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How to Plan a Wedding for $1,000

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On a super tight budget? Learn how you can plan a wedding for $1000 or less with these super-savvy ideas to cut costs on your celebration.

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Deciding how much you want to spend on your wedding is one of the first steps you should take when you’re beginning to plan your celebration. While some couples are comfortable spending more than $10,000, there are also plenty of couples who dream of spending far less. Curious about if it’s possible to plan a wedding for $1000? We’re here to say it’s definitely possible!

Like we’ve said in the past, we acknowledge the average cost of a wedding, but we don’t spend too much time paying attention to it. The amount you opt to spend is largely a personal choice, and there are countless ways to get creative in order to make the budget you have in mind a reality – averages or not.

Cost-Saving Ideas to Throw a Savvy Wedding for $1000

Rather than sharing how to plan your wedding on a larger budget, we thought we would share how to plan a wedding for $1,000. Yes, it’s possible. Yes, we absolutely believe you will love it.

Of course, the easiest way to cut costs on a wedding is to elope. But if you’re hoping to have a celebration that includes more than just the two of you, we have some creative ideas to help you pull something together including guests as well.

Below, we’re walking you through all of the most popular wedding day categories and sharing how to save in order to keep your wedding day spend at $1K.

Attire:

When you’re considering what to wear for your wedding day, you’re going to want to think outside of the box! Consider borrowing formalwear from friends or renting pieces. We also have a few more suggestions…

Ladies: In order to keep the cost of a dress well within budget, check with friends to see if one might have a wedding dress you can borrow. We love the story of how Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, has loaned her dress to a handful of brides. It’s a wedding dress with a story! You can also consider wearing a dress you already own, visiting a local thrift shop, or searching online for a pre-owned wedding dress. Another tip is to consider wearing a white bridesmaid’s dress! Birdy Grey is one of our favorite brands because their dresses are under $100.

Gents: Gents typically rent their formalwear, which helps to keep the cost low. In order to lessen the price even more, consider wearing an affordable suit or even a dress shirt and slacks you already own! Like the gals, gents can also borrow pieces from friends.

Cake:

Get ready to bake your own cake! While that may seem like quite an undertaking, box cakes make baking easy, and you will only need to purchase a few ingredients in order to enjoy something delicious. To make your cake a little fancier, think about stacking layers on top of each other. Then add icing, and complete your confection with flowers and a cake topper. If you’re not down to DIY, you could also pick up a simple, small cake from the grocery store.

Flowers:

The cost to work with a florist can be high, so skip the professional assistance and take on your flowers yourself. You can order flowers from grocery stores like Costco, Trader Joe’s, or even Whole Foods in advance. You could also contact a local farm or even opt for wildflowers. Shop for vases and vessels at thrift stores and the dollar store, and consider using mason jars (you can buy them in bulk for under $10!). Once you have your blooms and vases, set aside time the day before your wedding to make a bouquet and centerpieces. To keep your cost really low just make a babys breath bouquet and tie it with a simple ribbon!

Food:

You’ve likely heard that the food at a wedding is one of the most expensive things you will purchase. If you’re hoping to plan your entire wedding for $1000, friends and family can help to keep costs low! Rather than purchasing all of the food for your wedding, turn your celebration into a potluck. Ask guests to arrive with a dish they love that’s ready to be shared with the group. You can even turn it into a cooking competition to see who can win the award for Top Wedding Chef!

Hair + Makeup:

Rather than working with a professional for your hair and makeup, take on both yourself! With help from YouTube, you can learn how to do a simple updo and even a new makeup look in advance of your wedding day. We love turning to Kate from The Small Things for both! She’s a professional hairstylist, and her tutorials are so easy to follow.

Invitations:

Trying to plan an entire wedding for $1000 means you’ll have to cut out unnecessary extras and expenses. Of course, you’ll still need to inform your guests of your plans, so consider paper-free or even cost-free alternatives. To keep the cost of your invitations low, consider sending your invitations by email with help from Paperless Post. Or you could design something yourself in Canva and send them via text message completely for free! If you still have your heart set on snail mail, opt for a printable you can customize, and create your own invitations!

Music:

Thanks to streaming services, there are nearly countless ways to make sure your guests still feel encouraged to dance. Fill a Spotify playlist with a variety of music and set it on a loop! You can even create specific playlists for different moments throughout the day (think: getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing). The only thing you will need to do is press play!

Officiant:

Your ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day because it’s when you will officially become married! Think about visiting City Hall and getting married inside. The cost is typically around $100, and the City Halls in most cities are typically beautiful (at least outside!) On the flip side, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, ask a friend or family member to be your officiant. They can get ordained online for as little as $30.  

Photography:

Your photos will be your only tangible memories from your wedding day, so it’s important to plan ahead. One thought is to work with a photography student to capture photos for you. Another idea is to see if a family member, friend, or friend of a friend is a photographer who is up to the task. You can also turn photos into a group effort and ask guests to capture snapshots on their phones, or you can go old school and pass out disposable cameras.

Venue:

We touched on this earlier, but City Hall is a great spot if you want to host your wedding ceremony for an intimate group in an iconic spot. If you’re imagining a wedding day with more guests, turn to a backyard wedding hosted at the home of a family member or friend. You can also contact your town about celebrating in a park. All three have low costs, clean spaces, and plenty of room to enjoy time together!

Get more inspiration to plan your wedding for $1000

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to money-saving wedding tips. Be sure to visit our real weddings section to get inspired by real couples who planned their weddings for $1000.

Are you planning a wedding for $1,000 (or less)? What tips would you love to share? Let’s keep the conversation going in our community!


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