Post # 1
Last night my boyfriend and I were discussing how much we are wanting to spend on our wedding. I commented that we should decide where our priorities lie, and then decide on where and how to designate wedding funds from there. His view on this is the same as it was concerning my engagement ring: he wants me to be happy, and for us to have a quality celebration that we will enjoy with people that we cherish.
I am trying to do some preliminary research into venues, the caterer that we prefer (already decided this together), and so forth. The problem is that I don’t know where to begin setting our budget! I don’t who he would want to invite, or would be expected to invite (family wise). I don’t even know whether we are going to have our wedding in Washington or Texas! I don’t know what our date will be. I feel so lost!
The only priority that he has voiced is the same as my own: that we are getting married to one another.
I don’t want to plan anything in stone until after the “official proposal” (almost certain is happening next month), but it makes sense to start trying to budget, research, and save as soon as possible.
So far my research into the cost of weddings has made me feel a little sick to my stomach. The expense even for a medium sized wedding feels extravagant, but that is the size that he wants (no more that 100 people max…hopefully much lower!).
Bees, how did you deal with the feelings that accompanied wedding costs?
Post # 3
When I first researched I felt nauseous. When all was said and done our whole event cost $4k, and I felt much better with that cost
Post # 4
@nerdybee: I would start with your guest list. If you know you’re paying for it then you’re the only one who really has a say in the guest list. Start there. That way you know what size venue you need. We have a list of 118, venues for 75 don’t work, but I don’t need 200. FH and I also knew that hotels and banquet halls were out due to FH’s profession, he didn’t want to feel like he was at work for the wedding. we had very specific things we (HE) wanted or didn’t want, and as a result our wedding is going to cost more than it needed to but we’re still okay with our budget (as much as it makes me want to vomit sometimes). We’re looking at about $25,000 for May 17 in Toronto at an Art Gallery with a private caterer for 118 guest (assuming everyone accepts the invite)
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza
@nerdybee: We started out with when we wanted to get married and figured out how much we could save up between when we got engaged and when the wedding would be. And then we used that to come up with the overall budget for the wedding. Once we had our overall budget, it was easier to determine how much to spend on everything – that’s where prioritizing comes in.
I think the breakdown I found was something like this:
Flowers – 10%
Dress/Accessories – 10%
Music – 10%
Photography/Videography – 10%
That’s just a rough estimate and those percents change based on what is a priority to you. Once you have a range of what you’re willing to spend on something (i.e. a DJ, a dress, etc.) it makes it a lot easier to make decisions.
Post # 6
@subola: That’s great advice! I just need him to help me decide on a definate date! We have been talking about having it in February 2015 the weekend that I graduate, but I won’t know that date until several months into next year. I am open to alternate dates, but he hasn’t voiced any ideas. I suggested having it during an off-season month to keep costs down, but he hasn’t really responded to my suggestion.
@vanike: Glad to know that I am not alone! How did you keep your costs so low? We have to find an indoor venue, because he has year round allergies (plants, trees, grass) and I don’t want him to be miserable.
@MsGinkgo: My part of the guest list is not difficult. The bulk of the guest list will be his. He doesn’t know who he would want to invite.
Post # 7
Honestly, I would not bother with any of this right now. You aren’t even engaged yet and you are sick over the costs. Just wait for your engagement, take some time to enjoy it, and get to the knitty gritty later. You can’t even really budget without knowing the guest list, which you won’t know until your parents’ send their lists.
Post # 8
@MrsTVLover: I was trying to wait until after the engagement to do more research, but he brought it up last night, so I started Googling today. I think that I am going to tell him that I want to wait until after the proposal for further cost discussions and planning.
Post # 9
It made me sick! So, I decided to 1) Start Saving Money ASAP 2) PUSHED back my TBD wedding date another year.
IF/When Mr VB and I get engaged (as early as December but could be as late as next summer depending on his job search/graduation) we can discuss in further detail and I’m with you by not wanting to think about it too much until AFTER the engagement-but, seriously, @nerdybee: I feel soo much better now that I’ve opened a wedding savings account and while I’m not putting a huge percentage of my money in there now, it’s nice to know that whenever the engagement comes I’ve already got a jump start on the funds.
Post # 10
@nerdybee: I wanted a fancy/formal wedding but was nervous about the costs. I chose a winter wedding because it is “off season”. I’m getting married in January and saved almost $1500 on my venue because it is January and $800 on my photographer. For decor, don’t be afraid to check out Ebay or even craigslist. People always resell their vases, candelabra’s…etc. Chances are they were only used once. I bought 15 vases that are 2.5 feet tall for $70 on Ebay. They run about $40 EACH. I am putting tall, wirey branches in them, filling the vase with Epsom salt (for illusion of snow) and a bunch of ivory roses at the top of vases. I spray painted my branches with an adhesive glue, then sprinkled glitter on them. It also makes them twinkle like snow. I have slate gray table clothes (Ebay) and the vases are placed on gold chargers (hobby lobby) surrounded by candles. My venue has a massive fireplace, and I want tons and tons of candles.(Hobby Lobby!)
90% of chicks get married in Spring/Summer/Fall. I am happy to have something different. I don’t need tons of flowers because I am embracing the winter wonderland. (no cheesy snowmen or snowflakes).
Because of the off season discounts, I am now able to have fine china and waiters pass appetizers around. Good luck!
Post # 11
@nerdybee: I wish I started thinking about this stuff before we got engaged! I’m in the same boat as you, I don’t know if my wedding will be in CT or AZ, we don’t have a date picked yet, no budget planned yet, literally just started saving money for the wedding and we’ve been engaged since May!
It’s very overwhelming and I completely empathize with you. We just graduated college and we both have relatively low paying jobs. I’ve been kind of putting off making a budget until I find a job in the field I graduated in (nursing) but who knows how long that will take to happen. I just feel like if I don’t start doing something I’ll just keep pushing it off. I wish I knew what I was doing :/
Post # 12
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza
@nerdybee: I think Feb. 2015 is a good starting point. I would go off of the fact that you have 16 months between now and then and figure out how much you can/are willing to set aside per month for the wedding.
Post # 14
I’d start with a tentative guest list, month, and location. Those 3 things have the potential to vary your cost a lot!
Post # 15
I’d try to figure out your life goals and go from there.
Like if you want to spend X amount on vacations per year, you want to buy a house with X down payment in X months, how much does that leave for a wedding budget?
Do you need 100 people there? Maybe you do… but SO and I would have to invite all our acquaintances to hit that number since we both have small families.
If you cut down on guests, you cut down on venue costs.
I really resent the pressure that (some) families, the wedding industry, and even the couples put on themselves. Like why? You can marry for < $200. Why does it have to turn into a lavish affair that takes away from other life goals? We said screw it, decided we’re inviting 4 people, and we’re doing the whole thing < $2,000.
Post # 16
Definitely come up with a tentative guest list.
You can’t really even look at venues without some idea of the # of people.
I mean, if I’m having 100 people I don’t want a venue for 300 that is too overwhelming. And if you have lower numbers you can find some smaller venues too.
That cost calculator is pretty acurate. I went back and entered all of my stats/info and it came very close (to the total cost, the breakdowns weren’t as accurate).