How to Get Married For Less Than $500

March 25, 2023
6 min

A budget wedding is feasible, even in today's market. The key component is to be creative and resourceful while also being flexible and inventive. Getting married today is a costly affair, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some ideas you can try to keep your wedding under $500 but still memorable and special to your needs. Courtly specializes in budget friendly weddings, as the basic package only starts at $499. All you would need to do is fill out some basic information about yourself and your spouse to be and Courtly will take care of the rest of the paperwork.  If you still want to have a ceremony, listed below are some of the tricks and tools you can use to save some money. 

Here are 9 Tips for Keeping Your Wedding Budget Under $500

Keep the guest list small 

Inviting everybody you know could really cost an arm and a leg in a wedding. It's important to invite only those who you MUST have present at your wedding.  Keeping your guest list limited to just your immediate family and few close friends could really save you a lot of money.  Only having close family members and close friends present in weddings can create a more intimate and meaningful event. As an alternative for those who will not physically attend the wedding, you may also consider live streaming or hosting a reception for those who could not make it.

If you're opting for a virtual wedding like the one Courtly offers, you are able to invite as many as 100 guests to attend your virtual ceremony, so this can alleviate the cost of having them present at your ceremony while still being able to share your special day with you, even if it is just online.

As the COVID19 epidemic and the ensuing social isolation policies have made it challenging to organize conventional in-person marriages, virtual weddings have grown in popularity. The couple will require dependable technology, a well-thought-out guest list, and an expertly prepared ceremony to have a successful virtual wedding.

Woman in White Wedding Dress Holding Hand to Man in Black Suit

Host the ceremony and reception at home or a public park

You can avoid paying rental fees by holding the event in your house or at a public park. Consider having your ceremony in your home, a friend's home, or a public place if you want an intimate wedding with your family and friends in attendance. With the restrictions from COVID-19 slowly weaning, couples are now able to have face to face weddings so if you want to try and save some money, you can try this option. 

DIY decorations

Hiring a wedding planner or a decorator can be quite costly. Instead create your own DIY decorations by using YouTube tutorials and Pinterest to create the ambiance you are seeking. If you are handy with scissors and a hot glue gun, the possibilities are endless in what you can make for your ceremony. You can even make a gathering of it, by inviting friends and family to take part in making the decorations which can make your wedding day more inclusive. 

While DIY decorations can be cost-effective, it can also be time-consuming and stressful so couples should plan accordingly and give themselves enough time to create the decorations. But if you're crafty and enjoy making things, then making your own wedding decorations is a no-brainer!

Simple wedding attire

In today's fashion, wedding attire does not only end with a long white gown or a tuxedo. There are many other options for the couple to find the perfect outfit for their big day. Consider thrifting your get-up or repurposing your parents old attire.  With fashion always evolving, maybe a vintage look will be the one that may be ideal for you. Shopping at discount stores or even renting, you could save a ton of money on an outfit you may only wear once.  If you don't want to go the traditional route of wearing a white dress, check out RentTheRunway as they offer an array of dresses that may suit your style. The best part, you don't even need to clean the outfit after you wear it. All you have to do is send it back in the pre-packaged slip and they'll take care of everything for you. 

Potluck reception

Instead of hiring a caterer, have a potluck reception where guests bring their own dish to share. Each guest can bring their favorite dishes which will surely make it a meal worth remembering.  Having the reception at a restaurant or hiring a caterer can be expensive, so hosting your celebration at home or a public place while your guests bring the food could be ideal if you're on a budget. 

Self-uniting marriage

In some states, you can legally marry without an officiant. This is called a self-uniting marriage, and it can save you money on an officiant's fee.  Also known as self-solemnized or Quaker weddings, are a type of marriage ceremony in which the couple chooses to marry without the presence or assistance of a third-party officiant such as a religious leader or civil servant. Instead, the couple themselves declare their intention to marry and exchange vows in front of witnesses.

Self-uniting marriages may not be the ideal choice for everyone, and it's crucial to remember that not all states or nations recognize them. It's crucial to research applicable laws in your state/country before proceeding. In some circumstances, having an officiant might give you more legal protection and guarantee that your marriage is legal and binding.

Use a free wedding website

Another way a couple can save money is to use a free wedding website to send digital invitations instead of paper invitations. Greetings Island is a website you can use to make the wedding invitation of your dreams.  They make it easy to pick one with templates you can follow. By using an online platform like Greetings Island, the couple can also save money on the postage stamp or save time in gathering all the addresses of all your guests. It's an easy win-win. 

However, do note that not all guests may have computer access for online invitations, so couples should consider sending paper invitations to those who may need it.

Have a weekday wedding

Opting for a weekday wedding can also save you some money. Venues and vendors often charge less for weekday weddings than they do for weekend weddings. 

Ask for help

Ask family and friends to help with the wedding planning instead of hiring a wedding planner.  You can ask friends and family to take your photos or provide the music which can make your special day more intimate and memorable. You can also ask to borrow items like a cake stand or tablecloths, for your wedding from your friends and family.

Final Thoughts

By using these tips for your wedding, you may be saving money, but you are also creating a more momentous occasion for yourselves and the guests because they are taking a bigger part in the logistics.  Including your friends and family in the planning of the details to your wedding will not only make it unique but also create a level of celebration more up to speed with the way the couple wants. 

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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