Post # 1
I got engaged about a month ago and before that, I didn’t have any kind of experience with wedding planning.
Now that I started preparing my wedding, I realized that HOLY MOLY IT’S VERY EXPENSIVE! I mean, I checked out some venues (Like the addison in Boca Raton) and their prices are about 17,000 for 100 people (place and food)
For me, that’s a lot of money… I really don’t plan on spending that ammount. My budget is about $10.000.
so, I’m a little concerned cause I really want something special. I realized that the food is what’s most expensive and I think that getting it without a “package” will make my life harder and at the end of the day I will probably end up paying the same ammount.
so, what do you guys think? how much are you guys spending? Do you think I can do something special with my budget?
Thanks for the replies! 🙂
Post # 3
I am hoping to spend about 5k…although probably going to be closer to 7k and I think it is going to be awesome. You can throw a great wedding for 10k just keep your eyes open for deals and do some DIY stuff. The classifieds on here are a great resource as well as craigslist.
Post # 4
Weddings on a budget are totally do-able. You just need to be flexable. You can’t have your heart set on a certain venue, flowers or photographer.
You’re right, food is the most expensive. If you can find a venue that allows you to bring your own food/alcohol the cost is going to be much less. We had a 135 guest wedding with hawaiian BBQ, a bar with beer, wine, tequila shots and a margarita machine (yumm!!) at a beautiful venue for $13,000. I did the flowers myself, bought my dress for $700, DIY’d a lot of the decor and when friends asked if we needed help we eagerly said “YES”!!
Weddingbee is your new best friend when planning a wedding, for me it was a lifesaver. If you have any particuliar questions just PM me.
Post # 5
@Mrs081223: Do you need to invite 100 people? I think that cutting the guest list down will help.
I heard the average wedding budget in Canada is $25K, so I assume the US is about the same. Ugh. It blows my mind to think of spending that much in one day!
We’re eloping and will spend under $1,000.
I think you need to prioritize. Only go w. the aspects that you really want.
Having a cash bar will cut down costs… but it can offend some people. You need to make sure you have a thick skin so you can tell people to bugger off when they question your choices 😉
You can also do a lot of DIY stuff. Also, seasons are huge – consider doing your wedding somewhere on the off-season and you can save thousands.
Post # 6
I didn’t even consider a “package” type venue and I’ve had an awesome time sourcing and securing my own vendors for my venue. I’ll end up spending about $16k for 120 guests, but that’s because we went with a more “deluxe” caterer than we’d planned – about $70/pp but the original caterer I wanted to book was $45pp. You can absolutely have a special wedding for $10k! Going ala carte makes it easier, too. For example, by buying our own alcohol we’re spending $8/pp for a ton of GOOD beer, wine, and margaritas.
Also, don’t let anyone else tell you what you need for your wedding – figure out what your priorities are and stick to them.
Post # 7
@Mrs081223: I feel your pain. I was completely shocked by how much things are! Its as if when people hear wedding, they hear cha-ching! Dollar signs light up behind their eyes. We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible and definitely will be trying DIY things especially for decorations. I recommend that you and fiance figure out whats most important to you and go from there in terms of ceremony/reception.
Post # 8
I would really advise going without a package–you can usually find things at much better deals. I also would advise maybe looking in non-city (like country or smaller town) venues near your area to save money–I’m getting married in a small town on a $5,000 budget and it’s totally doable, and I’m sure it will still be very special!! So I’m sure with double my budget you can too!
Here are some ways I’m saving money (and I’m still having 200 guests!):
-Paper (invitations, etc) from Vistaprint: they have great designs and are so reasonably priced, and they’ll send you a sample kit so you can look at the paper products for free. Just go to their website!
-No flowers: I’m DIYing my ribbon flower bouquets and ribbon wand centerpieces. Ribbon is quite cheap! I’m also making vellum paper lanterns for decorations.
-Getting married during the day, or on a Friday night or Sunday will save you dramatically. Getting married during the day also means you can have less alcohol: I’m having a dry church wedding, but you could also have a brunch reception with mimosas and bloody marys instead of a full bar, still have alcohol, and save a ton!
-Do heavy appetizers or a buffet instead of a full plated meal, and look around for caterers: I’m getting mine from a Mexican restauraunt (Qdoba!) for $10/person and we LOOOOOOVE their food.
-Look for dresses on sample sales, vintage stores, even prom stores (they have lovely white dresses at prom stores for a fraction of the price!) Or talk to a reputable dressmaker.
Good luck! Again, remember it’s totally doable, and also remember not to fall into the WIC (Wedding Industrial Complex) trap: you don’t HAVE to buy anything for your wedding! Buy what you’re comfortable with and what you and your fiance like and you’ll have a beautiful day!
Post # 9
@Ill Be Mrs B: Thank you! I appreciate it 🙂
Post # 10
@RapunzelRapunzel: Awesome advise! thank you very much for taking the time to write this 🙂 thanks!!
Post # 11
It really is cheaper to find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors so that you can shop around. For florists check out some grocery stores that have on site florist, you can save a bundle. Costco and SAMs club for DIY flowers as well as beer and wine. Groupon has wedding Group on’s and if you google groupon national deals they have a great discount for vista print. We did 125 invites for around 35 dollars with these. Good luck, it’s doable you just have to be willing to be flexible.
Post # 12
My budget is less than $5000 ($4000-$5000) and it includes our rings and honeymoon. I am planning on 150 guests.
I gave up the all inclusive package venues and went with a hall and am bringing in my own vendors: DJ, caterer, florist, etc. It is turning out to be cheaper for us to do this, plus with the great deals I am getting and a few DIY.
With a smaller budget you have to look that much harder and longer for the hidden gems (venues and vendors). They might not be listed online. They may not even be specifically wedding vendors, but they are cheaper. If you have time and patience, you can have the wedding you want on the budget you can afford. You might have to comrpomise on certain aspects and make a few sacrifices but it can be done.
Post # 13
I second the other posters who suggested finding a venue that doesn’t lock you into specific vendors. We’re having a wedding in NYC (talk about expensive!) for less than $10,000.
My biggest advice would be to find a venue that’s not normally a wedding venue. They can be beautiful and unique and usually charge much less. You’d be surprised what you can get if you look outside of the usual local venues like hotels and resorts. We actually had quite a few options we loved by looking outside of the usuals.
We’re using a local Italian restaurant to cater our wedding. The food is amazing and really reasonably priced. About a third cheaper than the quotes we got through the venue.
Good luck and enjoy it. Don’t get too stressed!
Post # 14
Check out Brides Against Breast Cancer to find a gown. They go all over the country, but they’re based in Florida and have a lot of events scheduled there.
Post # 15
Our wedding is going to be about 13 k for 150 people, i orginally only wanted to spend 10 k but that is just really difficult to do in my area