top of page

How we had a beautiful wedding on a limited budget

In this blog post I'm revealing my secrets! My partner & I planned our wedding for less than $4,000! Read on to see how we had a beautiful wedding on a limited budget.

I will be giving you details of how & where we spent our $4K on our wedding, but remember, everyone is different. This is not a blog post about what YOU should do, or how YOU should plan your wedding. This is just about how my husband & I did it. I wanted to write this in hopes of giving some of you out there some ideas on how you could cut down your budget if need be.

First, my partner & I are super relaxed when it comes to a wedding. We are the opposite of fancy & prefer more of a party vibe. Knowing this about ourselves helped us narrow down the things that were important to us & the things that were not. We also had a year & a half to plan which helped us save money & not be stressed about the planning process.

So here is a list of where we spent out money, with some little tidbits peppered in. :D

Number of guests: 36 (+ my partner & I)

Note: How many people you invite to your wedding makes the biggest impact on your budget. Even if we wanted to spend a ton of money, we still would have kept the guest list small because intimate & casual was the vibe we wanted for our special day.

Invites: Email

Price: Free

Note: We sent save-the-dates & our wedding invitations all through email! I created a pretty invitation with Canva (free subscription) & collected everyone's email addresses. I also created a free wedding website ( where everyone could RSVP.

Venue: Our backyard

Price: Free

Note: We did spend $437 for tables, chairs & tent rentals.

Food: Catered

Price: $1,833

Note: Food was important to us! We wanted to make sure our guests had a real dinner. We did buffet style (which can save you a lot!) & had 3 different options for entrees.

Dessert: Grocery Store sheet cake, brownies, cookies

Price: $50

Note: We purchased a half sheet cake from our local grocery store. Plus our very generous friend made brownies, my mom made cookies & even my partner & I decided to make my famous banana cookies for the event.

Alcohol/Drinks: Beer, wine, water

Price: $0

Note: We got so lucky here! We have a very generous friend who is in the brewery business & got us 2 kegs for free (we happen to have purchased a home with a kegerator already installed!). We are also not really wine drinkers but have had several bottles of wine in our house for years that we also put out for guests. A friend let us borrow a large water cooler that we filled for guests, & made our own large ice cubes for the water cooler.

Cutlery/Dishes: Thrift store shopping

Price: $68

Note: We could have rented cutlery & plates, but it was more economical & more fun to shop at our local thrift stores! Plus, we loved the idea of having all different styles, colors & patterns of dishes. This price includes 38 plates, 38 drinking glasses (which were also our favors that guests could take home) & 38 forks, spoons & knives. This also includes plenty of napkins which I actually got for free using coupons & friends offering some nice napkins that they had but weren't using.

Linens: Thrift store shopping

Price: $21

Note: This is also something we could have rented, but again loved the idea of having different colors. We found 8 tablecloths (5 for the outside tables & 3 for the food tables) at a thrift store. It took several trips to find all of them, but I enjoyed the process.

Decorations: Minimal center pieces & lighting for fence

Price: $76

Note: This was not an area that was important to us. So we kept it simple by purchasing white Christmas lights (at the end of the season so they were on sale) for our fence & then small centerpieces. We were able to get mason jars for free from a friend & bought fake hops & dried barley from Amazon. My husband & I met at a beer fest so we filled the mason jars with water, hops & barely which are the 3 main ingredients of beer.

Outfits: Wedding dress for the bride & jeans with a button down for the groom

Price: $80

Note: I ordered my wedding dress online at for $80. It was $100 but I was a first time shopper so I received a 20% off coupon & free shipping! Honestly, the dress is absolutely beautiful & perfect for me! Alterations cost $108. My groom did buy a new pair of jeans, but I didn't add it to the budget because he desperately needed a new pair anyway. :)

Photographer: Up-and-coming, part time, cousin of a friend

Price: $550

Note: I was connected with our photographer because she is a cousin of a friend. She has a regular full time job & as she's trying to build her photography business, she's doing it part time. Finding someone just starting out in the business can be a risk, but also a great way to save a lot of money! She did a wonderful job. This price was for 5 hours.

There were some other small items that we also spent money on, like bridal party gifts, thank you cards (which I also found at thrift stores!), a small bouquet (bought from a local grocery store), stamps & tips for the caterers & photographer. We also paid someone $240 to clean our house the day before which was SO WORTH THE MONEY!! All of this added up to $3,995 and some change.

We loved our day not because we spent less than $4K, but because we had the day we wanted without the stress of overspending.

How to have a wedding on a limited budget


bottom of page