Wedding/Reception Costs?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

There are so many variables you need to think about – 

  • How soon is your wedding? 
  • Do you have a style in mind? 
  • What kind of venue? (Barn, vineyard, church, reception hall, garden, backyard)
  • How many guests? 
  • Can you DIY a lot? 

Ill be honest, I’m not saying its not doable, but it will be hard if you want a wedding with guests. Once you start looking at costs of venues and food, let alone a dress, it will add up fast. You can go to and there is a budget tool, where you put in your budget, uncheck things you don’t want and it will tell you how much to spend on the rest. We pushed our wedding back so we can budget out “our wedding vision” and have what we want. 

If you are going to go small, simple, DIY and not an expensive venue/food, it’s possible. 

Post # 4
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Ckasnoff:  Feeding/providing drinks for 50 people on 2k plus all the other stuff that goes with a wedding will not be easy, you’ll have to get creative. Are you wanting a reception over meal time or something in the afternoon where you would not have to provide as much food? Having said that some bees on here have found catering for as low as 10pp in their area (more casual style meals of course).

Post # 5
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I’m getting married at a bed and breakfast, I bought my dress at (it was actually a sample but it wouldn’t have bothered me either way), find a small caterer or find a venue that allows outside vendors and have a family member cook! I am also making my own bouquet. Im basically in the same boat. My sister had a courthouse wedding earlier this year and I know how much my dad wanted to walk us down the asile etc. I definitely wanted to “run away” and get married,just me and my fiance. Good luck,it can be done:)

Post # 6
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You could have a late morning/early afternoon wedding with a cake & punch reception, that would be the cheapest route.

You could probably go brunch as well.

I don’t think you’d be able to fly a full on night time reception for 2k.

Post # 9
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

Sit down and write out a guest list first as that will dictate which venues you can have (some might be too large or too small), then decide what kind of ceremony and reception you would like. Courthouse then reception? church? Officiant? Then start thinking of venues for the style you want. with that low of budget, think about what is most important. Are pictures? Or videographer? A dress? It adds up quickly so decide up front on what is most important for your budget. 

Post # 10
111 posts
Blushing bee

Ckasnoff:  First off, I think it was a smart financial decision to buy a house in lieu of a large extravagant wedding. Houses appreciate in value and are a sound investment for the most part; weddings (while they make delightful memories) do not. If I could only pick one, I would pick what you picked. 

As for doing your wedding on a budget: have you ever seen the wedding on Young House Love? They held a wedding in the backyard of their first home together for a few thousand bucks, and it looked WONDERFUL and fun. If you take out the cost of a photobooth, their wedding came in at $2800 for 75 people. They used fruit instead of flowers for their centerpieces, and I think it looks adorable. (

If you do go that route, I highly recommend Costco for food and alcohol (and even flowers), I regularly host big dinner parties for just a few hundred by buying in bulk. Look for wedding dresses in stores you wouldn’t expect to have them (the girl from Young House Love got hers at Arden B), or consider buying from a Chinese knock off site that has good reviews. 

If you’re in LA or would plan on visiting, I recommend a trip to the Fashion District for fabric for tablecloths, etc. They have dresses (full on wedding dresses) for anything from $100-$1000, and your FI could get a tailored suit there for around $100. 

Another relatively inexpensive wedding that I think is adorable is this one: (oops, that doesn’t show their budget, but this site does:

Good luck. You can definitely do it! 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  glasskey. Reason: added link
Post # 13
25 posts

We recently hired a wedding planner to help tie up loose ends and coordinate everything for us because ours is a DW in NOLA.  the planner we are using specializes in “brides on a budget” and normally builds their fee into the existing budget the couple is working with. In our experience, they let us use decorations they already have, for free, and their contacts in the industry have provided us great prices on services that I never could have found or negotiated on my own. Their guidance has already payed for their small fee in savings. Maybe there is someone in your area who offers a similar service? A backyard wedding sounds lovely! 

Post # 14
1926 posts
Buzzing bee

I think with a smaller budget like yours you might want to consider foregoing the traditional kind of reception and opt for a dinner in a private room at a restaurant. That would cost a lot less and remove expenses like a DJ, cake, a lot of decorations and a lot of alcohol costs since it’s just a dinner. I’ve seen other beess do a reception like that and it can look really beautiful.

Post # 15
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

Ckasnoff:  sure you can!

Why not have an afternoon reception with cake and punch?  Have a smaller guest list and do some apps.  Look at non traditional wedding gowns like department stores (my mom got married in a grey suit 40 years ago, she’s still just as married as someone in a big white dress was).  There are a lot of options for doing a wedding without all the trappings of the commercial bridal industry.  It’s just a matter of where you are willing to put the money you do have.

Ie: We are putting in $40K worth of work into our house so we opted to have a small wedding in the backyard (25 ppl) and then go out for dinner afterwards.  Our wedding budget is $5K because that’s all we are WILLING to spend.

Be smart with your decisions and it can be done!

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