Bees with small budgets: What are you making a priority?

posted 3 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 3
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

The food – I feel this is one area where people can really tell if you cut corners, so we’re going to devote a lot of resources to making sure the food is delicious.  Luckily, our caterer is a family friend, so I know her food is delicious and she’ll do her best to make it affordable.

Post # 4
Member
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am willing to put more money into good food, photography and decorations. I want my guests to enjoy what they are eating for dinner. We are having it catered from a local restaurant who cooks everything from scratch (breads, soups, etc) and uses fresh food and ingredients rather than warming up frozen chicken and vegetables. I know you have the memories of your wedding but I want the photos showing everyone having a good time. I am getting married in a township hall and it is very plain and white. I have been to other weddings there with zero decorations or it looks like no thought or effort was put into decorating. I don’t want that, I want it to look and feel special for our wedding day.

I did not put alot of money into invitations, flowers, cake/favors or a photo booth. I DIY’d my invites with print your own from Hobby Lobby I got on sale for 50% off. I feel no one really cares what they look like. They see where and when it is and hangin it up and eventually throw them out. I am having real flowers for bouquets, bouts and corsages but silk flowers for the centerpieces. Our church is limited on where you can put flowers so I am not having any other arrangements. I didn’t want a ton of cake left over so we are doing a small cake for those who do eat it and packages of cookies for the rest and are using these as our favors. We chose to not have a photo booth because our friends and family aren’t really into that. We didn’t think it would get used enough to justify the cost.

Post # 5
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

The single most important thing is food and drinks. If they’re good quality, your guests will be happy.

Post # 6
Member
5351 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

When we planned out our budget our priorities were venue & photography. 

We wanted an outdoor wedding/reception, and because we were on a budget I was DIYing the decor, which is why the venue was so important. I needed to start with something that was beautiful on it’s own without having to spend alot of money on decor. 

I read a book called “Bridal Bargains” which gave me serveral ideas regarding vendors. All my vendors were people who were in the midst of growing their business, so their prices were low. To “cya” we had VERY detailed contracts, and our caterers, baker, dj, and photographer hit it out of the park & part of our agreement was to allow them to use our pictures and my testominal to help grow their business. This makes it a total win win becuase a) they are going to try harder because they want a good review and b) prices are lower for us as the customer! 

Post # 7
Member
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I wasn’t willing to skimp on the rings, we’ll have them for the rest of our lives so I wanted something nice and meaningful. At this point, they are at 9% of our total wedding budget. Compared to 7% for attire, I was not willing to pay tons for the dress, so I ended up with one that I paid $675 for.

Then I couldn’t really skimp on flights… so they are at 18% of the budget. Fortunately, the venue is close to nothing ($600 for FOUR DAYS) as we’re getting married in Northern Sweden where you can get venues very cheap.

Post # 8
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

4k wedding here!! And photography and food are 90% of that budget. The reception venue is included with the food and the ceremony venue is a gorgeous gazebo at a local park for 200

Post # 9
Member
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@MissOtter:  We don’t really have a “small budget” BUT we’re trying to keep costs down. We’re not having a large wedding.. But a fairly large e-party. (Its probably going to cost $15-18,000 for about 200 people). But we aren’t doing anything “special” other then chair covers.

I know our e-party costs are high, but its because its all based on the food. Which I’m ok with. But I insisted I wanted none of that white curtian draping crap, no little extra lights, nothing, no table cloth upgrades, or napkin up grades, in just doing all of that we’re probably saving about $10,000.00 (holy crap!) I wanted to really save where we we allowed to (FI’s parents insisted on an A+ quality meal) because both of our parents are paying for the party.

Our venue provides full length (to the floor) table cloths in white & white napkins. The other costs are our band ($1000), Center pieces for 20 tables ($700 — which I got on sale!) and or e-photo’s (which will be about $200)

We’re not getting a photog. for our e-party, because I feel like its pointless. Its not like they’ll be our wedding photos.

For us (e-party wise) its the food thats the splurge, because I feel like thats what people REALLY care about.

As for our wedding, its in Vegas @ the Bellagio. We could have chosen somewhere cheaper, but neither of us wanted to “settle” on something we didn’t really want. For this we chose to upgrade our photo package, so I guess that was our “splurge” for the wedding. The wedding total (flights, hotel, venue, reception, photog.) will probably be around $7-8000.00, which isn’t bad, because it could have been A LOT more.

Post # 10
Member
7279 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Food. To me that is what people will remember most. Not my dress, not the flowers or other details. Second to that is photgraphy then music.

 

Post # 11
Member
4540 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Royalton White Sands

I would’ve splurged on photography, but I have a friend who’s a pro and offered to do my pictures. 

So far, the biggest splurge has been the church. It was too pretty to pass up, especially since they’re so lenient on everything (like allowing pictures during the ceremony… NONE of the local churches would!) 

The next biggest splurge is going to be food and decor. Unfortunately, we have to rent everything on our own… so that’ll take a pretty big chunk.

Post # 12
Member
550 posts
Busy bee

Food and alcohol were almost 1/3 of our $3k budget (we overdid it, even — tons of leftovers), and attire (including rings) was another 1/3. So I guess the rest wasn’t a priority, money-wise!

Post # 15
Member
873 posts
Busy bee

We cared about having a good band play at the reception, we spent almost a 3rd of our budget on the band.

Post # 16
Member
4540 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Royalton White Sands

@MissOtter:  It was weird! But apparently it’s really common, because the ceremony is “sacred” or something like that. I really, really wanted pictures of my ring exchange and first kiss, so that made my search a lot easier.

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