Post # 1
Ugh, I’m planning on October 2014. I’ve made a basic budget based on prices I can find of vendors I’d like to use and I’m at about $30k. Ideally we would stay under $20k, but I have no idea how we would actually get that low. I’m already frustrated with this whole thing.
How do people find up and coming photographers? That seems to be where we could most easily cut, the cheapest I can find is $4k, does that seem reasonable?
Other than that it’ll be food and drinks but my FI wants cake rather than cupcakes and an open bar….
I want to diy, but I can’t even think of what to make. I’ve spent the whole day trying to think of crafting ideas and can’t come up with any. It seems like invite kits are cheaper than actually making anything.
Basically, I’m just venting and have been going through old budget bride posts, but need to try to stop stressing to my FI about it this early on, so ya’ll are lucky enough to get another vent post!
Post # 3
I’m right there with you. My budget is way smaller than that and I’m too anxious to really even start planning. People are asking questions and I’m acting like a total Wendy Whiner about the whole wedding thing. I’m one of those perfectionists that never gets anything done because unless I KNOW it’s going to be perfect, I don’t want to start! I just want to elope!
Post # 4
@CoCoCourtney: Organize, organize, organize. List are your best friends! It seems super overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be done ALL at once. You have to priorize based on a time line.
For starters, the most important thing you need is a venue. Without a venue you have nothing. You can’t pick a date until you have a venue, because it’ll be based off what they have available. Second, the two things are you need to book – because they can only abot one wedding per day is the photographer and the band/musicans.
Don’t stress, and there are definitely ways to do a wedding on a budget. As far as DIY, a lot of times it SEEMS like a good idea, but I have learned that it’s actually about the same price, if not more expensive to DIY.
Post # 5
The best and most stress relieving thing I’ve heard it to take it one step at a time. As you get things knocked out, each step will feel better.
And I completely agree with PP, staying organized is key (so you can go one step at a time and not worry about missing anything).
Post # 6
Keep looking at venues until you find something you can afford!
I found a formal banquet room in an upscale restaurant that has a lunch banquet at HALF the price of their drinner banquet!
We also got our cake done by their professional baker for $90! Three tiers, two flavors, and decorations!
For 44 people, unlimited Mimosas, hors d’evoures, lunch, and cake, we paid… $1400!
Keep looking around.. You’ll find something!
Post # 7
I’m also getting married in October of 2014 and my budget is half what you want to spend. Four thousand is a lot to spend on a photographer, but if you love the work they do then it’ll be worth it, you’ll have the photos forever.
I would definitely find the venue first because it does set the tone for everything else.
Post # 8
I agree with previous comments that you need a venue before you do ANYTHING ELSE.
So just take some time, look through WeddingWire.com, or TheKnot.com, or heck, even Yelp.com, for reviews on wedding venues in the area/city you need. And TAKE YOUR TIME researching and looking! Send emails, make phone calls, and be upfront about your budget.
This is what I did when I looked for a photographer: I found about 10 that I really loved, but NONE of them were in my price range. So I emailed 7 of them, and told them what I NEEDED (only 6 hours of coverage, and a USB drive with finished photos. I don’t need them to make a book for me, I can do that myself, and I didn’t need an engagement session.). About 4 of the photographers emailed me back, and ALL 4 were willing to modify their packages, but only 1 was willing to work within my price range.
Just take your time finding places/researching places.
As far as DIY, I’m making my own centerpieces (but I’m still buying flowers to fill them with) and my FI and I are designing our own invitations (we’re using CardsandPockets.com, but I’ve heard amazing things about WeddingPaperDivas.com too).
It also helps to keep the guestlist small. If you’re worried about costs, try to cut down the amount of people you’d be inviting. 🙂
Post # 9
@CoCoCourtney: When I first began planning our wedding, I had complete ‘sticker shock’! Eventually, if I wanted to get ANYTHING done, I realized I had to just suck it up and fork over money to reserve vendors. I told myself that I wanted to spend under 15k and we are definitely between 25 and 30k at this point. 4k for a photographer is very reasonable (exactly what I’m paying), but I personally believe this is one of the most important vendors and you might think something else is more important. In regards to having a full bar, we initially planned on doing it, but now we are only going to provide a signature drink, 2 different kegs, basic liquors and mixers with a little sign indicating what they can choose from, and an assortment of wine. You can also have a small wedding cake and use sheet cakes for the rest of the guests. Instead of a large wedding cake, we are having a smaller tiered cake, cupcakes, and an ice cream bar that our caterer is setting up. Do your research (and email EVERYONE to scope out prices) to come up with a budget; then allocate your funds as you are able. This helped us negotiate catering prices because we HAD to stay within our limit, so it seems like vendors are more willing to negotiate if you approach them with your max budget instead of seeming confused or ignorant about the current rates. Good luck! And everytime you write another check to a vendor, just remember, it is going to be an incredible celebration of your love 🙂
Post # 10
I’ve been in the same boat. The first wedding vendors I contacted were soo expensive. I thought we were gonna have to elope b/c we can’t afford to spend $30k!
I suggest venturing beyond the Knot for wedding venues. Do you have any local wedding blogs? They’re great resources. Also, look on the local boards here on Weddingbee for a reasonably priced photographer. You can find plenty of photographers for less than $4k. I found mine thorugh the Bee! Once you do find some budget photogs, look at weddings they’ve shot to get more venue ideas. 4
We were able to get a great venue in an awesome location, but we’re having an afternoon wedding to keep costs down. We’re having an open bar but only beer and wine. We’re also having a party at a bar later that night. Even with the cost of the after party, it will be cheaper than a dinner reception.
I’m not very crafty but I plan to DIY my wedding programs and all of the wedding flowers. We’re going with potted orchids for the centerpieces and my mom and I are going to get the flowers for the bouquets/bouts from a wholesaler we found not far from where I live. We did a practice run and it doesn’t seem difficult.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone! I guess my motto for the next year will be “One day at a time”!
@Dareebs: I was just thinking of doing a beer and wine reception, but a few key family members would be pretty upset by the lack of options. I think adding a signature drink and a couple basic liquor options might be the best bet for us. Thanks for that idea!
I think I have the venue, my dad has a hotel and just re-finished a bed and breakfast type place so we will probably have the reception there. It might end up being more stressful though because my dad has never had a wedding there and I’m sure he has no idea what’s involved. It seems like the cost of renting everything is probably about the cost of renting some places also! I’m from a small town, so there aren’t too many options, either they’re too small or really expensive.
Post # 12
@MangoSong: I agree with how expensive DIY projects can be, especially considering how much planning and time they require! IMO, it’s only worth it to DIY if it is something extremely meaningful to you or you will save hundreds of dollars (or more).