What are the must haves for a VERY low budget, small wedding?

Question by Mommyto2: What are the must haves for a VERY low budget, small wedding?
Ive kinda been put in charge of my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. The wedding is in 2 months (they just got engaged, and are getting married 10-10-10). They have a budget of only $ 1000, and that includes the dress (which is about $ 300). I figured I would have family make the food for the 30 people invited to save money..what are other must haves? I figured favors, decorations, and cake. We have a family member doing the cake and photography. Obviously the venue, which Im going to try and get cheap (like a social hall).What else is a MUST have?
Oh…the minister is going to be my husband, so that will be free 🙂 (He already has the credentials)

Best answer:

Answer by Blackie
I’d say just flowers and candles

Add your own answer in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “What are the must haves for a VERY low budget, small wedding?”

  1. The officiant, marriage license, rings (if you want). VFW/American Legion halls are fairly cheap. My cousin had a graduation party there and I think it was only $ 200 to rent for 5 hours.
    I have a big family and we have BBQ and events all the time. You can get a ton of food from like Convenience Stores. Like 100 pieces of chicken isn’t that much. You can make your own invites free online or if you have software on your computer even better.

  2. … and an minister / judge / justice of the peace.

    Figure on $ 100 — $ 150 for his fee.

    If you (they?) don’t have the money for a reception…
    … don’t have one.

  3. Bouquets for the bride, and bridesmaids, corsages and boutonnières. You can save money by making your own or buying fake ones at Michaels or Walmart. Invites would be good to have. You can get DIY kits or find inexpensive ones online. The bride may want a guest book, a dance so you would need a DJ. For the DJ to save money you can get a laptop or ipod and create a playlist on there of good dance songs and then just play them. Depending on who is performing the ceremony there may be a cost for a judge or a minister. Candles, christmas lights, and tulle are a great inexpensive way to decorate a place.

    Favors are not that important, but for 30 people you can get them really cheap.

    I hope this helps!

  4. if it’s only 30 people then definitely go potluck, but the guests who are bringing food should be exempt from giving the bride and groom any other gift. you can skip favors, they are just cheap trinkets that no one cares about. put your money into music instead, make sure there’s a sound system and a good playlist since you don’t have the money for a DJ. the only thing you’re forgetting is flowers, real fresh cut flowers are a must. you don’t have to use them for centerpieces (use vases & candles, that’s cheaper) but the bride and groom should have flowers and parents should have boutonnieres, etc.

  5. Instead of expensive centerpieces my friend put vases of bite-size candy in the middle of each table (different candy at each table) and party favor bags and the guests went around to each table filling up bags and chatting while the wedding party did pictures…little things like that could save lots on the “must haves” and it counts as a favor and centerpiece at the same time. Also, you could get a friend ordained to do the ceremony to save on the minister’s fee.

  6. Look for a flower outlet or warehouse to save money. My flower budget was very small, but I got 5 times the flowers I would have got from the floral shop because I went to a floral outlet and did my flowers myself. Favors aren’t really a requirement, so you could probably skip those. You will need some kind of table covering for the reception, and also place settings. To decorate the tables, you could use candies sprinkled around the table. You also might want to have a guest book for people to sign. Also, think about music. You don’t have to have a DJ, but you might want to have a nice mix cd playing in the background. Cake and photography are HUGE, so thank goodness you got someone to take care of those two things for you. Good luck!

  7. A cake of some sort and food are the must have’s in my book. Favours definitely not and minimal decor is fine. Other things like limos or professional hair and make-up should be cut when on a budget.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, the officiant as well, that was kind of as obvious one. And old ring will do, but personally I don’t consider rings part of the budget because that’s yours for life, not for the wedding day itself.

  8. Flowers, the license, Who is doing the bride hair and makeup? Table clothes, if you are going to do centerpieces it is not mandatory but it is nice or you can go to dollar tree and get some nice single rose vases and get some color marbles and put a single flower in it and seat it at the middle of the table. For the menu pick a menu around the bride and groom favorite foods and make it a menu. And you will need ice and drinks you can make punch get a nice punch if you have one. Get some CDs and play love songs or if you have a DJ then they can play the music.

  9. One florist I know designed the attendants’ bouquets so they could be laid flat along the front of the wedding party’s table to serve as decorations.

    A cute, inexpensive idea for favors is to make “roses” out of two Hershey’s candies placed flat side to flat side, wrapped in colored cellophane or tissue paper, with florist’s tape and wire to make the stem. Two “leaves” are made of strong green paper and attached with the florist’s tape as well. A guest’s name is written in gold ink on one leaf to serve as a place card, and on the other leaf, “A hug and a kiss from Mary and Joe” (the bridal couple). These take a while to make, though – start a few days ahead.

    Many social halls and church basements have those folding tables that seat six people. Paper table covers can be obtained in roll form or singly. If they don’t have candle holders, you can borrow some from family members, or buy glass ones at Wal*Mart or a similar store. A tall candle or even two on each table would look pretty surrounded by some late chrysanthemums in small glasses.

    Along with the cake, you’ll probably want a non-alcoholic punch, or coffee and tea. If the hall doesn’t supply plates and silverware, borrow some from your family members rather than going with paper and plastic. Nice paper napkins will be OK, especially if they’re a pretty color.

    There should be a pretty bouquet for your sister-in-law to carry. It might cost $ 50 or more, so be prepared for that. Will your brother want to rent a tuxedo, or will he just wear his best suit and tie plus a boutonniere? If her attendants get together and agree on a coordinated look out of their own wardrobes, there will be no need for them to get matching dresses. Same for the ushers – good suits and similar neckties.

    Check with your sister-in-law-to-be frequently, so you stay on the same page. For more ideas, get on Google.com Advanced Search.

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