Post # 1
I’m got engaged on December 23. It’s two weeks later and I am officially freaking out.
I’m trying to find reception venues, in eastern pennsylvania, I have a next to nothing budget, and it is IMPOSSIBLE. I was a non traditional reception…no round table…no chairs with bows on the back…for gods sake…NO ICE SCULPTURES.
Does anyone have any advice on how to accomplish this???
Post # 3
First, congratulations! Second, I would say that if you just got engaged, then you have time to marinate. There is no big rush to get everything done, and sometimes it’s kind of nice to figure out what exactly you are going to do before booking a venue.
For example, we almost booked a Tahoe estate… which would have been lovely, but we decided we wanted to go a little more earth friendly and to have a weekend wedding. A little more digging and we found the perfect venue where we can all stay all weekend!
I’d say think about your overarching goals and desires and then start outside the box and work your way in. Think clubs and small theaters instead of your usual hotel ballroom if you are going non-traditional, or maybe a local organic farm or other outdoor venue. Ours was an awesome price because of the rustic nature… which was just perfect for us.
Post # 4
Honestly, take a big breath. I get only 14-15 weeks to plan this thing. I’m going nontraditional as well for the reception and I have 5k. I understand your panic.
First, call you local CVB. They are a huge free resource and, at least from my experience) are super helpful. Try googling reception sites in PA. You need to enjoy being engaged, not freaking out. Everything will be great.
Post # 5
First of all, congrats on your engagement! Although it can have its moments, planning your wedding and being engaged should be fun, no matter what your budget is
Weddingbee is an AMAZING resource. Check out "Real Budgets" under "Boards". Plenty of DIY happening on most wedding wed sites/blogs, including WeddingBee! Check out your local board and find people who are getting married in Eastern PA.
Figure out your budget and then make a list of what can be DIY’d, bought used (eBay etc, wedding classifieds etc.) and what would be a splurge. Once you know what your budget is, you’ll be feeling fine! GL!
Post # 6
The best thing I did with all of the wedding planning was go to the library. There are tons of books with free worksheets to help get you organized. Be careful not to commit to vendors right away. You will be able to find cheaper and better, espeically with the recession.
Definitely check out "Bridal Bargains" by Denise and Alan Fields. Its basically a bridal dictionary for shopping around, negotiating and figureing out what hell you want!
Also picking a theme and/or color scheme really limits your choices which actually makes everything easier! We are having a super traditional catholic wedding so everything was basically laid out for us!
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
Yay for getting engaged! Definitely take a deep breath… for us, choosing the venue was the hardest part. It set the whole tone for the wedding, and pretty much the budget too. Once we got that out of the way, the rest fell into place. If you’re on a budget, can you see yourself getting married at home? At a friend’s home with a large yard? A public park? Informally on the beach? There are many ways to cut costs on venue. All you need for a wedding is a bride, groom, officiant, a witness, and, if anything frivelous… a cake! Decide what 3 things are most important to you and put your money into that.
Post # 8
I know exactly what you mean! I think that you really need to be creative. I think that you can cut your venue cost by thinking outside the box. For instance, (I myself wouldn’t do this, but it was creative) I saw pictures of a wedding that took place at the couple’s local skating rink. They came up with a theme and ran wild. Also, another couple found this beautiful public park and had their wedding there, their theme was based on a children’s book that was a favorite of the groom’s. That being said, I think a theme would help guide you in a venue selection. I think that if you spend less on the venue, you can splurge more on decorations which set the ambiance for your whole day.
Post # 9
First of all. Congratulations on your engagement. May God bless your marriage and new family.
Second. BREATHE. It is going to be ok. A few things You say you are planning a not traditional reception. Sit down and make a concise list of what this means to you. What you envision for your wedding and reception. At this point don’t think budget, or others opinions any of it. After that is done make another list of things that are absolute must. NOT WANTS but gotta haves. For instance if you know you have to have 100 people at the reception don’t think well maybe I can get by with 50. Conversely don’t get giddy and plan for 400 if you can realisticly have 100. Now combine the two list and make a concise third list. Looking at this third list make another list of all of the places within a __ mile radius (fill in what ever distance is reasonable for you) that might possibly work for everything on your last list. You say you want non traditional. Again look at the first list of what this means to you and list places that fit this criteria. For instance if you want a country theme don’t put country clubs on the list etc. Think outside the box. Are there any historical sites, parks, what ever fits in your local area that you might have for little or no budget.
Aside from location. You say you have zero budget. Becareful that you don’t get so caught up in worrying about saving money and cutting cost that you wind up spending more on DIY things than you would if you hired someone to do them for you. For instance flowers. If you order them to be direct shipped from an internet "florist" know that they will come in dry packed and will need to be properly treated and hydrated before being used. Also this makes it a one shot deal. If they ship the wrong flowers or the flowers arive dead or the heads fall off when you take them out of the box. They will apologize, they might even replace them. But they won’t be able to replace them before the wedding. Yeah kinda defeats the purpose. Go talk to a reputable local florist. Be up front and tell them that you don’t have a huge buget. Tell them that you are considering doing the arrangements yourself. Most will be glad to sell you the stems you want properly hydrated and ready for use at a reasonable cost. While you are there get a quote on them doing the flowers for you. You will probably be surprised at how reasonably a real florist will do the wedding for and how helpful they are. If they aren’t helpful or won’t work with you (don’t read this as almost giving you the flowers) say thankyou and try another shop.
If you have any questions or we can help don’t hestitate to send me an e-mail
Post # 10
- Wedding: May 2018 - Coyaba Resort, Montego Bay
Breathe, my friend, BREATHE! You can afford to take a step back for a few days and just relax. Even with a small budget, you can plan a fabulous wedding. Although it is easy to get caught up in all of the details, planning your wedding should not be such a stressful event (at least, not this early in the planning stages!).
We bought a book when we were first engaged about budget weddings for under $5,000. Check around on Amazon & order a few books. There are great tips out there (& while you wait for shipping…use those days to not think about the wedding at all!).
Best of luck!
Post # 11
After I got engaged, EVERYONE wanted to know the wedding plans immediately. But all we did was set the date, and I told them I wanted some time to at least bask in that newly engaged feeling!
We got engaged Dec. 22, 2007, By The Way. I took everything in steps. We set the date for May 2009. I waited until February 2008 and then I booked the venue and my photog. By May 2008, I was ready to get into full planning mode. I’ve done a little by little each month, and things have worked out great! I’m right on time.
By The Way, there are online sites that offer check lists and things to keep you on track. The Knot checklist worked great for me!
Post # 12
I understand your panic. The first few weeks of our engagement encourntered a lot of tears, frustration and more than once asking my fiance if we could elope or even go to the courthouse. We ordered Save the Dates about a month later and once that was done, I was totally calm. Maybe I just needed to get something concrete done but it helped a ton. Now I’m even ENJOYING the planning!
My point is, don’t let your concerns about finding venues, vendors etc squash your happiness. This is a joyous time and enjoy it!
Post # 13
My $0.02 is to not look at everything on one to-do list. It WILL overwhelm you. I just started with something I liked, dress shopping, and went from there. There is no set order you have to do things in.
Don’t forget to spend whole days away from thinking about the wedding. The list will still be there the next day.
Also, remember your Fiance is there to help. Even if he doesn’t know the exact shade of red you are thinking about…he’s half the reason for the whole shebang!
Good luck & breathe!
Post # 14
Congrats! Remember, it’s ok to NOT know every detail of what you want your wedding to look like within the first few weeks, let alone the first few months! (Unless you are planning on a VERY short engagement, in that case, get cracking!!) But if you’re planning on a long engagement (9+ months) then don’t worry about anything just yet – enjoy your newly engaged status! Weddingbee is a great resource, as is The Knot for finding venues (the message boards there scare me, though). Take your time, look around, and get an idea of what you want before you book anything!
Post # 15
I actually posted about this last year "the stages of wedding planning" and i think to a certain extent, the phase of overwhelming stress overshadows the excitement. But we should really try not to let that ruin this special occasion!! 🙂
Break it down!
And start with one thing at a time 🙂