(Closed) Is my budget TOTALLY unrealistic?

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

It think your food budget might be on the low side depending on how many people you are having. You need to budget in drinks and alcohol too. Flowers were also missing, DIY is time consuming, but definately much cheaper if you are up for it (a lot of us on the bee have done this so there is a ton of information).

I think you can absolutely do a $5000 dollar wedding and have it look beautiful, it will mean more work for you though.

ETA: We had a $9,000 wedding with 150 people,and could have easily cut it down a couple thousand (cut back on alcohol, not photobooth, cheaper venue). Some things we did do to cut back -We found great deals on photography ($800 and she is amazing), $400 for 6 hours of DJ found on craigslist was the best DJ I have seen at a wedding, had family tape it with our camcorder.

Post # 4
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Its going to depend on your area and tastes, so its hard to judge. You can have a beautiful wedding on any budget, but expectations have to be in line. 

It sounds like you want all the elements of a traditional wedding/reception. 

Doing a quick look at what you have posted and what I have found personally in my area, your budget sounds low for what you want. 

For example: For catering, you have a $500 budget for 75 people or $6.67 per person. In my area, this is way way to low if you are going with a traditional wedding caterer. You might be able to get this if you go with a restaurant/bbq place but I’m not sure. 

We were quoted anywhere from $20-$60 per person for catering not including alcohol.

For other vendors you can get good deals going with students or new to the wedding scene vendors. I think $1500 for photo, video, and DJ is low. Again, depends on the quality you want. In my area, the absolute lowest photographer I found was brand new, just out of school and was doing five hours and digital files only for $900. 

With all that said, you CAN do a wedding on 5,000 but again, adjust your expectations. You could rent a local park and do an afternoon reception with apps and dessert, no alcohol, simple decorations, etc. 

My advice would be to look at actual costs of vendors in your area and go through your budget peice by piece. Don’t forget to budget tax and tip and see if you expectations/wants match up with the budget. 

Good luck!

Post # 6
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I have the same budget and I am doing a rustic wedding. A friend let us use their land for the wedding(It’s gorgeous), we are self catering(BBQ), and we are having a lot of the guests bring desserts and just using a cheesecake for our cake. I had to buy two dresses since I hated my first one Ik bought online so with the veils, accessories, and dresses it cost me $1000. Just keep in mind the price of alterations, I purchased my second dress from DB for $500, but it cost me $120 just to get it hemmed. If you plan on spending $1700 for the barn and $1500 for the photography, videography, and DJ, you probably won’t make your budget unless you want really sparse decorations(like $100 worth). Try to find a barn that gives you chairs, tables, and maybe even linens; also try to find your photography and videography at a local college, and it would probably be cheaper to DJ by using an Ipod and an amplifier. You can do a wedding for $5,000, but with all you want right now it may be unrealistic.

Post # 7
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I really think you’ll have to cut back in a few areas to meet your budget. For example:

– invite 20 fewer people

– have it just be cake (or even cupcakes!) and maybe 1-2 appetizer finger foods

– no alcohol, and a new photographer

– use fake flowers from Michaels and other craft stores, or vendors online

– scour Craigslist for inexpensive wedding items (decorations) being resold by someone whose wedding is over

– check local pawn shops for rings (my mom finally got a “real” ring about 30 years into their marriage by scoring a 1920s beauty at a pawn shop that my dad had credit at after selling some tools)

– invest time in local second hand stores to find a beautiful wedding dress on the cheap

– find a Groupon getaway that you both like for your honeymoon – something a few hours away that you can drive to

Post # 8
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Kate0558:  I think it can be done….I am doing an 8k wedding with 200 guests….and I feel like I am  not losing anything……I am having a 7 pm wedding to avoid a dinner but we are having a 10:00 snack bar instead.

Post # 9
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Do the flowers yourself!! Sam’s Club, fiftyflowers.com, there are LOTS of bees who did thier wedding flowers on their own!!

Post # 10
5166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

its not unrealistic but you have to work hard to keep stay within budget. we started out with a 5K budget but decided to splurge on certain things and ended up spending 8K

Post # 11
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

$500 for 75 people is crazy small. What can you feed people for $6.66 a person? A quality photograpger alone is $1,500+. Not sure how you plan to get that, a videographer and a DJ. I know weddings can be done for that amount, but the way you are assigning prices to things seems way off unless you have some type of hook up to a caterer and a photographer/videographer and DJ. 

Post # 12
6377 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

$5k is possible but not if you’re spending $1700 just on a venue. Even if they included the things you’d normally have to rent (chairs, tables, linens, table settings, etc…), it still seems pretty steep for your budget. Would changing your vision be possible? Maybe doing something in the backyard of a family members home or a local park? If you can nix the venue fee and find something all inclusive, you’d get more bang for your buck.

Try Craigslist for your other vendors. We scored our amazing photographer through there (for full disclosure, he is NOT a CL photog but I was put into contact with him through the site – long story) for only $900. They also have a number of DJ’s advertising on there so you could definitely find someone cheap. Cheezy maybe, but still cheap. 

If you have  DB in your area, hit it up during their $99 sale. My friend bought her dress during it and it was beautiful. If you dont have one local, check out their website and see if any of the dresses that they sell online (at a deep discount) would work. 

I’d suggest serving heavy apps instead of a full dinner. It will be much less expensive that way. If you’re not opposed to having your wedding earlier in the day (say mid afternoon) you could get away with even less food since it’s technically not really a meal time. 

Alcohol won’t be an option unless you’re able to bring in your own. Even then, unless you’re serving Keystone and bathtub wine, it probably won’t go very far with your budget. It would be better to nix it all together and just offer non-alcoholic beverages. 

Use Vistaprint for your invites and other stationary. If you catch it at the right time, you could get everything for free and just pay shipping. There are quite a few girls on here who did that. 

If you’re already living on your own I would just skip the hotel room that night and go back to your house. No sense in spending $200+ just to sleep somewhere.

Nix the limo. It’s unnecessary even for people with larger budgets.

Videography won’t be an option. We had a $15k wedding and even we couldn’t afford it. Have some family members with camcorders record your ceremony and special reception moments. Collect all of the video and try to edit it yourself. If you happen to have a Mac, it will be a piece of cake in iMovie. 

Thats all I got for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll update. 

Post # 14
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’d cut the videographer and spend more money on catering.

I’ve seen weddings done for 5K before.  The bride needed a lot of help from family and friends to pull it off though.

Post # 15
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I tho your food is low. I’m having BBQ whichtypos cheaper option (its what we wanted luckily) and we ate spending $900 for 65 people. 

Post # 16
6377 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Kate0558:  “Hard to tell when everytime i call it goes straight to voicemail and then “mailbox is full. goodbye””

Are you sure they’re still in business? It seems strange that a wedding venue wouldn’t have a way for potential clients to sucessfully contact them. 

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