Post # 1
I don’t know how much the economy is affecting your weddings, but its destroying mine. My mother is gracious enough to be paying for my wedding because I am finishing up grad school. Unfortunately, FI and I are strapped for cash. He is without a job, and I can only work during the summer. Any cash I do earn goes to my non wedding related bills. Anyway, I went to go look at flowers at several places yesterday. Even with minimal arrangements, the lowest cost I was quoted was no less than $3,000. At hearing that news, my mother just broke down. She said I am no longer allowed to have any flowers, invitations, wedding day hair or makeup, or even GASP…dress alterations. I think I need to incorporate flowers at least somewhere in the day. Also, I can’t just invite people by word of mouth to a formal wedding. I cant do my own hair or makeup well nor do I know of anyone who can. Lastly, I’ve lost a ton of weight due to wedding stress and my dress falls to my ankles. She keeps reminding me that I am costing her too much money when she had a wedding for under $5,000. This was also back in the 90’s and only had 30 guests. I have looked for places to cut corners, but cannot cut anymore. My guest list is down to the minimum and I have the cheapest photography, and DJ package. Also, I got my dress dirt cheap. Unfortunately, the area I live in isnt cheap and the crappiest of dining halls are no less than $125 a head. I understand my mothers frustration but I feel like my wedding isnt even a wedding anymore. By the way my mother is not a rational woman and does not change her mind easily.
Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you everyone.
Post # 3
In general, I would tell people to NOT take out a loan to fund a wedding. BUT, if you expect to be making decent money soon, can you take out a student loan? If you are in the US, you can get some tax deductions, rather than taking out a wedding loan. I couldn’t work full time in undergrad, so I know they give out loans that are beyond tuition costs, to help with living costs. If you "live like a student" the first year you work, it should be easy to pay off, but please consider this carefully before you decide.
The reason I suggest this is, I would be VERY sad to not have ANY flowers or invites. Try your best to focus on the union you are about to enter into, and hopefully your mom will come around on the "no flowers, no invites, no alterations, things"….that is not very reasonable, and I’m sure she’ll eventually realize it, even if it doesn’t mean a lot of extra moolah from her funds.
Also, you could see if anyone on the hive has extra invites/silk flowers. I know you usually have to order in quantities of 50 or 100…maybe they have some blank ones they don’t mind giving up? I know it won’t be ideal if they don’t match, but it’s better than nothing?
Post # 4
Congrats on your engagement. There are lots of creative ways to cut down costs, and I too know how expensive everything costs in of all places Downtown Chicago. As far as invitations, they do not have to be fancy…Buy a reem of cardstock and have them printed at a kinkos, buy the envelopes at staples (it literally cost us less with postage than $150). DIY flowers. Ask friends and family for help (in terms of networking ) Maybe they know of a person who have the skills to help.
Or as harsh as this may sound, you have a lifetime to be together, maybe waiting a little longer for a wedding may solve a lot of the stress. You don’t want to start off living your lives together with stress.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2018 - The Rivers Club
Why not have an offbeat super fantastic wedding? We are using paper flowers and candles for our centerpieces, DIY invites are super easy these days, clay flowers are a great alternative to real for the bouquets, you could have a brunch/lunch/outdoor – picnic meal…
Basically you have a ton of options, just think outside the box a bit. You don’t have to have what others think of as a "dream wedding" to have YOUR dream wedding.
Post # 6
Nursebride, I am so sorry to hear and I definitely empathise with your situation. Obviously you need to have your dress not fall down at the wedding, so altherations should be done. But there are other alternatives for your flowers. Mr Corn and I made our own centerpieces for $4.00 a table using hurricane lamps (from sav-on-crafts), sand (from home-depot’s concrete department) and sea grass (from nettleton hollow). The only florals we paid for were the bouquets and the bouts which brought our floral budget to $250. You could even order your flowers from a wholesale company and make your bouquets.
Is it possible to have a drinks, hors d’oeuvres and desserts reception? You could have beer and wine and a signature drink and that might bring your costs down.
There are also really easy ways to make unique invitations on a budget. You can purchase kits from Michaels or Target, I think you can get 50 invites with envelopes and rsvp cards for around $30. Then you can dress them up by cutting them and mounting them on contrasting card stock, or using ribbon and/or stamping as embellishments.
The most important thing to remember, and I know it sounds cliche, is that the wedding is really about the ceremony and the marriage. All the rest is just icing.
Best of luck.
Post # 7
I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way! But I do think you might want to shop around, or revise your event design. For $3000, I’m getting ALOT of flowers, but this was only after shopping my design around to 4 different florists. Would you consider cutting your guest list and holding it in a restaurant? A few bees (Mrs. Onion and Mrs. Tulip) have both done that and had absolutely beautiful weddings. A few of the previous posters have mentioned having a dessert or cocktail reception instead of a full dinner, which would definitely cut costs. (You would need fewer flowers if you did any of these.) $125/person is also alot — we’re paying that in the Philly area for all out rentals (nice satin linens and chiavaris), steak dinner and an open bar all night.
Have you considered DIYing things like your invites, hair and makeup, or even your flowers? This site is a great resource for ideas and support on everything DIY!
PLEASE don’t take out a loan. You will sincerely end up regretting it in the end.
Hope this helps a little!
Post # 8
Hi Nursebride! You can still have a fabulous, perfect, MS worthy wedding. Stop stressing! It will all be fine and you will be a happily married woman very soon. First of all, what is your date? What part of the country do you live in? Here are my ideas, but obviously it depends on who you know and where you live etc etc… Do you and your FI or your mother have a backyard? Does any close friend or family have a pretty backyard or porch? Have it there. The setting alone won’t call for many flowers, but if you get married in the summer or early fall, you can get some pretty and cheap potted flowers at Home Depot or Cosco (which you could also leave behind as a gift to whomever hosted your event). Rent a giant grill and have some of the guests pitch in and make some salads or apts, etc, etc. It can be buffet style and you can just rent some picnic tables. Skip the DJ and just rent the speakers and get a ipod. You probably can’t skimp on the dress alterations but if you save money other places you can make room for it. Get your flowers and your bridal parties at a local flower shop and do your own bouquets. How many guests are you inviting? Can you make your own invitations? Even if you wrote some of it out by hand…. As far as hair and makeup…. go to a make up counter at the mall… have them do your make up and all you need to buy is a gloss and a blush or something. Sorry you may have already thought of all of this, but hopefully it will help lead you down the right path. Good luck!
Post # 9
Sorry if this sounds harsh- I don’t mean it to be. But, a reality check:
I don’t anything about your mother, but I think it is unfair to call her ‘not a rational woman’ because she is unwilling to pay more for your wedding. Remember, she isn’t obligated to pay anything at all, so that anything she does give is a gift. If you are unhappy with what she can afford, consider a courthouse wedding and a small party or dinner out with friends now, and maybe a vow renewal or anniversary party when you can afford more yourself.
$3000 flowers are certainly not necessary. Neither is professional hair/makeup, a DJ, or photographer. There are plenty of people who use silk flowers (see Miss Tulip’s post just now), have ipod music, and are fine with very simple hair/makeup that they can do themselves. There are invitation kits that you can get for very little money at stores like Michaels, or have them printed cheaply at places like VistaPrint. And they have wonderful weddings. Also, consider not having the wedding in a traditional ballroom/hotel/dining hall. Try looking at less conventional venues like parks, or museums, or have your reception at a nice restaurant. You can do great food for much less than $125pp, even if you’re in Manhattan, if you’re creative and willing to be flexible.
For full disclosure, I just got married last weekend in central VA, where costs rival that of DC since most vendors will cover both areas. We had a lunchtime wedding on a gorgeous farm with a view of the mountains for 40 people, for under $5000 (inc. everything except rings). I made all the centerpieces myself, used no live flowers anywhere, all the food and beer were local. No paid officiant, no DJ. Inexpensive starting out photographer. We paid for it ourselves. Here are the first pictures we have: http://www.houghphotography.com/blog/?p=313
Good luck with whatever you choose, and remember not to get trapped into what tv and magazines tell you that you ‘need’.
Post # 10
Thank you for all your suggestions Hive, but my problem is that I cannot afford to spend any of my own money. My mother refuses to even give me even $15.00 more. I am kinda stuck at this point. I suppose my only other option is to attempt to save $5.00 a week so I can buy invitations or silk flowers.
peihan17: I wasn’t calling my mother irrational because she wouldn’t pay for my wedding. I was calling her irrational because she thinks invitations, dress alterations, and getting my hair done are unecessary things altogether. She doesn’t want me to pay for it with my own money if I had it.
Post # 11
Nursebride, while I sympathize with you, you should have a discussion with your FI & your mother. It sounds like you want a big white wedding. But your mom can’t afford it. It’s not her fault. You want a wedding, that’s not your fault either. But there’s a LOT of room for you to get your wedding and your mom not to break the bank.
Talk to everyone what’s really important and then manage the list from there. Maybe you don’t need to super fancy wedding dress. Maybe you don’t need flowers. Remember you’re celebrating a MARRIAGE. That should be the most important part. I’m sure you guys can come up with compromises, and talk to your vendors and see what you guys can negotiate.
With a little creativity, you should be able to get a wedding that everyone can be proud of. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t get EVERYTHING you like. Like I said, you get to be married, that’s what we all want most 🙂 You can make a beautiful wedding from a casual setting, just pay attention to the little things.
Post # 12
peihan – damn that’s a pretty wedding
Post # 13
If you can’t pay for the wedding you want and your mother is only able to pay for certain things, you either can accept that or you can postpone and save up for a couple of months/years. My husband and I eloped(not due to money issues though) and we’re planning a vow renewal in two summers. We’re obviously paying for it ourselves and I’m putting away money each month so that we won’t have to pay all at once. You could get married at city hall. Nothing is mandatory at a wedding except a bride and a groom plus a marriage license. Good Luck!
Post # 14
It sounds like you need to have a more detailed budget discussion with your mom. Maybe if you find out how much money she’s willing to spend, you can allocate how you would want. Basically if you’re considering a place that is $125 a head you could still have all of the things you talked about, but you’d just have to seriously reallocate – maybe just move the reception to a lower cost area (think an hour or so away from where you actually live). Which could be totally worth it because do you really want a reception if your dress falls down halfway through?
Post # 15
If where you live it is very expensive, I assume you are in a city. What about travelling a little ways outside the city, like 2 hours. The prices will drop dramatically and it could almost be like a "destination" wedding? A beautiful state park or smaller town park would be great places.
Post # 16
Wow, I love your wedding too. I wish I could have done something like that! And for the price!! I seems like it was magical.