8k. Realistic Budget, or wishful thinking?

posted 9 years ago in Beehive
Post # 4
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I have just managed to get mine down to £3500 because I got all of my dresses from ebay rather than the dresses costing that much as I have 6 bridesmaids a flower girl and myself I got them all for under £500 and they are great!!!!

We are even getting married in a big church with a sit down meal at a nice hotel and a party after!!!

It is also worth looking at doing your own flowers you save a lot there!!!!

 All you have to do is ask if they can do it any cheaper at the places you buy stuff from all they can say is no and that doesnt hurt does it!!!!

Post # 5
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@acaldwell09 Since my Fiance & I are paying for the wedding ourselves, our budget is $5K.  My undergrad was in Economics & I work in Finance, so I just cannot imagine spending a ton on a wedding.  We’ve only been engaged for a few months, but are staying under budget on everything.  My dress was less than $500, the thank you cards were $5, the invitations were $15.  Everything that I have purchased so far was exactly what I wanted, it just took some looking to get great prices.  We are having the ceremony & reception at the same venue (a three story Victorian with beautiful gardens & a gazebo).  We were able to book the venue for 12 hours with tables, linens, chairs, etc for less than $850.

I’m confident unintended costs will pop up eventually, but it is fun creating this beautiful wedding on a budget. We are keeping the wedding to 100 people, but are having it on a Saturday in June, so a prime wedding time.  How many people are you thinking of inviting?  That will make the biggest difference in your overall cost.

Post # 6
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@nippynoodles1985: You’re right about the flowers!  We are having calla lilies, which are pretty pricey.  But Costco sells them in bulk for a great price & I’ll be able to arrange the flowers exactly how I want them.  I’m planning on buying tall vases at Michael’s using their great coupons.  The vases are usually only $1.99-3.99 each. 

Post # 7
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Any budget can be realistic if you make it so.

I have come to believe that every wedding requires sacrifices.  My budget is 12K for 175 guests.  If we had 100 guests it would be similar to your budget.

We made the decision that the party and atmosphere was important (food, alcohol, music), and that I wanted personal touches throughout the wedding–which we could do affordably.

I had my dress custom made for $500, am DIYing my flowers with the help of my talented family for about $300 and DIYed all my stationery with more help from family and friends for about $250 (including menus, invitations, place cards and ceremony programs).  All my decor has been bought from craft stores, on sale and every single piece will have a personal touch!

Deciding the style/theme/location of wedding and your guest list will give you a good start as to whether or not 8K is manageable.

For some real budget inspiration take a look at these:

http://2000dollarwedding.com/

http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/07/16/the-tulips-budget-and-budget-wedding-tips/

http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/07/05/5000-real-wedding-budgets/ 

Post # 8
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think that $8k is a realistic budget, depending on your guest count.  I am a wedding planner (and planning my own wedding!) and am constantly suprised by what brides expect they can get vs. what they can actually get.  I recommend doing some of the decor, etc. yourself to save money and use the internet to your advantage.  I have had clients find great photographers on Craiglist.  They are just coming out of school and looking to build their portfolio, so they can give a great price. 

I am skimping in some areas and splurging on areas that are more important to me.  I found all of my bridesmaids dresses from J. Crew that retail for $250 for less than $100 each on eBay.  The groomsmen are buying suits from JoS A Banks website instead of renting and we’re making the ties for them to save even more.  Etsy is another great site for decor and jewelry (and just about anything else!).

My best advice is to get your guest count figured out first.  That will help you narrow down venues that will work for you.  If you are flexible with dates, go with the off-season (typically November and January-May) and use flowers that are in season.

Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

@mojito-I feel you. I am a CPA majored in financial accounting and federal taxation and too do not feel like spending a fortune in a wedding. I would say $8k is reasonable but be prepared to go over budget a little, my budget was $10k and I still got everything I wanted. I was about $1k over.  

Post # 10
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i definitely think thats do-able. it just depends on the type of wedding you want to have.

a more casual wedding at a local park or family members home would certainly cut the cost of a more expensive venue.

davids bridal and other chain wedding gown stores have plenty of dresses under $500…or you could go for a less traditional gown at jcrew or a dept store for under $500 too. you can price your attire up with fresh flowers in your hair and vintage or heirloom jewelry.

i know some people go all out and purchase their wedding party’s attire…but i think people are understanding when you ask them to purchase their gear themselves.

catering is usually the biggest expense, but lots of people bake and decorate a simple a cake (or cupcakes!) themselves. guests will remember whether it takes good before they remember whether or not there’s fondant!

DIY invitations, programs, and other signage would also cut the cost ALOT.

wow, now i wish id done this! it takes more time and creativity, but you can totes do it!

Post # 11
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

oops meant to say *spice* your attire up…lol

Post # 12
Member
439 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We orignally had an $8k budget, but then when we virtually doubled our guest list (to 100 guests) it went up to $12k. That said, there are tons of ways to be thrifty and do it for less – if you take the time and effort.

The number of guests you invite, the alocohol you serve and the location + food will all be major factors in how much you spend…  and of course where you live! Big city affairs may cost more than doing it in the ‘burbs!

Post # 13
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’d recommend you start looking online at local venues you might be interested in for your ballpark guest list.  That was a surprisingly big factor in our budget.  If you’re hoping to rent someplace for $4K and most of them cost $7K (as happened to me), you’ll have a better sense of what is realistic in your area.  

As other have already mentioned, the size of your guest list and the time (of day, week, and year) will be the other huge impact.  Lunch costs less than dinner, and appetizers cost even less.

Post # 14
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I do not know how to explain how I am pulling this off, but my wedding budget is 3000, if even that.  I tihnk I have enlisted friends and family to help with a lot and I have done many DIY projects.  I also had to see what was worth doing myself vs buying… 8k is not bad at all. 

Post # 15
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

mine is $5000 so I think yours is realistic…..just have to cut corners.

Post # 16
Member
898 posts
Busy bee

You really do need to check out the 2000 dollar wedding site above. Its really inspiring what they did with such a small amount, and how they kept it about their love. I’m probably looking at less than 3000 for my budget. I think you’re being perfectly reasonable. Just have an open mind about your options, and DIY will save a lot!

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