery byWedding Paper Divas

Wedding experts Blair deLaubenfels, Christy Weber, and Kim Bamberg, are the founders and editors of the internationally favorite website , which features the critically acclaimed wedding blog, What Junebug Loves. Through their website the Junebug Weddings team brings you creative, inspirational and innovative content to assist you plan your wedding with impeccable style and a minimum of stress. Their extensive editorial coverage on every things wedding related includes a gorgeous selection of Genuine Weddings, Fashion Reports of the latest bridal styles, plus every kinds of inspirational advice for bride and groom on everything from out-of -he-box proposals to boiling honeymoon retreats.

Since , Blair, Christy, and Kim own also worked as successful wedding photographers, photographing hundreds of weddings and talking with thousands of brides and wedding professionals about what works, and what causes challenges in the wedding planning process. Their up-close, unique perspective brings you a unused glance at what it takes to own a enjoyment and fabulous wedding of your own.

To my credit, I didnt dismiss out of hand my future wifes plan to pit-roast a whole hog at our wedding reception. I just had a lot of questions.

Love, for starters, how does one pit-roast a hog? And where do you get a whole hog?

Luckily for us, swine abound in rural Iowa, as do folks capable of pit-roasting them to perfection. My spouse-to-be made short work of these and other objections to her plan, and away we went with what turned out to be easily one of the five most memorable meals of my life.

Pound for pound, it was one of the most cost-effective meals of my life too.

Setting up a simple country buffet, rather than a more elaborate meal, was the linchpin of our relentless drive to reduce wedding costs. Reasoning that a cheaper reception might bode well for our marriage, we did our best to trim costs elsewhere, but our food and drink menus drew the lions share of our efforts.

We considered most of the ideas on this list, followed through with several, and wound up hosting a memorable reception that didnt break the bank.

Diy wedding menu cards ideas

You can too.


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