Confessions of a Budget Bride

by Tracy Russell, former budget bride.


I saved a lot of money on wedding flowers by purchasing them at the floral department at my local supermarket. I recruited a friend to help with creating all the bouquets, boutonnieres and the church centerpiece. While it was a significant savings, there was a huge time commitment involved with going this route. I spent the entire night before my wedding making floral arrangements and stuffing my refrigerator full of flowers. I had so many flowers that I had to drive a car load to my sister's house and stuff her fridge full too!

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I could have made my life easier had I chosen artificial flowers for the church centerpiece and bridesmaid bouquets. I would have carried a matching, real bouquet and gone with real flowers for the boutonnieres. That way, the flowers that would be seen up close and photographed often would have been real and the flowers that are only seen at a distance would have been artificial. I would have had half of my flowers done weeks or months before my wedding leaving more time the night before and less hassle in transporting and storing them.


Creativity is an essential strategy when you are a budget bride. You've got to think outside the box and find ways to get the wedding you really want without paying a fortune for it. Unfortunately, not all of us are Martha Stewart and even if we were, finding the time to create hand-made favors for 100 or so guests is a real challenge. What's the solution? Simplicity! Elegance and simplicity go well together in a wedding. Forget about hand-crafting holiday ornaments for each guest. Find an inexpensive decoration or edible treat and simply personalize it with a custom, printable label or tag. I ordered snowflake holiday ornaments and snowflake-shaped chocolates and added a simple tag with our names and wedding date.

Instead of purchasing fancy flower girl baskets, unity candles and guest book, I saved money by finding simple, inexpensive ones and accenting them with silver snowflake brads. Snowflakes fit my winter wedding theme but you could try a small flower, accent ribbon or decorative embellishment that would fit your theme and style. Outsource and Recruit Help

If you are a budget bride and are going the “Do-It-Yourself” route for your wedding (and you pretty much have to if you want to save money), don't go it alone. I bet you have friends and family who are talented and eager to help out. For my wedding, my aunt offered to make the table centerpieces. I recruited help with my flowers and my soon-to-be husband even helped me make the pew bows. Both my photographer and DJ were family friends as well.

The caveat with having family help with your wedding, however, is that you need to communicate your wedding theme and expectations in order to avoid hurting somebody's feelings if they produce something you do not like. You can avoid hard feelings by being thorough with your explanation of what you want and show examples of what you are looking for. Don't assume your best friend shares your same tastes and sense of design. Communication is key when outsourcing creative wedding projects to family and friends.

As a budget bride trying to save money by creating your special day, it helps to give yourself plenty of time, set realistic expectations and be open to possibilities. Don't let a lack of money get in the way of having the wedding day you want.

Tracy Russell planned her beautiful, elegant wedding and Caribbean honeymoon for $6000! She shares everything she knows about saving money and being a budget bride her website,

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