(Closed) Low budget brides please offer some advice…

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
278 posts
Helper bee

First of all – congrats!

There’s always ways to work around budget.  It really depends on your location and what you can compromise on.  How many guests are you having and what time of venue are you looking for? 

  • A lot of parks give you permits to hold your ceremony, some give it to you at a very low cost.  You’ll also be able to capture some beautiful scenery in your pictures.
  • Instead of a wedding hall – maybe you can consider your favorite lunch/dinner spot or even have an afternoon affair that serves brunch.  Some restaurants give you fantastic deals and you can share one of your favorite spots with your guests!
  • Go to your local market for fresh flowers, they’re able to cut down costs if you get them directly.  You can find interesting vases/centerpeices at flea markets and local craft stores.  And ALWAYS search for coupons when going to these craft stores – it’s really worth it!  (Michael’s, A.C. Moore, Joanne’s)
  • Check out the Classifieds section for great wedding items for sale!

 

 

Post # 4
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My wedding budget is 5K for the same reasons you stated.  A majority of that is going to the reception.  We opted to go for a resort that has a lawn overlooking the beach where set up and breakdown of chairs are included and for the reception the resort provides all linens, table decorations, and obviously the food. 

My dress I found at a sample sale for $200 originally $1200.  Be prepared to try on many dresses but for me it was so worth it. 

I also am doing my own STD and Invites.  My mom and aunt are teaming up to make me an original birdcage viel.  My wedding favors (which support breast cancer research) I found on sale. 

We are definitely going with the less is more route. 

Post # 5
Member
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

The best advice I can offer is to focus on what’s important to you and Fiance, and let the rest go. Invitations were important to me, so we went with letterpress. I got my dress from China (it’s gorgeous and doesn’t look like we spent $225 on it), my flowers are silk, I’ve DIYed some stuff, and just let go of a lot of other things.

Another option is to have a Friday night/Sunday afternoon wedding. Our wedding is on a Saturday, but it’s a lunchtime reception. Lunch time receptions are good because the food is often less, you can get away without a DJ, since people won’t be dancing as much, and best of all? You won’t need as much alcohol. We’re just offering beer at our reception. 

Good luck to you in your planning!

Post # 6
Member
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Congrats on your recent engagement!! There are plenty of brides around the boards who are doing low budget weddings so don’t get discouraged- it can be done!! Check out the DIY topics for money saving ideas for things you can do yourself and if you do a lot of research and shop around, you can definitely get the most bang for your buck 🙂

Post # 7
Member
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Definitely look into restaurants and cafes in your area, if you’re not interested in going the route of finding a park or hosting at home.  This made a huge difference in what we were able to afford – none of the restaurants around here that we looked at charged a rental fee or anything.  Since we were going with November, we also found that people were a lot more flexible with pricing/what we could do.  It’s not really wedding season in Minnesota in November, hah.  Going with a local restaurant was probably the #1 biggest money saver, allowing us to have more people with better food for a lot less $ than we expected.

 

Post # 8
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee

Like budgetbeautiful said, definitely look into a Friday or Sunday wedding. We were going to have our wedding this summer for immigration reasons (which we ended up getting sorted out and are now getting married next summer), so we were trying to plan an inexpensive wedding in, like, two months. I called around and our favorite reception venue was 12k (!) for a Saturday, but only 4k for a Sunday! It’s amazing how much of a difference one day can make, plus you’ll have a better selection of venues and photographers, florists, etc. because it’s not on a Saturday.

But even if you do have your wedding on a Saturday, you can totally pull it off for 5k. My sister ended up spending only $2500 on her wedding, and it was the best wedding I’ve ever been to. She had it in a gorgeous park, which saved her a ton, and she even had a jazz band lead a parade from the park to the reception location (which was awesome). I don’t know how she pulled it all off for that little, but it was amazing!

You can definitely pull it off if you do your homework, especially if you DIY a lot of your own stuff. Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Any wedding expert will tell you this: Cut your guest list! That is the biggest way you will save money. More people equals more food, favors, table (centerpieces), cake, etc. If you can keep your guest list between 50-100 people at the most. Don’t invite coworkers and keep it to really close friends and family only (people will understand).

Get your cake at a grocery store. They’ll charge you less, and it will taste great. Or, if you have someone in your family who can bake, see if they’ll do you a huge favor 🙂

Skip favors all together, actually. No one needs them, and unless they’re edible, no one wants them. Lots of brides are going this route.

Get your dress at a department store. Try to find an evening or cocktail dress in white. Or, look for bridesmaids dresses in white (that’s what I did). You’ll save tons that way! I only paid $270 for my dress, and it’s a designer Priscilla of Boston bridesmaids dress.

Can you have your wedding at a local state park? That way, you’ll only pay for a permit fee (usually not more than $100 for the day).

It’s good that you’re a DIY-er! That will save you lots, too. I LOVE backyard style wedding where the bride makes her own centerpieces and decorations. I attached some pics for inspiration for you. Use flowers picked from someone’s garden, if they’ll allow it, and mason jars are so cheap! Serve comfort foods that people will love like cheeseburgers, fries and ice cream cones … people will love it, guranteed! The more different and rustic it is, the more charming it will be, and the more people will like it because it’s unique!

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Post # 10
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Well, I’m not sure if my wedding is what you’d consider "cheap-looking" but here goes…these are the things that are saving me the most money: 

+ DIY invites (we’re using a combination of printing at Staples and using the supplies my fiance’s mom — a card-maker — already has at home; we’ve budgeted $400 to stationary, including Save-The-Date Cards, invites, RSVPs, postage, thank you cards, etc.)

+ silk flowers (not only are we using silk flowers, but we won’t have many, either; right now I’m thinking that my fiance and I will each carry a single blue rose with a ribbon, and the centrepieces will be single white daisies in clear blue bottles; estimated cost is $25)

+ make-your own sandwich buffet (we’re buying the supplies from Costco and setting everything up ourselves; we’ll have each type of meat/bread/etc. on a separate platter, and we’re hoping to get SEVERAL kinds of meat — chicken, turkey, tuna salad, smoked salmon, roast beef, ham, salami, etc. — and SEVERAL kinds of bread — whole wheat, white, bagels, pumpernickel, rye, maybe even croissants — and lots of cheeses, condiments, and veggies; should be able to come in at around $500)

+ DIY cupcakes (instead of a $600 wedding cake, we’re going to DIY our cupcakes, including ingredients, decorations, and stand, for around $100)

+ my dress (maximum budget is $500 including alterations, and I will NOT go above that; I don’t believe in a "dream dress", I believe in a dream husband)

+ my groom’s suit (he will be buying a new tie for the wedding, and that’s it; $5)

+ our venue (we’re using the same venue for our ceremony and reception, and right now we’re looking at using a campground, which will cost about $250)

+ iPod (’nuff said) 

Some of the things that I would like to cut the costs on but really can’t…:

– sound system (we’re thinking of buying a $1500 portable system from Bose, or $1000 outdoor speakers, and using my FBIL’s amp; we’ll see)

– officiant (Alberta sucks because we can’t just have a close friend/relative apply to perform our wedding for us anymore, and because the available officiants charge, like, $500, ugh)

– tent (I do NOT want to be without weather protection…tents cost about $500 including set-up) 

Post # 11
Member
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m not married yet (30 days to go!!!) but it looks like our wedding including Rehearsal Dinner, ceremony/reception, afterparty at our house, rings, clothing and the honeymoon (plus all the other odds and ends) is going to cost about $6000. It would have been much, much cheaper if my Mom hadn’t offered to help. A few things to consider- where are you getting married? How many people will you invite? How fancy do you want it? Before my Mom offered to help out we were planning on a simple ceremony in a park and then a party/BBQ at our house, which would have been very affordable. Our guestlist is small though, about 50 people. You can save money by having a friend or family member get ordained (you can do it online for free) and perform the ceremony. You can get cheap invitation sets and print them out yourselves. We spent $26 at Michaels for ours. I’m going to our local nursery and buying lavender plants and putting them in some terra-cotta pots and using them as our centerpieces. I’m getting cake and cupcakes from our local organic food store. I’m sure the other bees will have many other suggestions but I say use your creativity! We knew we wanted something casual and fun with the emphasis being on family and community; good food and good wine! We are spending no where near the national average on our wedding but I think it’s going to be beautiful nonetheless!

Post # 12
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Also, my dad’s doing our videography, my fiance’s aunt is (we hope) doing photography, and we’re putting together our own wedding album and guest book with my FMIL’s craft supplies.

Post # 13
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Some of the other things saving me money that I didn’t mention above: no favours, guest list of 80 max, and picnic blankets instead of renting chairs (we’ll have lawn chairs for elderly guests if they want them).

Post # 14
Member
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

You can totally do a fabulous wedding on $5000! Check out some of the Bee’s-Miss Bunny is one that comes to mind right away. A great feature right now are the Bee Budgets. I’ve been getting some good ideas myself. Like one of the above posters said, you have to determine what is important to you and what isn’t. For me, my dress was pretty important. I had never gone to a prom or other school dance so I wanted this to be my one and only chance to have a fabulous dress. Turns out, I found a dress I love under $500. I did have to compromise on my venue. The venue of my choice (rustic barn, gazebo for outdoor ceremony) was close to $1500. But we found a venue, while not as pretty, it’s only costing us $350 and a lot more extras are included. And we will still be able to be married outside, under a great old tree. We found a photographer that is just starting out so we got a great deal-half the average price of an established photographer. Use connections-our DJ is a relative of a relative and is very reasonably priced. I found the photographer through my hairstylist.

You can do it, you may just have to work a little harder. But it will be worth it.

Post # 15
Member
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Also, use the talents of the people around you, got a cousin who’s very artistic, see if she’ll donate some caligraphy, try to give people "jobs" not only will it cut costs, but you’ll be delegating your stress away! Good luck, and remember the wedding is just one day, focus on preparing for your marriage more, and the little things won’t matter so much! Happy Planning!

Post # 16
Member
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Like previous posters, I agree you have to just let go of the things you don’t care about. My budget right now is 8,000, and we’re doing fairly well with it.Things like flowers and decore don’t matter as much to me as food and drink, so we’re focusing more on that. Like you I’m DIYing many aspects of the wedding, including Save-The-Date Cards, Invites, Programs, Flowers (silk), Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts, Groomsmen gifts, ceremony and reception decor (centerpieces, A Huppa/Canopy, seating cards, aisle cones/flowers, aisle runner, favors), I think that’s all for now. We also went non-traditonal with food, using a local BBQ place as our caterer, but that’s a reflection of us and our style (we’re nto big into fancy food). It’s all a matter of researching and collecting ideas, the hive is a great place to researching and find ideas that you can use to make your wedding both unique and budget friendly. I also recommend hitting up a bookstore or two and going through the wedding section, you may find some excellent ideas from books. (I know I did!)

You can have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank, it’s just a matter of planning it all out. Good luck to you and anytime you need to utilize the great people here!

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