(Closed) I'm ENGAGED! Now what… Budget question!

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
  • poll: What was your budget range?

    $5,000- $8,000


    $10,500- $15,000






    Above $40,000

  • Post # 16
    1168 posts
    Bumble bee

    I think how I’m going to be able to keep things low is the amount of venues that we’re visiting.  It puts us in a really good position for ngotiation.  Once we had a great deal, we took it to other venues and said this is the offer we have on the table, what can you do to beat it? Then we wait and listen.

    Post # 17
    909 posts
    Busy bee

    I actually wrote a guide for a 5k (small budget) wedding the other week, if you’d like some money-saving tips! http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/how-i-planned-a-traditional-wedding-on-a-5k-budget/#post-10846931

    12-15k could make a beautiful wedding! A lot of it depends on where you’re getting married and what you have in mind…for example, I think an outdoor wedding could be possibly cheaper than an indoor one. The economy/popularity of your town will also make a difference in prices, of course (GA doesn’t sound bad at all). But regardless of all that, the venue and catering/food will likely be your biggest expenses, so budget high for those!

    I had an off-season indoor wedding with 150 guests in an average/growing area for 5k. (This didn’t include rehearsal dinner, rings, or clothing…at the end of the day it was probably 6-7k for everything)

    Venue: $1.5k (included both chapel and reception hall, chairs, tables, MC hookups, bridal suite, for 6 hour use)
    Catering: $1.5k (buffet style soups and sandwiches)
    Cake: Free (My mother baked a small display cake, and also a sheet cake for everyone else) 
    DJ: Free (My brother overlooked the music playlist and announcements for us) 
    Photographer: $575 (4 hour coverage, 100+ gauranteed photos)
    Ceremony pianist: $200
    Invitations: $128 (for 75 households)
    Florist: $415 (My bouquet, bridesmaid’s bouquet, and 2 large urns for the chapel…we gave her some greens from our own garden to fill things out without extra cost) 
    Dishes/silverware: $239 (good quality plasticware)
    Linens/center pieces: $231 (Floor-length white table cloths, 3-tiered tea light candle holders on a round mirror sprinkled with rose petals for 15-20 tables) 
    Rehearsal dinner: $800 (if I remember correctly…we budgeted 1k for it since we invited lots of people. We had it at a habachi steakhouse. It would have been even cheaper if so many people didn’t order scallops, haha) 

    Dress: $550 (including slip and bolero) 
    Veil: $15? (I bought some tulle and made it myself) 
    Shoes: $25 (No one was going to see them, so I just needed to find something the right color and height)
    Hair and makeup: Free (Mother styled my hair, I did my own makeup)
    Wedding bands: $800? (I don’t remember the exact prices, but we got both plain gold and platinum bands from a pawn shop for under 1k) 

    If I could have splurged on anything, I would have splurged on the photographer. While I loved our photorapher’s work, I’ve seen absolutely breath-taking photos from other Bee’s weddings who likely spent 5k+…sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and it’s worth it! Otherwise, my wedding was perfect 🙂 

    Good luck! 

    Post # 18
    887 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I got married in Georgia, too! (Near Atlanta).

    Our budget was about $5K (for ~75 people), and we stuck with it very closely. (The honeymoon was not counted in this total, and neither was the rehearsal dinner, which DH’s father hosted and I have no idea how much it cost.)

    Our tips:

    We chose catering from a local restaurant that is NOT in the “wedding business”, so they didn’t give us a huge markup for catering a wedding. It was just under $1000 for tons of delicious Italian food for 75 guests, including delivery and 2 servers to man the buffet stations and cut the cake.

    We had a lunch reception, so prices were lower and less alcohol was needed. The only alcohol we served were 2 types of sangria (a peach white sangria and a strawberry red sangria), plus iced tea and lemonade – all of which we made ourselves, for <$100.

    The venue was a gorgeous state park, that had a lovely big recreaction-hall type cabin, with full kitchen, fireplace, tables, and chairs, that we were able to rent for $250 per day. We rented it for 2 days, so that we could set up on Friday and have the wedding on Saturday.

    We borrowed a ton of things from family (beatiful cake stands, drink dispensers, picture frames, even some faux flower arrangements for our guest book table and cake table)

    My dress was more pricey than I would have liked, but I bought my crinoline used on ebay for 1/2 the cost of a new one, and  Mother-In-Law made my veil.

    I found our photographer on Thumbtack. I was AMAZED at what a wonderful job she did, for only $350! I think she was trying to get started in the wedding industry and had our date free, so she gave us a fabulous deal – much lower than her normal price, and far lower than the going rate in our area.

    Post # 19
    555 posts
    Busy bee

    We’re estimating everything (including honeymoon) to be less than 5. 

    Post # 20
    1359 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    Reception is what costs the most – beware of $15-$20,000 food and beverage minimums and 20-24% service charges!

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