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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All About

The Couple: Kara and Stephen Butcher
The Location: Siesta Key, Fla.

Kara's Story: "You don't have to spend a fortune to have a nice wedding. I was able to save my parents' money and myself from many headaches by planning the ceremony on a budget of $3,000. I managed to have the wedding and reception exactly how I envisioned and still come in right under budget."

Her Tips:

Shop around: "I shopped bridal consignment shops locally for my dress. I bought my dress for $300 and spent $75 on alterations. I searched online for a photographer and found an awesome one who did great work and most importantly — did not charge a fortune. I found a professional service to set-up all of my chairs on the beach and provide simple decorations for the small cost of just $275, this included the aisle runner, sound system and basic decorations."

Keep it simple by choosing a theme: "My bouquet was a stem of blue hydrangea bought for $7 at a flower shop and accented with a simple white ribbon. The bouquet also served double-duty as my 'something blue.' Our ceremony was ocean-front, so I chose a beach theme for decorating my indoor reception. I used sky blue and peach as the colors to mimic sand and water. Seashells were scattered over all the tables and two palm trees were brought in to stand on each side of the wedding party table. The wedding cake was decorated with tropical colors and accented with edible chocolate palm trees and seashells. Each centerpiece was a simple hurricane with a lit white candle surrounded by peach and sky blue glass beads and assorted seashells. Simple can be elegant."

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