(Closed) Bees with small budgets: What are you making a priority?

posted 7 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 32
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@thumpurr:  that sounds sooooooo dreamy! A long wedding weekend is awesome! XD It sounds as though you guys are going to have a TON of food! Are the two of you feeding everyone for all 3 days?

Post # 33
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve managed to stay on budget, and I’m getting everything I want. It’s been difficult at times, it’s really time consuming contacting vendors for quotes and then continuing the search if its not within budget. I’ve found amazing vendors that fit within our budget and were doing a lot of DIY to keep costs down. 

Post # 34
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC

So far the biggest cost without a doubt has been food and drink – it comes in just under 50% our budget with the open bar and buffet. 

I knew we had to splurge on a photog or look really early and really hard so the first thing I started looking a year and a half before the wedding. It took me close to a year of me looking everyday to come across someone who was professional, experienced enough not to be called a newbie but not so experience her prices were high. I found her, got a discount for weekday wedding and since then her prices have tripled what im paying her.


Post # 35
1671 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@lovelyduckie:  I’m splurging on my dress a bit too! I went looking for a total bargain, not wanting to spend the big bucks. But I looove the gowns… I was really looking forward to that part too. And the sample gowns were all so far off of my size that the alterations would have been impossible or cost as much as the dress. I tried on a bunch of under $500 gowns, thought about it for a month, and said “Screw it!”. My dress cost $1200. I’m paying for it myself too, so I only had to clear it with myself. (I can afford the more expensive dress, I was just being cheap.) 

Your details are looking great! Those all look like pretty reasonable prices. I like that your venue allows BYOB. Very smart. Can you imagine what the price difference would probably be if you didn’t have that!? $$$$$$ D:

Post # 36
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Asia:  We are actually having everyone contribute $150 pp for the food for the weekend. We will do most of the cooking at the lodge, and very little going out to eat.  We are spending $1500 on a personal chef for a very intimate dinner after the ceremony.  We knew what our budget was going into this, and decided that we wanted to spend the weekend with closest family.  And then wrap up the weekend with a very intimate ceremony, and dinner afterwards.  We looked into catering, and nothing is what we were looking for.  The personal chef is a little bit pricey for the amount of people we are feeding, but we wanted something that reflected our appreciation of our guests being there for us.  However, I have to say that 12k is still pretty pricey for such a small wedding.  The biggest savings by far was the lodge for the weekend for $3700.  There would be absolutely no way to get this kind of savings on hotel rooms for everyone.

We are excited about the wedding weekend.  Of course I still have to pay for all of this.  But we are making the biggest purchases first.

Post # 37
4524 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We’re splurging on an oceanfront venue if we can. 

Post # 38
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@MissOtter: That budget calculator is really not balanced correctly for low budget weddings, so don’t  rely on it too much. 


My priorities are a meaningful ceremony (this doesn’t have to add to the cost too much) and a nice location (which can be almost free) and a good guest experience- this is what’s been more difficult for us to figure out! 


Post # 39
1133 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Photography and food, but also the venue.  We just got engaged so we haven’t even set an official date or venue yet, but the one that we’re looking at is $600 (with a $250 security deposit) and we’d have the ceremony and reception there.  It’s right on the beach too which is perfect.

Food would probably be about $30-35pp, which includes everything but alcohol.  To us, that’s expensive but I’m not sure what the average is.

Post # 40
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would say no matter what your budget, don’t skimp on the photography. Your going to have those photos forever! Thinking about all of the weddings I’ve been to, I don’t even remember what the food was…

Post # 42
1602 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Food – Music – Getting married.

Post # 43
17 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

Photography DEFINITELY! I read a book recently that put it best: you will remember how you FELT on your wedding day, not how everything LOOKS. With the right photographer, your feelings, your FI’s feelings and your guests’ feelings will be captured in those photos, and you’ll be able to relive that feeling every time you view those photos!

Post # 44
2156 posts
Buzzing bee


Band (as in music)- $1000, our favorite local band.. we absolutely did not want a DJ

Photography- $1250, includes a 2 hour engagement session, 10 hr wedding day coverage, all rights, and a 16×24 canvas print 

Reception Venue- $900, only a splurge because we have to outsource everything, I wanted to keep it around $500 

Food- $2000 max, we figure about $13 per person which is pretty cheap in our area, but have a little wiggle room

Invitations- I’m not really sure if this is a splurge, but having a graphic designer friend design and print (letterpress) 120 invitations + envelopes, reply postcards, thank you cards + envelopes, programs, and maps for $500. Though, I found invitations on Etsy that I loved that would have cost $250 just for the invitations + envelopes! So this could also be considered a skimp..


Decorations- DIYing just about everything, don’t expect to spend more than $500 as I’ve inherited a lot of vintage glassware and other decor. 

Flowers- Getting most of them from MOH’s and FMIL’s gardens

Favors- May skip them all together

No chaircovers or expensive napkins or tablecloths, either!


Post # 45
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat



my “look”

Post # 46
2776 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Food first and formost, then decorations!

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