Post # 1
I had planned on having something small from the start– about 80-100 people. I bought/ordered my dress, etc. The wedding is supposed to be Aug 3rd. Well, we were planning on a super budget wedding– about $4,500-5,000 everything included (rings, dresses, etc.)
A lot of that money was going to be coming from tax refunds. We are both BSN (nursing) students, so almost all of our money goes to nursing school and my 3 children from my previous marriage. Welllllll….. I just don’t see how I am going to be able to afford everything. I dont know what to do!
What is a good alternative way to at least have a party with my friends and family to celebrate? I just …. I’m heartbroken. I didn’t have a “real” wedding the first time around and have been enamoured with the idea of walking down the aisle just once in my life and being a “real” bride. NOW, I have to preface this to say that my relationship is perfectly wonderful. We both adore each other and I know that we don’t “need” these things to get married, and they’re all material and don’t really matter in the end…. but, I can’t help but to still want them.
What do I do? I just don’t have the money for all this now and it’s completely heartbreaking.
Also, the reason we want to do it this summer is because well, we love each other and WANT to. Secondly, my oldest DD is 7 and we feel like it’s time for them to see our commitment to each other rather than “having mommy’s boyfriend” live with us to more solidify our family so that the children can see that (though we are not marrying for that reason– that’s just a timing plus).
Post # 3
You could have a beautiful, early afternoon ceremony, followed by a short reception where you serve punch, wedding cake, and light snacks. As long as your total event doesn’t encompass a regular meal time, you do not need to provide a meal for your guests.
Post # 4
@2littleslauren: if you have children and you are both in school (both of those are major tax deductions), you should basically get all your taxes back from the government.
Did you file your taxes and find out it won’t be $4500-$5500?
If you aren’t going to be getting the tax refund you thought, I second Brielle’s suggestion- Have an early afternoon ceremony and a quick reception of snacks, wedding cake, and punch. You’ll save a ton of money on table decor, food, alcohol, no dj, etc.
My oldest two siblings both had these simple, church weddings with cake and punch in the church’s fellowship hall.
Post # 5
You can still do this. I’m doing a lot of the wedding DIY. We recently decided to even do our own food. We are doing BBQ and mac and cheese, ect… Also we’ve got a friend DJ’ing who is cutting us a deal. The ceremony and reception for $200. I have a friend who does photography as a hobby and she is doing our pictures, $300. We are having the wedding at an old renovated barn/recreational center, which already has tables and chairs. The reception is about $500 all together and the ceremony will be free. Which will be outside next to the barn. Its a huge park. I bought my dress at Davids Bridal $300… Yes that is right!!! (my dad recently got married and his wife found her dress on craigs list, FREE!!! Only stipulation is she has to give it away also, she can not sell it). I’ve been picking stuff up each week. You can always do silk flowers, which is what I’m doing. That way I don’t have to get the flowers all at once. Our budget is $5000, but I think I can do it for less. I know I have other things to add, but can’t think right now. Lol. Sure, I’d like to have a huge budget and be able to afford the wedding that I didn’t have to do myself. But in the end I have really enjoyed all the planning. At the end of the day as long as I get to call him my husband then everything will be perfect!!!!
Post # 6
Are you saying you can’t afford the $5000 any more?
If that’s the case, you can still “walk down the aisle”, but you will have to be more nontraditional. I’m trying to talk my friend into a potluck wedding. If it were me, i would choose spring or fall when the weather wasnt too hot. Find a local park with a picnic shelter. Tell everyone it’s a picnic wedding and to bring a blanket and a favorite dish with the recipe so the family can have a wedding recipe book. (You can provide drinks like lemonade and soda, and paper plates, cups, etc) Then have everyone spread out a blanket, but leave an aisle for you to walk down. Then do something silly like have a softball game in your dress or have a 3-legged race or other games.
Contact a local Community College and as the photography teacher for the 3 best photographers or do something they just did on Practical Weddings–Instagram wedding photos sent to a shared site.
You can do this!
Post # 7
My state refund is delayed and went under “manual review” (I have no clue as to why) but it won’t come through MAYBE until June now.
So I am still getting part of my refund back, but not all I was expecting. I already paid for 50% of my dress.
We wanted to do an evening thing anyways (after dinner) so that guests knew we weren’t serving a meal.
Post # 8
@2littleslauren: ditto @ Curly W…
Time to get real creative and make your dream come true…but the dream may need to be tweaked a bit!
August would be the perfect month for a wonderful outdoor wedding, early afternoon, simple food, simple decor, let the kiddies run around like maniacs, get a friend with a laptop and download music, etc.
You still have enough time. Take a hard look at your budget NOW, and once you have a total in mind that you can spend comfortably, start asking/telling friends and family how they can help! Most folks are all too glad to join in and feel like a part of the celebration vs. just an onlooker.
I just came out of very similar circumstances, and although we ended up taking a different direction, I still had a ceremony that met my vision, and was very meaningful to my and his children and our families and guests.
Don’t give up! just revise your priorities a bit and go for it from there! 🙂
Post # 9
80 to 100 is small? And here I thought my 50 to 60 felt bigger than I wanted! LOL.
You can still have a great wedding and walk down the aisle. You can do an afternoon wedding with punch and sandwhiches and cookies, cupcakes ect. Do you have family who can help you make food? Or in stead of presents, just ask everyone to bring a fav dish and have a pot luck! Some bee’s think potlucks are in poor taste, but where I’m from it’s very normal and accepted.
Music on a laptop, or an ipod will work.
You can get a dress for $200 ish custom made online. I got mine from Dressilyme and it’s amazing.
You can DIY a bunch of projects, you crafty at all? Start collection Michaels’s or Joanne’s coupons. You can make some lovely bouquets and bout’s out of fabric flowers.
You can do it! Just breath!
Post # 10
My MoH is having a super budget wedding too, you’re not alone and you can do this and still have it be nice! Since you’re doing an after dinner wedding, you can go to your local bakery, even the one in your grocery store and pick out a mini cake for you and your hubby, and a sheet cake for the guests. One and a half sheet cakes should serve everyone easily.
The student photographer is a fantastic idea, plus they will still have work you can look through to make sure you like their style.
The dollar store is your friend! They have lots of vases, candleholders, those pretty decorative rocks, paints, etc. If you have a farmers market in the area, there are almost always people selling flowers. Talk to them and see what deal they’ll give you. Seriously, you’d be amazed.
Also, hit up the local Goodwill and thrift stores. You can find really pretty jewelry for next to nothing, and it totally counts as the ‘something old’ 🙂
It can be done!
Post # 11
If you have an evening event, people are going to be expecting alcohol. If you have it in the afternoon, people wont expect it.
Post # 12
You could do a cash bar and not worry if people are expecting or not expecting Alcohol
Post # 13
@2littleslauren: You can totally make this happen! You’re just going to have to do some out of the box thinking. I’m planning a wedding for April 20th and I’m basically making everything myself and it’s saving us a ton of $$$. Being that you want to do this in the summer, you’ve got plenty of time to make some things yourself…or ask friends/family who have a knack for being crafty.
A few things I’ve done to save money: Paper flowers (bouquets, bouts, centerpieces) – there are some great tutorials on here, as well as other wedding sites, blogs, etc….My dress was a discontinued style so the sample dress was being sold off the rack for $199; or you could go to a prom/formal wear boutique and order a beautiful formal dress in white or ivory. My sister did that and her dress was breathtaking! Look into holding your venue at a state facility. Since they’re non-profit, they don’t charge much (if anything) to use their spaces. We’re getting married at a beautiful site in a state park and the ceremony site is free and the reception hall, which is very nice and recently remodeled, is only going to cost $200.
Bottom line: avoid ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that has the word “wedding” tacked onto it. That alone causes 75-100% markup. You can still have a beautiful wedding without paying a fortune! 🙂 Best of luck to you!
Post # 14
Thank you all for the suggestions!!
as far as alcohol– I’m not worried about that. We brew our own beer and keg it so that only costs us about $30 a keg to make 😉
i have a lot of family / friends who would be willing to help …. Maybe if I tone it down to like 25 people and have an informal “party”??? I will look into a state park or something like that also (although I thought they were usually alcohol free???)
Luckily my hubby to be is super laid back and doesn’t care what I plan….
Does it make more sense to save up $$ until next year to have the reception and just get married now legally then do a full ceremony later or is that silly?
Post # 15
@2littleslauren: Where in Michigan are you? Get married on one of our beautiful beaches (free), have a friend get “ordained” through the universal church of whateveritis that gets them ordained for like $20 to marry you, then find a hall or community center to do your reception. Baby’s breath boquets are gorgeous and next to nothing, find a photog student to do your pics, most thrift stores have oneor two days a month where thngs are 50% off (for vases, votive holders etc)…and start gathering things a month at a time. Since you brew your own beer and aren’t planning for food..you can TOTALLY do this.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
some ideas. Get creative but dont overwhelm yourself, after all you do have three kids to look after and university so i imagine DIY time is limited.
Get married outside – no need for decoration
Go to the flower market to get your flowers. One person I know simply bought a load of roses from the market and gave a rose to each guest to hold for the ceremony and then just had her bouquet, kept it under on hundred
Best way to save money is to cut back the guet list if you can, even by ten
Do your own stationary but instead of designing it yourself buy a PDF design from Etsy for like a few dollars and print them yourself or order stuff from vistaprint.
Pass tasks on to other members of your family
Have the cake makers amongst family and friends cook one of their favourite cakes and then you have a free desert table. Pretty it up with free printabble buntin, signage etc.