Real Brides Share Their Tips For Planning A Wedding Under $10,000

Kasia Mikolajczak
groom and bride with flower bouquet
Unsplash | Luis Tosta

I've got to tell you planning a wedding and staying on budget is hard. I definitely know something about that. Needless to say, I'm always on the lookout for ways that I can get my money to go further. And when I stumbled upon a Reddit thread that has tips on keeping a wedding under 10K, I was all ears.

So I'm happy to share a few awesome tips with my fellow brides. I hope you will find these helpful, alright.

This Dress Tip

white sleeveless wedding dress on a mannequin
Unsplash | Charisse Kenion

Not everybody can splurge on a custom dress so if you can try to buy one secondhand. Then get it tailored so that it fits you perfectly. Some brides found their dresses at Goodwill for $100. If you can do that, you can save yourself a ton of money. That's a fact. I got a designer dress that my mom paid for, so there's that option, too.

This Makeup Idea

woman applying makeup on a bride
Unsplash | Chalo Garcia

"I got married last month and one thing I will say is that the camera washed me out so much!! My makeup was heavier than I was used to, but in the photos, it still looked really natural. I love the eyeshadow, it’s beautiful but in my opinion I would add more pigmentation/deepen the eyeshadow colours slightly and add false lashes so it shows up more in photos."

Okay, so this only works for those brides that are good at applying their own makeup. Sadly, I'm not one of those people. Therefore I'm happy to splurge $200 on a makeup artist.

This DIY Engagement Photoshoot

couple doing their own engagement photoshoot using a tripod
reddit | u/sweettutu64

"We took our own engagement photos with a phone, tripod, and a $5 Bluetooth camera shutter!"

You know what? We never did an engagement photoshoot, and I'm seriously considering doing that since I already use a tripod for many of my Instagram photos anyway.

This Wedding Bouquet Idea

hand holding a DIY wedding bouquet
reddit | u/EmilySpin

Let's face it flowers for a wedding can cost a pretty penny so you have to be careful not to blow your entire wedding budget on something like this. Instead, opt to create your own bouquet using faux flowers and put your creativity to the test.

This Faux Flowers Swap

Speaking of faux flowers, they have come a long way. So instead of using real blooms, opt to use their silk cousins. Doing so can save you so much more. I have somebody making my centerpieces using silk flowers to stay on budget.

This DIY Centerpiece Idea

Now that we're on the subject of flowers, here's another idea for you. Instead of splurging on somebody making your centerpieces, you can easily DIY them yourself. There are so many cool ideas out there, like using mason jars with baby's breath and vases from the dollar store. Then you can combine them with floating Yummi candles.

This Wedding Cake Advice

We all know that once you mention you need a cake for a wedding, the price goes through the roof. So do yourself a favor and go to a local bakery or even a big grocery store and order a naked cake you can decorate yourself. That's what we're doing, too.

And This Wedding Cake Idea

naked wedding cake decorated with flowers and Mickey and Minnie cake topper
reddit | u/groomgurl21

"My wedding cake, made by my mom! She's not a professional baker, but she said she would watch some videos and it turned out amazing!!!!"

Oh my goodness, can you believe that? That cake looks so good, no?

This DIY Welcome Sign

Wooden Welcome to our Wedding sign
etsy | DonleeDesignCo

"I bought this stencil kit from Etsy and made the signs myself! My welcome sign was made with a piece of plywood from the hardware store, a small can of wood stain, and some flowers from the dollar store hot-glued on. I also bought some cheap $1 bamboo cutting boards from the dollar store and used the same stencils to make signs for 'Cards,' 'Sign our guestbook,' and other miscellaneous signs. Turned out great!"

What a great idea, huh?

This Live Band Idea

man playing accustic guitar
Unsplash | Gabriel Gurrola

"We had been looking at bands, but the cheapest was coming up at £1,200 ($1,282.86). We found a few slightly cheaper options, but we weren't keen on what they were offering. We ended up at a random pub one night watching a solo performer who sings, plays guitar, and puts together his own (really well-done) backing tracks. He plays the kind of music we like. We asked him for a quote —£200 ($213.81)! Just sharing here because I am so excited; we really wanted live music but had given up hope of getting it on our little budget!"

OMG, I would never have thought of that.

This Invitations Option

wedding invitaion on a plate
Unsplash | Fiona Murray

Honestly, I had no idea how expensive wedding invitations could be. But don't worry, there are ways you can save money. Instead of getting them done professionally, you can design your own or get a digital file that you can get printed at places like Staples.

This DIY Guestbook

DIY wedding globe guestbook
reddit | u/Pumpkinspice28

I know wedding guestbooks can be a little boring these days. Am I right? So why not think outside the box. Instead of a typical book type, DIY a globe like this bride did. How fun is that?

This Wedding Venue Idea

man doing a BBQ
Unsplash | Vincent Keiman

"For context, a friend of mine had a lovely wedding at a local park with BBQ dinner for 75 guests for around $9000."

I think that's pretty reasonable, no? Honestly, I wish I had it in me to do something like that. Originally, I thought about doing ours in the backyard but instead opted for a local restaurant.

And This Venue Idea

long table setting at a restaurant

I can't even tell you how long I spent looking for a wedding venue. They were all out of our price range. So instead of doing our wedding at an overpriced ballroom, we chose to have a smaller gathering at a local restaurant. We still get the place to ourselves, and it will be comfortable and intimate.

This Photography Bargain

woman taking a photo of the wedding couple
Unsplash | Mariah Krafft

Professional wedding photographers charge a lot for their services. It's absolutely imperative as they're artists. However, if spending that much money isn't possible, consider putting an ad online looking for a photography student who can do it for a fraction of the cost. Just make sure you see their current portfolio and know that they're reliable.

This Music Saving

white iPod on a stand
Unsplash | Brett Jordan

Another huge expense is hiring a skilled DJ to keep the party going at your wedding. That is something that's important to some people while others aren't as concerned. If you're of the latter, you can get away with it by using your iPod. But you might want to designate a friend or family member to keep an eye on it all night.

This Buffet Style

buffet with different styles of food
Unsplash | Alexander Kovacs

If you are having a wedding at an actual venue, consider not doing a so-called "sit down" dinner. Instead, you can have a buffet-style one. That option is usually a lot cheaper because there are no waiters that bring food to your guests.

This Guest Count Rule

wedding guests at an outdoor cermony
Unsplash | Samantha Gades

Okay, this is probably your biggest saving but keeping your guest list low is the key. I know it's not always possible but if you can do it it will save you a ton of money. You're obviously going to plan it differently if you have 75 people than 300. Am I right?

I hope you found these wedding on a budget ideas helpful.

woman and man walking down the aisle
Giphy | TLC

It's definitely not easy to do, but if you're willing to be flexible, you can have your dream wedding and not go broke. I'm implementing at least a few of these concepts here, and I'm happy with my choices. And if you have any tips of your own, feel free to share them below.