How I Spent Less Than $6K on my Wedding

In April 2018, my husband and I were picking out our wedding date. I told him I wanted to get married in October and he picked the day of the 19th. Since October 19, 2018 fell on a Friday and was only six months out, we decided on October 19, 2019 to give us more time to plan and whatever we would need. The next month we found out I was pregnant. I pushed a lot of the planning to the last couple months.

When working out the budget, my father offered for pay up to $6,000 and my mother offered to pay for my dress and veil. This is for a guest list of 130 in Central Pennsylvania.

Here’s the breakdown of total costs:

  • Dress & Veil: $653
  • Groom’s Outfit: $100
  • Venue: $1,165
  • Photographer: $1,329
  • Guest Book: $83
  • Invitations: $70
  • Decorations: $800
  • Bridesmaid Stuff: $180
  • Groomsmen Stuff: $110
  • Flower Girls Stuff: $90
  • Food: DIY Buffet + $300
  • DJ: FREE
  • Alcohol: FREE
  • Hair & Makeup: FREE
  • Extra Misc: $300

Total: $5,180

The Food

DIY Buffet + $300

We can’t calculate how much was spent on food because we asked some friends and family members to pitch in and bring a few dishes. I am so glad we did it because there was more than enough food for everyone and it saved us about $1.6k, which is what we would have spent for a catered buffet.

The $300 I listed is an estimate of what we spent on the soda, racks, plates, utensils, and other things along those lines. All of which we bought from Sam’s Club. 

The alcohol was gifted to us from a few family friends. We had so much there that even with it being an open bar, we were left with over ten bottles of liquor at the end of the night. We just got lucky with that part of the cost.

The Dress

Photo by Wisor Photography

My mom had bought my dress for me. We went to David’s Bridal the month after I had my son. I bought this beautiful off the shoulder Galina dress, a matching veil, and a solid juniper belt — all totalling out to $653. When we bought the dress originally, I was a size 8 at only one month postpartum. At about seven months postpartum, I went back in for a fitting and had to exchange it for a size 6. The associates at David’s were very helpful in helping me, one even made me cry some happy tears that I wouldn’t have expected to happen.

The Venue


We got married in a cozy barn called Abundance Hill in Morrisdale, PA. The cost of the venue itself included chair and table rental which totalled out to $900 after the return of the damage deposit. The event insurance was $190. We also paid the groundskeeper $75 for cleanup.

The Photographers


For photography, I knew I wanted to spend a bit of money on. (I mean… the pictures are the things you get to keep forever.) While researching photographers, I met this couple, Andrew and Victoria Wisor. They own Wisor Photography based out of DuBois, Pennsylvania. I instantly fell in love with their work so I reached out to them and I am so glad I did.

Their work with us was so relaxed and easy. I was a very disorganized bride when it came to the day of and they kept us on track. They did an amazing job keeping the flow of things and their photos turned out even better than we had ever expected.

Just to add: This price was based off their 2019 wedding prices. They may change or have already changed their prices. This price can only be used for reference.

Photo by Wisor Photography

The Decorations


This cost includes everything from the flowers to the signs I made. I had to buy twine to wrap around jars we borrowed from family members that we used as centerpieces. I made my own bouquet and the bridemaids’ hoops. Most of the supplies I got for decorations came from Michael’s, Goodwill, Dollar Tree and a local craft store that recently went out of business. When the store was closing they had sales for wedding stuff that was ridiculously helpful for me.

If you have a Cricut or something similar like a Silhouette Cameo, you could make so many decorations for your wedding! Take a look at this sign I made. All it took was some lace from an old curtain, a picture frame from goodwill for $2, and a vinyl decal I created with my Cricut.

Photo by Wisor Photography

All of the flowers were bought at Michael’s because I feel like they look the best in my opinion. That was majority of the price. The bridal hoops and my bouquet cost between $15 – $20 each to make. 

Photo by Wisor Photography

The Guest Book


When I was scrolling through Pinterest while I was in the process of wedding planning, I came across the “polaroid guest book” pictures. My sister and I already had the cameras and I loved the idea, so we threw the money into it.

I bought two packs of 60 film, a blank book from Michael’s, a pack of crafter’s tape, and some washi tape to add some decoration. I decorated the outside of the book with stamps I already had from Michael’s.

Photo by Wisor Photography

The DJ


Our DJ was a friend of ours and my cell phone. He brought his sound equipment. I handed him my phone with all of the music we wanted to listen to and he controlled it. I told him which songs we wanted for our dances, like the First Dance. 

He did a great job and wouldn’t accept any money, so we fed him and offered for him to the open bar. 

Hair & Makeup


My bridesmaids and I did our our hair and makeup. I personally don’t wear makeup so I was sort of scared I was going to look like a clown. I ended up not using a lot and had a very natural look.

While I did my own hair and makeup, my bridemaids helped each other out and did each other’s hair and makeup. It just all worked out.

The Invitations


Our invitations were purchased from Shutterfly using one of their templates. We customized them to how we liked them. I love how they turned out and they were absolutely stunning and very great quality.

Photo by Wisor Photography

The Bridal Party


This total includes their gifts and some parts of heir outfits. For the bridesmaids gifts I gave them, I bought a lotion and hand sanitizer with a holder from Bath & Body Works and put it in a cup that had their names on it that I made myself.

Out of the five girls, I bought four dresses and two pairs of shoes. I let the girls do a “mix and match” thing. I had told them to find something that makes them the most comfortable and that matches our fall theme. Ultimately everyone ended up in burgundy so it worked out perfectly.

If I would recommend any shop for brides on a budget looking for bridesmaid dresses, it would definitely be Ever-Pretty. I ordered my best friend’s dress and it was absolutely beautiful! She’s the one with the long, off the shoulder dress on the left of the photo above.

I went out and bought the flower girls dresses at my local Peebles. I originally was looking for matching dresses, but when I saw these two dresses next to each other, they were just perfect!

My husband and I bought the shirts for the groomsmen then basically told them to find a pair of light brown pants and brown shoes to wear. They managed to get everything they needed with minimal problems and were probably the easiest to work with.

Extras & Misc.


This total includes things like our rings, marriage license, a wedding planning book, and some other odds and ends that I don’t feel need to be categorized with anything else.

And yes, you heard that right. Our rings are listed under this. I believe that meaning in things are worth so much more than a price tag. We bought our wedding bands on a sale and are worth so much more to me than any amount of gold. 

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2 thoughts on “How I Spent Less Than $6K on my Wedding

  1. Gorgeous wedding! I think my husband and I spent about $8,000 on ours! It’s totally possible to not spend a fortune and have it look incredible!

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