- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2014
I already have my venue, we will be holding the wedding on family property, where my mother’s wedding was also held. That will cost us nothing, although my grandparents will be finishing some home improvement and sprucing projects around the property and planting some additional flowers the spring before the wedding. They have graciously offered to serve as host and hostess for the affair and as such want to contribute to our budget, but since they are already incurring costs to finish projects I would like to keep that contribution small. I’ve been trying to figure out a rough budget and rough out plans to help determine what things might cost, where corners can be further cut, and what FI and I need to save specifically for the wedding.
FI’s father and stepmother are also in a good position financially and would like to contribute, however I’d like to keep their role small and based somewhat on tradition, simply because FI has been married before and they are being understanding about me wanting a “big wedding” since I am a first-timer, because his mother can’t afford to contribute much and I don’t want her feelings to be hurt, and because we aren’t inviting many of FI’s dad’s family members because he is not close with them, and they live out of the state.
My folks aren’t wealthy by any means, but would like to help us as well, and are old hats at having a low-budget wedding (even used the same free venue!).
I’ve been able to get good estimates and quotes for a lot of things– so far:
Photography– 650 dollars (engagement shoot (2hrs), 6 hours the day of, and rights to the photos)
Banquet tables– free from my gpa and gma’s church– would only have to rent or find a couple smaller tables for guest book, drink stations, ect
Alternate indoor venue– uncle three houses down the road has a nice, antique mostly unused hay barn he said we could use
Ceremony decor and seating— depending on our final number of guests, we will either have guests stand (except for the elderly) or sit on haybales borrowed from my uncle– we’ll borrow quilts from the nearby family members or ask people to bring their own to throw over the bales— this was what was done at my folks’ wedding and was well recieved by our family circle
My FI and I are already budgeting to pay for the obvious things that fall to us, like the groom’s attire (budgeting 150 dollars), our wedding bands (400 for the pair– he likely won’t wear his after the honeymoon), our marriage liscence (only 20 dollars in our state), and gifts for those that help us out (since it is a home wedding this could easily get pricey) — FI also is saving for a honeymoon trip
Flowers are likely to be around 250 for 250 roses and 18 vases— the ceremony area already has yellow flowering bushes, and my grandmother plants flowers around the property, so only tables really need to be decorated– my gma’s wedding flowers were yellow roses, so I’d like to encorporate that– this price should also cover flowers for my hair– I figured we’d give the lot away to honor guests after the reception
Other decor will be minimal– I would like to have some copies made of family wedding pictures and frame them together on a table or hang the frames around the porch, and also I’d like to find a way to display the family cake toppers, since we won’t be having a cake but I have several antique toppers– maybe with the guest book on a table– there is also a garage door I’d like to decorate in some way, since it will be visible from the dance floor– I’m figuring probably 120-180 for the frames, guestbook, and door solution
Save the dates, invites, and postage for both comes to 82 dollars give or take by my calculations (I’m a hobbyist fine art photographer, so I will take the pictures and use photoshop to design them and am only concerned about the printing cost)
Now we are getting to the parts that are harder for me to swallow– our two biggest things were feeding our guests a full meal, and photography
We will have to rent chairs, at 1.50 each– the padded white plastic folding ones will do, especially since this is a shindig on the lawn! I’m estimating about 80 dollars based on local rental companies
We will have to rent or buy linens (the tables are sturdy but woodgrain formica from the 80s), and right now the best price I can find is 130 bucks to cover 7 banquet tables and our 4 smaller tables (guest book, cake table, and two drink stations)– nakpkins will likely be about 30 dollars more if our cater doesn’t provide
FI and I have decided on a morning wedding and want to do a simple breakfast buffet with an egg dish of sorts, breakfast potatoes, bacon, fruit, breakfast pastries and donuts, coffee, tea, and juices. Breakfasts are a special thing in my family with my grandparents, the local pastry shop is famous, my FI is in law-enforcement so most the year we work opposite shifts and eat breakfast together as our only meal as a couple, and we have lots of inside jokes about eating doughnuts and bacon as a LE– plus, the FI loves breakfast food and pastries, but doesn’t like cake!
We either have to find a cater that will provide dishes, flatware, and glassware or rent those as well (our location is too breezy for disposables, and we’d like to be a bit more elegant than breaking plastic forks trying to cut cinnamon rolls and cantalope)
We haven’t been able to find a better price than about 450 dollars for food without place settings, or 650 with place settings— place settings will likely cost around 180-200 dollars to rent as well
I’m having a hard time spending close to 450 dollars so my guests have plates, chairs, and plain white table cloths when our food is only going to be 450 dollars but I guess I have to do what I have to do!
Other big expenses in my mind are the $300 or so in travel expenses for our officiant (our officiant is a mentor and dear family friend and marrying us for free, but we feel we can’t ask him to travel 6 hours and spend two days and a night without at least paying for his gas, motel, and a least a meal or two for him and his wife)
I’m also concerned about lowering the cost of wedding attire for myself-, — since it is on the lawn I figure I’d wear boots I already owned, but I will still be getting hair and nails done, jewelery, and a new long white dress 😉 I’m figuring hair, nails, and a hair trial will probably run me 150 dollars, I will do my own makeup, but figure I need to budget at least 250-650 for a dress plus or minus alterations, and maybe 100-150 for jewlery since I can’t wear most costume jewelry (allergies) and don’t own anything appropriate currently
That brings us to about $3,700 as a generous estimate, not including gifts for family and friends and extra thrown in for “wedding emergencies”. While I know this is a pretty great deal for what we are going to be able to do, it still is a bit more than the arbitrary “ideal max” in my mind.
We aren’t having a DJ, band, bridal party, cake, videographer, paper goods outside of invites, a formal rehersal dinner, or favors.
1170– FI and Is minimum expenses not including honeymoon or gifts: FIs clothes (150), rings (400), liscence (20), hair/nails (150), jewelry (150)
1300– expenses my parents have agreed to cover: dress(650), photography(650)
1200 — FIs dad has offered to pick up the tab for catering in lew of the rehersal dinner, and pay for the officiants travel because our officiant is a baptist minister and his family is also southern baptist: food (450), rentals (450), officiant (250)
512 — my grandparents, who are also the hosts have offered us 1,000 dollars and insist on giving us some money, so we hope we can talk them down to paying for flowers (250) because they are important to my grandma, guest book & decor (180) since we are using family photos and heirlooms, and invitations (82) because they are hosting the event
gifts– FI and Is for family and those who have helped us out — 350 (includes 50 dollar gift for officiant) plus 40 for thanks yous and postage
How do things look? Is there anything that seems wrong? What are we forgetting? Anything we could do less expensively without making major changes?
I really appreciate any input, and apologize, I hope the book I wrote isn’t too long!