(Closed) How to have an inexpensive yet lavish wedding!

posted 8 years ago in 30 Something
Post # 3
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Welcome to Weddingbee!

This is a really tough decision and you really just have to come up with a budget and spend wisely!

Traditionally there may not be a big difference in price between a cocktail party and a buffet dinner.  Appetizers are very time consuming for caterers to prepare and thus is often about the same price per person as a buffet dinner. 

Typically your reception (venue, food, drink, rentals, cake, etc) should be about 50% of your budget. 

Also, up at the top, you will see “Local” where you might from brides from your area with specific info about venues etc.  Also check out the “Vendor Reviews” section to look up any vendors you might be interested in!

Post # 4
1962 posts
Buzzing bee

Post on your local board for site specific tips on venues.  As for cost cutting:

-invite fewer people than you would if you had all the money in the world. 

-Serve a limited bar or cash bar.  Buy your own liquor

-Throw a Jack and Jill party to raise money (I may be in the wrong but I think those are popular in your area). 

-Host a reception at a free location aka a city park  (but remember that rentals can add up). 

-Have your reception on an off day

-Have your reception at a restaurant (they have everything like linens and silverware already there)

I could go on.  Give us some more specifics and we can try to help.

Post # 5
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

i would check out a place that lets your bring your own alcohol. My Future Sister-In-Law saved a bunch on this. they went to trader joes and bought some 2 buck chuck.

Talk to all your friends! people know people. i got a great deal on photographer and cake through some friends

spend time on the bee! you will find tons of idea for fun/cheap/pretty DIY projects!

Post # 7
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m having a lunch reception 12 pm – 3 pm.  This option shaved my reception costs by $2500. 

I’m also DIYing my invites and flowers…the invites may end up costing the same amount Frown

Post # 8
5271 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I will recommend that I had a very affordable wedding and people were shocked at how little I spent considering how my wedding looked/ felt.

I found every one of my vendors (caterer, baker, DJ, make up artist, and photographer) on craigslist. My caterers & baker were both in the beginning phases of starting their businesses so needless to say there were VERY affordable. It is a small leap of faith, but everything was clearly spelled out in our contracts and the tastings went very well; and I was very pleased with their service at the wedding.

I also cut huge costs by DIYing my own invites, programs, escort cards, table numbers, centerpeices, bouquets & boots.

My dad also built a few cocktail tables and my cupcake stand.

Post # 11
6351 posts
Bee Keeper

Try hotels. They often have beautiful ballrooms and if you are outside a major city they are often not super expensive. Several also include dj, food, flowers, etc.

Good luck, congrats, and Welcome!

Post # 12
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Off day (Mon-Fri), off season (usually November to March/April), “off” time (morning ceremony, lunch reception?)

Decide what is the most important to you – is it the food? The photographer? The dress? And then decide where you are willing to go (slightly) over budget in order to get those things (because, as much as you don’t want to, some parts of it will).

Cash bar, or look for a venue that lets you bring your own alcohol.

Look for a venue that includes things like glassware, linens, tables, chairs, cultery, plates, etc in its rental fee.

Really look at your quoted estimate. Are you paying for site fees? A bartender for 4 hours? Is it worth it? Oh, and ONLY LOOK AT VENUES YOU CAN AFFORD. If you fall in love with a place and its too much you are going to be sad and angry and disappointed. Best to avoid the situation all together! It’s the same with dresses. Just set a limit and stop looking at dresses (yes, even online!) once the price hits that limit.

Keep the guest list trimmed; nothing will send your costs skyrocketing quite like inviting 200 guests.

I found my photographer on kijiji and my baker & florist on Facebook. VERY reasonably priced.

That being said, you can save tons of money by DIYing: All paper products (thank yous, invites, Save-The-Date Cards, programs, menus), your bouquets, centerpieces (anything with candles seems to be the least expensive), hair & makeup; I’m sure there’s tons more ideas that I haven’t even thought of.

Search for dresses on sites like oncewed, preownedweddingdresses, perfectbridal or, of course, David’s bridal.

Have a Buck & Doe if you want to or you have a lot of friends you want to party with but can’t necessarily invite to the wedding (if its even done in your area?).

Ipod DJ, CD played over sound system for ceremony.

Consider moissanite or gemstones instead of a diamond band.

Delay taking your honeymoon, or vacation somewhere local.

Ask your family/friends to lend their services for the day. Got an aunt that loves to bake? Maybe she could do your cake. Etc.

I’m sure there are TONS more suggestions out there. I will say this, though: planning a wedding a strict, small budget takes a LOT of research and work. You have to keep going until you find someone that can fit your budget, and sometimes it takes awhile! But trust me, when you do find that vendor that can work with you, it’s such an awesome feeling. Good luck! 🙂

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