Post # 1
Hi everyone. My boyfriend proposed to be on December 20th after seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (best night of my life).
Since then I decided to start planning immediately, and found myself in the budget woes. Neither of us have a lot of money saved, mostly because our home was damaged and we lost 90% of everything we owed during Hurricane Irene. His parents are help us out some, about $5,000 and I have about $5,000 saved, my parents might be able to help some, but it’s not really for certain. I guess it seems like if I lived anywhere else budgeting 15,000 for a wedding is do-able. Unfortunately, New Jersey seems overly priced and almost cruel to the lower budget bride. Out of necessity I am doing my favors, decorations, bouquet and centerpieces myself. I also set a budget of $300 for reception centerpieces. Looking over some of the ideas I’ve gathered, this seems a little too low, but I am trying to adhere to it.
I’ve found some great bulk and wholesale resources for weddings, but not much in the way of flowers (silk or real). I will likely be ordering my flowers for my bouquet from Sam’s club or Growersbox, but I was wondering if there are other places you all have had good luck with for flowers. I am not opposed to silk flowers for the centerpieces since I’m assembling them all myself.
Post # 3
My best friend used fiftyflowers.com for all her bouquets and centrepieces, I know alot of brides on here rave about them too!! Worth the while to check them out. They carry every flower or close to it, and prices are decent since your buying in bulk.
Post # 4
You can go to Michael’s Arts and Crafts to get fake flowers if you don’t mind not having fresh flowers.
Also, I made these small centerpieces and it cost less than $5 each.
Post # 5
I would also compare prices at Costo if you have one in your area. What bulk and wholesale sites have you found? I am about to be in the same boat as you and have been searching around for good sites.
Post # 6
Hello – First of all, let me express my condolences about that b*tch Irene. I live in southern NY, and we had a boatload of flood damage (it was just terrible around here)…so I can only imagine how horrible it was where you are.
Secondly, I wanted to discuss your centerpieces. I was thinking that you can most definitely completely avoid flowers and still have a gorgeous, dramatic centerpiece setup. What about putting 3 slender cylindrical vases of varying heights with either water and a floating candle or beads (if you so choose, in your wedding colors), for an affordable dramatic effect? You can get these vases in bulk online and I’m sure you get them cheap at craft stores, wholesale stores, etc. I don’t know how many guests you are having but this would be a pretty affordable and gorgeous way to go.
In regards to flowers, what are your wedding colors? My suggestion would be that if you are going for drama and would like real flowers, consider the non-typical wedding flowers that come with multiple flowers per stem (more bang for your buck). I am thinking hyacinth, stock, gladiolas, hydrangea, (a lot of bulb flowers), and considering when you are getting married, even consider mums (gorgeous flowers with a lot of seasonal drama that are affordable – could even go to Price Chopper or Stop and Shop for your flowers and could arrange them yourself to save some bucks! [I’ve heard good things about their wedding flower services]).
In regards to favors, have you thought of donating to the Red Cross as the favor or giving out a little tree seedling? I just think with the way the hurricane has touched you, putting a positive spin on the challenge that has hit you guys (and so many in our area) would really be a touching spin on the day. I know some bees on other boards have mentioned that they don’t think favors are necessary and donation favors may give off a slightly pretentious vibe, but I think given your situation, it would be sweet and thoughtful.
Best of luck to you – if you’re ever interested in speaking further or bouncing ideas off of someone, you are more than welcome to PM me!
Post # 7
Are you having round tables or rectangle tables? I think im going to go with rectangle (my venue offers both) and do a tablescape instead of centerpieces. I think it will cut down a lot on cost. Plus I plan on putting edible things on the tables as well to pull “double duty” I’m thinking cookies, maybe fancy veggies/dip not sure yet.
Post # 8
You can do this!
Look around the Bee for ideas on saving money — these girls really have some good ones!
Get things second-hand. Weddingbee has a great classifieds section, but you can also look online at sites like craigslist. I got some great flowers and vases and glasses and other misc. on craigslist.
You said that your DIY is out of necessity. Don’t think of it that way! DIY is the way to go! It’s great for saving money, but you can get so much personalization out of it too. My entire wedding was DIY. Invitations, centerpieces, flowers, set up, even right down to the food. And it was a blast! I loved planning my wedding.
I wish you all the best in your planning and preparations!
Post # 9
I was worried about my centerpiece cost too until the other day… I was walking past a local shop and they had the cutest little fishbowl vases on sale for $2 and $4, I stocked up heaps and now I’m planning to do different things for each table. I’m thinking rocks, fruit, water and flowers, flowers underwater, candles, combinations of all of the above! Vases really open up a whole world of very affordable options! I’ve got 14 tables and spent about $80 on vases, the rest should be $50 or less for materials.
Good luck 🙂
Post # 10
I’m doing something similar to this and instead of using vases, I am using large beer glasses from Ikea mixed with drinking glasses. Each glass works out to be less than $1.50. If you really want vases that are large, the Dollar Tree sells goregous ones in the states for $1. As for the candles, Ikea sells 24 floating candles for $6! That would easily set you at less than $10 a centrepiece if you add in a few silk flowers from Michael’s if you buy them with a 40% coupon.
Post # 11
We are budet wary as well. But we basically prioritized what was important and what was not. For us, space, location, and photography will be our big splurges. Food and music were secondary. Both of us didn’t care about flowers.
From there, were worked on what we could cut that would be at a normal wedding. We dont need a photobooth. And since flowers were at the bottom, we are doing them super minimal (just for my bouquet and for our moms). I’m also pretty DYI-oriented, so little things will get made by me (invitations, the minimal flowers, etc).
My family cannot financially afford to help us, but we have a ton of volunteers to buy the little things as time passes.
Also, just know that the more unique you go… the more expensive it will probably be, at least that’s how it is in Chicago. Everyone wants to pay a premium.
Post # 12
Thank you everyone for your help and warm wishes. I’ll let you all know as it goes, I’m sure. 🙂
Currently, I’m buying old bottles from flea markets and stuff and plan on doing 3-5 as bud vases for the centerpiece. I’d love to splurge for dahlias or peony, but I might find something else 3with the same look.
Post # 13
@Natasliah: I ordered flowers from bridesign.com It can be very affordable for centerpieces; you can order loose stems and put them together yourself pretty easily. The flowers arrived the Thursday before my Sunday wedding and they stayed fresh the whole. If you haven’t look at them, you should check them out