How we had a wedding for less than $10,000


Photo by Liv Hefner Photography

I always knew I wanted to do a breakdown of how much our wedding cost because I wanted people to know you can still have an amazing wedding on a budget.

And our wedding was just that — amazing.

It was everything we had envisioned and went so smoothly. Everything was on time, done correctly and it even stopped raining in the afternoon — just in time for photos before the wedding — after storming all morning.

I always enjoyed seeing breakdowns of affordable weddings when I was looking, but often times found that couples were gifted a lot of big ticket items. That wasn’t our case. We were really only gifted a couple of things (which I’ve noted in the breakdown below). And, as I’ve mentioned before, we had a very small wedding with only 40 guests after postponing it.

It was really satisfying to know we paid for everything ourselves. We also paid cash for everything except the hotel room we stayed in for the wedding weekend. So we have come out of it basically debt-free.

We ended up spending around $8,000 for everything all said and done. We didn’t take a honeymoon right away, but we are planning to go to Niagara Falls later this month. We wanted the extra time to save up some money. I’ll save that for another post.

Wedding cost breakdown:

Dress: $1,500 (including alterations)

Veil: $108

Shoes: $50 (From Nordstrom Rack)

Eric’s suit: $200 (Dress shirt, tie, suit coat and suit pants all from J.C. Penny)

Eric’s shoes: $50 (gifted)

Food & alcohol: $1,800 (Appetizer buffet, coffee, tea and beer/wine)

Venue: $350 (gifted) The cost included linens, dishes, table clothes/chair covers and an integrated sound system.

Hotel for the wedding weekend: $800

Cake: $175 (included delivery to hotel on day of wedding)

Flowers: $300 (My bouquet, plus three babies’ breath bouquets for bridesmaids. Price included delivery to the hotel on day of wedding)

Centerpieces: Roughly $50, but paid for with gift card to Michaels (Glass vases with fake flowers and floating LED candle)

Other various decorations: $100-$150 (This includes mini chalk boards, mr & mrs banner, Fujifilm instax camera for guestbook, plus film, etc.)

Guestbook: $30

Hair: $75-including tip

Makeup: $450-including tip (I paid half of the cost for each bridesmaid to have their makeup done, plus mine)

Photography: $1,700 (This included an engagement session, two photographers at the wedding for 8 hours, rights to print our photos, plus a printed book of photos)

Favors: $30


Where we saved money:

No DJ: We made a Spotify playlist and played it through the integrated sound system in our venue. This easily saved between $500-$1,000.

No flowers as decorations: We used fake flowers in our centerpieces, which saved us so much money. It just seemed like such a waste of money for such a little amount of time.

Not serving a full dinner: We decided to do an appetizer buffet instead of a full dinner and I think it went over really well. We still had plenty of food. We served a garden salad with rolls, chicken sewers, mini meatballs, spinach dip, a cheese platter and pinwheel sandwiches. We also had some easy snacks that were left out all night like pretzels, nuts and chips and french onion dip.

DIY favors: We made little bags filled with wild flower seeds that people could plant as a way to always remember our wedding.

Let me know if you have any questions or want to know anything more specific. I hope this helps


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