Budget weddings: If you can do it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money

by Karen on September 17, 2008

The do-it-yourself philosophy of wedding planning has been around as long as the budget wedding (forever). As I said in the last post about wedding flowers, many people even choose to do their own floral arrangements.

We were very conventional in the aspects that we chose to do ourselves. Even taking on only the simple tasks will save you a ton of money, though, and you’ll be surprised how easy it can be.

Here are the things we chose to do ourselves:

Wedding Invitations

This is the old standby for do-it-yourself brides. Modern printers and online stationery sites have made it so easy to print your own invitations that I can’t imagine why anyone would pay hundreds for someone else to print them.

If there was a theme to my wedding, it was roses. They were the only flower at my wedding, and I chose red and cream as my colors. So I had a very particular idea about how I wanted my invitations to look. I wanted a plain invitation with a single embossed rose.

I searched all over the Internet for blank invitations with this look. Finally, I found the perfect paper at LCI Paper Company. They have many other options, and some of them are sold in invitation kits that include matching envelopes and RSVP cards. Lucky for me, the exact paper I wanted came in a complete invitation kit for $50 for a set of 50.

I only needed to send out 35 invitations for my 50 guests, so one 50-pack was perfect for me. I designed the invitation in Microsoft Word with the fonts and wording I wanted. My mom offered to print them and put them together for me. They turned out beautifully:

I ordered an extra set of RSVP cards and envelopes, printed the words “Thank You” on the front, and used them as matching thank you cards!

Centerpieces

I don’t know that you could call what we put on the tables “centerpieces.” I wasn’t into the idea of something big crowding the table, especially since space in our reception venue was already limited. So I bought some little votive candle holders with roses on them (10 at 50 cents each) and put rose-scented candles into them (I think I paid about $1 per candle). They made the entire reception smell like roses, took 5 minutes to put together, and cost under $25.

Favors

My husband is an M&M fanatic. He loved the idea of personalized M&Ms. Sure, they’re pricey and a little cliche, but he loved them. We ordered cream and red (our wedding colors) and had our names and wedding date printed on them. I ordered organza bags from an online party favor site, and we made the favors ourselves.

All together, the favors cost under $100. A little more than I wanted to spend, and in hindsight we probably could have skipped them. But it’s nice to send your guests away with a little gift to thank them for coming.

Keep one thing in mind when you’re planning do-it-yourself projects: don’t take on too much. Saving money is important, but it’s not worth stressing yourself out by taking on a project that’s beyond your scope. If you want something elaborate, it’s probably best to leave it to an expert.

Be realistic, keep it simple, and you’ll have fun and save money!

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How I planned an elegant wedding for under $5,000 | Frugal Living Tips & Money Saving Ideas | Living Well on Less
June 4, 2009 at 8:03 am

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