Weddings on a budget?

by DIY wedding planner on September 27, 2012

What do you think is acceptable to DIY or cut back on to save costs? Here’s what I’m thinking
-DIY Invitations
-Dad’s friend to do photos (he is a photographer)
-Make our own wedding cake
-Have my fiancees sister to film the day
-Have my fiancees other sister to MC
-No DJ, just make a play list on our ipod
I figure if we cut corners on these things, we can afford to have a nicer food and drinks package at the reception. Am I being tight, or are these good ideas?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

WE September 27, 2012 at 5:18 am

These are great ideas, and you will both be glad you did, especially when you can use the money for a down payment on a house, put into a savings account, a car you might need to get to work, etc.


Annabella September 27, 2012 at 6:04 am

I think they’re all great ideas as long as your family members don’t mind working your wedding instead of being able to enjoy it as a guest. The only thing I would rethink is the cake. It’s pretty difficult to get a homemade cake to look classy enough for a wedding unless the person is extremely experienced in baking & cake design. Best of luck!!


Laura September 27, 2012 at 6:26 am

I think all of those DIY ideas are perfect ways to cut corners. The food and drink are what really make any big party, especially a wedding, so you definitely want to make sure you can afford a nice wedding package where ever your reception is being held.

I would be careful about making a cake, depending on how many guests you are expecting, it can be quite time consuming and frustrating. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing!!

All of the other ideas are foolproof! I’ve read in a lot of wedding blogs and magazines that more and more people are using their own ipod instead of a DJ and are using close friends to film and photograph their wedding.

Weddings are only as expensive as you make then! Good luck and congratulations!


Jen September 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

These are all great ideas. Just be sure that when you do the invites, they follow a format that is clear who is invited, and how to respond.
Otherwise, there are so many nice ways to have a wedding that don’t involve a standard “checklist.” Your guests don’t care about the photos, as long as the cameraperson doesnt take over the event. Etc.
I have been to lovely weddings in church halls without canned music, I have enjoyed delicious cake even though it was a little slanted, I am happier without a monogrammed favor.
Don’t waste money on programmed spending, save it for honest hospitality. You sound like you’re naturally a great hostess!


jasadelle September 27, 2012 at 7:45 am

Great ideas!! The playlist from the ipod is what we are doing and I’ll make my own invites too. All of the other ideas are great, the photographer being a friend of the family is very lucky! :-)

My only piece of advice is about your wedding cake.
I know they are expensive, but the cake is something people remember and is also in photos. Please don’t take this offensive, but if your cake doesn’t turn out as good as you thought, it might look tacky and look like you’ve cut corners.
An inexpensive idea if you do still plan on doing your own is the cupcake idea. You can make heaps and have them piled up nicely, and decorating would be much easier than a whole cake.


Naomi S September 27, 2012 at 8:37 am

They are all great idea and the more places you can cut costs the better of you’ll be if you want it on a budget.
Doing your own make-up / hair etc too is a good option, if it’s a possibility!!
Good on you, the importance shouldn’t be on the cost of a wedding but the union between the couple!


cabbiinc September 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

DIY invitations, good. You have the time to get it right if it doesn’t turn out the way you want.
Dad’s friend to do photos, is he any good, do they want to do it, are they ready?
Make your own wedding cake, honestly unless you try to get really fancy I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Fiances sister to film the day, probably not a good idea. They’ll want to enjoy the day with everyone else.
Same thing with the other sister, even if they say it’s a good idea it still has potential to be disappointing.
No DJ, as long as your sound system is up to it I don’t see why not.

Other things:
Do your own flowers.
Have a small cake for cutting, and a big sheet cake with the same color frosting for dishing up.
Rent the tux, it will be drycleaned before he picks it up.
Find a second hand wedding dress (you can call it vintage if anyone asks).
Find an inexpensive place for the reception or ceremony. Public parks with large old buildings can be rented inexpensively.
Some wedding coordinators have a day of package where they just orchestrate things the day of the wedding (your going to be stressed enough as it is).

Think about what your going to have the longest from that day. Is it going to be the flowers, the cake, the rented tux, are you going to have your wedding dress out for all to see, or are you going to have a nice photo album on the coffee table? Think about what your going to have a year or two after the wedding and put a priority on those things.


nova_queen_28 September 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

Overall, I think you have good ideas.
You can also DIY your own centerpieces & decorations. If you want, you can also make your own bouquets. You can also drive yourself & cut limo costs!

As for the fiance’s sisters. Are they really going to want to do those jobs?
As far as “film the day” – - is that a must? Would you be happy with just the ceremony maybe? That way the sis can film that for you then enjoy the party with the rest of the family.
MC Duties – is your FSIL experienced with that? And does the reception venue have a microphone & speakers or will you need to provide that?
DJ – this is tough. A DJ can act as MC as well as judget the crowd and make changes to the songs on-the-fly to keep the guests happy and the party hoppin’.

There were only a few things I wouldn’t cut back on for my own wedding: reception food/drinks, DJ, and Photographer. So personally, I think these are really important areas where you shouldn’t try to cut back too much.


Princess W September 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

you can definitely do it. We had our invitations printed, but then we put them together and addressed all the envelopes. We also had a friend do photography, another to do the cakes, and another did the wedding video. We also had no DJ.
Something else that would cut cost would be if you have a friend that can do your flowers. I had a friend do mine, and she knew where to go to get nice, inexpensive flowers. I had roses, orchids and calla lilies in 6 bouquets, plus bouttennieres, corsages, a flower arrangement down where we got married, etc all for less than $300!


cris September 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hi!!! These are great ideas, as long as those family and friends offered their services for the day.
I’m doing everything that you are doing except fot the cake (nobody in my family can bake, let alone bake and decorate a wedding cake), and the video. I might need a professional for that since nobody I know can do it.
I’m also gonna do my own flowers with the help of my bridesmaid. Maybe you know somebody that knows how to do flowers, that could save you a lot of money too.

Good luck!


middleduck0628 September 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Don’t be afraid to do your own cake. Even if you have never made one before, many places offer classes and the web is great for instructions. I am doing my own cake and my advice to you is to practice a couple of times to make sure that you can get it to look like what you want it to. If not then you can regroup and find an alternative.


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