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Plan Your Entire Wedding at Target (For Less Money Than Your Last Vacation)

Published Wednesday, May. 4th, 2022


Plan a cute & trendy wedding for under $1800 at Target!



Not too long ago, we showed you how to plan an entire backyard wedding at Costco. (It was a fun piece to research, and we have those extra dollar-hot-dog pounds to prove it.)


Well, we’re back with another one-stop shop guide, busting the myth that a custom ceremony has to cost a fortune – or has to be so stressful to plan that you end up saying f*ck it and ditching your family for a last-minute courthouse appointment.


We’ve got no idea how this myth got started, or why there’s so much pressure on engaged couples to spend a fortune just to say “I do.” And we’re tired of seeing planning articles that perpetuate this, or wedding price tags that could easily have been a house downpayment instead. (The average couple spent $22,500 on their wedding reception last year, not including the cost of the ceremony venue, or wedding officiant, via The Knot.)


Fun weddings don't have to be expensive or stressful! 


Now, we don’t have anything against a big bash or courthouse ceremony if that’s your style. But if you’d rather plan a personalized ceremony at home for about the same amount of effort and expense as your last weekend getaway, read on…  



a young couple dance during an evening wedding reception

Get ready to celebrate in style! 


We’ll show you how to plan an entire wedding at Target…
For under $1800. 


(Target –  or as we like to call it, every Elder Millennial’s favorite place to feel fancy.)



In this example, we’ve planned a small backyard wedding with about 20 guests, followed by a festive reception lasting into the night. To keep your wedding costs down: 


  • Keep the guest list small


  • Pick an inexpensive venue like a backyard or public park


  • Ask a friend or family member to officiate. 


If it suits your style, ask friends and family to help with common tasks, like taking photos or bringing food and drinks.




Supply breakdown:

  • Rings: $400
  • Ceremony Decor: $320

Bouquet, balloons, and floral decor: $130

Small table / altar: $90

Blankets: $100

  • Cocktail Hour: $575

Banquet tables: $110

Plastic cups: $5

Trash bags: $10

Ice: $25

Cooler: $60

Canned drinks: $40

Alcohol: $300

Bottled water: $25

  • Dinner: $300
  • Wedding Pies & Sweet Treats: $100
  • First Dance: $100


  • Total: $1795




First, head to

Target has everything from party decorations to groceries and lawn ornaments, so it will be easy to find everything you need. Target even boasts a ‘Wedding Party Supplies’ page to help you get started. You’ll find lots of party decorations for both the ceremony and the reception in cute and colorful styles.  
And remember – Target has a Wedding Registry! 



A photo of Target's wedding registry page

Remember, Target has a wedding registry!



1. Rings

Our budget: $400 or less
There’s no rule that says you have to exchange wedding rings. Couples exchange all kinds of gifts instead of rings, which are just as meaningful, or opt for another unity ritual altogether -- like a symbolic handfasting. 
If you want to exchange rings, Target sells simple platinum and gold wedding bands for under $200 each. 

flowers and rings from the target wedding website

Find floral accents and wedding bands at Target



2. Ceremony Decor


Our budget: $320
Decorations will depend on a few factors: Location, season, time of day, and how many people are attending. 
Our vision: A small table to use as a wedding altar, casual picnic-style seating for about 20 people, balloons and flowers to decorate the altar and aisle, and a beautiful bouquet or two. We probably won’t need tents or additional lighting. 
We purchased a few simple bouquets of artificial roses and peonies in pinks and whites. Some of these will be used for a bouquet to carry down the aisle, and the rest will be placed on the altar as decoration.  
If you don’t own a small table, ask a friend to borrow one, or purchase one for around $90 while you’re picking up flowers. 
For seating, we chose casual camping quilts placed around the altar in a circle, at around $25 each, or $100 total. If this won’t work for your guests, consider renting chairs or ask friends to bring folding chairs or floor pillows.



Hanging lanterns as part of an inexpensive way to add decorative lighting to a DIY wedding ceremony

Find cute mason jars for DIY decorative lighting at Target  



3. Cocktail Hour

Our budget: $575
If you’re holding a wedding in a backyard or park (with permit), offer an open bar. Place a tip jar on the table to cover your bartender’s cab ride home. If a friend or two volunteers to put booze in people’s cups, even better! 
Our vision: Most drinks will come in cans, in addition to three liquor options: vodka, whisky, and rum. We know this might make gin and tequila drinkers sad at first, but those guys always find a way to party anyway. You might also offer bottled beers and wine. 
Keep your mixer options simple: soda water, coke, and ginger ale. If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, you can always up the budget and stock a more comprehensive bar.
Assume there will be nondrinkers, designated drivers, and children at your event, and make sure you have some fun soft drink options for them, too! 
Target sells folding banquet tables for about $55 each. Grab two! One table for supplies, one table for drink prep and serving. 
You’ll need plastic cups (about $5). Bring recyclable trash bags for empty cans, bottles, and paper, or use a few plastic bins (about $10). 
Don’t forget you’ll also need to buy bags of ice, which will cost about $25 for 10 bags. 
You’ll definitely need a big cooler, which you can pick up for around $60. 
Canned drinks will be a matter of taste, but you'll want plain sparkling water as well as mixers. We'll put an estimate around $40.  
Liquor, wine, and beer costs will vary, depending on how many people will be drinking (and how much, for how long). Depending on your drink menu, you'll want several bottles of liquor, 6-10 bottles of wine, and a few packs of beer. We'll estimate this at... $300. 
Make sure bottled water is available! A case of 40 bottles is around $25. 
And don't forget to grab some fruit to slice, twist, and muddle into the mix! 


Close up photo of friends clinking glasses during a wedding reception

Find plastic cups or durable tumblers for toasting at Target 


4. Dinner

Our budget: $300
Let’s eat! 
Our vision: We love a family-style cookout! If you have a couple friends who know how to run a grill, this can make your reception a lot of fun without a big price tag. We’re talking sides: mac salad, coleslaw, grilled chicken, hamburgers… Follow your heart. But if you want to keep things simple, or themed, stick with restaurant take out, sandwiches, or tapas.
If you’re feeding about 25 people, be prepared to spend about $300 on groceries.
(And if you need a grill… Target’s got 'em for $200 or less, but this isn’t required for a good time and we’re not adding it into our total.) 



Friends enjoying a beautiful boho chic themed wedding reception dinner outdoors, sitting around a rustic table in a field

Find outdoor furniture and cute dinner plate sets at Target



5. Wedding Pies & Sweet Treats


Our budget: $100
Some folks will tell you that pies, cookies, and cupcakes at a wedding are too casual, but we definitely disagree! Get an assortment of pies and sweet treats to choose from, and set them up on your banquet table. 
Target sells several varieties of fruit and cream pies, cupcakes, and other bakery items. We think a budget of $100 will be enough to give everyone a taste of the sweet life.
If this isn’t your style, ask a friend to bake you a custom cake, or order one from a local restaurant or bakery for a few dollars more. 

Find balloons and sweet treats for delicious DIY wedding at Target



6. First Dance 

 Our budget: $100
This is it! The first dance as a married couple… the moment when everyone sets down their drink and reaches for their phone to get some video… 
Our vision: Folks are fed, comfortable, and ready to dance! A couple friends have brought instruments to play, and that’ll be a blast for a little while. When it’s time for them to take a break, we’ll plug a playlist into a speaker and celebrate together late into the night. 
Target sells bluetooth speakers for under $100, just be sure to choose something with a long battery life so the party doesn’t stop until you’re ready to. 
Dancing shoes are free. 


Close up of a young man planning guitar during an outdoor wedding ceremony

Find inexpensive guitars, ukeleles, and other musical instruments at Target




Order a copy of Navigating Your Wedding Ceremony. 


Our complete guide to planning a one-of-a-kind ceremony! Written with engaged couples in mind, by an ordained AMM Minister with years of professional wedding experience. 



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