Wedding Under $3000

Okay, here’s the final tally on our wedding which I had hoped to keep under $2000. We invited 160 people, and 96 actually showed up. We had a lot of children at our wedding, too, which really made it a lot of fun! I can’t believe people don’t want children at their wedding!

  • Ceremony/Reception Location: $0. We had our wedding at my job, which normally charges $800 for the room but let us use it free.
  • Books in lieu of wedding consultant: $40. purchased from
  • Bridal Gown: $25 + $3. A real “white” wedding gown – name brand Eden’s Bridals from Goodwill on 50% off day. I wet washed it myself, altered it, sewed a decorative lacy piece to the back, and ironed it. The lace piece cost $3 from a discount fabric store.
  • Other Bridal Clothing: $81.
  • Cake: $115. Mr. A made our four-tiered wedding cake, and the groom’s cake. He had to buy everything to assemble it, plus frosting tools, etc. 
  • Reception Decorations: $73. I got the arch for $15 with a 50% off coupon at Michael’s; I made all the table decorations with juice glasses from Goodwill 24 cents each.
  • Our Special Toast Glasses: $2. 2 champagne glasses 50 cents each plus $1 for little white bows to tie to the stems. My boss said we needed to have these and they were running $15 to $25 retail. No way!
  • Paper Products for Reception: $373
  • Boutonnieres and Corsages: $23. I bought some supplies and purchased 3 off eBay. The lady from eBay ended up sending me everything she had left – some 40 corsages! She only charged me $12 for the whole bunch!
  • Bride’s Bouquet: $24. Hand-tied white roses, put together myself. Roses are $8/dozen on Friday’s at a local grocery store. I bought two dozen roses. I also made two corsages for my mother and mother-in-law. 
  • Flowers to Decorate the room: $88. Purchased 75% off from Joann’s; and unfortunately we didn’t even use 1/3 of what I bought, so that was a waste of money. A coworker’s wife made those lovely little personalized candy favors (see my tutorial to make them yourself, so easy and much cheaper than buying them!)  
  • Food: $457. Meat and cheese trays with bread for sandwiches, vegetable and fruit trays, and pasta salads (homemade by my boss).
  • Gifts for my mom, MIL and my boss: $73. My boss totally took over the food preparation and even went out and bought everything
  • Groom’s Clothing: $87. He is a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy and had NOTHING at all. We had to buy the suit, white shirt, tie, black socks and shoes. Jacket and shirt on clearance at JC Penney, and the rest from Goodwill on 50% off day.
  • Bride’s Hair, Makeup and Nails: $100. My first ever manicure and pedicure! My hair was gorgeous, I looked like a beautiful princess!  
  • Groom’s Haircut: $20. I usually cut his hair for him, but we ran out of time so he went and had it done at a shop. $12 plus tip.
  • Honeymoon: $320. 2 nights at a local resort + nightwear.
  • Invitations: $17.
  • Postage: $65.
  • Bride’s Wedding Band: $225. Actually purchased earlier in the year for my Mother’s Day/Birthday gift.
  • Groom’s Wedding Band: $8. eBay.
  • Bride’s Necklace: $8. eBay.
  • Wedding Program: $8. Wrote it myself, printed it myself. Only had to buy paper.
  • Veil: $24. Made it myself, hand sewed on over 1000 beads.
  • Photography: $133. We had two Flickrites taking pictures (free) and my MIL put disposable cameras on the tables which she paid for the cameras and photo developing.
  • Videography: $0. Our youngest son videotaped the wedding. We borrowed the camera from my SIL and she gave us the mini-DVDs that the camera uses.
  • Officiant: $250. This is what we decided to give our pastor – he did not require any payment at all.
  • Marriage License: $50.
  • Music: $27. I bought some CDs off and downloaded two songs for $1/each. I had a friend make sure the right music came on at the right time. We didn’t have dancing or anything like that.  
  • Our sons’ haircut/wig, and clothing: $155. I know people don’t normally count in the cost of their children’s clothing, but all of us had to dress up. Our oldest son has alopecia totalis and wanted “hair” for the wedding. The wig cost $56. The other costs were for their suits, ties, white shirts and dress shoes. We don’t get out much! 😉

Total $2874.00


  • $1000 – Mr. A’s mother gifted us with $1000 for our honeymoon – I told her we’d only want to stay two nights and it was $130 each night, but that is the number she settled on giving us.
  • $400 – My boss went around and collected money from everyone at my job, about $20 each and paid for all the food
  • $300 – Mr. A’s mother also bought most of the paper goods for the tables, paper plates, drinking glasses, napkins, silverware, etc.
  • $133 – Mr. A’s mother paid for the cameras and developing
  • $945 – Cash, checks and giftcards from our guests

Total: $2778.00

So technically, our final cost was $96.

My other wedding posts are here:

Make Your Own Miniature Candy Bar Favors

I Saved Money by Washing my Wedding Gown



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18 comments to Wedding Under $3000

  • danandmarsh

    nice run down of the cost of your wedding!
    Ours was about $1000 and very nice. I bought my wedding dress off ebay for $9.99, brand new and with alterations cost about $50!! Had a 5 ft. train, it was beautiful, church wedding hubby ebayed his (civil was)uniform. Reception at a park–aprox. 50 guests. I was so happy you can see a picture on my profile page on my blog.
    Oh yeah we bought our rings on ebay too! $50 for wedding set! We just got bands, hubby told me to pick them out. He was shocked when he saw I only chose to spend $50. Hey I don’t like the stones and stuff, I just like the band. Price doesn’t represent the love.


  • undercover vixen

    wow…that’s amazing.. you were really dedicated and focused in finding all those deals! i wish i could be even half as frugal and handy with crafts


  • Wow! This is so inspiring! Thanks so much for directing me to this. I really thought my $5000 projected budget would be too low, but it sounds like you had a lovely wedding! I look forward to reading more and getting to know you better. Thanks!


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi, glad you stopped by and checked out my wedding post. I think you can have a lovely wedding for $5000, especially if you don’t include costs like your honeymoon like we did. Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you were inspired! 🙂


  • MTV Networks

    MTV documentary series “True Life” looking for young newlywed couples who are having trouble staying afloat in the current economic climate. Did you buy the home of your dreams, only to be facing foreclosure? Did you fall behind in rent and are getting evicted? Are financial woes forcing you to move back in with your parents or in-laws? Interested in sharing your story?

    If you are between the ages of 18-27, and have been married for less that a year, please send a brief bio, current photo, and contact number to .


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Wow, I’m honored MTV Networks, but at the same time, we don’t qualify. Mr. A and I aren’t exactly “young” since we are in our forties. 🙂 Thanks for your interest though!


  • Goodness me! That’s amazing! Didn’t know you got remarried! Kudos to you both!


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @The Digerati Life, hi there! 🙂 Yup, three years ago. We’re very happy that our family is together again. Thanks for the kudos! 🙂


  • I LOVE this! I keep telling people that I want to spend $2000 tops on my wedding and they say I’m nuts! I totally think it is doable. I know I want to try goodwill and other thrift stores for my wedding dress.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Beth Anne! I am sure you can have a great wedding for under $2000. I loved my dress and it was only $25. I had to wet wash it, the poor thing was so dirty it looked like someone had gone trick-or-treating in it! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you figure out your dream wedding with your dream price. 🙂 Mrs. A


    Beth Anne Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability, Thanks! I need to find Mr. Right first 😉 I would love to know how you found/hired your flickr photographers.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Beth Anne, it just happened that one of my coworkers was (is still) heavily involved with Flickr and she was flattered that I asked her if she would take photos at our wedding. She had a friend of hers that was willing to come along and take photos. So I really just got very lucky. The $133 I paid was to develop all the disposable cameras! I hope you find Mr. Right soon! 🙂

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