How I planned an elegant wedding for under $5,000

by Karen on June 4, 2009

Since Tony and I just celebrated our first anniversary, and my sister-in-law is in the process of planning her own wedding, I’ve been thinking about wedding planning a lot lately. Before I started planning my own wedding, I believed that it had to be all or nothing: either an all out, extravagant affair or a quick run to the court house followed by a backyard barbecue. That isn’t the case, though. If you prioritize and plan carefully, it’s possible to get everything you want out of your wedding on a very limited budget.

I never thought I was the type of girl who wanted a big fuss on my wedding day. Looking back, though, I’m so glad we had a traditional wedding. It really was the most special day of my life.

Last year I wrote a series of posts on how I planned my wedding on a budget. If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding for you or someone you love, I hope you’ll get some useful information from my experience.

Getting your priorities straight.

Make a plan and set a wedding budget.

Planning a beautiful wedding ceremony on a budget.

Hosting an elegant reception without spending a fortune.

Dressing your wedding on a dime.

Minimize your wedding flower budget.

Do it yourself wedding ideas to save money.

It’s okay to spend more on what’s important to you.

How to buy wedding bands online without getting ripped off.

Planning a budget honeymoon.

As I planned my wedding, I also found a lot of great tips from one of my favorite frugal bloggers, Kacie at Sense to Save. She recently rounded up all of her frugal wedding planning ideas and reposted them. Check it out for some more tips!

Honestly, though, my advice for planning the wedding of your dreams on a budget comes down to this: Set your priorities, use the bulk of your budget on what’s really important to you, and don’t spend money on something just because wedding etiquette rules say you should. It drives me crazy when I hear people paining over how much they’re spending on things they don’t really care about just because they don’t want to be “tacky.” The wedding industry makes millions of dollars a year off these so-called etiquette rules. It’s no wonder they keep them alive.

This is your wedding. It should be a celebration of you, your relationship, and the people who love you most. Saving money on your wedding is the same as saving money on anything else — you have to do what’s right for you, and you can’t worry about what people will think of you. The most important people in your lives won’t care a bit how you choose to celebrate your wedding, and they’ll never ever think you’re tacky for saving money. They’ll just be happy to be there with you no matter how you choose to celebrate.

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