Is it possible to have a wedding under 5K?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
2551 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Yes, it is possible!  But you have to really look around to make this work.  Some people use backyards to prevent the venue fee.  Parks or community centers are also cheaper… this will make the food your biggest expense (unless you’re splurging on photography).  It might be hard to find a restaurant that will let you rent them out for 80-90 people, and most restaurants will have food minimums.  I would say, keep your options open. 

Best of luck!

Post # 3
7185 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

It’s possible to have a wedding for 5k or less, but you have to compromise. We had our wedding for 3k, but we had our ceremony and reception at my mom’s cabin (free), my best friend’s mom made our cake (free), my mom cooked all of our food, and we had a lot of DIY from decor to flowers. We had 40 guests. I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding, it was lovely 🙂

Post # 4
101 posts
Blushing bee

Ontario Bride here… In Richmond Hill? I wouldn’t think so.

You know that everything in the GTA is overpriced beyond belife. at $62 (ish) dollars a person, I don’t think you would find a cater without a minimum $4000 needed. If you DIY it, posibly like the other responses, but not at a restaurant or anything – they usually need $50 min … and then theres a dress, rings, cake…. the list goes on.

Sorry 🙁 maybe try to cut the guest list?

Post # 5
2136 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We had a package deal, $2800 for dinner for 25 (we paid $42 for each additional guest, which includes gratuity), a lakeside ceremony, minister, altar table, garden chairs, overnight room for bride and groom (had a fireplace and was right on the lake) and wedding cake. Alcoholic beverages cost extra. It was beautiful! But this was in Indiana so I guess it’s a lot cheaper than Ontario.

Post # 6
1002 posts
Bumble bee

Depends on what you’re looking for, but you may be able to find a local “ethnic” restaurant (I hate that word to describe it, but I mean Indian or Mexican or Chinese, something along those lines) that you’re able to rent out that’s much less than a traditional fancier restaurant. It all depends on your taste and style though! 

Our budget is also under $5000 ($4500 actually, and another $3-400 for his ring) so we are working really hard to keep it at that! 

Post # 7
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

There are so many restaurants in Toronto, especially if you’re willing to expand to the GTA.  While I’m sure you could make dinner work, lunch or brunch will give you so many options.  Something cheap like Spring Rolls has private rooms for well under your budget, but you probably want to go fancier,  lol. Good luck!

Post # 8
988 posts
Busy bee

That’s our plan! My FI is still in school (though should be graduating in May before our July wedding) and we’re both living on my entry-level salary, so our wedding planning is all about being thrifty. AND we’re planning on inviting 150 guests. We’ve got a lot done already, so here’s what our budget looks like at this point:

Already purchased/contracts signed:

Ceremony Venue (Catholic Church): free, but we’ll have to pay an organist, cantor, and altar servers, plus we intend to make a donation to the church, so we’re planning on a total cost of about $500

Reception venue: $900 for four hours plus $200/hour after that, so we’re planning on a total of 6 hours for $1,300. It’s an additional $150 to have them open the cash bar (which includes free non-alcoholic beverages including coffee, tea, sodas, etc) for a total venue cost of $1,450

Food: The venue has it’s own caterer and the food was AWESOME so we’re going with them. It’s italian food and we’re going with the most expensive option (chicken parm, 2 different pasta options, salad & garlic bread) total cost (which includes all the plates, silverware, etc.): $780

Photographer: Our original plan of using a pro photog family member didn’t pan out, but we have decided to take a chance on a fantastic photog who is just now getting her foot in the door to the wedding industry. Her photos look great, but she’s a newbie to weddings, so we’re getting a huge cost savings in exchange for taking the risk. Total cost for all-day coverage and including an engagment session: $550.

My dress: Found at a consignment bridal shop for $450 (actually more than I had intended to spend, but I fell in love with it!)

Paper: We’re DIY-ing all the STD’s, Invitations, and programs. We’ve already got most of it designed and just bought all the envelopes (I’m going to get a head-start on the caligraphy for the addresses) and a ton of printer ink. Total cost this far: $190. Plus, we figure it’ll be another $150 for paper & postage.

For FI’s attire, we’re going casual (because, who wants to wear a full tux in mid-july?) and he’ll wear just a white shirt with either a tie or bowtie, so we’re budgeting about $100 for whatever he doesn’t already own.

We’re DIY-ing the flowers for the bouquets & centerpieces and plan to order the blooms in bulk for no more than $500. We found the vases for the centerpieces at a garage sale and paid $5 for 23 vases! yay!

Also we’ll be self-DJing. The reception venue has a sound system which is free to use and FI and I will devote a lot of time to creating playlists ( has some pretty great lists already available, by the way)

That puts out total spending at just under the $5K mark, which we’ll use to cover whatever we haven’t thought of at this poing (like the license itself…$50? $100? I’ve got no idea). Whatever is left over, we’ll use to buy wine for the reception. We’re hoping to put two bottles on each table, but we’ll have to decide when it gets closer if it will put us over the budget (or if it’s worth it to go over budget for)

Anyways, long story short: We fully intend to pull off a 150 person wedding for right around $5K.

Post # 9
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

BTW, I’ve also heard Alice Fazooli’s has private dining rooms and cheap party menus.  These type of venues might not exactly scream “wedding”, but if you spend 4k on 90 guests, that’s 34$/pp before gratuity and HST assuming no minimums.  34$ doesn’t go far at a traditional wedding venues in Toronto at dinner, especially if you want to serve a few bottles of wine.  I love Sunday brunch weddings and think they’re a good way to do cheap + elegant.         

Post # 10
33 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Forsyth Park in Savannah, GA

Yes! We had a destination wedding at a beautiful park with less than 20 people, including ourselves. It was still beautiful and I don’t regret a thing!

Post # 11
867 posts
Busy bee

Its possible, have a ceremony and then go to a lovely restaurant but honestly for 80 people you will pushed unless they pay for their own meals. You could have a ceremony, then provide drinks and cake at your house or somewhere cheap, and then you could go for a meal with just close family and friends after. 

Post # 12
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

kayjaymc:  I would say yes, but not for that amount of people. Especially if you include the photographer in that amount. 


You would really have to pare down your decorations and your guest list to fit in that budget. We had a wedding of 30 people and it cost about 5K but we didn’t cut down on anything EXCEPT the guest list in order to have a lavish yet Intimate Wedding


I don’t want to say a complete NO- but it will be extremely difficult for that amount of guests. My advise is only to invite CLOSE family and Friends.

Post # 13
1499 posts
Bumble bee

You can do a wedding at any budget, you just have to be able to “give up” some things-like photobooths, possibly the dj etc. I would sit down together and decide what is the most important aspect for you both- is it the food? Dancing? The ceremony? Make a broken out budget based off what you want to be the most important thing. For 80+ people, I would suggest holding an afternoon picnic style wedding. Around here, a picnic dinner (pulled pork on a bun, potato salad etc) costs about $11 per person which would be around $1000 of your budget. Rent a city park spot- here I can rent a picnic spot with picnic tables under a canopy for $150 all day. And so on…

Post # 14
1473 posts
Bumble bee

Would it have to be for dinner? Maybe it would work with appetizers or desserts only? Especially if family offered to help with food. But you would need a venue that allows that. 

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