Thrifty ideas for getting married on a teeny-tiny budget

November 14, 2014

There's no doubt about it: weddings can be a serious financial investment, but it isn't necessary to spend your life savings to have a dream wedding.

Thrifty ideas for getting married on a teeny-tiny budget


An elopement is all about recognizing what's important to you: the two of you and your life together.

It's a celebration of your love without all the additional expensive of a full wedding.

  • With a few close friends as guests at a beach or city hall, an elopement can be beautiful and romantic, while avoiding the stress and expenses associated with a larger wedding.
  • You'll save a bundle on caterers and a venue, and your entire budget can go toward creating a special day for you and the person you love.
  • Without all the other wedding bills to cover, you may even be able to afford a beautiful dress and an entry-level wedding package with a professional photographer to document your intimate wedding.

If eloping is out of the question, be prepared to get creative.


  • If your budget can stretch a bit, you might opt for a stunning evening dress, which can look every bit as elegant as a wedding dress.
  • If you do want a traditional wedding dress, don't spend six months of your wages on a brand new frock when previously worn wedding dresses are in high supply.
  • Up-cycling your mother's wedding dress is another more personal option.


  • Forget spending a fortune on rings; try scouring vintage shops, or better yet, ask your parents about family heirlooms.


  • Finding alternatives to floral centrepieces will save more than a buck or two, and anything from vintage tea pots to colourful glass jars with candles will look beautiful.


  • Instead of hiring a professional photographer for a whole day, put disposable cameras on the tables and let your guests document the reception.
  • The pictures will be candid and personal — keep the best ones for an album.


There are many free or inexpensive public venues available (check your town or city's website for details).

  • Pick a quiet day and time to avoid crowds and mimic the feel of a private venue.
  • Beaches, botanical gardens, a friend's landscaped garden or even a local farmer's vintage barn can make for a fabulous venue.


Instead of catering and asking for a wedding gift, ask guests to bring a dish to share.

  • In addition to being free, this can add a wonderful communal feel to your wedding that's difficult to achieve with formal catered meals.

Soon-to-be weds: don't be discouraged by a small budget for your wedding. With some creative thinking, you can make your wedding day beautiful without the financial headache.

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