Featured Bride, Bethany W.: Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Featured Bride Bethany W. Wedding Location: Orono, MN | Wedding Date: August 28th, 2011

Planning a wedding on a budget.

Like many people, we have not been working with a bottomless budget, so we realized from the beginning that we would have to prioritize, be creative, and be resourceful.  Once we knew how much money my parents were blessing us with for our wedding, we talked about what the top priorities were for each of us. That way, we knew where we wanted to splurge and where we would have to cut back.  Thankfully, we agreed on the aspects of the wedding we cared about the most: photography, venue, and the ceremony message.   Here are some of the ways we were able save money on the areas that weren’t as important to us, and even the areas that were our top priorities:

The Venue:

I always wanted an outdoor wedding, but was terrified of the possibility of awful weather.  Thankfully, we found a beautiful location called The Woods Chapel.  It has an outdoor amphitheater but also an indoor chapel as a backup at no extra charge.  This was something we chose to splurge on, but we were also able to save on ceremony decorations--nature decorates itself!


I didn’t really care about having real flowers, so we actually bought realistic-looking faux flowers.  We are having a creative family friend spruce them up with ribbons, gems and accent colors, and bind them into bouquets.


Neither of us like cake, but the consensus from the friends we’ve asked is that we HAVE to have cake at the wedding.  Of course, we don’t have to be traditional with our dessert, but since it’s not an area of importance to us, guests seem to enjoy it, and we’re trying to save money, we decided to order sheet cakes from Costco.  They are super inexpensive, taste great (to those who are cake-eaters), and can serve mass quantities of people.

Wedding Dress:

I bought my wedding dress at the Wedding Shoppe and got a great deal on it, since it was a sample dress.  Wherever you shop for you dress, make sure to ask if there are sample dresses, off the rack dresses, or any other sale, because you may be surprised with what you will find!


I really wanted the whole theme of our wedding day to be simple, laid-back, and fun, which helped cut costs for our invitations.  We had a friend design our wedding invitations, bought card stock at Anchor Paper Express (any paper warehouse will do), and found a local printing shop to print and cut them.  This is especially an inexpensive route to go if you’re having a larger wedding.  Also, instead of having RSVP return cards (and having to buy stamps for each one), we offered the option to either RSVP online at our wedding website, or to call a phone number and leave a message at.

Overall, I found it was best to delegate as much as possible, maximize the resources and people around who are willing and excited to help, and soak up the engagement period as much as possible!  It flies by and is easy to get stressed out sometimes, but I had to remind myself what the process is really about.  It’s about the life I am about to share with my amazing fiancé, not all the details of wedding planning that soon get forgotten.


Follow Featured Bride Bethany W.'s wedding journey on My Wedding Chat! If you are interested in becoming a My Wedding Chat Featured Bride and sharing your wedding story with brides and wedding-lovers alike, email blog@weddingshoppeinc.com for more information!

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