Creative Wedding Ideas That Don't Cost a Fortune

4 Minute Read

Long before you stand eye-to-eye with your future spouse and repeat the words “I do,” you’ll have to learn another phrase: “I don’t.” As in, “I don’t think we can fit that in our budget.”

Now before you get the wedding-bell blues, be encouraged! Just because you can’t afford an ice sculpture of a swan and a six-course dinner doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Every area of the big day—from the venue to the flowers to the cake—can be saved with a little bit of creative substitution.

We asked Dave’s Facebook Fans to share tips for planning a reasonably priced and elegant celebration. To fully embrace their suggestions, you might need to embrace your quirky side, but that just means your wedding will be more you.

The Venue

We got married in our favorite movie theater, which has old art deco style and lots of antique film equipment. We rented the place for $100 plus concessions! —Tim

I got married at a train station in Norman, Oklahoma. It was $100 to rent the facility all night! —Sereta

color

Local experts you can trust.

Find an ELP

Parks are a great location and usually more affordable. Some have lovely halls with chairs and tables. —Toni

Getting married at my alma mater was super cheap, and we had a backyard reception catered by a taco truck. —Rick

Get married on an "off" day—a Friday instead of Saturday—or out of season. A January wedding got us a $2,500 venue for $400. —Kat and Ashlyn

The Food

We did a midafternoon wedding at 2:30. We didn’t feel the need to serve a full meal, so we did appetizers and finger foods instead. —Andy

Limit your guest count and don't have Ruth's Chris taste on a Golden Corral budget. It doesn't work. —Rachel

We had a smaller wedding and rented out a restaurant. The food was better than wedding food. —Amy

The Flowers

We reused the flowers from the ceremony to decorate the reception. —Jennifer

The day of the wedding my mom went to the local farmers market to get fresh local flowers. We spent way less and supported our local farmers. —Rachael

Instead of spending a ton of money on flowers, we bought plants and decorated the pots. —Linda

Ask the florist which flowers are in season at the time of your wedding, then build around that. —Elizabeth

The Invitation

Don't bother with Save the Dates. —Wendy

I made the invitations, programs and other printables myself and was able to put our own personal touch and design on each one. One of our friends was so impressed she had me do the invitations for her wedding. —Yasmin

Use postcards for the RSVP—they’re lighter, and the stamps are cheaper. —Jennifer

Contact art students majoring in graphic design. They can do amazing work for the experience. —Fredda

The Cake

One of my favorite weddings I attended had a lovely small cake for the bride and groom that was decorated to the nines. Then guests were served simple Costco cheesecake—$9.99 for 20 slices—with beautiful pitchers of strawberry, chocolate and caramel sauce to pour on top. It was lovely and so original! —Kristen

We placed cupcakes on antique cake plates from thrift stores instead of getting pricey floral centerpieces. —Kate

My friend asked each of the influential ladies who watched her grow up in the church to bake a cake as a wedding gift. She served the cakes on different stands during the reception. —Kristin

The Decorations

We borrowed table runners from a friend and bought our linens on Amazon, which was actually cheaper than a rental company. Now I can hopefully sell them on Craigslist and make some of my money back. —Jillian

Vintage style weddings are popular now, so you or a family member may already have a lot of the decor desired. A little touch-up here and there, and it's perfect! —Alana

There is nothing more beautiful than a wedding in the great outdoors! Plan for spring or fall when everything is adorned with color. —Elaine

Of course, there’s no substitute for the wedding budget. So go ahead and do that first. Then, start practicing your “I do.” After all, that’s why you’re planning this party in the first place!

Set up your wedding budget today with our free budget app EveryDollar!

Jump-Start Your Goals!

Jump-Start Your Goals!

Get our 8-Day JUMP START series and weekly newsletter that are packed with articles and tools to help you win with money.

Reach Your Money Goals

Reach Your Money Goals

Start with a budget. Join the millions already budgeting with EveryDollar!

Create My (FREE) Budget

Thank You!

Your 8-Day Jump Start is on its way to !

More from the Blog