Our Top 10 Tips to Get Married for Cheap

July 11, 2024
4 min

Planning a wedding can be a daunting task, especially when you're trying to keep costs down. The key is to be creative, resourceful, and flexible. While getting married can be costly, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

For those who want a cheap, simple option, Courtly offers an online wedding package. It starts at just $499. Simply fill out some basic information about yourself and your spouse-to-be, and Courtly will handle the rest of the paperwork. If you still want to have a ceremony, below are our team's top 10 tips for getting married for cheap. You can follow these tips and still keep the joy and beauty of your special day.

Top 10 Tips for Affordable Weddings

1. Potluck Reception

Average Cost: $4,000 - $7,000

Potential Savings: $3,800 - $6,800

Hosting a potluck reception is a fantastic way to cut down on catering costs. Invite your guests to bring their favorite dish. This will create a varied and tasty buffet. This not only saves money but also adds a personal touch to your celebration.

2. DIY or Thrifted Decorations

Average Cost: $2,000 - $5,000

Potential Savings: $1,800 - $4,800

Get creative with DIY decorations or find unique items at thrift stores. Crafting your own decor can be a fun activity and gives your wedding a personalized feel. Thrift stores are also great for finding vintage or eclectic pieces at a fraction of the cost. Websites like ThredUp let you browse a wide selection of consigned items for sale.

Create your own DIY decorations by using YouTube tutorials and Pinterest to create the ambiance you are seeking. If you are handy with scissors and a hot glue gun, the possibilities are endless. Consider inviting loved ones to create decorations together, extending the celebration even more.

3. Digital Invitations

Average Cost: $500 - $1,500

Potential Savings: $450 - $1,450

Save on printing and postage by opting for digital invitations. Websites like Canva and Greetings Island offer customizable templates. It's easier than ever to design beautiful e-invites. This eco-friendly option ensures your invitations are both stylish and cost-effective.

4. Borrowed or Rented Attire

Average Cost: $1,000 - $4,000

Potential Savings: $900 - $3,900

In today's fashion, wedding attire does not only end with a long white gown or a tuxedo. There are many other options for the couple to find the perfect outfit for their big day. Consider thrifting your get-up or repurposing your parents' old attire. 

You don't want to go the traditional route of wearing a white dress? Check out RentTheRunway. They offer many dresses that may suit your style. The best part is: you don't even need to clean the outfit after you wear it. All you have to do is send it back in the pre-packaged slip and they'll take care of everything for you. 

5. Volunteer Photographer

Average Cost: $2,500 - $5,000

Potential Savings: $2,300 - $4,800

Enlist a friend or family member with photography skills to capture your big day. This can significantly reduce your expenses, while ensuring you still get beautiful photos. Another option is to hire a photography student who may offer services at a much lower cost. Check out your local college and see if they have a job board for students.

6. Homemade Cake

Average Cost: $500 - $1,000

Potential Savings: $450 - $950

A homemade cake adds a heartfelt touch to your wedding. You can bake it yourself or ask a talented friend. This option can save you a lot compared to buying a professional cake.

7. Free Wedding Website

Average Cost: $300 - $1,000

Potential Savings: $300 - $1,000

Create a free wedding website to manage RSVPs, share details about the event, and provide updates. Platforms like Zola and The Knot offer free website templates. They can help streamline your planning and reduce the need for printed materials.

8. Seasonal and Local Flowers

Average Cost: $1,500 - $3,000

Potential Savings: $1,300 - $2,800

Choosing seasonal and locally sourced flowers can dramatically cut down your floral budget. Not only are they more affordable, but they also tend to be fresher and more environmentally friendly.

9. Keep the Guest List Small

Average Cost: $50 - $100 per guest

Potential Savings: $2,500 - $10,000 (for a guest list reduction of 50-100 guests)

Limiting the guest list to your closest family and friends can significantly reduce costs. A smaller guest list means less money spent on food, drinks, and seats. This lets you spend your budget on other key areas.

As an alternative for those who can't attend in person, you may also consider live streaming the ceremony. Or, you could get married online. If you're choosing a virtual wedding like the one Courtly offers, you can invite up to 100 guests. This can cut the cost of having them at your ceremony. But, it still lets them share your special day with you.

10. Online Wedding

Average Cost: $10,000 - $30,000 (for a traditional wedding)

Potential Savings: $9,500 - $29,500

For those who prefer a virtual celebration, you can have an online wedding through a service like Courtly. These platforms offer a legal and convenient way to get married online, often at a much lower cost than a traditional wedding. This option is also well-suited to couples who are looking to get married quickly, as there are ways to get married in under 24 hours.

Final Thoughts

By incorporating these tips, you can have a beautiful and memorable wedding day without breaking the bank.

Many of these tips also involve including your friends and family in the planning. Including your friends and family in planning your wedding details doesn't just make it unique. You're also extending the celebration by having your loved ones help throughout.

Remember, the most important part of any wedding is the love and commitment you share, not the amount you spend.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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