Post # 1
So, I know there is a lot of talk about budget but as a student, I am being crazy thinking I can get a wedding for $1,000 or less. I’m probably on drugs or something right now, but I am curious as to how much all of you bees spent, especially the ones who purposefully went low on your budget.
Some back story: I know it will probably go up to say $5,000 or even $10,000 but I want the kind of wedding that feels more like a family reunion. I have wanted, for the longest time, all of my wedding food to be made but relatives – while I know that’s asking a lot, it is also the one thing that I am for sure set on. Although it will probably have to be something like, they each make 1 dish of it and then a caterer makes enough for everyone. I want an intimate wedding but seeing as how my family alone is 36 guests, and my side of the bridal party is 12 people…. well, that brings us up to 49 people including myself. So I will probably have at least 50 people if all of his family comes and part of mine doesn’t. That feels like a not-so intimate wedding. But with that in mind, I am thinknig about budget. My date is March 14th, 2015 (although the proposal has not happened, it has been agreed upon that we will eventually get married and that he wants to do the proper proposal and make it special) so while I have plenty of time to plan and save, I also have grad school coming up, which would finish actually after the wedding (about 6 weeks after).
So I guess I just want to know about tips to keep budget low and see if anyone else is as crazy as I am about trying to spend the smallest amount possible on the wedding.
Post # 3
The kind of wedding you are talking about can EASILY be done for 1000! Think of it like a great big picnic with a pretty dress…
We are doing a potluck wedding. my Darling Husband and I are providing the meat to be grilled. and in our invitations we are sending recipe cards with a note letting our guests know that we are going to have potluck reception and would love everyone to bring a dish to pass. We would like them to bring a recipe that is special to thier family and fulll of love and bring the recipe along with it so that we can start our family with all those delicious lovely time and family honoured recipes. Our guests will be making the bulk of our meal just as you described. You do not need a caterer!
Keep in mind that you can usually rent a park pavilion for (at least around here) 150 for the whole weekend.
Dresses don’t have to come from a bridal salon. mine came from the limited (granted they used to have a bridal line) My sisters dress came from a consignment shop. I have read about brides getting white dresses from target and just adding lace and ribbons.
If I were you… and I think we have similar wedding ideas… I would do exactly what you had planned. Start planning a family reunion, with a yummy bbq or a picnic, get some yard games for the kids and have everyone bring whatever than can to the table. You can have a cute little ceremony right at the park where the rest of it is and take some great pictures with all your friends and family not being rushed to get from one place to another
The only people that say wedding invitations have to be +4$ a piece with multipul pages and velum and rhinestones are the card companys. You can go to a craft store and get prett card stock and matching envelopes. Design your own invitations and make it as elaborate or as plain as you like. Find some friends who stamp or scrapbook and they will have all sorts of fun stamps and scissors to play with.
You can do it and it is going to be Wonderful!
Post # 4
Im going to tell you now. The first mistake you can make when on a budget is having too many people in your bridal party. Thats where I made mine. I have 6 BMS and 5 GMs when if I would have worked out a budget first I would have just had 3 of each. 2nd is buying a dress before you had your budget set, venue in mind and colors down. I ended up having to buy a 2nd dress because of this mistake. However, so far besides those 2 mistakes Ive made has been good. I got my 2nd dress for $159.xx from ebay. Its peach :). My wedding colors are navy, champagne and peach as an accent color (also navy wont be too bold in there either). Im getting my 1 tier cathedral veil from valuveil.com for $21.99 including tax and shipping costs. I bought my petticoat from ebay as well for $27.90. Im getting my shoes from dsw.com for approx $50 but a family member is buying this for me as a wedding gift. Also another family member is purchasing my veil. I just bought my wedding favors from orientaltrading.com for $20.49 for 72 guests (I plan on having no more than 70). I have an all inclusive venue that covers food, tables, linens, chairs, decorations, centerpieces, and even has a DJ for 3K including tax. My venue includes mostly everything except a photographer, cake, flowers, and officiant. DIY my flowers and getting 400 stems for $200 (carnations but google some of their bouquets and bunched together they’re very cute!!!) from wholeblossoms.com. Got my photobooth on sale for $350 for 3 hrs. Getting my photographer for $600 for 6 hrs. My officiant is $150. And getting my invitations free from the GMs and G tux shop. Um, I think thats about all I got so far. But what you want to do first is create a budget. THen get with your Fiance and prioritize. What means most to you and him. Then you can see where you can cut or add as far as your wallet goes.
Post # 6
@globalmargaret: OMG! Thank you!
My ideal location is my grandma’s house. While almost no one on my dad’s side of the family has been there (it’s my mom’s parents house), it is fairly large property with a little wooded area that has a clearing (I am a southern girl so this is like a dream for me!) and a huge area for an outdoor reception. Only worry is rain since well, the date is middle of March. But I’m thinking a night-time ceremony AFTER the reception (I am the most backwards girl ever) to have a more intimate feel.
@lindseyl06: Yeah, I decided after I posted this to sit down and break it all down! I’m very anal about being organized so I broke down everything. The thing is, I want a huge bridal party because we’re most-likely going to have a giant ceremony that combines catholic and pagan rituals and I have the kind of family that if everyone is NOT in the party, then it’s a huge no no! Here is my break-down of the bridal party:
Maid/Matron of Honor:
That includes his guys and sister, who will be a Bridesmaid or Best Man. The ushers part is more for helping people park because of location.
Post # 7
@MySunshine: Haha, thanks! Yeah, I’m a southern girl but also a nerd. lol!
Post # 8
Be careful with the ceremony after the reception…. It is do able, don’t get me wrong, but some of the more traditional folks in my family thought it was weird for celebrating before we did anything, also I know I would be terrified to eat in my dress before the ceremony. It would look very odd enjoying your picnic with a garbage bag over yourself to protect you from bbq sauce.
Also take in to account that I am totally paranoid about odd things like that, so it might not be a concern and you might not actually have to wear a garbage bag.
Post # 9
Post # 10
Hey i am also a student planning a budget wedding – I have spent about £3000 so prob about $4000 – 5000 some things I did to bring down the cost = I got my dress as an ex sample tag price £1000 i paid £150, bridesmaids dresses £7 each down from £30, flowers DIY cost about £15, shoes ebay £10 and I have DIYed them with swarovski crystals and hand made flowers, jewellery and veil and head piece about £30 – shopped around and bought in sales, made my own birdcage veil, venue £1000 for 120 people including 3 course meal and wine for wedding breakfast plus a buffet in the evening, photographer £500 10am to 10pm including one photo album plus a baby shoot for my newborn son, car to take me to the wedding £100 and a live band for £500. I think I have done pretty well for the money – we have had some help from both our parents, in total I think me and my partner have spent about a £1000. I did it by haggling and being cheeky asking for tonnes of discounts plus by shopping in sales and online. Its definatley easy to do, if you dont ask you dont get – I was suprised by how much discount I go just by asking!!
Post # 11
@globalmargaret: Well, it probably won’t be too bbq-like as my family likes a whole lot of German food. But also for health reasons I have a vegetarian diet so that’s a good point – more reason to have just a plain cheap white dress and then change.
@creativeplannertobee: Thanks! 😀
Post # 12
@fayrhiannon: Well, with my parents helping so much with school, if possible I don’t want them to have to pay for anything. Same for his parents. Thanks for the tip, though. Although I might get slapped by someone if I ask to use a coupon. haha!
Post # 13
@Booknerd: How many guests are you expecting? That sounds really nice. I have 2 Maid/Matron of Honor (not on purpose but thats another story) 4 BMs, 5 GMs (and 2 of them are ushers), 2 Flower Girl (my daughters) and a ring bearer. The budget will jump with a huge bridal party. Things I didnt consider like bouquets (you will be amazed at how much flowers cost!), bouts, gifts, and the rehearsal dinner (As far as I know we are paying for this).
Post # 14
@lindseyl06: Well, I think somewhere between 50 and 70. We haven’t decided since it’s so early. But I’m going to say a cap of 70 people.
My flower budget (which includes baskets for FGs, Ring Bearer pillow and bouts) is only $100 because my bouquet is not going to be living flowers. It’s going to be like flowers made from pages of books (which the idea kills me so it will be xeroxed!), fake flowers, broaches, etc. Also, the only only flowers are the ones for the aisle. The bouts will be single stems or paper flowers again. My girls will have clutches instead of flowers. I don’t want flowers everywhere because it will be outside and I don’t want to cause environmental issues.
Post # 15
I am also having a small destination wedding (about 40 guests) but my budget is around $10,000. I have really been trying to keep costs down though! Here are some things I have done that saved money :
1) I made my own Save the Dates. I downloaded something called the Kodak 4×6 template from Google images, designed the STD’s in the Paint program, and printed them out at Costco for 8 cents each!
2) I made my favour bags. I ordered the bags from Save On Crafts and bought the stamps on sale at Michaels. Including all the supplies, these cost me about 60 cents each.
3) I made table numbers with frames that I bought at Ikea for 99 cents each. I printed out the insides on a regular computer printer after I made them in the Paint program.
4) The men’s outfits and bridesmaid’s dresses are from regular stores. Fiance bought his linen outfits at The Bay and Old Navy, while my bm’s dresses were $98 from a store called Sakura. A lot better than the $300 dresses I liked at the bridal salon, plus alterations!
Here is another link that you can check out too – it’s called How to get married for $239 🙂
Post # 16
That’s awesome! Thanks and congrats! Cute Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, btw!