Post # 62
@prettykatie: Where I live, most places have packages and open bar is included. In the package below mine it was 4 hours of open bar and food. I had to upgrade in order to get table linens, napkins, and honestly a nicer food presentation.
@Candi1024: Fiance is taking a class that devours a good 25 hours a week alone. He would have NO time to get a job. He is neurotic enough right now. I don’t need to hear about the added stress from him if he got a job too.
The weird thing was when I asked not to have the open bar since no one in my famil drinks, I was told they would charge me a fee to not serve alcohol. It was cheaper to keep the alcohol in the package pp. Again with the ice sculpture, had I chose not to have it, I would get no refund.
Good news is that my bridemaid said she is going to help me make the invitations from some supplies she has at her house. YAY!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think I can put something together with some candles and glasswear. I finally talked her into it after showing her pictures and told her how cheap they would be a piece.
Post # 63
I am sorry you’re feeling so overwhelmed.
It seems like the hive is suggesting a lot of ways to cut costs from your wedding and to save money on the way you accomplish getting your dress altered, etc. which is great. There are tons of ways to save on a wedding and these gals know them all!
You kind of struck a different note with me, however, and maybe that’s because I too am living pay check to pay check AND trying to save money (my Fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves). It is very very gracious of your mother to pay for your wedding, and it sounds like you’ve let her have a lot of say because of it. But now you know that this means limits. She can’t afford to cover the entire cost of the wedding. She’s gifted you a substantial part, but if that’s all she can afford, then who can hold it against her? I would make your priority now earning money to cover the things that are important to you, because if you pay for them, she can’t say you can’t include them.
Now it sounds to me like you are already working hard- I think you mentioned having two jobs. I understand. I am busting my butt too (and recently graduated from school- I was working full-time and going to school full-time) and barely making enough to cover Fiance and I’s car payments/rent/electricity etc. No doubt about it the economy sucks. So I have been racking my brain with creative ways to earn money to pay for our wedding. Maybe you could swing something too, even if it only allows for the meager-est flowers, you know? I mean, I am doing EVERYTHING. I am picking up pennies off the sidewalk (not proud to admit it, and it doesn’t help much but I keep telling myself, when you have nothing anything is something). I have been returning our soda bottles/cans for the deposit every other week, and putting that money aside. I am planning a huge tag sale this summer, the profits from which go directly to the wedding. My tax rebate $600 is going into savings, even though I could REALLY use that money for the day to day stuff. If I get a raise soon (which I’m due) that extra 50 cents- $1.00 an hour is going toward the wedding. If I work overtime, that money is going toward the wedding. I’m trying to think of other fundraiser type events to hold without it being too time-consuming/give-me-money-ish. Oh, and if you have any special talents (I don’t, but maybe you do)- I’ve heard of vendors swapping services in place of payment. I don’t know. This is just my outlook. I am cutting back in the day to day stuff until it hurts too, just to pay the bills. Some people have told you to push back the wedding until you can afford it, I’ve already done that (its not til Sept. 09)- so I have so time, and hopefulyl will save enough. I hope you do too!
All this may sound crazy (and I’m sorry this si so long) but I intend to have a) a beautiful wedding and b) a budget I can afford without going into debt, and this is how I’m going to start. Hope this helps?
Post # 64
Oh, and I know your Fiance is swamped, the bar isn’t easy I’m sure, but I’d def. get that boy working! Even if it’s eight hours a week at starbucks! Even if it’s mowing a few lawns! :o)
Post # 65
@Candi1024 and @Katie:
My Fiance is also studying for the bar. Class is about 20-25 hours per week, and the class expects you to study at least another 4 hours a day on top of that. Really, for our sanity’s sake. it is much better for him not to work on top of this right now, there’s enough anxiety in just passing the bar on the first shot.
His day is roughly get up, go to class, come home, eat, study, I come home, dinner, study some more, watch an hour of TV or play video games, study, then sleep. His Saturdays are all day study sessions, Sundays are the one day a week he allows himself to not study so that he doesn’t burnout.
I can’t wait for the bar to be OVER. Six more weeks. He can consider working then, perhaps looking for contract document review work if he has a job lined up for a later in the year start date.
Post # 66
i don’t think you should ask your Fiance to work at all. my Fiance went to grad school for nursing and was an absolute wreck with everything he had to do for his education so that WE could have a better life in the future. i’m assuming your Fiance is doing the same. i could not even imagine asking him to get a job at that time just so i could have pretty flowers and and an open bar at our wedding.
we are also planning a wedding on a very tight budget — anything is possible, really! you just have to prioritize. what can you cut and what things are non-negotiable — that’s really what it comes down to.
good luck! everything will turn out well in the end.
Post # 67
The gas surchages are ruining my wedding to be. My family will be flying over from the UK and the price of airfare is dramatically increasing everyday. What started at expensive yet affordable is fast becoming way out of everybodies price range. I want them all to be there but can’t expect them to fork out that kind of money. Lets just hope the bubble bursts soon enough…
Post # 68
There are so many ways to create a gorgeous wedding for almost nothing! For my own wedding we used flowers from our back yard and friends – and a wedding I blogged about a few weeks ago spent $200 on flowers from a local farm. The bottom line is you can do a lot with a little – so think of this as a chance to get creative! Good luck!
The Green Bride Guide
Post # 69
My mom and step dad did a wedding in 2003 for under $5000. I agree with anyone that says $3000 in flowers in unnecessary. I’m doing a wedding for under $4000 and its going to be wonderful. Everything i have is beautiful. Do as my mom did if need be…BUY FAKE FLOWERS and put them together in bouquets yourself. Her’s turned out nice. I’m doing fake flowers and i’m having a lady off ebay put it together for me. my whole bridal party plus a few extras will have flowers for under $200. You don’t need the most expensive of everything and if you do, then you should wait til your fiance has a job or you find jobs other than in the summer. They’re out there. even if it is fast food. That little bit of money is better than nothing at all.
Post # 70
we’re getting married in center city philly, and our per person is just a little over $100 for all inclusive (5 hr bar, cocktail hour, champagne toast, etc) afternoon reception. prices around us are much higher than in the burbs, cos we looked for some of our vendors outside city limits to save money (photographer from jersey, tux rental from jenkintown, dress from delaware, etc) and one huge savings was to have an afternoon reception instead of evening which saved us $30+ a person. Maybe you can move your reception to the afternoon? We also got a flower quote from a "knot recommended" florist for $3000 (actually $5000 but we talked him down to $3000), which was still way more than we wanted to spend… so we went and got another quote from a local neighborhood florist and it is much much less. We also decided to DIY centerpieces, w/o flowers, to save money. We ended up spending a little under $20 per table but could have gone even cheaper, so if i were you, i’d def check out ikea… if youre set on flowers, right now they even have potted orchids for $12 or 13, which would be gorgeous as centerpieces. i also second those who suggested getting Fiance to chip in. He might be stressed for studying but he’s also got to see you’re stressed too! I’m sure he’d be willing to spend some of his own cash to make you happy, or to get a part time job after his class is over to help contribute towards centerpieces. If youre still looking into using credit, I’d first see about asking your mom that if she helps now, you’ll pay her back x amount within x months. Good luck w everything!
Post # 71
Our original wedding plans were less than $5000 – because that’s what we could afford. It was, of course, a pretty small affair that we had planned – about 30 people (immediate family and close friends) but we had a nice dinner planned, in a private room at a very nice local restaurant. (The restaurant would have provided the centerpieces, which would have been fresh flowers.)
My mom has very kindly agreed to help us out, mostly because she wanted a larger guest list. However, our facility and catering bill (now for 150) is still just under $5000.
There is no reason you can’t have a very nice wedding within some serious financial constraints. There is also no reason at all why you should expect your parents to pay for anything; if they offer to, it’s very gracious of them. A great many girls on this site are paying (with their FI’s) for their entire wedding.
The fact is, like everybody else, you have to figure out what you can have on the money available – or decide to wait until you can save more money. Of course you can have invitations, and flowers… although maybe you need to print your own invitations, and maybe you need to limit flowers to the bouquets and bouts, and do something else as centerpieces – or maybe you need to order your flowers wholesale and arrange them yourself. There are tons of tips on this and other websites on how to throw an affordable wedding, and you just need to take them to heart and adjust your expectations. It’s unfortunate that your parents can’t fund everything you want, but it just puts you squarely in the same boat with the rest of us. I know you can have a lovely wedding with the money you have – once you decide that you can.