(Closed) Anyone having a big wedding on a small budget?

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 32
1313 posts
Bumble bee

AWAY WITH THE STDs! (LOL). I am only sending them to guests that will have to make major travel plans.

Check out a local grocery if you think you might be able to DIY your flowers. I’ve heard they are super-cheap. (P.S. It’s really not that hard to do flowers, I promise! Enlist some help)

This might be weird if you’re having a formal wedding (we’re doing a down-home BBQ), but hey, someone might read this that it would work for. We are ordering Kraft paper rolls to cover the tables and having crayons in little jars on the table. I almost fainted when I saw how much linens were to rent!

If you can bring your own alcohol, I’ve heard good things about Target’s $17.99 wine cubes.

Online RSVP to cut on postage.

Donation in lieu of favors. You could do $1 or $5 per person, depending on your budget. One more thing you don’t have to worry about, too!


Post # 33
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

We had a 150 guest wedding for about 5k. It’d definitely do-able! Just cut all possible corners – lots of DIY. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions. 🙂

Post # 34
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are having 210 people on a budget of 8K…and lower if we can do it. We decided instead of having our wedding in our current city that we would have it in my hometown which is an hour from the nearest city. We found alot of great deals from the ceremony site 200 reception site 600 and we actually get 100 of that back, the florist is reasonable too and the only thing we are paying alot for is the photographer because I want nice pictures…and a wedding planner because I am disorganized and I do not want to do anything the day of. We are also doing the catering ourselves because we were unable to find a caterer that was in our price and gave us exactly what we wanted…we are having a southern bbq with a bbq pig.

Post # 35
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We inviting aournd 450-500 people.  The budget is supposed to be small…We’re trying to keep the reception under $40,000.

I don’t know how so many brides are working with half of that.

I admire you all!

Post # 36
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

anyone else?

Post # 37
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We’re in a small area. We don’t totally have a budget down but I’m kind of going off of a close family who had 450 guests and stayed right @ about $10,000. It’s definatly doable to have a large wedding on a small budget. We’re expecting between 300-350 people. Locations is definatly a factor. Our Venue is $500 plus we have to get the linens through them about $200. Our food is $9 per plate. (buffet style with 2 meats & 3 sides & rolls) Alcohol also has to be done through the venue and it’s charged per bottle. ($2.50 per bottle or you can purchase kegs) We’re trying to guestimate about $2500 – $3000 for alcohol. my dress was about $500. We found a local photographer who is just starting out business. She has a bridal package for about $900 we would add some ala carte photos end up being around $950. We will hire a DJ. That’s the only thing I’m not sure of the price on. We’re hoping to get someone who does it on the side. We have a couple prospects but I’m not 100% sure on the budget. I’ll guess $300-$500 for now. Church and organist will be around $250.

That sets us right @ $8500 for the wedding itself. We are also looking into a chocolate fountain. But it’s not something we HAVE to have if it breaks our budget. Fiance really wants it. My parents have offered to pay for the wedding & Fiance dad has offered $2500 towards the wedding. We are very gracious of everything They’ve offered us and are doing for us. We are very lucky.

We are paying for the rings ourselves and the honeymoon as well. We are going somewhere in the mountains to stay in a cabin for a couple days. We are not going to do anything too extravegant for the honeymoon. We’re going to wait a few years and take a long hunting trip together. We are also planning on saving what we can and offering my parents some back to cover the wedding costs.

Hope this helps a little!

Post # 38
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We are having 165 for $8,000.  I think that is a pretty large wedding on a small budget.  There are times we want to scrap it all and elope because the budget is tight!  But it’s all working out.  I just wish we could do more open bar but 2 hours will have to do.

Post # 39
41 posts
  • Wedding: June 2010

@gocubbies  I love the idea of Kraft paper!  This bride got some cheap paper and then spray painted through lace so that it looks all pretty.  Such a great idea to keep costs down!!

Post # 40
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

we are having 350-400 on a $30K budget. I know it doesn’t seem like a 30K budget is a small budget but when you do the math it becomes less than $100 for every person attending.

One big thing that I am doing is staying away from florals all together (I have 9! bridesmaids – so just for the wedding party alone the florals are crazy expensive!).

I also am starting early!

One of my latest projects has been to do my own invites – simple but chic – I am using a basic flat card out of a invite kit and embossing our custom logo on it with the 60 embosser I got. and backing it with a nice card stock. I am doing the same for our response cards. I also am doing wax seals on the outside of the envelope. And I am lining the envelopes with wrapping paper that I got on sale for 1.50. – Total cost for invites – about $300 with me doing them. A similar one that I found online almost 1000!

I am not doing favors.

We are doing an open hosted bar. And we are providing all of the liquor. Since Fiance and I have had a long engagement we have almost every week bought a couple of bottles of alcohol and just stored them. By the time the wedding is here we should not have to buy too much more. And all that we are buying ahead of time is not coming out of the wedding budget but our personal living budget.

I am doing the Save-The-Date Cards with my xyron and they should cost about $40 for custom magnets and a card that explains everything. But Save-The-Date Cards are SO not necessary.

I am also doing the programs.

Our centerpieces are vases and candles so we have been regularly looking at thrift stores for vases and I refuse to buy a vase for more than a dollar.

Post # 41
2 posts
  • Wedding: April 2010

We are having around 180 people for around 7K. I’ve had to DIY a lot, but we have found a lot of great vendors online and were able to connect with local people and friends that are very talented! We will end up with a really personalized, classy and fun wedding without spending too awful much 🙂

Check out VistaPrint.com, free save the dates/postcards among many other things! See who you know – my fiance DJ’s, so his boss is DJing our wedding free of charge, one of my girlfriends loves to do flowers so the two of us have done everything ourselves. My centerpieces (clear apothocaries filled with candies in our wedding colors) are doubling as favors with boxes at each place setting. My mom and I have made everything we can from pomanders to garters and ringbearers pillows. We recieved our Cake set free from Macy’s for registering – just look around and you will find so many great deals!!

Post # 42
22 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

Yikes!  We started in your boat…wanting about 250 for $15k, but we had to get realistic and drop our guest list to 150.  In the end, we decided we wanted to be able to go on an amazing honeymoon, and we wouldn’t have had to take away from that in order to have the larger wedding.  

Post # 44
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

All of my mom’s generation that I talk to think my 150-person wedding is big, and they practically faint when I tell them that I’m inviting 240!  I should direct them here! My wedding is smaller than you specified, but here’s some of what I’m doing. 

150 on <$10,000:  I’m doing my own flowers, hoping to grow them myself and skipping bouquets, just filling vases with one type so they don’t need much arranging.  I’m paying a bit more for a venue that doesn’t need much decor.  Traditional invites, black on white with no designs are cheaper even than diy-ing, check out http://www.davidgregory.com.&nbsp; Also, http://www.123print.com has some nice stuff if you don’t mind flat.  The big expense is food and rentals, I’m hoping to bring my own linens, dishes, glassware if the caterer can’t give me a good price.  I’ll get them either from http://www.ikea.com or our local wine store might loan us glasses since we’re good customers, and if I have to I’ll just borrow plates and silverware from all my friends, I don’t mind mismatched.  I second http://www.ariadress.com, my dress is coming from them, but also check out department stores.  I’m avoiding bridal stores like the plague!

Post # 45
1 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013


My first post (YAY!)

Anyways, I am planning a 200 person wedding for $2000-$2500

I’m really excited!

PM me if you want more detail!

Post # 46
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Everyone is telling me my wedding is big at 150 (I thought it was just average).  My budget is around $4000.  So that is a big wedding for such a small budget but its possible. It helps that where i live, prices are a little cheaper and I was able to get some great deals.  Also diying a lot too.  It can be done.  You just have to search harder to find what you want at a price you’re comfortable with.  And don’t be afraid to bargain.

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