Wedding on a budget


Can anyone post some good budget wedding planning sites or book titles?

We won’t have our budget amount until after Easter (when we meet w/ our financial planner!), but I want to start saving sites.




The absolute best book is Bridal Bargains by Denise & Alan Fields (they have a website too, but not a lot of traffic on their message board). They’re at

There is a new fledgling Catholic bridal board at started by a CAF member (Lizaanne). I posted a bunch of my resources from when I planned my wedding over on this board. And the other ladies have posted things too.

I don’t recommend the secular message boards, they are quite vile.


I second 1ke regarding the www.brides.ourladyforums. The ladies there are wonderful and the topics range from very deep ones, to fun and lighter subjects. But the focus is on God and our Catholic faith. I recommend it.

The secular boards, although good with some things, are absolutely horriable in terms of faith - especially regarding beliefs in the Catholic faith. Not all of the people on the secular boards are like that, but it’s enough to make you depressed and/or disgusted. I was very happy when Lizaanne sent me info on this bride forum.


First, congratulations!

I agree, I am shocked at what’s on secular boards- everyone talks about their pills, sex life,masturbation, how horrible the Church is for forcing marriage prep, etc. Very “whatever’s good for you”. BUT in terms of moneysaving tips- you can learn some things in that department. The ones I’ve consulted are Canadian but I’m sure if you googled “frugal wedding” or similar you would find info.

We need more bodies over at !


I have Bridal Bargins (and the planning book somewhere) and Wedding Chic if anyone wants them.


I couldn’t find any wedding planning boards…
And the forcing wedding prep thing? A group I belong to on MySpace, a young lady is complaining about the 6 month rule, and is wanting to know if there is a way to get out of it because of “circumstances”. I told her you shouldn’t push off the marriage prep, no matter the circumstances. And trying to get your marriage blessed is more of a hassle than the wedding prep, anyway.


Thanks, I’ll take a look at the recommended books.

Dd already bought a dress on line four ~$75. (It needs alterations) It was a sample dress from a bridal store, so it’s been tried on but never ‘worn’. —KCT


I have a book called something like “Weddings for $5000 or less.” It has really good advice on just about everything. It’s currently under my bed collecting dust. I’ll give it to you if you want it! We both live in MD, we could meet up or I can mail it.


There may be some good tips in books like these, but for the most part I found the money saving tips to be things like “have your wedding in your back yard” or “have your wedding in a public park or museum”… not exactly applicable to practicing Catholics!


Of course, but they give ideas on how to save on invitations, flowers, etc…

Also, there’s no reason a couple couldn’t have a reception in their backyard, museum, or public park…just not the nuptial mass. My wedding Mass is at a church, followed by a reception at a historical plantation.


Don’t forget simple things like having a 2pm wedding so your reception is only “finger food” and appetizers… that can save $$ too!


I did my own invitations (printed on computer and then hand embossed each and every one, which I wouldn’t recommend taking on, lol), and bought artificial flowers for everything except the altar that I arranged myself well ahead of time.

Our centerpieces were <$1 each, just lovely, and doubled as gifts for those folks who pitched in. We found a clearance case of fish bowls with fluted rims, a bunch of silk flower rings, and little votive candles or floating candles for the center.

If your bridesmaids have the same desire to stay within a budget, and if you’re a little flexible, what I did was pick a color that a lot of designers used, then watched ebay for the right sizes in styles that would flatter each maid’s taste and figure.

I really liked the way it turned out. The most expensive one we got was $35 since my sister wanted a particular style, and the rest were 5 and 15. I only had one ‘oops’ that I had to eat ($15) because the color wasn’t close enough. I could have resold it if I wanted, but decided I loved the dress and wore it myself to a formal event before the wedding.


I definitely recommend taking advantage of the free website hosting to announce the wedding. It’s great for sharing your story! is the one I found to be the best.

Also the link I posted on Martha’s thread about moving postcards if you want to send announcements in addition to invitations, or if you want to use it for a less formal invitation. It surprised me a lot who was impressed with the announcements and who poo-poohed them thinking that was all they were going to get (as in no formal invitation).

Also surprised me that people complained about my handwritten thank you cards on card stock.:mad: Growing a thick skin is good.


Dh and I have no problem spending money on the reception - it’s a family reunion of sorts and we’re fine with the bulk of the budget going to a nice party! That being said, we’re still on a budget and don’t want to be taken advantage of :slight_smile: —KCT


Lovely picture! Thanks for sharing. Last I heard, dd was going to choose a color & length and let each attendant choose her own style.

We went to a wedding a year ago where the bride told the girls to wear a black, knee length dress. They all looked lovely. —KCT


I told my girls “Black” and gave them a designer. That let them stay within their own budget and style. We’ll see how it turns out at the wedding, LoL!


I did all my own flowers and saved a mint!!! It really wasn’t so hard but I would recommend delegating this out to someone other than the bridal party since it has to be done at the last minute if you want fresh flowers. I spent $100 on flowers, $10 on floral foam, wire, ribbon, etc and $6 on 2 big vases and fabric. What I got out of it was 1 bridal bouquet(huge!), 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 buttoneers, 1 bouquet for the Holy Family devotion, 2 corsages for the moms, 2 altar arrangements of roses and lillies, and 2 huge vases of gladioli for in front of the lecterns. All the bridal and bridesmades bouquets had mostly roses (got 6 dozen for under $50 at Sam’s Club), Lillies, spray roses, babys breath, and lots of greens too. The buttoneers had 1 large rose and spray roses and a fern leaf.

Seriously, I priced bridal bouquets and they wanted about $186 for a basic one. I spent alot less and decorated the church and the bridal party for less.

If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely do my own flowers but I also think I would have enlisted help outside the bridal party as I was arranging the flowers 2 hours before the wedding, then getting myself and 2 daughters ready.


Remember that it all depends on the wants and needs you choose. The best place for my wedding supplies was under bridal to get ideas. We did most of the planning ourselves, so just shop around, get a wedding budget worksheet from online, one of the excel ones, and just go off of that. Mine came out to about 2000 with all the decorations, clothes, tux bougth not rented. So don’t fret, make a timeline also, that helps to keep you from running around in circles.


Bride, Groom, Priest, witness

Cant get more frugal than that. Simple.

I’m not rich, my GF has been married before and her dad won’t pay for a second marriage. After several talks about it we realized that we would rather plan and prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage, a life of spirituality together, rather than some big party.

After all, aside from the services of the Church and Priest, a wedding just turns out to be one big party for the attendees.

And there is the big headache of who to invite. it boils down to invite everyone (so nobody gets offended) or invite no one.

we have also discussed that after our wedding, the headache of moving to our marriage home and combining our stuff, to having a simple reception of sorts.
rent a few folding tables and chairs, some simple, inexpensive eats, and call it good. more like a get-together than a party.


I forgot to add that Isaac Mizrahi is releasing a line of Wedding Dress at starting in May. I believe the dresses range in price from $60-$160 dollars. also has wedding dress, at about $170 per dress. Really not that bad considering dress usually go for $500+ in a bridal store!

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