Post # 1
My fiance and I got engaged several months ago, and we’ve been looking and venues and such where we live in Southern California to get an idea of what our costs are going to be, and everything is SO expensive!
We don’t make much money, pretty much a paycheck to paycheck life, and while I have some savings I’ve set aside, we don’t want to spend any more than $8K all together for the ceremoney and reception.
Venues are the biggest bite that we’ve found. Our guestlist so far is about 100 people, and cutting it down is proving difficult(the last thing we want to do is insult soon to be family members, and a lot of them hold grudges…)
I might be able to find a relative with a backyard big enough for 100 (in Riverside) but doing a backyard wedding would kind of destroy our rathering interesting wedding theme…winter theme in June..
Our wedding date is set for a weekday, which brings costs down and might thin out the guest list once we annouce the date, but we aren’t sure when to do that and how. We’ve been considering using the website that TheKnot offers, but that seems rather impersonal.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 2
I got married last week at the Mission Beach Women’s Club and its a great venue…its $1000 for a Sunday or weekday wedding and includes all of the tables and chairs for the reception, plus they let you bring in your own catering and alcohol which saves another bundle. We had a taco cart come cater for $7.50 a person (Tacos and Gorditas) and we got soooo many compliments. Everyone loved it. Hope that helps!
Post # 3
Lavannah: You’ll need to figure in costs for your dress, flowers, photography, etc… that will help you figure out how much you can spend on a reception. I’d suggest you go with a dessert reception or a cake/punch reception (vs. a sit down dinner). I’m also in So Cal and when I started planning, I didn’t want to exceed 10K. That’s when I realized for what I wanted (and evening, food provided, dancing reception) – it was an unrealistic budget. My advice is to sit down with your FI and figure out what is essential to you and go from there. You may need to reset your budget, if certain things are non-negotiable. Good luck with the planning and congrats on your engagement!
Post # 4
Lavannah: Hi! I agree with pp about sitting down with your FI and really discussing your budget. As another SoCal bride, I had very early on set a budget of $7000 for a small, intimate wedding of 50ish people. Ummm….yeaaahhhh….super unrealistic of me. There are some nice, affordable venues, though. There is that ocean view club house/barn in Huntington Beach. It’s something like $400, but you have to get on the wait list early. Overall, I found that state parks, etc. are much more affordable than private property. What part of SoCal are you looking at? What type of venue are you most interested in? It might help us to give you more ideas if you can give us more details.
Good luck planning!!
Post # 5
Lavannah: I would check out http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/. Real life wedding are brokendown by cost, so just select the amount your willing to spend and you get pics and details of how real brides in different locations budgeted and saved!
Post # 6
FI and I have sat down a few times now and have done a decent amount of wedding research(I’ve done more on my own) and we just seem to be running in circles… We’ve managed to up our budget to $10k, but that’s really not much extra to go with. He wants an indoor ceremony/reception, and I’m rather indifferent to where it is as long as it doesn’t put us in debt, it’s just finding one that doesn’t requiring a catering service that doesn’t eat up our entire budget that’s also within a decent distance from us and our families.
I’m trying to avoid flowers as hard as I can. I frankly don’t see them as expense worthy, since they inevitably die unless someone wants to dry and preserve them. I’m all about being able to reuse things I’ve purchased, so I’m really trying to go with bouquet and decor alternatives like lanterns and such, since those can easily be reused for both the ceremony and reception and then later down the line at home.
I guess the hardest part for me is getting in to the whole wedding idea in the first place. I’ve always found weddings to be boring ever since I was a little girl. I hate beng the center of attention, and seeing all the costs needed for the wedding is just pushing me away from wanting to have one. I just want to save all the cash, elope with the FI, and take a nice trip to Europe…but the families on both sides are not at all keen on that idea….figures…
Post # 7
Lavannah: if FI feels the same way – by all means ELOPE! If a big party is important to your families, tell them you’d be open to have them host a reception when you get back (that THEY plan).
Post # 8
Gr33nsLove: fantastic advice and great ideas!
Post # 9
We rented a house in Palm Springs. Out budget was 10k at first but ended up going closer to 15K (although the majority of the overage could have easily been avoided) the house option was the best for us because we wanted to bring in our own caterer and alcohol to save money. If you end up being out in riverside or the desert, it’s cheaper to hire vendors in the la/OC/sd area and pay them to travel then it is to hire vendors in the desert. (apart from flowers, I found a very affordable florist in Palm springs) you figure out your priorities very quickly with a smaller budget! Flowers and decor ended up not being very important to me, I just wanted my guests to be well fed and happy!
pm me if you want more details 🙂
Post # 10
FI does want a nice ceremony and reception(I tease him that he’s more of a bride than I am), so eloping isn’t going to happen. It’s just going to come down to finding ways to cut spending, which is why I’ve been pricing decor items, caterers, flowers(seasonal for that time of year), and comparing venues that are either all inclusive or just rental only. Venues are still being the biggest issue, and anything that isn’t in the $10k range or higher is up to 3-5 hours away. Even my aun’t place in Riverside is two hours away for ME.
Pretty soon FI and I will have to get save the date cards made and send those out and HOPE that gives us an idea of who can and can’t attend a weekday wedding(even though they’ll be getting almost a year’s notice). The June wedding date doesn’t help either. That’s peak wedding season, and while we’re up to moving the date, we’d like to keep it on our current anniversary date. By the time we get married we’ll have been together for eleven years, and it just feels better know that the anniversary of our first date falls on the same date of our wedding(and FI agrees).