(Closed) Budget Bride in desperate need of help and advice

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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jazzylove0689:  I’m not from New Jersey, but I’ve tried to cut costs as much as possible with my own wedding. We have 140 guests and the wedding is costing us around $12,000 not including my dress, our rings, or  honeymoon. We could have spent closer to $10,000 if we had cut the band and went with a cheaper photographer. We’re still getting great deals on both, but you can get an unexperienced photographer who is trying to build their portfoilio for probably $500 and instead of a band or DJ, use a friend and an ipod. Even with our budget which doubles what you want to spend, we’re only doing one hour of open bar. I know that people have different opinions about this, but it’s not in our budget unfortunately.

So, for you to keep your budget that low, I would suggest a few things. Number one, get married off season because you will likely get some kind of special. Think November- Early April. I would also say a brunch or lunch if that’s something you’d consider. The costs of food would significantly drop. I wouldn’t do an open bar unless you can find a place where you can provide your own alcohol. You may want to look into local parks, public places that you can rent out, or even a backyard. Throwing a “BBQ” kind of wedding would definitely be cheaper than going through an inclusive venue. Just keep in mind that it’s going to be a lot more work. 

 

Post # 3
Member
1949 posts
Buzzing bee

We did a back yard wedding in Orange, NJ for about that much.  Very laid back.  The tent rental and food took the majority of the budget. What is your vision for your wedding?

Post # 6
Member
1949 posts
Buzzing bee

When I say we it was my Family pulled together a wedding for my cousin.  I do not remember the vendors but we called around for the cheapest prices.  Tent, Dance Floor, tables, chairs and Linens. I will ask about the caterer but it was buffet style and they used plastic plates and flatware.  The food was picked up the morning of and set up by family.  A trip to Sam’s club for drinks and cookies and desserts the day before.  I would suggest finding your favorite family owned resturaunt and asking about their prices.  A family member DJ’d and the wedding was nice. There were no fancy centerpeices, the bride and groom ate with family and not a sweetheart table, the ceremony took place betwen the tables while guest were seated at the tables.  To dance tables were removed off the dance floor.  Drinks were in coolers and Wine and liquor were self-serve. It was fun and im sure there were a few teens sneaking some spirits. The day started off Humid and It rained for a bit after the dancing started but the party didnt stop cause we had the tent and the bride didnot care that ther dres was getting a bit muddy.  Everyone was just so happy.  But I guess the real question is what is your definition of nice?  Will your family be comfortable outside in the elements?

Post # 7
Member
2013 posts
Buzzing bee

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jazzylove0689:  I live in nyc and I’m getting married in nj (union county). To be honest I don’t think you can host that many people for that amount unless you can get a lot of stuff for free. My 30 person wedding is around $7k (not including honeymoon). I’m having it on a Thursday (saves money) with a morning ceremony and lunch reception (saves money) at a restaurant and not a venue (saves money) with no wedding party (saves money). The ceremony site is free as it’s a family member’s yard (saves money) and the music is free because my dad is a musician and the flowers are free because my mom is friends with a florist. 

What I’m trying to show is that I really cut the budget and got lots of stuff for free but my cost per person is still way higher than what you’re talking about. 

 

Post # 8
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

We have venue that allows us to bring in our own food, drinks and alcohol. It is saving us a ton of money. Included in the cost of the venue is the bartenders and security, as well as tables and chairs. 

 

For the food, we are pricing local restaurants versus caterers and find the restaruants to be a lot less expensive.  One of the best deals we have found was Olive Garden, they don’t cater but you can do their parties to go very inexpensive. If we go that route we will do a family style meal and have some family friends (mom’s friends that are not otherwise invited)  work as servers. I got wooden cutting boards from IKEA to place 2 per table and we are going to do our own antipasto set up for apps. 

My mom and I are differing opinions on the plates and silverware. I don’t care either way, she is a believer in using china at weddings. She also knows we are trying to be on a strict budget so anything she insists on she is covering the cost of.  

We are using the same venue for the ceremony as the reception and it was a little more expensive than I wanted but the place I picked out my mom did not want. I love my venue though.  The other option I had picked out was a neighborhood “community center” on a lake with an outdoor gazebo type thing and a huge deck for the ceremony with an indoor area for the reception. It was only $700 to rent for the day (we do not live in the neighborhood). 

You just have to figure out the feel you want and get creative. 

Post # 11
Member
384 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Miami

I’m not familiar with NJ venues but we’re saving a ton by having it on a Sunday. The food & bev minimum was almost half! And the less expensive package wasnt available on Saturday. Super excited for our Sunday wedding! 🙂

Post # 12
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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jazzylove0689:  Sorry, I should have mentioned I am in Texas but I would imagine there are similar things in NJ.  I know things are a bit more expensive in the Newark area but maybe go outside of the city a bit. Our venue is actually almost 2 hours outside of Houston so it cost less. 

Post # 14
Member
3791 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I am doubtful you would be able to hold a wedding with 100-150 guests for that cost honestly.  Even with providing your own food, pitching a tent in the back yard, etc.  Keep in mind that even though reception venues can get expensive, that covers the cost of food, servers take care of preparing it and making sure the buffet line stays stocked (so relatives don’t have to do it), etc.  The idea of pitching a tent in the backyard can often be seen as a way to save money but at the same time you need to bring in tent, table, chairs, dance floor, sound system, etc.

My recommendation is find a venue with things already in place.  If you are religious, see if you can get a church right after Easter for example.  Even see if you can have the reception in the church’s social hall too.  That would probably save a lot of money in and of itself.

Look for Friday night or Sunday weddings as well.  I know a friend who got married on a Sunday afternoon with appetizers because they were getting married right as they were starting out in their careers so they were totally broke.  They mentioned in the invite that their food wasn’t a full meal so guests should be sure to eat beforehand or make dinner plans right after.

Post # 15
Member
2013 posts
Buzzing bee

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jazzylove0689:  Best of luck on it! It’s awesome that you’re getting a lot of stuff for free 🙂 that’s the way to go. 

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