Plan Your Wedding on a Budget

Get creative tips from real-life brides on how to plan an unforgettable wedding while still saving money.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionInstead of ordering wedding flowers from a florist, Lauren and Mark Lazzari picked their own at a local farm.

All About

The Couple: Lauren and Mark Lazzari
The Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Lauren's Story: "Mark and I wanted a wedding that was low-impact on the planet — very natural yet beautiful. To accomplish this, we shopped locally and re-used what we could. I bought my dress at a local bridal store, about two blocks from where we live, from the discount rack for $200. Luckily it fit perfectly and was just what I had in mind. The nice part about being environmentally friendly is that it's generally budget friendly as well. By keeping our wedding low-impact, we were able to pull off a wedding that was more beautiful that I could have ever imagined and we ended up saving a lot of money as well."

Her Tips:

Re-use family heirlooms: "For our rings we went to a local jeweler and had some rings that were in my family put together to make my ring set. Not only is my wedding ring very special because of the family history, we saved a bundle by not buying a new set. Re-using existing items like this is also environmentally friendly."

Pick your own bouquet: "Instead of ordering our wedding flowers from a florist, we went to a local farm that also runs a cut-flower business and picked our own. We gathered enough to make all of the bouquets, boutonnieres and floral arrangements and, of course, it cost much less than purchasing the flowers from a florist."

Save money and the environment — go vegetarian: "We had the reception at a local hall which had walls of windows on three sides, so we had the comforts of being inside, especially in case of inclimate weather, while being able to enjoy the beauty of outside. No need to worry about expensive meat courses, the food was all vegetarian and very delicious. Instead of one big expensive cake, we had delicious individual chocolate ganache cakes made for each guest by the reception hall's in-house bakery."