How to Have a Small Budget Wedding

Hello human – welcome to our blog! My name is Jamie, I’m the main author of this space, and I try really hard to give our clients the content they need to have amazing wedding days! How to have a small budget wedding you ask?!

* Photography by Amelia Charleen *

So.. we recently got married, and had 3 wedding celebrations! We splurged on a few things and saved on others. Yes we still spent a good amount, but we spent that amount on 3 separate dates, across 3 states (Iowa + Massachusetts + Maine) .

Want to know how to have it all? Well – get off Pinterest. Let’s put in some work!

* Photography by Chelsea Dawn Weddings *

The Big Step: List your Priorities in your (you + your fiance) order of importance

Our Personal List:
1: Marrying my best friend
2: Photography / Videography
3: Attire: Dream suit + dress
4: Beer + Wine + Pizza
5: Small guest list
6: Personal Vows
7: Non-religious
8: Venue
9: Decor
10: Floral

There were certain things that were a lot of work, that did save us money.. but you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to do it.

We made our own invites + printed them ourselves. Which means me, designing in photoshop and then printing!

We made our own desserts (nothing crazy but it was work).

Mark made 15+ loafs of fresh homemade bread for cocktail hour
Jamie made all the floral arrangements

We only allowed $600 for all the decor, so goodwill + fb finds!

We saved money by keeping it small, and by not having a bridal party. We had my sister as my MOH, and Mark’s brother’s as his best men.
Yes, we LOVE our client’s bridal parties, they are so fun to hang out with all day – we are not anti-bridal party — we just didn’t have a priority to have one.

By not having a bridal party, no extra dresses, gifts, bribes, etc… $$

Again – weddings are your own personal choice, and we support you in whatever choice YOU want to do!! This is not pressure or us telling you what to do!!

We had a judge marry us in the garden, she was $200 to marry us outside of the court house. The judge also knew my family personally, so it was nice!

She then filed the paper work, and we went out to lunch!

I will never advise cutting corners on a photographer that you love. Yes, pick a budget on what you can afford, but don’t go the cheapest route. Make sure you mesh with style, personality, and type of photos you want delivered! Don’t hesitate to ask to see a full day, I can pull out multiple galleries!

So here are some “planning” ideas for a small, low cost wedding!

Elopement style: Nature / Park
Fiance: Free (ish) 😉
Park Permit: $0-200
Marriage License: $20-60
Officient: $75-200
Decor: None, outdoors
Florals: Bouquet + boutonnière $200
Photography: $3-5k (this is middle ground cost)
Videography: $3-5k (this is middle ground cost)
Attire: BHLDN Styles start at $300!
Invites: meh – do a digital one, or none at all
Rings: Etsy or local jewelers, my wedding band was $200!

Plane fare if destination, read our blog post for cheap travel here
Food: you two, under 20 guests – everyone pay for themselves or do a catered meal!
Guests: Keep it family only, or under 20!

Built in honeymoon ^^
Price range $1500-10,000

Still want to party, but don’t really want to do the normal big wedding….?
Fiance: Free (ish) 😉
Venue: $1500-4000
Marriage License: $20-60
Officient: $75-200
Decor: Goodwill, FB for sale groups, pick a theme, and keep it minimal
Rentals: Have a professional stylist and give them a budget!

Florals: Bouquet + boutonnière $200
Photography: $2-5k (this is middle ground cost)
Videography: $2-5k (this is middle ground cost)
Attire: BHLDN Styles start at $300!
Invites: meh – do a digital one, or none at all
Rings: Etsy or local jewelers, my wedding band was $200!
Food: Don’t do normal wedding catering. We did pizza + wings and spent around $300 and still got take left overs home.

Price range $4,000-15,000

Little one liners to think about:

A party is all fun and games, until the bill comes.

Open bar is amazing, until the bill comes.


At the end of it all, you still get your spouse!

Jamie’s actual bouquet from their wedding day!

Disclaimer: I love working with rental companies, stylists, florists, artist — I love it. BUT I also know we all have price ranges and have gotten the “small wedding budget” request which means cutting out some of these amazing vendors. We did go relatively cheaper on our wedding, but that’s because we had a set budget and chose what priorities to spend it on!
If we had unlimited funds… oh it would have been DECKED OUT in all aspects!


we're jamie and mark!

We help quirky and untraditional couples find joy and adventure on their special days by providing passionate and wild photography that captures the big moments of love… and all the little candid ones in between.


get to know us


copyright jamie tobin photography 2012-2024 | privacy | terms of service | site designed by madison ramm | Copywriter Kaili at reveal studio