Struggling to justify costs of a wedding

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
656 posts
Busy bee

We limited the guest list and invited parents/ grandparents, siblings and best man/ maid of honor. With this strict rule, it was way easier to keep the cost down.

Post # 4
Member
656 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
favflamingo :  We had our reception with just these people, no after party or anything. I’d set a strict budget and a strict guest list and stick to it. 

We had family asking to invite aunts and uncles, and we always explained our guest list limit and that’s it. 

Post # 5
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee

My cousin married with just parents, grandparents, siblings and a best man and Maid/Matron of Honor. They they then had a private room in a swanky restaurant booked for them to go to afterwards for dinner and drinks. My cousin’s family is actually extremely wealthy so I know my aunt and uncle would have given them any wedding they wanted so for them it was less about the budget and more about spending such an important day with the people that mattered most. They all had a wonderful day and none of the extended family were offended as it was made clear that it was an intimate affair. 

Post # 6
Member
1828 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

We had a huge party (at least 300 people) but did it cheaply. Very cheap venue, got a good deal on catering, had some decorations but limited and inexpensive, my bouquet was the only real flowers, my dress was less than £200, I had friends do photography and videography, my husband’s uncle was officiant, made our own cake and favours. 

It was less swish than many weddings but everyone who went was happy and fed, which is what mattered to us! You don’t need to spend thousands on a dress, decor, flowers and extras.  

Post # 7
Member
305 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I wanted to elope just the two of us, fiance wanted a more big/traditional thing.  When we talked it out and identified what it was about a wedding that was really important to each of us, we determined that we would love to celebrate with all our friends and family but neither of us wanted to spend thousands$$$ to do it.  I love a house party where everyone is invited, but I want to keep the ceremony simple and intimate.  So our compromise is a courthouse ceremony with immediate family only, followed by a big party in the backyard.

We are paying for the absolute least amount of stuff we can get away with and still be accomodating to our guests.  A couple kegs, barbeque, sheetcake, and as many fake flowers as I can collect in the next 9 months.  Our Save the Date was a Facebook invite and actual invitations will probably be emailed.  My wedding look is being pieced together via Etsy and some secondhand items, all for under $200.  I am doing my own hair and makeup.  We are not hiring a photographer.  No DJ, we are making our own playlist on spotify.  No favors, no bridal party, no chair covers.  It’s been great.  I feel like we’re basically done planning until the month of.  There’s been minimal stress compared to what I read daily on the Bee about other brides struggling with the time and financial commitments involved in making a pinterest wedding happen.  And I feel like we’re being so authentic to our values and personalities.  Doing it different is something I’m very proud of myself for sticking to, because you’d be amazed how many veiled “suggestions” start being thrown your way when you decide to deviate from the industry model.  Our day will probably end up costing somewhere around $2k? maybe 3?  And the guest count will end up being something like 60-80.

Have some serious talks with your fiance about what each of you absolutely wants and don’t want and the solution will become clear.  And don’t be burdened by the opinions of anyone else.  It’s YOUR day.  Do it your way.

Post # 8
Member
65 posts
Worker bee

We first booked a venue that is small and just enough for 100 people which is what we are comfortable with. (the average wedding size here is about 150 people so 100 is considered small)

Those invited are families including extended, because the only reason we’re not eloping is because we wanted our families to be there. That’s around 80 people. The rest are close friends, mostly mutual except for a few close childhood friends.

No coworkers, no parents’ friends, no plus ones unless married or someone close to us too. We also considered not allowing or capping amount of children as some relatives have 4-5 children per couple. But they seem to understand the limited space and intimate size of the wedding so it’s not an issue just yet. People will understand that you can’t invite everyone when the venue is tiny. That’s the best way to keep costs down because less decor, less food, less everything.

Post # 8
Member
3070 posts
Sugar bee

The idea of spending minimum $10K on one day makes me want to vomit. We’re debt free, and we intend to stay that way!!!! We’re getting married in a small chapel with immediate family, and 5 friends. Then going to dinner at a restaurant within walking distance. 

So your plan sounds perfect to me!!

Post # 9
Member
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

My Fiance and I are also eloping. We’re going to say our vows on an exotic beach just us two. When we get back we’re going to have an intimate party/reception with our closest family. We also rather put the money on our honeymoon or something else than just a one day wedding.

Post # 10
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

My fiance and I are in the same boat. We decided to have a cermony at the courthouse and hire a photographer to capture the day and take photos of us in the city. His family owns a cabin in his homestate, and we will have a small reception/party there, and cater food from a local caterer. It saves us a lot of money, and we still get to celebrate with family and friends. 

Post # 11
Member
11280 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
favflamingo :  

This is your day.  It’s all about you and the love of your life.

Twisting yourself into knots and bankrupting yourselves to have the wedding your Fi’s family thinks you ought to have is an awful idea.

The trade off for having the wedding you want is some family drama.  Get used to it.  If they’re likely to be in high dudgeon  about your nuptials, they’ll find other occasions to get themselves worked up.

You can’t let other people’s melodramas control you.  Have the wedding you and your Fi want and can realistically afford.

Post # 12
Member
210 posts
Helper bee

 

Hey bee, you’ll see from my previous thread that I did a lot of struggling with this as well! 

We will be having 20 of our closest family and friends (we don’t have a large family) attend a civil wedding and then an afternoon tea at a lovely venue. 

My outfit in full (I have decided not to wear a traditional dress but a short lace pencil dress and beautiful white coat) will be inexpensive. We’ve also opted not to have photography. Shock horror. I don’t recommend anyone does that but it eliminated a lot of pressure for me. 

I wanted to post because I copped so much backlash from my closest people who do love me but have a lot of expectations as to how weddings should be and look. It actually breaks my heart and has made this process more stressful than it needs to be. I can’t count the times I came home in tears and spent nights agonizing over things because of another comment from a best friend or work colleague. 

I have now manned up, decided 100% on what we want, and started telling my nearest and dearest “Oh it’s just going to be small, the most important thing for us was to share this with you all than elope”, and then if being kind doesn’t work I start to get a bit sarcastic and that can work well “Oh that’s a great idea for us to have a reception at x venue, thank you for offering to cover some of the cost but Fiance and I are very independent and want to cover costs ourselves”. Lol. Normally works when you mention money! 

Weddings are so full of expectations and can be financially crippling. Just ignore them and you do you. If they want to have a say, they can pay for it, otherwise use your money for better things 😊

Be assertive and upfront about it and people will accept and get over it after a little bit of time 

Post # 13
Member
1964 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Awww bee 🙂 <3 Welcome to my world. Between my fiance’s large family and mine, the guest list is around 200 people. We’re so upset, but we can’t imagine a wedding day spent without our families. 

It’s really helped that my folks are stepping up to pay for all the food, as long as we pick a reasonable place (plates are $30 a person so it’s nothing overly fancy) and the guest list is limited to 200 people – not a single more. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck paying for the open bar and other insane expenses. 

The best advice I have is just picking three things you really care about, and cut costs EVERYWHERE else. For example, I want a glorious dress, my entire family there, and decent (doesn’t need to be perfect but DECENT) food. He wants a good DJ, his entire family there, and an open bar. We care about nothing else.

So we’re skimping on everything else. Our budget crept up to $2,000 more than what we wanted, but that’s all. You just have to compromise and really buckle down!

I wish you the best of luck! 

Post # 15
Member
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

It’s definitely possible to keep costs down. I will be upfront now that I didn’t pay for my dress, so it isn’t included in my budget, but we’re spending about $5000 including tips and everything for our wedding. $400 for our officiant, no cost to rent a room in a restaurant, estimated $1100 for food and drinks, $800 for our photographer. $300 each for his and my ring. I’m budgeting about $400 for my hair, makeup, and accessories.

We’re doing minimal decor, most likely not doing flowers, we aren’t having a DJ or dancing, since we’re doing everything in the restaurant. We’re inviting 50 people. 

Keep your guest list limited, pick your budget, and stick to it. I honestly wanted to elope just the two of us, but we decided to expand it into a mini-wedding. Sometimes I still wish we were courthousing it, but it’s going to be a really easy lowkey day.

Good luck!

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