Planning a wedding is a joyus and exciting undertaking , but it is easy for your budget to get out of control. When my wedding budget swelled up over 15,000. I decided to scale things back…..way back. We just wanted something elegant and simple.
The key to Koy and I having a wedding under 5,000. was scaling our guest list down to under 30 guests. Doing this allowed us to have the expensive details we wanted like a gorgeous venue, traditional wedding cake, a Vera Wang gown, fresh flowers and lots of Sparkling wine. We even had a fantastic honeymoon. Koy Bought his suit instead of renting it which was a great investment for his wardrobe. Scaling the guest list back was a bit of a compromise because when you are in love you really want to share it with everyone, but in the end all that mattered to us is that our children could be there and that we FINALLY become husband and wife.
As a wedding Photographer, I see lots of weddings big and small, to be totally honest the small ones seem the most beautiful to me. It all really comes down to what fits your personalities. In the end our wedding was intimate and romantic. It was elegant and at the same time very laid back and most importantly it was totally US.
Here are a few ideas we used to keep it simple and under budget:
- Start shopping early, and don’t be afraid of E-bay. I bought my shoes ( which were fab!! ) on E-bay for a total of 15. including shipping, My veil for a total of 15 including shipping, and Koy bought his Stacy Adams shoes and entire suit for under 300.oo including shipping. We had his suit custom tailored for under 40.00 and couldn’t be happier with the quality. We saved around 600.00 total!!
- Don’t buy things that you’ll never use again. Cake cutting sets, engraved champagne glasses, ring bearer pillow ect. When will you ever use them again?? We used regular crystal champagne glasses, and cake cutting utensils provided by our venue. And for our rings we got creative– I collect rocks and Willow Cove on Echo Lake had a beautiful rock with a heart shaped hole they let us use and then gifted it to us!!
- Print things yourself!! Place cards with names really make a difference, custom signs can be adorable and you can even do your own invitations fairly easily.
- Do a destination. If you are having a hard time cutting your guest list down do a destination wedding. We decided on a place two and a half hours away from home, and people are really very understanding about not being invited when you are having a destination style wedding.
Here are a few more awesome tips: This Huffington Post Article tells you how to plan an elegant wedding for under 5,000
And here 14 other beautifully photographed weddings with budgets of 5,000. or less