Are you a participant?

15 Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas For A Magical Day On A Budget


Jane Ng 22 April, 2024 8 min read

Dreaming of an outdoor wedding that’s as stress-free on your budget as it is beautiful? You’re in the perfect place. Outdoor weddings offer a unique way to celebrate your love surrounded by nature – and they don’t have to cost a fortune.

This blog post is packed with 15 creative, cheap outdoor wedding ideas. We’ll help you make your big day as unforgettable as it is budget-friendly. Let’s dive in!

Table Of Contents

Your Dream Wedding Starts Here

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas

Planning an outdoor wedding on a budget can still be incredibly stylish and memorable. Let’s walk through 15 cost-effective outdoor wedding ideas, complete with some nifty tricks and tips:

1/ Embrace Nature’s Venue: 

Choose a stunning outdoor location like a beach, forest clearing, botanical gardens, vineyards, or public park, where nature does all the decorating for you. These spots often require a small fee (or none at all) for a wedding permit, saving a bundle on venue costs.

Tips for choosing an outdoor venue:

  • Always research permit requirements for your chosen location.
  • Visit the space in advance at the same time of day as your wedding.
  • Ensure the location is accessible for all guests, possibly requiring extra directions or transportation assistance.

2/ DIY Wildflower Bouquets: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Pinterest

Choose a few larger, showy wildflowers (like sunflowers or dahlias) as your centerpieces. Surround them with smaller wildflowers and greenery.

3/ Picnic Tables and Blankets: 

Renting or borrowing picnic tables for dining can be much cheaper than traditional wedding setups. Throw in some cozy blankets for seating on the grass to add a laid-back, picnic vibe.

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Chelsea A
  • Keep table decor simple with small, low-lying floral arrangements or potted plants that won’t obstruct conversation.
  • If available, use wooden picnic tables for a rustic look. These can be decorated with table runners, centerpieces, or even simple garlands of greenery.

4/ Twinkling Fairy Lights:

Buy strands of fairy lights in bulk and drape them around for a magical evening glow. They transform any space without much effort.

5/ Homemade Lemonade Stand: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Bridal Musings

A self-serve lemonade or iced tea stand is perfect for a summer wedding. It’s refreshing, cute, and inexpensive to set up with large dispensers and mason jars for glasses.

6/ Potluck-Style Reception: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Pinterest

For a small, intimate wedding, consider a potluck reception. It brings a sense of community as each guest brings a dish to share, significantly cutting down catering costs.

7/ Use a Spotify Playlist: 

All you need is a good set of speakers – Source: steph bohrer

Instead of hiring a DJ or band, curate your own wedding playlist on Spotify. This personal touch not only saves money but ensures your favorite songs are played.

💡 Read also: 16 Fun Bridal Shower Games for Your Guests to Laugh, Bond, and Celebrate

8/ DIY Photo Booth with Props: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Damaris

Set up a photo booth area with a beautiful backdrop (think: fabric, fairy lights, or a natural setting). Add a basket of fun props and a Polaroid camera or a tripod with a smartphone.

9/ Thrift Store Finds: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Bridal Guide Magazine

Visit thrift stores for unique, vintage decorations and dishware. Mixing and matching plates and glasses can add a charming, eclectic vibe to your tables.

10/ Simple, Elegant Invitations: 

Design your own invitations using free graphic design websites and print them on quality cardstock. Alternatively, going digital with your invites can save money and trees!

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Lilac & White

Here are some ideas to enhance the elegance of your simple invitations:

  • Minimalist: Focus on beautiful fonts and clean layouts. Play with spacing for impact.
  • Botanical Touches: Add delicate watercolor illustrations of leaves, florals, or branches.
  • Embossing or Foil: Consider having key elements like your names or the date embossed or foil-pressed (specialty print shops can do this affordably for small batches).

💡 Got any ideas for the invitation yet? Get some inspiration in Top 5 E Invite for Wedding Websites to Spread The Joy.

11/ BYOB Bar – Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas: 

Image: Pinterest

If your venue allows, a Bring Your Own Booze option can be a huge cost saver. You can also provide a couple of signature drinks in large dispensers for a personal touch.

12/ Mason Jar Centerpieces: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Janelle Rendon

Mason jars are incredibly versatile and can fit any wedding theme from rustic to elegant. Here’s how to make them stand out:

  1. Fill jars with water and arrange wildflowers, baby’s breath, or single-stem blooms for a simple yet beautiful centerpiece. 
  2. Battery-operated fairy lights can be coiled inside clear mason jars to create a magical glow. 
  3. Use them as holders for tea lights or votive candles. 

13/ Handwritten Signs: 

Image: Marry Me Tampa Bay

Grab some wood or chalkboards and handwrite your signs for a personal touch that saves on printing costs. 

  • Welcome Signs: A large wooden sign or chalkboard greeting guests adds a warm touch right from the start.
  • Directional Signs: Guide your guests to different areas of your venue, such as the ceremony site, reception area, and restrooms.
  • Menu and Program Boards: Instead of printing individual menus or programs, use a large chalkboard to display the day’s schedule or what’s for dinner.

14/ Paper Lanterns: 

Image: Stressfree Hire

Paper lanterns are a fantastic way to add color and dimension to your wedding decor. Choose colors that complement your wedding palette. For a more elegant look, stick with white or pastel lanterns. For a pop of color, mix and match vibrant shades.

15/ Wedding Cake Alternatives: 

Cheap Outdoor Wedding Ideas – Image: Pinterest

Instead of a traditional (and often pricey) wedding cake, consider alternatives like 

  • Cupcake Tower: Cupcakes can be decorated to fit your wedding theme and are easy for guests to serve themselves. Plus, you can offer multiple flavors.
  • Pie Station: Perfect for rustic or autumn weddings.
  • DIY Dessert Bar: Invite guests to create their own dessert masterpiece. Provide a selection of brownies, cookies, and fruits, along with toppings like sprinkles, nuts, and syrups.

Entertainment That Won’t Break the Bank

Diving into budget-friendly entertainment options is always exciting! And AhaSlides might be your secret weapon.

Wedding Quiz | 50 Fun Questions to Ask Your Guests in 2024 - AhaSlides

Create live polls, quizzes, and interactive slideshows that get guests involved using their smartphones. Imagine a fun quiz about your love story – “Where was your first date?” or “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” It turns those special moments into a hilarious and heartwarming activity.

Give your guests a unique and memorable experience with this clever, interactive twist – they’ll be talking about it for years!

Final Thoughts

Creating the outdoor wedding of your dreams doesn’t have to empty your bank account. With a sprinkle of creativity, a dash of DIY spirit, and the natural beauty of the great outdoors, you can say “I do” in a setting that’s as breathtaking as it is budget-friendly. Remember, the heart of your wedding is the love you share, and that’s priceless.