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Outdoor Wedding Ideas on a Budget That Will Save You Money

garden wedding ideas on a budget

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One of the challenges most couples face when it comes to their wedding is, celebrating their nuptials on the actual budget. It is common for couples to shortfall of their desired or expected budget since the average for weddings amounts to thousands of dollars. As a result, many couples have to settle for lower figures. However, that doesn’t mean you will not have a magnificent wedding experience. Our outdoor wedding ideas on a budget are there to save the day, and ensure you celebrate your nuptials in style without breaking the bank.

Wedding Venues Ideas On a Budget

  • Beach wedding,
  • Backyard wedding,
  • Public park wedding

Outdoor weddings are an alternative to traditional weddings, and with the easy availability of cheap outdoor wedding venues such as hotel ballrooms, churches, and banquet halls, you will hardly lack a venue that fits your budget. Below are some outdoor wedding venues on a budget ideas.

Beach wedding

Sometimes all you need is just the two of you and the ocean waves to witness your love. Promise ‘to love and cherish’ each other at the beach on sunrise or sunset with no one but an officiant who will officially marry you. If all you actually want is just to get married without all the fuss, this is your winning outdoor wedding idea on a budget.

Backyard wedding

With a backyard wedding, you will save a lot of money because you may host the wedding on a your own backyard, family member’s yard, or even your friend’s yard. So ultimately, you will not need to pay any venue fees and your wedding guest list will be ideally close family and friends.

Thanks to the many outdoor wedding decoration ideas on a budget that you can easily find online or at a local store, it much cheaper to beautify the backyard. For garden areas that require landscaping work, consider accepting yard work from family and friends instead of traditional wedding gifts.

Public park wedding

A public park is an ideal garden wedding venue on a budget choice. Many city agencies and conservatories across the country offer reservations for outdoor public space for free or for a nominal fee. Maybe that’s where you two met, had the first date, or shared the first kiss! So why don’t you give an oath of eternal love right there where everything started?

Wedding Food Ideas On a Budget

  • Buffet
  • Cocktail party
  • Food and drink stations

Wedding catering is one of the items that has been altered the most in recent years, especially due to the relaxation of protocols and lower budgets. Many alternatives exist nowadays as a substitution for the classic wedding menus that will go hand-in-hand with the outdoor atmosphere.


The self-service option will be great for reducing the price per meal. It gives the guests greater freedom to choose what they want to eat and expands the food variety. Despite the splendor of elongated tables full of different food, buffet is an excellent wedding food idea on a budget when done right.

outdoor wedding buffet

Cocktail party

Skip meals entirely and go with hors d’oeuvres! Include appetizers of colorful finger food items on every bar table and let this ultimate wedding reception food idea on a budget elevate your event to a party. Choose this if the point of your reception is to encourage social relations and give priority to entertainment instead of food. It will cost you less money and it will be more fun.

Food and drink stations

Sushi, fast food, cheese, seafood, veggie — everything you think your guests will enjoy can be made right in front of them and arranged at different stations. Provide a lemonade, beer, wine, or cocktail bar and a station where guests can fill up their finished glasses. Your guests will have the feeling they are at a festival instead of a wedding, so party mode will be on.

DIY Signage and Décor Details

  • Wooden elements
  • Use seasonal flowers
  • Creative centerpieces
  • Lighting

Blackboards, bales of straw, wood, fabrics such as burlap or tulle, paper balloons, garlands, candles… All of these items are good outdoor wedding reception decoration ideas on a budget. These items  are easy to find yet perfect for dressing the wedding venue with style and personality.

Use seasonal flowers

Add a little tenderness with some fall flowers — a basic and key element of wedding decoration. Take advantage of all the possibilities that floral decoration gives you and try to create cardboard letters of your initials and decorate them with different types of flowers.

Wooden elements

All you need is several wood boards with different sizes and shapes and paint of your color choice and you can create your own original wedding stationery. These wooden elements are the right choice if you are into rustic outdoor wedding ideas on a budget. Use it for a welcome sign, table numbers, or pointers to the food and drink bars.

outdoor wedding wedding signage and decor

Creative centerpieces

Use lanterns and small vases for flowers as centerpieces to give simplicity its well-deserved place in weddings. Don’t forget the old mason jars to serve as candle holders to distribute them all around the tables to spread a romantic atmosphere in the air.


Outdoor lighting decor at night will be surreal with the right lighting. So choose it with care and dedicate all the time you consider necessary for it. Warm lights will be the most appropriate, as they will bring tranquility, and romanticism to the stage. Also, you are in luck, because you will be able to choose from a wide range of options that will not cost you a fortune: lanterns, light bulbs, suspension lamps, candles, etc.

The current trend — especially in outdoors weddings — is string lights that are perfect for creating a warm atmosphere, full of magic and great beauty. You will amazed away by its charm! Talk about cool photos, and romantic set up; the string lights are more than a wedding idea on a budget lighting option.

Wedding favors

From handmade soaps to tiny plants, you have a wide range of cheap wedding favors to please your guests with. If you are all into the DIY concept and want to save some money, you’ll love these as inspiration:

  • Mix different dried herbs and make tea bags. Wrap it in an adequate color palette paper to match the rest of your decor;
  • Give succulents planted in teeny tiny pots on which you can write your initials or the wedding date. The good thing about these plants is that you don’t need a green thumb to grow them so I am sure your guests will be thrilled;
  • Hangover kit – after your big wedding party, your guests will most likely thank you for this gift. Put hangover relief essentials (headache pills, vitamins, mints, wipes, etc.) in a paper bag with a labeled message to let your guests know what it’s about. No bigger favor than this one, that’s for sure;
  • Leave them a message in a bottle. Find small tubes and on a small piece of paper, write different love or inspirational notes. Tiny and cute!

Advantages of Outdoor Weddings

1. Natural beauty

One of the main advantages of an outdoor wedding is the fact that nature provides such a calm and magical environment where you will always find beauty. Whether you choose a park, backyard, beach, or forest, everything that will surround you will be part of the wedding decor. Nature will be your biggest wedding decorator.

2. No need for extra decor

You will find many wedding ideas on a budget that include outdoor decoration with a palette of earthy colors. Warm hues help reinforce the natural environment, so filling the place with too many things is completely unnecessary. Nature already has enough elements that you can use, so no need for grass walls as a backdrop or extra foliage details.

3. Perfect lighting

Your decision for doing an outdoor wedding will do wonders for your wedding photos. Natural light is the ideal setting when it comes to a photo so additional equipment will not be needed.

Expert Tip: Avoid Going into Debt

Take it from the Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary, who advises not to be extravagant with weddings. He advocates for saving the money for something that can provide future income, such as investing in bonds or stocks.

He and his wife agreed to throw a pizza party wedding and instead of going into debt, they saved a fortune. They invited their friends over for beer and pizza and hosted their wedding without much fuss. Was it the most romantic thing? No. Did they save a fortune? Yes. And that decision helped them invest in their future and grow their wealth.


Outdoor weddings are an excellent choice of wedding on a budget without appearing cheap. Take advantage of the beauty of nature in all its states. If you want the most amazing decoration, be original and creative, because, in these places, you will celebrate your wedding in style, without much effort.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to keep it as low budget as possible when it comes to weddings?

Limit guest list, host the reception at home, DIY everything you can, and keep it simple.

What is the item that will cost you the most for your wedding?

The wedding venue is the most expensive part of the whole celebration.

Can I have a casual backyard wedding?

Casual backyard weddings are ideal for couples who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on that event but save that money for something more meaningful (ex: make an investment, save for a college fund, buy a house, etc.).

What is the best DIY backyard wedding idea?

Do your own décor with wooden elements, use your own flowers from the garden, give wedding favors that you made it yourself.

How to have a small backyard wedding reception?

Invite only the closest family and friends who can help you organize the whole event and celebrate the way you want it.

What is the most original backyard wedding décor idea?

Include some vintage furniture you have at home, like antique dressers used as lemonade stations, old cupboards as candy bars, sofas, or rugs.

I am Megan Nova, a wedding planner and Author based in New York City. My vast exposure in the wedding planning trade and my passion for storytelling has inspired me to share expert advice and creativity on this blog.

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