How To Afford Wedding When Paying Student Loans, Other Bills?!

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 16
Member
985 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I actually think the best way to have a dream wedding on a decent budget is to dedicate a lot of time to researching vendors and shopping around. There are always more options than you may think and with persistence you can find some really great deals on practically anything. 

My wedding is $10.5k for 100 people. I don’t feel like I have sacrificed anything in my vision. I “splurged” on the venue (a historic mansion/ castle to fit my southern fairytale vision). Found a really affordable caterer who is doing a buffet style full meal (using china and proper silverware and linens). I have a DOC, 2 photogs and video (6 hr coverage), a pro DJ, and a sizeable wedding party (7 BM’s, 7 GM’s). I used friends when possible (DJ is FH’s frat brother for example). Or I just priced checked until I found somebody who could do what I wanted in my budget while still providing quality. I got a custom made dress (saved a lot of money), DIY’d all paper and my flowers which I bought wholesale. So I still get real flowers everywhere but for a fraction of the cost. 

I will say that it is time consuming to do so much research but now that I am 3 weeks out and everything is coming together I feel it was worth it. 

Other than shopping around, I saved money ($1000) by getting married on a Sunday afternoon. Actually my preference since I am not a big partier and I would rather have dinner alone with my new husband (while still wearing my wedding dress lol) at our honeymoon spot. 

We saved for our wedding in 12 months by splitting up how much we needed to save from each paycheck and we have a joint wedding savings account and I have an Excel spreadsheet to track all spending to make sure we remain on target. 

Post # 16
Member
11 posts
Newbee

My advice is dont rush the wedding.  

Nothing worse than doing somethign you arent capable of doing and sounds like you arent capable of doing the wedding you want yet 

Wait until you become more financially stable…

 

Post # 17
Member
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Off season will help for sure. Definitely have a short guest list. We went from 150 to 75 because we realized we were spending so much money per person. Also do DIY flowers and cut costs with minimal decor. I know it’s hard saving for the wedding but every bit helps where it can!

Post # 18
Member
11 posts
Newbee

Why cut corners though when you should have the wedding you want to have–i really wouldnt rush 

Post # 19
Member
3451 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Set a max wedding budget and then save at least twice as much. You may go over budget in the end and the last thing you need is to start a marriage with even more debt and a $0 savings account. Personally, if a wedding was going to cause serious financial strain I would have eloped. Marriage trumps wedding. But if thats not an acceptable option research, compare, research, compare and then repeat. As an example we live in a fairly expensive area and had an all-inclusive golf course booked last year which would have cost $5670 for 50 guests, on a Tuesday. Thats the only reason for the low cost otherwise Fri/Sun minimum was $10k, Sat was $12k. Food was mediocre and they did the usual nickel and diming for stuff like chargers, cake cutting fee etc., Changed our minds and switched to a Sunday afternoon local park wedding. Be careful with this and keep in mind that its possible necessary catering and equipment rentals (like a tent or umbrellas for shade) might end up costing as much as a standard venue. $5230 total at the park. Friend told us about a different golf course a couple weeks ago. I figured it was pointless to even check bc if by some miracle our date was still available the minimum was likely sky high. Wrong! $5456 for 50 guests (including $1500 site fee), no minimum, absolutely everything we could need included so no nickel and diming, plus it has the most gorgeous views. There’s usually a better option out there somewhere if you’re patient enough and willing to put in some effort. My advice for cutting wedding costs. Trim the guest list, nix real flowers, nix professional make up if you’re comfortable doing it yourself, nix favors, nix transportation, nix save the dates. Basically focus on stuff that actually matters like food, drinks and guest comfort not the extra fluff.

Post # 20
Member
3823 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

missm0392 :  I initally was planning an immediate family only wedding and reception with a $5000 budget. I was in grad school at the time working in exchange for a tuition waiver, so I wasn’t bringing home any real money. Hubby was supporting us both and had just bought our house, so money was a little tight during that time. My aunt was able to get me a venue for free and my other aunt wanted to pay for my dress, so we were going to use the budget to DIY the decor, and pay for catering, photography, etc.. My husband owns an entertainment company so sound/music would have been covered. It just got to be too stressful though, especially when a surprise home repair made our budget disappear, so I told him we should just elope on an island somewhere. He proposed while we were in Jamaica and it was so romantic, I was glad to do the same for our wedding day.

Ultimately, the stars aligned an we had our wedding 100% paid for by getting married on Good Morning America. We got to have a cool destination wedding to NYC and most of our immediate family drove and flew out to be there, so we got to share such an amazing experience with our loved ones. All that to say, be on the look out for contests at bridal expos or by local vendors (a local jewelry store did a wedding giveaway last year), or ABC, because you never know! 

Post # 21
Member
11 posts
Newbee

Everyone needs to keep in mind she lives in NY (one of the most expensive places possible to have a wedding) 

You could always get legally married now and do the wedding a year form now when you are in a better place financially 

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