My Frugal Simcha features reader’s stories about their beautiful simchas – on a budget. If you have hosted a budget-friendly wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Brit Milah or other simcha, we’d love to read about it! Please fill out this form to submit your story.
By Jessica Levy
Let me first state that this was not my simcha. It was the wedding of two of our dear friends and I lent a helping (frugal) hand.
Weddings can be a HUGE expense, but there are many ways to cut costs so that you can spend money on what is most important to you. For this couple, the most important aspects were the food, dress and rings. I helped to reduce costs everywhere else!
I should also add that this was a small wedding (60-70 people), but the ways we saved money can be applied to any size wedding – even a much bigger one.
The first thing we did was try to find cheap decor, but we didn’t want to lose the elegant atmosphere of the wedding. We found that using fake roses looked just as good as the real deal for these contemporary centerpieces. I had the vases on hand from a previous simcha and the rest was bought from The Dollar Tree or the after x-mas clearance at Michael’s (gotta love 75% off!). For all 9 centerpieces, we spent just around $200.
We found that buying linens was cheaper than renting. Luckily we live close to a big party supply company with very competitive prices, and the linens and napkins were around $150. I used dollar store plastic table cloths, tulle and fake roses for the buffet, cake and reception tables. It added a nice atmosphere and only cost about $40.
My favorite money saver was the bride’s bouquet! I got 2 dozen red roses at Aldi for $16. I got the white satin ribbon from the dollar store and the pearl pins 50% off at Hobby Lobby for $2. I only spent a total of $19! With the help of YouTube and 30 minutes of my time, I think it turned out beautifully! We made flower girl baskets from baskets found at Goodwill, some cut white satin, and mad glue gun skills. The total cost was only $6 for two baskets.
We were lucky to have a local Rabbi help us borrow a chuppah, and he decorated it – all free of charge! The venue was a local shul and it was very cheap. Even the shul chairs matched our theme colors!
All in all, the wedding was beautiful and the couple was happy with how it turned out! Though it definitely helps to have a low maintenance bride, I think if you sit down and talk about what is most important to the couple, then you should be able to reach a happy middle.
Jessica is a stay at home/work at home wife and mom. She married the love of her life and together they have 2 beautiful, yet energetic, children. She does lots of crafty/sewing type projects on the cheap. She likes to think of herself sort of as a Martha Stewart on a budget.