(Closed) Need help from the hive–small budget

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
13 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

Admittedly my budget isn’t quite as restrictive as yours, but we’re also trying to keep costs down πŸ™‚ One of the things that I’m doing that has saved a TON of money is DIY invitations. I did mine from scratch (all the cardstock cutting, designing, etc.), but you can get the little kits at Michaels, JoAnns and Hobby Lobby for cheap too! πŸ™‚

Post # 4
1982 posts
Buzzing bee

$2000 wedding might help you a ton! But seriously, 5000 is doable. To do one cost cutting thing right now, start assembling a guest list. I would say you could comfortably host 75-100 depending on where you are.

Biggest cost cutting savings aside from guest list: decide on the type of reception and what time of year/week/day–timing is everything, and food is expensive–sometimes buffets are reaaaaally expensive. Consider a restaurant reception, unusual venues (like art galleries, etc) where you won’t have too much decor to buy, and consider rentals when you start venue pricing.

Then the little things: consider buying your dress online or used. I’m getting my dress from Aria (http://ariadress.com) and they are fantastically inexpensive! Look for inexpensive shoes and consider making your own veil, those things can get pricey.

Remember that the inexpensive details can be the ones that make your reception feel more expensive–for example, my wedding website is a flash built website from wix.com and I redirect to my own domain name, purchased from godaddy.com for like almost nothing. My wedding website looks soooo much cooler than the standard knot “free” website too. My save the dates are awesome magnets that cost me a whopping $40 I think… click on my name and then “profile” to find my blog to see more, I have all my “cost cutting measures” there.

I second the handmade invites. Look at all the invites the bees have made! There is so much you can do on a limited budget, really. Check amazon.com, ebay and etsy for the best deals on raw materials. I saw $14 boxes of 250 envelopes there.

Honestly, some stuff is just things you might find along the way. I found all my envelopes at Big Lots for a whopping $6 when Martha DIY kits were on clearance. My ribbon was found at Big Lots and Old Time Pottery. Instead of ribbon, I’m using some fun yarn in some places!

Seriously, PM me if you ever want to know any more. I have had so many ideas that I’m not using, that if you’re willing to put in the work would turn out fabulous!

Good luck!

Post # 5
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Our budget is $4,000… And its totally possible! We’re also doing it under 5 months while in school… so the amount of DIY projects I can do is cut drastically as well. Our biggest tip was just prioritizing. We’re cutting a lot of things that just aren’t important to us (fresh flower, fancy centerpieces, most decorations, great photographer, open bar…) Everyone’s list here will be different, of course… But its a great place to start πŸ™‚

We’re also doing a Friday morning… which cuts down on two fronts: morning venue costs can be cheaper and breakfast/lunch food is much cheaper than dinner food. And our guest list is small… which keeps costs down a lot.

OH! And we have a bunch of friends who are helping out! Two are teaching dance lessons in liu of cocktail hour, another friend is DJing, another is the videographer and then a friend is officiating as well. And my great friends are also helping me with hair and makeup as well as making our cake as our wedding present πŸ˜€

Post # 6
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Decide what’s important and what you can live without. For me, I want to chiavari chairs so  china will have to go (paper plates all the way!). No dance floor, we will be providing cheaper forms of entertainment. So that cuts out a DJ- iPodilicious! Good food and a videographer are a must, there we splurge. My dress is important but I don’t need something that’s thousands of dollars as we’re doing a backyard wedding. Gonna try and keep that under $500. Negotiate with… yourself!

Post # 7
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

One HUGE cost-saving measure is to cut the guest list.  You can stretch money sooo much farther if you keep numbers down, and there are some really wonderful things about intimate weddings.  That said, I know that some people really want to have a ton of friends and extended family, and that is also great (just gonna cost way more)

I definitely recommend that you DIY with all the paper products.  Of all the overpriced wedding stuff I’ve seen, that is the category that I just cannot understand… it’s SOOOOO expensive!! 

Get creative with where you find your dress!  Also, find photographers and/or videographers who are trying to build up their business so you can find a great deal.

You can TOTALLY do it — good luck to you!

Post # 8
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club

My friend had a beautiful wedding for $5k. Some things she did:

– Super small guest list

– Non-floral centerpieces (hers had candles, some vases, and rose petals sprinkled on the tables; no one even noticed and we had fun throwing the rose petals on her later πŸ™‚

– have it on an off day of the week, and/or during the day (like Sunday mid morning or something)

– avoid June, July, August or Christmas

– have light brunch or just a cake/punch reception

– have just hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal (although I hear sometimes this can be more expensive than it sounds)

– have it at a non wedding-y venue, like a restaurant’s banquet room

– DIY all your paper products (but price it first, supplies can get expensive)

– buy a pre-owned wedding dress

– iPod/laptop DJ  for the reception, or maybe some local college/high school music students for your ceremony music… my friend is having some high school music students for her daughter’s wedding, and they require nothing more than a pay-what-you-can donation!

Post # 9
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Location:  Look into a park pavillion but be careful of rental costs.  There are some all inclusive places that are great.  Our venue waved the venue fee but because of the size being larger than 50 we had to rent about $900 work of items (tent, ceremony chairs, and bar top tables). A standing ceremony if outdoors is also an option.  

Food:  Ask about specific caterers or food requirements with venues.  We are having great food but it is costing us a bit since we are required to have it catered by the venues restaurant (This is our big splurge).  We are doing a BBQ at the lake house my parents are stay for ~$500 ($40).  Picnic or BBQ style is much cheaper.

Dress:  I was able to find my wedding dress on clearance and fit off the rack for $200 from a local bridal shop.  

Flowers: If you really like real flowers like I do, consider doing bulk or a local flower farm. We are having a local flower farm do in season flowers for my flowers, lots of bouts and flowers for our DIY center pieces for $380.

Cake:  Find a local talented baker who works out of their home.  We cut our cake costs in half.  

Rings:  There are some great bands in titanium or tungsten carbide for around $100.  Shop around and decide what you like.  

Good luck with planning!   

Post # 10
640 posts
Busy bee

We are doing ours for $4500. We are planning it all in 3 months, having our ceremony at the Justice of the Peace, and reception at a restaurant with approximate 60 guests. My aunt-in-law is doing our flowers at cost (we estimate $350), I got my dress on ebay, we got our rings at the zales outlet,  my sisters friend is doing our pictures, and we got our invitations at Michael’s. So many ways to keep a wedding down, you just have to think about what is important to you. We are planning on a honeymoon that costs about $1200.

Post # 12
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m also on a $5k budget.  We’re doing ours on a Friday night to save $, and our venue is a park in the area, so it was just $70 to rent the pavillion.  Also, flower mark-up is about 300% (not kidding, that’s standard) so DIY can bring the cost down.  I’m getting bulk roses from costco.

Also, don’t let anyone suck you into the “little extras”.  Veils at a bridal shop can run over $100 dollars easily. You can get them for under $30 at Michaels and other places.  Just keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

Good luck πŸ™‚

Post # 13
22 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree:  keep your guest list down and use paper (or plastic) plates!  No one will remember if you use plastic plates.  They’ll remember the food and the good time they had!  And MichellemyBell is right – don’t let anyone pressure you into the extras.  When you buy your gown, don’t just buy your undergarments at the bridal salon — shop around at department stores, because they’ll probably be cheaper there.  If your florist says you need huge flower arrangements on your buffet tables, but you don’t want them, don’t get them!  

Here’s another article with some cost-saving tips:


Post # 15
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am a budget bride also. For starters  you can get a little more bang for your buck if you limit the guests to less that 100. Secondly, have your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday, or a Saturday morning. This will save you money. Diy decor..fiftyflowers even has prearranged centerpieces so you do not have to really diy them..andn they are cheap. Shop around, and research (make sure everyhting has good reviews). I sent out mass emails to vendors asking for quotes, and then I negotiated a little (they will do this a little), especially photographers and especially if its on an off night or an off season. diy stationary..or get it from vistaprint. google invitation coupons for vista print, and usually there is a small discount on their already inexpensive stuff. They will send you a free sample of the quality of their iinvites. They are not amazing, but def great for the price. Very cute. Have beer and wine and have a venue that lets you BYOB and preferabbly choose your own caterer. Get creative! For wedding cake…negotiate and also shop around. Also you’ll save a little money by using the top tier for guests. Have a dj, not a band..and shop around, there are some affordable and reputable guys out there. And lastly, go to a salon for hair and makeup rather than have someone come to you..or have a friend do it. hope this helps! I love planning if you can’t tell..I use to want to do event planning, but changed my mind.

Post # 16
7152 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

It most definitely can be done! Depending on what deals you find and friends you know that can do the major things like Officiate, Decorate, DJ, and Photog for you…you can have a wedding bigger than 100, like most of the bees are suggesting. Our guest list is close to 200. Venue and CAtering are usually the most expensive, so find those first. Then you will know how much left you have. You can easily go to David’s for a $100 dress too.

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