How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

Colleen and Corey knew they wanted a romantic and intimate wedding that also showed their love of Charlotte and their southern background. While keeping true to their vision they also wanted to stay on a budget. They saved money by making almost everything themselves, scouting out pre-owned items, spray painting decor to match with the theme and baking the sweets for the dessert table. With all this do-it-yourself going on the question still remains “How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?”.

Lucky for us Colleen goes into a full breakdown on the costs of her diy wedding along with pretty much every detail from start to finish. You can see all the photos from this diy wedding in the full gallery by clicking here. Captured by Abigail Seymour Photography.

My bouquet was made of blush pink garden roses, snow-white dahlias, and a mixture of wildflowers from a fresh cut flower farm in Asheville, and adorned with an antique broach from my mom. To include part of Corey’s Irish heritage, we decided to incorporate a handfasting ceremony, in which our two mothers bound our hands together using lace from Corey’s mother’s wedding dress.

To fancy up our gorgeous invitations from The Aerialist Press, we punched pretty shapes out of cardstock and tied all the pieces together with bakers twine like a little package. We addressed the envelopes using faux calligraphy, in which we printed the address on the envelope in a scripted font and traced it with a metallic pen.

The Aerialist Press is one of our Hand-Picked vendors, you must visit their page to see more of their divine work by clicking here.

The ceremony programs were designed by an etsy seller, printed on recycled paper, and placed in mail holders filled with baby’s breath. We provided ceremony refreshments in the form of a “strawberry lemonade stand” complete with striped barber straws. Heart shaped lemonade labels were placed on each lemonade container and we created the “Wet your whistle and have a seat” signs by printing them on cardstock and placing them in painted frames that we already owned. The ceremony chairs were lined with baby’s breath and the altar was draped in white sheer fabric and adorned with a halo chandelier I found at Ikea. We painted large white pumpkins and surrounded them with pre-owned sparkle pumpkins to adorn the front steps of the house to be seen as the guests arrived.

The reception took place in a courtyard filled with trees that we strung with bistro lights the day before the wedding. To create the centerpieces, my sister and I spent months gathering lanterns on sale and collecting vintage green glass bottles from flea markets. We crafted the table numbers from wooden numbers and spray paint, and we used silver leaf and spray paint to turn clear glass votives into mercury glass votives. I wanted to be eco-friendly wherever possible, so I used recycled card stock for all paper products, including the guest book love letters that we tied with bakers twine to each napkin place setting.

The dessert table was my favorite part of the wedding décor, because it was both beautiful and delicious. Our mint green almond and spice cake was covered in dahlias and garden roses and topped with miniature versions of Corey, myself, and our cat Picasso purchased from an Etsy vendor. Apple pie has always been my favorite dessert, so my sister and I made apple pie pops the weekend before the wedding. My sister also whipped up some strawberry and cinnamon macarons for the lucky guests (I swear her macarons are the best in town). To satisfy the chocolate lovers, Corey and I picked up chocolate covered oreos and pretzels. Recycled card stock and our trusty paper punches were used to create the dessert table signs, which were held in place by some adorable bubble place card holders from BHLDN. We also crafted the sparkle Colleen and Corey signs hanging in the dessert table gazebo as well as the bride and groom signs on the back of our dinner chairs. To save money on flowers, we placed empty mason jars on the dessert table (as well as other locations around the venue) for the bridesmaids to place their bouquets in after the ceremony.

To save money, we made almost everything ourselves, and used as many pre-owned items as possible for décor, from the mail holders for the programs, to the baskets that held the flip flops and blankets. We also altered items that we owned to fit in with the look of the wedding, using glitter, spray paint, or card stock. Another budget saver was my agreement with the videographer whom I decided to hire in the last month before the wedding. I was very fortunate to be able to afford a fantastic videographer because he agreed to bring the cost down by sending me just the raw footage, which I could then have edited by a video savvy friend.

This should give you a good starting out point on How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost? This just a little insight into one bride and groom’s overall expenses who saved costs by doing as many projects on their own as they could.

View Entire Gallery

Stationery: The Aerialist Press

Photographer: Abigail Seymour Photography
Venue: Whitehead Manor
Hair & Makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne Be Pretty
Cake: Cheesecake Etc.
Caterer: Family Catering Service
Cinematography: Whitney Photo and Video
DJ: Daily Soul Band
Dress Designer: Watters (Style Sonara)
Flowers: Sweet Earth Flower Farm
Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss (purchased at Nordstrom)
Jewelry: BHLDN (Earrings)
Officiant: Rev. Heather Casselberry
Shoe Designer: Butter
Veil or Hair Accessories: Ban.Do (Crystal Swirl Bobbi)
Bridesmaids Dresses: JCrew
Programs: Set Apart Designs

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  1. How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?: Colleen an Corey knew that they wanted a romantic and intimate weddi… #wedding

  2. How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?: Colleen an Corey knew that they wanted a romantic and intimate wedding that a…

  3. 0. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much Wedding Chicks for featuring our wedding! Couldn’t be more excited if I tried!! If anyone is interested in seeing any of the DIY projects we did, we shared a lot of them on our blog

  4. How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  5. RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  6. GREAT post! RT@weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  7. RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  8. A fabulous NC #DIYwedding – RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

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  11. 0. Andrew Cresswell says:

    Something very special an personal about doing as much as can, in years to come I think the couple will have more fond memories from the whole process from preparation through to the special day. Lovely work !

  12. i’m pretty sure $18K is not considered a “budget, DIY” wedding. $1200 on flowers? REALLY?

  13. RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  14. RT @weddingbee RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  15. RT @weddingbee: RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  16. Let’s talk dollars … How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  17. Love that cake and love your DIY wedding ideas!!!

  18. 0. Konabarbie says:

    Thanks for some really great DIY ideas.

  19. 0. Colleen says:

    Thanks so much for the kind words everyone! Hi Emily! You are right, we were very fortunate to have a much larger budget than many. However, in order to do everything that I wanted (because I am so very particular :)), we really had to make most of the decorations ourselves. So although the wedding may not have been everyones idea of “budget,” it was certainly “DIY.”

  20. RT @weddingchicks: Let’s talk dollars … How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  21. 0. Megan says:

    I’m glad to see that someone else’s DIY wedding actually cost quite a bit (at least in my opinion). I’m finding out that it is actually cheaper to rent items, rather than DIY’ing. My fiancé and I are DIY’ing and borrowing items as much as possible, and it’s still costing us almost $16k.

    Gorgeous wedding by the way. So lovely.

  22. Here’s a breakdown of one couple’s budget for their wedding. You have free will so you can spend far more or far less.

  23. Thanks so much Wedding Chciks for featuring Colleen’s wedding! I know first hand that she worked really hard and put everything together herself and it was a true labor of love for us. It is nice to see weddings featured that are more realistic for people who don’t have money in their budgets to hire planners and coordinators.

  24. RT @weddingchicks: Here’s a breakdown of one couple’s budget for their wedding. You can spend far more or far less.

  25. RT @weddingchicks: Let’s talk dollars … How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  26. RT @weddingbee: RT @weddingchicks: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  27. Is a DIY wedding worth the time?

  28. RT @weddingchicks: Let’s talk dollars … How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  29. 0. marilyn says:

    The amazing this is that it did not LOOK, SOUND, or TASTE like a DIY. People at the wedding were guessing $30,000 and up!

  30. Lovely wedding with a budget breakdown by @LRTbepretty @AerialistPress @benjaminwhitney @SweetEarthFlwrs @twodelighted

  31. Ahhh so excited! Our wedding was featured on @weddingchicks! with @AerialistPress @LRTbepretty @sweetearthflwrs

  32. 0. Hillary says:

    I came over here from the budget image being pinned on Pinterest. I just want to say that I think it’s helpful (and brave of you!) to share your budget. I, too, had a DIY wedding that was decidedly NOT budget. We hired a quality photographer from out of state and flew-in a band from across the country. All of the details were DIY and my dress was less than my husband’s suit. Unless a couple is forced to keep to a very limited budget, you are going to spend money where ever it best suits you.

    DIY does not necessarily mean it’s cheap. It means that you are doing something yourselves to personalize it and it CAN mean that you achieve the quality of a very expensive wedding at cheapER. Most of Colleen’s costs are less than what is typically spend on weddings (some excessively so, others slightly so). The average wedding is something like $26K.

    I guarantee that anyone (here or on Pinterest) railing against this price tag and talking about spending only $3K or $5K on their own event, will not or did not have nearly this level of design/details/elegance – and certainly won’t have the quality photos to show for it*.

    Beautiful event and couple. Congratulations!

    *Unless, of course, they are blessed with the most talented friends on earth.

  33. 0. Rhiannon says:

    What a gorgeous bride! And her mint cardie is so sweet :)

  34. 0. Colleen says:

    Wow Hillary thank you so much for your comment! You are so sweet and I really appreciate your support! Gosh I have no words! Thank you so much Rhi! I love your blog :).

  35. 0. Lauren Tate says:

    What a beautiful wedding and what a gorgeous bride! I know there is a lot of conversation on budget with this post and I have to say that the final result of this is PRICELESS. It was incredibly brave of this bride to provide an honest budget breakdown.. and to be HONEST about it. Hats off to you!

    As far as DIY… you can see that they bride put a lot of time and thought into each and every detail to make this day her own. Each detail from the love letter jars to the sparkling bride & groom signs hanging from the couples seats are all such special touches.

    What a lovely wedding. You can feel the love put into every detail when you look at these pictures. Cheers to the happy couple. This has to be one of my favorite weddings! I am going to have to go to steal some of these ideas from the brides website!!!

  36. 0. bella says:

    i think DIY (this wedding is pretty) just i think DIY should mean like you do almost everything yourself. I’m doing my own invites, which i designed myself and put together, my final cost might be $150 for all supplies. i dunno, i just know people that are spending like $20,000 on a gold course wedding where they do it all for them. Just dosn’t seem too DIY… but it is a pretty wedding and i understand it’s trendy and it fits but alot of that seemed “purchased”

  37. 0. Susan Airheart says:

    Beautiful everything! My daughter is using their wedding photographer and we appreciate all they shared on their blog and this site. This is one of the most thoughtful and beautiful weddings that I have ever seen. Truly.

  38. Lovely wedding with a budget breakdown by @LRTbepretty @AerialistPress @benjaminwhitney @SweetEarthFlwrs @twodelighted

  39. 0. Lindsay says:

    Beautiful wedding and stunning bride! This wedding was totally DIY! The bride spent countess hours creating and crafting! The end result was amazing! This wedding cost much less than what many people spend. To make an event so spectacular and detailed for that price is incredible. I think this wedding was perfect, Colleen!

  40. 0. Julia says:

    beautiful DIY, hoping my DIY wedding turns out as gorgeous as this! I’m not sure those numbers add up though. But it turned out perfect!

  41. 0. Katie says:

    Everything about this wedding screams elegance and love. Everything that can be DIY was and it was done beautifully. The decorations an the dessert table was perfection, don’t let any person tell you otherwise. I loved it so much I went to you and your sister’s blog. I must say the talent in your family is endless. Looking forward to many more lovely DIY ideas!

  42. Top story: How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost, see more

  43. 0. Caitlin says:

    I was fortunate enough to be a guest at this wedding and it was, by far, one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. There were so many personal touches. As a guest, you could really feel the time, effort, and love that went into every detail. As someone who is currently planning a wedding, 18 grand seems pretty damn reasonable to me. Not to mention, a true DIY wedding does not necessarily mean cheap. It means creative, personal touches. You go, Colleen.

  44. 0. Taylor Polk says:

    I have to say that this is the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to. I think the point of this DIY is to say that if they had everyone do what they created themselves, it would be much more expensive. I was lucky enough to be invited to the wedding and every aspect was personal and thoughtful. I witnessed these girls spend countless hours creating such a lovely wedding. I know Colleen gets tired of me saying it, but what a beautiful bride with a beautiful soul… Not only was the wedding incredibly sweet and romantic, it was also a blast. Can we have another one??? :)

  45. 0. Blair Scheepers says:

    I am a daily reader at Two Delighted, and after seeing all the DIYs the girls did for the wedding, I would have guessed the cost was way more than $18,000 and as Lauren said above, every detail is PRICELESS… Beautiful work girls. Keep it up.

  46. Beautiful wedding and love the way you decorated your cake table and the sign!

  47. RT @weddingchicks: Let’s talk dollars … How Much Does A DIY Wedding Cost?

  48. Ever wonder how much a DIY wedding would cost? @weddingchicks breaks it down for you.

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  54. We did a DIY wedding recently for some friends of ours and the bill came to somewhere in the region of £5k. Very cheap for a wedding here in the UK.

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  57. 0. Katelynn says:

    My fiancé and I are in the process of planning a winter wedding for between seventy-five and a hundred guests, and our highest estimates for the wedding is $4,500 total. Though we really are making everything ourselves, from wedding cake to decorations. I have an old friend from high school that is doing the photography for $500, and our venue (an old stone church) is doing both ceremony and reception for $800. We’re also doing a playlist of music (rsvp cards have a music requests slot) to save on a band or DJ. There is no way I could ever bring myself to spend a year (Or more) of college tuition on a single day.

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