(Closed) $5000.00 budget?

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We’re doing our wedding for 5,000-6,000. At the venue we picked, you only pay for the food..which is great because you do not have to pay a ginormous fee to rent the place. I’d say try looking at country clubs, that’s what we did (though I don’t know how different it’d be since I’m in RI.) We’re having around 100 guests. I also plan on DIY stuff though I haven’t gotten around to anything yet. Some of the ladies here have used fake flowers and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference! I might do that route as well lol. If not, you could always buy flowers in bulk from an online place (can’t remember the names sorry!) and then make the bouquets yourself. We’re having a cupcake tier wedding cake with a little tier on the top…so far it seems to be cheaper than a regular cake. My mum might make it for us though which is a money saver. Hmm, depending what you want for centerpieces you can use coupons, go to thrift stores (for vases and whatnot), find sales. Good luck, it can be done beautifully for your budget. Keep us posted! If you have any questions you can message me. 🙂

Post # 4
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I too am having a $5,000 wedding! I think we may end up going over a little (maybe $500?), but I am still so proud of myself for pulling it off! Onto the tips though: Shop around! This is really the key to everything. We looked at many many venues and the biggest price factor in any of them was the catering. One venue had a very low price but you had to use their caterer, who started at around $30 per person  (we are inviting 160 people, by the way). We chose a venue, a local vinyard and winery, that didn’t have any catering requirements and included chairs and tables for us to use. We booked the winery for a Sunday and saved a ton of money. You can save a lot by having an “iPod reception”, but we chose to find a DJ instead. I have used Etsy for nearly every aspect of the wedding that I am not personally doing myself (cake topper, guest book, etc). Another thing that was very important to us for the wedding was photography. We found a young, less experienced photographer who’s work we both loved and booked him on the spot. Most of the photographers in our area started at around $2000 but we got Jonathan for $700! I have scoured the internet for wedding stuff so feel free to private-message me for any recs! Good luck and you can do it!!

Post # 5
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

The only 2 weddings I’ve been to were paid for entirely by the student couple, and both of their budgets were $5000.  It can be done! And they were both really good/beautiful/happy times.


Here are some things that they did to keep costs down, to give you an idea:


Wedding #1:

Grow your own flowers for centrepieces, bouquet, bouts, and altar pieces

Used bookmarks as favours – very cheap printing for these

Hosted an afternoon tea with sandwhiches/snacks from the local grocery store. They also used a grocery store sheet cake, and none of it mattered.

For the alcohol – all the young people who were interested met up at a bar later that night and partied the night away.

Borrowed white table cloths from all friends to use as linens

Enlisted a lot of friends to help with set up and clean up and organizing!


Wedding #2:

Had ceremony on a beach for free

Instead of dinner, served hors d’oevres and had dancing (they went to dinner between the ceremomny and reception with just the family)

StDs and invites were created in adobe illustrator (or something) and sent by email – so totally free!

Favour was a donation – and the little cards that told you so were a DIY project

iPod for dancing – only had to pay to rent the $50 sound system

Enlisted a lot of friends to help with set up and clean up and organizing!


Hope that helps! We are also paying for it ourselves on a small budget, so I feel your pain. Good luck!

Post # 6
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You could look into having it at a bed and breakfast or a community garden. 

Post # 7
98 posts
Worker bee

Have you looked at any restaurants?  We’re having ours at one in their private upstairs area and we’re only being charged for food and drinks (we get the tables, chairs, dinnerware, and PA system for free).  As far as flowers go, I don’t think they’re necessary.  If you just wanted a bouquet for youself, you could go to the farmer’s market the morning of your wedding and pick some up.  Hope this helps!

Post # 8
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Maybe you could hold a small ceremony in their backyard and then have everyone to the reception at a local bar/restaurant. That way you wouldn’t have to worry about renting chairs and whatnot for the ceremony. At the beginning of our planning we looked at this for an option and it was way cheaper to have “family reunion” at a restaurant than to have a catered event at a typical venue. I made sure not to mention “wedding” or “reception” ever because that seemed to make everything overpriced.

Another option is you could save money on cakes by doing single tiers instead of a stacked cake. You can usually get them for cheaper and you could still do something pretty and kind of modern.

Also you can get bulk flowers for pretty cheap from either Samsclub.com (I don’t know if they have them in AZ but I think you can still order online) or Flowersandfreshness.com. That way you don’t have a ton of fake flowers after the wedding (of course if you do then you could probably sell them to someone on the classifieds).

Hope this helps!

Post # 9
18 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

I feel your pain.  I’m actually looking for a second job to save money/pay for the wedding.  As for venue ideas, search the internet and call, call, call.  A lot of places right now are willing to work with you due to the recession.  Also some historical sites do not have a site fee and all you have to pay for is the food.  I wish you the best of luck.  I wish I could help out more, but I’m located in CA 🙁

Post # 10
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We’re having a $5000.00 wedding, so I know it is doable!

One of the BIG ways we’re saving money is by having a morning wedding with a brunch reception.  We chose brunch because my Fiance and I lovelovelove eggs benedict, pancakes, and all the other lovely brunch foods (focusing more on the breakfast side of brunch).  This also keeps our alcohol costs down, as people aren’t going to drink nearly as much at a brunch as they would in the evening.  We’re actually only serving mimosas, and have Baileys and Kahlua on hand for coffee.

We’re also going in a direction that seems to be neglected in wedding blogs, but that still happens ALL THE TIME in real life.  We’re having our reception in the parish hall.  Community and church halls seem to have gone out of fashion in blogland, but that’s only because they aren’t as pretty as a more contemporary venues like art galleries or restored barns.  I have never been to a wedding that didn’t have a community hall reception, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.  Going this route means we’re doing a lot in terms of decor, but I know we can still have the vintage butterfly tea party reception I’ve been dreaming of.

Barter.  Trade.  Ask around.  Hire a student.  Look for vendors that don’t normally do weddings.  Our wedding is a community event: my Maid/Matron of Honor designed the invitations, a friend from college is doing photography (she’s a fine arts grad looking to build her portfolio), another friend is doing hair and makeup, my sister is baking cookies for favours, my aunt is baking the cake, my mother is creating the centrepieces.  Instead of buying bridesmaid dresses we’re making them.  My dress came from a consignment shop, my jewelry is all borrowed or pieces I already own.  I’m not bothering to buy a new dress for my shower or rehearsal dinner, I’m going shopping in my own closet. 

However, when you rely on others, you have to give up control.  I chose the famous Martha Stewart butterfly cake as inspiration, but I don’t know if it’s going to look the same, and that’s okay.  We’re borrowing tea cups from all my aunties to use in centrepieces, but my mother’s vision and my vision aren’t the same.  It’s not easy to give up control, so depending on your personality it may not be the best idea.  I’ll admit it, I’ve shed some tears, but at the end of the day I’m getting married to the man I love, and that’s what matters.  Don’t let yourself lose sight of the big picture.  The wedding may not be 100% to my original vision, but I’m involving my family and community in a meaningful way, and that’s what matters to me.

DIY is great, but only do it if it’s something you enjoy, or involves a skill you want to learn.  If you think it’s going to be too much stress, forget about it!  Also consider that DIY isn’t always cheaper than hiring a pro.  You have to consider equipment, material, and your own time.  I personally have done very few DIY projects, choosing only ones I like, and that I know I already have the skills to do.  I made my hair accessories, I cut out hundreds of butterflies from old greeting cards, I sewed flower pompoms, and I made the ring pillow and flower girl basket.  That’s it for this bride, my sanity is worth much more than a bunch of details that will soon be forgotten anyway.

Pick what is important to you, and budget accordingly.  In my case, the dress wasn’t a number one priority.  I bought a simple dress from a consignment shop and made it mine with accessories.  A Princess Lasertron bouquet WAS important to me, so we budgeted accordingly.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to afford Princess Lasertron accessories for everyone in the wedding party, so I contacted her to see if we could work something out.  Sure enough, we arranged that she would make my bouquet, and I would buy supplies for corsages, boutonnieres, etc.  Don’t be afraid to talk to vendors to see if there is a way to make your vision happen.

Other options:

-Consider having a Friday or Sunday reception                                                     

-Look for non-floral alternative (paper flowers!  fabric flowers!  no flowers!)

-Get rid of unnecessary details.  Favours, programs, menu cards, corsages for every last family members, Save-the-dates, uplighting, etc

One last tip: know when to stop reading wedding blogs.  Seriously.  They can be a great source of information, but they can also be a great source of heartbreak.  With a million gorgeous weddings posted here and there it’s all too easy to compare and feel “mine isn’t good enough.”  I sometimes feel like crap because the reception is in the church hall, and I fear that everyone will judge me.  Then I remember: I’ve never been to a wedding that didn’t have a community hall reception.  We’re still going to have a great time.  If anyone judges me or my Fiance because of this, well eff them.  Don’t let yourself become obsessed with the weddings you see on the internet.  Stepping away from wedding blogs is a good idea every once in a while. 

It can be done!

Post # 11
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Oh, I love brunch weddings.  I seriously considered a brunch wedding.  MerryMary you are going to have an awesome day!

We ended up going with a wine bar/restaurant as our venue.  Their F&B min is $3,000 and there are no rental fees, unless you have your ceremony there which is $300.  I can’t even get married in our local park for that cheap.

Good luck and my best advice is just to keep connecting with people and don’t assume you can’t afford a place until you get an actual quote from them. Keep track and compare all of your research on venue options and really go through the budget to make sure you know exactly what it costs for each venue.  Hidden costs and small charges add up. We almost went with a different restaurant that seemed comparable in price, but after looking closely their parking fees were higher and would’ve pushed us over budget.

Post # 12
10218 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

Ditto the 5000 wedding for me .  We are getting married on a Thursday during the day and were having a brunch wedding, but the food was soo good that we decided on a heavier lunch and it comes out to about 24 or so per person.  (And that’s a choice of ribeye, chicken, or catfish, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and a salad)…


I am also doing all of my own flowers (hello 50 flowers.com!)  i found my dress on bravobride.com and it was only $300.00… it can definitely be done with proper research and organization.  Also if you see something you like, come here and ask about it a lot of us know how to make it or have seen where and how and/or how to get it done cheaper.


Good luck!!

Post # 13
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We’re doing a $5k wedding. The biggest thing for me was figuring out what I really want to spend the money on and what I’m seriously willing to let go. Photography and food are the two biggest expenses for us since our venue is free. We’re marrying in a local church that does weddings for free and we have chosen to donate about $500 to them as a thank you. Even though my “dream dress” is $1150 I knew I didn’t want to spend that much on something I really don’t care about all that much. So I’m probably going to buy a much cheaper dress ($499) instead that has the same general style. I was going to cheap out a little on the photography and try to get some budget wiggle room, but I realized that I was willing to spend about what I budgeted to get what I wanted.

Post # 14
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Do some research before you drop the backyard idea.  I thought seriously about it, and had a tent company come that gave us a free site survey, some great advice about how to do things, and a quote for tents, tables, chairs, and fans.  In the end we decided against it because although the money was right, we were worried about space for 150, especially in case of rain or crazy heat.  But it was worth investigating!  One possibility is to rent long rectangular tables and benches, might be cheaper than round ones and chairs.  And if you do your FILs’ backyard, they will probably pretty it up for you by planting new flowers and plants, maybe even an arch to get married under, which is a lasting improvement for them and so not really a wedding expense.  You might find you don’t need a lot of flowers/centerpieces!  Good luck

Post # 15
1408 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We’re doing a wedding for $5,000 for 100-120 people.

We found a church which is letting us use their space for free for our ceremony. Our priest is a friend of my FI’s who used to run the church we’re getting married at (he now teaches comparative literature at our university).

Our reception hall is a county parks building (its beautiful! Built in the 1920s, french doors, etc.) which is cheap, comes with tables, chairs, a full kitchen, and fans (though no airconditioning).

After nearly a full year of pricing around, we settled on our local food co-op as our caterer. They normally don’t do weddings but are interested in branching out into weddings, so we’re getting a LOT of food for almost no money AND our money is staying in our neighborhood (seriously, they’re 6 blocks away!). For $1,500 we’re getting appetizers (fruits, veggies, anti-pasto tray) for an hour and for dinner- choice of BBQ chicken or BBQ vegan ribs, 3 kinds of salad, 2 veggie side dishes, mashed potatoes, rolls, and something else which is slipping my mind at the moment. They also hooked us up with a bakery where we’re getting our wedding pies- 10 pies for $100! and we’re picking up cupcakes at Sam’s Club ($12 for 30 cupcakes!).Our caterers are also providing us with all the tableclothes (though no napkins).

I fell in love with white square plates, so I bought them wholesale online. 120 10.75″ dinner plates and 240 6″ app/dessert plates for about $120. I found forks and spoons at Sam’s Club for $8 for 36 forks or spoons and $11 for butter knives. This could all be done cheaper but i wanted real silverware and square plates. I found my table decor on ebay and ikea, my table runners and cloth napkins at efavormart, and my dress and jewelery on etsy.

I’m doing our flowers. I’ll be picking flowers from my friend’s parent’s farm 2 days before the wedding and adding those beautiful wildflowers to store bought (3 big bundles for $10 at a local store) to make all the bouquets/bouts. I have DIYed all our papergoods (STDS, invites, place cards, etc.). I am putting our favors together for less then $0.43 a favor by using favors boxes found on clearance, cookie cutters found on clearance, and candy found at Sam’s Club.

$5000 can be challenging and trying, but keep looking around! Price things out! Website shop! Start off telling caters/photogs/etc. about your small budget and ask how they can work with you.

Post # 16
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Wow, after reading all of the lovely and helpful suggestions – I really, really want to go to a brunch wedding!!

If the Fiance and I were morning people, we totally would have done that.

The topic ‘$5000.00 budget?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors