Not ready to drop a small fortune on your wedding? With a little time and creativity, these DIY wedding hacks can keep money in your pocket and help you create a beautiful, low impact celebration. Use these tips to plan a DIY wedding on a budget that reduces the environmental and economical impact of your day.
With the average cost of a wedding between $20,000 and $30,000 and the average wedding creating 400-600 pounds of trash (in a single day), it’s no wonder that more and more couples are looking for ways to lower the cost- and environmental impact -of their big day. The good news? From micro-weddings to backyard affairs, there are so many ways to cut costs and create a low-impact affair. And, they often result in a more intimate, unique celebration. Keepings things on the simple side is a great way to reduce waste and lower the environmental impact of your celebrations. These 10 DIY wedding hacks do both, so you can have a DIY wedding on a budget that’s both elegant and eco-friendly!
10 DIY Wedding Hacks That Will Save You $1,000’s
1. Opt for paperless invites
Between designing, printing, and mailing, wedding invitations alone can eat up your wedding budget. Luckily, there are many options for communicating information about your event without using the mailbox. Build a free wedding website using a provider like The Knot or Zola. Then, send out digital invitations in lieu of paper. Programs like Greenvelope even allow you to track RSVPs, which will make keeping track of wedding guests easier than ever! You’ll be able to send and track invitations for less than $100 (rather than the $400 or more that paper invites cost).
2. Use live greenery instead of buying expensive florals
Wedding florals are often a large part of wedding costs. When you’re planning your DIY wedding on a budget, you’ll likely want to look for alternatives for this part of the day. First, look at what you’ve already got around you. If you or nearby family and friends have a collection of potted plants, consider arranging them to create a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony. You can easily fit your wedding theme by buying or decorating the pots to match. With most of the greenery already accounted for, you’ll be free to add a pop of color with small accents of local flowers.
Don’t have a green thumb? You can rent plants for your event for a reasonable price- check out your local florist or nursery for options.
3. Make your own eco-friendly wedding confetti
We love this DIY wedding hack because it’s simple and eco-friendly. Most confetti is made from plastic materials. This leaves your grand exit covered in tiny bits of microplastic, many of which won’t be properly disposed of. Instead, make your own eco-friendly wedding confetti with a simple hole-puncher. If you have a bridal shower or any other pre-wedding event, dry the florals from the party, then use the hole-puncher to create completely natural, biodegradable confetti.
4. Opt for a cocktail hour instead of a meal
While there are plenty of ways to lower the cost of your reception, opting for a cocktail hour instead can drastically reduce your wedding budget, and it’s usually easier to make your own food for a cocktail hour, instead of cooking a full dinner for 100. Create an appetizer station with a spread of dips, cheeses, and olives (most of which can be easily prepped ahead of time). Rather than tables and chairs, leave space for guests to mingle between some high-top tables for resting their drinks. Serve finger food and use small compostable plates and bamboo napkins rather than more costly ceramic options. Saying goodbye to a sit-down meal has benefits other than a reduced cost- you’ll also be able to visit with more guests after the ceremony!
5. Rent or buy resale wedding attire
While it’s been common practice to rent wedding suits, the practice of renting or buying resale wedding gowns is gaining popularity. For something that’s usually only worn once, wedding dresses are rarely inexpensive, and they take a toll on the environment. In fact, the fashion industry is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to creating pollution and trash. You can keep items out of the landfill and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by renting rather than buying a wedding dress. Inquire about options at your local wedding dress boutique, or browse online marketplaces for resale wedding dresses.
6. Turn your dinnerware into decor
Use your dinnerware for double-duty by making it a unique part of your DIY wedding table decor. Personalize compostable bamboo plates by using a woodburner to add unique messages to each plate. It’s sure to be a one-of-a-kind addition, and it’ll reduce the need for too many other decorations.
7. Gift guests with a piece of the celebration
Don’t want your guests to leave empty-handed? Planning a DIY wedding on a budget doesn’t mean you have to leave out the touches that help your guests remember your celebration. Instead, gift them with a part of the celebration itself by offering a set of eco-friendly, reusable utensils. Choose a set that comes with a storage pouch so guests can easily bring their gifts home with them. This way, you provide cutlery for your reception, a gift for you guests, and you help them use eco-friendly solutions in their daily life. Now that’s what we call multi-purpose!
8. Create a self-service bar
If you’re serving alcohol at your wedding, consider creating a self-service drink station rather than hiring a bartender. Decide upon a few cocktails and serve them in rented or borrowed drink dispensers. Rather than wine, consider serving sangria in the same fashion. And look for growlers of local beer instead of cans. You’ll reduce waste and save money by buying in bulk and returning the containers after the party.
9. Use bridesmaids bouquets as table centerpieces
If you’re choosing to have a bridal party, reuse bridesmaids bouquets as table centerpieces. All you’ll need is a set of glass jars ready and waiting for the ceremony to finish, and the final touch for the table can be easily added in. If you opted to decorate your ceremony with live greenery, use smaller plants for table decorations instead of flowers. Either way, you’ll be lowering the impact of your celebration by re-using decor, rather than buying more.
10. Choose multi-purpose furniture
With a little effort, you can easily move furniture from the ceremony to the reception. While your guests are enjoying cocktail hour, loop in a few helpful friends or family members to help move chairs from the ceremony spot over to the reception area. And, rather than scramble for more decorations, move your ceremony arch over as well. Use it to designate the wedding party table or serve as a backdrop for the drink station.
Planning a low-impact DIY wedding on a budget can be an exciting challenge! Find more inspiration and even more DIY wedding hacks to use at your upcoming celebration on our wedding inspiration page.