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This installment of the Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week is SUPER budget savvy! In fact, it's the LOWEST priced wedding we've ever featured! But what it lacked in budget, it makes up for in craftiness! Charissa and Alex pulled together a $2,000 budget friendly backyard wedding for their 50 guests! They did lots of DIY and rounded up friends and family to assist along the way! I think my favorite details are the jewels in the trees, her fabric bouquet and her DIY hair flower! This is why I preach the DIY gospel, folks- it just saves you money!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this installment of the BS-WOW! xoxo- Jessica

What was your budget?

$2,000.00 for 50 people

Venue: free – (We got married at my uncles house)
Rentals: $350.00 – (This included tables, chairs & linens)
Music: free – (We used an ipod for the ceremony and reception music)
Attire: $850.00 – (Brides dress $474.00, alterations $100.00, hair flower $5.00, brides shoes $11.00, grooms suit $200.00, men's ties $60.00 (which the groom silk screened a special design on) – the bridesmaids wore dresses and shoes that they already owned)
Food/Alcohol: $300.00 – (We served fruit that the groom cut up the night before the wedding along with fruit dips, cookies and lemon bars. My aunt made homemade sangria for the occasion and we had champagne for toasting)
Cake: free – (My maid of honor and another friend worked very hard creating our cake for us)
Photography: free – (I happen to have a friend and a cousin that are both photographers. They both were very kind to offer to do our photos for us as a wedding gift)
Flowers: $55.00 (We made the bridesmaids bouquets and all of the boutonnieres out of forever flowers that I bought half priced at hobby lobby and added a few feathers and tied with ribbon)
Invitations: $70.00 – (We found pre-designed invites at Target for $25.00 (for 50) and printed them ourselves at home. stamps for RSVP cards and invites were $45.00.)
Favors: 40.00 – (It is very hot in August in Texas, so we chose to use hand fans as favors. I went to Michael's with a 40% off coupon on three different days to puchase fans and then tied ribbon in our wedding colors to them.)
Decorations: $300.00 – (The groom strung white Christmas lights in all of the trees. My mom tied glass beads to ribbon that we strung from the trees (she made over 100!). We didn't use flowers for centerpieces, we purchased picture frames for $1.00 each at Michael's and painted them black. Inside each frame was either a postcard from the groom's grandmother or an engagement picture. I found great little metal pieces of art in the garden department at Hobby Lobby that were on clearance anywhere from $0.97 to $4.50. We hung a chandelier (that we already owned)in the tree above the sweetheart table.)

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Everything was made by my husband or I or a close friend/family member.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Our friends and family pitched in and helped with everything. Everything was handmade with love just for our day. We were lucky to have a relative that was willing to let us get married at his home for free.

What's the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you're on the other side?

Use your resources! I realize that not every bride has photography friends or the DIY gene, but a little hot glue and some ribbon go along way. And if a friend or family member offers to help, let them. Don't be afraid to go to the craft store with coupons and search the clearance aisle. Most importantly don't get so lost in the details that you forget what the day is all about. At the end of the day no one will notice but you if something isn't the right shade or if your card box never made it to the gift table.

What was your biggest splurge?

My dress was $474.00 plus alterations, it's the reason we didn't elope. We originally planned on a small ceremony with our two best friends followed by dinner and a honeymoon. A friend and I went dress shopping for an “elopement dress” and I wasn't having any luck. The dress consultant said “I think there is a dress here that is made just for you” I tried it on and the words out of my mother were “I guess we are having a wedding!” It just felt like THE DRESS!!

What was your favorite detail?

I can't decide! When I say that we made everything, I mean everything. I found my shoes on clearance at Kohls for $11.00, but they were silver, so my then fiance dyed them pink for me. My bouquet was made of fabric rosettes that one of my bridesmaids made (it even had fabric pieces of her wedding shawl included along with my grandmothers antique brooches). My MOH made our cake and it was amazing! My mother and I stayed up the night before the wedding and made my hair flower out of feathers from her cockatoo.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

One of our dear friends got ordained so that he could preform the ceremony, he was so nervous! It was absolutely adorable. We chose to do a sand ceremony and he was shaking the whole time. I don't think anyone noticed but my husband and I, but it was just too sweet.


gown: Alfred Angelo
dress alterations: Customary Couture
grooms suit: Mens Warehouse
photos: Cari Wible Photography & Laura Ashley Photography
hair/makeup: Michelle Wilbur


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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • What an inspiration!

  • Angela

    This is great! I love seeing a real "budget" wedding. And, it looks GREAT!

  • oh I just loooooove those shoes!! how did he manage to dye them pink??? I would love to do something similar 😉

    • Charissa

      Allie, he had left over fabric screen printing ink from the ties. He brushed it on and then went over the shoes with a heat gun. We weren't sure how they would turn out, but I love the end result, and my shoes matched his tie perfectly!

  • Kristin

    Oh excellent! This is exactly what we are trying to do for our backyard wedding in October. We are having 50 people on a $5,000 budget. We are doing everything this bride did in terms of money-saving, except we are having the dinner catered (an English roast for my English hubby!). Everything looks so detailed and classy. Real budget weddings make my heart happy and give me encouragement!

    • Sounds awesome Kristin! Hope you'll submit it for a BS-WOW! 🙂

      • Kara

        So I'm newly engaged trying to plan a September 2011 wedding and have fallen in love with this blog! I am really into the hanging beads and chandelier vintage decor look and was wondering where to buy these chandeliers. My color scheme is black & white, damask with bold purple accents. Any help would be great!

  • very beautiful wedding!!

  • Pingback: How to have a nice $2k Wedding | Budgeted Wedding()

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