We had a $6000 wedding budget, and we did most of these things detailed in this excellent post on Offbeat Bride. We did get some help from family, but sticking to our wedding budget allowed us to take the month-long cross-country road trip honeymoon of our dreams! Here’s how we stuck to our $6k wedding budget:
We live pretty far from our families, so most people understood why we kept the guest list to about 30 – just immediate family and closest friends. My in-laws graciously threw us a reception in my husband’s hometown, so his large family did not feel left out. I think only one group got awkwardly left out because they didn’t live close enough to either place, but we weren’t that close and it wasn’t a big deal.
Airbnb wedding venue
I searched AirBnB for places that allowed events. We rented a gorgeous Victorian-inspired house that slept 16 for an entire weekend, Fri. – Sun., so we had our rehearsal dinner at the same place. We also had enough room for our entire wedding party to stay with us (and photographer and officiant, both friends), and even my service dog was allowed. It was an awesome sleepover.
We bought all our own alcohol
We purchased beer, a white wine, and a red wine. People who wanted hard liquor could bring their own — and a couple of guys brought whiskey. We also served lavender lemonade and iced coffee because those are some of our favorite drinks and they were cheap and easy to make in bulk.
DIY wedding details
I DIY’d a crown for myself and mini crown for my dog/flower girl, and I cut and hemmed a flower girl dress to fit her. I made a chandelier with hanging baskets, fairy lights, and paper doilies. I designed and printed all the signage myself and collected the frames from friends and thrift stores. All our decor was pretty little knickknacks and things related to our interests that we collected at thrift stores/estate sales/antique fairs for a couple of years leading up to the wedding. I kept the majority of them and they now decorate our bookshelves. I didn’t buy matched sets of anything, because I didn’t want to end up with a lot of stuff to get rid of afterwards. I did buy lots of fairy lights, but I have used many of them on projects since.
We had a close mutual friend, who happened to be a professional photographer/videographer. We had to insist on paying him because he had never done a wedding before and he was nervous, but I’m totally happy with our choice. I decided early on that I was not invested in taking the time and energy to get fairy-tale-fantasy photos. We don’t live an instagram-perfect life, and all I wanted was an honest document of the day. We got exactly that and as a bonus we got to hang out with our buddy all weekend instead of posing for a stranger.
I skipped the guilt
I straight up did not care about guilt. I skipped the extras that were one-time-use only: programs, favors, garter, veil, ring pillow, monogrammed anything, unity symbols (candles/sand/what-have-you). I didn’t really want to do all the ceremonial speeches and formal dances, so we didn’t need a PA system or or DJ. I love and respect other people’s traditions, but for myself I don’t follow any tradition that does not have personal significance for me, so most of the conventional things went out the window. And you know what? It didn’t feel any less like a wedding. It just made the few things I did much more significant. Would my mother have loved a more traditional, old-fashioned wedding? Probably, but when she saw I had ordered the same color roses she had when she married my dad, she cried, because she knew I only did it because it really meant something to me.
Here’s the budget breakdown for my wedding under $6000:
Bride’s outfit: $300 $250 custom-made dress ordered online, $50 DIY crown, piña cloth overdress and shawl gifted by family in the Philippines
Groom’s outfit: $750 $650 formal kilt in family tartan made in Scotland, matching tie gifted by family, $100 for tailored dress shirt and socks. My husband is very frugal and I love teasing him about how much more expensive his outfit was than mine.
Flowers: $150 $90 lavender collected from local farms over the summer and dried at home, $60 dozen roses, pine for boutonnieres collected locally for free
Decor: $450 $150 fairy lights purchased one at time with coupons, $100 in craft supplies, ~$200 in collectibles/knicknacks/etc. averaging less than $10 per piece and spread out over a couple years
S’mores bar: $150 with exotic chocolate bars, flavored marchmallows, and a variety of crackers/cookies, plus a few Sterno cans
Dishes: $150 compostable plates and cups
Wedding party gifts: $300 About $50 each for 2 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen, and our officiant since he didn’t want to be paid
Venue rental: $1600
Table/chair rental: $200
Officiant/music:free Officiant was our mutual friend who first said we should get together; music was a 6-hour Spotify playlist played through Bose speakers, and my brother ran the music during the ceremony
When their original venue canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lerin and Brian were left scrambling to look for a reception for their train wedding. Then, the Red Caboose Motel stepped up and offered the couple train cars to get ready in, and a large tent for their reception.
The guests all boarded the train (which is the oldest continuously running train in America) with the groom in the front car and the bride in the back.
After a short train ride to Paradise, PA, the bride walked down the “aisle”… meaning she walked from the back of the train, up through each car, to the front of the train.
Guests all deboarded to watch the ceremony at the front of the train.
Then everyone took the train back to the station for couple’s portrait shoot, before heading to the Red Caboose Motel for their BBQ reception… which included a geode wedding cake!
The train, hotel and couple did a super job of keeping everyone as COVID-safe as possible.
As L’erin explains:
Brian had planned to propose to me at his family’s vacation home in the Thousand Islands, right near the water. I was so confused why he rushed me down to the water the second we got there, but I went along with it. Then he got down on one knee and asked me, “Will you ride all the trains with me?” Being the lady that I am, I responded with, “Choo CHOO motherfucker.”
See all the photos from this vintage train wedding in this gallery
One of our favorite floral companies recently launched micro wedding floral packages and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to shout about it from the rooftops. In addition to their new packages, The Bouqs Co. Weddings (Bouqs Weddings) understands that planning a wedding during a pandemic is less than ideal. Like us, they’re here to help couples navigate this strange time.
If you’re not familiar with Bouqs Weddings, get ready to fall in love—specifically with their personalized touch, fresh florals, and straightforward pricing.
Why Order Wedding Florals From Bouqs Weddings
Bouqs Weddings offers the perfect variety of options for wedding florals. Whether an elopement, micro wedding, or large wedding is in your future, couples browsing their website aren’t overwhelmed by options. Don’t let the minimalist packaging stop you—they are all completely customizable.
Start by picturing your wedding color scheme and choosing from their Wedding Collections, then someone from their team will help you every step of the way. Because of their focus on premium-quality florals at budget-friendly prices, they have quickly become the friendly, helpful, go-to contact for anything wedding flowers related.
DIY Floral Wedding Packages
Bouqs Weddings offers dreamy DIY packages that are fun, easy to put together, and can be personalized to every couple’s wedding day vibes. Seriously, the sky is the limit when it comes to these options.
It comes as no surprise that many DIYers enjoy the process of putting the arrangements together. Depending on how much DIY you’re taking on for your wedding, focusing on DIY florals are an easy way to bond with your wedding party. They also provide a great opportunity to stop and smell the roses—literally—to appreciate the moments before your big day. The DIY packages can be a fun project before the wedding, especially since it’s an option that fits most budgets.
DIY Doesn’t Mean You’re Alone
Customer service matters to Bouqs Weddings. They know couples are counting on these florals to make their weddings unforgettable and that most couples have limited floral arranging experience. Because of this, purchasing a DIY package doesn’t mean you’re left hanging to create these arrangements yourself.
They provide step-by-step guidance, video instruction, and one-on-one question and answer sessions to make the process as seamless as possible. Whether it’s you and your partner or your whole wedding team assisting with florals, you’ll be in good hands.
Micro Wedding Florals Launch
As stated on their website, Bouqs Weddings knows that even small weddings deserve beautiful florals. While watching more couples pivot their wedding plans to opt for something more intimate—like elopements or micro weddings—they realized they could help.
Hoping to make planning a little easier for couples exploring ways to make their weddings work, they launched special micro weddings packages to make sure each couple has stunning flowers for their wedding, big or small.
The micro wedding packages include options for multiple bouquets, boutonnieres, or a mix of both. These simple and timeless options will keep you and your partner ready for the magic of your special day.
Reliably Fresh Florals With Even Fresher Pricing
By working with Bouqs Weddings, you can rest easy knowing your wedding florals will be delivered on time. Plus their premium-quality wedding flowers at budget-friendly prices have helped couples save up to 80% of the costs associated with a traditional florist. Plus, since their flowers are shipped directly from eco-friendly farms, they’ll look absolutely stunning on your wedding day.
Bouqs Weddings has floral shipping down to a science. When these sustainably-sourced flowers arrive, they’ll be in bud form. This process ensures you won’t need to worry about droopy flowers on the most important day of your life. With proper care—which they’ll provide instructions for—they’ll bloom just before the wedding day to look their best. The timely blooming also means they’ll last for about a week after the wedding. So you can keep your flowers or send them home with your guests as a fresh and fun wedding favor.
No matter the size, Bouqs Weddings will help make your wedding as beautiful as you hoped. If you’ve had to postpone or scale back your guest list, their micro wedding and DIY options are for you. Flowers by Bouqs Weddings are luxurious, beautiful, and of the highest quality—check out their website to see how affordable they can be for your upcoming elopement, micro wedding, or ceremony.
We know how much goes into planning a wedding. You have to figure out the venue, the guest list, the menu, the decor, etc.–all of this revolving around money. That’s why more and more couples are opting to add DIY touches to their special day. Getting crafty is not only one of the easiest ways to save money, but it’s also a great way to add personal touches to your nuptials.
Junebug couples continue to surprise us with new and creative DIY ideas that make their wedding unique. That’s why we decided to put together a round-up of some of our favorite elements that couples have put together themselves. Get ready to be inspired because these are some seriously epic details.
Yinny and Yong-Le wanted their New Zealand forest wedding to be a fun weekend getaway for their friends and family. When they stumbled upon Pencarrow Lodge, they knew it was the perfect spot. Their day was full of DIY touches including a copper painted PVC pipe arch, a picture frame installation that served as a photo backdrop, a faux flower photo wall, and personalized calligraphed driftwood that served as place cards. While it may be a bit time consuming, this goes to show you that a DIY wedding is not only one of the best ways to add your special touch to your day, it can also be the best way to make it sustainable!
Photographer Jane Lee perfectly captured the warmth of the day as well as the small touches that are easy to miss. So keep your eyes peeled and get those Pinterest boards ready, Junebabes. You won’t want to miss these details.
We were really fortunate to have found a gem of a venue for our wedding. It’s perched on a hill by the ocean, showcasing the amazing rugged coastal landscape Wellington is famed for. On a nice day–lucky for us our wedding day was beautiful–you can see the South Island on the horizon and sheep grazing on the rugged paddocks. We fell in love with having our wedding at the venue the first time we went for a tour. It was only about an hour out of the city, the view is amazing, and we knew we’d be making unforgettable memories for us as well as our family and friends flying in.
DIY Wedding Advice
If you’re planning to DIY, our advice would be to start early. Visit your local second-hand shops to see what’s out there already. Join Facebook groups–there are plenty out there where people are selling things they no longer want. And, at the end of the day, don’t forget to absorb and take in the moment–all the hard work came down to this.
A Charitable Wedding Favor
On behalf of all our guests, we donated to Kaibosh–our local food rescue charity–which rescues and redistributes food and produce from the hospitality industry to the people in need. In return, Kaibosh gave us magnets with a personalized message, which we paired with postcards we designed ourselves that explained our wedding favor for them. We decided to give the gift of giving as it bore more meaning and provided us a way to share this day with even more people.
A Reception Complete With a Haircut
Yong-Le had a head full of dreadlocks when I first met him and that was the only look of his that I knew. However, at our cake cutting, he whipped out a pair of scissors–which he presented to both our dads–and started untying his dread-bun. Let’s just say that both of our dads weren’t very keen on his dreads. By the end of the night, I went home with a transformed man. A few days later, I lost him in the crowd when we took my family sightseeing!