Post # 1
Hello ladies (and gentlemen),
I’m getting a feeling that my bf will soon propose. By feeling, I mean I accidentally overheard a conversation that blatantly suggests that my bf will be proposing. Since then, I’ve been playing it cool and while I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, I couldn’t help but secretly plan our wedding. Don’t judge me.
So I figured it’d be fun and exciting looking through venues and flowers and bands and I’m shocked I haven’t stroked out yet…Why is it so expensive to have a wedding in NJ? Anyone care to explain this to me? Now, I understand that weddings are a one time only event, or atleast that’s what we all hope for…but I just can’t get myself to justify dropping a cool 15k-25k for one day. I mean, c’mon, that’s a down payment for a house, a new car, or several honeymoons atleast!
Now, I don’t consider myself a frugal person, my shoes will testify to that. But I just can’t…I won’t and don’t think I could hand over several checks that I’ve spent the a year or so saving up for. Anyone else with me on this?
So I’ve managed to leaf around theknot and wedding bee for affordable wedding venues in NJ…some I liked, some I found so-so, some I outright did not like. But I think it’s just really discouraging to see that what I’ve really gravitated towards is something that’s most likely out of my budget. Just talking about it makes me a little sad and pushes me closer to the idea of eloping.
I guess I have to do a little more research and ‘m hopeful I’ll be able to piece it altogether when I actually start to plan. Maybe I should just get a ring first…yes, that’s probably what should happen first…But honestly, now that I know what planning could be ahead of me, I wouldn’t mind getting that ring later than sooner =)
Post # 2
Elope. Seriously. Best decision we ever made. 🙂
Post # 3
The thought of eloping is tempting. After the info-overload and migraine that resulted from it, I wouldn’t be opposed to going down to city hall and paying the whopping court fee of $35.50.
Then again, a part of me wants even a small celebration amongst family and friends. Unfortunately, “small” really means ginormous, I have atleast 100ish people in my family alone. My bf has a small family but with friends, we’re looking at atleast 130-150 people. im going to need some sangria to help me get through list cutting. And after that, I guess I could ease myself into wedding planning, instead of jumping head first. Eloping is my plan b, if all else fails.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2014 - Restaurant
Do you think your family might help pay for the wedding once you get engaged? I didn’t think my parents would be able to help much, but they ended up giving us about 10K, which really helped us to have the traditional wedding everyone wanted.
I think the best advice I can give you is to decide what kind of wedding you want with your fiance BEFORE discussing it with anyone else. If you think you might have trouble with the guest list, make a 100 person list and STICK TO IT. It’s easier to tell people “no” at first and then change your mind, than to say, “I don’t know…maybe…” and then have to take it back. Draw your lines in the sand early.
Post # 5
soon2bhitched: The shock of the cost of wedding has been experienced by a lot of people, myself included. Weddings are expensive everywhere you go too!
Keep shopping around and who knows, you might cave. I did.
Post # 6
Weddings are so expensive and so easy to get out of control! I did a budget and we’re pretty much sticking to it although flowers were more than I anticipated. I was planning to do my own decorations but caved on a decorator. Speak to your SO when you get engaged and talk about the kind of wedding you want. Do you want just yourselves? immediate family (ie parents, siblings, maybe a close friend or two)? or family and friends? Doing research into prices is good for when you do your budget. Know where you want to spend and what you want to DIY. We’re doing our own music (FI worked in radio for 20 years), invitation graphic design and ceremony decor. I’m also planning on knitting mittens for the wedding party as favours.
Post # 7
soon2bhitched: I feel your pain ~ I live in NJ also! Honestly, if our parents werent paying for our wedding, I have no idea what we would have done. Eloped probably!
My best advice is… if the price seems too high…check other vendors! I live near Princeton and the florists there were quoting me absolutely ridiculous prices. I went about 20 minutes south to the Bordetown area and found an awesome florist who will do everything for 1/2 the price the florists in Princeton were quoting me for. So definitely shop around!
There are some cheaper venues – just depends on what you want…. you just have to do your research! Also, if you live on the PA border, search for vendors in PA also!
Post # 8
I would never, ever depend on your guests’ money…but guests give money. It truly depends on your social circle/culture/age, but if you spend 20,000$ on a 200 person wedding you could easily recoup 10,000$ in cash and gift cards. I am a huge advocate for smaller, simpler weddings that the couple can afford but if you decide to splurge you will get some money back.
Post # 9
soon2bhitched: I wouldn’t worry about it too much until you get engaged. Your boyfriend will probably have his own views on what kind of wedding he wants, so no sense stressing yourself out until you are both on the same page.
Post # 10
The Northeast is pretty much the most expensive area to get married in. If you want a traditional wedding without doing everything DIY, expect to spend around $30,000. It’s just the reality of what things cost here. I freaked out at first, too.
I think you should choose the top 5 things that are most important to you about the wedding and the 5 things that are least important, and go from there. If you have a budget, stick to it! Cut people, have only wine and beer instead of a full open bar, look into non-traditional ceremony spaces, considering doing a courthouse ceremony with a casual dinner after to celebrate, etc.
Post # 11
None of my friends in NJ got away with a wedding under $30k…. Actually to be honest, under $40k. Not to say it isn’t possible but I think the other thing that happens when we build budgets, is that we really don’t account for everything, including the things we decide are “must have quality” (I thought I would do pretty well at being a budget bride, until I realized I DID want a really, really good photographer and really good food, etc). My suggestion would be consider stretching your area to PA, or CT. I hear you can get away with more for less there than say, Northern NJ.
Post # 12
I agree with Andthepupmakes3. The only weddings I’ve been to here in NJ that cost less than $35-40k were either very small or in a venue that was cheap, and looked cheap. I suggest having a destination wedding if you don’t want to spend a big chunk of money. That is the direction I would go if my parents weren’t paying for the majority of my wedding.
Post # 13
soon2bhitched: I think we all feel your pain. Living in Southern California is ridiculous when it comes to the price of a wedding. I cannot believe the amount of money we’re shoveling out for our small (35-50 people) wedding. Every day I’m closer and closer to canceling and eloping.
Post # 14
weatherbug: I was in a wedding in Princeton just last year. My gf got married at the Lake House and used one of their preferred caterers. She had a beautiful wedding and managed to have about 100 people for about 100p/p. She got married early October and the weather held up…It was simple but classy, really laid back but not so much that you forgot you were at a wedding.
As far as flowers go, I saw first hand how frustrating shopping around for florists could be. My friend drove near and far until setteling with the florist she used. If you’re willing to DIY, I hear whole foods has beautiful flowers for a fraction of the cost of a florist. I was told they arrange them as well, but don’t quote me on that. I think the only downside is that they don’t deliver…but if you have a trusty friend or relative or wedding coordinator that could pick them up and set it up at the venue, then it may be worth looking into.
Post # 15
Gr33nsLove: I hear California wedding rates are pretty pricey…Whatever happened to getting married in small chapel and having your reception at your house, Steel Magnolias style…without the unhappy tragic ending, of course…Anyway, I hope you have better luck with wedding planning.