(Closed) Girls on a budget: HOW Did you keep your costs down AND What did things Cost?

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 35
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Number 1:  Find a cheap venue with cheap food!  That’s what’s going to take up half of your budget.  In RI you can find places from $25-$200 per person.  (And yes the $200 does include more of the incidental costs like tax and service charge.  So the range is a little smaller but still.)

I’m also finding out: time is money.  Ex) If you can afford to go to every thrift store in the area or search around for a year, then you won’t have to pay full price for vases. 

Really search for photographers.  I found ones from $100/hour (student) to $7000 for the day.  For some reason there seems to be tiers that photographers price around.  Here, there’s a bunch $1000-1500, then a bunch around 3000 and another bunch around 5500.  Personally, I didn’t see a huge difference between the $1500 and $3000 ones. 

Just because something is important to you, doesn’t mean it has to be expensive.  Videography is my number 2 thing.  But after looking at the prices (my total budget is $10k), I realized what I really wanted was to be able to view the ceremony again and again.  I plan on hiring a videographer for $300.  He’s not the best and there’s no editing but it’s good enough and I’ll be able to watch my ceremony after the wedding.  (On the flip side, food isn’t super important to me but that’s costing the most.)

Post # 36
Member
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@abigailavawedding: I haven’t ordered them yet but I have tried adding them to my cart to see what it will cost. First of all, I only need about 40 invitations because we’re having a small wedding, secondly, I’m doing really simple one-page invites and RSVP postcards – no other inserts or anything. The main trick is to never order from Vistaprint without a coupon. If you search for Vistaprint coupons, you’ll find all kinds of deals. I tried a few different deals and I end up paying the least by using their free postcards deal for my RSVP cards.

 I’m not sure what you mean by customizing them for you. I uploaded my own design and spent a lot of time tweaking the wording and text placement but you can use one of their designs and it would be a lot quicker. Also, they come with plain white envelopes, which I’ll be addressing myself.

Here’s what my invites will look like, if you’re curious:

Post # 37
Member
5092 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Unfortunately, since my parents have been invited to a million weddings from friends and colleagues and we have huge families- we have to keep the number quite high.

This isn’t actually written in stone.  It is not an etiquette rule that just because someone invited you to their daughter’s wedding, you have to invite them to your daughter’s wedding. If your parents are paying for the whole thing, well, that’s one thing. But otherwise you and your fiance get to decide who’s invited, with SOME input from parents.

My fiance and I made a rule that anyone that wasn’t close to either him or me wasn’t invited. A wedding, after all, is a deeply personal life event. I would not have been ok with a bunch of strangers watching us.  It made our parents a little disappointed, but they got over it fast. 

Here is how I have a $12,000 budget (it was $10,000 – you’re right that people forget little details that add up). It doesn’t include rehearsal dinner or honeymoon (which will just be two nights at a B&B somewhere):

Only 78 people invited – probably 70 will show

Venue = mom’s house

No wedding party – that means no gifts, hair, makeup, bouquets, boutineers to pay for

Ipod reception – no band or dj

Buying our own beer, wine, and champagne (limited bar)

Cocktail-style reception – TONS of food (stationary and passed apps + 3 food stations), with small cocktail/cafe tables – this means centerpieces are much smaller and cheaper

No corsages/bouts for parents

Told the florist to use whatever flowers were local/in-season and looked good, rather than specifying exactly what we wanted

Family friend/semi-pro photog is shooting the wedding for $1000 (MUCH cheaper than norm)

Friend designed/printed invites as a gift, for just the cost of materials

No veil

No favors

Heirloom (= free) wedding band for me

No limo (in my view that’s something you could easily cut)

 

Post # 38
Member
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Mightywombat makes a good point about your guest list. We’re paying for the wedding ourselves so it never even occurred to us to invite any parents’ friends. Heck, we even did what’s generally considered a big no-no and decided to pick and choose what family we invited since there are some aunts, uncles and cousins we’re really not close to at all.

No limo is a good tip. We’re not paying for transportation either since our ceremony and reception are in one place, which happens to be ten minutes from our home.

Post # 39
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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@abigailavawedding: The resume parchment paper I bought was about $8 per pack.  I bought three (only needed 1).  I had reams of paper here, so that wasn’t an issue.  The resume paper came in a pack of 80.  I only need 75. 

I used the tutorial at the following link to make the pocket folds: http://www.projectwedding.com/wedding-ideas/diy-wedding-challenge-pocketfold-invitation-using-8-5×11-paper

The inserts were done using a plain paper folded in half then cut at 6″ and 7″ giving inserts at 4″,5″,6″,7″ high and 4.25″ wide.  You could buy two different types of resume paper or even cardstock and make lots of inexpensive invites.

The printer I bought was $70 and I didn’t put it in the wedding budget because I would have bought it regardless (it’s wireless and I’d been wanting one for a while). 

Here’s a picture of what mine look like:

I also did the design myself and it’s PERFECT for our theme/wedding.  The “center” part is 5″x7″ and also printed on normal paper. 

our reasoning for using regular printer paper was thus: most invites are tossed and we weren’t going to spend a lot for something that will probably/most likely end up in the trash.  Also, these came out to around 11 CENTS each. 

IF you add in the printer, it comes out to 1.05, but I can’t add in something that I would’ve bought regardless of the wedding to the wedding budget. 

Post # 40
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

oh, forgot to add, for the ‘folded” parts, I folded at 1.5″, 5″ and 5″.  It works perfectly with the inserts and looks good. 

we’re buying a custom wax seal stamp, but you could also use any other method you want to seal them.  belly band, sticker, etc.  we’re only doing wax because it comes in silver and my Fiance loves that idea. 🙂

hope this helped with your invite issue.

Post # 41
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

 Our invites through http://www.jps.cceasy.com were about $375 for ~150 with invites, RSVPs, reception cards and envelopes.  We did not do Save-The-Date Cards as we were off-season anyway, we just let the out of town people know the date ahead of time.

We invited about 220 people and had just under 200 attend.  We both have very large families and it would have been hard to cut the guest list, so we squeezed other areas.  (plus we actually wanted most of these people there)  It was about 30-40 per person and the venue was included in that.

I think straight cash bar would have been hard, but as long as the beer was included it wasn’t so bad.  The heavy beer drinkers stuck to the free tap beer and the beer-snobs (we have a few) bought the fancier stuff.  We bought a bottle of wine or 2 for my mom and her sisters cause we knew they’d prefer it.  But. like I said that is a very regional thing- where I grew up that would have been unheard of, but here it is normal.

I did not do any DIYing as I suck at it and I have accepted that.  

I also did no veil (cause I didn’t like the look) and we just took my husband’s truck for transportation (which I liked cause we were ALONE for a few minutes and we could sneak home to let the dogs pee without everyone commenting about how we are overly attached to our dogs.

Did you add what did things cost?  

We paid $750 for our photographer (a deal and a half) no book was included, but we have all the pics and the rights.

I paid $250 for my dress and 180 for the alterations.

Flowers (4 bouquets, 6 boutineers, 4 corsages, my bouquet, 3 flower girl baskets, a centerpeice for the head table and 2 large vases of flowers for the ceremony) plus a $20 delivery fee was about $675.  Personally I would have cut out the vases and centerpiece, but Fiance wanted them and I was fine with that.

 

Post # 42
Member
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Shopping around for the best deal is key. Don’t buy the first thing you see unless you just can’t find a better deal for that particular item. Be prepared to compromise for less-expensive things when needed.

Also, Dollartree.com is your friend.

Post # 43
Member
15021 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Umm, 25-29 is a pretty big budget.  I’m expecting 180 and think my total will be about 22.  The biggest factor will be food cost.  If you can keep the price per person (before tax) for dinner + apps down under 40-50, then keeping in your budget should be a breeze as long as you dont go crazy in all the other areas.  My dress + alterations was only $400, I’m spending 50ish for invites, and probably about 800 on flowers.. which is all on the very low side, but if your budget was up to 29, you’d still be able to splurge on those and be in budget.

Post # 46
Member
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We’re having a beach wedding for 125 at about $9000.  Half is going to venue and food (which is very delicious… didn’t want to skimp there).  The next big savers are:

dress ($600 total) – wedding photographer ($500) – e-session (free) – flowers (free for ceremony and reception, other family owns florist) – 2 alcoholic drinks per person (parents are paying for this since they feel strongly about it, the rest will be cash bar) – no favors – VistaPrint coupons for all paper and bridesmaids gifts ($35 got me $250 to spend on the website!)

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