Tiny Budget without day of DIY

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@anemone681:  Ours is going to be under 5000  also ;).  We actually searched high and low for venues and DONT be afraid to negotiate!  If you can find a venue that is schedules to be finished or is brand new prices will be much cheaper. Book as early as possible because every year after the new year wedding prices for everything go up. Sunday weddings usually run cheaper as far as venue goes. I am doing a flowerless wedding. The only flowers I have are fake bouquets I bought at hobby lobby when the flowers were half off. I had my bouquet made on etsy out of actual silk. You can google fabric flower bouquet and that’s what I ordered. My programs I ordered a digital file off etsy and then ordered them off vistaprint with a coupon 🙂 our centerpieces are actually wine bottles that we had a local chili’s and winery save for us. We picked them up every week. (if you know anyone that works in a restaurant they can def save you some)  they also saved us beer bottles that I spray painted. I bought tealight candles with the holders from dollartree.com they ship to store for free.  I also ordered some flower petals that we are sprinkling on tables around the centerpieces and candles. Oh and we also got pillar candles in bulk from dollartree. Our ceterpieces total cost us $6  each! We are clustering bottles together and xadles here and there with a pillar candle in the middle. Then our table number my brother cut planks of wood from a tree that are about 6″ wide and cut a flat side on them and I used a paint marker and a number stencil and made the table numbers. It was really easy and was only $2 for the paint marker.  We are using pom poms and paper lanterns for decor that hangs and we bought white Christmas lights after Christmas last year for super cheap! My dress I got a good deal on because when I found the one I wanted I went to two other shops and found it $200 cheaper. Just call around once you know the brand and style number and ask how much that dress is there if you dont want to go in. Also I live in Illinois about an hour away from Chicago and the same dress there was almost twice as much! I was appalled :O We shopped thrift stores and our local dollar for silver trays and birdcages for decor and our dessert buffet. And for our desserts we have a girl that just likes to bake make a bunch of different mini desserts. We are also having a fake cake made so that it is a focal point and it was a lot cheaper to go through a baker who is not yet completely established but has photos and good reviews. Our catering I went in with a price in mind and wouldnt compromise. We actually got him down to $86 over our budgeted price and I was going to walk away until he finally caved lol. It is also cheaper if you do heavy appetizers instead of a full meal. Our favors I had friends and family save baby food jars and painted the lids then I am making home made hot cocoa and putting them in the jars.  It will cost a total of 25 cents a favor 😀 If you have any have questions or need more details let me know! I left some stuff out but I have already written a novel so just let me know if you need anything at all!

Post # 4
Member
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We’re doing a super simple ceremony in DC for around the same number of people. We decided to hold the “reception” at a restaurant we really like. We’ll be eating in a semi-private room which is decked out with old wine bottles and candles so we don’t really need to do any decorating. In addition, since we’ll have the space prior to their big dinner rush (from 3-7pm), we don’t need to pay a room rental or anything. I think all told, we’ll definitely get out of there for under $4,000.

Post # 6
Member
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

We are doing a $4000 wedding for about 70-120 people. Afternoon wedding at a venue (biggest expense, had three top choices, all for a thousand, a church, an art/science museam, and a fancy hotel with ballroom), no food besides just cake and snacks (bought/buying at a local cosco/sam’s), found a cheap dj for background music and dancing, bought silk flowers on etsy, cheap invites, bought fabric and hired a seamstress to do the bridesmaid’s dresses, rent tuxes, second biggest expense was photographer.

Post # 7
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

5K is NOT tny for 30 people

i planned for 50 with 7k and i had a beautiful venue (cheap, owned by th city), the BEST catering in town, dj, fancy cakes, and top notch alcohol

 

you’ll be fine!

Post # 8
Member
3442 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m with PP who’ve said a 5k budget isn’t very tiny for 30 guests. I have a 6k budget for 100 guests.

By limiting the guests, you pay less in food, drink, and also less in centerpiece costs (trust me, it adds up!).

I got free invites on partypop.com (something to look into, if nothing else).

I also put up a craigslist ad searching for bartenders in my area, & I got no less than 30-40 responses. I finally found somebody who is going to be great, and much cheaper than having gone with an actual bartender service. I am also buying all the alcohol & mixers myself.

I found a venue that was beautiful in it’s own right, so it didn’t require a whole lot of decor items, & it I catered my diner reception off the lunch menu at one of our favorite local restaurants that will be serving buffet style. Our catering package includes a small sweetheart cake & a sheet cake, so we won’t be having a formal wedding cake (since we were quoted between $3.25-$4.50 per PIECE! insanity).

My dress was an ebay find, as well, and after alterations it will be less than half of what the dress retailed for. I also got our photographer for over 50% off because she is such a sweetheart & was understanding of our financial situation & had been looking to do a good deed.

I did end up splurging on the etsy bouquets & boutonnieres ($405 for 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bridal boquet, and 4 boutonnieres), my makeup, and my accessories.

My original budget was 4k, & I could have made that work if I didn’t hire our photographer or makeup artists, and only served cake at the reception instead of an actual meal.    

Post # 10
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Have you looked into renting any resturants?

My mom had a late-morning champagne brunch wedding. Her guests LOVED it, because  they were still able to have the rest of the day to themselves.

She loved it, too – she had a ton of fun planning it, and she also liked the morning wedding as well.

Coolest idea I ever saw for a wedding cake? A brunch wedding with tiered stacks of WAFFLES instead of a wedding cake – swoon! The photo shows the bride and groom pouring syrup over it together, super cute!

Planning it for an unusuall time of the day, even on a Saturday, may be your best bet.

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@anemone681:  As far as a restaurant so that you dont have to worry about renting… While it is less stressful to have and all inclusive venue its also more expensive. By quite a bit.  For example the place in saint Louis we had wanted was al inclusive and was a lot like the venue we picked but the all inclusive was 15000… Yeah not happening.  While getting everything separately we are right at 5k and that includes our honeymoon 🙂  $130 a person is a ridiculous amount  if it is just for food and drinks. Unless your doing a four course meal with filets and seafood. If you find an area that you can bring in catering consider searching outside of Chicago and paying their travel fee. It may even be cheaper than booking a caterer thats local. My dress was allure and it was $600 and I bought a gorgeous belt for $80  on etsy that my dress lady said should have been at least $150. If I were you I would look online as allure, dessy.. And other affordable designers and they have symbols on each dress that gives you a price range idea.. Then call a shop and see if they have it in stock for you to try on. I will keep thinking on your venue situation.. Btw I bought my dress in west Frankfort il. 

Post # 12
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I think it’s definitely doable with the number of guests you have.  Look at small boutique hotels and restaurants, many don’t charge a room fee as long as you meet the food and beverage minimum.  These venues are also likely to need less decoration – meaning less or no decorating work for you on the day of.

 

Post # 14
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@anemone681:  Another suggestion: one thing that we did when we were searching was my FI called some catering companies that fit within our budget, and asked them if they knew of any venues that wouldn’t break the bank.
The caterers were more than happy to lend a hand searching, because they wanted our business. We always picked someone who fell below or price range, though; since we knew a venue would probably cost a bit more over that.

Post # 15
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

you might look at Michelle’s ballroom.. Michellesballroom.com and refield estate at the grove. Both are decent priced. Ill keep looking for ya

Post # 16
Member
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t know the area unfortunately but I just wanted to encourage you. I think $5k for 30 guests is totally do-able. Think of it this way: Usually about 50% of the budget is for the reception (catering, food, drinks, space, etc.)  But you probably won’t have as much “fluff” surrounding your wedding so maybe bump that up to 60%.  60% of 5000 is 3000, divided by 30 is $100 per guest. That leaves you $2k for your incidentals like apparel, wedding license, WP gifts, flowers, whatever.  Or, if that includes your honeymoon, then I would give you $1k for your honeymoon, allow 55% of the budget for reception, and then you have a total of $2200 or $73 pp for the reception.  Which is about on target for a nice lunch with drinks around Boston, I assume Chicago is comparable.

Another tip is to try local colleges, which don’t do events as their main income stream so they’re often cheaper or don’t have minimums like “wedding factory” event halls.

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