Ideas for pulling off a $500 wedding

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Do you have a very limited budget? Is your budget $500 or less? Are you discouraged on how you can pull off a wedding with so little? I’ve got the post for you! 

While browsing weddingwire I found a forum post where a bride asks other brides what kind of wedding they would throw together if their budget was $500. I saw that the responses were creative and interesting, so of course, I wanted to share them with you! Here are the ideas that the various ladies came up with. Original post and source is here.

Just Reenski: My parents backyard, with our parents, grandparents, FH’s brother and our best friends (5 people total) and mom’s cousin (our officiant and his wife). Nice clothes we already own, moms and grandmoms to cook. About 17 people. Then the young uns would go out on the town. 🙂

Angel J: Make my own wedding dress, pick flowers out of the yard, get married in my backyard and my fiance would wear jeans and a buttonup shirt. Nobody would get fed, and we wouldnt have a honeymoon but i could definitely get married for that.

Sara: I would honestly be happy with a simple courthouse wedding and then dinner at a restuarant with close friends & family.

Angie: buy a nice white dress from a dept store ($100), ask my sister to cook ($100 for food) and make the cake from the cake mixes we already have in the pantry (she’s a chef and also a master pastry chef), and have a barefoot wedding either in our backyard or FI’s backyard, or at the beach on either coast. he has plenty of nice shirts and black dress pants. $100 more for a nice bouquet and i’d have sis also be MOH and buy her a nice dress ($50). $100 on alcohol and sodas. $50 for gas and any other incidentals. done!

Pan: Courthouse, than maybe dinner at a restaurant for a very small group. Because the license alone was $90, the justice of the peace’s fee was $100, so we’d already be down to only $300.

Hayley C: Well ~ to start ~ the Reenski showed us how we could get all our wedding stationary and more for under $50 ~ Centerpieces would be empty wine bottles or spaghetti jars.~ If I planned it right, I would get a package of flower seeds for $.99 and grow my own flowers in the spring. Clip them and use those.~ Dress would be from Kohl’s or JcPenny ~ a cute white dress or ask to borrow from a friend (my MOH is the same height and size as me)~ DIY hair and make-up~ DJ ipod (which we did at my real wedding ~ just wouldn’t be able to afford the live band)~ back yard wedding ~ under 60 guests (family: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews – and 6 friends (3 or mine, 3 of his)~ pot luck ~The rest of the $ would go towards drinks & food.

Nicole: We are eloping on Sunday. Us, two attendants. That’s it. With the help of the WW ladies we came up with some nice ideas. Here is my costs break downMarriage license: $28
Officiant: $100 (found on Craigslist)
Bouquet and boutonnière: free because of my amazing friend
Rings: $159 for both (we will upgrade later)
My dress: $20
My jewelry: $1 (found perls in the $1 basket at Walmart, and had some beautiful earrings that I got from my parents)
Blue garter: $3
Shoes: had them
Hair extensions: had them
Hair clips: $15
His pants: $25
His shirt and tie: $20
Blazer: he had it
Shoes and socks: had them
Just married sign for the car: DIY
Champagne flutes: had them, will get a silver marker at michaels
Wine glasses for attendants: will paint them DIY
I have a scarf from my boss and my own sunglasses for some elopement fun pictures (all DIY for about $10)
Sixpence: $12 (DB)
Champagne: present from my best male friend
Chocolate strawberries: $5
Rose pedals: $5
We treat us and the attendants to dinner at the cheesecake factory because that way we have dinner and delicious wedding cakeUnder $500. Voila! ;)My friend will just take pictures, but you could find someone on Craigslist that works on his/her portfolio and would do it for free.
Cydney J (Cydney M): a lot of DIY projects and a backyard wedding with immediate family and a very small bridal party….

Labake: Defintely my house. We have lots of parties so we already have a tent. Ceremony at the house. Any white dress for about $50.Ipod dj
I have roses, lilies and wildflowers in my garden. Those would be cut.
We would provide the main dish and ask people to bring sides.
We would have one alcoholic drink- Sangria!

Fawn: Here’s a fun blog that speaks to that…
Tina”Bo”Bina: Buy a cute little white cocktail dress off of Ebay for cheap, pick up flowers for a bouquet from a grocery store, and have FH throw on one of his already owned suits. Have FH’s cousin who is working on building her photography portfolio (she’d do it for free w/ no issues). Find a nice little park/garden, and myself, FH, my ordained buddy who’s marrying us anyways, our immediate family, and our best friends would commence in having a wedding! So far the total is looking to be about $150 for the dress, flowers, and the marriage cert. So there would be plenty of money left over to take my whole group out for a nice dinner and drinks afterwards 🙂
Carole M (aka “old tart”): Hmmm…. I have Guest list of no more than 60 (like we really had) Wedding on step-son’s acreage with a tropical theme – $0 Paper – Decor done the VP way – Maybe $30 tops for shipping. Our attire – trop outfits from our closet – We have an extensive vacation wardrobe. $0 Citronella lights from parent’s shore house. $0 Tables from friends $0 Chairs from a local funeral home or fire hall. $0. Cake baked by DIL $0Paper goods, cutlery and tropical decor bought at Dollar Tree & BJs $50 Pineapple Centerpieces $50 Booze – A 1/2 keg of beer $40 

Signature Drink – Captain and Coke $60 for the Captain $20 for the Coke DJ & Karoke – My stepson is seriously talented. $0Favors – Deep Woods Off wipes & packets of sunscreen wrapped in cellophane bags from Michaels topped w/ magnets from VP. $50Tents – Borrow Push UpsThat leaves about $250 for food. That is enough for a pig roast with sides and my baking cookies/brownies for the dessert table
Jacklyn: We plan on doing our wedding for under $1000 or less (not including rings and honeymoon)…I think it can definitely be done for $500. Here is an idea (although not quite what our plan is since we have a little more to work with).White dress from a store – $50
FI has a suit – Free
FI cousin is an officiant – Free
Pick flowers from gma’s yard – Free
Wedding on the beach – Free
Dinner for close friends and family at a restaurant – $300
Marriage License – $60
Mom’s jewelry – Free
My sister is a baker so she’d do the cake for free
DIY Makeup and hairAm I missing something? If so, the extra $90 should cover it. :)I like this thread. I think weddings today become too much about the “hooplah” of it all..make a list, make sure you have this/that, etc. When in reality I think there are a lot of those “little” things people pay for that no-one ever notices. I am excited for our simple and sweet wedding. 🙂
WasSoon2BMrsSmith: well the lisence here costs $120
the officiant costs $300 (and you cant just have an ordained friend do it in canada)
so that leaves me with $180I’d have it outside, borrow my bff’s dress or a friends white prom dress, he would wear the suit he already owns. We would ask everyone to bring potluck and byob, instead of a gift, and get married at the cottage which is Free cause we lease at a park and have use of the facilities including the dance hall incase it rains with the chairs and tables all free.Then we would only invite his immediate and mine which is 20 ppl and then invite about 10 friends. have 6 tables with a bottle of red on each and white on each. wich would kill the other $180. We wouldn’t need a liquor lisence as the park is private and we wouldn’t be selling it. and that’s that.
Serenity: Ok, I’ll play 🙂 Mostly, this is how our wedding is being planned anyway!
License – $55
Officiant – Free (friend)
Location – $100 (MDRF)
Flowers – $20 (DIY grocery store bouquet/bout)
Photog – Free (friend)
Food – Free (potluck)
Outfits – Free (Garb we already own)That’s only $175. Man, if we didn’t want new garb for our wedding, we could actually do this 😉
MistysoontobeBell: We would get married in my parents back yard. Just close friends and family.
E-mail invites (free)
DYI food (pot luck – Free)
flowers (grocery store $40)
hair (sister) and makeup ( Free)
Officiant $ 100,
License $75
photos by 2 friends (both pro photogs – Free)
outfits – FH has a suit and I would get a dress $100.
Decorations $100
Total = $415
Heather:go to the justice of the peace with a a cute white sundress then just go to cedar point with my new hubby for a few days..we love that place!
Rachel: Vegas Baby!
FutureMrsB (Aussie Bride!): Well we paid $550 for our celebrant alone, and that’s the most important bit.But I could get a celebrant for probably $250, have mum make my dress for $50, wear already owned shoes, FH & bridal party could wear clothes already owned, do our own hair & make-up, pick our own flowers from the park, FMIL and dad on photography duties, ipod music. Reception would be immediate friends and family, say 13 family members and 7 friends and the two of us, equalling 22 people total. Venue would be our backyard and we would have $200 to spend on food, alcohol, and cake. So we would ask our family and friends to bring a plate and BYO alcohol.Writing that made me glad that we decided to have a two year engagement to pay for what we really wanted, with no regrets.
Mrs.L: I did it! Our license was 25$ all clothes for kids were purchased at the children’s place for 50$ that dressed 3 kids matching. His clothes were 25$ from old navy I had my dress and shoes and te courthouse fee was 40$. We had hot dog hamburger cookout with some beer that cost about 75$ an a cake that wa $20!!! Oh it’s very possible and extremely fun!! I’d do it all over again if we didn’t piss of a few family members along the way lol.
Brandi Elizabeth: Cheap white dress, courthouse wedding, then dinner/dessert with our closest friends and family.
LouYork: I would get married at Willow Woods Park! Ceremonies start at $299 in the lovely chapel cabin! Wonderful, romantic and intimate located in Lake Arrowhead..We can work with your budget for a small ceremony and hospitality…

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