Post # 1
There is just no way. We can afford a small gathering, but definetly not the bash that my FI wants.
I’ve been doing the math and I just don’t see how its possible. We are in the Boston area, so prices suck to begin with (but I know weddings are expensive everythwere). We save about $700 a month, and that is after everything is paid for (including 401K, health insurance, etc.). About half of that needs to go to our emergency fund and some to our home renovation fund. the FI was unemployed for a few months, and we are still building our savings back to where we are comfortable.
So saving about $400 a month for the next 15 month brings us to around $6k. And with the little research and planning I have done…that won’t cover anything. Ive looked at about 10-15 places so far and their packages start at around $75/plate. And with an expected guest list of 50-75…that is more than 1/2 our budget (or almost all of it if we are closer to 75 people).
WTF! How do you ladies do it?! I looked into having it at a family home, and that blew the budget out of the water. Ive looked at hotels, halls, local spots…ugh!
EDIT: Just want to add please don’t jump all over me for this. I realize we are very lucky that we are able to save any money, especially during these economic times. There was a very long time that we were living paycheck to paycheck. Only recently have we gotten our financial life under control.
Post # 3
Hmm I’m sure this idea might not appeal, but have you tried to see if any VFW or Knights of Columbus halls have any nice banquet venues? We had to go to a VFW hall for ours to be able to afford anything. Some of them may surprise you. There are a few out there that are actually gorgeous on the inside. It takes a lot of digging to find them though. I would have never found mine if my FSIL hadn’t had her baby shower there.
Post # 4
Don’t be discouraged. I booked our wedding at $45 per person, inlcuding the cake. Don’t take their offer as the only offer, ask if there is off season sales, see if there is any deals that can be made. I know it is hard in New England to do anything in the winter, but you can certainly meet your budget goals if you do. Our wedding will cost about 10,000 but we also have at least twice the amount of guests. So keep your hopes up and continue looking.
Post # 5
@Bostongrl25: Have you thought about maybe skipping the dinner portion and having a more informal wedding with cocktails and dancing? Or maybe just find a restaurant with a private room? We found one that wouldn’t charge us a room rental fee, but had a $1000 food minimum. We were able to work with the GM on a menu that worked for us and would fit their minimum. We’re having it a little smaller 45 – 50 people max but so far our dinner bill is $1750.
Post # 6
I am so sorry that you are facing this, money definetly makes weddings frustrating. Being from Boston I got very discouraged on these boards from planning because everytime money came up I seemed to have been spending almost 4x everyone else.
Have you thought about doing a morning wedding. I know for wedding showers a lot of places were around $30, maybe you could get a menu like that. Then for a morning wedding you wouldn’t have to have a big DJ or alcohol.
Post # 7
Or how about a cocktail reception at a family members home. All you need is hightop tables a bartender and some pickies.
Post # 8
Thanks ladies. I know it’s possible, I just have to do some more digging and get creative. I am getting annoyed because both families have all these great ideas, and I know they are just trying to be helpful, but those great ideas cost big money. And they aren’t helping to pay so I don’t know where they think this money is coming from. I’m also struggling because if it was up to me…we would have immediate family only, go to dinner, and call it a day. My FI wants a 200-person, traditional wedding. So trying to compromise is frustrating.
Post # 9
Could you push the wedding out a year, so you have time to save? Or can you get married at the JOP and then have a big, blowout reception for your 1-year anniversary.
I feel your pain…weddings are really expensive 🙁
Post # 10
@coffeegal85: Well we are already planning for Fall 2012, so I really dont want to push it further than that. Ya, we could do a blow out a year later, I dunno :/
Pity party for one please!!!
Post # 11
Look at places that allow you to bring your own vendors in. That way you control the price of the food. You can work with a caterer to fit your budget. And you can hire bartending services cheaper than the inhouse cost usually. (We hired a local liquor store to bartend. We were charged per hour by the bartender and the retail cost of the liquor bottles they used. IE one bottle of vodka- $15. And then you can choose what you offer)
Using 1/2 your budget for venue and food is probably pretty common. Other areas can be cut down like decorations, dress etc.
Post # 12
I know your FI wants a big traditional wedding, but if you show him the numbers….he can’t argue with that.
Have you two considered a destination wedding? I’m not sure on prices on that sort of thing, but it seems like it might be a cheaper option.
Also, it’s totally doable! Tighten that budget up even further and I’m sure that you can make it happen. Use tons of friendors!
Post # 13
This is a reason why we have waited so long to get married. I finally got so upset that I said eff it and we’re only having an immediate family wedding. We said we’ll have an anniversary party later. Friday evening is cheaper than saturday evening, restraunts are cheaper than venue halls, and no liquor is way cheaper.
Post # 14
We’re having our ceremony and reception at a restaurant (We’re inviting about 75 people but our function space can hold about 100.) It’s less than $30 per person for the function space and buffet dinner, and obviously also includes tables, chairs, linens, dishes, etc.
Many vendors are willing to negotiate to work within your budget – I saved $300 on my DJ costs, just by asking. Seriously, you CAN have a wedding on a $6k budget.
Not sure where you intend to get married, but my venue is in central MA. You can PM me if you want the details. The Brewery Exchange in Lowell is also really affordable.
Post # 15
Also, think about having a cash bar…that really cuts costs, and as PP mentioned doing either a cocktail ceremony or cake & punch
You CAN do it 🙂
Post # 16
@Bostongrl25: we were in the same spot, with about $500-$700 extra a month. We made a list of priorities of what we thought were most important from the wedding to real life–is there a way to hold off on home renovations? Finally after saving as much as we could, we had to get a couple of loans 1) for the deposit on our reception venue 2) to pay for half of the reception venue and 3) for the honeymoon…then taxes came around and we paid off our photographer and cake. Then my parents saw that we were really stressed and came in to tell us they would pay for the florist, alcohol and a few other small details. Has any family offered to contribute??