Post # 1
Hi Bees, this is my first post.
My FI and I are hoping to get married next fall in upstate New York. Neither of us are from there, and it’s about a 4-hour drive from where we live now. We’re also on a very tight budget – I’d like to only spend $5000 for the whole wedding. I think we’ll only have 100 guests maximum, and maybe more like 50 (yes, I already feel behind on planning)!
This seems doable if we are smart about picking a cheap venue and such. But I don’t know how to FEED people! It seems like every venue with in-house catering requires a food bill that’s higher than my entire wedding budget.
I’d be happy to have myself or some friends/family take on some of the cooking (at least make our own wedding cake / cupcakes), BUT, everyone will be traveling for this wedding, so no one will have access to a kitchen or storage for food. So how am I supposed to cook anything? Can you rent a kitchen somewhere?
Any suggestions?? (FYI, we are getting married there because we are a gay couple and neither of our home states allows same-sex marriage… and I’m not spending my wedding money for a “commitment ceremony” in a state that won’t recognize my marriage)
Post # 3
I would suggest looking into public parks or some sort of public outdoors space that you can rent so you can self-cater. Most reception halls also won’t let you bring in your own food because of health laws and restrictions (liability issues for them). You may have a hard time finding a place where you can cook your own food on site!
How about getting a public park area, maybe putting up a tent (if it’s allowed), and have a local business place cater apps and desserts? Even places like CostCo and Sam’s Club have some really nice appetizer platters that you can put out, and you can pre-order it so all someone has to do is pick it up.
Welcome to the Hive, and I hope some of the other bees have better advice for you than I do!
Post # 4
I’m getting married several hours from where I currently live and the biggest thing I’ve found to be helpful is to use what you have in that town. All the ‘extras’ or homemade treats are more things you have to coordinate and bring with you, which is more stress and more money.
I like abbie017’s idea about having a local business (catering company or restaurant) bring in food items. Being out of town doesn’t mean you have to pay more- just research research research online (Yelp has been my best friend) and email vendors. Only work with ones who make you excited and are excited to work with you.
Post # 5
Sam’s & Costco both have great cakes and desserts too , that are very affordable. You may want to do a scouting trip up there and take a look at the places and things available.
If you post in the NY boards, with specific city you have in mind, the other bees from there might be able to help out.
Also I’ve found when traveling if you stay in a B&B they are helpful with local deals.
Post # 6
Take a look at state parks. I just found one where you can rent the picnic shelter for $50…for the whole day. However, you have to be careful about alcohol. There are a million laws concerning its consumption (so dumb). Oh, check out this link:
Where, exactly, were you looking?
Post # 7
NY is so varied. “upstate” to those who live in the city is Westchester county, where $5000 won’t go far at all. “Upstate” to the rest of us is north and west of Albany, where you can have a small wedding for that amount. I got married for $7k. An idea of where in the state will help determine options.
Post # 8
@batbrain: I too am having alow budget, out of town wedding and it is VERY overwhelming. My FI and I decided that with the cost of food and catering being so much, we would have a DIY cocktail reception. If you can find a venue that will let you cater yourself or bring in outside caterers you will be set. We are suppling the alcohol by buying in bulk from cosco and his dad is paying for two bartenders. Our party size is looking between 75-100 guests so for food we are ordering sandwich platters from the local sandwich shop and doing a candy bar. I also plan on doing some DIY appetizer. We plan on hiring a dj from the local college since that’s usually cheaper, alot post on craigslist looking for side jobs. It’s alot the plan from miles away, but im sure it is possible. The thing to keep in mind is that with out of town weddings you have to do ALOT of research and use as many resources as possible. Dont make rushed decisions or leave things for last minute. Take baby steps, one thing at a time. I looked through some wedding site and tailored the “count down check list” to compensate for all the research time I need. if you follow some sort of time line by when things need to get things done and take one at a time, you should feel some relief.
Take advantage that you have until next fall and look out for things to go on sale. That will definately help with the budget. i’ve already ordered table cloths that were on sale in my colors for 50% off! the little things add up! best of luck to you!
And remember, when you start to get overwhelmed and find yourself not enjoying the process, (which is inevitable, we all have our days) just remember that no matter what comes that day, you are going to marry the one you love the most and no detail can change that!