If you're here, it's because you're probably planning a wedding on t i g h t budget… REALLY tight. Well, here's my tips on how to have a wedding for ZERO dollars.
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:
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
There are lots of brides out there perfectly happy to give or share their wedding dress with you.
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.
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).
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?
You will probably pay a license or application fee to get married. However, since actually *getting* married isn't the same as a wedding – I haven't included the cost of those fees in this post.
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:
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?
I did it for our civil ceremony and people were delighted to help out!
Would someone swing this cost as a wedding present?
Hey, if you only have a ceremony and no reception – you don't need to feed people.
If your hobby is making your own alcohol then just serve whatever you've got on tap.
Snag all the tableware and silverware from your own house or from family/friends.
Mismatched always looks awesome anyway.
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.
These are really the only decor that's kinda sorta “needed”.
Playlist Dance Party
Have a phone and a speaker?
Create a long playlist, hook them up, and push start.
Is anyone a talented (or even just okay) musician who's happy to play music during the reception as a wedding gift?
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.
// I may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post. //
Email or invite people over the phone and move on.
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.
Create a pretty invitation using a free Canva template and then message it to people via social media.
Word of Mouth
Nothing wrong with just telling people, y'all.
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.
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?