Post # 1
I am going crazy!
My fiance and I are getting married on March 29th 2014.
We are paying for the WHOLE wedding by ourselves. We are saving like crazy, and by the wedding day we will have saved about $8500. My plan this whole time was to have a nice ceremony and a huge fun reception. We have about 150 people, and lots and lots of distant family coming in town.
Lately, i’ve been having serious second thoughts about all of this. So many married women tell me that they regret spending so much money on their weddings, and wished they would have just ran away and eloped. My fiance and I cannot wait to buy a house. It is our dream. If we spend our savings on the wedding, we will have to save for another year or two to put a nice down payment on a house. I CANT STAND THE THOUGHT OF RENTING FOR ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO!
My fiance and I have been seriously considering forgetting about the reception, have a really nice ceremony and then leave for our honeymoon.
THIS WOULD SAVE US SO MUCH MONEY! The ceremony is the important part, and most of the money is going towards the stupid reception. Here are my questions:
1) Would it be wrong do just do the ceremony? We have a lot of family coming in town and I feel bad having them spend money on tickets just to watch a 30 minute ceremony.
2) What if we did the ceremony, and then just went out somewhere to celebrate? Is this too stingy and cheap?
3) If we do decide to do JUST the ceremony, how can I word it in the invitation?
3) What is everyone’s opinion on this?
Post # 3
Save your money! How about a dessert & champagne afternoon reception? Or a morning wedding with lunch? People will want to celebrate & you will want some way to talk to everyone. Something small without an open bar and $100 dinner plate is just fine!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t want to come into town for just a ceremony & no party. I always think that when people regret spending so much on their weddings, they are talking about spending thousands and thousands of dollars (like over 30K). I think you should stick with your original plan. For me the best part of the wedding was celebrating with the people I love.
Post # 5
Do what you want and what makes you happy. It’s your wedding. You can always have a ceremony in a park or other venue that is free or really inexpensive and spend a thousand dollars or so on heavy apps and drinks.
Post # 6
@jnboss17: I also would not attend a wedding that was a ceremony only with no reception. The reception is your gift to the people who love you and witnessed one of the most important days of your life. $8,500 is a nice wedding budget but not that great of a house down payment. I would stick with your original plan to have a nice reception for your guests.
Post # 7
I agree with @mamadingdong:, I think your guests deserve a reception, but it can be a “cake and punch” reception in the church or a local park, or even at someone’s home. No need to spend tons. You can probably do that for $500 or so (depending on your area).
No fuss. No biggie. Just cake, punch the chance for people to tell you congratulations and maybe make a speech or have a first dance.
Post # 8
I think a cake and punch reception in the park would be fun. You could also look for discounts by not having a Saturday wedding or cutting down your guest list. My Fiance slashed our wedding budget by 70% because we decided to use the money as a down payment for our house, and I’m so glad we did. We’re still having a wedding, but much smaller and local as opposed to our large Las Vegas wedding we had originally planned. I’m not sure how far $8500 will go towards a down payment, but the wedding is one day; the house is something you can enjoy for years.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza
Cut down your guest list and have a simple cake and punch reception after your ceremony!
Post # 10
My best friend and my sister both regret not spending MORE. I think the grass is always greener on the other side.
Post # 11
Hey lady! My Fiance and I are in your same boat! The only thing we aren’t paying for is our rehearsal dinner (his parents got that) and my mom paid for half of my dress. But the rest of the wedding expenses are on us.
That being said we have chosen to have the big old bash. To be honest – it’s what my Fiance really wants. And bless his heart he’s busting his butt at work and is the one saving the majority of the money for it. He already bought a house – but if we were still renting I would definitely think twice about the big bash.
I say just do what you want. My friend had just a small ceremony and then a group of us went out for dinner afterwards. She says sometimes she wished she would have done the “big show” but overall she is happy with her day.
Post # 12
I think it would be nice to have at least a small reception with some cake. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it’s nice to be able to see and talk with the bride and groom for a little bit after the ceremony.
Post # 13
While the ceremony was definitely the “most important” part of our wedding, our reception was the most memorable, and even though we spent a lot of our own money (covered all the costs ourselves, and ended up spending around $27k not including honeymoon— which is really not that bad by DC standards), the only thing we regret is not making the reception longer. If I had it all to do over again, we’d have extended our venue booking and gladly paid the extra fee for that.
This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank just to have an extravagant reception but I think the memories you and your guests make during a reception are priceless.
While I think cake-and-punch receptions are perfectly acceptable, I feel that a reception with an actual meal is more conducive to guests staying around for a few hours and really enjoying themselves. If the guests are gone in an hour, you don’t get much chance to actually talk to them, so I’m of the mindset that if you’re having everyone come anyway, you might as well feed the, give them drinks, and create an atmosphere where they actually want to stick around.
But everyone has different values and you should decide what works best for you— of course if you use that money for a down-payment on a house, you’ll have that house for a very long time.
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2011 - Downtown 202
A cake and punch reception sounds like it might be a nice idea, especially because it wouldn’t cost anywhere near as much as a full-on dinner reception.
However, I just wanted to add my two cents that we spent a little more than your budget and while I did feel guilty (while planning) about spending that amount, after the fact I have no regrets — we got exactly what we wanted, and it was a very “us” wedding.
But you have to decide if spending that is worth it to you. If you don’t care about having the party and celebrating with a ton of people, you can always elope and have a “reception” at a nice restaurant afterward just for family and close friends? That would also be cheaper than a formal reception.
Post # 15
I’m halfway between deleriously happy and wished I had spent more. Our wedding was gorgeous, and everyone had a great time. But there are a few things I might do differently. Like hire a DJ instead of my brother. 🙂
But I digress. If you aren’t comfortable spending it you just aren’t. Do something cheaper though, don’t can the whole reception. Find a nice cheap space and get some snacks, cake, and drinks (champagne or regualar punch) for your friends and family. Give everyone a chance to hang out and visit with each other and with you! Trust me, you’ll want to be able to see the people who travelled to celebrate with you.
Also cut down your guest list to only those very closest to you. We kept ours to immediate family and best friends – there were less than 40 people (to be fair, all his family past his parents and brother are in Taiwan). We had a great time and could not only focus on the people who are most important to us, but splurge a little on them.
Post # 16
Yeah, you can’t just do a ceremony unless you elope. If you have guests you need to have SOME kind of reception to host them.