Post # 1
When we got engaged, Fiance and I set a budget of $15,000. That includes everything but the honeymoon; we’re talking gormet buffet dinner for 350 people (the guest list can’t be cut down much further than that). It’s a tight budget, but I’m pretty sure we can swing it.
Or at least, I was. Until today, when we realized that between the two of us, we have exactly $6 in savings. SIX DOLLARS. Are you kidding me? This is like the epitome of poor college student. Six. Bucks. We’re not getting married for 3 years, but still. Just please tell me the plan I’m about to lay out makes sense.
But Fiance graduates in a year with a BA in accounting. He plans on finding a job in the general area (probably Akron or Cleveland, since Youngstown is, as I like to call it, the place where dreams go to die). Of course, this is us assuming that he actually GETS an accounting job. If he can’t, he will try to work two jobs in whatever combination he can manage. While he’s doing this, I’ll still be going to school full time and working THREE jobs. (One office job a few hours a week, one as a writing assistant in the evenings, and another at a nearby mall on weekends).
This pattern will continue for two years.
We literally do NOTHING for ourselves, ever. Our dates involve picnics in the woods because we’re too damn broke to do anything. So it’s not like we’re being wasteful or irresponsible with our money. It’s just that after we’ve paid for everything we need, we’re left with nothing, because we’re both full time students.
So I guess I just need reassurance that two straight years of us working 5 jobs between the two of us will, in fact, put us in a position to save $15,000 and NOT have to live in a cardboard box when we’re married.
Please say yes.
Post # 3
Personally, if I were in your shoes, I think I would rather have that money in the bank 3 years from now, and have a much more intimate ceremony or elopment. 🙁
Is there a cultural reason that 350 is your minimum guest list?
Post # 4
I’m actually in a very similar situation, except I couldn’t see the point in not living life for 2 years so we could have a big bash for 1 day. Less than a day, really. So now we’re thinking about planning a low key, very “us” wedding, with the VIPs.
Post # 5
Any chance your families can help pay? I don’t want to encourage you to go around with a collecting tin, but you might just want to sit down with your parents, talk about your financial situation and your wedding budget, and see if they are interested in helping out.
We’re managing to spend about half what you are on our wedding (not including honeymoon), but then again our guest list is about one third of yours. So yes, it is absolutely possible to plan a wedding on that budget. The question is, can you really afford that? I know it sucks to cut back on the guest list, but that may be what you need to do 🙁
Post # 6
There’s no way you can cut back more? A wedding of 150 at $10,000 is much more doable, and then you’ll have some money to live 🙂
Post # 7
I agree with PPs. Yes, it is possible to save that much…but do you really wanna knock yourselves out for the next 3 years to then spend ALL of your savings on one day?
A smaller, more intimate wedding would be much more affordable. You can still scrimp & save over the next few years for your wedding fund, but then if it were me, I’d try to be as budget-conscious/thrifty as possible, so that in the end you actually wind up with some savings left over to start your life together.
Post # 8
Honestly, that seams like a whole lot of sacrafice for one day. I know how important the perfect wedding is to lots of girls (myself included) but I couldn’t bring myself to add that much stress to my life for a “party”.
Post # 9
I guess it’s something you will have to reevaluate as time goes one. See if he gets a job and what the pay is like etc. At least you are thinking about it all now. Once he is working full time, hopefully things will get better.
Have you asked family if they wish to contribute to the wedding? I’m assuming it’s 350 because you have a large family, would mum and dad want to chip in at all?
Post # 10
I think you can save 15k in 3 years, but its going to be tough. Things are a little rough in Ohio right now and I know people who graduated over a year ago and still dont have jobs. Plus its going to be super stresful to go to school full time, work 3 jobs and plan a wedding. I dont think you have to elope but it might be better to consider having a smaller wedding.
Post # 11
I’m a college bride as well. Our budget is around 15,000 for 140 guests. Originally, we had over 200 but had to cut it down for $$$ reasons. Fiance has the money saved up because he graduated a year ago and has been working since then (and living with mom and dad). I highly recommend cutting your guest list. Even if they are family, not everyone needs to go, IMO!
Post # 12
My family is small- if we invited everyone we’re related to, it would come out to be something like 50 people. His family is a different story. There are HUNDREDS of them. 75 people show up for Christmas Eve. Not even kidding.
I know his parents are paying for alcohol and rehersal dinner, as well as his attire, which is a HUGE help. Love my future in-laws to death.
Mine have recently told me that they plan to help out, but no idea on how much. My parents and I have a very… interesting relationship. It’s more businesslike than anything. It’s not that they don’t care about me, but there is no sense of wanting their daughter to have the “perfect” wedding.
And I don’t even need it to be perfect or extravagant. I mean, I’m planning on spending $500 or less on EVERYTHING I’m wearing. Shoes, dress, veil, alterations… everything. Will it be my dream dress? Hell no. But as long as I feel beautiful, that’s all I care about.
I really just don’t want to have to worry about paying the bills after we’re married! I keep explaining to him that I’d rather have that money for our MARRIAGE instead of our wedding, but the big wedding thing is extremely important to him. He’s only ever been to big traditional Italian weddings, and I don’t think going out and doing something a little different sits very well with him.
My Future Mother-In-Law has asked me to sit down and figure out a guest list with her at some point, though. Should I bring Fiance and make a general rule that if he has to think for more than 10 seconds about who they are, they get booted?
Post # 13
@Miss Fish: Yes, yes yes! You need to talk to Fiance and figure out ground rules for who gets invited. I’m in a similar situation, as my family is small and FI’s is huge! We only invited close family and a few extended family members that we are close to. We held to that rule pretty well, adding a few family friends that we are very close to as exceptions.
Post # 14
I think you can save $15,000 in three years. That’s doable if your Fiance gets a good job after college. Your bigger challenge will be the gourmet buffet reception for 350 guests on your budget.
Post # 15
By all means, make a rule!!! Nothing beyond grandparents aunts, uncles, and, if absolutely necessary, 1st cousins, for example. Now maybe that ends up being a hundred people right there, but even so, that should get the overall list lower than 350.
Our rule was that if Fiance or I wasn’t close to a person, they weren’t invited. This was tough – it meant no aunts and uncles, since I don’t have any and he NEVER sees or talks to his, and there are almost 30 of them. Since we were aiming for a small wedding of around 50-60 people, we couldn’t really deal with having fully half of them be people we couldn’t care less about.
Post # 16
We threw a wedding for 5K and had 110 guests. But we skipped a lot of things many others have at their wedding. No limos, no expensive photographers, no band or DJ. My wedding dress, hat and boots cost me about $200 and the BMs dresses ran around $35. We didn’t have a fancy wedding cake and had sheet cakes instead. We gave packets of wildflowers away as favors. The site for the wedding itself was free and then we had a simple reception of light refreshments and cake afterwards. We also had a huge casual pig roast the next day. We held it at a picnic grounds with covered pavillions.
So I think a wedding for 350 for 15 K could be done, but I don’t know with a formal sit down dinner.