Post # 1
Alright, so while I know pretty much every response to this will somehow go back to me having to wait and save a little bit longer, but I figure I’ll see what everyone here has to say, and maybe there’s some things I haven’t thought of!
A little background: My fiance and I have been together for 5 years, we got engaged in May of this year. Bottom line, we have no money. My dad passed away 6 years ago, and my mom has no money to help us. His parents are in the middle of getting separated (possible divorce) so they arent helping either. I have a decent job, and as of 2 weeks ago, so did my fiance. But he was just laid off. Even before his layoff, we were MAJOR struggling to make anything work, wedding-wise. I keep going back and forth between wanting to have a decent sized reception, to just having a courthouse ceremony and a small dinner with our close family afterwards. I know whats *truly* important, but I still want a semi-traditional reception. The dancing, the cake cutting, all of that. But it just doesnt seem possible. I thought of having it in my moms backyard, but we live in Buffalo, NY and the weather is completely unpredictable. I said we could spend afford to spend $2000 total on a wedding and my fiance basically laughed in my face! Is there anything in between a courthouse/dinner type thing, and a reception? Something DIY is definitely up my alley, but I just cant seem to make it all work. We are getting a little help: my aunt is a florist and as a gift is taking care of flowers, a friend works at a party rental place so tents/tables/chairs would be cheap, and I already bought my dress for only $100! Anyone have any suggestions, advice, etc?
Post # 3
Maybe you could have it in your Mom’s backyard and use tents to create a wedding/reception room. You can have tables and chairs and you could rent a dance floor so you will be safe no matter what the weather is. Check your local Craigslist for cheap cake bakers and other Vendors. Have friends take pictures, use an Ipod for music, you could even make it a mingling type reception so that there doesn’t have to be a seat for everyone at all times. Create your own buffet or have some BBQ catered in for $6-$10 per person from a local restaurant. Or just get catering from Quiznos, Qdoba, Subway or whatever you have in your area.
Because we have children, we get a rather large tax return at tax time. We took $2000 from that, which I was planning to be the whole wedding, but then my family pitched in on different things so our budget turned into $6000. Mom paid for food and harpist, brother paid for photographer, grandparents contributed $1200, and bridesmaid contributed $750 toward the ceremony venue.
Post # 4
This is assuming you can rent all of these things cheap from your friend
Post # 5
@aubrav: thanks alot! thats pretty much everything I thought of too =) I’m a wedding photographer so thankfully, my network of photographers all pitched in and said they’d do the photos at no charge to me! thanks for the advice
Post # 6
Even though you are being gifted some services, try a Friday evening/Saturday brunch/Sunday brunch event. Usually vendors/venues offer a discount for non-traditional times. Skip alcohol or keep it to a minimum. Either way, don’t do a cocktail hour (no appetizers). Keeping your guest list down really makes a difference. Many brides on this site do an ipod instead of a DJ. If necessary, get a second job–worth it if you really want this. We paid for most of ours ourselves–every extra penny got saved, we never ate out or took a vacation, we have half a house without furniture, we didn’t take a honeymoon. It wasn’t always easy but I do think it was worth it!
Post # 7
I think most people have covered my ideas. You could always do a cake and punch or something simple instead of a meal. Off days do get discounts and don’t be affraid to ask if they could do anything better on the price. I have also made a point of putting what I have left after paying bills into the wedding account even if it is only $20 it will help pay as you go. If you are a photographer maybe you could even barter out some of your services and do a wedding at a discount or something in return for other services. Look on craigslist for some of these options.
Post # 8
@mrs_w: As a fellow Upstate, New Yorker backyard weddings CAN be done, even despite our crappy weather. What I would suggest doing is planning your wedding for a Sunday of a holiday weekend (memorial day or labor day would be best for up here weather wise). Rent the rent through your friends company and hold your reception under there. If renting the tables and chairs through your friends company will be too expensive, contact local churches or community centers and see about renting banquet tables and chairs from there. If you are the member of a church, perhaps you could get your ceremony for cheap. If not, either try to set it up at a local park (they normally charge like $50 to rent a ceremony spot) or just have that in your moms backyard as well. If you go with either of these two weekends you could easily have an awesome BBQ type reception and you’ll be providing your own beverages so you can control those costs. Use an iPod as your entertainment and assign a dependable friend to man it for the evening. Contact some local colleges photography departments and see if they can suggest a good student photographer. You’ll be able to book one of them for $100 and dinner. If you dont want to go that route, check out craigslist! You CAN have an awesome wedding for $2,000 but I would definitely suggest using your moms backyard that way you can have complete control over your budget.
Post # 9
What great ideas…i am going to steal some of them!! You can have a fantastic wedding for 2k! keep it simple, looks like you have a great network of friends and family! I like the idea of keeping it at your moms house, or a park…they are free.
Post # 10
Look into the local Moose, VFW, etc type lodges. They can be really cheap and provide the facitlities you need. You can do your own food and alchool there
Post # 11
I think it’s also important to remember that you still have 10 months. When we were budgeting, the total number just seemed so large and daunting. So we decided how much we thought we could spend/save a month…about 6 months before we got engaged we started keeping track of our daily spendings (everything, including gum at the corner store) ultimately we managed to squeeze about $150 a week out of our regular spending between the two of us, (we even moved apartments!) so over the course of 18 months it ended up being a nice chunk of change…
Also we got a credit card specifically for the wedding which is connected directly to our wedding saving account so we don’t ever have to worry about paying interest. By the time we get to the wedding we’ll have enough miles to pay for our tickets to the wedding (in Costa Rica)!
So in addition to trying to cut corners where you can and work your connections you should really figure out a timeline for your spending. Be creative and remember that at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is that you’ll be married 😀
Post # 12
I live in NY, Orange County and my wedding is a 5k budget. Bulk is to the ceremony/reception venue. It can be done. Find a community room or someplace you can have the party and do your own catering. Some people have a huge cocktail type menu buffet style as the dinner, heavy appettizers. For my brothers wedding we all cooked, he was having about 70 ppl. The place had a full kitchen, we hired 2 ladies (neighbors) to man the kitchen, bring out the food to the buffet and clean up kitchen after, that costs $250 for both. Groceries I think they paid about $350. To ofset that if you don’t have many cookers, most restauants/delis do tray drop off catering. I found some for as low as $19 pp to do the drop off service with all utensils and condiments when we considered it due to our budget. Most clubs and societies rent out rooms. Especially Veteran halls. For cake, get a tand at an craft store, purchase seperate cakes (8″ round, 10″ round, 12″ round,) decorated in same flowers and place on your stand, I guarantee you you wont spend $60 on your cake!
I’m making everything!! I’ve purchased some of my centerpiece things here on the classifieds at mostly 1/2 of the original cost. Got my invites on clearance at Micheal’s and printing at home, favors are less than $1 each, great sites online to get from. I’ve won tons of stuff, including a 5 day cruise at the bridal expos. Go to everyone and enter every contest!! Won a free engagement session with the 11×14 framed signature photo for the reception. It can be done, feel free to private message me for ideas and vendors I’m using.
Post # 13
If you are worried about weather, check out local community centers! We found one right by my house that rented for $40/hour to people in the community and provided tables and chairs AND it is a gorgeous location! Definitely worth looking into at the very least (assuming you haven’t already of course!).
Post # 14
I think a good idea for you, since you are a photographer is maybe advertise (either here or on a website like craigslist) to barter your services for services from another bride. That may be a good option also.
Post # 15
Another thing you could do is find a local church, or one that you attend if you do attend church. They always have big rooms for their events. I’m sure you could find one that will let you use it. And you’ve got the church right there if you want a church wedding. I’ve been to one of those, and the reception was in the church’s gym. It had been decorated DIY and looked very nice!