Does anyone have any tips on how to do a $5,000 and less wedding?
We have already done a rough draft of our guest list and we have 47 people including our bridal party (3 on each side). We have already decided on not having any alcohol at the reception even though I am sure we might have some issues with FH's side of the family (they are Catholic and drink alot) so we are afraid something might happen plus we can't afford it. Also we will be getting married in a church and most likely will have the reception there as well.
Invitations- You could buy a DIY kit at Michael's and use a 50% off coupon. Walmart has some kits too and you can get a set for only a few dollars from their clearance section but you have to be patient and wait for what you want or close to what you want to be there. Check out eBay too. There's always kits on there. I got my invitations from Vista Print for free, just had to pay shipping. They always have deals going on too so you could check them out. Then you wouldn't have to print them yourself either.
Flowers- I'm going to get my flowers from a grocery store and arrange them myself. It's going to be so much cheaper than going to a florist. I could do a floral centerpiece myself for $5-$10 but with the florist it might be $30-$35. You could also do fake flowers if you like them.
Music- Instead of having a band or a dj you could just hook up an ipod to speakers and make your own playlist or make your own cds to play.
Food- You could have an early morning wedding and do a brunch reception, or have your reception in the evening and do a dessert reception. You could just do a cake and punch reception too. For our reception we're going to do meat and cheese platters and sides like pasta salad.
Cake- If you want a tiered cake I would order a very simple one. You could get a three tiered wedding cake from Walmart for under $150. You could also do some other type of dessert or do a cupcake cake.
Dress- Buy a bridesmaid dress or a prom/formal dress instead of a "wedding gown." Check out eBay too. I was just looking at a dress on there last week and I could have bought an $1,100 dress for $75. David's Bridal has dresses that you can buy online and they are pretty reasonable in price. You could also go to one of their $99 sales.
Photography- You could try and hire a photography student or someone who is just starting to build their business and save some money. Photography is the one thing that we are not going to scrimp on though.
Favors- Skip them or do something very simple. I'm going to be doing cellophane bags filled with jellybeans. I ordered labels from Vista Print for free (just had to pay $3.35 for shipping) that I'll stick to each bag. They say "Thanks for BEAN here" and have our names and wedding date printed on them. I wasn't going to spend $30 on tags for my favors. I bought ribbon on eBay to tie them with for $1.85. And I'm going to buy the jellybeans when they go on sale after easter (2012 of course).
Accessories- I'm trying to save money by staying away from "wedding" companies like Rexcraft and Invitations by Dawn. I've been buying that stuff on eBay. My cake topper was $2.50, cake serving set was $5.95 and toasting flutes were .99. I could have easily spent $60 in total on those three items. See if your relatives/friends have anything that you can borrow or you can DIY some things. You could get champagne glasses from a dollar store and then add some pretty ribbon/flowers to them.
I think that you will be fine with that budget especially since you have a small guest list. I'm going to have under 50 people and my budget is $3,000. Think outside the box and keep things simple- that's my best wedding planning advice. :)