(Closed) Finding it really hard to justify spending so much money on one day

posted 4 years ago in DIY
Post # 2
1224 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had 45 people at our wedding and were lucky enough that my parents had a budget of £10k. We had a small bridal party, did a lot of DIY decoration and shopped around for good deals. For the “essentials” we were well under the budget and the Darling Husband paid for extra stuff like more expensive wine, accommodation for his family.

For our honeymoon we rented a villa with a private pool in Turkey for 10 days and, even with flights, car rental, restaurants and visits we were nowhere near 10k.

I realise that you are probably in the US so my comparison won’t help that much but it’s definitely possible to plan a reasonably priced wedding – hundreds of people do it.

Post # 3
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I am DIYing my flowers. I also bought all my linens as I was quoted over 1,000+ dollars for renting. The reason I bought is I can sell afterwards. Also I bought decorations as I went when they were on sale to save on costs. But really you have to want to have a wedding as it is a labor of love. Whatever you choose will be perfect for you.

Post # 4
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Haha I think I posted on here a while back something similar….not just the money, but the time and effort. i understand many christians need to marry for the sacrament and to avoid premarital relations, or babies outside marriage. but why the hype and expense for ONE DAY?<br /><br />the average 25 year odl is in student debt but may WANT to get married. where does $10 – 15k come from?? especially if your parents or family are not able to pay??<br /><br />for my friends in church, where they do not have much money, i have seen one wedding was a normal mass at church, the bride had a cheap chain store dress that was like a white prom dress about $250 – simple but nice, no formal invites, all welcome. the reception was in the church hall, with paper tablecloths, and a pot luck reception. the hall decorations and flowers were provided by the church ladies voluntarily. all the couple paid for was the crockery (they bought fancy plates). Waitressing and cleaing by the church ladies for free (i was one). cake baked by a family member and decorated by church ladies.

the other one had a huge circle of family and friends who provided everything imaginable for free!<br /><br />also for myself, i am having a lot of DIY. i got the dress cheaply on Etsy secondhand and am bleaching and re-fashioning myself. flowers, invites, cake, food etc you can do yourself. no need to go expensive. i (and many church ladies) make wedding and baptism cakes for free or a very low cost.  just to be excited for the couple as a nice gift!!! <br /><br />break down the expenses and post your list of budget here. i am sure we can help you trim it down!!<br /><br />

Post # 5
1243 posts
Bumble bee

Realize that anything more than the cost of your license and whatever fees the JOP charges is completely unnecessary. 

1. Consider a JOP wedding with a very small brunch afterwards. 

2. Do you have a friend or family member who could host a very small ceremony and maybe outdoor, casual reception?

3. Speaking of receptions, the idea of a champagne and cake reception sounds amazing!

4. Consider postponing your honeymoon for a few years.




Post # 6
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Spend the amount that you are comfortable with. If that means having a late evening ceremony with a dessert buffet and coffee bar reception afterwards, then do it. Or maybe have a morning wedding with brunch. Brunch foods tend to be less expensive, and you may get a price cut on the venue for using it at an off time of day. You could also look into hosting at your favorite inexpensive restaurant. Skip the decor, make a paper flower bouquet (or go bouquet free!), find an inexpensive ceremony spot (local park?), buy a cute white dress from Nordstrom, and call it done. It doesn’t have to be expensive, unless you insist on having expensive tastes.

That said, we spent more than $20k on a 35 person wedding and it was worth every penny. We wanted to indulge, so we did. Absolutely no regrets. But each couple is different. You know your priorities the best. So spend according to what is important to you. If that doesn’t include much for a “wedding”, then so be it.

Post # 7
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - Nazareth Hall

Why do you HAVE to spend that much on your honeymoon or wedding? We are having around 180 people and with everything but my engagement ring, including the honeymoon, were sitting around 22k. Now our parents have generously gifted us 15k and had we WANTED TO we could’ve hosted all those people and had a smaller but still nice honeymoon on that budget. However, we (he lol) decided that we wanted a big fancy wedding and we were in the place financially that we could afford to put more money in it.


I would be curious to see your budget breakdown, obviously having it at the ritz is going to be more expensive then a traditional hall or backyard. It’s actually really easy to do a somewhat inexpensive wedding if you really look in to things and you arent set on “keeping up with the jones'” and NEED the sequin linens, peonies, and surf and turf for a dinner entree. 

Post # 8
2890 posts
Sugar bee

GypsieFlower:  I was within the same dilemma, until my fiancé and I sat down and wrote down our financial goals for the next 5 years, like finishing college, paying off student loans, buying a house, getting married, traveling somewhere in Europe. And we each ranked our goals from most important to least important. To my surprise, we both ranked the wedding last. I was surprised because I always thought my fiancé valued this a lot more than I did. When we got engaged I wanted to elope or have a weddingmoon, just the two of us, while he insisted on having at least our close family and friends. It was a big misunderstanding right from the start. This was an eye-opener and we decided to significantly downscale our wedding plans. It’s not that we do not want to marry each other, we just don’t want the wedding to prevent us from achieving other financial goals we both feel are more important to our well-being and our happiness. We’ll host a very small, private backyard event to celebrate our commitment and we’ll treat our 15 guests with excellent food and wine, but we’ll make sure the whole thing doesn’t end up being Pinterestesque and costly. It’s just one day, as you said yourself. 

Post # 9
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Royal Park Hotel

We had a 50 person wedding and, not including honeymoon, it was around 30K.

About 5K of it was our money but the rest my mom and grandmother pretty much paid for.  Now would we have been given a 30K check if we had not had a wedding?  No way!  Maybe 10 or 15K but usually people spend more on throwing you a wedding than they do actually giving you the cash value of it.

So it depends on your situation.  Would I prefer to have 30K in my pocket right now over that wedding we had?  OH YEAH!  But that probably would not have happened.  Maybe 15K at most, which, IMO, not worth it.

I hate talking about numbers like this….it feels so crass

Post # 10
8862 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


GypsieFlower:  you mention 10K for a honeymoon.  i don’t know where you are planning on going or for how long.  but Darling Husband and I went to Italy for 2 weeks and including everything, food, hotel, airfare, museums, etc it was about 7k. 

so if you are on a budget, there are places you can go for less than $10k.

Post # 11
8465 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

GypsieFlower:  We rented out a really fancy restaurant inside of a castle and had the ceremony in there then a luncheon to follow. I didn’t buy center pieces or decor because frankly, I didn’t want to spend the money and I liked the way the venue looked as it was. My maids carried a single long-stemmed calla lily and I had a brooch bouquet. The guys didn’t wear boutonnieres. We had 20 ppl, spent about $240 per person and all said and done spent around $6k. We also had a photog for 4 hours and my mom’s friend gifted our cake. Maybe that’s an option for you instead of doing a huge dinner reception following the ceremony.

Post # 12
3037 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

I really don’t think a $10k honeymoon is required. Sure, it’d be nice. But I’m probably not going on one at all… maybe for an anniversary.  You can find much more affordable vacations, even all inclusive resort ones. I can’t even imagine what a $10k honeymoon would be like. 

You can always do it cheaper, just have to make sacrifices. Look at church halls, parks, VFD’s, social clubs, community centers. DIY your flowers or carry a flower ‘alternative’ like a pinwheel or brooch bouquet. Find a caterer that does more picnic-style food. You can get a nice picnic style meal for $15/person. Or have a potluck style dinner and ask your closest friends and family to help – I bet they’d love to.

Post # 13
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Royal Park Hotel


amberback:  Guuuuuurl – I have family (who are up to their eyeballs in suffocating debt, I might add) that took an 18K honeymoon to Fiji.   LOL these people stayed at the Four Seasons….they spend money like they’re Rockefellars but live in a 1-bedroom apartment.

I saw the pics and it looked nice but I have no clue what posessed them to spend so much money.  They’ll be paying for that honeymoon for the next 5 years. 

Post # 14
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are having a 40 people ceremony, and a 250 people reception. My parents generously gave us $10K to spend – which most of that went to my dress, meals for my guests (each side is paying for their own), flowers, cake, photo, invites, and a few odds and ends. Although we have this money, I am still being budget conscious as they said whatever is left over – we can have… and I’d like to get a few thousand back that we can use for our honeymoon.

You’d be surprised how cheap some stuff is, or things you can do yourself for much less money. My cake is coming from a local grocery store, so nothing fancy. My dress was well under $1K – which I wanted. Our photographer does a great job, and was very reasonably priced. The invites came from Vistaprint and were 40% off. We spent $235 on those, which included shipping – and about 500 pieces of paper. Flowers were bought from Michael’s, and other stores – and we are making them ourselves. Plus, they’ll be keepsakes since they won’t die.

We are paying for the band, officiant, photobooth and a few other things ourselves. And then like I mentioned, his parents have offered to pay for their guests (over 90% of the guest list), and will probably pick up some other stuff too… although, not necessary.

I haven’t calculated everything like I should have, but I bet it’ll be around $10-12K when it’s all done – and it will be a great time. We’re getting married in a local park (weather permitting), and then our reception is at a hotel and was the cheapest/nicest we could find.

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