(Closed) Planning a SMALL wedding

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
590 posts
Busy bee

There’s a DIY blog I read and the couple who runs it hosted a 75 person reception in their backyard years ago for $4,000 (which included a photo booth splurge for $1,200). They did a BBQ as well. You might get some ideas from there: https://www.younghouselove.com/our-backyard-wedding/

They also did a podcast 10 years later with what they would change: https://www.younghouselove.com/54-wed-change-4000-backyard-wedding/

Post # 3
Member
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Don’t skip professional caterers. You don’t want to give your people food poisoning. 

Why not skip the larger reception and just have a small dinner with the people you care enough about to see you actually get married? 

Post # 4
Member
370 posts
Helper bee

It’s totally doable!

Most venues that host a ceremony-only event are pretty affordable. You can also look into a park or the beach. If you attend a church, you could probably have the ceremony there as well – and as for tables and chairs, if you belong to a church, usually they have some you could borrow instead of renting. As far as renting goes for tables and chairs, just look for the best deal. Tents can be pricey, but if you could get one company to do it and the tables and chairs for one price, that’s probably going to be your best bet.

Look on YouTube for Dollar Tree wedding decor – there’s some really awesome stuff you can find and throw it together for cheap! Look into a wholesale market for getting flowers – putting together bouquets is actually fairly easy and there are tutorials on YouTube for that as well if you want, but you can also grab a few bunches, get a vase from Dollar Tree, throw the flowers into the vases here and there. Amazon is a good place to find table runners and other little things that can add up. Candles in glass votives can make a big statement and are fairly inexpensive in bulk, too, but definitely check Amazon and Walmart for them – I suggest doing a combination of votive size and tealights, not all tealights because they run out pretty quickly. Floating candles in vases with water (can even add food coloring to match the water to your decor) is nice, too, and pretty cheap.

 I’ll be doing something similar and we found a BBQ place that we can get food to serve 50 for about $300 (excluding drinks) and that includes rolls, pulled pork, fried chicken, and plenty of sides of our choice.

Post # 6
Member
957 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
ktb19 :  depends on your location really.

Please make sure you have enough chairs, people need seats to sit. Porta potty, liability insurance. Parking??? Where will soany people park? 

Post # 7
Member
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
ktb19 :  But you’re only inviting a few people the the ceremony, just make that your reception list. 

Post # 9
Member
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Hi! I definitely think it is doable to do this within your budget. I don’t have any experience with a wedding specifically, but I did help my SO’s mother with a barbecue for about 50 or so people for her daughter’s graduation. She rented a tent, tables, and chairs for I think like $700 (that includes the delivery). She also did drop off catering from a popular BBQ caterer in our area for I think $700 or so (and it was a LOT of food). Drinks weren’t much, just soda because they were kids, but I don’t think it would blow your budget to buy some cheap beer and wine. So for my event it was around $1500 all in, if it had been a wedding with booze and decorations I think it still would have been under $3000.

Also FYI, if you google party rentals in your area, you can most likely get the cost to rental a tent, tables, and chairs online, so that would be a quick way to see if your budget is doable in your area.

Post # 11
Member
8 posts
Newbee

Yes! We did this, but a little backwards. We are having 25 people at a small destination wedding about a 5 hours drive from our families in September. But my parents really wanted to do something for the extended family and friends, so just two weeks ago we had a backyard BBQ at their house. About 70 people came. We rented a tent, tables, and chairs. My dad made the meat (he is a grill amster, so made brisket and friend chicken), my uncle made a giant pasta salad, our next door neighbor made mac and cheese, and my mom made beans. We ordered meat and cheese trays, fruit and veggies trays, and potato salad from our local grocery store. We got a dessert table with cake pops, mini cupcakces etc set up in the house. 

We borrowed tableclothes from anyone that had them. None of them matched and absolutely no one cared. We got cheap disposable plates, cups, and silverware at costco. We stocked up on water bottles and pop when it was on sale the last month or two from the party. We borrowed roaster pans from family members to keep food warm. Honestly, I don’t have an overall $ amount they spent, but it was done pretty frugally. Let me know if you have any questions! You can totally do it if you are creative!!

Post # 12
Member
305 posts
Helper bee

My parents rented tables & chairs and hosted their wedding in my grandma’s backyard! Obviously, their budget doesn’t apply and I’m not sure what it was, but they cooked food for weeks and froze it, then heated it up the day of. It sounded pretty similar to what you said, and I think the guest list was about the same. I say, go for it!

Post # 14
Member
1035 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
ktb19 :  We’re having a small wedding (15 people) and when I priced everything out I found that it was actually cheaper to get a private room at a restaurant than it would be to rent a tent, tables, chairs, and then catering etc. We’re having the ceremony in the backyard but the reception at a restaurant. Something to consider if you’re trying to save money.

Post # 15
Member
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Please have it catered.  I just threw a family reunion for 50 people, I served pasta alfredo, spaghetti w/ meatballs and salad for $300, it was catered.

By the time you are done with food shopping, prep, cooking, transporting and serving you will be above $300, trust me on that one.

Hubby and I went to a wedding where the groom cooked in the residential house kitchen (not a church one, where it is commercially bigger) and we bever saw him, not once, the entire night!!  Please don’t have your family, who should be honored guests, cook all evening, or prep and serve.

Also, 60-65 people is not small, that is a medium sized wedding.  Our wedding was 55 invited, 44 people total and it felt plenty big to me.  

Best wishes!

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