(Closed) I need so much advice! I didn't think wedding planning would be so hard.

posted 7 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
6 posts
  • Wedding: November 2015

My venue is about $7,000 for ceremony, dinner and reception. I just chose the food from their packages.  They have decor but I am adding my own table decorations.  I still have to pay for dj/band, cake, photographer. I’m doing my own silk flowers as well. 

Bridesmaid dresses average at $150. Most bridesmaids are expected to purchase their dress. That’s why you give them gifts for being in your wedding party at the rehearsal dinner.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by G1veMeCoffee.
Post # 3
5183 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

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Clairetoris:  You and your Fiance need to set a budget first. You can work from there to narrow down your options. Discuss which aspects are really important to both of you and which aren’t. Wedding planning shouldn’t be making you sick. It’s only as stressful as you make it. 

Post # 5
799 posts
Busy bee

1. That’s up to you. I paid for their dresses, but we could afford it. I would say $150 is reasonable. I would consult my bridesmaids privately and ask them their budget as well and if $150 was to much for them. 

2. Can’t answer. 

3. Most, I think, would travel if compensation was given. Mine drove 1.5 hours.

4. We hired a DOC for the ceremony decor. Reception – our florist and even coordinator took care of it.



Post # 8
2119 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

1. I think if you can afford it, it’s a nice gesture, but it’s not expected that the bride pay for the bridesmaid dresses. I think $100-$150 is reasonable for short dresses. Longer ones are $150-$200 on average, plus alterations will be about 1/3 of the dress cost. 

2. I’m not having my reception at a winery, but at a golf resort for the ceremony and reception. Our total will be about $8,000 for room rental, food, and open bar.

3. I think it’s better to hire someone local that knows the venue – they know where to get good shots, how the lighting is, etc. I lookd at some that charged a fee for travel outside of a mile radius.

4. We were planning on hiring a DOC (which really is a month-of coordinator), but then decided to go with a full on wedding planner as they were only $1,000 more for a full year’s worth of services and help with researching vendors and keeping organized. And also because my fiance saw how stressed and overwhelmed I was getting just researching photographers! haha

Post # 9
2266 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

1. Are you in the US? If so, bridesmaids customarily pay for their own dresses. To get a budget for this, speak to each Bridesmaid or Best Man individually and privately so that you can determine a budget based on what your BMs can afford.

2. No idea, sorry.

3. You should hire a photographer that you like. If you can’t find one in the immediate area, most photographers are willing to travel for fee. Often, this information is posted under the FAQ section of photography websites so if you find someone you like, be sure to look around on their website.

4. For our decorating, we’ve hired people. 


Post # 10
3268 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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Bridesmaids normally pay for their own gowns and $150 is about average. If you are concerned about cost, you can order online or offer to pay for a portion of your bridesmaids’ dresses.

What your reception will cost depends largely on the location, venue and number of guests. 

Some photographers will travel with compensation and some will not. It is easiest to have a local photographer if budget is an issue. 

Hiring a decorator will add to your costs. My vow renewal reception venue will be setting up our decor for us. However, we are having a small event of less than 40 guests. Our decor includes long centrepieces and runners on only five tables. 

Figure out what your budget is. Allocate your funds to items that mean the most to you and your fiance. Wedding guests will likely remember the food and drink at your wedding the most. 


Post # 11
47423 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

First of all, don’t listen to anyone who says ” This is what is normally done.”  The key word missing in that statement is “here”.

First of all, find out what the norm is where you live. You can ask friends who have recently married, or do research online.

If the BMs normally pay for their own dresses, speak to your bridal party individually and find out what they consider to be a reasonable amount. Perhaps they would rather you contribute towards the dresses, and just express your gratitude for their support in a card, rather than buy them something they will never use for a thank-you gift.

As far as decorating is concerned, it depends on the venue and your vision. Many venues need no enhancement other than centerpieces.

Some venues give you access the evening before, if it is not booked for another event.

If you have to decorate the day of, have a clear plan, everything boxed up logically and clear instructions (including pictures) for those who will be doing it for you.

Post # 12
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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1. Bridesmaids can pay for their own dresses. Once they accept being your bridesmaid they know they’re making a financial commitment. $150 is pretty average for dresses.

3. If possible hire a local photographer with good reviews. It’ll make it easier to contact them and meet up with them. My photographer charges mileage if the wedding is over 70 miles from their studio.

4. If you can, I think DYI is best. Pinterest is great for that and there are a lot of wholesale websites to order things from. I’m doing DIY and Pinterest, wholesale websites and Etsy are my best friends!

Post # 13
35 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

I don’t have any words of advice, I feel the same way. 🙁

Post # 14
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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1. Do my bridesmaids pay for their dresses? And if so what price range should I keep it in? My friends aren’t cheap-o’s or anything. The dresses I have looked at are around $150… Is that too expensive?    It is up to you, personally my bms are paying for their dresses and they ended up being about $83 without alterations.

2. For those of you who had weddings plus the reception at a winery, around how much did it cost for everything? (I understand venue prices greatly vary, but I just want a consensus). Including the food, drinks, reservation, etc… All of it! (I am sorry if that is too nosey of a question, but I really want an idea of how much everything will cost. I have inquired at a couple venues and havent heard back yet.)  Can’ t help there

3. Should I hire a photographer in the immediate area? Will most photographers travel a little ways (2-3 hours-ish) with compensation?   Up to you- most will travel but it can get expensive! 

4. How did most of you go about deocrating? Did you hire someone?  We are doing it ourselves mostly. We hired someone to do our back drop and the dj is doing the uplights. 

Post # 15
1470 posts
Bumble bee

Check for bridesmaid dresses online.. Nordstrom, Macys, JCrew, whatever.  It doesn’t have to say “bridesmaid” in the title to look lovely on a group of ladies!

Best advice for bridesmaid dresses:  pick them yourself, tell the women to get it as soon as possible. Don’t take their myriad of opinions, it’s YOUR wedding!!  (If you need input, ask one or two trusted girlfriends.)  My sister actually changed her WEDDING colors because her good friend refused to wear pastel!  Ridiculous, she shouldn’t have even asked.

Also – don’t be afraid to ask them to buy shoes, too.  It’s one of my personal pet peeves.. I hate seeing so many different styles, especially when some clash!  I’m sure the bride felt she coudl’nt say anything, but I sure as hell wanted to.

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