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The cost of a wedding these days is mind-blowing. They can be the cost of a down payment on a house, or even a house itself. With the pressure of having the Pinterest perfect wedding, it can feel like there is no other way to have a wedding besides taking out a loan. However, if you put Pinterest aside and your second cousin’s wife’s expectations of what your wedding should be like, there are actually ways you can have a beautiful wedding on a small budget. My husband is a college minister and ordained pastor so we frequently attend weddings. In the past five years, I’ve been impressed by what some couples have been able to accomplish on extremely small budgets. I’m talking $3,000 budgets. If you think that’s simply not possible, I’m going to give you a few tips on how it is possible.

Typically, the main money suckers for a wedding are the venue, the food, decor, and the photos. I am going to give some examples of how couples have had the wedding of their dreams while saving a huge amount of money.

VENUE

An affordable venue is hard to find, especially if you want more than 100 people to attend. Some of the best low price or free options I’ve seen are having the wedding in the backyard of a friend. I also know a family who rents out their beautiful property by a lake for free. (oh the benefits of living in a small town.) Now before you say that you don’t know anyone who would give you their backyard for free, don’t write it off yet. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth asking your friends or family if they know anyone who has a beautiful yard or property that they would be willing to give for free or a low price. The worst that could happen is they say no.

FOOD

Good food is hard to find for a low price. However, there are a few options to consider to lessen the amount of money you spend on food. One option is to have an afternoon wedding and just serve heavy hors-d’oeuvres. You can find quality appetizers without spending the money on a full meal. 

Other more non-traditional ideas are to just have cake and coffee. A friend of mine did this and a bunch of ladies from her church provided all different kinds of yummy cakes. If you do this, just be sure to inform your guests on the invite that you will only be providing cake and coffee so that they can eat beforehand. Breakfast for dinner and a donut tower instead of a cake are other affordable options for food.

Alcohol can also be expensive. To cut down on costs, buy your own wine and beer and have a few friends be your bartenders.

DECOR

What I do love about Pinterest is that they have beautiful DIY ideas for weddings! If you’re not a DIY’er, grab a friend who is and brainstorm ways that you can create beautiful decor on a budget. Some of my favorite places to shop for DIY decor is Hobby Lobby, the Dollar Store, and thrift stores.

If you have a beautiful venue, decor can also be minimal. Flowers can be astronomical but to cut back on the cost, you can order wholesale flowers and find a friend or two who is good at arranging flowers and ask them to make the arrangements for you. This way you are only paying for the flowers themselves. I had a friend do this and the arrangements were stunning, I never would’ve known that they were done by a friend and not a professional florist.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can sometimes feel like you’re imposing on someone if you’re asking for help with your wedding. But remember that your friends and family love you and want to help you make your wedding day special.

It’s easy to get swept up in the fairytale of a big beautiful wedding. But it’s important to remember why you are having a wedding. You are marrying the person who you are going to spend the rest of your life with. The most important part of the whole day is that at the end of it, you are married to the love of your life.