Post # 1
I am hoping you guys can take a look at my budget and try to help me figure out some ways to cut costs. Our huge big things are venue, photographer and food. Our venue is in the rocky mountains ( if we book it – we have to put the deposit down this weekend if we are) and it is a lodge – for $1,500 we are getting the lodge for 3 days (it’s technically $4,500 for the 3 days but it has a bunch of rooms that we are renting out to guests – they already know this and have said they gladly will pay the cost as it is the same as staying at a hotel). I am a hobby photographer so I am VERY picky about what I want for photos and I just can’t go with anyone. In my mind the photos are really the only thing left to show at the end of the day and I don’t believe in cutting corners on this. The food is ridiculous. The caterer at the lodge charges $45pp and this is 2 salads, 2 starches, 2 meats & desserts. So I guess it could be worse. I have tried to find a cheaper caterer and did find one but you can only pick one meat or else the price goes back up. My mom is horribly against this idea because she thinks we need to give people a choice ( she is helping pay for a large chunk of the wedding or else I would just tell her we were doing what we want).
So…. any thoughts? We are figuring on 100 guests ( I have a HUGE family so this is really just inviting the people we NEED to invite – it’s not even giving us room to invite people we would like to have come). See anything that seems way out to lunch price wise? I am willing to put in the time to DIY things but it has to actually save me money ( I found cheap invites online $1.50 each and I don’t know that I could really make them myself cheaper than that or at least not and still have them look nice. I am at my wits end because we are trying to keep to a $10,000 budget ($15,000 MAX) and we don’t really even want to spend that much (just build our dream home so we are kinda broke right now).
Ceremony Venue $500.00
Reception Venue $1,000.00
Tax & Gratuity $1,130.00
Hair & Makeup $300.00
Grand Total $16,030.00
** sorry about the horrible formating!!!!**
Post # 3
Hmm… the only thing that really stood out to me is the DJ. I’ve seen a lot of brides recently saying the did the iPod/Spotify thing, and it was great! So maybe that could be an option?
Also, you could DIY hair and makeup.
Finally, could you buy inexpensive rings now and upgrade later?
Post # 4
@howsweetitis: I am hoping the ring budget is a bit high – I thought it was better to budget high though. ( I was looking tonight and I think mine is actually on sale right now).
I find it funny you mentioned the DJ thing, I have another tab open right now talking about DJ vs iPod… am I seriously considering that route
I am trying to find someone good at hair and make up – so far no luck 🙁 (it would be a DISASTER if I tried to do it myself!)
Thanks so much for the ideas though!! I am trying my best to find ways to bring the cost down… otherwise we might need to rethink everything and I will have to give up my dream mountain wedding because it simply is too expensive for us.
Post # 5
I’m a US bride, so things could be different — but 1,000 seems a little high for a DJ. You can get decent ones here outside of major cities for 500-700. Also, PP is right, you could cut it out altogether and go with an iPod.
But everything else is very reasonable, so I’m not sure I’m much help.
Post # 6
@beeintraining: Oh no, it’s high! Most around where I live start around the $500 range also. we are hoping to get married in Fernie which is a small touristy town ( 4000 people population) and that is their only DJ.
Post # 7
Here are my ideas:
Cut the DJ or get a different one (ipod playlist like was mentioned above or maybe look for someone on Craigslist (or a possible family member???).
Decorating with something other than flowers. I’ve seen a lot of candle-based decor, which could cut the costs a little, especially if you can resell them afterwards.
Bouquets are another area you could consider doing differently. I’ve been to several weddings where the bridesmaids carried single calla lilies or you could always craft up some paper bouquets.
DIY your makeup (and possibly hair?) and save a few dollars there, too.
Another option…register for less stuff and spread the word by word of mouth that you’d really prefer cash gifts. Then you can pay off some of your bills with gift money.
Post # 8
@sbruin99: My big one is the gifts. We’re getting small gifts for the parents, but not getting them for each other. We reason that getting married is pretty much gift enough and we’ll probably buy some souviniers on our honeymoon. I he has a nice dark suit already you can have a vest and tie custom made in your colors and fabric for around $40-$60.
Post # 9
The only things I think you can cut are
DJ, Hair/Makeup, Stationary, Bouquets, Accessories
But not a lot from any of those. And I wonder if the cake is under budegtted.
Sorry, not much help..
Post # 10
@lisaelanna: I am hoping to drop the cost of the decorating, you have a great point there -flowers are way to expensive… one of my BMs is giving me all the vases from her wedding a couple years ago and I figured we would do something simple, couple candles, few pinecones & leaves (it’s a fall weddding) so I think I should be able to do centerpieces for like $10 each and then I hoping the venue doesn’t really need anything else.
@renwoman: We are thinking of getting eachother just something little (but this may go) I am trying to budget for our parents and then our wedding party (5 people)… I don’t know what the norm is or what is considered a good amount to do as a gift. We are going to pull out his old suit and look. He hasn’t worn it in 6 years so I am not sure if it will fit anymore or not, if it does we will just get him a new tie and maybe a vest and call it good.
@afake79: I am just going to costco for the cake… to me as long as it can be fed to my guests and tastes good I am happy… it’s hard because I feel like everything is already pretty sparce but yet I am not ready to really give up on my “dream” wedding
Post # 11
dj can be cut back. stationery is a lot considering you said you found nice ones for $1.50 each. remember, you don’t need 1 per person.
i would consider diy hair and makeup.
Post # 12
I would cut the dj for sure and find a less expensive one. 1000 is a high price. Try to find an independent one that doesn’t work through a large company- they cost less.
In terms of invitations, we found beautiful DIY kits at a craft store. They went on sale and there was a coupon (most craft stores do coupons all the time). We have twice the invites as you and spent $50 on invitations.
I personally wouldnt do DIY hair unless you are really good at hair or want a simple style. I would do my own makeup if you can. Most people feel more comfortable if they do their makeup the way they are comfortable with. You can try seeing if maybe a student salon can do your hair to save money.
honestly, besides the photography which you don’t want to lesson everything else seems to be a very reasonable low end budget
Post # 13
@sbruin99: I respectfully disagree with DIY hair and makeup. You want to look your best on your special day though maybe you have a family member who is great with hair and could possibly do it for you as your gift? Research MUA on craigslist and setup a makeup trial. Trials are a must so you should budget for it! Also you didn’t add small things on the list like alterations and marriage license. You also should not cut corners with this. I think the caterer is a good cost. As for the gifts, I would get the BP something for now and after the wedding gift the parents with a photo book of your wedding from shutterfly or somewhere similar. They always have specials on their photo books and its a nice keepsake. Is the $500 drinks for the bar? That price stood out to me to be trimmed back. Stationary should be cut way back. Don’t forget the cost of postage either!
Post # 14
@lindseyl06: Just curious – how could $500 for the bar be cut back? That seemed VERY low to me. Our caterer is insanely expensive and we have to use their bar service, so I know the prices are jacked up, but we’re having a full open bar for 4 hours and it’s $23 per person just for the bar. So for our 130 guests it’s almost 3 grand!! How on earth could you do bar service for 100 for less than $500? Is that just purchasing bulk liquor and wine and bringing it to the venue? Advice please!
@sbruin99: Are the groomsmen renting suits? If they are, your fiance might be able to get his rented for free if they all get them at the same place (That’s what we’re doing). Also rings and DJ seem high to me. Sounds like that DJ knows he has the market cornered since he’s the only one! I’d look into trying to use an ipod. We looked at plain bands at a local jeweler and for both rings it was only going to be about $500. So maybe you could get a plain band for now and upgrade to something sparkly later 🙂
Definitely factor in the cost of postage to your invitation budget and use those craft store coupons! I know hobby lobby always has one for 40% off an item and you can just pull it up on your phone and get the discount. You can only use one at a time, but you can go back every day (or you and your FI could go seperately) and get lots of things discounted. Good luck!!!
Post # 15
I thought this was great.
15k was my cost for 6 guest ): haha
Post # 16
Southern US bride, so my price points may be a bit different. But the things I think you could cut back on are:
DJ, bouquets, accessories, and rings. I would also just nix presents to each other.
Personally, I would cut back on the photographer, but it sounds like you really like this photog and I can understand that. But could you maybe cut back on some of the options within the photography package? For instance, we decided not to do an engagement shoot and we decided that we would make an album ourselves (which might be a great option for you, since you like photography as a hobby and it also allows you to include pictures that might not come from your pro photog). Just by making those 2 cuts, we saved $600!