How to Plan a Wedding for Under $5000

Create your perfect wedding for under $5,000

Create your perfect wedding for under $5,000

Planning a wedding probably involves more decisions than you can count. What’s most important, however, is to create that is meaningful to you because it’s your day. If you need to plan a wedding for under $5,000, there are numerous steps you can take to help you reach your goal. The plan includes many traditional wedding elements for 100 guests, including a bridal party of six.

Wedding Attire

Look for sales and package deals to target a bride’s dress and veil for $250 and a pair of shoes at $25.

Outfit the groom with a tux and shoe rental at $175.

Arrange silk flowers for the bridal party with a bridal bouquet for $50 and two smaller bridesmaid’s bouquets at $25 each.

Create small boutonnieres for the groom and two groomsmen to match bridal flowers with simple silk floral heads for $5 each.


Create 100 simple yet elegant do-it-yourself invitations for $100 total. Instead of including return envelopes and RSVP cards in the invitations, save money by asking guests to RSVP by phone or email.

Print matching place cards on a home computer for $25.

Purchase 100 picture postcard thank-you messages from a local photo shop for $50.

Rehearsal Dinner and Gifts

Hold the rehearsal dinner at your home. Limit it to 10 people, comprised of two sets of parents, the bride, groom, two bridesmaids and two groomsmen. Order take-out dinners from a local restaurant for $12 per person to feed the guests for $120 by picking up the meals on your way home.

Purchase two small beaded bracelets for bridesmaid gifts at $20 each.

Purchase two classic pens for groomsmen gifts at $20 each.


Keep the ceremony and the reception in the same place to save money. Set up a place to take your vows on a reception site veranda or blooming garden, by bringing in 100 chairs for your guests at a total of $250. This price should include delivery of the chairs, setup and take-away.

Add a rented wedding arch for $100 to make taking your vows special.

Set aside $150 for a wedding official, licenses and certificates.


Look for small, local restaurants that can accommodate the ceremony and reception. Many will be receptive because they get a large, guaranteed head count for a night and can charge about $25 per person for a $2,500 total.

Set aside $200 for tips. Arrange for your guests to order additional beverages at a cash bar.

Purchase 25 bottles of champagne for the wedding toast.

Create a cupcake wedding display with three graduated sizes of serving dishes stacked in a tier shape in place of a pricey, traditional wedding cake.

Professional Services

Save on music by creating pre-recorded compact discs with your favorite wedding songs. These discs can be played on a portable sound system.

Let your guests be your photographers by placing disposable cameras at each place setting.

Purchase a simple guest book, pen and wedding album for $50 from a local discount craft store to create low-cost keepsakes.

Table Decor and Favors

Match your table decor to your silk bridal flowers and create 14 centerpieces for your tables at $20 each.

Create simple candle favors with dollar store votives and coordinating colored ribbons for $1.25 each.

Arrange the candle wedding favors at each place setting to become part of the table decor.

Items you will need

  • Wedding dress, $200
  • Veil, $50
  • Bridal shoes, $25
  • Groom's tux and shoe rental, $175
  • Bride's bouquet, $50
  • Groom's boutonniere, $5
  • 2 Bridal party bouquets at $25 each, $50 total
  • 2 Bridal party boutonnieres at $5 each, $10 total
  • 100 Invitations at $1 each, $100 total
  • 100 Place cards at 25 cents each, $25 total
  • 100 Thank you postcards at 50 cents each, $50 total
  • 10 Take-out dinners at $12 each, $120 total
  • 2 Bridesmaid beaded bracelet gifts at $20 each, $40 total
  • 2 Groomsmen pen gifts at $20 each, $40 total
  • Wedding arch, $100
  • 100 Chairs at $2 each, $200 total
  • Chair delivery/set up fee, $50
  • Ceremony officiate, $100
  • Wedding license/certificates (as required), $50
  • Reception room fee/tips, $200
  • 100 Guest meals at $25 each, $2,500 total
  • 100 Cup cakes at 50 cents each, $50 total
  • 3 Graduated size serving dish tiers
  • 25 Bottles of champagne at $7 each, $175 total
  • Pre-recorded wedding music compact discs with music player
  • 100 Disposable cameras at $1.75 each, $175 total
  • Wedding album, $25
  • Guest book with pen, $25
  • 14 Silk flower table centerpieces at $20 each, $280 total
  • 100 Candle favors with ribbons at $1.25 each, $125 total


  • Focus on what you want, then look for trade-offs to fit everything in. If necessary, cut costs in one area so you can spend in another that matters to you.


  • Don't let family, friends or trends dictate what you have to do. Select what pleases the bride and the groom.

About the Author

Terry Mulligan has been writing since 2007. As an accomplished artist, decorator and business professional, she enjoys covering art, decor, business management, real estate, education, computers/software/ERP, animal rescue, cooking and self-improvement. Mulligan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

Photo Credits

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