(Closed) If you couldn't afford a wedding…

posted 7 years ago in Money
  • poll: What would you do if you didn't have the money for a wedding?
    Courthouse! : (262 votes)
    72 %
    Wait until I've saved enough, even if it takes years : (74 votes)
    20 %
    Pay what I can and put the rest on credit : (27 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 47
    1030 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Courthouse now and big celebration down the road to renew your vows!

    Post # 48
    4524 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    I would do something small, like immediate family and close friends on the beach, then dinner at a restaurant. Surely you can save a little bit if you make sacrifices. Like, do you spend a lot on eating out or expensive coffees? Those things are easy to cut

    Post # 49
    8470 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    In your situation, I’d just wait until you can afford it.

    Post # 50
    3451 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’ve been thinking about this periodically throughout my planning process: In undergrad, I went as a date to a wedding that I’m sure, all tolled, cost about $400. The ceremony was indoors at the Philadelphia Rotunda (a community center with nice architecture) and the reception was outside on the grounds of the same building. The bride wore a tea length dress, the groom wore a cuban wedding shirt and some slacks. There were about 2 6-foot tables with white tablecloths full of every type of snack known to man (mini slim jims, crackers, cheese, chips & salsa, pickles) and I want to say there may have been punch and bottled water? At any rate, they had like oh 200 guests, it was high noon on a Saturday. There were no invitations, no RSVPs, no one complaining about the steak being too dry.I just remember feeling like “y’know, this is what a wedding is ALL about).  I don’t recall there being a DJ (or music at all) but everyone was sitting around and chatting and snacking and just smiling and having a good time. If I was having a budget issue and didn’t want to wait to get married, I’d do exactly what that couple did.

    Post # 51
    519 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I got a fulltime job just to pay for our wedding. My husband and I run a business so while he was managing the biz I was working full time and wedding planning. My parents paid for the caterer (3k) but everything else was out of our pocket. I only made about $17k last year and I estimate our wedding cost us around 9k. We had about a year between the proposal and the wedding, if we had two years we really could have had a dream wedding at a real venue, but at the end of the day all that mattered was I wanted to be married and I wanted my grandmother to be well enough to officiate. I didn’t want to risk waiting too long.


    Best of luck!

    Post # 52
    81 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    What a great question!  It all comes down to if you are trying to please others or yourself for the wedding. Many do a huge party because its tradition to invite all their extended family and friends..etc and find a need to show them all a good time. This of course does not come cheap! Others dont really care and do whatever they can afford with imidiate family and maybe a few close friends to share their special occasion. You can surely find a few key features at budget prices. Its always easier said than done as we all get caught up in the “show” and “you only get married once” pressure. These days there are alternatives for everything (flowers, video, reception, catering…and even the Ring!! 🙂  We went for a Quorri diamond simulant that saved us thousands. Look hard enough and anything is possible. You have to go with your budget and what will make you both happy in the end.  

    Post # 53
    2494 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    One of my best friend’s is engaged and both she and her fiance are looking at grad schools and trying to save money and are working retail due to having trouble finding jobs in their fields. They are hoping to get married in Vegas, just the two of them, and then come back home for an inexpensive small backyard party for close family and friends. Vegas isn’t for everyone, but for them it’s perfect 🙂 Similar to a courthouse wedding but you can have themes haha

    Post # 54
    6117 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @AxolotlFan:  It depends on what you feel would make you happy or sadden you the most.  The idea of a wedding might seem nice, to many once they get into the planning and spending wished they’d rather go to the courthouse! 

    I eloped twice now.  The second time I thought we should have the wedding, but in realty and elopement was much better for us.

    My vote would be do it Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big style…get glam, go to the courthouse and then meet up immediately after with friends/families at a nice restaurant to celebrate for a reception.  As long as you are surrounded by the people you love to celebrate it with then it will be beautiful. (You can still decorate the restaurant space, hire a photographer to capture the moments and make it special!)

    I think this is a lovely combintation of the two.

    Post # 55
    907 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2011

    @AxolotlFan:  You’ve had a lot of great suggestions on ideas for a small budget!   It really depends on what kind of wedding you want, but if you’re going to have to save for years to have that wedding or be paying it off for years, I’d vote for the courthouse wedding or another small inexpensive affair.  I voted courthouse wedding because I liked it best of your options.  For what it’s worth, some of my favorite wedding photos ever have been courthouse weddings.  Here are a couple of posts by WB bloggers who wrote about courthouse and/or other small less expensive weddings:

    http://www.weddingbee.com/2010/04/23/our-city-hall-ceremony-pro-pics/#axzz2VwTZx0Jw   (I LOVE her photos!)


    I could’ve sworn there was another WB blogger who had a courthouse wedding a few years ago and it was so beautiful.  I can’t find it, but if I come across it, I’ll send it to you.  I just think there can be something so classic and romantic about courthouse weddings.  


    Post # 56
    9095 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Courthouse, then wedding later if I still wanted one.

    Post # 58
    340 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @AxolotlFan:  courthouse and a vow renewal a year later when you have money saved up. 

    Post # 59
    744 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    A courthouse wedding would be my very last option. I would first see if there was a friend or family member who had a beautiful backyard and try to host it there. My BFF had such a gorgeous wedding for around $1k in my grandmothers backyard and she hosted 120 guests.


    She wore a cheap but beautiful dress that I purchased for her as a wedding gift ($149)





    She used the wild flowers from my grandmothers garden for her bouquet, bridesmaids bouquet, bouts and centerpieces:





    A very cheap (but cute) guestbook



    Ipod instead of a DJ (with the best playlist EVER. We danced the freaking night away)


    She used lots of my grandmothers christmas lights wrapped around trees for ambiance lighting.


    A 100 pack of tealight candles from Dollar Tree


    For Dinner she hosted a taco bar (super cheap) and served mojitos 


    It was a blast!!!!




    Post # 60
    2113 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Other? I’d have a very low budget wedding.

    Post # 61
    444 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I am also in the camp that would have a small very low cost wedding. The reception could be at a nice restaurant where everyone pays for themselves. Or like others have said, a fun potluck celebration at a family home or friends house. Ask your parents or grandparents what they did for their wedding. Ah simpler times.

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