How to Have a Midwest Wedding on a Modest Budget


In 2017, the average cost for a wedding was $25, 764.Ain’t nobody got time for that.Here’s some tips for ballin’ on a wedding budget.

I did a little poll over on my instagram stories asking what my next blog post would be! Joke’s on you guys, I’m doing both. Really, I just needed to know which to do first. Ta-da! I’m going to plug some vendors here and give some advice for planning your wedding that maybe you haven’t considered. Always keep in mind: You get what you pay for. Read reviews! Ask the wedding swap n’ shops! Do your due diligence.

Also, pro tip: If you’re asking for referrals always say your price. “Reasonable” means different things to different people. $3-$4k for a wedding photographer? That’s not insane to me. $3-$4k on a wedding dress? Never. Don’t confuse “reasonable” for priorities. Don’t feel like you have to put yourself in debt for one day either.

  1. Pick what your priorities are for your wedding and put all your money there. Funnel down from that point. This was my 1st step and was definitely the most important. I knew our budget overall was small as we are paying for the majority of our wedding ourselves. I knew that meant I needed a beautiful venue that wouldn’t take much decoration. That also meant that I would need a photographer that could make anything look amazing. Therefore, the majority of our money would need to go towards our venue and our photographer.Do the same for yourself! If you don’t care about photos, get a family friend to do it. I’ve even heard of people just giving the guests disposable cameras and letting them go crazy.
  2. Consider pre-arranged flowers or DIY’ing them. I have never been a flowers girl. I think they’re beautiful, but like I said in my wedding traditions that I’m ditching blog post… I can’t justify spending a ton of money on things that aren’t going to last. I still wanted something pretty though so I found a cost effective way to save. Collections Floral Design Studio is a beautiful floral studio with a caveat. They only have specific color palettes that you can purchase. Thankfully, they had mine (the adorable color palette on the right) and with a minimum order of $500 I couldn’t go wrong.Now, if flowers are a priority for you, I recommend going with one of my favorite vendors. Fine Line Floral is run by the sweetest woman named Meg and everything she does is brilliant. Collections also has a custom floral shop called Good Earth Flowers if you love their work and would like something catered towards your needs.Midwest Wedding on a Budget
  3. Consider buying your wedding attire online – I know what I want. I want a champagne colored dress and I need it to be plus size. I wanna be healthy for my wedding but I don’t have expectations to be a size 2 suddenly. My dress will most likely be coming from Azazie or JJs House and will cost between $300-$500. Other places with inexpensive and non-traditional wedding dresses? ASOS, BHLDN, & ModCloth. Check out this BHLDN dress I’ve been losing my mind over but would never be brave enough to wear.If you want to wear a suit?ASOS has that covered too. (We’ll pretend it doesn’t say they’re men’s suits) There’s also Menguin, The Black Tux, & Generation Tux. These rentals begin at around $89. You can send in your measurements and get a tux at a reasonable price.

Midwest Wedding on a Budget

4. Skip the paper invites – Mother Earth will thank you and so will the people who just end up throwing them out anyway. No one uses paper anymore. All our bills are electronic. All our paperwork is electronic. Why can’t our invites be electronic? Don’t get me wrong. I’m the type of person with a million people’s save the dates and invites peppering my fridge. I love looking at it and seeing the people I love. However, it would also be okay with me if you just sent me a nice e-mail that gives me the opportunity to add the event to my phone’s calendar immediately. Below is a preview of ours through Paperless Post! We have a guest list of about 95. There’s a link to our wedding website where you can RSVP. It cost us about $35.

Great options for this are: Paperless Post, Green Envelope, & Punch Bowl. I used it in conjunction with our wedding website through The Knot. You can also use Zola!

Midwest Wedding on a Budget

5. Elope – Honestly? Fuck it. If it wasn’t for my grandma, I don’t know that I’d even have a whole thing. My family hasn’t had a lot of big celebrations and sometimes you just need a win. What matters most in the end is the marriage. Did you know you can get married at the YMCA in Estes Park, Colorado for around $300? Yes. Really. Actually, You could probably drive to CO and spend less on the whole wedding than you ever would at home. Grab the ones you love the most and go get hitched in CO. Alternate options: Your backyard, Your favorite spot in the park, and maybe even Iceland. Don’t forget to book me along the way. I travel!

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement - Kansas City Wedding Photographer

6. Find a place with a flexible alcohol policy  – One of our requirements was a place where you could bring your own food and alcohol. That way we could find the best deal and also the best tasting items. The cheapest way to do alcohol is Beer and Wine. After consulting with men who drink beer like it’s going out of style, I was told what types of beer to get. I’ll also be getting A sweet and dry red and a sweet and dry white wine. This way, depending on what happens that day, we can return anything unopened to the space. Here’s a link to a handy serving guide one place provided.

7. Get married during the “off-season”– Every region is different. Here in the Midwest? Peak wedding season is from May-October. It varies but I’d say that’s when 85% of us vendors are the most booked. Some people will offer a discount if you fill up their calendars in what would normally be a “dead season”. Same goes for getting married during the week for you intimate wedding havers. For all of us other folk, Fridays/Sundays may be a little cheaper too! For example, we are receiving $500 off our venue’s normal rate for getting married on a Friday!

Curious about more wedding planning tips:

  1. Wedding Traditions I’m ditching for my own wedding 
  2. 10 Questions to Ask your Wedding Photographer
  3. 6 Small Wedding Day Tips for a Big Impact