You heard us right, 6 grand! That's it! Plus this go getter bride pulled the whole thing together on her own in only three months! Holy smokes, are you impressed, because we certainly are! Sarah is one savvy lady who was able to design her own invites, arrange all of her own centerpieces including her beautiful bouquet and hand paint all of the wedding signage. And that's just a drop in the bucket. This hard working bride worked right up until the morning of her big day to pull off the ultimate DIY wedding for 6K, and she did it in stunning style!
We suspect you are going to want to know just how she made this all happen. So keep reading to see the full budget breakdown and to get some great tips from Sarah on what she might have done differently. Plus there are a ton of images you must see in the full gallery, all beautifully captured by Sawyer Baird.
From the Bride:
I had no budget for a florist, designer, or planner - those wonderful people that can see the vision to fruition while you chill out and have a mimosa. Aside from budget, to be honest I didn't really feel I needed any of those people. I can create, I know what I want and how to make it most of the time. But, without the big budget you have to delegate to your friends and family. No exceptions, you just can't do it all. Prime example: I was making my bouquet at 2:00 AM the night before and up at 6:30 AM to finish arrangements and set up - no beauty rest here!
The day before and day of the wedding, I should have also asked for more help. I only had a few people around the day before, once again afraid to disturb anyone or be called a bridezilla. So if someone offered to help I took it, but I learned you have to ask or even demand. Yikes. And I wish I would have delegated. I wanted to have my hand in every little thing but I just could not get everything completed and be ready to walk down the aisle. So many of my design elements went un-executed.
They had the most amazing vignettes surrounding their wedding. See all of them in the full gallery here.
I chose our location and date less than 3 months before the wedding and attempted to put it together almost 100% on my own. I was timid and reluctant to ask friends and family for any kind of help, largely because I was afraid to impose on their precious free time - this was a big mistake. Even though we had a very small wedding, it still takes a lot of time to do things like dip dye 40 napkins, cut card stock garlands, and paint picture frames.
Entertainment: One of my biggest regrets was not hiring a band, or even settling for a DJ. We had music via a Spotify playlists I made just for the day and my husband did an awesome job setting up some pretty nice speakers in the trees around the reception. Problem was there wasn't anyone to control the flow of the evening. I hate that we did not have anyone to announce us as Mr and Mrs into the reception, first dances, get people off their seats and to the dance floor. The party ended way too soon and hardly anyone danced, and that makes me sad.
Honeymoon: We weren't able to take one. Had I waited another 6 months or so we could have saved a bit more money and gone on at least a small road trip. No other night in your life will you get to feel the same as your wedding night. I just don't think anyone should miss the opportunity to jet off with your brand new spouse right then, while you are high on good emotion and feeling the closest you have ever felt to one another.
Steal worthy idea: buy trays for your dessert table like the one above from target that you can use again.
I hope some of this information is shared, to give other brides like me hope of a beautiful day - that it is still possible with a small amount of money! So read on to see just how much this ultimate DIY wedding cost and to hear how Sam and Sarah met. Please remember that this is one couple's costs, and as vendors grow and years pass their prices are subject to change. So, we kindly ask that you do not haggle a vendor or venue based on this budget. This is simply to give you a general idea.
How they met:
Sam and Sarah met in college, at just 19 and 20 years old. He was boisterous, the life of the party. Sarah was shy and reserved. They became friends and spent time together in a large group where Sarah usually played the level headed lady to Sam's "let your hair down" college guy personality. They remained strictly platonic for 6 months or more before something came and turned them both in a 180 - right toward each other. When Sam finally worked up the courage to ask for an official date, their 9 year story began. Over the next 9 years they grew together in ways they both never saw coming as naive college kids. In the beginning, the couple certainly did not know they would become nearly inseparable, and eventually join in marriage. They ventured into adulthood side by side, hurdling big and small with cautious care for every big decision from higher education to home buying. Two years after the purchase of their first home together Sam proposed, in the privacy of their living room, Sarah still in her pajamas. Distracted by an antique trunk Sam said he got at a yard sale, Sarah rummaged through it's old insides while Sam took a knee. Sarah's alligator tears began to fall, followed by a "yes". Two years later they were married in a small ceremony accompanied by their closest family members and friends.
Their budget breakdown:
Our total spent was just under $5,600. We had to pay for our own wedding aside from $1,500 my parents were able to contribute. I only had about $4,000 in savings so the whole planning process was about coming in as close to that number as possible. This was definitely the epitome of a DIY wedding.
We borrowed chairs and chaffing dishes, built tables, built our arbor from sticks in the woods...you name it we hustled to get it. I used vases and serving dishes that I already had in my home. I painted thrift store frames with chalk board paint and hand painted lettering for signage. I did the florals on my own, purchased from a wholesaler. Our "venue" was the private property of an acquaintance and just $500. I have a wonderful friend that made all of the side dishes, my mom made the cookies and we picked up the rest of the food locally. 35 mismatched dessert plates were found at a thrift store for $15, dinner plates about $30 from Ikea. Napkins were cut from muslin yardage and hand dyed in my yard. My husband is one heck of a cafe light stringer. I designed the invitations in Picasa, printed with Office Max and water colored and addressed them myself. Our photographer Sawyer gave us an amazing deal, I will always be grateful for. I wore shoes that I had owned for years and vintage bracelets that I have loved for just as long. Through this I learned just how far I could stretch a dollar, as well as the silliness of buying all new things when you can probably find many of them gently loved or available to borrow.
Venue - $500 (Private property)
Photographer - $1,600 (Sawyer Baird)
Dress - $950 (Bridals by Carrie)
Gold crown - $5 (ish) gathered leaves and spray painted them, attached to floral wire with hot glue Grooms Outfit - $600 H&M, Wolverine Boots, Etsy Tie Food & drinks - $500
Invites - $80
Flowers - $500 (wholesale)
Officiant - $200
Favors - $100
Dishes/flatware - $150
Decor - $350 (mostly craft supplies, candles, paint, votives, cafe lights)