How to plan a wedding in 1 week & under $1,000 dollars

I have a friend putting together a wedding for her cousin in one week. Will not go into the intimate details on why their was only a 7 day window but I hope to pass on some valuable insight into what sacrifices must be made when planning a quick & cheap wedding so quickly.

last minute weddings cause stress
last minute weddings cause stress

I give kudos to those married couples that have done something like this before, inspite of surprising last minute injuries. Of course, in their case it was her second wedding, not her first. I was also reading this:

If you have a little flexibility and make decisions fast, you can save big bucks on your wedding day. As Chris Mohr, a longtime wedding minister at Foothills Chapel in Colorado, explains, “People pull off pretty elaborate funerals in just a few days all the time.” Not to be macabre, but weddings aren’t that different — location, ceremony, flowers, music, food. . . .

Here are 5 quick advantages of a wedding on a short notice:

  1. Shorter notice typically means fewer guests attend, and the more time families ponder guest lists, the longer those lists get.
  2. Vendors are more likely to negotiate on short notice..IF they have an opening on that day.
  3. Less time results in simpler weddings. All those personalized extras cost time and money. When you don’t have time, you’re less likely to fall into the bridal vortex that convinces you oodles of add-ons are necessary. Guests don’t notice if the candy is monogrammed.  Trust me…Nobody cares…
  4. You end up buying a white dress at a discount store instead of splurging on an expensive gown that spend weeks to find.
  5. Focus more on the big picture than on the tiny details.

Look forward to giving you all of the inside details once it’s complete!!

4 thoughts on “How to plan a wedding in 1 week & under $1,000 dollars

  1. Hi I know it has been almost years since you posted this article, but I was wondering how did her wedding turn out? Where did they divide the cost, food(what was served), location, # of guests attended, decorations, attire for bridal party(including cost of dress) of bridal party.

    1. The wedding turned out really nice. They ended up doing it out at a state park and just had some friends reserve a spot for it earlier in the day and put some simple decorations. For invitations, they just created a private Facebook event page and invited key people by a phone call. Instead of worrying with food they ended up going to their parents house afterward for a simple barbeque with hamburgers and hot dogs. The main point was to spend a little time with family and close friends. They only had about 25 people attend since it was such short notice but that worked out well.

      They used some white fold out chairs borrowed from their local church and just decorated only the chairs along the walkway with a simple wide ribbon in the yellow color she wanted. The men just wore black suits with rented white tux shirts and black bow ties. The bride found her wedding dress on Craigslist (very lucky) for $100 and her mom made some small modifications, being an ex-seamstress within about 1 hour. Her 3 bridemaids just wore simple lemon dresses from Target that were $25 a piece.

  2. That sounds wonderful. Everything worked out as planned, they stayed under budget :), had a nice wedding, and they were happy. I have done a small function for 12 guests with burgers & fries, so I know sometimes that can add too, unless you omit the cheese & veggies on the burger :)…You gave me some great ideas with borrowing the chairs or tables from my local church, and doing the private invite on Facebook. I found a $400 David’s bridal dress off of Craigslist for $15, but I gave her $20 b/c I was so excited, also I told her if she ever needs a cake I will bake it free of charge. I may add a small alteration to it.

    I’m a cake artist, so I have always wanted to do my own cake since I was a little girl. I found a very huge roll of tulle for $7 at a thrift store. I also only want about 3 bridesmaids, and I plan on finding their dress at a great price as well. I want an evening ceremony and reception on a beach or nice backyard, with paper lanterns($1.43 each), tea light candles & lots of white Christmas lights,which can be found at yard sales for as cheap as $1-$2 for a huge roll. No more that 75 guests max is 90, but we both have large families, and just my intermediate family on my dad’s side is about 50 people, so not all will make the guest list once we split the 75. I know the more guests the more the food will cost.

    I cook and present food like it’s been catered, but I know I will not be able to do it since I’m doing my cake, I have a friend who cooks great Caribbean food, just like me, even better :), so I may see if we can divide up a 3 course meal b/t 3 people ( meat, starch(rice of course,a 25lb bagof Jasmine Rice is $18 at Sam’s club )and a vegetable. Out of my 7 aunts, I’ll see if 3 of them can make 3 different salads. No alcohol b/c they will be a lot of younger people there, and I don’t want it to end early b/c someone can’t control their alcohol, but I’m sure my dad will probably bring his:) Working years as a server in college, taught me how to set up elegant napkin folds. His friend is a DJ, and his dad is a pastor. He has a lot of dress pants, so I guess his attire depends on how formal or informal the bridesmaids dresses will be.

    I’m estimating maybe $350 for food, (depending on the place nice back yard of a family or friend free), but we may need a dance floor,depending on the yard, and budget out for the chairs and tables if we cannot get them for free at the church, and some table clothes. Maybe barter my cakes services for a photographer( a newbie with a great portfolio wishing to expand it), and a few more simple decorations.. I really would like for us to be able to pay for everything by ourselves b/c I feel like as soon as parents start paying for things, your decisions no longer matter, and a lot more people will be there than u expect. Do u think the white plastic table covers for banquet tables would be okay since it is an outdoor evening setting, especially if the tables are are set up nice?

    I was researching the web to see if I can find the long ones, if not search yard sales and Craigslist for the cloth ones. a shorter notice will definitely keep the guest list down.

    1. Monica,
      You have some really solid ideas, you can pull off a nice wedding on a small budget. One thing I would not skimp out on is a good photographer. Even if you have to trade future cake services get a good one. I guarantee you will regret it if you don’t….

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