(Closed) Question for the married Bees

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Our main allocations were for food and photography.  We were really cheapskates about everything else.  I don’t think I would have changed much, except that I probably could have loosened the purse strings a little…  It was exhausting spending so much energy finding the least expensive everything.  I suppose I’m happy now that we have a little extra in savings, but the saved hassle would have been worth it too.

Post # 4
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I wish that I would have spent less money on….

Alcohol. I think we spent about $400 on alcohol and we probably took about $300 worth of it home!

Postage. Hardly anyone sent me their RSVP’s back. I know it’s polite to include on your RSVP cards, but I never got about 2/3 of them back. Most people verbally RSVP’d (so annoying!). I also feel like I spent a lot of time on the invitations and RSVP postcards and most people kept them–which is flattering because they liked them–but I spent a lot of time and money making them (not to mention the unused postage on them) and I’m sure they’ll eventually be thrown out.

Disposable cameras on tables. The pictures turned out horribly! The flash didn’t go off half of the time so most of the pictures are dark and blurry. What a waste!

 

I wish that I would have spent more money on…

My dress. I loved my dress but looking back I could have spent a couple hundred more and gotten the dress that I really really wanted. I fell in love with this one dress and to save money I went with another. I still kind of wonder what if I had gone with the one I truly wanted, how would I feel about it now?

A photographer. I relied on friends and family to take pictures for me and it’s been like pulling teeth trying to get people to send me their photos. There are very few shots of our first dance, of us drinking our champagne in our toasting flutes, and despite wearing my fantastic green heels for a good hour or more–there’s no pictures of them. Once I took them off and went barefoot then everyone started taking pictures. I also have no good pictures of just me and my dress. But I have loads of pictures of everything else 😛

Post # 5
Member
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Photography and our clothes, but keep in mind we had an elopement. I think I’ll post our budget so people can see what our black-tie elopement looks like. I didn’t splurge on accessories, even though my dress was a stretch for us, and I’m happy about that. No wildly expensive shoes for me, but a beautiful pair that carried me comfortably all over San Francisco.

Post # 6
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m adding one more thing: I wish I would have spent less money on favors! People don’t care about favors as much as you do, I learned that the hard way since very few of our guests were interested in ours. I say just give them a box of candy, decorate it however you want, and move on to another project. I’m still trying to give our favor bags away!

Post # 7
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I wouldnt re-allocate.  We splurged on photography, food/bar, and my dress.  Oh and a photo booth.  We did NOT waste moeny with excessive favors – we had a candy buffet (venue provided the containers thankfully) and people took that home as a favor. 

I DO wish I’d asked the florist to make a mock up of our centerpieces, becase I’d not have paid for what she showed me – they delivered the wrong centerpieces. 

I ahd asked this question so many times leading up to the wedding that I wanted to be sure I was allocating where it was important to us

Post # 8
Member
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

Postage, for sure. I spent all this money on rsvp postage and only like 10 people actually sent them back. Lame.

Post # 9
Member
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

I kept it simple with money…we allocated mainly towards what we’d be walking away with in the end, video, photo, jewelry. I also only spent a total of around $7000 on my wedding for 65 people. It took a lot of hunting (whether online or to numerous stores) and hours of my life. I didn’t hire a coordinator…I don’t regret it. What I had a month before was a good friend who called me weekly to check in on my sanity…there wasn’t much I could allocate to them since they weren’t local. This friend totally came through, above and beyond the day of as practically my personal assistant even though that was never asked of this friend.

Go with your gut and don’t be afraid to take some risks but know your budget well. I was taking a full risk on the venue, DJ and video. We moonlight in the wedding industry and we took a chance on people and places we had never worked with – why? Well, to be very honest, all the vendors we had worked with had never really impressed us all that much or were immediately out of our budget. Our photographer was a recommendation from another photographer who wasn’t available for our date. Our photographer was just starting out in weddings from doing commercial photography. This meant she was in our budget but also came with a slight risk. The venue turned out be a hidden gem in our own backyard with great food (a tasting wasn’t included).

We chose to forgo the bridal party and we dont’ regret it one bit. We saved on gifts, clothing, drama etc. The one thing I kind of regret is the money I lost on the trial and error of DIY projects, I guess that’s a given to some level with DIY.

If you have the time and the help before the wedding consider DIY on flowers for centerpieces. I saved a bunch of coupons to my local grocery store for summer bouquets and after about 13 bouquets I spent under $200. We did the rehearsal two nights before so we had the time to dedicate to this and drop them off.

I had a small splurge to calm my anxiety on music at the ceremony – it was a small chapel that no one particular person ran and with no coordinator I didn’t want anyone fussing with a radio as we have seen some very awkard situations with radios/cds. I hired an accoustic guitarist…with a short walk down the aisle I barely had time to take in his presence, so I’m glad I have the video.

One thing that was a slight surprise to me was that one of our photographers took pictures of all the guests at the tables. We love all our photos but these in particular I absolutely cherish. This may be fairly common but it was never on my mind and was never brought up between the photographer and myself. Neither of our families have been to a wedding in a very long time or been together somewhere with a reason to dress up. I can’t wait to print these and send a great ‘couple’ photo to each guest in the thank you cards. Just thought I’d mention.

If I can offer any bit of advice from someone who was nervous about everything, don’t worry about what others think – you can’t please everyone and the day isn’t about pleasing them. If you are happy about your choices, stand by them, it will shine through on the day of and guests will follow your lead.

Good luck with everything!

Post # 10
Member
2205 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We should have spent less money on the venue (I went for a middle range place I just didn’t love that much)

and MORE money on the DJ!  We didn’t really like our DJ at all.  The rest I was really content with.

Post # 11
Member
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We are pretty happy with how our spending turned out. I think the only place where we may have spent too much was music for the ceremony, but with the savings from other areas, we don’t really regret it.

I sometimes think hiring a DOC may have been helpful, but the day went off pretty well without one, so I can’t really say if I wished we had spent money on one. We were a little stressed with last minute things, but not so much that we felt overwhelmed.

The only thing that I wish we had spent a bit more money on was the honeymoon. The package itself was great, but while we were there we tried so hard to be reasonable that we ended up not doing anything extra-special (like parasailing or something). We still had fun though!

Post # 12
Member
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We just got married about two weeks ago, so this is all fresh in my mind 🙂

We allocated a ton of money to photography. Actually, when we started to plan, we didn’t put a number on how much to spend for photos. We set an overall budget for everything, and then decided to find whatever photographer we wanted, and then everything else, we’d just make it work. Our dream photographer was $5K, and while I’ve only seen a few teasers, I have absolutely no regrets over the money we spent on her. Photos last forever, right?

Our venue was our next priority, and luckily, it was so much less expensive than we thought it would be. We only paid $500 for the rental fee for the reception room, ceremony garden and “getting ready/hang out before the ceremony” room.

We also splurged on our liquor/open bar. Open bar was our only option because of where we come from and how we personally view this policy. And we decided to upgrade to top-shelf alcohol for everyone. It got rave reviews, to say the least 🙂

We also rented chivari chairs. The chairs our venue had were so outdated and ugly, and while we hated forking over $7 per chair, after seeing our reception reveal, it was more than worth the cost. The ugly chairs would have ruined the room.

Things that weren’t a priority? Flowers, favors (we did a candy bar), lavish centerpieces (we did pussywillows in tall vases, surrounded by tons of candles), fancy decor like lighting (candles creates an amazing romantic feel like no one’s business, and they’re cheap!), a DJ and a videographer. In the end, we didn’t regret not getting a videographer, but we were ticked off at ourselves for forgetting to give someone our digital recorder. Oh well.

Post # 13
Member
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

although we eloped i wished i spent the money on a pro photographer, only because our pics are still in the camera and i cant be bothered nagging hubby to getting them out/dealing with prints/family/ordering copies ect

 

Post # 15
Member
3332 posts
Sugar bee

In the end, I was really happy with the things that we chose to allocate the bulk of our budget towards–catering/venue (included together) and photography.  We really cut budget in a couple of other places, in order to be able to afford these two categories.  I don’t regret it, because everything turned out really nicely. 

Post # 16
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Wow! I love that the married Bees have such great advice! Thank you ladies!

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