(Closed) Not The Usual Bride

posted 10 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We didn’t have a 5k wedding but we could have. Our venue is $1100 including tables and chairs. Food is another $3k, but could have been half that and still been catered. Or have party platters from Whole Foods. You can use an ipod, have friends take photos, get a dress on sale or used, boxed wine, individual cakes from a bakery, flowers from a local gardener, decor off craigslist, etc.

Post # 4
9050 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

You’d probably be better off with a hall rental that doesn’t have an in house caterer.  That’s where minimums and high per price plates come into play.

Post # 5
3788 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It’s possible to ask for advice and explain your situation without passing judgment on people who spend more or making it sound like they are absurd…

We are having our wedding on family property. We plan to do the food ourselves with friends. We could borrow tables, chairs, and a tent if we are so inclined, but we will probably be renting those for personal reasons. We will spend money on attire and flowers and of course the cost of food to make. We will pay an officiant. We are building our own arbor out of branches that we’ll cut ourselves. Undecided on music yet but we have our own generators so we’d just have to rent the speakers and probably do an ipod/computer type set up. We won’t have dancing, but we might have a bonfire. Hope to come in under $5k. Probably my biggest splurge is my dress because it’s my one day and I can resell it afterwards to recoup some cost. I already sold a first dress (long story) so I am not too worried about it.

Really be intentional with your guest list. I think that is another way that the cost gets driven up.

Post # 6
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

We put a cap on our budget at 3500.  We’re paying for it ourselves and is, basically, going to be a short ceremony followed by a huge party.  of course, we’re doing favors, bridesmaids, groomsmen, bouquet/garter toss, and a bunch other wedding-type stuff, but we’re more about the party than the ceremony.  (personal reasons.)

Here’s how we’re cutting costs: diy a lot of stuff, friends are doing photography and videography, a family member is doing the ceremony, the actual bridal gown is one I was given, so i’ll be wearing that for at the very least, photos.  we’re going to be in costume, so everything we WILL buy is stuff we’ve already been drooling over for the past few years and this is just an excuse (not needed one) to buy it.  our groomsmen & bridesmaids are going to be getting their own costumes to wear.  I’m buying the kids’ costumes (my son, nephews, daughter and neice are going to be in the ceremony).  our invites are doubling as announcements.  I used blogger and some software i’d bought last year to make the wedding info website.  We’ll be using the blog and Facebook for RSVP’s as well as actual mailed stuff.  i designed all the paper-type stuff and we’ll be printing it out at zazzle and home.   we’re getting shot glasses for favors (his one major request, lol).  oh, and another family member will (hopefully) be doing the catering. we’re also asking a friend if he’ll dj for us.

the most expensive thing? the venue because it’s close and can hold all the people we want and we won’t have to worry about the kids, like at most other places.  it’s also going to be an outside wedding/reception so hopefully the weather will cooperate!

here’s what we’re diying:

  • cardbox
  • decorations (for the arch, tent, etc)
  • bouquets/bouts from ribbon roses (using wired ribbon to make ’em)
  • invite/announcements/rsvp cards/programs
  • coasters (if Fiance gives the OK on it)
  • dragon plush toys for the little kids
  • boxes (maybe) for the dice favors for the kids
  • guestbook (made the sheets and will be printing them out on cardstock)
  • anything else I can think of
  • centerpieces (plastic salsa bowls -like you can get at the dollar tree… the little black ones – in bulk that we can use later filled with candy)
  • garters (should prove fun since they’ll be the typical medieval-style garters)

we’re also going with a small cake for us to cut and cupcakes from wal-mart or costco (probably walmart) for everyone else. 

there’s tons of stuff you can do yourself for very little.  it’s just very time-consuming.  Also, since I refuse to get stuff that we can’t use later (except for the food/candy/invites/etc) it helps to keep the cost down because of the one-time-only problem. 

also, check out free sales and the freecycle groups for free stuff (you can post wanted stuff there, too), yard/garage sales (especially the HUGE ones at churches and community yard sales), salvation army, thrift stores, dollar stores, second-hand stores, the bulliten board, Goodwill, and anywhere else like that.  you’d be amazed what you can find for very little.  or free.

don’t be afraid to ask friends and family, either.

so far, our budget for all wedding-related items (and my Fiance has agreed that the stuff we’ve been wanting for the past years doesn’t count as wedding-related stuff, since we’ll be using it pre-wedding and post-wedding) is actually under $1000.  The venue, however, knocks it up substantually.  but it’ll be sooo worth it because it’s just GORGEOUS and the people there are just amazing.

Post # 7
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

forgot to add, we’ll also have friends there who are musicians, so live music will happen, there will be dancing for those who want to, and we’ll have an iPod and/or laptop to use. 

also, don’t forget to check out the warehouses like costco and sam’s club for good deals.  though be careful: you can sometimes find the same stuff elsewhere cheaper. and use coupons!  sign up online at michaels and anywhere else and use the coupons when you buy stuff.  I’ve saved a ton with michael’s’ coupons.

Post # 8
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I understand the sticker-shock… but I think in general you’ll enjoy the ‘bee a bit more if you try not to put down others’ choices (like to spend 40k on a wedding). 🙂 Everyone has different situations. A lot of people on here are older and have been saving themselves for their wedding for a long time. Personally our wedding (which is nowhere close to 40k) will be finances about 1/3 by my parents and 2/3 by Fiance and I based just on what we can take out of our paychecks every month during our engagement). 

But anyways… to your question…

I would consider moving your date up and doing it during the summer. You could do a really chic and lovely barbeque type event and stay within your budget. One of my favorite weddings I’ve seen online was done on a very tight budget: http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/

Post # 9
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Unfourtunately ( hell or maybe not) Im not made of money either. I could definately do my wedding for under 5000 where i am if i wanted to. Im getting a super awsesome deal on my venue becuase my Dad works at the hotel and i get his discount(cuz he,s my dad) and my dress is reasonably priced as well. There are cheaper caterers i could go with but i like food so i dont mind spending the money 🙂 My point being is that you CAN have a wedding for under 5000 you just have to want to. Have you considered changing the day of the week? IDK how many you have travelling but some venues are almost 50% cheaper during the week ( mines is anyway) so that is a sure fire way to save money. Consider getting florwers from the local grocery store instead of a florist..and like someone already mentioned be real intentional wih your guest list. only invite wo you WANT to be there..

Good Luck! Im sure it will all work out fine

Post # 10
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Our wedding will probably come in right at $5000 (including my dress but not including the rings or the honeymoon).

The biggest way we cut costs is we cut our guestlist substantially– which was fine with me because I didn’t want a huge wedding. So we’ll probably have 40 people, max, including bridal party.

The second way we cut costs is that we purchased a brunch package for our wedding, which includes ceremony (and officiant) and reception on the yacht, brunch, endless champagne, the cake and all tables/ chairs/ dishes/ glassware/ etc. It just doesn’t include flowers or photography. And since we will have endless champagne at the reception, we figured that if people wanted something aside from champagne, they can pay for it themselves.

I also got all my stationary at 123prints.com for very inexpensive and I’m DIYing my flowers.

All in all, I feel like $5000 is a really reasonable budget for us.

Post # 11
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We are hoping for under 10k, 5k would be perfect!

Neither of us have rich families, we are paying for everything. And I’m only 23, he’s 28 and we have a son! so needless to say we’re not rollin’ in the dough.

I think you can have an amazing wedding with any price range. I can see how it’d be a lot of fun to put 40,000 towards a wedding, but if I could afford that I’m sure I’d already have bought a house and be comfortable.

I’m DIYing everything I possibly can, including invitations, food and music. And keeping the guest list under 100.


Post # 12
216 posts
Helper bee

Our financial situation is different than yours, but I also am a firm believer in not buying something you can’t afford. If you don’t have the money for a big wedding–then you need to make do with where you’re at and you can still have a very beautiful, unique and creative wedding on your budget. I have seen many gorgeous weddings on your budget.

Obviously, you cannot go to a country club or catering hall unless you are willing to do a Sunday afternoon or weekday (and even then I think it may be too expensive–at least where I’m located). You might try a house rental for a weekend–where you can have the ceremony on the grounds and have some buffet-style food served after. Then you can enjoy the place for the weekend as a honeymoon.

You can have the ceremony at a park and then rent a room at a nice restaurant. Obviously there won’t be a dance floor or DJ–but maybe you can make it work. Hire a musician for an hour or two while your guests eat.

You can find a Knights of Columbus or fire department with a party room that will rent it out cheaply.

You can have a cookout on a beach or in a park.

You can contact B&B’s or Inns and see if they will be willing to rent out their property for a small ceremony. Have a picnic afterward.

Have a destination wedding or elope.

I think there a many options for you…don’t get discouraged because you don’t have a $40,000 budget like some couples.

Post # 13
7 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

my fiancées father is getting the caterer-he volunteered, I’m doin it at the church and having my mom clean up -so nice of her- so we dont have to pay, decorations might come to 100$ total, my fiancées dad and mom bought me my dress-600, I really was on the fence cause that is a bit much, and for the most part totaled our wedding probably wont go over 2k, I dont understand why someone would spend a ton on one day ether, I understand niceties n stuff but man.

Post # 14
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Hi Eimaj!

I just want to wish you luck in your wedding planning endeavors!  My Fiance and I did not want to go broke planning our wedding (or try to pretend that we are rolling in the dough!) but, instead, wanted to be sure that it was a celebration with all of the people we love and care for!  Here are some things we did to keep our costs down (budget was $5,000, and so far have spent around $2,000).

-Ceremony at his church and reception at mine — there is only a small fee to use each place, so we really saved there.

-Ceremony is early afternoon and reception is potluck (we have asked the guests that IF they want to bring something do NOT bring us a gift, but some dish to share with the other guests).  We are spending around $600 for some basic food platters and drinks, but that is it.

-I did the invitations by hand (came out beautifully, and total cost for 80 invites was less than $100).

-Having a very organized friend coordinate the reception ($200).

-Having a great baker friend do the cake ($150)

-Having a family friend lead the dance time and lead reception music.

Basically we wanted this to be a big community feel and have friends/family involved as much as possible.  I’m so excited to see how everything works out, but so far it is looking like it will be one fantastic celebration!

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