Post # 1
I started this process with such mellow standards/expectations. I never had this ideal image of what “my wedding” would be, so all I cared was that we could make it look pretty. We both want small, so everything was easy.
And then I tried to plan a wedding in Southern CA on my teeny-tiny (prudent) budget. Bwahahahaha! I did splurge on the dress, but my only non-negotiable is live music at the ceremony (I’m a pro musician). Now it turns out that while we both have the same dream for a venue, it’s become his non-negotiable while I gave up the dream a couple months ago.
I’m so discouraged. I’ve scoured the net and I know all the ways to save money and how to not get sucked in by the Wedding Industrial Complex, etc, and I have friends and family offering their time/talents. But I’m really seeing the trade-offs we’ll have to make. For example, asking a friend to fly across the country this summer for a 30-minute ceremony and punch-and-cookies seems downright obscene. So I feel pressure to make their time worth it, which means a sitdown reception?
Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a mere $10,000 budget (average for my city is near $30,000)! And then there’s the fact that spending my current budget (incl. rings) as a fraction of $10,000 seems like too much when I step back and look at that the chunk of money it is.
Good article today on the blog about this: http://www.weddingbee.com/2012/04/12/the-cost-of-weddings/ I just wish I could find the peace about it that she has.
Post # 3
Are you two the only people paying the wedding? What about his parents? Your parents? Grandparents? Brothers and sisters? Aunts and uncles?
What I’m saying here is to have a get together with your close folks and see if they could chip in to pay for your wedding. Perhaps a backyard wedding or a rental at a Knights of Columbus or VFW or other public venue would be cheaper. Perhaps your folks could chip in with food, alcohol, flowers, cake in lieu of a gift.
Don’t give up! Good luck.
Post # 4
Yes I suggest using a VFW. We are on a budget too and found one for 250.00 for the day, though that doesnt include the barmen or beer. But it is still such a deal!!
Post # 6
Post # 7
I’m pretty much the the only one paying for things since I managed to put away a nest egg over the last three years after a long period of un/underemployment. He’s finishing digging himself out of a financial hole (will be 100% in the clear by the wedding).
We have very small families–we’re “older” first-timers and most of the older generations are gone (both fathers have passed away, no grandparents alive, etc, and his family can’t help). Late last night my mother said she might be able to cover the incredible deal on photography I found, so that frees things up a little bit. There is also a chance my only aunt & uncle might offer some help, but it’s not the kind of thing that can be asked directly. We’ll see…
I think I mostly just needed to vent yesterday. I had just barely started to have a certain type of wedding in mind that I thought would fit our budget and it was frustrating to see that I would need to downgrade even more than I already have. I think we’re just going to have to sit down and reorder our priorities again, but we can make it work–just have to keep remembering what REALLY matters: having our friends with us and being married. 🙂
I also had a bit of an epiphany today–that some of the “issues” I struggle with are being stirred up with this wedding and I need to remember and relearn that I DO deserve the love and support of those around me and I shouldn’t feel guilty for spending my hard-earned money on this. Yes, at the same time I get frustrated over my limited budget, I also feel guilty for spending what I CAN afford. Yes, I’m a head case, haha! So, a lot of venting going on yesterday, I think… 🙂
Thanks for the ideas and encouragement, everyone! (Getting married in our church is about as cheap as the VFW hall, so I’ll take that choice first. The miracle I”m trying to swing is finding an outdoor spot in this coastal SW city that works for us; I’m beginning to realize that it’s a higher priority for our spirits than we had acknowledged).
Post # 8
@39bride: Aww I feel your pain! I live in LA and we originally planned to have a $10,000 budget. We had to rethink and upped it to about $13,000 and I think we might actually be able to do it! And with a guest list of 150. The biggest money saver for us was finding a venue with no site fee where a full three course sit down meal was less than $40/head. Send me a message if you’re interested, but unfortunately it’s an indoor venue and it sounds like you’re looking for outdoor.
Post # 9
Check local restaurants.I live in Sacramento.I know southern California is more expensive.We found a nice French restaurantr that has a $500 minimum and no site fee.Good luck
Post # 10
@nkatsa: I live in Huntington Beach and have the same budget. I was looking for an outdoor venue, but at this point I’m also just trying to find anything that might work in Southern California for 10K (everything except rings). If you have any locations you found that would help, please send me the info.
Post # 11
I live in OC and originally was hoping to spend $10-15k. In the end, a full 150 person wedding (Sunday morning brunch with full open bar) at the Montage in Laguna will cost me $35k, including honeymoon. Cest la vie.
We are older and are paying for it all ourselves. I’m happy to chat via PM about the various beach locations we considered before bit the bullet for our dream venue. 🙂
Post # 12
@Kristin C: Tivoli Terrace in Laguna can fit in that budget. 🙂