(Closed) Budget woes.

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Of course it’s possible. Just keep in mind that the size of the guest list greatly influences any budget! We’re aiming at $6k budget for 80 guests!

Post # 5
Member
1628 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

The “average” wedding cost is just that…an average. And it gets pulled up by the big cities, places like the metro-NYC/LA/DC/Boston/SanFran regions where a dollar goes a lot less far.  In your state, MO, the aveage cost is already $10k lower than the national average. If you live in the suburbs/rural area, it will go down even more.  Think about it like movie ticket prices…I live in a Chicago suburb and pay $7.50 for a movie…in DC it was more like $11….in NYC its more. Same movie, different cost depending on region. In your area, your $7k will have greater purchasing power than elsewhere.

And PLENTY of bees have pulled off gorgeous, amazing weddings with smaller budgets. 

Post # 6
Member
2778 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Well my budget is pretty much non existant at this point since I have been laid off but luckly we are getting a lot of things gifted.  My mom is doing decorations so it looks like its going to tally to about a little less than 3K.  I think it will look fine and plently elegant.  Since you are having it at a park the scenery will be a great decoration plus whatever you DIY. 

I don’t think your being unrealistic.  Some of the best weddings I’ve been too have cost far less than the average amount often quoted now a days.  They were just as beautiful and elegant as the more expensive ones and honestly in most cases they had better food and were more laid back so it was more fun.  I’m sure you will enjoy your day as much as any one else who spent a lot of money because your budget its tailored to your wants/needs.

Post # 11
Member
2778 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

No problemo.  Happy planning. 🙂

Post # 12
Member
2612 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

“Tacky” doesn’t really have to do with the amount you spend; it has to do with how you treat people, In My Humble Opinion.

GOOD NEWS: You can certainly do a lovely wedding for $7K. And there are plenty of wedding blogs out there (weddings for $2K, $5K, $10K, etc.) that are about real-life affairs on a budget to prove it.

MEDIOCRE NEWS: There are plenty of things that you can ignore altogether to save money (favors, fancy cake toppers, special cake cutter, garter, STDs) and many of ways to save by being frugal or DIY (dress, veil, flowers, centerpieces). The issue is that many of these things are sort of “little things” in the end–they WILL add up, of course, but all in all, the “basics” are the basics–you still have to put people somewhere and feed them–and generally speaking, these basics are going to account for the majority of your budget: # of guests, venue, and food. If you can DIY those things (host the nuptials at your parents’ house; cater it yourself), then you’ll save big, but most people don’t have the know-how or time or chutzpah to do all that. Otherwise, it tends to be a sliding scale with the number of people you want to host. With a modest budget, fiifty guests enables a fancier spread than 200.

 

But I think my point about “tacky” is just to remember that there are many, many beautiful weddings that were done on a shoestring–but what makes them great is that the couple accepted the limits of their budget and didn’t try to “pass on” costs to their guests. So I’m a believer that if $7K doesn’t permit a full bar, then it’s better to settle for wine and beer than set up a cash bar (with exception to cash bars being “the norm” in your neck of the woods).

Post # 14
Member
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My wedding is a small budget wedding and I am making darn sure it looks great.  I want elegance and class. I hope it looks more expensive than it is so no one will know we only spent less than $5000 (and that includes honeymoon). 

Also while I am compromising on some things, I am not sacrificing the quality or what I really want. It will be catered so my guests can have sone good food.  I will have alcohol (although not an “open” bar). I will have a photographer from start to finish and a florist who will take care of all things floral.  I just looked high and low for the best vendors I could afford and I think I did goos (we’ll see how the finished product looks).

Post # 15
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m on a super-tight budget. My parents are paying for about 70% or 80% of the wedding and can only afford $3,000 total. Originally, they were going to cover half the reception and my fiance and planned to borrow $2,000 to cover the rest, giving us $5,000 total. Then he lost his job and was unemployed for two months, so we couldn’t qualify for a loan (my credit is terrible from my own bout of unemployment last year).

By the time the wedding’s over, we probably will have spent around $3,800 for everything. I paid for my dress, supplies for DIY projects, and we’re purchasing the rings ourselves. My parents are paying for the reception, invitations, and giving money to our friends who are officiating, DJing and doing photography for us.

The guest list has been the biggest disappointment so far. We’re inviting 60 people, but had to cut out a lot of our close friends to make room for close family. It’s my siblings, his siblings, our parents, my grandparents, a handful of extended family who we’re close with and a few of our good friends from college. If we had unlimited funds, I think our ideal guest list size would be around 110 people.

I’m still so excited for our wedding and it’s going to be a classy affair. A few tips you might want to consider:

1. David’s Bridal has some gorgeous gowns from Vera Wang, etc. at affordable prices, and they have sales a few times a year. Alternatively, if there’s a designer gown you really love but can’t afford, try it on in the store then buy it pre-owned from a site like PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. (Side note: If you go the David’s Bridal route, do not get your dress altered by them. They quoted me $300 for just a hem and a bustle. Search Yelp for local seamstresses instead. I saved myseld $200 that way.)

2. Pare down your guest list. This was the hardest part for my fiance and me. But the plus side to a small guest list is that you’ll be surrounded by people you really know and really love, not random relatives from both sides that neither of you have seen since that Christmas when you were 4 years old.

3. Contact restaurants to rent out space for your reception instead of looking at typical wedding venues. We lucked out and found a restaurant with a small banquet room in a converted barn with huge windows and gorgeous wood beams that doesn’t need any additional decorating besides centerpieces. You’ll also save money on tables, chairs, table linens and dinnerware, since all those things should be provided by the restaurant.

4. Try non-floral bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. I’m building “trees” in mason jars for my centerpieces with branches my dad’s been collecting from the back yard all year. Try wood or paper flowers or brooches from a second-hand store for your bouquets. Use fresh herbs from the grocery store as fillers. If you really want floral bouquets, Whole Foods always has a nice selection of in-season flowers that you could mix and match to build your own bouquet for much cheaper than using a florist or buying flowers in bulk online.

5. Ask friends and family for help. Do you have a friend who’s great at doing makeup? Ask if she’d be willing to do your makeup on your wedding day. Does your cousin love photography? Ask if he’d work with your budget restrictions to do your wedding photos. Know someone who’s a natural entertainer? Get him a mic and enlist him as the iPod DJ for the reception. When one of my sisters got married last year, my other sisters and I went out a few days early to bake her wedding cake. One of our good friends from college is doing our photos, and my sister plays guitar and agreed to do the ceremony music for us. Ask people close to you if they’d mind sharing their skills on your wedding day – and compensate them with something, whether it’s money (whatever you can afford), a special gift, a dinner date, etc.

Feel free to message me if you want more ideas. I’ve been planning our tight-budget wedding for almost a year now!

[edited for a few typos :P]

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