How To Have A Wedding For Under $5,000

Weddings can cost a fortune. But they don't have to break the bank if you're not married to the idea of a wearing couture gown or lighting fireworks during your reception.

Here are some great tips that will help you plan a beautiful wedding for $5,000 or less.

1. Keep It Intimate: If there are folks that you'd love to include in your celebration, but can't without overspending, invite them to come to the reception later in the evening; this way, they can be part of your day, but you don't have to cover the cost of their meals.

2. Have A Garden Or Backyard Wedding: Private venues can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 -- and that doesn't include catering! Ask a a friend or relative if you can have the wedding in their backyard or garden. Rent a tent (in case it rains) and decorate the space with twinkle lights, paper lanterns, votive candles and other inexpensive decor.

3. Fire Up The Grill: Stick with the backyard theme and serve your favorite barbecued treats. You can do anything from hamburgers to filet Mignon on the grill, depending how (in)formal you want the meal to be. Or, have a cocktail-style reception with a spread of homemade appetizers contributed by family and friends.

4. Signature Cocktail:  Sangria or a signiture punch would be a good choice during cocktail hours.It's inexpensive because it can be made ahead and you don't need bartenders (guests can help themselves). Put wine on the tables for dinner and offer a cash bar for the rest of the night.

5. Ask A Friend To Snap Pics: Suggest that a friend with an artistic eye and a DSLR camera take photos of you and your hubby before, during and after the ceremony in lieu of a wedding gift.  It's not expensive to develop the film and the pics are bound to be far more hilarious than what a professional photographer would have captured.

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