When I got engaged in the spring of 2008, I found myself frustrated with the lack of online resources for brides who didn’t have a Kardashian-sized wedding budget. I decided to journal my adventures in frugal wedding planning by starting a blog, TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, where I shared tips, tricks and ideas I found along the way to pull off a beautiful wedding for less. Over the last seven years, I’ve featured hundreds of other weddings on budgets that are under half the national average of $31,213.  

There are countless ways you can reduce the overall cost of your wedding day. Kevin and Rebekah tied the knot in Rixeyville, Virginia in April of this year, and hosted a truly beautiful event for their 83 guests on a budget of only $7,500.  Many of these ideas also infused different aspects of their interests and tastes into the wedding, which made the occasion feel even more personal. 

Consider the timing of your event

The couple chose to include their love of breakfast foods by opting to marry in the morning so they could host a brunch reception. Not only were they able to offer a generous spread of foods for a lower cost, but they also saved money by booking a venue at an off-peak time of day. 

Use fresh flowers sparingly 

The bride chose to reduce her floral spend by nixing the bridal party bouquets. The bridesmaids carried tiny glass ornaments that were filled with gold glitter for a truly magical effect. The only fresh flowers were simple roses and greenery for the centerpieces.

Skip the fancy wedding cake

The couple chose to carry out their brunch theme by offering a tiered arrangement of colorfully iced donuts. It was an absolutely darling detail, and cost them a tiny fraction of the price for a traditional wedding cake.

Buy your dress off the rack 

Rebekah found her dress at a bridal clearance sale for only $75, but it wasn’t exactly what she was looking for. With the help of a family friend who happened to be a seamstress, she was able to make alterations and additions to transform it into the gown of her dreams.  She even splurged on having it dyed a subtle shade of pink, bringing her total dress spend to a budget-savvy $200. 

When it comes to your big day, don’t be afraid to get creative or include your interests and personalities into your event. You just might find yourself saving money in the process! 

Jessica Lehry Bishop runs TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, a blog where brides-to-be can find a wealth of information on planning a beautiful wedding at wallet-friendly prices.