If you are not one of those brides with daddy's big bank account then let me just tell you, you are not alone. I watch shows like "say yes to the dress" and I can not believe the amount of money a bride will spend on just the wedding dress. But you do not have to have a big wedding for it to be beautiful; it's all in the details.
Believe it or not you can find your perfect dress for a few hundred dollars, but you have to search. I'm not talking about those Chinese websites, but actual bridal shops where you can find closeouts, floor samples or budget dresses. Make sure you call around and go online. Always call online stores to make sure you talk to a real person, look for ratings and ask around before you choose one.
Most of your budget for a wedding would actually go towards the venue, which in most cases will not let you cater your own food. So this is what you have to tackle first. If you can not find a small venue in your city or nearby, then start thinking out of the box. If you or a family member has a nice backyard, put it on your list for consideration. A white tent will do wonders for a backyard wedding and will probably cost you around $ 150- $ 250. You should also consider a local park where you would also do the tent, and the park will probably charge you $ 50 for the day.
For dinner choose a buffet style instead of a sit down, you can have a larger variety without breaking the bank. Find a local caterer or enlist your family which would be even cheaper. For the cake, go to your local supermarket bakery, you would not imagine the cakes that the bakers there can do, and for a fraction of the price of a bakery.
If you are getting married in your church, they will probably just ask you for a donation, but if you are not, hire a justice of the peace that will cost you an average of $ 75.
For the tables just rent your linens at an online store, you'd be surprise at the savings. For your centerpieces, forget the flowers and up for less expensive candles. If you are not into candles look online for different options ranging from goldfish bowls to floating roses which will not cost as much. If you still want to have flowers, then use as much filler flowers as you can, this can save you a bunch. Be creative and look for different ideas. If you want to give out favors, try making your own. A music CD of music you both love would be a great favor and very inexpensive. All you need is CDs and personalized labels which you can find for less than $ 1 each.
One of the most important expenses is the photographer; this is one place I would tell you not to skimp on. These will be your memories and you want to be sure they are great. Ask around for referrals from friends and family. Once you find the right person, be sure to negotiate. If you are not good at negotiating, bring the family member that is. On this one thing, you have to choose wisely not just based on price.
Remember that it's all in the details. Find nice wedding accessories that will scream simplicity and elegance. Go online and compare prices for everything you are looking for. Be sure to keep a log and do your research to save the most money.