The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K

Sawyer Baird Photography

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.

peach and mint wedding

boho chic bride

suspenders and bow tie groom look

peach and blue wedding shoes

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.

wedding decorations

simple wedding decorations

rustic outdoor wedding

rustic arch and instagram welcome table

outdoor wedding ceremony

rustic outdoor ceremony

Sawyer Baird

Sawyer Baird Photography

They had the most amazing vignettes surrounding their wedding. See all of them in the full gallery here.

eclectic floral centerpiece

self serve drink station

drinks in a bucket

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.

outdoor wedding reception

simple wedding ideas

dip dyed napkins

rustic wedding ideas

wet your whistle water lable

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.

lets eat chalkboard sign

outdoor wedding reception

wedding lighting ideas

dessert table

target tray

Steal worthy idea: buy trays for your dessert table like the one above from target that you can use again.

pick a plate and have some pie sign

cute diy pie toppers

outdoor lighting ideas

Photographer: Sawyer Baird
Event Designer, Stationery, Hair Accessories & Flowers: Designed by the bride, Sarah Ingram
Cake: Buttermilk Pie
Dress Designer: Carrie's Bridal Collection
Groom's Attire: Bow Tie: Etsy // Speicher Tie Company
Every Day I love you: made with kit from Rifle Paper Co.
Sparkler tags: Marrygrams
Cookie Bags Starboard Press
Macarons: XK Macaron
Venue: Private Property | Makeup & Hair : Erin Pridgen | Caterer: Betsy NeSmith| Arbor & tables: Made by the groom and his father | Napkins & favor fabric: hand cut and dyed by the bride | Dessert plates: antique/thrifted | Garlands: Triangle garland by the bride (cut card stock) | Cupcakes: Truelove Celebrations | Signs: Hand made by the bride  | Envelopes: hand dying and calligraphy done by the bride.

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 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)

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  1. -100. @designcorral says:

    The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K

  2. -100. @dreamlovephoto says:

    Wow… a gorgeous DIY wedding with a budget of 6K? Lots of great ideas, and some good advice thrown in –

  3. -100. jess vartanian says:

    Hi !

    I love your wedding invites that are on the silver plate in the photo at the top of this post. I was wondering if the Bride did them herself or had them made & where?

  4. -100. @SawyerBaird says:

    RT @weddingchicks: The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K. Yes, you read that right! @Carries_Bridal @sawyerbaird @SpeicherTieCo @riflepaperco htt…

  5. -100. @SawyerBaird says:

    RT @weddingchicks: continued … The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K. Yes, you read that right! @Carries_Bridal @sawyerbaird @SpeicherTieCo ht…

  6. -100. @designcorral says:

    RT @weddingchicks: continued … The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K. Yes, you read that right! @Carries_Bridal @sawyerbaird @SpeicherTieCo ht…

  7. -100. Karen says:

    I think this is a beautiful wedding with so many thoughtful details. It certainly doesn’t look like a low cost wedding.

    I’m just struck by how negative the bride sounds. I hope she can look back at her wedding with pleasant memories instead of regret at all the things she didn’t have and should have done.

  8. -100. Lavana Deal says:

    when I read the wedding was for 6k, I thought you meant 6 thousand people!! Whew!! I was expecting a stadium!! LOL

  9. -100. Katrina says:

    I love this!! Your colours are gorgeous and it looks simply stunning!! I too am planning my wedding which will have a similar budget and this has given me such amazing ideas. Fabulous :)

  10. -100. Lisa says:

    Many of my ideas are similar to that wedding… Maybe it’s too much, but I think it’s worth it! And I really want my own handmade dip dye napkins :-D

  11. -100. Mandi says:

    I think this post illustrates just how worthwhile it can be to out source some things – either to friends/family or to hire someone – and also how inconsequential small details can be. None of the guests are smiling in the picture of the dinner/reception, and the bride seems to have a lot of regrets. Which is sad, because it all looks amazing! But details aren’t really the things you remember in the long run. It’s the memories of dancing/laughing/having a great time with your loved ones. Dip-dyed napkins and photo-shoot-worthy vignettes are great (and hers are stunning!) but it doesn’t ‘make’ the wedding.
    I really liked this post, though! Her wedding was beautiful! It’s helpful to learn from other people – even if it’s through their ‘should haves’! I hope they get to take their honeymoon someday soon! :) Thanks for the post!

  12. -100. AC says:

    You truly need the eye to be able to do this. If you don’t have exquisite taste, then there’s no way anyone could design like this without hiring a professional. The ability to design spaces and events is a gift and a talent. Not any shmo can pull this off. This couple did a fabulous job. Obviously they have the taste and style to make something like this magical.

  13. -100. @Lovenorabloom says:

    The Ultimate DIY Wedding for 6K via @WeddingChicks

  14. -100. Krystle James & Philip Cheek says:

    Maybe I missed it in the above writing but I was wondering what exactly were here favors for her guests?? Btw I bow down to this woman and think she is amazzzing!! Nothing is ever impossible and she has given me and my Fiancé who have 3 little girls and a tiny little budget around the same as hers HOPE and that means soo very much -THANK YOU!!

  15. -100. Kristen says:

    As a guest of this wedding, I can assure you that this was a wonderful event! The bride did a fantastic job and everyone had a great time! Mandi, guests are not smiling in the picture because we were in the middle of eating and having conversations. I think the pictures of all of us laughing and smiling were simply not included in this article so that more of the bride’s details and hard work. Great job, Sarah!

  16. -100. Kristen says:

    **I think the pictures of all of us laughing and smiling were simply not included in this article so that more of the bride’s details and hard work would be shown.

  17. -100. caitlin elizabeth says:

    i would love to know where you ordered your flowers from… i’ve found several wholesale flower companies, but you have to order so many of each! it seams like you were able to get the perfect amount :)

  18. -100. Heather says:

    Hi there! This is very inspiring!

    Does anyone know if the bride designed the artwork/clip art on her invitations? I’m looking for a good source of clip art, and thinking about designing my invitations in Picasa as well. Any info helps – thank you!


  19. -100. sandrine says:

    Really inspiring.
    I was wondering how many guests there were and also which wholesale did they use for their flowers?

    Thank you

  20. I get the idea of not having an entertainment and honeymoon during and after the wedding, coz I didn’t have both of these, too. hehe All in all, this is a very lovely wedding! The venue is super fab!:-)

  21. -100. Kitty says:

    What a nice wedding. However, it could have been done for much less. I couldn’t believe that the groom’s outfit cost $600…actually made me laugh. And lucking out on the photographer at $1,600 made me a bit queasy. Granted, with the outrageous spendings of modern weddings, this was a bargain.

  22. -100. Brittney says:

    A 6K budget for a wedding of only 40-something guests is not that small of a budget. My fiancé and I are planning a wedding with 210 guests invited for 8K and so far have been fine. This would be more useful information if it was a 6K budget for an average size wedding of 150 or even 100 guests.

  23. -100. Jim in PA says:

    Please enlighten us. How are you doing your wedding with that budget? Can you give us a rough cut line item breakdown? Is there some “secret” there, or – from your comment – are we supposed to be able to figure it all out on our own?
    >>I<<, for one, am NOT able to do that. Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Jim (Father of the bride-to-be)

  24. magnificent points altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader.
    What could you recommend about your put up that
    you simply made a few days in the past? Any certain?

  25. -100. Sara says:

    I am so inspired! We have about 6 months to plan our wedding and a very conservative budget. I hope I can pull something off as beautiful as this.

  26. -100. magda says:

    nice organic outdoor wedding! beautiful!!!

  27. -100. Kristine Gangfløt says:

    I totally LOVE it! We are also going to have a budget-outside-wedding, and this gave me some great ideas! Thanx a lot!!

  28. -100. Meko Harde says:

    Sarah I love love Love your dress and your headdress! I love how you set up everything almost by yourself. It looks beautiful. You did a wonderful job, have no regrets, it was your day and it was truly beautiful and special. You can always have the things that you didn’t have when/if you renew your vows in 5 or 10 years. It was an experience and you learned from it. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I am doing a courthouse wedding but am looking for ideas for a wedding reception. I want an indoor/outdoor venue but I want it to look something like yours with the lights and signage. Thank you for the wonderful ideas and tips. Congrats!

  29. -100. LizB says:

    Suspenders AND a belt?


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  5. […] budget goal by trimming the guest list and going without (more on that below). But the wedding from Wedding Chicks pictured above (shot by Sawyer Baird) really surprised me: The bride DIY’d so much of it on […]

Categories: Featured Weddings & Events
Colors: gold, green, peach
Styles: diy, rustic