Has anyone pulled off a wedding with 125+ people for under 10k??

posted 8 months ago in Reception
Post # 17
3281 posts
Sugar bee

bookends :  nope, you don’t have to be a resident.

Post # 18
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

zl27 :  Can I ask where you had your RD? Trying to plan ours now and I can’t believe how expensive it is for 30 people to have dinner and drinks!

Post # 19
3281 posts
Sugar bee

m197500 :  unfortunately, our Rehearsal Dinner venue changed concepts last year. But it was an old road house with great BBQ. It was a lot of fun.

Are you looking in SF or outside the city? I might have an idea for you.

Post # 20
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

zl27 :  We’re looking in Napa / American Canyon / Vallejo. Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Post # 21
3281 posts
Sugar bee

m197500 :  check out Park 121 at Cornerstone. It was not big enough for us, but I recall their pricing was pretty much in line with where we ended up.

30 people might fit in the side room at Glen Ellen Star. Not sure about their pricing for an event. But it’s one of my favorite restaurants. 

I’ll check my files later and see what else we looked at. 

Post # 22
273 posts
Helper bee

We did our wedding in the Bay Area for under 10k for 250 people. However it was almost all diy- I did the flowers, family helped with the food, and the venue was my in-laws yard.

It’s doable if you’re willing to put in some elbow grease! My wedding was just as beautiful as friends who spent over 50k!

Post # 23
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Since neither of you want a big wedding, don’t have one. That’s the simple solution. No rule says you have to invite anyone at all (other than two witnesses), much less 125 members of a family–no one could possibly be close with that many people.

Other than cutting the guest list to the size you actually want and can afford, have a reception that is not at a meal-time. Cake and punch in the church basement is about as inexpensive at it gets.

Cut the frills. You can have a lovely wedding without more than one attendant each (we didn’t even have one), chair covers, favors, uplighting, videography, dove release, place plates, waiters, live music, decorations, a five-thousand-dollar dress, a six-piece invitation.

Get married at the courthouse with your parents, siblings, and two best friends. Wear a pretty dress–white, if you want, but not a Big White Dress. A simple bouquet. Take everyone out to dinner.

My mother and father got married in my grandmother’s living room one winter afternoon. About thirty close friends and relatives were there. My mother wore a navy blue suit; there are no pictures, so I’m not sure if she even had a bouquet–maybe a corsage. My grandmother and aunts served simple refreshments they had made, there were toasts and a few remarks, and then everyone went home for dinner. My mother always said it was a lovely wedding.

Don’t let them bully you into some huge thing you don’t want. It’s none of their business. And you’ll have to put it on, endure it, and pay for it.

Post # 24
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

We haven’t pulled it off yet, but we are trying to do 150+ people for 10k or less! I think it is very doable but you do have to be very budget-conscious. For example, $1,000 on a dress is 1/10th of the budget, which to me was high. A $3,000 photographer is 1/3rd of the budget, so that was not even a question. Simply not a possibility!

We are planning to get married in a park, and have the reception at a small-ish outdoor community center (super cute). Each is around $300 or so. For food, we are getting a pizza food truck for around $10pp, I originally wanted a different one, but they quoted me over $4,000. We probably could have done it, but it would have required sacrifices in other areas. We are happy with the cheaper option! I can make sweets myself (worked in a chocolate store for a while), we will bring in our own alcohol (hopefully keep it around $1,000) cake will be affordable. We might have a friend do all the photos, we also might hire a professional for around 4 hours ($900) and have the friend do the supplementary photos, or just the pro. We did digital save the dates and i found cheap but beautiful invites for around $150. My dress was $450 (including tax) and fits super well, it really only needs a hem. We might do an affordable Dj or we might do a playlist. A co-worker is arranging my flowers and we will likely get them from a local farmers market. Friends will also help us with hair and makeup, ceremony music (a good friend’s mother plays the harp) and many, many other things. We are fortunate to have generous and talented friends! We still plan to pay them, but it still costs less than if we went pro all the way. 

My advice is to think outside the box, and decide what is most important to you!! My top things were getting to invite all our loved ones (large guest list) food & fun, and the budget. I have had to compromise on some other things but I am getting the stuff that is most important to me. 🙂

Post # 25
660 posts
Busy bee

My brother and his fiance are doing 150 people for 5k. American Legion! The legion is gorgeous, has an outside grassy area with a pond and gazebo. They went with the food caterer they use at the legion for super cheap. The provide the tables and chairs and silverware so saving there too. They also typically have drink packages as well so saved on that.

I’m not sure if there are many around you, but take a look into it. You’d be surprised how nice some of them are 🙂

Post # 26
2217 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

bookends :  This is doable, for sure. A couple of suggestions other Bees have already made;

  • find a photographer who has done a few weddings but is still building their portfolio and you’ll get a much better deal. 
  • Consider non-traditional venues – state parks, historic buildings, summer camps, grange halls, libraries, and certain government buildings (here you can rent the water beaureau with a river view for example) can often be rented for well under $1k Try to locate a place that provides tables and chairs, if at all possible. 
  • Check event rental services, restuarant supply, and cvlinens.com I found it was less costly to buy my linens than rent them. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s worth doing the legwork to be sure. 
  • Consider non-traditional catering options – DIY with Costco, do large batches of pasta and salad. Depending on where you host the wedding, looking for a place with kitchen facilities where you can have items set up or even prepared can expand the range of choices a lot. Also, if you’re open to considering a food truck, you can sometimes get a killer deal on feeding a lot of people that way.
  • Breakfast/Brunch is typically cheaper to serve than dinner. Also, people will be less likely to expect a full bar at a mid-morning/afternoon wedding
  • Bring in your own alcohol, but consider getting wine by the case (Trader Joes has some honestly great wine that’s $6 a bottle) and ber by the keg. You don’t need a bartender and you get a lot more for your money.
  • Consider lawn games instead of a DJ. Run an iPod with your music through some bluetooth speakers. 
  • Scour craigslist in the area where the wedding will be for used wedding decor. Lots of brides want to offload their stuff once their ceremony is over and you can get some great deals. Likewise weddingrecycle.com
  • The dollar store can be your friend. You can find vases and glasswear that can easily be repurposed into decor for table tops. Paper lanterns and balloons are much less expensive than flowers and can look great if done tastefully
  • Ikea sells huge packages of tea lights for cheap. They also do some artificial greenery that can look really nice if staged properly. They also have cute little candle lanterns for a couple bucks each 
  • Spray paint is your friend; you can take mettalic or glitter paint to glass, metal, or wood and really dress up something that cost you a buck. 
  • Check your area for consignment bridal stores. I got a $2300 NWT sample dress for $300 that way. 

It’s all about getting creative. Definitely get away from the city if at all possible. Your options open up a lot more a little further out. 

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