(Closed) Need help with trying to stay under Budget (10K)

posted 4 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 2
2815 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

This was exaclty what my wedding ended up costing, for the same amout of people. Here’s what my budget looked like:

  • Venue & Food: $2500
  • Cake (cupcakes & top tier): $120
  • Dress: $1000 (including alterations)
  • Accessories: around $200-300
  • Photographer: $1000
  • Flowers: $300 (had a custom Etsy bouquet, plus a real throwing bouquet)
  • Centerpieces (DIY`d my own with feathers) $200-$300
  • Linens (used standard whites from venue, included in venue price) but bought sashes, runners and silk to make over-lays for around $200
  • Favours (Candy bar) $300ish
  • Other decor (cupcake tower, cardbox, guestbook, all DIY) $200
  • Officiant: $175
  • Hair: $130
  • DH’s attire: $500
  • Rings (engagement and bands): $2000

The biggest costs are venue/food from my experience. It took a little “shopping” to find a venue that fit my vision and price point. Where you live/where you’re holding the even will have a big impact on costs.<Good luck!

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by  urchin.
Post # 3
1678 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

urchin:  this sounds quite similar to my breakdown!

Post # 4
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Lubeznik Center for the Arts

Venue: When looking for a venue, try to find a community center, nature center, ect. to save some money. We are using a smallish community art center that charged us only $900 for use of th entire facility. We did have to pay a $500 refundable security deposit and we had to get event insurance, so be sure to look into these expenses ahead of time.

Food: We chose a smaller, lesser known catering service and a slightly more casual menu: Whole roasted chickens, beef bourgignon, roasted root veg, asparagus with hollendaise, salads, and mini-apple pies. We gave the caterer a budget and she came up with a menu – $25 a head. 

Bar: We went beer and wine only, as this was the only way to keep it within budget. We have a house red, house white, and 3 beers. This was a major compromise on my part, but that’s part of having a wedding on a budget, too. Total for bar was $1280

Dress: We have two brides (gay wedding) so we shopped samples/sales. My fiance got her dress for $280 (and this thing is stinking gorgeous, btw) and I got mine for $400. We each spent about $100 on alterations, and I made the jewelry for us to wear so that was pretty cheap.

Cake: We have a family friend making us a big gorgeous cake, and we are incredibly blessed. This brings me to a good point, however – enlist the help of talented friends!! You might know a florist, photographer, whatever, who you might get a nice discount from! You can also do cupcakes for a better price than a huge cake, or even buy sheet cake from a local bakery and a “dummy” cake for display. Don’t forget to make sure the top is a small real cake for the ceremony.

Photographer: $600. We are paying a friend of the family for photos, so it’s a reduced rate.

Flowers: We are DIYing them and although we have to make two bouquets ($$$) we will offset that cost by having just corsages for our bridesmaids. I think it’s sort of cute, and well, there are places where cuts must be made!

Officiant: $0 for our fun ceremony (not legally binding) – having a family friend do it. We will end up paying $60 in Chicago for our legal wedding though.

Hair and Makeup: $240 EACH (ouch, oh the pain) = $500 – not something we wanted to sacrifice on, because neither of us are exactly talented in this area.

Rings: We spent $100 each on our wedding rings, so they are not good quality, and will need to be replaced at some point, but they will do for now. 

Gifts: Shopped Etsy for the few bridesman gifts we needed: an engraved pocketwatch ($26) an engraved pocket knife ($30) and an engraved beer growler. For the bridesmaids, I made them each necklaces and earrings ($80) and bought them each a robe ($47 – got a major steal off Kohl’s website). We bought toys for our flower girl and ringbearer, and I bought a headband for our flowergirl off of Etsy ($15) and a bow tie and suspenders set off Etsy ($13). 

Favors: We are going to donate a “School in a Box” which is through Unicef, provides enough school materials for 40 students and one teacher to carry on classes in a disaster zone for 3 months.

Linens: We are using white tablecloths and chairs from the venue, but buying runners in our color for $4 a piece on ebay.

And…that’s all I got. Hopefully that doesn’t end up being more than 10K – that was our budget and we’re really trying to stay under it!!!!!

Post # 6
351 posts
Helper bee

amy.millerful:  Hope this helps.

This is what I have so far for my wedding which is in 19 days.. our budget was/is 6,000, and we set the date just over 6 months ago. Our whole wedding is paid in full  currently– we have 30 guests

We worked together with our venue to negoiate a package (a rural bed and breakfast which included a few things which helped cut costs down for  us)

Also want to note that my wedding is EXTREME DIY

  • Officant, Wedding Bouquet, bouquet for Maid/Matron of Honor, Wedding Cake,Boutinneers,venue rental,day of coordinator,linens chairs: $1100
  • dress: $300 (my dress was $650, my parents paid 1/2, and my aunt is a seamstress who did alerations for free)
  • accessories: 21.75 (necklace, and bracelet- rent the runway)
  • veil: $0.00 (my mom paid for it, so no clue what it cost)
  • Favors: $75, I made 18-8oz and 8-16 oz lavendar candles from dried lavendar I grew in my garden last summer
  • Gifts: I paid $65 towards my Maid/Matron of Honor accomodations and bought her a $20 of wine
  • Grooms Suit: $198
  • Videographer/Wedit: $349
  • Invitations and Save the Dates $109.05- I had them printed from Zazzle and DIY-ed invitation jackets with ribbon and lace too
  • Photographer: $1796 – 8 hours day of wedding, i negoiated a reduced rate, since we are having an intimate wedding
  • Additional Floral: $122 (i picked seasonal flowers)
  • Centerpieces: Free, Since my mom was throwing myself and Fiance a fancy shower, we made sure that the centerpieces she purchased could be reused for the wedding, we are just 
  • Bar/Liquor: Since we are paying for the wedding ourselves, Fiance parents would be contributing by paying for the Liquor/Wine. Our venue allows us to bring our own, which is a real money saver
  • food: $853.20- we opted not to skimp on the food, our dinner is seated
  • DJ: $150  I work at a PRO AV wholesaler- so I was able to get some professional DJ equipment for $100, and using the ipad app “my wedding DJ” set up so we can self dj our entire wedding, from ceremony to cocktail hour and reception. I have shown our day of coordinator how to use it, so she can queue our ceremony. This has been tested and backed up several times. We also have downloaded lots of music from itunes to use
  • Decor: $300- this is all misc decor from lights to fabric swags to asile runner, flower petals.. everything
  • dance floor: FREE i really wanted a black and white dance floor, but the rental was out of budget, so my grandfather as awesome as he is , made one for us, and we just painted it last weeked. After the wedding, he’ll re-use the wood to replace the roof on his shed, so for him it was not really an added expense
  • Rings:I dont think this should be included in the budget as we purchased our bands YEARS ago, and just never set the date because life got in the way, so i’m not included this, but his was around $300 (colbalt) and no clue on what mine was
  • hair/nails: my mother is paying for this
  • Makeup: FREE I’m doing it myself becuase I’m some what of a makeup pro. I didn’t include the cost of the makeup becuase I had it before too

so that brings me to $5,459

let me know if you have any questions


my Fiance has still yet to buy his shoes , and shirt for the wedding but that should be pretty expensive. I didn’t include the gifts that Fiance and I are exchanging the day of the wedding because that’s a “personal expense” and I have no clue what he spent


Post # 7
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

We have an $8000 budget for roughly 50 people:

Venue: 2 hr cocktail reception, site fee is $100/hr so $200

Food&Drink for 50: $2900 including tips, tax, servers, etc. this will probably be less than this as I am assuming all 50 people have 3 alcoholic drinks in 2 hours which I know won’t be the case.

Ceremony site fee: $50

Officiant: $350

House rental (for us to stay, plus some friends) $1200

Taco bar afterparty: $600

Hair/makeup/shoes/bridesmaid dress/etc: $750

Cake: $200

Photographer: $1500

I think that was most of it. There’s some details in there like favors, invitations, that I haven’t broken down above because I haven’t gotten to that yet. I paid for my dress myself outside of my budget. I should come in right at budget since the lower food/alcohol bill will offset the pieces not yet included like invitations.


Post # 8
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - hotel

Best thing I did was search wedding decorations on ebay, then filtered it to display nearest first. I had a few ideas of what I wanted and waited till something came up. I got all my table decorations for £40. I also got my wedding shoes on there, designer shoes that were exactly what I wanted for 99p, pklus sicne they were another womans bridal shoes they’re my something old and so are already lucky. If you’re willing to be patient and check reguarly you can get your entire wedding for super cheap on there!

Also look up any big chain stores with instore bakerys. I got a 3 tiered cake in my colour scheme for £45 pounds as it was advertised as a birthday cake, you could even change the writing from ‘Happy Birthday’ to whatever you wanted.

I contacted my local areas facebook page to see if anyone local had a posh or classic car they would be willing to let us use and got the car at a much cheaper rate than I would have if I went through a firm.

Shop off the rack for bridesmaid dresses. Do you have TK Maxx in america or anything simular?(TK Maxx is a chain that sells last seasons designer clothes at discount prices and they always have formal wear)

If you have a while then get comping too! Tons of competitions online, I won our wedding rings and saved £100s. Also check groupon and facebook pages for photographer special offers. I garentue at any time there is at least one local photographer with a special offer on, you just have to find it.

Post # 9
1728 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

With careful planning, you can definitely stay well under 10k for 60 guests. While there are sure to be some sacrifices, you can still have a lot of the things that are important to the two of you. 

Where you live may affect some of your costs, like venue. 

Our wedding was about 70 people and we spent well under 10K. I did a lot of comparison shopping, searching for things that could be re-used or used in non-traditional ways, cut out things that weren’t absolutely necessary, and focused on a few things that I felt were high impact. For instance, our ceremony was at a park that was super lush and green, so I did minimal flowers but I had the aisle covered in rose petals. You might also search your local Craigslist posting for “wedding” to see what kind of deals might pop up. I came across several brides who were selling their decorations after their wedding. 

Finally, feel free to ask the Bee for advice – you’re sure to receive a lot of great information!

Post # 10
496 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

CuppaSarah:  Can I ask which shop you got your cake from? I’ve just looked at M&S and Waitrose, but Waitrose seems just as expensive as buying from an independant baker.

Post # 11
7689 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

amy.millerful:  My daughter’s wedding was $5k for 65 people.  I can help! Ooo, found another venue for less $  Beautiful! Check your private messages!

Post # 12
49 posts

Im trying to keep our wedding under 10k and we are having 160 people.  What I tried doing is renting a community center and having it catered.  That didn’t work out because I honestly didn’t like many community centers in my area and with catering it was about 5000.  So we went to look at country clubs.  We went in with a budget 6,000 not anything more. We are having luck with that.  We are flexible with the date and planning to do on sunday.  Our photographer is willing to work with us too we are spending 2,000 on video and photos.  Where do you live? I think that makes a difference too.

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