Looking for Any Tips to Plan Great Wedding on a Tight Budget

Updated on February 27, 2007
K.K. asks from McKinney, TX
21 answers

Hey Mamas,
I am looking for any ideas, suggestions, and the like on planning a wedding on a tight budget. Any tricks, places, ANY thing you know I would love for you to share. Thanks so much.

K.

3 moms found this helpful

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Aside from places and decor, try looking on ebay for items such as the veil, head piece, shoes, cake topper, party favors, etc. I was the MoH at my girlfriends wedding a few months ago. I helped her find some great deals on ebay.
We got a $250 veil for $2.00! The cake topper resaled for $100, we got it for $.50 If you look, you can find some great stuff!
I've also heard of people renting wedding dresses...i think there might be a place in South Arlington.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I got married 10 years ago and had to pay for my own wedding. I had my ceremony and reception at the Harvey House Hotel which is now the Crown Plaza on I35. You don't have to worry about decorating anything, because the hotel takes care of that. We also got married on Sunday which the hotel gave us a huge discount we only paid $2,400 and we had like 100 people invited. I don't know how small the budget is, but good luck.

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

A friend of mine just went through the same thing and her wedding was really fabulous. I had a big pricey wedding so I was unsure how we were going to pull off the wedding she wanted for the price she had to pay. We did it. After searching for a venue who did a lot of it for you which included the beautiful food and cake, beer and wine, etc..... We chose Capella Court in Richardson in The Canyon Creek neighborhood. You just have to visit to see what I mean. She used a florist I can find for you that did such a WONDERFUL job and works out of her home. Her flowers were SOOOOOOO beautiful. She bought her dress at Terry Costa and her photography was done by Artistic Images By Angela and her bridal portrait session was better than mine and I paid A TON MORE THAN SHE DID. She went all out and the pictures were incredible. I really think she picked a wonderful photographer. I use her for pics of my daughter but I was already married when I started using her. Her website is artisticimagesbyangela.com. I have all of the planning materials and numbers we crunched and I don't think we left out one little detail of that wedding so if you have any questions about anything (bride and grooms gifts, other sites, bridesmaid info, I am sure I have it!!!!!!!!

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.

answers from Dallas on

HI K.! I am not sure where your sister lives. We had our Wedding and Reception at Sneaky Pete's in Lewisville. This is one of those unknown treasures. They have a beautiful Wedding and Reception area. The wedding area is set up outside. It seats up to 250 guests. The ceremony will take place backing right up on the water. It is very pretty. Then the reception room is awsome. They have a full bar, huge dance floor and dj. They give you one price for EVERYTHING. Ceremony, DJ, Reception Room, Bartenders, alchohol, appetizers, full sit down dinner, Brides cake AND Grooms Cake. You actuall test all the food to pick out what you like best. Then you meet with a bakery to pick out your cakes. Everything is delivered for you! You need to come up with your own decorations IF you want more. The place is pretty enough without them. We got married there 2 years ago and paid $5000 for 100 guests. It was just awesome! GOOD LUCK

1 mom found this helpful
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A.

answers from Dallas on

hello K. I was in your or should I say still am in your shoes. I found a wonderful place located in Duncanville that is very cheap. You can have a reception and wedding for under 1500. I think that is very good compared to the places that I have been seeing. They even let you bring in your own caterers and vendors. You have your own dressing room and it is quite nice. If you need anymore info. write back.

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D.

answers from Dallas on

You've gotten alot of really good ideas. Another is to have your wedding and reception at a hotel on a Friday night and you will get an incredible deal. A friend of mine did this. The wedding was in one room set up and decorated for a wedding and the reception was in a small banquet room with food (dinner), cake and champagne. I think the cost of the hotel expenses only were around $2,000. She had about 100 people. I thought that was pretty good considering she fed everyone a full meal. I think the hotel was a Marriott but I can't remember for sure. It was somewhere around the airport. Anyway, just another idea.

Good luck.

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A.T.

answers from Little Rock on

Mine was VERY inexpensive too. We knew someone with a awesome backyard overlooking a lake so we had our reception and stuff there for free. Also my mom put diposable cameras on every table for the guests to take pictures. It was inexpensive and I got a ton of great pictures. Great to do even if you get a photographer. I might also be available to do her wedding photography depending on when it is. Also for the wedding cake you can look for people who have cake business's out of their homes. I did this and got an INCREDIBLE 3 tier basket weaved cake for only $75 INCLUDING delievery. I went and bought what flowers I wanted on it and she did the rest. She even incorporated the flowers into my cake topper as well. It was WONDERFUL!

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,
My husband and I were married at the San Sussi Resort in Jamaica. We were there for 2 weeks and we had a personal wedding planner that arranged for my flowers, cake, hair, nails, husbands tuxedo rental, photographer (who gave us the negatives) and champagne.

We had spa services everyday of our stay including massage, facials, full body salt scrubs, reflexology and pedi/mani for the whole family and all meals and drinks were included. My parents, in-laws, and sister and brother-in-law joined us. We were married in a beautiful gazebo hanging over the ocean, had photos taken on the beach at sunset, went to happy hour then a fine French restaurant to celebrate… completely stress free day! All I had to do was hop into my beautiful wedding gown and go get married!!

We paid for our 2 week trip from Ft. Worth and also my in-laws to fly from upstate NY to Jamaica for one week and the whole thing was about $5,000. You can not even have a conventional reception for anywhere near that! Please let me know if you would like any more information.

Good luck and congratulations!
E.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know what area your sister lives but I had my reception at The Oasis on Joe Pool Lake. Unlike other places that I checked out that charge to rent the room and then have to pay to have it catered, they only charge to cater it. It is a nice room upstairs overlooking the lake with room for dancing and has a full bar upstairs. I had them offer beer and wine and they could purchase mixed drinks if they wished. Most people just took what was offerd. We drapped tool from the rafters that already had white lights on them and it turned out really nice. They will also let to rent white tablecloths and napkins.

M.M.

answers from Houston on

I did my own wedding too. For flowers, I bought TONS of dying roses (the ones they put on clearance at grocery stores). I dried them before the wedding and used them for decorations and centerpieces. They looked and smelled beautiful! I then bought fresh flowers and did my own bouquet and all the corsages/boutineers myself! It was so easy and perfect. I got my wedding favors on ebay (chinese take-out boxes that I decorated, with handmade butterfly shaped soaps wrapped in tulle inside each box) I spent about $50 for 200 favors. I lucked out and had friends do the food, and I didn't have to pay for the room b/c it was at my church. You don't have to do a dinner. You can rent a pretty chocolate fountain and then provide fresh fruits, marshmallows and pretty pretzel sticks. Then you can have elegant croissant sandwiches and other fancy finger foods. I have TONS of ideas b/c I've helped with several "homemade" weddings. If you have any specific questions, let me know, I love doing this type of thing!

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

We were on a strict budget when we got married as well. It's tough, but definitely doable! I got my dress at Whatchamacalit and it was only $200, and absolutely beautiful! I had girls at David's bridal asking me where they could find it in that store when I was trying on shoes with it. I also made my own cake topper, as well as sign in book (that I covered myself with fabric) from Hobby Lobby. We could not afford a grooms cake so we did a wedding cake that was half chocolate, half white cake. My sister made chocolate covered strawberries that we displayed all around the cake and on the top to compensate for the groom's cake. It worked out perfectly! For flowers, you could go with fake flowers depending on the type you would like in your wedding. With a lot of the flowers at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, you can't tell the difference from afar between real or fake unless you touch them. Also, there is a warehouse, I can't remember the name that is just outside of McKinney going S on 635 that has TONS of bridal/wedding stuff for CHEAP. I am sure someone could you point you in the right direction or you could do a search on the internet. Good Luck and have fun!

A. S

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M.R.

answers from Dallas on

There is a resale store in Dallas that sells cheap wedding dresses so I have heard. I bought my dress at Terry Costa which was absolutely GORGEOUS. David's Bridal is too pricey and not as nice plus they are too pushy..

I have the websites of the party favors, dj, etc if you are interested.
What kind of wedding is it. what time of year.
Good Luck

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I was also going to suggest having the wedding on a Sunday. My other great find was the Denton Bridal Outlet - it's in an almost vacant outlet mall on I-35. Tons of great dresses for amazing prices. Find someone who has a serger (a type of sewing machine) to make the veil - they only cost about $5 to make, but some places charge up to $300. If the wedding is in Fort Worth, there is a great Flower Market that has just moved to 7th street. You can rent a room there to make your own bouquets - it's really easy, but ask around for friends that are good with flowers. Buy the corsages/butionerres - they are harder to make, and cheap to start with. Ask around for anyone starting a photography business - you might get better service and be able to keep the negatives. Post at a college for a DJ - lots of college kids do this and work for cheap. Can't think of anything else. Have fun - I love planning weddings!

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C.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hey, K., I can surely relate. My husband and I paid for most of our wedding ourselves. We had a small gathering in a cousin's backyard near White Rock Lake. Their yard was huge and very private. We rented arches, tables & chairs and a carpeted runway from Ducky Bob's. My husband's cousin prepared some appetizers and I asked several friends to bring additional food stuff. We purchased cases of wine at a discount from a local liquor store and a keg of beer. Bridesmaids dresses were all made by my sister in law. Both cakes were made by someone who works out of her home for only about $200, including shipping. Our neighbor who is a florist did the flowers, and as a wedding gift she didn't charge us for the men's bootineers. I purchased glass bowls and floating candles at Michael's for centerpieces. I ordered my invitations through a lady who works out of her home. A co-worker did a balloon arch and several other bunches of balloons for me.

Here's the best part: I got my beautiful wedding dress at Mockingbird Bridal for $390. They have a huge sale once a year and girls literally are standing in line outside the door with coffee in hand waiting for it to open. Because the store is so tiny they only allow 12 people in at a time and you can only try on 5 dresses at a time. I was among the first 12 that morning and found exactly what I was looking for. You might want to call them and ask when their big sale is.

When you're doing your wedding yourself the most important thing to remember is to make sure your Maid or Matron of Honor has a list of what needs to be done that day prior to the wedding. I didn't do that and when I got there someone had already dispursed the corsages to the men but they didn't go to the right people. The mother's didn't get to carry their roses down the aisle, because no one gave them to them. Someone lost the floating candles and there was only water floating in the bowl. People kept saying, "Where's the fish".

We spent the night at a local hotel in a suite and negotiated a special price. We didn't take our honeymoon until the next year. All in all I'd say we spent about $2,000, give or take a few bucks. The best investment was the dress.

I've been to several weddings that did not offer a dinner, appetizers or a buffet of any kind. They simply had an afternoon or evening wedding and only had cake, punch, coffee and some nuts scattered about. I used to be in the meeting planning business and most hotels will not charge you a room rental as long as you order so much $$ in food. Sometimes you can even negotiate a free suite if you use their hotel for the reception/event.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

I recommend checking out your options at Dovie's (Audie Murphy's old plantation home on Midway that's been turned into a restaurant).

Dovie's can accommodate a small wedding (probably no more than 100 guests) and they do all the food, cake and decor. Not much decor is needed since the house is a great setting. I didn't pay any money on decor.

It is right next door to a Marriott Courtyard hotel where your guests can stay and just walk across the parking lot to Dovie's.

It's worth checking out!

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

I had my wedding at The Rose Chapel in the historic district of FTW. THey have a website to check out pics...thye pretty much do all the decorating...you just do the table settings and bring your cake napkins and ect. They have a lighted punch foutain and have a stero system. You have to provide your own minister and the reception room is in the same building as the chapel. If you give me your e-mail I can send some pics I took of the chapel and ect. I did my own center pices...a candle holder that tiered down w/ 3 candles ($1 w/ the candles in it) and a wreath of flowers around it ($1) and scattered wedding glitter in 3 colors on the tables. I also got the plastic wedding rings and tied them to the bubbles w/ a tag that said The New Mr. & Mrs Forbes on it and that was the departing think/gift. I got my dress at Adels on Davis Blvd for $200 full beaded and strapless...it was so pretty and shoes for $15 at Target (white dress sandles). My flower girl dresses at Walmart at Easter time $10 each and got the baskets ($1) there too for the floewrs. Try a lot of $stores they carry alot of stuff..esp Sams $ on Denton Hwy in Haltom City in the Sack n Save center. Please sed your e-mail I can tell more/show pics. C.....Good luck and have a blast planning.

Also...I got my cake at Walmart $40 and grooms for like $15 ..they were so much prettier than any I had saw and everyonw was commenting on how beautiful it was. I got my topper there as well for $15 I believe. Also I had a guy my dad works w/ take my pics. I can prob get his number ..he did really good and he puts all the pics on a cd and you can go to Walgreens or at home and print them and you can have copies of the cd made for the family members and they can print what they want to have..that saved us so much money. He does photography for a hobby and works for tips...we payed him $300 b/c we thought that was fair and he spent so much time w/ us. My family pitched in and payed for that for us as part of out gift. He also puts them on DVD as well...I think he chareds like $2 a disc (he just charges what the disc would cost him).

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K.J.

answers from Dallas on

Have you checked Storybook Ranch in McKinney on Custer Rd. It is gorgeous and very reasonable.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
First...Go to www.bride.com and find a bridal show to attend. You will find all you need under one roof.
Second....Don't skimp on the photographer. I'm not saying to spend a ton of money on pictures, but just do not go the cheapest route.
Third....I do photo montages and have great prices. Couples who do a photo montage show 1) photos of the bride growing up, then 2) photos of the groom growing up, then 3) photos of the couple together....all set to their favorite music. The montage is shown at wedding showers, rehersal dinner, and at the reception. You can contact me at www.unforgettableslideshows.com.
-A.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

My mother and I are wedding planners and I have alot of great ideas for saving you money. If you buy the roses at Sam's Club the will build the arrangements for 7.00. and their flowers are really cheap and lovely. Also, you can buy your wedding cake at walmart and save a ton! If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line. ____@____.com

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C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi! Congratulations! LOVE weddings! She may save a lot of money if she has her wedding on a day other than a Saturday. A lot of wedding vendors offer discounts for non-Saturday weddings since EVERYONE gets married on Saturdays! I am actually a SAHM home and photographer. My website is www.wisnerphoto.com.
Good luck with all the planning!

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