@weddingstars2012: I am having my entire wedding for about $3000, no kidding. It will be a beach wedding with a plated, fancy meal in an oceanfront restaurant. I will give you some tips that I’ve utilized to keep my wedding so cheap:
The first and most vital thing is to cut your guest list DOWN! At first, I wanted 112 people. Now, I’m only going to have 50. If you feel that people will get mad, consider having a destination wedding. I live near Charlotte, NC. I am getting married at Ocean Isle Beach. Several people won’t be able to afford to travel there in peak season (I’m getting married the day before you!) This way, you don’t have to feel bad about not inviting them. You can just say, “I didn’t want to put the financial burden of travel on everyone, so we only invited close relatives and friends.”
My wedding package includes the ceremony (either on the beach or on the lawn at the gazebo), up to 60 chairs for the ceremony, an arbor to marry under, the reception venue, two nights in an oceanfront honeymoon suite (complete with champagne and chocolates), $100 gift card to the restaurant where we’re having the reception, and a discount on a first anniversary stay at the hotel. Do you know how much all that is? $700. That doesn’t include food, but the menu starts out at about $18 pp. You can customize the menu to what you can afford and you pay for it at the end of the reception (so you only pay for the people who actually show up!) You just have to look around for good prices. You have to look verrry hard.
I’m getting my dress from a consignment shop. FI’s tux is being rented. Flower Girl dress that I’m buying is $17 on eBay.
I’m collecting salsa jars to make favors. Gonna do a candy buffet with cheap, bulk candies. I will be serving the candy from glass bowls I plan to pick up at Goodwill/Dollar Tree. Every guest will fill their salsa jar before leaving.
I know a baker who makes gorgeous works of dessert art, at half the price of bakery. She works out of her home. I am going to order cupcakes, an anniversary tier, cake pops, cake balls, petit fours, and a cheesecake. All of these things will still come out cheaper than a full-sized wedding cake.
Someone I know is getting married in October. She is letting me borrow all of her wedding decor. This includes centerpieces, chair sashes, table runners, etc.
My reception venue doesn’t allow music, so no DJ needed.
I’m making my own bouquet and arrangements for BMs.
I invested in a professional grade camera. I will be using mine and my FCIL’s for wedding photos. Frankly, the pictures taken with my camera come out equally as good or better than pro photogs, sometimes.
I’m probably going to splurge on invitations (about $88). Then, I’m going to make my own RSVP cards.
Our honeymoon will be the two nights in the suite at the hotel that comes with our wedding package. That might not be a dream honeymoon, in your eyes, but we didn’t even expect we’d get that much. So, we’re happy.
It is hard to afford things on your own. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great wedding on a lower budget. I would seriously consider venturing down budget avenues. $10,000 is a lot for your parents right now, you know that. If FI’s parents aren’t going to help, that’s fine, just let them know that you’ll be cutting down on how much of their family can attend if they’re not going to pay for anything.