Post # 1
My SO and I are talking a lot about our wedding and how much we are willing to spend for one day.
Here are the facts:
1. I have a LARGE family (150 people and growing) so this basically means we will have a large guest list. 300-350 people total. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that we will have a lot of people invited.
2. I will be graduating college in 35 days (woohoo) and I do not have a “real” job lined up for after graduation. Lets just say I have a huge pile of student loans to pay off as well.
3. We know both sets of parents will want to help us out, but my parents are in no way financially stable themselves. His parents are a little better off but not much.
4. We want to cover at least half of the cost.
5. I plan on doing A LOT of the work myself including all paper things, centerpieces/decor and my own cake (well cupcakes really).
6. We aren’t actually engaged yet, but we do live together and will most likely be engaged by my birthday in August.
7. Our engagement will be about a year and a half (this is the minimum set by me).
1. We do not know where to look for spaces large enough for our event.
2. We do not know how much is reasonable to spend person on food.
3. We do not know how to incorporate things that are “different” without breaking the bank.
I am looking for a little guidance/pieces of advice that any of you can give me.
Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
Honestly, I wouldn’t plan on spending a lot of your own money with student loans coming up and you being unemployed. Take a serious look at what you have and what you are going to need to pay your bills and go from there on what you can really afford.
Post # 4
With a guest list like that it is unlikely for you to probably be where you want to money wise. Honestly, if I were you, I would make some difficult cuts to the guest list.
Post # 5
Honestly, weddings get expensive fast. Its difficult to esimate prices without knowing personally knowing your region.
With the little info I have, here are my thoughts:
1. you won’t be able to afford to feed people a full meal
2. you won’t be able to afford alcohol (even if you have a subsidized bar, you’ll lose lots of money)
3. even DYI, there are a lot of unavoidable costs, no matter how much you try to save
My best suggestion is having a ceremony with an afternoon punch/cake reception. If you want to do the whole big wedding thing, you’ll need to cut your guest list (like immediate family and bridal party only)
Post # 6
So with the bare bones details you’ve provided above, I’d seriously consider having your event at a park during an afternoon with BBQ and a lovely DIY flare. Then if you want to party it up, everyone could meet up at a pub or bar nearby and continue partying.
Between venues, catering, booze, rentals, and all the other shabazz that goes into a wedding, a 350 person guest list is going to be out of control expensive. I seriously would consider keep this as economically responsible as you can, especially if you don’t want to go into debt from a wedding.
Post # 7
Thanks ladies for everything you have said so far!I really appreciate it!
Most of this isnt new stuff for me, and have been trying to convince myself I would have to do it eventually (like cut my guest list down).
I should probably clear up the fac tthat I am not unemployed after graduation. I have a job it just loosely related to what I went to school for and thus isn’t high paying.
I am from Northeastern Wisconsin so it is pretty standard to have a cash bar, not an open bar. So I am not really concerned about liquor cost at all. I know most places require you to meet a minimum purchase per hour but again not an issue for me.
I think ultimately I am trying to settle some nerves that are getting all worked up over the future. It seems sort of scary right now!
Post # 8
Hmm, I’m from Chicago, so being from Wisconsin I assume your prices will be a bit cheaper so.. for food/open bar I would expect $50-70 per person (don’t forget to tack tax and gratuities on though), if you want a cheaper venue, try a park.. you can find some beautiful park blogged weddings to use as inspiration, and you can have as many people as you want… flowers will probably run you 50-100$ each (depending on what you want), Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquets around $50, bridal bouquet about $150, bouts and corsages $10-25, figure in about $1500 for a photog, $1000 for a DJ, $250 for a minister, $500-1000 to rent a ceremony space (even if you do them together, sometimes they’ll charge you for the extra time, we paid $900 for an extra half hour).. if you want fancy table cloths about $25 each, ummmm I don’t know what else… this is all just my experience though– I hope it helps!
Post # 9
I wouldn’t be thinking too hard until there’s a ring on your finger!
Post # 10
@RingPup: TOTALLY agree. It’s fun to plan but it’s absolutely not worth the stress and worry! Save that for when you’re engaged… then the newly engaged high can help cancel out the planning stress 🙂