(Closed) College student planning a wedding

posted 7 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 3
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

There are a lot of college brides planning wedding on this website.  It seems that the most expensive part of the day is often times the food/ beverages for guests.  One way to significantly reduce costs would be to consider a cake and punch type reception after the wedding.  This may not be what you typically consider as a reception, but at the end of the day, if you’re married and you’re family and friends are there, that’s what counts the most (at least to me).

Welcome to WB and good luck planning!

Post # 4
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I am in the same boat, except both my fiance and I are in university. So I am going to do night school for the next year or so and work fulltime to pay for the wedding and my Fiance is graduating May 2012 so he will be working fulltime before the wedding for a while and he works part time throughout school. We both still live at home tho so our expenses arent that huge so that makes saving easier and my parents will be helping a little.

Doing a wedding on a budget is definitely possible. You would have to find an amount that you guys could afford and work within that and decide what is important to you and where you can cut back.

You could always do an afternoon cocktail type reception to save on money just having appetizers and an Ipod DJ, have a cash bar or just serve wine and beer or just a signature cocktail.

What kind of wedding is it you want, something formal with lots of people or small intimate and unique?

Post # 5
1962 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We’re in the same boat. My Fiance has already finished two degrees, but I’m still in college because I switched majors.  I would have been done by our wedding if I hadn’t.  Our parents were going to help a bit at first, but we are now paying for everything ourselves.  Our wedding date had to be pushed back a year to let us save.  Then we had to decide on choosing a cheap venue or cutting out family members.  

Is there anybody you can cut to make your wedding more cost efficient?  Have you thought about having the wedding at somebody’s house and hiring low cost vendors? Shop around and take your time.  It might make you feel awful at first if you have to push the date back, however, you would just have that much more time to plan.  We chose not to cut and decided to rent a nice little hall that a VFW group owns.  Not my first pick, but at least we get to have our family.  

Post # 6
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Same situation here! We’re going to have a very DIY wedding I think. If you can have a backyard wedding, they are always so nice and intimate. 

I plan on giving my family and my SO’s family the same recipes a week before the wedding, and have 3 or 4 households cooking the same meals and bringing it on the wedding day so we can save money. Also, my sister is amazing at decorating cakes so shes going to do that for free. 

I plan on doing all my own cupcakes, macaroons, and pies the week before. And using paper plates (presented in a non tacky way). Grow your own flowers, especially if you’re having a summer wedding. Start now! Wildflowers make the prettiest bouquets. And you can start saving jars (mason jars, snapple jars, ect) to fill with coffee beans or something and stick handpicked flowers in. It can be really beautiful. My centerpieces are going to be all DIY and look a lot like this:

Except with pretty designer paper plates. 🙂


Post # 7
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I just graduated with my B.A. last month and I know exactly how you feel! Although my Fiance has a “real” job, I have a part time job that doesn’t pay well. I won’t lie. Planning a wedding while in college is tough because you have wedding stress added to normal school/finals stress. Not trying to choose your wedding date for you (only you two know what works for your situation) but I’d recommend 2013 over 2012 for two reasons: 1) you will have more time to save as much money as you can, and 2) you will not have to deal with last minute planning while finishing your last semester and preparing for graduation! That was one of the most stressful parts for me. Glad it’s over!

As for the money situation, I’m sure you know by now that DIY can save tons. By buying our fresh flowers from the LA flower market and our own vases, we will make our centerpieces for 27 tables and aisle flowers for a grand total of $600. It still seems like a big chunk of money, but it’s much less than the $1300 we would have spent ordering our flowers from Costco, and even less than the almost $2k we were quoted by a local florist.

Wait for Michael’s printable coupons and never pay full price for your crafting needs! We got our printable invitation supplies all at 40% and bought ribbon when it was 2/$7 rather than the original $6 each! You just have to keep your eyes open for deals! Good luck with it all!

Post # 8
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Do lots of shopping around, coupons are your friend, as are DIY projects. Look at price quotes for wedding related stuff such as cakes, but check on the prices for just regular party cakes at the same places as well. Sometimes just dropping the “wedding” can change the price, and they are just as nice. Also we went with a smaller Tiered cake for the cutting ceremony and did sheet cakes for the guests, which was much cheaper.

Check out the classifieds, and see if you can snag any deals from previous brides selling their unneeded wedding items, such as linen, decor, etc. Also look into the wedding date’s. Depending on when you’re wanting it and your area, having a wedding during the off season, or on a friday or sunday can sometimes save a lot of money, or even at a different time, such as a morning wedding/brunch reception, or afternoon wedding with appetizer reception. 


Check out as many bridal shows as you can, I found some great deals with vendors there, many times they will have bridal show special deals, etc. Also Prioritize! Pick a couple things that are big in importance for you guys. What means the most to you and you aren’t willing to compromise on, and what are you willing to compromise on? Is it location, dress, flowers, cake? and use that to help with figuring out your budget.

Post # 9
2263 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I am also a college bride to bee!~ 🙂 You aren’t alone. Also…. I am planning a destination wedding for next spring…. yikes! I suggest the DIY projects as well… take this time to really enjoy being engaged and think about how special you want your day to be. Yes, it’ll be crazy but kudos to you for being in school at the same time. It can be done!

Post # 10
3982 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

For us, we had to suck up our pride and ask our parents for help. This doesn’t work for everybody but we were lucky enough to both have parents who could afford to help. I also just went to a wedding of two college friends who did teh entire thing with less than $1,000 and it still looked amazing! They used the beauty of the outdoors and their venue as decoration and had a pot-luck so each guest was to bring food as their gift to the couple. (Some people still brought other gifts) I think the most expensive part was her dress. So, it can be done. And it can be done well. It just takes some enginuity and creativity.

Post # 11
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’re thinking an outdoor BBQ. We live in montana, so this would be absolutely perfect and so much fun. We can get good meat for really cheap here. 


We’re thinking of providing some nice iced punch/bourbon lemonade, a few beers, a few sides and then if anyone wants anything special they can bring it themselves. 


We’re also doing cupcakes instead of a cake (that way the cake cutting ceremony can happen with a very small gluten free cake so I can survive the evening, but everyone can enjoy dessert for not much $$)


We have a friend with a nice old farm property overlooking the mountains, so our venue might be free. Hopefully it won’t rain! 


I think our expensive items would be the band (might have enough connections to get a good price) and my dress (not spending much on that either unless my mom decides she wants to help – that’s probably the one thing she’d pay for.)  

We’re also definitely asking around if people have decor we can borrow. 


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