Budget busters!

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 2
2551 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Our budget (so far) is $5k (rings not included)!  We plan on having a small wedding.  We have 41 people on our primary guest list… and we’re doing a domestic destination (1 day drive from his home state, which is where we live, and 2 day drive from my home state), so we expect only about half to show.  The small venue we found is VERY affordable! I won’t be doing any extra decorations, besides enough flowers for the tables and bridal party.  I’ll also be looking for an affordable dress, as well as getting a make-up lesson from Sephora.  I’ll probably have my MOH (not a hairstylist) do my hair for me, as well. 

We’re not skimping on the meal, and the bar will be open!  We’ve always dreamed of a surf and turf wedding 🙂  I will get my filet mignon and lobster tail if it’s the only thing I get for my wedding (besides my FH)!  

We haven’t discussed photography yet… our photographer friend will be the best man, so having a close friend do it may be out of the question.  We will ask one of the guests to officiate the wedding.

Basically, a simple wedding in a beautiful spot with a few of our favorite people is really all we want.

Post # 3
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Our budget was 40k (I know it sounds like a lot but we are in NYC so it really doesn’t go far and I often had to choose the less bad of two options) Half went to to venue for 125ppl. The rest was divided up – photography, cake, and flowers (Costco had great prices for personal flowers and my florist matched them, also we used seasonal flowers) were important to me so we spent for that, saved on the officiant (used a friend), the dress and veil – samples, DJ instead of band (who was epic BTW), created a cigar display instead of hiring a cigar roller, we almost didn’t do videography but got a great deal and I’m so glad we did, made the invites, no programs, made escort cards, no place cards, Groom wore a tux he already owned – all in all we didn’t have tons of frills (except wish lanterns -win) and we came in right on budget. I seriously had to be firm though because there are so many places to go overboard and the wedding industrial complex makes you think you need so much stuff…

Post # 4
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Oh and also had ceremony flowers and candles moved into the ballroom for the reception which saved too 🙂

Post # 5
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Our budget is almost 17k as of right now, but that includes the honeymoon.

Overall, we had to choose on what we would try to save money on.. the most important things for us was food, booze, a dj and photography. These things we didnt skimp on.

Post # 6
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn

When we first started planning this wedding we thought 5-6K would be plenty for a small wedding.  We never really had a firm budget, just the thought that we would spend more of what meant more to us and spend less in other areas. We are 18 days away from our wedding and we will around $10,000 for a 23 person wedding. The areas where we have spent the most money is on our venue and catering at $3800. My dress was not a priority but I fell in love with a dress that cost $1045, which is more than what I had originally planned. Our photographer has only been a professional for a few years but she is very talented and a good bargain at $1045. Our priorities were a beautiful venue, very good food and drink and beautiful pictures. I think we have spent our budget well in those areas. Flowers were also a priority for me but I refused to pay thousands for flowers. I ordered 250 roses from Globalrose.com for $191. I’ve purchased all the vases for just a few dollars each. Our ceremony and reception spaces will be overflowing with roses, just the way I wanted it to be! This was one area where we saved a fortune. Our rings were not a huge priority, we spent $744 total for my ering, wedding band and my partner’s wedding band. Although we spent very little we both got exactly what we wanted with no compromising. I am doing my own makeup and hair at a huge savings. I want simple hair and makeup so I refused to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional. Another place I saved alot of money was candles. I really wanted a ton of silver mercury glass votives, at about $200. Instead I ordered 36 clear votive holders for $14.50 and then sprayed them with a matte silver spray paint. It doesn’t look like mercury glass, but I love how it looks and I love the cost.

$10,000 includes everything except for the mini honeymoon we are taking after the wedding. A week after the wedding we are going to the coast for the weekend, I can’t wait!

Post # 8
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My wedding was a max of $7k, but maybe less… I cared about good food (did not have to be unpronouncable and super expensive, just plain old yummy) including cake, photographer (had no choice)… Everything was done on a budget, even those things. The guests were really impressed with how lovely the wedding was (and the staff!). We only had about 45 people. If you want to maintain your budget, keep the guest list under control. 

Dress: final clearance/discontinued $230; reception dress $14

Shoes: clearance $13; $25

Jewelry: online $50, hair pieces in store, a bracelet was gifted, includes DH’s rings

Makeup/hair: $125 for me and BMs

Decorations: $300 for gazebo and reception decor, guest book, cake knives, cake topper, personalized glasses, etc.

Faux flowers: $50 or so for 4 bouquets and flowers left over

Venue: About $42 PP including salad, entree with veggie, ice cream parfait, beer, wine, and soda, $350 for waitress, bartender, and $832 for fruit, cheese, and crackers for cocktail hour

Cake: $315 including tiers

Wax: $113 (nails were gifted)

Photographer: $1620

Videographer: $720

Officiant: $300

There it is. I saved a ton on a florist, DJ, and other non-essential things… Good luck to you, and enjoy planning!!!


Post # 9
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Oh, the venue included the centerpieces and chair covers! I was prepared to go the dollar store route for that. I also spent about $200 on things that did not work out. It happens… 

Post # 10
3331 posts
Sugar bee

We basically did the same as you- decided what was important (for us it was venue, food, photography and music) and what was less important (flowers, decor, my dress) to spend money on. I got a great deal on our venue, which means we were able to spend a bit more on the photographer I loved. For things like flowers and decor, we are growing out own and using thrifted items (teacups, old books). I also chose a venue that is really beautiful so we don’t need much to decorate.

Our original budget was $5000- after seeing what things cost in my area, I bumped it to $7000 but I think we will be way under 🙂

Post # 12
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base

Our budget is $5k max 7k.  Which is actually about a million dollars in my small tow .  The only thing important to me is how my daughters will look.  I may spend about $500 on the two of them.

$250 American Legion for the venue.

$750 Limited bar, beer, wine, signature drink.  

$1400.00 served chicken dinner for 100 guests That includes 3 servers, cake service, China, real utensils,  cloth napkins, and appetizers.  This may go up as we are considering a beef choice as well.

Free officiant.  Military perk

$500 all flowers including centerpieces

$200 cake which is 4-10″, 1-12″, 1 full sheet.  All Pina Colada filling

$40 grooms cake

$560 for DJ including lights and big projection screen.  He will also take pictures andisplay them and give us the cd.

$350 photographer.   She is starting out.  Love her work. She is including shower,  rehearsal dinner, engagement pics, and full day of wedding. 

$350 linens including chair covers which I might ditch.  

$100 My gown I plan on getting a $99 dress at the next David’s Bridal Semi Annual Sale.  Alterations will be free since my cousin is a seamstress in Mexico. 

$200 stuff already purchased such as arch, decorations,  etc.

Rehearsal dinner if gift from his parents.   

Unknown expenses for his attire and everything else. I think we have this covered. 

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