(Closed) "Affordable" Rant

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 17
Member
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Does your church have a fellowship hall ithat he doesn’t meed regular

Post # 18
Member
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Eh. 39 dollars per plate isn’t bad. If you think about it, how much does it cost you to go out to dinner for a nice meal? Unless you’re serving burgers or BBQ or some other kind of casual food..39 dollars for a formal dinner and whatever comes with it is not super pricey. It ends up costing FH and I about 60 or 70 dollars including tip to go out to dinner, that’s with one app, and two not over the top plates of food, no dessert or alcoholic drinks. And that’s in CT, NYC is a bit more expensive.

Personally I’d cut the guest list, especially if you think you need alcohol for all those people. Or consider just doing an app reception or brunch or dessert or something like that.

Post # 19
Member
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

$39 a person in NYC is a steal! For the amount of people you want to invite, it’s going to be extremely hard to keep the budget at $5k. I’d suggest either inviting way less people or trying to find a way to up the amount you can spend on the wedding if you really can’t narrow down the guest list…

Post # 20
Member
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I completely understand!  

Our ideal wedding was going to be a clam bake on the beach: very laid back, relaxed, and happy.  When I started pricing it, I spent a month trying to make it work until I realized we were spending about $120 per person with our “easy-going” choice.

We even looked into a back yard but realized how much more expensive even that would be.  We’d have to spray before hand.  Rent and put down a dance floor.  Rent tents.  Hire caterers and a wait staff.  Pay for linens, appetizers, and alcohol. Rent porter potties (no way 2 bathrooms can handle 200 people).

Pricing that out, we were still paying over $100 per person.

Post # 21
Member
1397 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@SuzyWoozy:  I think you need to get out of NYC. Even Long Island and Westchester are cheaper. The Queens Country Farm Museum, on the border of LI and Queens can do an outdoor but covered rental for $800 with tables / chairs… or indoor for $1600… but that sounds like would really cut into your budget with so many guests to feed.

Try renting a community hall. Or get married at someone{s house, if they have the space. I think $39 per person is as cheap as it gets for catering a full meal, though you could certainly do appetizers and sandwiches or something… supermarkets and delis could be the way to go. If the wedding as at an off hour, you don’t need to do a full lunch or dinner.

Post # 22
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We are inviting 200 people on a $5000 wedding, and making it happen. Renting a local county park lodge that allows alcohol and music. Making our own not food (not a formal sit-down dinner, but a casual buffet), doing all the decorations ourselves, having a friend bartend, and using my FI’s insane music collection, a friend and our laptop instead of a DJ. $39 a plate is NOT budget friendly in my world.

Our priority is having a fun party with all our family and friends included because they are way more more important than having a fancy flashy wedding. If that means more work for us, spending $100 on my dress, leaving out things that we are “suppossed” to have but don’t need, or having it at a park lodge instead of a banquet center or country club, then thats fine with us. It is NOT impossible, it’s just more work!

Do a google search for budget weddings, there are tons of websites that give suggestions on ways to save money. 

Post # 23
Member
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Could you possibly pay for the venue and the tables etc, but request that your guests pay for their own meal in lieu of a gift? I know it goes against etiquette, but if you have 150-175 mouths to feed on such a tiny budget, and both families know they’re large/HUGE, they may be willing to help out in order to be a part of your day.

I went to a wedding last year where the couple requested we paid for our meals, and we had no issue with that. Actually, paying for two meals was cheaper than finding a good quality gift, and in this case, the couple already had everything they needed. We just transferred the money to them a month before so they were able to finalise their venue payment.

Post # 24
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t have any helpful advice, but just chiming in to say I hear you!  I am in the same boat and cannot believe how obscenely people throw around words like “budget” and “affordable.”  Just try your best, and if you end up going a little over your set buget, please realize you’re caught in the crushing wheels of an industry DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU SPEND MORE MONEY THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED.  Stay strong but don’t blame yourself if you need to fudge some numbers somewhere along the line, you’re doing great and making the best decisions you can!

Post # 25
Member
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@SuzyWoozy: We also have a really strict budget of 5000. We are doing our ceremony/cocktail reception at a historic victioian house for $600but we are only having 40 people though. We basically only invited family that lived in the area, as well as a few very close friends. I also slurged on my dress which i wasnt realllyyy supose to do ( i spent 1000 on it, eek!) But im working hard to make up for that. 

 Are you looking for a formal sit down dinner? Cus you could easily cut costs by doing a buffet, or just some nice appetizers and dessert buffet. Also, consult smaller restaurants for catering options because alot of places do it cheaper and have really nice food ( i found a place that did a buffet style dinner for $17 a plate with 2 entre options and 6 sides, bread rolls and a dessert buffet!).  For the venue, have you looked at parks, zoos, aquariums, Inns, B&B’s, historic sites or even a national park? There are alot of cheaper otions but keep in mind an open space usuallt means a tent which costs more money. You could always ask a reletive to use their backyard perhaps? if anyone has enough space that is. Just some suggestions, good luck!

Post # 26
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Try a supermarket for catering. We are looking at one, and it will save uas a bunch of money 🙂

Post # 27
Member
39 posts
Newbee

:/ Weddings are more expensive than TV and friends (who are happily married) would lead us to believe. When I started planning my wedding, the costs of even the smallest things floored me.

Good food and alcohol was very important to me, and inviting every single one of his friends and family (a HUGE group…) was important to him. What we ended up doing was going to a very elegant yet locally owned classy restaurant. We asked the owner if we could rent the whole place out for the evening and he said yes. 

Our guest list has only 85 (plus or minus one or two) people but most of them are his friends and family. I have a VERY small family and what friends he and I don’t “share together” live states away and couldn’t afford a ticket.

Our wedding is in two weeks and our total cost so far is somewhere in the $14,000 range. It makes me cringe since our budget was originally similar to the OP’s (before we understood what people charge for this and that, wedding-related) and then we upped it to $10,000, thinking “SURELY that will be enough.”

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I think my best suggestion in this situation is to go to a locally owned restaurant owner (maybe not as expensive as the one we used since you want to stick closer to a $5-$7k budget) and see if you can rent out the restaurant. That covers food, alcohol, venue, linens, and probably even music (we’re bringing an iPod to our wedding instead of hiring a DJ–you could do the same, just plug it into their sound system!) 

Post # 28
Member
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think for your average (as in, what most people do) type of wedding with dinner, that’s REALLY typical (that’s about what we are paying, and we were shocked too!) Have you thought about a dessert-only reception? You could either get some really fancy dessert arrays or have friends make them for you. Then all you would need to worry about is the furniture and the location. 

There are a few websites out there, like “how to have a wedding for under 6000” and basically, they cut out food and photographer. For our budget, the food and photographer take up about 80% of our wedding cost. 

Can you plan a wedding for $6,000?

http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-have-a-wedding-under-5000-dollars

http://apracticalwedding.com/2008/09/betty-juans-dance-filled-nyc-wedding/

http://apracticalwedding.com/2008/10/patty-trents-diy-picnic-wedding/

 

Post # 29
Member
2334 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Even if your budget only went towards food, $5000 would get you a $33 meal for 150 people.  $33 is not bad…think about when you go out to eat and have a few drinks and appetizers.  When you add in all of the other costs of a wedding (venue, rentals, attire, decor, etc), it becomes unrealistic to feed that many people a full meal in your budget.  I think you need to scale back your food options to a hor d’ourves menu or cake and punch.  If you host it at the right time of day, no one will think you’ve slighted them and you can defintiely stay in your budget.

http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/  Here is a link to a couple who did their wedding for about $4000 with a 75 person guest list.  It might give you some inspriation- good luck!

Post # 30
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@SuzyWoozy:  $39 a plate in the NYC area?! Thats amazing!! I got married about 90 minutes outside of NYC and considered my venue a huge bargain at $100 a plate.

What about a reception at a non meal time? That way you can serve apps and desserts and keep it short to avoid spending too much on alcohol. Good luck!

 

Post # 31
Member
2151 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think it’s all relative to location-I’m an hour outside of NYC and we’re paying 101.99 per plate just for the reception-not including other fees or ceremony, and THAT was a steal! NYC and surrounding locations are way more $$ than further away. Good luck!

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