How to Have a Wedding for ZERO Dollars

Let's be honest, if you're visiting this blog – you're probably planning a wedding on t i g h t budget. I know, I've been there. But what if even my teeny tiny $5,000 wedding budget is more than you can spare? What if you're budget is only… ZERO dollars? What if you truly cannot spend money on a wedding but want to have one. Well, here's how to have a wedding for zero dollars:

Let's be honest, if you're visiting this blog – you're probably planning a wedding on t i g h t budget. I know, I've been there. But what if even my teeny tiny $5,000 wedding budget is more than you can spare? What if you're budget is only… ZERO dollars? What if you truly cannot spend money on a wedding but want to have one. Well, here's how to have a wedding for zero dollars:

How to Have a Wedding for ZERO Dollars || Kiss My Tulle
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

Attire, Make-Up, Hair:

  • Shop Your Closet. At our wedding, The Boy wore a suit from his closet and looked great. Surely, you have something nice in your closet that could work!
  • Shop Your Friend/Family's Closets. If you don't have something nice then ask a friend or family member if they do and would be willing to lend it to you.
  • Stick With Tradition. Can you wear mom's wedding gown or dad's suit? If you like them and they fit – why not embrace this once standard tradition?
  • Get It For Free. I got my gorgeous, fully-beaded wedding gown for free and so can you! Check out Traveling Wedding Dress and see if there's something that works for you.
  • DIY. Do your make-up and hair yourself (or have a friend/family member do it for you). Use the stuff you have in your stash – that's what I did.

Ceremony:

  • Get married By A Friend. The only thing you really need is an officiant and many states allow you to be married by anyone for free (they may have to pay a fee to become an officiant but ask them to do it as a wedding gift).
  • Get Thee To A Church. Some church officials will marry you for free if you're a member in good standing.
  • Visit City Hall. Actually having a government official (i.e. the Justice of the Peace) marry you costs nothing – just make sure to make an appointment.
  • Get Married Anywhere. Seriously, have the ceremony at your house, at City Hall, at a park, in Wal-Mart - just get married and then have a party. The getting married part usually only lasts 10-20 minutes so why bother to do anything more?

Photography/Videography:

  • Ask For A Wedding Gift. Know someone with decent photography/videography skills who loves you? Ask them to photograph/video your wedding in lieu of a traditional gift.
  • Find A Student/Assistant. Know a student or assistant who's looking to build their portfolio? See if they'll do your wedding gratis.
  • Create a Hashtag. Everyone and their brother has a cell phone with a pretty good camera and they're all going to take photos anyway so… why not create a special wedding day hashtag and ask everyone to upload and tag their photos/videos from the day.

Bouquets and Boutonnieres:

  • Go Wild. Have access to wildflowers or a garden? Just pluck some blooms and go!
  • Skip The Flowers. Who says you need bouquets and boutonnieres anyway?
  • Find An Alternative. Why not carry a bible or a handkerchief in stead of a bouquet? And pocket squares always look stylish for the men.
  • Go With Greenery. Instead of the more traditional flowers, why not use branches from a tree or air plants from your mom's house?

Food/Drink:

  • Potluck, Baby. I did it for our civil ceremony and people were delighted to help out!
  • Ask Friends/Family. Would someone swing this cost as a wedding present?
  • Skip It. Hey, if you only have a ceremony – you don't need to feed people. Just sayin'.
  • Homebrew. If your hobby is making your own alcohol then just serve whatever you've got on tap.
  • Borrow. Snag all the tableware and silverware from your own house or from family/friends. Mismatched always looks awesome anyway.

Reception:

  • Venue, Venue, Venue. Host the reception at a park, your home, your mom's place, on the beach – anywhere with bathrooms and no fee.
  • Check The Garden. Have access to a garden? Bowls of fruits and vegetables are gorgeous as are arrangements of more "homey" flowers.
  • Alternative Centerpieces. These are really the only decor that's "needed" and you can skip flowers and scrounge around your house for things that will work – like piles of books, cool pottery, or fun Lego set-ups.

Music:

  • iPod Dance Party. Have an iPod and a speaker? Create a long playlist, hook them up, and push start. It's what we did at our wedding!
  • Musical Friends/Family. Is anyone a talented (or even just okay) musician who's happy to play music during the reception as a wedding gift?
  • Music Channels. If your venue has TVs with cable or satellite – check for the music channels. Most don't have commercials and play songs back-to-back.

Stationery:

  • Skip everything. Seriously. Email or invite people over the phone and move on.
  • Social Media. Create a pretty invitation using a free Photoshop download and then message it to people via social media.
  • Word of Mouth. Nothing wrong with just telling people, y'all.

Cake:

  • Friends and Family. Again, is anyone willing to pay for or create the cake in lieu of a wedding gift?
  • Shop Your Pantry. Do you have doughnuts, candy, and/or pies stashed anywhere? Pull them out and have a killer dessert bar!
  • Make It Yourself. I did it for my civil ceremony and I just used the stuff that I already had in the pantry.

Decor:

  • Nature. Mother Nature is the BEST decorator. Get married someplace gorgeous and you won't need any decor.
  • Shop Your House. Do you have pretty curtains that can be used as backdrops? Artwork that can become a focal point? Rugs, couches, chairs? Anything from your house can be repurposed as wedding decor.
  • Ask Your Friends/Family. Does anyone have leftover decor from their wedding or a party that can be used at your wedding for free?

Any of you planning a wedding on a SUPER tight budget?

 

 

 

 

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