(Closed) How Do They Do It?

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 47
3598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

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@Ms_Smitten: There was no negotiation. Only research.

  1. bridal attire101/400
  2. Ceremony decoration65/100
  3. Reception Decoration (including linens)- 725/900
  4. Food and serving equipment- 236/1000
  5. Groom’s attire- 20/300
  6. Officiant donation-  /150
  7. Photography- 750/700
  8. Attendant gifts- 234/300
  9. Invitations- 20/200
  10. Cake- /200
  11. guest book- /40
  12. license and marriage counselling- /100

 Areas in which spending has not yet occured are indicated by “–” proceeding the estimated cost.

Post # 48
7679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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I found 5 matching brand new Bridesmaid or Best Man gowns on Craigslist for a total of $200.00 for my daughter’s wedding.  We got 2 matching Flower Girl dresses @ Macy’s on sale after Easter.

Post # 49
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

People have given lots of great ideas so far and here is another one for you regarding the license.

Drive to a small town!!!!

London’s license was $150 whereas a small town outside of london was (belmont) $80. Another bee helped me out with that tid-bit. So check a few small town websites surrounding you to see where the cheapest place is to get your license. P.S. You don’t have to get married in the place where you got the license.

Post # 50
3598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

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@FMM: That’s a huge difference! I know in the state of Tennessee, you get a discount if you go through premarital counseling.

Post # 52
1681 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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Just to clarify: that’s not my breakdown. I was just illustrating how the OP could shave some money off her original budget. 🙂

Post # 53
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think you should spend what you budgeted.

You have good reasons for all why you’re buying all of the stuff (a special spa day with your children, a “real” wedding dress, etc.)—you won’t regret spending it if you can afford it, but you will regret cutting corners just to save a little money, I think.

I just told my husband that you were spending $5,000 on 8 people and he shrugged and said, “There are some fixed costs it’s probably hard to go below” and it’s true. Do it nice and it will be a nice memory forever.

Post # 54
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Ok so your ceremony is 8 people, where are you having it? Are you having a reception afterwards. How many people for the reception. Just curious because i saw you said $500 for the food at a restaurant and if that is for 8 people..WOW! I am also having a 5k and under wedding only about 12 people at the ceremony but prob around 100 for the reception.

Post # 55
1681 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I figured 8 people PLUS her family, which is her, Fiance, & 2 daughters. Making it 12, and if you spend 50$ per person (not hard to do) = 600$

if it’s 8, 55 pp puts it at 440$. Not very far off from 500$

ETA: and that doesn’t include food tax (13% here), alcohol tax on TOP of the 13%, and then if its a large enough party (which, at 8, usually is), 15-20% gratituty is automatically added by a lot of places.

Post # 56
3 posts
  • Wedding: March 2011

I found my dress on sale on top of an 80% off discount at the Nordstroms rack making my dress $65. I got very lucky but I just couldn;t justify spending a ton of money on a dress I would wear once. 


Post # 57
390 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Okay, I am not having a small wedding so I am not the best example, but I am doing about $8000 for 150 people..

Now the real kicker is that the photographer is taking up almost half of that total budget. 

So I am doing everything else for $4000

I live in Ontario too. 

I am doing a backyard wedding (my parents house) so it frees up alot of expenses.. I am DIYing my own flowers, buying direct from greenhouse. Dress is gift from dad, but will be under 1000, no veil, cheap shoes/barefoot, no garter, no DJ, no limo, no real cake, no booze (except wine), cheap invites off of vistaprint, no coordinator.. not paying hotels for Out of Town..

Everything is super simply, lots of DIY, nothing traditional, my only vendor is photog..and lots of decorations which are not expensive. 

Basically I am going for this…..


with more decorations, and a better photographer.. (and a wedding dress)

Post # 58
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Given your breakdown, I think you are doing fine with the budget. You can MOST DEFINITELY cut costs by half if you went for something a little less on the ‘pricey’ side. You are paying FULL and MAXIMUM for practically everything on the list. For e.g….

You don’t have to pay that much for food for 8 persons. Even if you go to a very nice restaurant, and factor in a full course meal + 1 or 2 drinks + gratuity, you should come up with around $40pp. Which is $320.

David’s Bridal dress is cheap but you can CERTAINLY go even lower and get really good dresses. Try kijiji, or even that ‘my white dress’ store in Toronto. ALL dresses are $300! And they are GORGEOUS. And all their alterations are $200 flat rate. (Or is it $250?) Anyway, it still adds up to less than $700!

Make-up and photographer seem about right. I’d think you would want to splurge here anyway.

How old are your daughters if you don’t mind me asking? It is likely they will either grow out of those dresses or never wear them again. Try to find something from consignment shops or something cheaper.

The bouquet was $100 is also outrageous. DIY it if you can with fake flowers.

And the marriage license does not cost that much in Ontario. If it does in your town, then find the nearest cheap town and get it there. You don’t have to be from that city. Ontario has one license for all, though price is different for everyone.

Post # 59
1289 posts
Bumble bee

@Ms_Smitten: I’m not Canadian but we’re having about 60 guests for under 5k. I don’t have bridesmaids or tuxes to rent, no professional photgrapher, and my hair is going to cost less than 50$. I’m doing my makeup myself. Also, my dress was several hundred dollars less. Also, buying wholesale flowers is going to cost me about as much as you are spending on your bouquet.

So here goes:

Venue: 800$

Dress and bride accessories: 700$

Flowers: 120$ for about 200 flowers.

Decor & DIY Photobooth: 500$

Favors: 180$

Linens: 250$

Caterer (includes drinks and cupcakes): 1500$

Officiant & License: 475$

Photographer & DJ: Free (amazing photographer friends and an Ipod)

Wedding bands: 500$ maybe more… haven’t decided yet.

Groom: Nada. He loves his brown suit, so he gets to wear it.

Invitations & STDs: About 200$


Technically, we are not paying for the caterer. We were prepared to but my dad wanted so much food that my parents just agreed to pay for it. My sister and her husband threw in a couple hundred dollars for my dress also.

Post # 60
1963 posts
Buzzing bee

With all of this, I would probably consider getting married in the US.  LOL.  Sorry I couldn’t resist.  Those alcohol taxes made me die a lil inside.

On photo savings, can you hire a photojournalism student?

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