Planning costs anxiety…

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
173 posts
Blushing bee

DrD711:  Don’t be afraid to break the mold and do something that is totally you just because it’s not “traditional wedding” especially if it will help you stay within budget and let you have the wedding you want.


We aren’t doing “traditional catering” and are probably going to end up hiring an on-site BBQ (the “mobile” version of a local restaraunt). This is going to save us $2,000+ and the food is going to be fresher, tastier, and have more selections compared to the overexpensive “traditional catering” we looked at.

Post # 3
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I totally feel your pain!

When we began planning, we had set a budget of 6k. Seems easy.. until you realize what little 6k will get. Our budget is currently around 14k, and we are still struggling to keep it under that, but I think we’ll be able to do it. We had do go a very non traditional route to save money in some places, to apply it to bigger areas. We are renting a historical home for our ceremony space, and a community building for the reception, this is saving us alot of money to apply to our food/cocktail hour. We won’t need to rent tabels or chairs, so that saves us some money.. the building offers bathrooms, so no rentals on that. We are doing a DIY bar, and while we are saving a bunch on that, we are using the money we saved and applying it to “extra” things for our guests : photo booth, candy buffet, cigar bar, ect.

We really had our hearts set on something that was “us”, but also not a typical wedding experiance for our guests. I feel we are doing a pretty good job!

Post # 4
22 posts
  • Wedding: October 2015

Story of my life! It’s just so frustrating when things end up being so expensive even while you’re trying to be practical (you want how much to rent plain tablecloths??)  

Some places we’re cutting down on:

Food: I originally wanted to do a meal completely out of fun appetizers (enough to really feed everyone!) but expecting 150 people really makes stuff add up quickly. We think we’ve since decided to go with BBQ (I’m still insisting on renting china though, haha) which is a dramatic price decrease and is food that both of us and our families will love! 

Cake: We’re hoping to have a very small cutting cake on display and then just feed the guests with sheet cake from the back. I still want it to be from a baker and with tasty icing a filling (so not a grocery store cake by any means) but it will still end up saving us a lot of money)

Invitations: While I definitely oooh and ahhh over all of the pretty invitations I see, I just cannot justify spending hundreds of dollars on paper that people will throw away. I found our invitations on clearance at Michaels for only 10 bucks for 100! I’m not in love with the design, but I’d much rather spend $400 on something more people will remember. We’re also hoping to do online/phone RSVPs to save on postage and conserve resources.


Where we splurged:

Photobooth: While this is not something traditional, I loveeee photobooths and think they add so much to weddings. It is definitely worth the extra money to me.

Post # 5
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

DrD711:  i have been in your shoes. Fortunately, my mother offered to help me. She paid for the venue which was the biggest expense. But before accepting her offer, DH and I explored other options for an inexpensive wedding. We looked into the non-traditional wedding venues such as women’s clubs, or event halls where you had to supply everything from tables/chairs/linens, etc. We also had to take into consideration a huge cut in the guest list. We also considered DW as they tend to be less costly, and then there was the option of a court house wedding, a lunch after with just our immediate family and then we would take a long honeymoon. 

These are some options you may want to explore. 

Post # 6
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

I had looked into having a wedding with friends and family close by and realized we just couldn’t have the kind of wedding I wanted on my budget.  I planned instead on getting married in a B&B 2.5 hours where I could have a unique, nice wedding…but much smaller.  We love the spot as it’s by where we both go camping every year.  You have to decide what is worth it to you.

Post # 7
173 posts
Blushing bee

antique_acorn:  The cake is another place we’re “upgrading” but saving money.

The best/our favorite bakery in town is baking our cakes. We’re doing an 11inch round lemon cake for the photo-finish cutting that we’ll decorate with some edible flowers (bakery is throwing those in for free!), then getting two 1/2 sheets of our favorite flavors (lemon, same as the cutting cake, and passion fruit) that we’ll serve to the guests. This was also way cheaper than getting a traditional wedding cake.

I love cake and wasn’t happy with the “wedding cakes” we tasted (dry, too much fondant/sugar frosting).

Post # 9
2390 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

To cut cost for us we are having a small wedding with 50 or so people. We are only have one maid of honor and best man. No groomsmen and no braidsmaid because we don’t need any of that. We also have two flower girls and one ring bearer. My wedding colors are simple red, white, and black. My maid of honor purchase her dress from jcpenny and was on sale so that saves money. My FMIL already purchases red dresses that were going to be for Christmas dresses but we are going to use them for my wedding instead. My FSIL are making us the flowers so that is a lot cheaper. I don’t think my fiance and I are going to have a honeymoon because we are saving up for a house but we will go on one once we have more money. 

Post # 10
22 posts
  • Wedding: October 2015

Tellem604:  Plans have change a bit since I wrote this post but we’re still doing BBQ. The guy I originally wanted to go to pretty much doubled his price per person when he figured out how much people were willing to pay (boo!) so we are using a local food truck who makes good BBQ. With their current quote, they will come with the food in warmers and change out pans in our buffet throughout the night. Everything is made ahead of time (no roasters or anything outside) and we get to pick 3 entrees and 3 sides. My fiance and I were also thinking of making like two dishes to supplement for vegetarians and such (like a southwestern bean salad and a regular salad) but I’m not sure yet if the caterer would have a problem with that or not.

I’ve also decided against china since it looks like a logistical nightmare, given that our venue is VERY DIY. Instead, we are going with disposable bamboo plates. With our rustic decor, I think they will fit right in and be something unique the guests will notice! Here’s the link:

Post # 11
867 posts
Busy bee

Ahh I know what you mean, individually things look affordable and then the vendor gives you the total cost and your jaw just drops! As far as food and alcohol, haggle and negotiate and haggle some more, try to limit alcohol to wine and beer and see if that gives a discount, or negotiate the bar only be open until a certain time in the night- that can keep costs down. For food, think outside the box. We debated self catering a high tea to save so much money, or BBQs are good (and dont have to be the sticky eaten outside sort). I organised my college ball years ago and we negotiated 1k off the cost just by opting for barbequed chicken, pork and sausages rather than roasted! Of course that was a larger guest list but its suprising just how you can save money. We also bought our own wine and paid corkage per bottle for the meal, rather than using their overpriced wine and saved alot. 

Post # 12
46 posts
  • Wedding: October 2015

DrD711:  I had a similar situation happen after a budget talk with FI’s dad, who is the only parent willing/able to help us with costs. We went from looking at a gorgeous estate venue to accepting that we will probably get married in a cute little church and then rent out the American Legion for our reception. I was bummed for a few days that I wouldnt’t be having the wedding I had dreamed about (in some manifestation) since my Barbies started getting married to Ken at the age of 4. However, FI and I were out last night at a bar with a bunch of his work friends to say goodbye to one of the guys in his department, and as I was standing there taking it all in, I realized that the only thing that matters is the people who are there. Many of the people in that room are on our preliminary guest list, and it hit me as I was drinking my beer that as long as the people we love are together in one room, laughing, dancing, and having a good time, then it’ll be better than I could have ever dreamed.

Post # 13
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

DrD711:  Im the cheap one. Fiancé just thinks we should book people and cost doesn’t matter. I want to know every single cost attached and decide if whatever is worth the extra money. My parents offered to pay but I feel guilty because my fiancé and I make more than them. His parents make 3 times more than us and we will most likely be at the same level as his parents in the future. Sit down with fiancé and decide what is the most important thing that you think money should go towards. What do you not care much about? I could care less about flowers so we won’t be having any and I will DIY the bouquets. I don’t see the point in programs or menus or a lot of details. Ring pillows?!? Some people are happy with a friend taking pictures and a friend controlling music. These are all things to consider how much it matters. 

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