Post # 1
Is anyone else dealing with this? I have no intention of going into a lifetime of debt for my wedding, but the truth is that though I live comfortably, I just don’t have any expendable income from month to month.
Now, the vision of what I might like for my wedding around the time I got engaged is morphing into a vision of what I can maybe scrounge together.
Instead of thinking about a dress I might love for a lifetime, I’m thinking of clothes to get me through the day. Instead of dreaming about a beautiful ceremony or reception, I’m wondering if I can afford one at all. Everything from the time of year to the food to the location has been stripped down as far as I can get them, and even that is out of my reach. I’m absolutely stumped.
What’s worse, no one in my family has any expendable income either, and we’re scattered about the country. With at least half of my intended guests needing to travel to any location I could choose, a great many of them (mainly from one side of my family) wouldn’t be able to afford to come at all, even though they really really want to, and I’d really really love to have them. Right now, it feels like money+my wedding= everyone is miserable.
If I had all the money in the world, I’d still only want to get married to the man I love, in the company of the people I love, and celebrate in a quiet, but beautiful way. But even $1 feels like a fortune to someone who has none. Bleh.
What are you doing to tackle your budget? Are any of you feeling overwhelmed? What flavor of ice cream is best for a case of the blahs?
EDIT- it isn’t that we have absolutely no money to put towards our wedding. We have some (less thant 5k) at our disposal at the moment. It’s just that I can’t find venues for less than that and we have a really hard time adding even $100 to our wedding fund each month. Sorry if it sounded like we had absolutely NO budget to work with.
Post # 3
Okay, two of my friends got married on very small budgets. They didn’t have your average wedding, but both of their weddings are memorable and sweet.
Both girls had their ceremony and reception at the church. The reception for girl 1 consisted of cake, punch and visiting with them. The reception for girl 2 consisted of donuts, cinnamon rolls, coffee, juice and visiting with them. I thoroughly enjoyed both. And sometimes I wish I had followed suit…
Post # 4
If money is that tight I say elope to a courthouse, and have a small reception at someones house or a restaurant for close family and friends only; mabye 30 people. If you can splurge hire a photographer for the couthouse and right after for some photos before going to the reception. Make your own bridal bouquet and bout for your fiance.
Post # 5
You can’t go wrong with vanilla ice cream!
Post # 6
If we were not getting any help from my parents we would be eloping; we are fortunate that my parents are footing the bill. Fiance and I will be paying for certain things, small stuff… invites, and little odds and ends. But my parents are contributing 5,000. Which is and isn’t a lot. It is going to be hard but it must be done at that budget!
Honestly if I were you I would elope! Save for a nice small ceremony then go on a little vacation 🙂
That’s what I would do; it just does not seem right to get all stressed because you can’t afford a wedding. Be happy with your FI; and if that means a small intimate ceremony and a cute little honeymoon then so be it!!
Good luck to you; I feel your pain. We are in no position either plan a wedding by ourselves.
Post # 7
@Artificial-Sweetener: exactly what I was thinking.
Post # 8
I really struggled with the idea of spending money on a wedding. We were fortunate in that my parent contributed half and we paid for the other half. I think downsizing is the best policy. We picked out what was really important to us, and got rid of what was not. I like the idea of a ceremony plus dessert if you are really struggling with costs. You asked for ice cream recommendations.. what about an early afternoon ceremony + punch/ice cream bar? Who wouldn’t love that!?!
It’s tough to have people live so far away. We had the same issue, and unfortunately a lot of people couldn’t make it. BUT they were all still so happy for us, and we made sure to let them know when they sent their regrets that we understood and were just glad to have their support.
Planning a wedding is so overwhelming, especially when faced with extreme budget issues. Fortunately, there are a lot of great discount sites for everything from dresses to invitations to decor. Get your DIY hat on and good luck!
By The Way – If you haven’t tried Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake ice cream you are seriously missing out. 🙂
Post # 9
im having the same problem but ithink when the day comes and all the stress is gone it will be beautiful. just keeping it simple is the key
Post # 10
Hmmmm….. DX At the moment I don’t think elopement is right for us either, though I think it can be wonderful for a couple that really wants it (and doesn’t feel forced into it) There are some amazingly beautiful elopements.
But, what I am getting from you Bee’s is that this isn’t worth losing sleep over, and I completely agree with you there. It’s probably time to take a breath and buy some ice cream (vanilla does sound really good to me right now)
It’ll work out. 🙂
Post # 11
It’s not worth losing sleep over. If you can’t afford a dream wedding, have a JoP wedding and a very simple gathering of close friends/family afterwards— throw a dinner party or host a dinner at a casual restaurant. Don’t try to stuff the guest list if it’s not in the budget and don’t agonize over what is out of your reach. Save up a little every month and throw a 10-year vow renewal with all the pomp and circumstance.
Post # 12
I know what you mean, I’m hopeful and optimistic that we will manage the costs.
Post # 13
Our budget is $3k. Sure, I’d like to have something a little more elegant – although I never wanted to spend a ton of money on my wedding day, I wouldn’t mind being able to have beautiful floral centerpieces and a really nice honeymoon. But we don’t have that. It’s not a big deal to me – actually it’s made the whole thing easier because our options are so limited that decision-making is a cinch! It’s really a blessing in disguise. 🙂
Post # 14
I had a small freak out when I started looking at venues and our guest list. We both come from HUGE families.
We ended up making some changes that worked really well for us, and we also got lucky with a few things 🙂
We decided to have a lunch reception instead of dinner, and it cut our catering bill in HALF! We had the nice, plated meal that we wanted, but it didn’t break the budget.
I bought my dress off the rack at David’s Bridal and took it to an independent seamstress for alterations- saved me a boatload of money!
I have two acquaintances who do photography on the side (and have done weddings before) and asked them if they could shoot the wedding- they happily agreed- and at a deep discount as well.
Mother-In-Law has a friend of the family who is a DJ, and since he lives out of town, he offered to perform for our wedding FREE of charge if we could handle is travel arrangements.
We used candy bowls for centerpieces and had baggies at each place setting- the whole ‘two birds, one stone’ thing here was that we saved a TON on flowers and the candy was the favor as well. Everyone loved it, and the flower girl took her bag table to table and said “Trick or treat!” all evening.
We had planned to only host beer and wine, but his parents offered to cover an open bar (basically so Mother-In-Law could get her margaritas!)
Since we saved so much in those areas, we were able to splurge a teensy bit and get the cupcakes we really wanted from this little local bakery. I spent almost as much on cupcakes as I did on my dress, but it was worth every.single.bite 🙂
Post # 15
Oh my goodness I feel horrible. It looks like the Debbie Downer attitude in my origional post was misleading. Seriously, so sorry.
My situation probably isn’t as dire as it seems. I do have SOME money to work with, and my projected budget probably is similar to a lot of Bee’s who are absolutely making it work (in lovely, wonderful ways). It’s just that I am not able to add much monthly to the amount I already have (which was entirely provided by my wonderful parents completely by surprise)
It isn’t that money in general is an issue for us, it’s just that I’m having a hard time sifting through the completely easy to find expensive wedding options, and finding the simple wedding options that I really want. I know it’s out there, I just need to keep digging.
For us, like a lot of you Bee’s in my poll, a wedding without our families just would not be complete. But I tihnk the most important thing is that I stop moping, and start looking at this thing objectively.
What are your wedding plans? How do you bring the vision of what you’d like in your mind’s eye in line with your in-the-real-world budget? Assuming my budget isn’t far off from yours, how are you making your budget work for you?
Post # 16
I am on a 5,000 dollar budget. We are having a small intimate wedding of immediate family only, what I’ve done isI’ve kept my eyes and ears open for deals,and sales. I got a great living social deal for my save the dates, spent 10 dollars on a 50 dollar voucher to paper culture, I have found on etsy what wedding invites I like and messaged them what I could afford and actually everyone was very reasonable, also we are getting married in the next town over, it’s smaller and the venues are cheaper , our historical church was only 400, and believe me it took a lot of searching, calling,and disappointment but I never gave up on my vision and it’s coming true better then I ever imagined. Don’t give up hope! Also we aren’t having a reception, Five guys burger and fries for everyone and a publix wedding cake:-) We are going to SAMs for wine,beer,and champagne….5-7 a bottle. With only 10 people it’s affordable. Also my photographeris giving me a great deal because it’s not your typical wedding, but if I never asked I would have never known. A small budget can be just as beautiful! I hope things get better for you Girly:)