Innovative DIY Ideas for a Budget-friendly Wedding

Worried a small budget is going to put a damper on your big day?

Honestly, that notion couldn’t be further from the truth.

On average, the amount people shell out on weddings in the USA is $27,000 – quite an investment! But thankfully, there’s another way.

We’ve got tons of tips and DIY tricks that can save you big bucks on your special day, and here’s the kicker: your wedding will still be gorgeous. Your guests are going to love every minute of it, and may even assume you spent a fortune in order to pull it off.

A little creative ingenuity goes a long way.

Your Wedding Must Haves

Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on everything. As you cast your wedding vision, there are probably one or two things you and your fiancée can’t imagine tying the knot without, and that’s a-ok.

What does that look like for your big day? A live band during the reception? A towering six-tier wedding cake with delicate pink sugary flowers blooming from the thick white frosting?

If you’re clear on what that from the get go, it’s much easier to work into the budget.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

Say “I don’t” to a Wedding Planner

No shade to wedding planners. 

However, when planning a wedding on a budget, you don’t need one. The plethora of wedding planning software that exists today essentially gives you a wedding planner – at a fraction of the price.

Plus, you’ve got your bridesmaids there to support you and lend a hand. Chances are when you get them together, you’ll have a formidable creative DIY force there to help bring your wedding dreams come to life.

Just remember to create a to-do list with a timeline that you stick to, and you should be just fine.

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Change Up the Venue

Traditional wedding venues typically eat up a chunk of change, but there are ways around that.

Why not host a backyard wedding? If you’re lucky enough to have some acreage (or are blessed with a friend or family member who does, and is willing to host your big day) you’ve already got the perfect venue!

Or, if you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor wedding, you can get married for free on federal land – just pick your favorite type of nature. From sea to shining sea, there’s no shortage of nature’s beauty on display here in the USA. And bonus, you don’t have to decorate as much – Mother Nature’s got that covered.

Other venue ideas are:

  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Airbnbs

Change Up the Reception

Food and entertainment are a big part of a wedding celebration, and can eat up a ton of the budget.

In states where dancehalls and honky-tonks abound, by all means, hold the reception there! Of course, you may not get the venue to yourself, but still. There’s live music, a total celebratory vibe, and you can use the money you save on venue rental to create a tab at the bar for your guests. 

Many have food trucks and other meals available, so no one goes hungry.

Make sure you check with the facility beforehand to ensure it’s okay, and ask if you’re allowed to bring food, such as a cake or cookies.

If you’re having a backyard celebration, consider having a potluck, or getting together with your bridesmaids to make little sandwiches, quiche, and other appetizers.

Also, think about the time of day you have the wedding. For example, if you have a brunch wedding, you may not need to spend as much on food as you would come dinner time.

The Dress

Or should we say dresses? Choosing the right bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses can be a big budgetary consideration, yes, but it’s also something you don’t want to compromise on, since all eyes will be on you.

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There are some wonderful vintage wedding gowns – and every other kind too – on Etsy, at all different price points.

Bella Bridesmaids has an incredible selection of bridesmaid dresses for every budget too. Their collection is huge and features top designers. And yes, they have wedding dresses too.

Honestly, when the wedding party looks sharp and on point, this carries over and sets the tone for everything else. 

DIY Décor

The beauty of do it yourself decorations is, there are no limits to what you can do. Here are some quick and easy budget (and free!) ideas:

  • Reuse brown paper grocery bags. They’re free, and there’s a ton of cute décor related ideas on how to upcycle and DIY them!
  • Create your own wedding invitations. Anything handmade feels more personal; heartfelt and special.
  • Collect glass jars and bottles, and use them as centerpieces. Add greenery by putting twigs and leafy branches in them, or elevate the mood by placing a little tealight candle inside.
  • Thrift and upcycle. Collect old frames and spray paint them gold. Use them to create a hanging mobile, some sort of feature wall that you wind fairy lights and other greenery through. Thrift lacy fabrics, colored glass.
  • Turn to nature. Collect branches, tumbleweed, and pampas grass. Look for neutral colors. Mix the things you gather from nature with things you thrift, or upcycle by spray painting or adding little bows from eye catching strips of fabric.
  • Snip branches and weave them into garlands.
  • Start pressing flowers which you can frame or use in centerpieces.


Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your wedding needs to be just like everyone else’s. The secret involves pulling some of the traditional elements, and injecting your own creativity. Use this formula, and your wedding will be exactly what you dreamed: beautiful, memorable, personal, and full of love.