Unique Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Updated on November 12, 2012

So the time has come: you watched, shocked and little misty-eyed, as your man lowered one knee to the ground to present you with a shining diamond ring. But, like so many of us, you just don't have $30,000 to blow on a wedding -- but this is your big night! You may not have buckets of cash laying around just waiting to be spent, but that doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful, unique wedding. Read on to find simple yet elegant reception solutions, unique favors and snacks, and even some gorgeous DIY wedding centerpieces.

Fun, Alternative Guest Book Ideas


This is a simple, crafty idea for a guest book. Instead of having guests write their names in a book that will inevitably end up gathering dust in box somewhere, mix things up and have guests write small messages onto an assortment of stones. One thing I love about this idea is that after the wedding, you can either place the stones into a clear vase and leave it out as an in-home decoration, or scatter the stones in a display in your backyard.

Another alternative to the standard guest book is to purchase a large monogram of you and your hubby's initials. Have guests write small messages and sign their names. Later, you can hang the monogram on display in your home.

Simple, Elegant Centerpieces

This is a unique, eye-catching centerpiece (or ceiling decoration, or wall decoration...) that is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. Simply inflate a ballon, wrap several sets of thread or yarn around it, and spray fabric stiffener all over. Once the thread has dried completely, simply pop the balloon and you're left with a gorgeous, unique wedding decoration. Feel free to add extra pieces to it, such as flowers, sequins, streamers or more.

If you want to add a pop of color to your wedding, this is a great way to do it. Simply select some clear vases, fill with water and chunky slices of lemon, then add yellow tulips, daisies, sunflowers -- you name it. Alternatively, you can use slices of lime instead, and use flowers with green accents.

Dollar store vases + distilled water + silk flowers = gorgeous centerpieces. This is a great idea because you can play around with the size and shape of the containers as well as its contents. Add decorative pebbles at the bottom and a light tea candle to float delicately at the top, or let the flowers do the talking. However you do it, this is a simple yet elegant centerpiece that everybody will love.

Fun Wedding Drinks and Snacks

Pre-mixed cocktails in mason jars on ice. This has nice DIY feel to it that everybody will love. Mix up some margaritas, cosmopolitans, Bahama Mamas -- whatever you'd like -- and label the tops of the jars for your guests. Make sure you include some regular Colas for the kids!

This will not only give your guests some delicious fruit to much on, but it has a nice decorative aspect that will add a touch of color to your snack table. Simply cut a watermelon in half, carve a nice pattern into the top, and scoop out some room to place various fruits inside.

Toss in some wedding-themed snacks for your guests to enjoy. Order some cake pops (lollipop-shaped mounds of cake on a stick) and ask to have them decorated with a tuxedo pattern and a lacy white pattern. You can also ask for them to be shaped like mini wedding cakes -- in fact, if you're on a very tight budget or don't care for traditional wedding cakes, make a display of multiple platforms of cake pops in lieu of an actual cake. Another cute snack idea is to bake heart-shaped sugar cookies decoarted as mini brides and grooms.

Other Fun Ideas

When the time comes to hit the dance floor, set out a basket of flip-flops and encourage guests to don a pair. Your female guests will love you for it; spending hours in high heels doesn't really encourage one to get into a dancing mood. Let them give their feet some freedom and push them out onto the dance floor!

Place a sign or chalkboard on each guest table and write a song title on it. Let your guests know that when their song starts playing, it's their turn to get up and grab some grub! This is an especially handy idea if you've invited a large number of people to your wedding; since everybody has a specific time slot in which to fill their plates, you don't have to worry about crowding around the table.

This is a really cute idea that everybody is sure to love. Pick up a tin mailbox at a thrift store and scrawl "marriage advice" on the side. You can place this out by your guest book, OR you can wait until the liquor starts flowing to put it out -- you'll get some helpful and kooky pieces of advice to enjoy after the reception.

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Set this out on a table during your reception and let guests make contributions to your honeymoon. Not only is this a very cute idea, but people will enjoy helping you out with a little spending money during your honeymoon.

After the Wedding...

Save some petals from your wedding bouquet and place them in a clear Christmas ornament. Hang it on your tree every year and remember what an amazing time you both had. This is a beautiful way to commemorate your union, and you'll love knowing that you'll always have a little piece of that day to keep with you forever.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Patsy skorupa 7 months ago

      Where can we get the stones to write messages on?

    • profile image

      Adi 7 months ago

      Love it!

    • profile image

      andy 2 years ago

      that's nice

    • profile image

      Jody 3 years ago

      How do you keep the flowers from floating back up?

    • SilentMagenta profile image

      SilentMagenta 3 years ago

      I don't know which one is my favorite the balloons with yarn sounds like a perfect decoration to hang from the trees for an outdoors wedding. Thank you.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      the pebbles wedding gift is very special and cheap too

    • Theresa Franklin profile image

      Theresa Franklin 3 years ago from Hemphill, TX

      Wonderful ideas. We had used the mason jars at my daughter's wedding. Before the wedding, I cut a stencil of the bride and grooms initials out of vinyl. Then I adhered it to one jar, covered it with etching powder. Washed it off and their initials were etched on the glass. I only did 160 jars. It really doesn't take very long if you get a system set up. The crowd loved them.

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 4 years ago from USA

      What wonderful ideas! My son and his girl are planning an outdoor wedding, so the rocks with notes instead of a guest book is perfect! In fact the Mason jars would go great with an outdoor wedding as well. And the "wedding advise" mailbox fits too!

      So glad I found your Hub!

      Voted up and more!

    • profile image

      Coralie {reallifeweddingideas} 4 years ago

      I really like the little rocks in the jar with people writing personal messages to the couple. I will definitely promote this in my wedding ideas section




    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 4 years ago from United States

      I soooo love the mason jars idea. Very clever and creative, as well as fun! :)

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      I love all these ideas for a wedding on a budget especially the first one with the rocks to sign and the last one where you preserve your flower petals in an ornament. Pinning :)

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Great hub with a lot of information and images! Thanks for sharing!