backyard wedding set up around pool

9 Ideas For A Frugal And Successful DIY Wedding

Planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t have to mean cutting back. In fact, many DIY frugal weddings have been some of the most joyful, beautiful, and footloose celebrations that have ever graced internet photo albums. No doubt, you’ve been flipping through online images of gorgeous beaming brides surrounded by wildflower centerpieces and trees filled with a string of Christmas lights. It’s a beautiful sight, and you can’t help but think “That could be my wedding for a fraction of the price of a big traditional to-do.”

And it can be. All you need to do is figure out the logistics between sitting at your kitchen table with your mini-planning-committee today and that Big-Day when everything comes together perfectly and on-budget. The only requirements are that the evening is unforgettable, everyone has a good time, and you come away with a breathtaking photo album of Wedding Day memories.

Today, we’re here to share some of our best tips for a frugal and totally successful DIY wedding spectacular.

Pick an Off-Beat-Beautiful Venue

If your wedding will be a small one, you could plan the venue for free in your own backyard or in a local park that you love. But there are also dozens of off-beat event spaces in every regional area that offer what might seem like cut-rate wedding venues and packages. Why? Because they’re not on the Top 20 list of venues for weddings and very few people know that they’re there.

These are often beautiful out-of-the-way places that are most frequently booked by corporate retreats rather than weddings. But they would be honored to host, cater, and produce your Wedding at a fraction of the cost of the local Ballroom at the Ritz.


Make Your Own Hand-Written Invitations

No need to go all-out on invitations, either. Pick a lovely box of blank lace or parchment invitations and hand-write each one in your own loving way. Get a pack with a picture-pocket and print up a few dozen copies of your best engagement photo to send to the whole family. Add a few dried flower petals and perhaps a ribbon for style and you’ve got wedding invitations worth keeping in a memory box for decades at an almost-nothing price.


Ask for Wedding Help Instead of Wedding Gifts

Who needs an enormous crystal punch bowl and three French Press coffee makers? Not you! Most wedding gifts are big, expensive, and totally meaningless. Many practical couples struggle to stock their registry with things they actually want and will use, and family members who get creative are often loving but completely off-base.

Instead of gifts, ask each of your relatives to provide their help in making your wedding a grand success. With whatever talents they have available. You might have an aunt who can decorate cakes at a professional level, or a cousin who does beautiful flower arrangements, or an in-law who is an actual event coordinator.

The combined talents, resources, and pure catering abilities of your family can make your DIY wedding come together more effectively than your individual efforts. And you’ll all enjoy it so much more than that enormous crystal punch bowl.



Hire Aspiring Wedding Talent Who Need Portfolio Shots and References

Another absolutely awesome way to save on a wedding is to basically partner with your wedding services. Find aspiring service talent and up-and-coming artists who would love to have your wedding as their debut portfolio and your glowing reviews all over their webpage. And of course, they’ll offer you a discount for the awesome perks.

– Hire Apprentices from the Beauty School

You may have already heard this from your female relatives, but there’s no better way to get discount hairstyling than to head over to the local beauty school. Young hair stylists in training get a chance to practice truly spectacular ‘dos while you get a serious discount on an all-day stylist.

– Allow an Aspiring Photographer to Turn your Wedding Into a Portfolio

If there’s one thing a professional photographer needs, it’s portfolio shots of events they’ve worked. Be one of those grand events for a photographer just starting their professional career or even help launch a family member for a serious drop in photography pricing.

– Give a New Florist their First Big Event

Flowers are one thing that every DIY does differently, from paper flowers to hiring that cousin we mentioned earlier. One of the best ways to get classic wedding-style flower arrangements and bouquets is to work with an aspiring new florist with a lot to prove and a serious need for arrangement pics.

– Hire a Local College Band or Up-and-Coming DJ

Finally, whether you want a live band or a DJ, head to the local college and hire someone trying to make their name. Be sure to listen to some of their stuff before you make your final choice.


Check With Your Church’s Ladies Auxiliary for Help

If you are holding the ceremony in your family church, chances are there’s a Ladies Auxiliary who handle all the flower arrangements, seasonal decorations, and charitable projects for the church already. These ladies would also very likely be delighted to help you plan, decorate, and generally be a part of your wedding. And it never hurts to ask.


Borrow Stereo Equipment From the Family Audiophile

Don’t have the dough for the sound system of your dreams? Don’t sweat it. Ask around the family and cobble together a satisfying stack of speakers. Or you can get in touch with the family audiophile and honor them with a request to personally set up the sound system for your big day.


Wear an Heirloom Family Wedding Dress or Join The Brides Project

Don’t blow your budget on a dress you’ll only wear once. Ask the women in your family (in-laws, too) if there is an heirloom dress that might be close to your size. Wedding dresses can become even more meaningful when they are passed down from bride to happy bride.

Don’t have a family dress (or the family dress isn’t your style)? Join the Brides Project instead where brides donate their dresses to other brides who need beautiful designer dresses at an incredible discount. Then pay it forward.


Help Your Bridesmaids DIY-Coordinate Their Dresses

The other dress concern, your bridesmaids, can be handled in a couple of clever ways. You can challenge the girls to coordinate their own outfits or use matching shawls as the coordination trend. Or you can all spend the day at a Ross trying on dresses until you find a matching batch that looks great on everyone.



Hire a Family-Owned Local Restaurant to Do the Catering

As for the catering, if your family doesn’t already have that covered like you don’t even have a choice, consider checking with the local family-owned restaurants. These businesses are often touched at the opportunity to do a wedding and offer huge platters at lower costs than official catering services.


Planning a frugal wedding can be the best off-beat fantastic experience you could ever have. Get your family involved, meet local aspiring talent, and hand-decorate to your heart’s delight. Contact us today for more great ways to save on your Big Day to emphasize the memories that really matter.

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