Would you be willing to share your DIY wedding ideas and personal stories?

by DIY wedding planner on December 7, 2011

I am feeling overwhelmed. My boyfriend and I are planning to get married and we’re looking at venues and they are expensive. Even getting married at a park gets pricey once you add the city’s fee (usually around $1,000, give or take), then rent the chairs, the tablecloths, the catering, buy the cake, get a few modest decorations, flowers, photographer…aaaah! And if we do it at a park while it may save us money, we have to set everything up ourselves and it sounds stressful.

We are so tempted to just elope so we can have a nice honeymoon.

Short of that, does anyone have stories to share about a similar style wedding, outdoors at a park with no event staff? We were also considering having a much simpler reception, with light appetizers, wine/beer, and maybe cake. We both love cooking and are pretty good at it. I make a pasta salad everyone loves and we could also do cheese plates, crackers, fruit salad. Any appetizer menu ideas for us to make ourselves? What did you do for your DIY wedding? Thanks!

Thank you for the ideas about a church hall, howeer my fiance is atheist and said he would feel very uncomfortable in a church, which I respect. I wouldn’t want to do the church thing either. Again, we’re planning an outdoor ceremony in a park.
@ Because I said So…You have a knack for answering a question without regards to what I am asking. I didn’t ask about having 30 people in a restaurant. My family alone is 25 people, so that won’t work. Also, we have considered the restaurant idea and it’s still an option, but right now I am seeing if a DIY outdoor event is an option. I asked about DIY ideas. If you don’t have any ideas other than to tell me not to do it, why did you answer? You did this on my last question. Not trying to be rude, but it’s not helpful.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenx December 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

Well I’m from the UK where getting married in a church is quite cheap, about £350, then you can rent the church hall for a small fee where they have tables, chairs and usually a kitchen. We rented the hall, made the food ourselves and laid it out as a buffet. Do pasta dishes, rice dishes, sandwiches, slices of meat, potatoes, salad, bread, cheese and fruit.
Make everything you can, invitations, decorations, cake and centrepieces. It’s so much more personal and so much cheaper too. We bought cupcakes from the supermarket, £1 for 4 and then slipped them into a pretty case. Very cheap and very pretty too.
For centrepieces grow your own flowers, or you could use fruit, candles or confetti. One of the cheapest centrepieces I have seen is to gather branches from the park and spray them in your wedding colours.
We used a third year music student for our DJ, saved quite a bit that way. Just make sure you hear them play before you book! Don’t scrimp on the photographer though, you want to treasure those photo memories!
Good luck! It’s very easy to have a cheap wedding when you set your mind to it.


Sara December 7, 2011 at 8:35 am

I’m in the UK and again we are hiring the church hall, it’s saving us a fortune as they don’t allow alcohol so it’s soft drinks all the way. I’m not bothering with sandwiches as I think they just take too long to make so we are having cooked meats and salads (green, pasta, rice potato etc.) with maybe a few hot casseroles (slow cookers are wonderful for keeping them at the right temperature. Table centres we are using mirrored candle plates, candles and sugared almonds, it just happens that those items we can get particularly cheaply. My daughter is overseeing the decorating of the hall and she is also doing the cake, we tend to have iced fruit cakes in the UK which we make every year for Christmas anyway, just basic smooth icing and then using fresh flowers between the tiers. My best friend is a wedding photographer which is a life saver. I’m also very lucky with decorating and sorting out the food that most of the preparation can be done at home in advance and the Church and hall are literally 2 mins walk, I don’t even need a car to get to the Wedding.


Because I Said So December 7, 2011 at 8:51 am

You can’t be bothered with setting up tables, chairs and a tent for an outdoor wedding, you have better things to do on your wedding day like REST and hang with the wedding party at the salon. You could ask other guests to show up early and put that stuff together but I think your best bet would be to pare down your guest list and find a restaurant where you can feed 20-30 people for $20-30 a plate. Making the food yourself is also out of the question, you’d just be too damn busy. You can’t steam your own gown, make your own bouquets, cook food, set up a tent, set up a laptop for music etc all before the ceremony! You should find an indoor venue for the reception so you don’t have to worry about all that stuff or like you said, elope. I think eloping is a great idea, maybe you could just have your parents with you for the ceremony and then fly out for your honeymoon. It’s a lot better idea than blowing 5 figures on a party that only lasts a few hours, and then in 20 years your kids wonder why they have no college fund.


?Lady2? December 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

We’re talking about getting married at city hall. Yesterday we went to a city hall wedding, and it was really beautiful. The only thing I’m worried about it the limited space. (You can have 10 guests with you) The city hall wedding is going to cost $300, the dress $800, suit $300, flowers $100, dinner $400 & rings $1000. So, we’re looking at $3000. Weddings are so expensive, so this works for us. We really can’t afford a $10,000 wedding. We figure down the road we’ll have a vow renewal, and go all out then.


Fancy December 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

See if you can rent an art gallery and have a strolling buffet potluck. Art galleries are dying for money now. You could rent some chairs for the older folk and a few cocktail tables hire a friend to tend bar


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