(Closed) OMG What have I done? How to actually pay for wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 32
6262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

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@MissCoffeeBean:  that’s good that he’s going to pay for his half- hopefully that will be much more manageable for you!

Post # 33
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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@MissCoffeeBean:  You still have some time before you graduate and he starts school, right? Well, can he start saving now towards the wedding? If he could have saved the $$ from one of those generous trips to Europe and put it toward the wedding instead, you’d have a couple thousand already saved! I definitely think he needs to either start saving bigtime for it now, or he can adjust his expectations.

PS – Do you have any frugal friends who are getting married anytime soon? Maybe once he attends a less lavish wedding, he can get the “glitz and glam” out of his head and realize that your love and commitment to each other is what’s important – not how big your party is!

Post # 34
1268 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 1994

I eloped to avoid the cost. Some people were sad, but no one offered us any help towards to expense! Maybe just have something smaller if you are worried about money. Don’t go into debt over your wedding (like so many!). It isn’t worth it in my honest opinion!

Post # 35
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m thankful to read this to know that someone has the exact same concerns as me. Almost the exact same reality hit me. I am going to be starting my career and my fiance will be finishing his schooling. Although my parents have give me some stock that I could sell- I just couldn’t come to do it because I kept thinking “we could use that for a down payment on something else.”

My fiance and I decided to have a medium size destination wedding. I’m paying for the entire thing alone it looks like. It will be about 13K give or take and will have 80 guests of almost all family and some friends. 

I think you can either do a small glitzy wedding or a larger okay wedding- but not both. I think you and SO need to decide whether quality or quantity is more important to you.

My fiance had to remind me that at the end of the day- this is just one day and its about the two of us which is why we decided to spend a little more on a select few. 

Best of luck my dear!

Post # 36
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

PS- here are some tips I have for frugality:

1. Off season is key

2. Friday or Sunday weddings usually save big time

3. Ceremony and reception at same venue

4. DIY flowers and decor

5. Wedding cake for the 2 of you but sheet cakes cut in the back

6. alternatives to flowers

7. Print your own invites

8. Colored linens instead of white jazzes the space up

9. Have banquet tables instead if you have to rent tables

10. But TRY to find a venue w/ tables and chairs included

11. Take quotes and ask if they would be willing to do it for 15% less. 

12. Breathe 🙂

Post # 37
2296 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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@MissCoffeeBean:  if your Fiance wants something luxe, and you still want to stick to a budget – that’s possible, but it means seriously limiting your guestlist. 

you can get married at a swanky restaurant in a private dining room and then have a killer dinner/reception for 12, 16, 20 – but he’d have to compromise on that. then stay (the two of you) at a 5 star hotel and go on a great honeymoon, i’m sure that can be done for 10k. 

restaurants are great because they come with tables, chairs, linens, glassware, etc and staff – so that may be a cost saving measure. 

i’d literally sit down with him and have him list out what he wants, ‘vodka ice luge, belly dancers, 10 course tasting menu, 12 piece band….’ etc. then pick 3 and have him price them out. when he sees that three of his ‘wants’ cost 10k, he may change his tune. 

and – whether there are 250 or 15, he’ll still be the center of attention!

Post # 38
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Planning and paying for a wedding is like building a highway. 

Seriously, but I work with project managers and at work right now, we’re building a highway.

You start with a direct cost target, which is what the project funders (you and your fiance, and for some lucky couples, family) have the ability to fund. My fiance and I have an amazing spreadsheet that can calculate this from now, until the date of the wedding.

This sets the scope of the wedding, and we used this to develop the project charter – we agreed the style of the wedding based on the magnitude of what we wanted, and the money available. This is really important, and my fi refers me back to it if pinterest moves my attention to something we really don’t need to spend money on. Examples if you’re budget constrained are small guestlist with glitz, larger guestlist with something less formal (village hall or backyard). This sounds like it might be the hardest thing for your fiance to agree on right now…

Once you have a cost target, based on real fundraising potential, and a charter, you can do the schematic design and cost estimate (first run at the budget) then move into detailed design (booking vendors and buying stuff).

I can share with you my spreadsheets that turn your savings potential into a cost target, and also others that measure cash flow against when to book vendors, pay deposits, etc so you can stage this against when the cash is there. All linked into the detailed budget setting (I didn’t like ones online so I made my own)

Would you fiance respond to project management logic? I’m sorry this response is so long.. I sound so weird, you should see my wedding project org chart!

Post # 39
39 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015

@janet.little.7 : awesome suggestions! 

@MissCoffeeBean:  I agree with everyone else that you shouldn’t have a wedding you cannot afford. Start pricing things out and keep your Fiance involved in those discussions so you can see how things add up. And keep in mind that there’s no law saying that you have to go on a honeymoon straight away after your wedding, and you could probably save a lot of money by waiting and taking your honeymoon later. Good luck!!

Post # 41
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Definitely will have to frugal depending on where you live, but for the most part that seems reasonable.  If you are having more than 1 or 2 bridesmaids you might have to pay a little more for flowers.  The rehearsal dinner budget seems a little low too.  We are just going to a pizza place, and I expect it to be a lot more (we are inviting all out of town guests).  If you have a small rehearsal dinner and keep it at a really casual place or host it in someone’s home you could pull it off.  

My fiance and I decided as a way to save up both vacation time and money to postpone the honeymoon for one year.  We will take a weekend trip somewhere close and driveable sometime during the first few months of marriage to tide us over, but if we do a bigger trip the year after, that gives us a whole year to save.  I’m still in school and he is paying off loans, so it will definitely help a lot!  We might even get enough cash from the wedding to pay for our one year anniversary/ honeymoon trip!

Post # 42
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MissCoffeeBean:  we’re paying for it as we go.  Honestly, most of mine is going on credit cards BUT that is for 2 reasons.  1, we’re paying off debt with the extra money we have right now so at the end of  it all we won’t be any farther in debt than we are now.  2 – I want everything to be trackable on a credit card, I’m paranoid about people going out of business, not showing up etc and my mastercard has amazing insurance for this type of thing.  I am actually going to cover the taxes on my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses for the girls because I don’t want to pay cash just in case, I’ll pay the taxes so that I can put them on my mcard.  

I would rather us keep paying off out various debts as planned (some of the cards have really high interest) instead of making minimum payments and paying for the wedding with the cash we’re putting on debt.

Post # 43
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@MissCoffeeBean:  I’m not planning a wedding yet. My guy is planning to propose soon though (he says early next week!), so we have been talking about it. We plan to use part of what we have saved already for the wedding and leaving some of it in savings as an emergency fund. The rest of the funds will most likely come from what we make between now and when we get married (fingers crossed for fall of 2015). We’ll come up with a budget together and do our best to stick with it, but I can’t really give you personal examples at the moment.

First, take a deep breath. You don’t have a set date at the moment right? You haven’t put down any deposits? If that’s the case then you can always push the wedding back a few months to be able to save some more money.

See about having the wedding on a Friday night or on a Sunday. It may be a bit inconvienent for guests, but it would probably be less expensive for you guys. And if you hold a wedding in the off-season (November, January – April ; at least that’s the case in the States) then it can be less expensive as well.

You can also look for reception venues that allow you to hold the ceremony there as well. There will most likely be a fee of some sort, so make sure it would be less expensive then holding the ceremony at a different site.

Live entertainment seems like it can cost more than a DJ or an IPod. Look into rates and see what is less expensive or if you can get any good deals.

If you want real flowers that can get expensive. An alternative could be having the Bridal party carry real flowers in boquets and then using other items (like candles, mirrors, etc.) for centerpieces or decorations. If you have a really beautiful venue then you may not need too much. And for centerpieces you can always make the boquets do double duty to try and cut costs (or use less expensive items as well).

And, of course, the guest list usually winds up dictating how much you spend. Start coming up with a mock guest list now and see what number you come up with. Then trim it down (if needed) to a place you both feel comfortable. This will not only decide how much food and drink you need, but what types of venues to look at as well.

It’s good that he is willing to sell something important to him to try and help pay for things, but he needs to be more realistic. You can have a perfectly nice wedding for a lower budget. Do your best to explain to him your reasoning for wanting the lower budget and what benefits come along with that – for instance, there will be less risk of you guys going into debt to pay for the wedding and a greater chance that you will have money left over to act as an emergency cushion (or down payment on a house) as you start married life together. Try and get him to see that marriage is about more than just one party.

Post # 45
2417 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Can you DIY anything for your wedding at all? My matron of honor and I are going to make all of the table runners, all of the centerpieces and as much other stuff as I possibly can.

Also, do you have friends that have hobbies that you can utilize for your wedding? For example, I have a friend named T who does floral arranging as a hobby. She is going to do my flowers for me. T also teaches high school and has some students that are looking to pursue photography as their career. That could be a win win for everyone. I can have 2 photographers for a few hundred dollars and they get to build their portfolio. I have a friend who is a baker and is going to make ALL of our cupcakes for probably around ~100.

You can have a nice wedding for a reasonable amount of money. My BFF had a wonderful wedding for $2,500 🙂


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