Fl wedding on a small budget….help!!

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@Fl_bride83: Our budget is $6500 for 80 people.  


I wrote a blog post about budget tips 😀 

[Post moderated for self promotion – sorry!]


Post # 4
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@Fl_bride83:  First of all, congrats! We are almost location twins! Mine will be on St. Pete Beach!

Here is one of your biggest hurdles. You are at one of the most popular times for weddings in FL. EVERYTHING is going to be more expensive, and the weather is going to be so unpredictable. Your venue is almost certainly going to need to be inside or at least an inside back up. There aren’t very many places in St. Pete that are going to be able to accomodate a party of 150 for both ceremony and reception, so now you’re looking at 2 venues (unless you have a church already set for your ceremony). I would look around and start calling ASAP. I know that may seem silly to some, but in FL things book up VERY quickly and many places can have things booked already.

Most hotels are not going to be able to accomodate a ceremony of 150 people, nor offer services for a fully catered meal. You’re probably going to have to get a catering service, so think about that when you’re making your budget. I also doubt are they going to be able to handle transportation for that many people. Not to mention that if you have your ceremony at a hotel, the other hotel guests may be able to see and/or “attend” your wedding. If you want something more private, make sure you say that to the coordinator at the venue, so they can tell you exactly how private it will be. 

The first thing you need to do is get a SOLID budget made. $10,000 may seem like a lot of money now, but if it includes the dress, rings, flowers, decorations, makeup, hair, gifts for parents/attendants/each other, cocktail hour, favors, all paper (menus, seating cards, etc), cake, catered meal, alcohol (full or limited bar), and all the rest – especially for 150 people… that’s a lot less money than you think you have!

I think you’re taking on too much responsibility for your guests than you need to. 99% of wedding guests understand that they are expected to take care of their own travel expenses (including hotel and transportation) when they attend an out of town wedding. There is no reason Uncle Joe can’t book a hotel and rent a car on his own. All you need to do on that end is offer a list of car rental places, and look at holding a block of hotel rooms at a quality but affordable hotel (just don’t pay for it!).

If you see a ceremony or reception venue that you like but it’s just a bit over budget, go ahead and call. So many times they will be willing to work with you or build a plan that will better accomodate what you need. The way I feel about it is this – go ahead and ask… the only thing they can do is say no, and you’re no worse off than you were before.

Good luck!

Post # 5
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I live on the east coast of FL and it was impossible to find a hotel to do my reception for 10k with a full meal,open bar,DJ,etc.  We have a similar budget and guests.  I ended up renting a hall with a decent well landscaped area where I’m having the ceremony and doing everything from a blank slate persay.


I’m with PP, if you find a place you like it dosen’t hurt to ask them what they can do for your budget and guest list.  I was not lucky in my area (indian river, St Lucie, Martin Counties)

Good Luck!

Post # 6
1287 posts
Bumble bee

We went with a park rental building.  $500

I also booked a caterer that is about $12.95 per person, bbq food. 

We also went with a baker and a florist that work out of their homes, SAHM’s, these people are budget friendly. 

Just a few tips. Our entire wedding will cost us  under $3000

Post # 7
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Fl_bride83:  I don’t think this is impossible by any means, but you seriously need to find something ASAP.  We are having ours in Redington Shores in Oct 2014.  I can’t really give any advice based on your guest count (ours will be around 40) but the way we’re cutting costs is having it at a beach house we’ve rented for everyone’s accommodations (basically $0 venue fee, since our guests are paying to stay) and then having the reception at a beach restaurant nearby. 

Have you considered just looking into a restaurant and renting the whole thing (this is more for the reception I suppose)?

You could contact planners/planning companies, tell them your budget, and see what they can do for you.  I know the company we went with quoted us around $8,000 to do absolutely everything for us (this included all rentals, food, drink, setup/teardown, etc) – we didn’t end up going this route but perhaps a planner or company could get you a good package deal.  Don’t be afraid to call around and price different ones out, and go back to them with competitors’ quotes.

I think the best advice I have in regards to specific spots to look into would be local community centers.  Check out the St. Pete Beach Rec Center – this was a little out of our budget for our small party, but I think it would fit the bill perfectly for you! http://www.spbrec.com/facility-rentals/community-center-st-pete-beach-wedding/weddings-and-social-events/

Post # 8
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@Fl_bride83:  Hey there! I’m from Oldsmar. 🙂

I’ve found a lot of different options in the area. My budget for the wedding, not including the honeymoon, is $12k. I’m looking at two venues in my area – the East Lake Country Club, and Palm Harbor White Chapel.

I’d suggest writing out what is important to you, and what isn’t. I’m forgoing real flowers and using a brooch bouqet for me and the girls, and silk flowers for centerpieces. My focus is venue, photographer, and DJ.

Also – look at lunch/earlier weddings, especially on Sundays. Or even a Friday wedding will save money.

Good luck!

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