What is a reasonable budget?! Am I crazy?

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I honestly can’t say anything about Vancouver, but most of the people I see who do 10-12 thousand dollar weddings leave a lot of things out. Perhaps they have a venue they pay for, but no dinner (dessert/appetizer/brunch). Or they leave out alcohol, or something like that. Or they have it in someone’s backyard (that way, they only have to hire a caterer). 

Basically, I think it will be difficult to have a traditional wedding with your typical venue, original wedding dress, full dinner, alcohol, photography, etc., for 10-12 thousand. I think there are a lot of great sites out there that give advice for 10-12 weddings though. 

Some ideas:

Backyard wedding (as mentioned above)

Perhaps you might want to have your reception at a restaurant? 

If you don’t really care about photography, that can get pricey, and could save you some. 

Get your dress used or non-traditional, or from one of the various Chinese designer-inspired sites. 

I would make a list of what you need out of your wedding, and then go from there!

Post # 5
5162 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Katrina117:  The answer to your question COMPLETELY depends on what you consdier to be a “nice” wedding.  What’s essential to you?  

Can you throw a good party for 40 people on $10-12k?  Yes, you certainly can.

But for a lot of people a “nice” wedding includes some really big ticket items (several thousand dollars on each of a dress, a ring, and a photographer, for example).  It really just depends if these types of things are essential to you or not.

Post # 6
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I totally think you can! That was our initial budget for 200 people. We ended up spending about twice that in the long run, but that was really my Mom & sister. I told them we didn’t need certain things & they couldn’t help themselves! But like I said that was for over 200. We spent a lot of time finding the right place & the right food, etc. We did a lot on our own & it took a ton of family wanting to do things for us like making the cake, also my sister is a florist, cousins are photographers, etc.

So you can definitely make it happen, it just may take a little more work 😉

Also, I don’t live in Vancouver, but I am in the SF bay area which is pretty darn expensive.

Post # 7
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I wish I could help you more but I can’t say much about prices in Vancouver. 


However I can say you absolutely CAN have a nice, traditional wedding for 10-12if you give yourself enough time and plan very well. 

In my area the average wedding is roughly 18k+. Our budget was 10k and a month out from our wedding we still have 2k to play with. Our wedding is at a country club. We’re having a full dinner with alcohol, a dj, photobooth, photographer, videographer, lots of flowers, etc.


You have to make a list of priorities, start researching, buy a little bit at a time a keep a count of everything.

Our venue is hosting our ceremony, reception, does the food, provides the alcohol, provides the tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, serveware, sets everything up, tears everything down, provides a DOC and we spent $5000 for all of that and it takes care of over half the work.

I got 25% off our flowers for attending a bridal show, setting up an appt gor our florist that day and putting my namein her bowl.

15% off suits and a free grooms suit from a bridal show

Dessert bar with cupcakes, mini pies, mini cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, and tarts for 160 people for $300 which includes delivery and setup.

Free dj. I get thisis unrealistic for most people but it’s possible to get discounts everywhere.

We ordered DIY uplighting which is super easy to use and gorgeous and cost us $150 for the whole venue.

My friend’s dad made us a beautiful natural wood andflower arbor. He basically took a picture I found off a floral designers website and recreated it only bigger and more beautiful.

All our centerpieces are assorted mason jars. They came from grandma, aunts, MIL, friends, etc. No money was spent on them and I haveover 500.

A distant relative playsin a band and has toured with people like Nora Jones and John Mayer. He’s doing our ceremony music for free.

There are so many little things we’re doing which will make a bigimpact. I suggest you start talking to friends and family. You’ll be surprised by how many people want to help and are super creative.




Post # 8
2807 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Katrina117:  It’s totally possible.  Just think outside the box.  I had a lot of family willing to help out and we had a full shindig for an aproximate overall cost of 8-10 grand (had we actually paid for everything).  We did not have alcohol at the reception or music due to the strict church but we did have an after party at my mom’s with both of those things. Of course it does vary by region. As PP said figure out what is important to you and then go from there. 

Here are some examples on this website.


Post # 10
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Also you should try thinking outside the box.


I went to an outside wedding once at a church. The ceremony was by the pond with lots of natural beauty and a gorgeous outdoor chapel setup. The reception was in the gym and it didn’t even look like a gym. They had a rental come in a drape fabric from the ceiling, down the walls, to the floor and hang a chandelier in it. They have big, lush centerpieces, gorgeous chairs, candles anywhere.

It was the single most lush, expensive looking, romantic wedding I’ve been to and the couple paid 7k.

Post # 11
1 posts



You are not crazy. My wedding is in October and FI and I both regret on throwing a wedding. We should have just plan a cocktail party instead. Just to get the very basic decor chair cover, bouquets, backdrop is about 3K to start.. BASIC decor!! Not to mention the costly venue + menu cost….. for just a few hours of a day.. It really depends how you look at it. Some girls MUST have a wedding of their dreams, and they are willing to go all out. However, I am just a regular person who don’t have millions of dollars. It kills me that anything with BRIDAL is at least 5 times more than regular events. Wait til you get to makeup and hair…. These vendors charge like we own a bank.. but what can you do?


Get your family and friends to help out if they are willing to. If not, you can only pay up! 🙁


Post # 12
1107 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

That is definitely doable!  In fact, that is our exact budget and honeymoon (only two weeks though).  We have 150-200 guests, and because we are having almost exactly a 2 year engagement, we are finding a bunch of great deals early on. 

For example; I shopped around and found a photographer that gives us a $100 discount for booking early, so it comes to $799.  We found a venue for our reception that is exactly what I always pictured (on the beach) for $600, and we bring in everything. Our sit down evening dinner is $25/pp, and has 5 courses. Found my $1200 dress online for $500. Honestly, it’s all about booking early and looking around for the best deals.  I am also doing a lot of DIY projects.  We’re doing a mix of silk and real flowers for $300.  I’m only hiring a decorator for the ceiling and linens.

We are in a fairly big city (250K), but our wedding will be about 30-45 minutes outside the city.  We saved SO much money that way, maybe you could find a venue that’s slightly outside the major city?

Post # 13
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Katrina117:  we made it happen in New York! We had the venue, the fancy dress, dinner, a photographer, the works! If you shop around and are willing to DIY with some of the smaller stuff, it can totally be done. Our traditional wedding for 80 people cost just under $9,000 including our honeymoon. 

Post # 14
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I think it’s doable, you just have to look for the right deals and such. Right now our projected budget is around $12,300. I found through craigslist an officiant for $250 when everyone else was $500. And two photographers whom I’m trying to decide between for $800.

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