Post # 1
I’m not the kind of girl that fantasized about my wedding for years, or had a particular vision of how things should be. I did know that I wanted to celebrate with my friends and have beautiful pictures. So there are a few things I didn’t really want to compromise on (within reason–I still think I did find reasonably priced options for what I am getting) like venue and photographer. I absolutely love the venue–a public library.
I’m not someone who really likes spending large amounts of money. I shop around as much as possible before I buy anything & get kind of nervous everytime I make a (non-returnable) purchase over $75.
I have done all that I can to find deals and good options that won’t sacrifice my guests’ comfort and also make me happy. I’m doing DIY flower arrangements, homemade favors that should cost less than $30, DIY invites (incl. online RSVPs), minimal decorations, etc. With all my best efforts, I still think that the wedding (for less than 100 guests) will be close to $30,000. 🙁 It’s not elaborate at all, so I am still kind of confused how it adds up to so much, but the little things DO add up, I suppose. (Plus venue & photography alone add up to $10,000).
I will be getting some help from family, but most of that will be coming out of what I will be earning over the summer (from a law firm summer), so it should not be debt-causing, but it will eat up any potential savings I could have made.
I’m so torn. The idea of not having a wedding, or not having a wedding that I think will be beautiful according to my aesthetic makes me sad & disappointed. The idea of blowing all that money on a single day also makes me sad & I can’t really find ways to cut it down. I feel like there is no good solution. I know that people suggest things like punch & cake receptions but I feel like that is not fair to my guests who ALL have to come from out of state to spend all that money & come all that way for cake & punch. I don’t know what to do….
Post # 3
I am so suprised your venue and photography will cost 10,000. That would be something I would reconsider.
Our wedding is budgeted for 12,000 and thats for 150 guests..and photographer and photographer is something I dont scrimp on and videographer.
I would reconsider venue.. but the amount people can spend on weddings are daunting. Did you have an initial budget?
Post # 4
Is there any way you could venue shop for non-traditional venues, or cut some sort of deal? Change your date to a Friday or Sunday? Travel 40 miles or so out of town to get a cheaper deal? I think it can still be done, but if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with it, you need to do what makes you happy. Good luck!
Post # 5
I can relate to what you’re struggling with in every way. I question my decision to have a close to $15,000 wedding every single day. I have cut costs in every way I can, but it is hard to have the wedding for 150 that I want at a lower cost. We have flip flopped between only inviting moms and dads and brothers and sisters to having a full blown wedding and reception. Right now we are thinking about having a wedding with moms and dads and brothers and sisters in Las Vegas and then having a lunch for our original guest list a couple of weeks after the wedding. Hopefully we can save some money by not having a full blown reception. The problem is that I’m afraid I’ll regret doing it that way. I wish I had advice for you, but just know you’re not the only one having doubts.
Post # 6
That does sound like a frustrating situation, and I have to tell you – I am in the same one! I am a thrifty shopper and a big fan of simplicity, yet picturing my simplistic ideas for the wedding leave me wanting more. I also have not planned everything from the age of 6, so I’ve been trying to find ‘what feels right’ for our wedding.
I always said I wanted my wedding dress to be something I could wear again, or something I could get from Patagonia (the most expensive brand I own..). However, when I tried on any non-traditional wedding dress it didn’t feel like I was actually getting married… I walked into David’s Bridal (the one place I didn’t want to find my dress) and it all started to become real. I tried on a white dress that is very ‘bride-ie’ (no train, no tulle, no beads, but white! And satin!) and it all started to ‘feel’ right.
So there inlies my advice, which feels hokey, but it’s true – find things that ‘feel’ right… if they don’t, don’t compromise. My dress, again, as an example, it was on sale, so I felt like I was getting a good deal on it. I am putting my own blood, sweat, and tears into the favors and centerpieces so I feel like it’s ‘me’ and even if it actually ends up being more $, it feels like I am saving since I am doing it myself.
I think the best part (aside from being married to my dream..) of the post-wedding will be the stories and memories. Everything I am doing toward my wedding will make both good stories and good memories… it sounds like you are too! Never fear… it will be a beautiful day : )
Post # 7
So….the wedding is already on a Sunday & the venue IS non-traditional–it’s a public library. It’s just all the little things that add up. The actual SPACE is about $2,000 (which was a lot less than other options like public parks, etc.), but then you have to get security, and janitorial staff, and required coordinator, etc. etc. Then b/c it IS non-traditional, I have to go out and rent everything else, from tables & chairs, to a bar. I am HOPING that a family member has a connection to a library boardmember, so that I will not have to pay for the space–just the service.
The photographer has already been hired, and is a bit over $3000. Pictures are THE most important thing for me, and from the photogs that I really liked, I couldn’t have gone below $3000.
I didn’t have an initial budget except that I knew I didn’t want it to cost more than I would make over the summer, but before I did research on the actual costs of a nice wedding in LA, I was hoping it would be about $10,000 total and I could save the rest.
Post # 8
Have you tried looking into all inclusive spots like Castaway? I have booked the Coco Palm restaurant in Pomona and they have very good all inclusive packages.
Post # 9
Also it irritates me a lot on these posts that I am reading (not here, but elsewhere) that say how ridiculous it is for the B&G to spend so much money on a wedding AND THEN complain when they don’t have an open bar, or have chicken wings for cocktail hour or the food is not fantastic.
I am not REALLY trying to please everyone, but comments like those definitely influence how I feel b/c I DO want people to have a good time & enjoy coming, not feel bitter b/c they felt obligated to spend the money to attend.
Post # 10
yay you! i’m soo glad you found a photographer that was up to par first of all (doing my booty dance for you)… second of all have the deposits already been paid? i think you live in one of the more luxurious areas of the country so your budget is on par. if on august 9th you wake up and didn’t have the grand, fun and quirky wedding would your heart be broken? if so, then spend the money and get married at the venue of choice. can you cut back on the chairs and rentals? maybe do a passed hor dvoures service versus a traditional sit down? since the venue is non-traditional you may be able to get away with something out of the ordinary so to speak.
Post # 11
I know it’s hard to think of all that money going on one day, but I think you need to make a decision, and come to peace with it. Either do away with your dream venue for a simpler wedding, with whatever that entails or continue on your planning – and give yourself the permission to do so. Don’t feel guilty with whatever you decide, it’s your wedding day, it needs to be a day that makes you happy, both to plan, to go through, and to remember later. No one knows what that day looks like, except you and your FH. Once you decide which way you’re going to go, go for it with everything you’ve got, enjoy it, be grateful you were able to do it, and try not to feel bad about it 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 12
@crebe – I ended up finding 2 photographers that I really liked for prices that I felt willing & able to pay so the harder decision ended up being having to choose between them! I still think about it!
None of the other deposits have really been paid (except DOC), so if I have to change my venue I will–although I have to do everything very soon. I also am across the country, so I can’t even physically check out any other possible venues/caterers in person. :-/ Makes things even more stressful. I also DO REALLY love the library & I know I would love my pictures from that day & the symbolism of having it there–IF I could forget how much money I would be spending.
@mountainbride – You are exactly right. I know I need to make my peace with one decision or the other. I thought that I had & I was accepting spending the money and moving forward, but I think that I thought that if I did a lot of things myself and found bargains where I could, or cutting out things that are unnecessary (like STDs) I would be able to bring the total costs down a lot to a point that I would feel comfortable spending. That hasn’t happened, and after looking at my budget spreadsheet and the running total, I have gotten really back to the mental/emotional place of being uncomfortable with the amount being spent.
You all are totally right & I just need to make my peace, but I think that is much easier said than done. 🙁