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Weddings can get REALLY expensive, especially with all the wonderful inspiration ideas from Pinterest. But I’m going to tell you how I had my fairy-tale wedding for under $1500. Yes, it can be done!
Our wedding totaled in at about $1375. I say about because I didn’t keep track of receipts like I should have but I have a pretty good memory of prices and our bank account showed totals for things I couldn’t remember.
For starters, don’t go buy one of those outrageously priced wedding planners. You don’t really need it. There’s so many free printable ones on Pinterest and I used this free Wedding Planner template I found on Excel (I didn’t make it) to build our budget and keep track of things. I did convert it to a PDF version for you to download, if you’re more of a physical person who likes to print things (like me!) or you just don’t want to search through Excel.
I really didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on our invitations. Which is what most places will cost you for something like this. I tried these invites on Amazon first, where you print them yourself. Unless you are a magician, I don’t recommend it. I couldn’t do it and neither could my sister who is like the computer queen. So we started searching online and ended up using VistaPrint! They only cost us $40 with shipping included! And they looked so perfect for our theme! I absolutely fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. So we ordered them and wala! A week later I had them nicely printed all perfect and beautiful in my hands!
I also was lucky enough to grab a few stacks of Thank You cards from the dollar section in Michael’s one day! That was super sweet! Only $1.50 for each pack of 10!
For our outfits, Corys we rented from Mens Wearhouse and his best man’s as well. We only rented the vest and pants from them because they are pretty outrageously priced if you ask me, $110 just for Cory’s. We got his white button up and shoes from Ross both only costing $45. I also bought the guys ties in a 5 pack from Amazon! Only $20!
My wedding dress I got from Amazon. YES. I said Amazon. Kind of a scary gamble but Oh My! I loved my dress and I litteraly could not find it anywhere else except on Amazon. Also, it was only $150!!! I also got my super cute jelly shoes and my invisible sticky push up bra from Amazon for only $10 each! Now when I first got my dress, it was way too big. But all dresses need to be altered. I had a few people recommend me to a local tailor and she did a fantastic job and only cost me $50 including a tip! My dress turned out fantastic and now I know a great tailor for any event!
For the girls dresses I just had them find a dress of my color (Champagne) and let them get what they wanted. It was the easiest for me, but if you have a bridesmaid that has trouble choosing give them a few suggestions of dresses you like. Then they know what you’re okay with and can still pick something they will like!
I made their bouquets with fake flowers from the dollar store and some brown twine stuff we had a ton of. I just hot glued the twine to the stems. I did the same thing for the men’s boutonnieres.
We also got our hair done by my go to stylist Stephanie, she did a fantastic job! She did my hair and my two sisters hair, Holly didn’t get back into town in time but her hair still looked great. All our hair cost $180 with tips included. Shes local in Tucson, AZ if you need a new stylist email me for her info!
Our wedding was beautiful, and we had lots of people telling us so. We had our wedding in our own backyard. Now, I know what your saying, “I don’t have a HUGE backyard for all those people!” Well neither do we! We have a decent sized yard but most of it is taken up by our pool. We literally had just enough room for the “isle” and a few tables, which had to be readjusted after the ceremony.
Now I was sooo lucky to have lots of help from family and friends. My uncle built us an outstandingly beautiful arch to stand under, I was just going to slap a few 2x4s together, but he went above and beyond. I also made big tissue paper flowers to put along all the big cement pillars we have, you can kinda see how we did that in the pictures below.
We had pom pom ribbons stretching across the entry way and streamers hanging like scallops inside the house above the food. We had helium balloons leading the way to the house on all the closest street signs out to the major roads, and we used our Christmas lights for lighting up the patio once it got dark. We also wrapped a bunch of tulle from the dollar store around the lights so they looked more “fancy pants”. That was about it for decorations, besides the center pieces for the tables. Which were only about $3 a piece, a tubed vase, some clear rocks for the bottom, a fake white rose and a citronella candle that floated above the rose once we filled them with water (the dollar store is amazing, decorations cost about $30).
My mother in law also bought us a bunch of Geraniums and Marigolds and two Bougainvillea vines that we decorated with. It added such a nice touch that we weren’t even planning on having!
I also made our welcome sign myself. I used a big piece of drywall we had laying around and painted it brown. Then I found a sign I liked on Pinterest and painted mine similar. I did this all with things I already had!
For our attendant gifts we ordered a bunch of bottle opener keys and had a little sign by it that said, “A key to your beverage”. They only cost us $20 for 40 of them and they were on sale. They were so cute! Cory and I skipped the bride and groom gifting, we are happy enough with each other!
However I did get gifts for the bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents. I went to Michael’s and got these cute little boxes for about $2 a piece, wrote on them with a gold glittery sharpie and filled them with goodies. For my bridesmaids and Moms I got these all natural bath bombs and lip balms . The bridesmaids got matching pearl bracelets to mine and my mom and Cory’s mom got matching peal necklaces to my bracelet. I included a cute little personal note to each in the top of the lid. They cost $10 each for everything.
For the guys I got cute little flasks and personalized them with a white sharpie. Now I tried to do that DIY sticker where you print on paper, tape over it and soak the paper off and the ink sticks to the tape. But that failed miserably and I waited way too long to do it so I ran out of time to do it right I’m guessing. So sharpie it was. I wrote, “McChesney Wedding, April 18th, 2017, Father of Bride or Groom or Best Man.” It turned out okay but I don’t know how long they will stay. I also wrote on them with a gold sharpie and then added a few Jack Daniels shooters and put their boutonnieres in the box. These cost $12 each.
For our ceremony music I started a free trial on iHeartRadio so I could create a playlist of songs I didn’t own and just had someone push play. Then we just played through without commercials all night! It was fantastic!
We didn’t end up hiring a photographer so we had my little sister, her fiance and Cory’s step dad take pictures with their fancy cameras. This honestly saved us soooo much money and the pictures turned out great! Plus I can take my time and decide which images I want printed to hang up and frame! Without the crazy cost of a photographer.
We got our tables and chairs from a local company called A La Carte rentals. They turned out to be okay but they were hard to get a hold of and the chairs were pretty well used. They only cost us about $180, so it wasn’t that bad but if I need chairs and tables again I will probably try a different company.
We served our guests with a delicious Taco Buffet, homemade everything! We made just the basics ground beef and home made re-fried beans with the basic toppings, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Cory’s grandma brought her famous pulled pork and my mom brought her super yummy Machaka. We bought about 200 street taco tortillas (we had about 50 guests) and put them in this cool buffet warmer to keep them all warm, and we served chips and salsa for the “appetizer”. We also served mexican rice which was almost a disaster (I tried to make instant rice, don’t do it) but then we just ordered a tray from our local El Molinitos! Much easier, lol. All the food ended up costing about $150, not bad!
We bought about 100 beers of different kinds and two boxes of wine, one white, one red. We froze some ice packs and stuck them on the inside of the box for the white wine (my sisters idea, genius!). My mom bought us the champagne and my dad brought a bunch of mini waters and we had sodas and Caprisuns for the kids. We ended up spending about $130 on all the beverages.
My mom made our anniversary cake and decorated it for us and I made cupcakes and we put them on this awesome cupcake tower . It turned out so cute and simple. We made the flowers out of icing! The cake mix and icing cost about $10 but my mom went and bought a different icing that is better for making the flowers.
For the tableware and such we got it all at the dollar store. I got all white everything, table cloths, plates, napkins and I got clear glasses and clear silverware. I was also able to grab clear dishes and serving utensils for the buffet line! This cost about $45.
We had our Giant Jenga, that I showed you all how to make last week and I also went to Bookman’s and got a bunch of board games! It was so much fun to see the kids playing the board games and the adults loving the Jenga! I spent about $30 on the board games.
We used a friend of a friend who officiated our wedding for free. That was so nice! We asked family and friends, and really just searched around. There’s almost always someone who knows someone that is a licensed officiant. Plus you can do it online if you can’t find someone who already is! Don’t pay big bucks for this, there’s almost always someone you know who can do it!
I really think our wedding turned out pretty great for planning it in 6 months and keeping it under budget! Cory didn’t think we did! I showed him!
Hope you can make your perfect wedding for cheap too! If you have any questions on how I did what or where to find certain things don’t hesitate to email me!
See ya next week on Friday for an update on little Brenalynn!