Post # 1
So Fiance and I do not have an official wedding budget, but I DO NOT under any circumstance want to stray too far over $10,000 (every single aspect of the wedding included). I understand to some people this would not be considered “budget” while to others it may be the amount set aside for photography at their wedding. Either way… if you considered your wedding to be budget friendly please let me know how you conserved and how you made your pennies stretch. Pics please =)
*We’re planning for 110 guests at a horse farm, outdoors, semi open bar, possible heavy hor devours instead of buffet, dancing, want live ceremony music but open to good DJ alternatives, and we are considering hiring a photographer who is new in the business to cut on cost. I haven’t yet asked my parents if they will be able to contribute but even if they do the budget will remain the same. I will DIY until my hands fall off to get the desired look within my budget =)
Post # 3
Dollar Tree can be a budget brides best friend. After doing all my DIY and seeing what alot of other brides had done, I wish I had invested some of my money into a Cricut, I could have done such prettier and cooler stuff with that. I am still trying to talk myself out of ordering one now.
Post # 4
I hear you! We’re about 13,000 with 95 people (15 people more then initial guest list)
We are holding our ceremony and reception at the same place. Which includes a full package (food, bar, cake, invites, DJ. decor) – which is so nice since we do not live in that city
Dress – Sample sale!
Photographer – Fortunately my bridesmaids (who is a photographer) mentor gave us a really good deal!
Flowers – buying from wholesaler and making bouquets with my talented aunts 🙂
DIY Projects – Table numbers/ Favor bags(candy bar)/ Centerpieces/ Seating chart
Purchased some items online: garter/ guest book/ veil for wayy cheaper prices
Our wedding is on a Friday that saves us about $3000 🙂 since yours is off season you can probably find some deals
Happy Planning 🙂
Post # 5
I got a lot of stuff done for that! I have a budget of $15000 and we are only having 90 guests. It has been tough, honestly. I didn’t want to skimp on some things so I sucked it up, lol, but we got financial help from his family, and just found out FH got a 3k bonus this year whoo hoo!
I got a great deal at Michael’s on centerpiece vases–I’m doing very simple roses and bought ‘short fat’ vases for $2.50 apiece! That was less than $30 for my 11 tables 🙂 then I got plain votives and ribbon to decorate them. Very cute and everyone loves them so far! I am going a bit out of my way to get my gown altered–for around $200-300 less than I would have to pay in my town. I have done a LOT of research and that’s really what you have to do. The dollar store is a GREAT resource.
Post # 6
My budget friendly tips are:
1) Order invites from Vistaprint or a similar site to save money
2) Order flowers wholesale and make your own bouquets and centerpieces
3) Consider having your wedding on a day other than Saturday (vendors may charge you a lot less if you’re booking them on an off day)
4) Browse online for a used dress, accessories or decor. A lot of items can be found in like new condition for a fraction of the original price.
5) Prioritize what is important to you, and consider cutting out the things that don’t fall at the top of your list
Post # 7
It sounds like you’re on a good track to me! I’m working with around $8000, ~85 people, buffet dinner, etc. We’re saving a bunch by finding a shockingly reasonably priced venue that includes a lot of stuff we would have to rent otherwise (tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates and so on, even some centerpiece bases if we want them), going with a new-ish photographer, bringing in our own alcohol and a friend may brew beer for us, my dress is going to probably come in under $500 when all’s said and done, we’re not planning to use a lot of flowers and will get those we do use wholesale…I think that’s it, hope that’s some help!
Post # 8
I recommend picking 2 or 3 things you absolutely must have and then super DIYing the rest. For me, almost my entire budget (6k for 75 people) went to my dress and my photographer. I chose a photographer I loved, but then hired them hourly (for 4-5 hours) so the cost was much less (no engagement pics or package or anything, but this saved a lot of money)
I’m DIYing my centerpieces (sets of 3 different narrow vases with various white and yellow flowers), I’m getting most of my flowers from a wholesale flower shop so I can arrange my own simple centerpieces.
I’m DIYing these layered programs
I’m also doing hors d’oeuvres and a dessert reception (I’m making a lot of the desserts myself)
I’m mostly DIYing my invites- got them for half off at Hobby Lobby so I spent $36 on 150 invites and they look beautiful
Doing marriage counseling to knock $60 off our marriage license
Doing a Sunday wedding cut my venue costs by 60%
Also having an afternoon wedding so not having a DJ or an open bar-probably just beer and wine
Getting my shoes from DSW for under $20
Doing my own makeup/having a Bridesmaid or Best Man do my hair
Don’t forget about Michael’s 50% off sales and coupons for guest book, decorations, flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow, etc.
Post # 9
@Bichon Frise: I am seriously considering a used dress because the one I love is a designer who I couldn’t afford new. I have an appointment to try it on in a store first to make sure, then I will search for it if it looks good on.
Post # 10
We are at ~5000 for about 300 people… I live in a lower-expense part of the country.
Just a few things we did to save money:
–Incorporated white in decorations–more options so easier to find stuff that’s less expensive
–Being flexible and scrounging for free stuff. I got centerpiece items from my relatives’ basements.
–To combat how cheap-looking fake flowers can be, I’m popping off the heads and floating them in the jars instead of having them stick out or forking over for real flowers
–DIY bouquet and flowers for bridal party
–Having heavy horderves at the reception instead of a full meal
–DIY’d invites on the Microsoft Publisher software I already had on my computer and formatted them to fit in standard-sized envelopes
–I didn’t want a super-intricate dress, so mine was new but under $500.
–The men will only have to purchase vests (rest is jeans and white shirts)
–Using shoes we already own (I figure they count as something old, and they’re comfortable too!)
Like PPs said, decide what is really, super important to you to make sure is right, be creative and flexible with the rest, and do lots of research!
Post # 11
I will need to look up tutorials for how to do flower arrangements to see if I can feasibly tackle that aspect of the wedding. It really is hard for me to choose which parts of the wedding are the most important to me because I would just list everything lol. I’m sure that will come into perspective once we start writing deposit checks though.
Another part of this whole budget thing is that I kind of feel guilty about wanting to spend so much. Both my parents and FI’s parents had small inexpensive weddings. My mom did so out of necessity, and his out of no interest in planning or fussing with dresses and flowers. I can’t tell you how many people have told me “Oh just go to the beach and have a BBQ like your cousin. I think they did it for way under $500”. Now, I’m not knocking BBQ weddings, but I want something a little more formal and elaborate. I’m not sure where I got that from since it isn’t tradition in our family, but I defintiely feel like such a brat trying to explain that for our wedding budget to be $10,000 it’s a challenge. It’s really not something people understand unless they have had a wedding recently.
Post # 12
Your budget is absolutely not out of line. Get used to everyone weighing in with their opinions whether they were asked or not. You know what you want, don’t let everyone get you down about it.
Post # 13
I have the same budget for about 100 people. Believe me it has been hard and getting harder as the big day gets closer and vendor payments go out, but not unrealistic.
— We are also saving by just buying my bouquets from the florist and doing whole sake flowers and DIYing the centerpieces and decorations (literally $100s cheaper).
— Look around at college/universities/tech schools- you can sometimes find college students who may be just beginning their professional career and will work for dirt practically (just make sure to see prior work and/or talk to a teacher about their work- ex may be photography, floral arrangements, DJ/video)
My one absolute piece of advice is to do your homework. If you do enough good research, you can find some great vendors/deals. Also, pick 2-3 things that you feel you HAVE to have and will splurge on no matter what (DJ, photography, dress). My 2 was my dress and photographer, which was about 1/5 of my total budget. Good luck and happy planing!!
Post # 14
@mrs. shiny metal: I have the exact same problem…no one in our family has spent more than $500 on a wedding so my 6k wedding looks ridiculous. I’ve already had comments about the price, which is so hurtful considering how much I feel like I’m sacrificing and DIYing. I don’t have any good advice except it sucks!
Post # 15
My brother had a similar budget. They had a live band for part of it but saved money by using an ipod the rest of the time. They also picked wildflowers and put them in old tea tins for the centerpieces instead of using a florist.
We have about 150 coming. We are buying wholesale flowers and ONLY using them for bouquets (so about $75). We made our own centerpieces (vases with candles, $150).
We got a deal at Vistaprint for the invitations ($50 for $130 of invitation stuff–that deal comes up all the time, so definitely look for it). Our Save-The-Date Cards were free with their “get 100 postcards free” deal.
I bought a consignment dress for $500. If you’re not scared of it, there’s always the Running of the Brides. I ended up buying mine the weekend before it, but maybe I would have found a better deal if I’d waited (but I DO love my dress and it was at our budget, so I guess it’s all good!). More casual dresses, which might work well at your venue, are generally much less expensive as well. My SIL got hers for $200 or so.
We’re using disposables instead of china for some of our dishes (dessert). We’re providing our own alcohol. We’re also having an amateur make our cake (but she’s really good!) Our buffet is small but hearty.
I’m doing my own hair. I was going to do my own makeup, but my friend saw how stressed out I was about it and gifted it to me for a wedding present.
I hope something in there helps you out!
Post # 16
We’re doing $5k for 100 guests. It’s a little bit challenging, but I think the biggest ways we’ve saved have been:
Craigslist to find a photographer; we got a great deal, 50% off his normal package.
Brunch instead of dinner; we considered hors devours at first but it was actually way more expensive and we would’ve had to cut out half the guestlist, and it would have been less food.
Paper flowers and books for centerpieces instead of going through a florist.
We’re also trying to figure out if we’re going to do an iPod wedding or get a DJ. It depends on which one is more cost-effective.