Post # 1
Some of you saw my post yesterday about being laid off for the second time in 18 months… Many comments mentioned scaling back the wedding plans to make it more affordable. Our issue is that we were already having a reasonable cost to our wedding (just about $6k).
One thing we will NOT budge on is taking a honeymoon. 🙂 That for us is an absolute must and was not factored into the $6k cost.
Here is what we already have booked/paid for / also not factored into the $6k budget:
- Officiant (fully paid, non-refundable)
- Venue (only paid $200 deposit, I think I can get out of this contract)
- Rings & Dress (Paid for, dress was overbudget to begin with, may be able to return/exchange for lesser dress)
- Decor (most of the decor is already purchased, total cost around $400, all of it is re-sellable or we are willing to consider as a sunk cost)
So here are a few of our options (and I’m open to other suggestions and ideas):
- Cutting the guest list by half, keeping the venue and all of the above. This would save us an estimated $1500 (which In My Humble Opinion isn’t much)
- Cancel the venue completely, use the officiant to be married in a TINY ceremony, look for a small, potentially free or very low cost space, exchange my dress for something more casual and not have a formal reception at all. (This option would save us a LOT of money, in the thousands)
- See above but hold a dinner for everyone afterward (no idea the cost savings here, but I would estimate only a few hundred dollars)
- See above, still get married in October 2010 – throw a BBQ next summer and make that really casual and relatively non-wedding. (again, not sure how much of a cost savings this would be)
- Run off to Vegas and get married with anyone who could afford to be there. This would mean that it’s unlikely our families could attend. (still could be pricey because we don’t want to honeymoon in Vegas)
- Run off and get married alone on the beach. Again, no one can attend on such short notice. May or may not have a reception… (basically we worry that everyone would be upset with us! – but it would be the least expensive)
I would LOVE some help from people on wedding research – Anyone got pointers or ideas? What have you found in looking into these types of ideas? Is Vegas really THAT much less? Did you elope – and if so, did you miss not having your parents there?
Just remember, the only two things we are set on for sure – No postponing and not sacrificing the honeymoon. 🙂
I’m open to ideas but so conflicted!
Post # 3
Maybe you could elope and have a potluck reception where people help by bringing food and drink?
Post # 4
Since the officiant is fully paid for, I would lean toward option 2 and find a free place to hold the ceremony (park, beach, etc.). Then have the small party go back to someone’s house for a BBQ or a cake/punch reception.
Can you put your dress for sale ahead of time to see if you get any takers? If you can’t sell it ahead of time, or trade in for a lower cost dress, then wear it and view as a beatiful sunk cost!
Post # 5
Could you do a morning wedding at your venue? Or a bbq/potluck reception? Is the venue for ceremony, reception or both? Is it a big chunk of your budget?
Post # 6
Well since the decor, officiant dress and ring are already paid for, try and change the location maybe a community center or church hall, knights of columbus etc. and have family cook for you also costco, bjs or sams club have dinner ware that looks like glass but is actually plastic and silvertone plastic utensils. I went to a wedding this summer that was prepared just like this and it was really nice.
Post # 7
Since you already have decorations, what about going to a community center, large backyard (if someone in the family has one!), church basement or something, and then having a potluck meal. Lower your guest list, or see who on the list would be willing to bring food, and go from there. I think you can totally lower costs, and use family and friends, who would want to be there and may be upset if you went away, and get their help for food etc. Then pay for punch and such for drinks! Food is the biggest expense, so try cutting that the best you can!
Post # 8
As far as venue, are there any parks with picnic shelters around you? Usually they only cost a couple hundred bucks and provide a rain day protection (and usually a restroom), which are 2 things that can escalate the costs of a casual backyard reception.
Post # 9
Ah, a key part of info I should have put here. We live in the Seattle area, so an outdoor event is completely out of the question due to weather in October. We also do not have a large enough house or yard to hold a reception ourselves at our home. We considered all of these issues when originally planning the wedding – which is how we ended up with the venue we chose.
@MissAsB – We could elope, for sure – what holds us back are the reactions of our folks and our concern about not having them with us at the moment we get married. We are close to our families and this is an issue that we would have to put very serious thought into. Also the reception would be next summer – I have concerns about the appropriate-ness of having a reception that far beyond the wedding.
@Goldilocks – The dress is from Davi’s and they have REALLY screwed some stuff up so far with me, so I don’t think a return exchange issue would be a problem at all. Selling it would be an option except I think I would end up taking too big a loss on what is a PERFECT new dress (I haven’t even picked it up yet!)
We also cannot use the venue for a potluck because of the catering portion of the contract. If we have it there, it’s either $800 for the venue plus about $25/pp or $1400 and we can self-cater or do a potluck.
Post # 10
I vote for option one. Scaling back and then trying to sell the dress and decor afterwards sounds like the most practical and least stressful option. $4500 isn’t too bad- and I doubt you’d neccesarily save that much more on the other options.
Eloping sounds like a good idea- but your heart doesn’t seem into it by what I read. It’s one day- you shouldn’t compromise your vision of being with family.
Hugs! You can make this work!
Post # 11
why not do a later ceremony (ie 4 or 5pm) then doing light refreshments like appetizers and desserts and then a dance. If you cant afford to feed everyone dont. I lost my job as well in january and our wedding is in september. I was freaking out at first like how am i going to pay for everything, but family pitched in and now we got it covered. 6k is a nice inexpensive wedding.. ours is hitting 15k and im doing a lot diy!!! weddings are so darn expensive
good luck with whatever you plan to do
Post # 12
Sorry for your luck. That sucks! My Fiance was laid off 4 months before the wedding. That ate up all our wedding savings.
I think the first thing you need to do is MAKE SURE you can return your dress. Also MAKE SURE you can get our of your contract. We cancelled a contract and there was a whole thing of it. We may have to pay 3500$ if the room doesn’t rebook. Even if you exchange your dress, it won’t be the same cost of the orginal, and what are you going to do with a bridal store credit!
JUST make sure of these things now, so you know your options now and that will allow you to plan!!
Post # 13
i agree that you dont sound like you want to elope, and to me, its not worth the savings.
i would definitly try to find a lower priced venue. (i hear ya on the weather in october, were in oregon so we have a back up plan for our outdoor wedding)
decor can be used in lots of places. and if the dress was above budget to begin with, then i would try to exchange it if possible. if not, you can take good care of it and hopefully resell.
potluck is a great idea since you are close to your family. it means a lot for family to work together to provide for your wedding. you dont have to ask all guests to bring a dish, just a few.
depending on the location options, you may be better off going for a few months earlier so you can do a picnic in the park, no need to rent tables/chairs if there are picnic tables, use them , or bring lots of blankets to sit on.
GL and Hope This Helps
Post # 14
I had to quit my job in november of this past year. Luckly I had nothing set in stone so I moved our wedding date to 2012 from 2011. I think you have some good ideas there on your own. I think though still having your ceremony and then having a potluck BBQ would be great! I don’t know how the weather is in Marysville, WA at the end of October but we generally still have ok BBQ weather here, and I live in Northern Canada.
Post # 15
I’m so sorry you lost your job! I would go with the second option though. Cancel the venue & look for a park or by donation ceremony location. I think having a family cooked meal at someone’s home would be a sweet option! It’s about you as a couple, not what you can & cannot afford. I’d much rather attend a wedding where the couple stayed within their means instead of a blow out party that put them in huge debt. The point is your union. 🙂
Post # 16
I’m so sorry to hear you lost your job! Here are some things we did for my wedding to keep costs down.
- One attendant for each of us. Don’t know if you’ve already asked your bridal party but if it’s not too late, limiting your bridal saves $ by limiting the number of flowers needed, attendant gifts, etc, etc.
- We did not have a formal reception. We held our reception at a “cafe” that the church has. It was an open space with couches and chairs scattered throughout. Our local Wegman’s grocery store has an amazing catering department and we ordered several trays to be served as hor doerves. We were able to serve our 100 guests for for under $900 and the range of food we were able to serve was great – steamed shrimp, sushi, cheese & crackers, fruit, veggies, tex mex dip, etc, etc. We got paper goods from BJ’s and hired 3 college students to pick up and serve all of the food. We also served wedding cake from a local bakery. I got so many comments on how great the food was and how many people enjoyed the simplicity. It was a great time for everyone to mingle.
- Have a friend do your flowers for you. I had a friend do all my flowers and only had to pay for the cost of the flowers themselves.
Keep working at it. With some creativity and determination, I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you!!!