(Closed) 10k budget brides

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Not sure if you would want to, but we are having a destination wedding 🙂  This helped us drastically cut down our guestlist!  Also, I don’t plan on buying new shoes for the day of, just because people probably won’t be able to see my shoes under my dress, and I want to be able to dance all night (without my feet aching the next day!).  We also didn’t spend $$ on engagement pictures — my brother helped take the pics for us and it worked out (we wanted to make sure to have photography and video on the day of though).  I am also looking into renting, rather than buying my dress, which will save me $$$.

Post # 4
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

We were around $10K (probably closer to $12K by the end). We saved the most by using friendors, doing a TON of things ourselves (invites, decorations, music, flowers, favors, etc.), not having a huge wedding party (less gifts!), keeping our rentals to a minimum, finding an incredibly affordable caterer (under $13 a head – and in the California Bay Area no less!), and hosting the reception at my parents’ house. That left us a lot of money to splurge on those things we really cared about, like photography. It’s definitely doable, and our wedding was still incredibly lovely!

Post # 5
2227 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I did all that & my wedding cost double.

The place you’re going to save your money (where I didn’t) is on food, booze & DJ. Food can range in price & varies depending on the # of guests you have. Booze depends on the length of your reception (mine was 9 hours… which cost me with the DJ too). Don’t underestimate the cost of liquor: I did & it turned out to be half the total cost of the wedding

I also DIYed my flowers & found an amateur photographer to shoot my wedding for a fraction of the price of a pro. She was with me for 12hrs on the day of the wedding.

Post # 6
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@youknowlmoe:  Mine is $9,000 and here are a few of our tips.

  • NON traditional catering we are either doing BBQ or Mexican food (both super yummy) because they dont have the “Wedding Markup” and they are good prices.
  • DIYing as much of the decor as  possible.’
  • Buying fresh flowers and doing the bouquets and centerpeices ourselfs!
  • Using mason jar as vases because my mom has a ton of them. 
  • Friendors I am using a good amount of them!
  • Use family skills (aunt is making our cake as a wedding present)
  • Cut the guest list the less people you invite the less you need to spend.
  • Make a list of things that are VERY important to you and make sure to do those things but cut everything you dont need or care about.
  • Cost of rentals for us is less than a venue rental so we are having it at a family members house and getting rentals. (but if you belong to a church or have a fire department that will let you borrow tables or chairs to can save there too!) 
  • Price comparason- I do not buy anything without checking atleast 6 other places.
  • Use coupon codes.
  • Table cloths are cheaper to buy then they are to rent and then you can resale them after!
  • Craigslist for decor and random things.
  • make your own veil prices of ones in bridal shops is CRAZY.
  • Check places like OnceWed and recycled bride.
  • Enter giveaways I have already won over 1,500 in goodies for our wedding and I am still entering!
  • Have the wedding on a non saturday most places will give you discounts for having it on a “off” day. 
  • Borrow things. I have friends who are getting left and right we are sharing things that can be used for both of our weddings!
  • Dont be afraid to barter with vendors if you cant get a lower price then atleast you tried. 

Post # 7
1512 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Our band is free, we’ll be providing our own alcohol [saving tons], I’m DIYing: bouquets/bouttonnieres, invitations/save the dates/RSVPs, cenerpieces, veil, makeup, etc etc. Honestly, our photographer is almost half the budget, and we’re still pulling it off. You just have to figure out where your priorities lie, then cut everything else. Photography is my number one priority, so everything else falls after that.

Post # 8
9483 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

  • $200 wedding dress (mine was discontinued)
  • $38 wedding invitations with basic paper and envelopes
  • No Save the Dates
  • Backyard wedding
  • Hiring a photographer to get ceremony and after ceremony/candid shots
  • No wedding party
  • No flowers
  • Co-worker (or friend/family member) baking wedding cake
  • Family friend to DJ (iPod reception works too!)

…that’s it thus far.  Still have a few more things to get through.  Obviously my options aren’t going to work for everyone.

Post # 9
3968 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Thank you for this post! I will be a 10k or less bride, and this will be so helpful! If anything, I WANT this to be under 10k, but I know my parents (who will be paying) have certain expectations, so I’m hoping to convince them we don’t need xyz.

Post # 10
9483 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

We will also be buying our alcohol.  I wanted to do another keg like we had at our engagement BBQ, but Future Mother-In-Law says no because there was still some left.  We got half a keg for 20 something people.  We will be inviting double that.  Whatever.  She’s paying for it.  Haha.

Post # 11
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh ya we are doing our own alcohol too! Buying like 2 kegs… Getting a great deal on wine because my cousin work at a Vinyard, and keeping the other stuff to a minimum and once it is gone it is gone. 

No personalized anything really… 

Post # 12
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Our budget is $4,000. While we could probably spend more, I absolutely DO NOT want to. In fact, I’d love to spend less or come in around $3,000. I also take into account we’re having less than 30 guests at the actual ceremony… so not everyone may be able to do that.

Most of our budget is going to the venue(renting a house on the beach, and I’ve included gas money for travel in that) and the photographer. I think those the most important things.

Our ways we’re saving:

  • DIY projects. We’re doing a lot of them – invites and programs, bouquet, bout, centerpieces, ring bearer pillow, garter, toasting glasses, cake server, misc. decorations.
  • Buying materials ourselves instead of renting. I’m going to buy some white chairs – some of which we’ll reuse and the rest we will sell. We are doing the plates and table linens the same way – things we will buy, reuse, or resell. The decorations will be things we can keep in our home afterwards.
  • Food. Our food and drinks will be bought ourselves. Seafood will be bought locally for cheaper pricing and better taste. We are having a significant amount of grilled food – and our families will do the grilling at the reception. The other food will be placed on buffet style tables. Our drinks will be brought out and self-served. We will have mojitios made by us(I used to be a bartender, and that way we can go around and give people the drinks and do something fun together). That will be the only alcohol. 
  • Music. We will be doing an ipod wedding – with nice speakers we already have. We will have a family member be in charge of this.
  • No flower wedding. Flowers just aren’t that important to me and with the lovely beach, they’re not needed. We’ll do cheap alternatives for the bouquet and bout: seashells.
  • Cheaper attire. I do not need a $500+ gown to have one I love and am beautiful in.
  • I will make our wedding cake.
  • I will set up. I know this will put a lot on me, but I’m prepared for it. This is the only way I’ll truly be happy anyway, as I can be a perfectionist.
  • Doing my hair and makeup myself.
  • Small wedding party – less money spent of bouquets, gifts, etc.
  • No fancy send off. No sparklers, no limo, etc.
  • I am truly considering having my brother be the officiant.

Post # 13
1737 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We’re going to shoot for 10k (or under). Definitely looking for BYOB venues. It will save us SO much money! I’ve also been looking at venues that do both ceremony and reception, which saves on travel costs, and has separate rooms for the guys and girls to get ready, which keeps one (or both) of us from having to get a hotel room to get ready in.

We’re also having our wedding on a Sunday to save money. Lots of venues and vendors give Sunday discounts since it’s not as popular as Saturdays as an incentive to book them. Giving a discount is better than having no business at all, right? So you can get good deals that way.

We have a friend who is a DJ and we are going to ask him if we can rent some of his equipment from him and hook our ipod up to it. Friendors are awesome! And then there’s the added bonus of having him as a guest, so if something goes wrong with the music, he’s there to handle it.

I’m having a small bridal party, which will save on floral costs, gifts, etc.

Lots of DIY. I have crafty hobbies so I already have plenty of material to work with. Looking forward to it 🙂

Post # 14
9483 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

@kafir:  I am hoping someone will become ordained online for us.  I honestly don’t want to spend $400-500 on an officiant.  I find it to be outrageous.  They stand up there for 15 minutes!  Well, however long.  I know they have bills, but c’mon!

Post # 15
1359 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We didn’t have a budget per se, but we have ended up spending about $6k on our wedding.

The venue+caterer was about half of that, but we saved money everywhere else.

-Intimate, exclusive wedding with only close family and friends (about 30 total) kept catering, alcohol, favor, etc. costs down.

-Made my dress, and veil, chose inexpensive shoe and clutch options and embellished them, for a total of about $275.

-Found my FI’s outfit on sale, total with new shoes and tailoring about $250.

-Made paper flower centerpieces with thrift store vases, about $50 for everything.

-Bought linens instead of renting, spent $60 instead of $130.

-Bought an iPod speaker system and some music, spent about $175 instead of $$$ on a DJ or band. (Works because, again, we have a small wedding in a small space.)

-For the honeymoon, decided to take two mini-moons (one right away, one a few months later) instead of a big trip. So we’re going to Savannah, GA and Jekyll Island, GA for about $1200 for 5 days, then taking a cruise to the Bahamas for about $1000 for 4 days. Now we get two fun trips away, and it’s still cheaper than most places for 9 days. Priceline was our friend. We will take a big extravagant trip later when we didn’t just spend thousands on a wedding. : )

-Photographer – we found a person who is starting out in photography, and also gave us a discount since we had a small wedding. I am a little nervous since she hasn’t done many weddings, but I love her work and I’m hoping for the best.

-No wedding cake (variety of desserts, instead)

-No bridal party

Where we didn’t save money:

-Designing our own invitations and having them printed. It was cheaper than, say, getting them printed by a print shop or someone on Etsy, but it would have been even cheaper to get a boxed set from Target or something, and in retrospect probably would have been a smarter option. But, we did have very cute invitations that we love.

-Officiant. Since the ceremony is so important to us, we went with a woman we love rather than the cheapest option we could find.

-Hotel. Even though we’re getting married two blocks from our apartment, we are still opting to stay in a hotel for two nights surrounding the wedding, because we just want to be somewhere nice and different.

-Makeup. I am DIYing my own makeup, but I ended up buying tonsss of new, expensive makeup, and so it’s costing about the same as if I had it professionally done. However, I do get to keep that makeup and continue using it afterwards, so in a way it is cheaper I suppose.

-Venue and caterer + alcohol, obviously. This is the biggest expense, but I am okay with it. We are spending about …. $110 per person between these three things. Gulp. Haha. So this is definitely an area where you could cut back.


That’s all I can think of. Hope that helps!

Post # 16
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

10k is the maximum I would be willing to spend on a single day. Thankfully my mom is covering my dress and flowers. 

  • Guest list is 40, 45 max
  • Ceremony and Reception at same place
  • Doing my own makeup
  • Not doing a dance, so no DJ, band, etc
  • My sister is a fairly renowned professional photographer, so she’s doing that as my gift
  • Doing an open bar, but for 40ish people it won’t be too expensive (And FI’s parents are paying for liquor)
  • Bridal and Groom party is one person each. Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor.
  • Doing a small wedding cake. Like, 2 tiers small.
  • DIY centerpieces (okay, my mom and other sister will do them, since I’m incapable of anything DIY…)

Not doing a rehearsal dinner, bc everyone is coming from far away anyways and won’t make it.

The most important thing for me was to have a really well done dinner. I didn’t want to serve poor quality food. So dinner will be our biggest splurge, for sure.


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