Thrifty Bride Plans Entire Wedding for Under $3,000 by Only Using 1 Vendor: Amazon

Ashley Hicks and her husband on their wedding day
ABC News

It's true what they say: Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they wear $100 custom wedding gowns they scored on Amazon. Such was the case for Ashley Hicks, a newlywed from North Carolina who's making headlines for her impressive wedding thriftiness. Instead of trying to recreate elaborate and pricey Pinterest weddings (you know, like the rest of us), she scoured Amazon reviews and compared prices to nab the best deals she could find for her big day -- and it wound up paying off big time.

  • Hicks told ABC News that she and her husband both wanted to avoid falling into a rabbit hole of debt while planning their wedding.

    Considering the average cost of a wedding in the US is about $34,000, it's understandable why most newlyweds find the wedding planning process stressful, once the price tags start adding up.

    But Hicks says that her husband, who works in finance, wasn't about to get sucked in.

    "My husband was like, 'We are definitely not doing that,'" she said.

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  • But let's be honest: Saying you want to have a budget-friendly wedding and actually pulling it off are two different things.

    The cost of a wedding venue alone typically costs thousands. Although the average couple shells out $3,000 to $11,000 on the locale, it can set you back upward of $20,000 depending on where you live. Especially once you factor in the price per plate times the number of guests, plus admin fees, extras, and tips. 

    Then there's the wedding dress, which costs $1,100 on average, according to Fox Business, and the entertainment ($780 to $1,495, Wedding Wire reports), and the flowers and centerpieces ($700 to $2,500+), and the photographer ($1,150 to $3,000). Honestly, that's just scratching the surface here, and I'm already this close to having a panic attack.

    Hicks got engaged in February but knew she wanted a June 2019 wedding -- not exactly a lot of time to plan. With so much to purchase and coordinate, she spoke to a wedding planner who suggested she check out one of fastest-shipping places around that could get her everything she needed fast: Amazon (duh).

  • Hicks didn't waste any time, and she began digging through reviews for everything on her wedding to-do list.

    When I say everything, I do mean everything.

    "We bought my dress, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, their shoes, their jewelry, my husband's suspenders, all the groomsmen's gifts -- except bowties, our table settings, and the plates, it was a long list," Hicks told ABC News

    She even bought her bridesmaids matching robes to wear while they were getting ready -- all for just $60!

    "We had about 150 guests," Hicks continued, "and I probably spent about $3,000 total including our food, all the attire, decorations, everything."

  • That's right: She spent $3,000 for everything. And it was delivered right to her door.

    Most impressive of all was how much she managed to save on her wedding gown. She said she'd tried on one she loved at a bridal boutique, but she just couldn't wrap her mind around the price tag: $1,000.

    So she hopped on Amazon and searched for one that looked similar -- and lo and behold, she found one. Hicks was even able to work with the designer on a custom fit, sending over her measurements to ensure the dress was as close to her size as possible. The dress was made and shipped from China, but when all was said and done, it cost just $100. 


    "Technically, it was $99, but I paid 100 and I think a few cents for tax," Hicks explained. "She was like, 'OK it will be here in two weeks.' It came, I put it on, and it fit perfectly."

    (Honestly, I am in awe of this woman. I'm currently planning a wedding in New York, and just estimating the total cost at the end is enough to make me want to vomit.)

  • But for those of us who are also feeling the sticker shock of planning a wedding in 2019, Hicks is definitely an inspiration.

    Considering how much debt Americans bring into a marriage just by planning a wedding, Hicks' methods are pretty genius. According to a 2018 survey from Student Loan Hero, about one-third of couples plan to borrow up to $10,000 to pay for their wedding, whereas 16 percent plan to borrow a whopping $50,000.

    If you fall into either of those camps, you might want to take a page or two from this bride's book, who says she has no regrets about how she pulled off the wedding of her dreams

    "Any event in the future, I would do it anytime," Hicks told ABC. "Amazon is amazing."