Go DIY For a Budget Friendly Wedding

Imagine planning a wedding—one of the most important days in a couple’s life—but agonizing over ways to pay for all the elements of the big day. There are ways to DIY many wedding elements to allow a great day while being thrifty for those feeling a bit crafty and creative. From wedding dress rental to using friends and relatives in various wedding day roles, costs can be kept at bay while adding a personal touch.

A recent study by Design Elements came up with five of the top ways to save money doing DIY elements at a wedding, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to budget-conscious wedding planning.

The idea of a budget-friendly wedding led Jessica Bishop to create The Budget Savvy Bride in 2008 while planning her wedding when there were not many resources to plan a DIY wedding. The site has grown into a go-to resource visited by millions of couples each year. She wrote about renting your wedding dress for Wealth of Geeks and published her book The Budget Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer in 2018.

“Our goal at The Budget Savvy Bride is to help make the planning process simpler, savvier, and less stressful by sharing resources, tools, and the best deals on everything couples need for their weddings. We aim to cut through the noise and help couples focus on the elements of their wedding day that matter to them personally. “


Eleanor Harnett of San Mateo, CA, is doing DIY in several ways for her wedding. In addition to flowers done by her grandma and bunting for venue décor, she is also making the food for their rehearsal picnic the day before the wedding. This is not just a cost-saver for her; it is also predicated on dietary restrictions of herself being gluten-free and the needs of many in her wedding party.

“We wanted to use the rehearsal dinner to thank our families and friends for all the support in putting together the wedding. I love cooking and sharing meals with my loved ones, so I figured this would be a good way to thank them.” She is cooking a few dishes several days prior that she can freeze and reheat for later, and they chose a local park nearby where they could bring in their equipment.

Nichoel Adams Dean of San Diego, CA, got married in 2011 in Little York, NY, and used her talents as an artist to DIY nearly most of her wedding elements. A jewelry artist—she designed all of the bridal party and her own jewelry. In addition, she did the table décor, invites and favors, and chuppah decorations. “I was happy with how it all turned out,” she says. “Everyone loved the decor and knew I had done it all.

Utilizing Friends and Family

Even if you’re not creative or crafty, someone in your inner circle might be. Using friends and family in roles for the wedding can save costs too. These can include:

  • Playing the role of emcee, officiant, or DJ at the wedding or reception
  • Putting their talents to work in baking, designing, sewing, or bartending.
  • Using their connections to certain businesses or vendors to get a discount on other wedding elements

“My fiancé and I didn’t feel the need for a DJ, so we have been curating a playlist for the dinner and dancing,” says Harnett. “Our wedding party members are taking turns as the emcee during the important parts of the night—it adds another personal touch.”

Harnett also has her mom making a ceremonial cake for them to cut, a friend making gluten-free cupcakes for the cost of supplies, and her mom making the veil—something sentimental to them both.

Taryn Young, 20, from Boise, Idaho, had to utilize a tight budget for her wedding and found ways to save using Facebook “wedding on a budget” groups and utilizing family members for assistance.

“The DJ is going to be my aunt, and the venue already has speakers, so I didn’t have to pay for the equipment,” she says. “Additionally, my mom is handy with a sewing machine, so she is hemming all of the dresses.

Dean had her mom make all the food and cake, and they decorated them together. She shares she would recommend DIY wedding planning for those having talent and time. “It’s not for everyone, and it can often take you far longer to do or make than someone is a professional,” she says. “Just make sure to understand both the value of your time and theirs.”

Finding Ideas and Support

The Budget Savvy Bride is a one-stop shop for any couple starting out trying to plan on a budget. The site also highlights featured deals from partner companies, a section on DIY options, and other resources.

“I love connecting with currently planning couples to find out what things would be helpful to them,” says Bishop. “We get ideas for new DIY projects from our community, and we love scouring Pinterest and TikTok to see what couples are talking about or struggling with. “

The site also features a community where brides often share their wedding day after they tie the knot and a personal experience of how everything went. Bishop says, “It helps build a brain trust of things to keep in mind along the way and inspires other brides in their planning!”

Wedding planning on a budget may seem overwhelming. However, a budget-savvy bride (and groom) can utilize DIY techniques on many aspects of the big day. These can also make the day more personal at the same time. Being a little bit crafty can surely help, but there are online resources to provide tips and ideas to make the celebration special while sticking to a budget.

More Articles from the Wealth of Geeks Network:

This article was produced by and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.

Kelley Dukat

Kelley Dukat is a freelance writer, photographer, and event planner currently based in the United States. She has spent the last year as a nomad travelling and house sitting. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and previously served as a trade magazine editor. Her favorite include dog friendly travel, road trips, nomad life. She is currently working on a memoir, and a series of personal essays.