(Closed) 5K Budget! Can it be done? Share your story!

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1330 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@ChelseaLiz8:  we’re planning on doing something like this:


at the very end there’s a break-out of their budget for the wedding…very doable!!

as of right now our budget is 5k-6k for similiar reasons as yours….i’m planning on doing a lot of DIY projects and the one thing i do want to splurge on is the photography…so hopefully that won’t bring us over budget…lol

Post # 5
1765 posts
Buzzing bee


Yes, we did it for 65 people. Check out the photos-including 2 gowns for the bride, and all the bridesmaids. I even bought all the glass dishes and glassware!


Post # 6
1765 posts
Buzzing bee


Yes, we did it for 65 people. Check out the photos-including 2 gowns for the bride, and all the bridesmaids. I even bought all the glass dishes and glassware.

[attachment=1320766,168067] [attachment=1320766,168068]

Post # 8
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@ChelseaLiz8: I honestly don’t know what we ended up spending total (my parents paid for just about everything) but our goal was $5k. We invited close to 200 and had about 120 attend. I would guess we were somewhere between $5-7k. I got married in a smaller town, so venue choices were more limited (our reception was at an American Legion hall) but also more affordable ($300 for 2 rooms and a kitchen, plus they ended up basically giving it to us all day the day before the wedding too).

We bought all the plates and silverware for what it would have cost to rent, and then you can sell it afterwards. Plates were from Dollar Tree – you can order online in bulk and pick up at a store with no shipping charges. The silverware was from a restaurant supply company. We also found tablecloths online that were $13 each with shipping, the cheapest we could rent them for was $14 (they were 120in rounds, floor-length on our tables).

Our invitations were seal-and-sends. We paid $107 for invites and seals (they come with clear ones, we wanted ones with hearts). We made a map and had it printed at Kinkos, and bought more plain seals to close up the sides of the invites so the maps didn’t fall out. That was about $20. We could have used a postcard stamp for the RSVP, but I did splurge on the pretty love stamps.

We got our cake from someone who does cakes as a side job (she wants it to be her full-time job eventually) – wedding cake and groom’s cake were $220. And our cake was gorgeous!

We used silk flowers. They were mostly real-touch, we bought them when Hobby Lobby had 50% off floral sales. I only used flowers in half the centerpieces, the other half were a low bowl with floating candles and rose petals around it.

We did our own food – a buffet dinner with chicken, beef brisket, pork loin, salad, 4 sides, and rolls, plus cheese trays and veggie trays for before and after dinner. It saved a lot of money, but I have a feeling when/if my sister gets married they’ll either hire a caterer or have simpler food.

Sorry for writing a book! Hope it helps 🙂

Post # 9
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I posted this here last week. It is totally possible to have a great wedding on a budget, if you don’t expect to throw a 30k wedding with a 5k budget. Look for non-traditional venues. Museums, parks, etc… The state parks in our area have a lot to offer for reception venues, including a beautiful cabin on the lake with a stone fireplace and the building we ended up using when our guest list exploded. The local science museum, ornithology lab at the local university, museum of the earth and nature center all hold events.

Just about everything we could do ourselves, we did. I had some creative help, and went in the direction of minimal simplicity instead of trying to overdo things cheaply. For instance we had two long rows of banquet tables, and used mason jars with candles wrapped in ribbon, putting three to a table. It was simple, elegant, and fit the tables well. My dad made the cake stands and place card holders out of birch trees from our property.

The breakdown:

We did our wedding on about a 3k budget. Day time Saturday wedding. 125 guests invited, and 85 guests attended.

$150 venue. State park building. It was a beautiful, fully enclosed buildings (not just a pavillion) with tons of windows, and an awesome arched wood ceiling. Capacity for 250 people w.out dance floor.

$500 bride attire. (dress + alterations, shoes, undergarments)

$100 tux rental

$130 rental chairs for ceremony, linens for tables provided, speakers for ipod reception

$1300 Food. Dinosaur BBQ catered.

$500 drinks. soda, bottled water, bottled beer (sam adams summer ale, yuengling and miller lite), lemonade (mix) and white wine sangria.

$90 kids bags, candles + ribbon for centerpieces

$50 DIY invites, seating cards.

$250 Day of coordinator plus assistant. (OMG a HUGE lifesaver! set up everything day of, managed buffet, refilled drinks, etc…)

$200 Miscellaneous things (buffet set up, drink dispensers, serving utensils, dessert plates, etc…)

Flowers were paid for by my Mother-In-Law. We had 3 bouts (groom, Bridesmaid or Best Man and FOB) and three bouquets (bride, BMx2). We also had several loose stem flowers purchased for aisle decorations. Our bouquets were beautiful, but I would have done our own bouquets if Future Mother-In-Law hadn’t literally insisted on using a florist and paying.

Cakes and desserts were made/purchased by my parents. (2 cakes came to about $40 total from a super awesome bakery in Troy, NY, The Cookie Factory). Our main cake was a homemade apple cake with cream cheese frosting. Cheesecakes (x2) were made by my brother.

Photography was free from a giveaway. This would have added about $1000 to our budget, had we found our own. It was important to us to have good photos, but we would have improvised, used students/relatives, etc…

Post # 12
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s doable. It may not seem like it, but it is. Our budget is $5-$7k. Get the big things out of the way first.

1. Venue. I knew I didn’t want it at a hotel ballroom nor did I want to have it at a VFW hall. We aren’t religious so churches either. We decided to go with one of the city parks. Hartwood Manor and Acres is so beautiful! When we toured the rounds I cried! I had a “This is it!” moment! I was blown away at the grounds and mansion.
Price without a tent-$640.

Now it’s just a matter of renting tables, chairs, linens, glassware, tents, ect. I will call 100 different places to save a penny! ^_^

Photography wise we are doing a skill swap. Hopefully. We are trying to look for someone who has the talent and the passion, but perhaps just starting off and is in need for a website. Or perhaps someone already established but isn’t getting business because of a poorly constructed website. Fiance is a graphic designer/web developer so we are going to offer to trade services. We are also trying to skill swap with a planner or someone who is trying to get into the business and needs a website. Or perhaps ask for a discount to revamp an exsisting website. I haven’t worked out those details.

We are doing our own flowers. I want gerbera daisies everywhere. I haven’t figured out the actual number of flowers I need for bouquets and centerpieces, but I’m willing to spend $500 for flowers and supplies (foam, bouquet holders, vases, ribbons, pins, filler.) Also I’m ordering 6000 rose petals for the aisle and flower girl baskets. That’s only $139. Compared to a florist? $300. They quoted me $5.00 for every 100 petals. That’s a savings of $160 that can go towards other things.

We aren’t hiring a DJ. We are having an afternoon reception (It will be garden party like) so we are just going to rent speakers and hook an ipod up to it.

We are providing our own alcohol, but then again, it’s the afternoon and not too many people will drink. Instead of hiring wait staff, my sisters bartending and server friends are willing to dress in their best white pressed shirts and black slacks and be our servers. We will tip them of course.

We don’t have to pay an officiant. My best friend is going to marry us. I offered to pay for his certificate, but he did it on his own.

We are doing appetizers for the food since it’s in the middle of the afternoon. We haven’t met with any caterers yet, but I’m sure they will help us work something out.

Check out this blog and this blog. The second one is The $5000 wedding and how we did it. The first one is The $2000 wedding and how they did it. I love both things.

Post # 13
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

you just might have motivated me to finally do a recap with budget.  i’ll try!

Post # 14
1046 posts
Bumble bee

We started out at a $5k budget and ended up at $20k…

So I’m really no help. lol

Post # 16
2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Mine could’ve been under $5,000 if I hadn’t gotten the dress I did. I saved money by:

  • buying clearance rack invite at Michael’s
  • making all decorations and centerpieces
  • using a photographer who was just starting out
  • making my flowers and cake topper from clay
  • using the linens provided
  • buying things for crafts with coupons
  • designing programs and printing them myself

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