Top 14 Budget Tips from My $5,000 Wedding

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In honor of the holidays and nearing the end of 2014, over the next two weeks I'll be taking time to hang with my family and eat all the things. But have no fear! I'll also be sharing some of the best inspiration, tips, and advice from the last year that have appeared on Kiss My Tulle. Today, I've rounded up my top 14 budget tips from my $5,000 wedding!

In honor of the holidays and nearing the end of 2014, over the next two weeks I'll be taking time to hang with my family and eat all the things. But have no fear! I'll also be sharing some of the best inspiration, tips, and advice from the last year that have appeared on Kiss My Tulle. Today, I've rounded up my top 14 budget tips from my $5,000 wedding!

Top 14 Budget Tips from My $5,000 Wedding
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

1. Semi-Homemade Stationery. I designed some of my wedding paper goods and then ordered the rest from Vistaprint (using a Googled 50% off coupon!). This saved us quite a bit in designer fees and labor costs.

2. Used Groupon and Living Social to score amazing deals on little extras. We all want our wedding to have a few something specials that aren't really needed – we just want them. For those, I scoured LivingSocial and Groupon daily for good deals that would cover those little details.

3. Score a great deal on your photographer. I know from the very beginning that getting an amazing photographer was priority number one for me. I also knew that in order to get that photographer, I'd have to look for an amazing deal. And I got one – at a bridal show!

4. DIY what you can and buy the rest. Rentals can send you budget through the roof! So, whenever possible, DIY what you can (we made our own reception tables out of old wood and I sewed all the napkins) and buy the rest. You can donate anything you buy after the wedding for a nice tax write-off.

5. Look in your closet for wedding attire. The Boy wore a nice suit that he already had and, for our first ceremony, I wore a pretty white dress from my closet. Easy meet peasy AND FREE.

6. Always think "How can I do this cheaper". Most of the best bits from our wedding were simply us brainstorming about ways to cut costs on that particular item. So our amazing HUGE ceremony backdrop? Should have been hundreds of dollars and instead cost us about $10.

7. Go non-traditional to save a few bucks (and really personalize your wedding). The flower girls don't need flowers. The bridesmaids don't need matching dresses. No one needs a favor. Have cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. Do your thing and you may be pleasantly surprised by the savings.

8. DIY your reception food. Yes. It CAN be done and be lovely. It will take lots of planning and helping hands but it CAN be done. And it will save you a bundle.

9. Cut out the middle man. I wanted bunches of lovely Texas wildflowers but just couldn't afford the amount we needed. Then, a local florist told me all about a great wildflower farm nearby who sold flowers directly to consumers. I contacted them, legged it out there, and scored!

10. Don't overlook the generousity of strangers. My $500+ wedding dress was free. FREE. And all because I took a chance of a stranger's offer. 

11. Say 'yes" to talented friends and family. My best friend is great at make-up and hair so she did mine for me. My mother-in-law is a great cook so she made dessert for our wedding rehearsal dinner. My mom sewed the flower girl dresses. People want to help! Let them.

12. Garage sale, thrift, and dumpster dive. A ton of the reception dishes and glassware came from garage sales and thrift stores and we dumpster dove for the wood for the reception tables.

13. Make your own cake decor. The topper and cute bits are temporary – so why spend money on them? I made ours and loved how they turned out.

14. Skip the professionals and bust out that ipod. We didn't have a band or a DJ. I just made some playlists for the pre-ceremony music, the ceremony, and the reception and a good friend pushed the play button at the right times.

What was your favorite budget tip from my $5,000 wedding?