Matthew and Brittany Verleger pose during the ocean on their own wedding ceremony, May 3, 2017, in Port Orange, Florida. Their budget: $4,000.

Matthew, a 37-year-old associate professor of engineering, and Brittany, 32, who works as being an assistant manager in the outlet, had accumulated $47,000 in debt on the education loan, autoloans and charge cards want we were holding engaged. They had been determined to not gain extra debt – and stress – with investing in their wedding and reception.

“That’s a bad technique to begin a life together,” Brittany says.

Spending less within the wedding freed up more funds for your couple’s $5,000 honeymoon: a cruise to your Caribbean.

“Our priority was more information on that week together than that day,” Matthew says.

Tap family and friends

Enlisting close friends to help you with services, like Brittany’s hair and makeup, was one strategy helpful to cut wedding costs.


According to average cost estimates via the Knot, the Verlegers saved hard earned money thanks to family and friends who volunteered that will help. Brittany’s photographer friend agreed to take pictures, someone of Matthew’s shot the video and Brittany’s cousin did her hair and makeup and was the DJ within the reception. When you have connections that are able to volunteer or discount their professional services, don’t be afraid to?bring them by means of it.

The Verlegers used Facebook Live to stream the ceremony, which allowed folks that couldn’t attend to watch from afar.

Negotiate prices

Matthew negotiated the beachside ceremony site fee from $2,000 to $500.


Their ceremony developed at the hotel’s garden by the beach in Port Orange, Florida. The positioning was being $2,000, but Matthew negotiated the purchase price to $500. How? He earned a compelling argument: They planned to experience a ceremony with 30 guests for a Wednesday afternoon, an unlikely here we are at others needing to reserve the place.

Shaving $1,500 over cost for your venue probably are not feasible for everyone, however you may find an agreement when you consider additional options, like planning a wedding within an off-peak time.

Shop strategically

Brittany purchased her bridal dress – and some backups – on Amazon. Cost to do this dress: $130.


Brittany shopped for bridal wear at local stores, then searched online for styles exactly like the ones she liked. She bought five dresses – ranging on price from about $30 to $175 – on Amazon to make sure that she had get one she loved. Clothing she wore for that ceremony was $130, a steal in contrast to the $1,000 gowns she saw on the market. Brittany promises to sell the dresses that he didn’t wear.

The Verlegers used exactly the same mindset for other wedding purchases.

“We tried don’t buy anything that we couldn’t either resell or reuse in your regular lives,” Brittany says.

They prefer to sell a bubble machine useful to make a festive sendoff?by the end of the ceremony, while Matthew’s attire – like slacks along with a button-down shirt – are items he’ll wear to be effective.

Matthew and Brittany obtained a regular-size cake and cupcakes at a supermarket rather then opting to spend more money at a large cake from a bakery. It will save you funds on dessert by comparing prices between vendors, swapping the dessert cheaper expensive treats like cookies or candy, or making your own private.

The Verlegers bought a cake and cupcakes at a high-end grocery. Brittany made the cake toppers in the couple’s likeness. Total dessert costs: $60.


Do it yourself

Instead of fresh flowers, Brittany bought silk daisies from Michaels and arranged them. The all inclusive costs to your bouquet was $9.


Turning to Pinterest for inspiration, Matthew and Brittany added their personal touch towards wedding by going the DIY route. They assert the bucks saved and time spent crafting together became a win-win.

Their pre-wedding projects included printing their unique invitations and assembling them using layers of colored paper, daisy stickers and glue sticks. Brittany also purchased artificial flowers from the arts-and-crafts store Michaels for way less than and arranged the vase.

For the reception, the couple made their own personal music playlist, decorated playing card wedding ceremony, set up a sign-and-play Jenga guestbook and created board-game centerpieces that incorporated the things they value most: doing fun activities with friends.

The Verlegers introduced the reception’s playful theme by inviting loved ones to sign the guestbook Jenga.


Tables at the reception featured games like Splendor, Operation and Clue with information regarding Matthew and Brittany’s relationship. Cost: $50.?


The couple gave handmade cards featuring their engagement photos as wedding mementos.

Know your priorities

Matthew and Brittany held their reception along at the coffee house where that they their third date. Cost for the venue, 30 guests, on-site drink and food: $770.


For their reception, the Verlegers selected a sentimental location: any local diner where they started considered one of their early dates. This setting also presented several money-saving opportunities. The 30-person maximum forced the couple to trim the guest list – although a number of guests’ children brought the last tally to 34. Your future wife and groom prioritized by inviting family who live a distance they usually don’t see equally as much.

Brittany and Matthew added just some decorations, simply because such as coffee shop’s aesthetics. And by with a venue that regularly serves food, they did not really need to coordinate having a caterer or rent tables and chairs.

Build money habits to your future

The Verlegers picked a $4,000 wedding and reception budget as they were going to avoid accepting additional debt. They spent $4,263.15 total.


With their budget available, the Verlegers weren’t required to take drastic steps to buy their wedding. They used a blend of budgeting, expense tracking and careful spending.

“Most of the wedding wound up earning for using the windfalls before it starts of the year – each our taxation assessments – and February had been a three-paycheck month in my situation in addition to a five-paycheck month for Brittany,” Matthew says. “So those extra little amounts were used to fund the top end in our wedding.”

They made minimum monthly debt payments and set every spare cent toward the wedding ceremony. Matthew and Brittany caused it to be a degree together to avoid wasting about $500 each month toward their wedding and ceremony. The pair used an app called You require a Budget to check funds and categorize purchases, which helped them prioritize guidelines for their money going forward. As soon as they had enough funds to repay the wedding ceremony and honeymoon, they switched to paying back as many of their debt as you can.

“Our one-year goal by our first anniversary shall be debt-free besides our mortgage,” Brittany says. “At which you cannot use, we have one car the other charge card, though the week before we got married we paid in full my student education loans and then we [just] paid off my car.”

The Verlegers say their resourcefulness and planning helped keep their finances focused.

“There are many things which people fret over in trying to plan their wedding,” Matthew says. Except for them, concentrating on “the ‘I do’s’ as well as the individuals who were there” made their wedding an invaluable day.

Images courtesy of Ali Ross,?Three Birds Photography.