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Every girl dreams of walking down the aisle in the perfect dress, with the perfect location, and the perfect man waiting at the end. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, many of us cannot afford our dream wedding. However, if you think you have to spend $20,000 on your dream wedding, think again. There are many ways to cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams and save some cash too. All you need is guidance a little imagination, and your special day will be everything you ever wanted.


The Dress

Picture by ebay seller-tailored.dress

Luxury Lace Mermaid Wedding Dress

This is always the first question, “Have you picked out your dress yet?” The dress is equivalent to a love affair; searching desperately for the perfect one, sort of love at first sight.  This is where you can save thousands of dollars and still have the love of your life so to speak. You can order a custom dress online on eBay for as little as $189 plus shipping, and they are beautiful. The best way to do this is to research the seller to ensure that they have high ratings and reviews from the clients. When you find the dress, you want you will take measurements of your bust, waist, hips, length from your shoulder to your wrist, and from the waist to the floor.

Although the bridesmaids pay for their dresses be kind to them; try the same approach you are taking for your own dress.  The other Gold-Mine for saving money on dresses is of course Amazon.  You can find pretty much any style, color, or variation you can dream of. At my wedding, I opted to let my bridesmaids dress in various styles and colors. I feel everyone looks better in certain designs than others. If you prefer more color coordination you can do variations of the same color. For instance, if purple is your color, they could wear different shades such as lavender or violet.


Hair, Makeup, and Nails oh my!

There are several ways to cut costs on getting beautified for the wedding.  Call around and see if any salons are offering “Bridal Specials”; usually if you take in your wedding party you can get a group discount and slash costs.  You can go to the local cosmetology school and get the works cheap.  Students need the practice so you can get great prices and professional service.  Maybe you have a relative that has done hair or makeup; ask them if they would do it as your wedding gift.  Then there is always the DIY routine.  YouTube offers tons of videos on how to apply makeup and tons of ideas for hairstyles. I highly recommend the BH 120 Color Eye Shadow Palette.  In case no one has raved to you about them yet, Color Street Nails are all the rage now.  You can get a set for $12 and they last for 10-14 days!


Location, Location, Location

The location of the wedding and reception depends on many factors. The time of year, inside or outside, the size of the wedding, theme, etc. There are many beautiful places to be wed that are even free. Yes, I said free. My brother was married in a gazebo in front of a river at the park. It was small and quaint, and even the reception can be held there.

A beach wedding is inexpensive and serene.  Just imagine a white sundress, barefoot, and the ocean waves crashing at you and your loves feet as the golden sun sets behind you.  A luau theme would go perfectly with a reception to your beach wedding. You can also find halls to rent if you wish to marry in the winter. To save more money you can have a wedding and reception at the same place.  It’s easier for your guests too.


Eat, Drink, Laugh

Feeding your guests can get pricey if you let it. A lot of times people don’t actually eat frou-frou food anyhow. You can dress up the simplest platter with a few minor touches. You can save a ton if you keep it simple and get the family to help cater. Maybe have a self-serve dinner, that way all you have to worry about is the prep.  People are usually up and socializing so they feel comfortable with this option. If you want a touch of elegance, add a chocolate fondue fountain to the table.  You can find a chocolate fondue fountain on eBay for roughly $78.00.

If you opt-in to have alcohol at your reception it’s best to buy in bulk  A keg of domestic beer runs around $100.00. Rather than having multiple liquors, you can spike the punch with coconut rum. To add pizazz to your party check out this Fountain Punch Bowl for only $58.00.



Floral Design is a billion-dollar industry. Although they are amazing at what they do, you are paying for something that lives a few days. Keep that in mind when choosing your arrangements. You can make your bouquets with wildflowers, or maybe a friend has a garden you can take from. You can use synthetic flowers and dab hot glue as glistening dew drops. Look around, mother earth can be kind.



When you hire a professional photographer, it can cost thousands of dollars depending on their experience. A great alternative can be to hire a Photography Student that is trying to build a portfolio. The cost is significantly less, and you can still have great pictures. Another amazing addition to ensure you capture some unforgettable moments is to buy disposable cameras and put them on the tables at your reception. Family and friends have a blast getting to be a part of your special day.


Putting it all together

Getting everything organized may be overwhelming at first.  But with a little imagination and help from your bridal team, you can save a ton of money and have fun doing it.  You can break it down and have them assist in the Beauty, Photography, Location, and Food. By following the do it yourself tricks you can still have the wedding of your dreams, even on a budget.

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