Post # 1
Hi bees. yes, I am that newly-engaged girl already planning her over-a-year-away wedding. My dream wedding is in the woods, under a tent, with Harry Potter inspired rustic decor. Turns out fiancé’s family actually live in the woods in upper peninsula MI sand we decided to have the wedding at a relatives home. However, I have been doing some research and tented wedding are starting to scare me– cost wise.
My fiancé does not believe in spending an extravagant amount of money for a one day celebration and I begrudgingly agree. Now the thing is we live in CA and are planning a wedding that will take place in MI or WI. I have talked to a wedding planner because at this point I need someone who is physically there to maintain my sanity. She has done plenty of outdoor weddings and assured me that a $15k budget for 80 guests, including her services, is very reasonable and can be done. I guess I am just looking for encouragement. I’d like to hear form some of you who have been able to pull off a great outdoor tented wedding with a limited budget.
Post # 3
My wedding was not tented. I know it can get expensive if there are no bathrooms, heaters, chairs or tables easily available.
I bet you will find lots of support here though. I posted a thread for rustic venues in wisconsin if you need ideas.
Post # 4
I wish I could give you encouragement but one of the main reasons we didn’t have a tented reception was because it would have been more expensive than having everything included in one price where we ended up having the reception. I’m not saying it can’t be done but things might have to be very simple and you’d have to do a lot of DIY.
At least, I think. This was my experience. I am in no way an expert.
Post # 5
We briefly considered having our wedding at a friend’s house/yard and realized that the cost of bringing everything in and helping them to get the place ready was way more than renting a municipal building or even some cheaper venues. I’m sure there are ways to decrease the costs, but it wasn’t for us.
The only way to figure these things out is to put together a plan and price it out. We learned so much just by talking with vendors and writing everything down.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@QueenSP11: I also originally planned to rent a tent for a backyard reception but the rentals kept adding up and I found a local restaurant with a private room that they rented really cheap and provided everything except the cake. I ended up paying $8K on a plated dinner for 60 guests and I even had my wedding on a Saturday night in a major Metro area (Orlando). A $15K wedding is definitely doable but it will depend on the rentals and where you are willing to cut the budget.
Post # 7
We are right around that budget with a tented wedding and we are estimating about 150 people. I definitley think it’s doable. My opnion would be get a couple of quotes together starting with your biggest cost items (For us our that was the tent, caterer, other rentals).I also suggest getting a good rental company that you can work well with. Mine had lots of good ideas on how to keep our rental costs low like using tables runners instead of full table over lays. That sort of thing.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat
Us too. Friends offered up their acreage, but just looking at the cost to rent tents/everything else was way more than the venue we picked, which includes everything. We’re having a $5K wedding for 75 guests with a full menu, etc… so anything is possible!
Not to say it’s impossible. Do your research and you’ll be amazed at the options out there!
Post # 9
We’re doing a tented backyard wedding at my dads house (in the woods! on a lake!) in Northern Lower Michigan next week, we’ve spent under $10,000 for 150 people. It’s definately doable! I had to edit this to note that Harry Potter is awesome, which you obviously know:)
Post # 10
@abax: are you near Iron Mountain by any chance? You give me hope!
thanks for all the response everyone. I dread having to make sacrifices but I will have to be ready to do it. I’m so glad others have been able to make it happen 🙂
Post # 11
@QueenSP11: No, Northern Lower MI, West Branch is the closest ‘city’, but I can’t see prices being that much different between UP and the boonies of the LP.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We’re doing a tented wedding for 160 guests for about 15k. (Budget was 12k but whoopsies.) You do have to try to keep costs down – our catering is only $22/head plus alcohol we’re bringing in, my dress was $150, etc. But with only half the guests we have and the same budget, you can definitely do this!
Post # 13
@lolot: I sure hope so!! Thanks
Post # 14
I think it is differently do able in the UP to do it for 15K and under. I know me and my SO thought about since we just spent the last five years living in Houghton (2 hrs from Iron Mt.).
Post # 15
We are doing a tented wedding reception for $16k in Wisconsin. We added extras…like china service, colored linens, super nice port o potties, a photo booth, and a fairly expensive DJ. But we also are being frugal on other things – DIY decor, cake, cocktail hour, and late night snacks. Plus, we are doing a picnic buffet which is a lot cheaper than a gourmet meal.
Just note that the weather in the UP can get pretty cool after Labor Day so if it is cold, you will have the added expense of renting extra sidewalls and heaters.
Post # 16
I did a 45 person outdoor tented wedding for $12K so I think it’s definitely doable if you’re crafty or thrifty