Tips to have a beautiful wedding on a budget without bride's parents?

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 2
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

“Beautiful wedding” is a little to vague to be able to tell you how to do it on a mid-20s salary. 

Your biggest potential expenses are going to be venue and trying to invite everyone you ever met. If their is a “wedding way” to do a thing and a non-wedding way (think cake or flowers) then go with the identical product that doesn’t have “wedding” in their name. 

Post # 3
Member
5741 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

View original reply
xxtinybridetobe96xx :  the majority of brides have a budget, you can still have a beautiful wedding. Have you figured out what you are comfortable saving towards the wedding between now and then?

Post # 4
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

My fiance and I will be having a “low budget” wedding. Our biggest expense will be food. 

Here are our expenses so far:

Venue = $1,000 – We are getting married at a local park/plantation/garden. Having a ceremony/reception at a park greatly reduces cost.

Menu = $1,500 – We are catering BBQ from a local restaurant for 75 people.

Dress = $450 – I went to David’s Bridal to begin my search because they have so many varied styles. I ended up finding my dress!

Decor = Not sure exact cost, but we will be using simple decor because it will be in a garden. Tables will have a wood slice with several sizes of mason jars filled with flowers. Flowers will be coming from grocery store (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) and other decor was found at Hobby Lobby/Michael’s craft stores for pretty cheap. Look for coupons!!

Save the Dates and Invites = Pretty cheap from Vista Print

 

Post # 5
Member
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

What kind of budget are we talking about, and for how many people?  I can help you crunch some numbers if you give me an idea of that.

Since his family has largely adopted you, how would you feel about asking his dad to walk you down the aisle.  I think that could be beautiful.  And rather than giving you away, the pastor can have him welcome you to the family through marriage.

Post # 6
Member
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

The smaller the guest list, the more budget friendly.

In the NYC area, we did the following:

Dress was $500 from David’s Bridal. I loved it and it certainly looked more expensive than it was.

Our flowers came from a fancy grocery store and were about $400 for 8 centerpieces, my flowers, groom’s flowers, moms’ and grandma’s flowers, dads’ flowers.

We did cupcakes and had a small cake for us to cut, about $300.

Ceremony was at a local park and officiant was the mayor of the town, and his fee was $150.

And our reception was at a resturant for about $50pp, plus open bar.

Post # 7
Member
3359 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
xxtinybridetobe96xx :  wait another 5 years. you’ll be in a better financial position, as well as a better position emotionally and in terms of maturity for marriage.

Post # 9
Member
7551 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Congrats bee! Sounds like you have not had an easy upbringing; so glad your fi’s family has welcomed you so warmly and treats you like their own child.

In terms of budgeting, as pp said – the best way to limit costs is to have a small guest list. Other than that, try to find a venue that lets you bring your own booze (if you plan to serve booze). You can do beer & wine rather than an open bar. Getting the cake and flowers from a grocery store rather than a wedding vendor will also save you a lot. Does the church where you’re getting married have any kind of event space? Church halls are usually pretty affordable to rent for events. You can also do a low-key backyard or park type reception too. Good luck bee and much happiness to you!

ETA: just saw you’re planning to invite 180 people…that will be really tough on $3k if you intend to host a traditional dinner-type reception. I think you have to decide what’s more important: having all those people there to share in your happy day (which is completely valid), or having a more tradiitional wedding reception where you serve a meal and there’s dancing, etc, but with far fewer guests. I don’t think you can do both on that budget…if you invite 150-180 people it would probably have to be cake & punch (not that there’s anythign wrong with that!).

Post # 10
Member
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

View original reply
xxtinybridetobe96xx :  

3K is going to be really tricky with those numbers – that’s a large wedding.  Does that include your dress, the rings, the license, etc?  Or is that your reception budget alone?

At any rate, I think you’re probably looking at cake and punch rather than a full blown meal.  It might be worthwhile to see about getting a little cake to cut, and then serving sheet cake or cupcakes to the guests.  Keep in mind that Costco cakes are delicious!  Since you’re getting married in church, does the church have a hall available?  That will probably be cheaper than a separate reception venue.  The church might also have some decorations available to use at low cost.

Post # 11
Member
5741 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

View original reply
xxtinybridetobe96xx :  you’re keeing it small…at 180 people?! That is by no means a small wedding.  If you can’t cut that down by at least half you’re probably going to have to do an afternoon cake reception, but those can still be lovely. 

Post # 12
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

$3000 at 150 people is $20/head. That will be a feat. It it was me I would strike “people who have watched me grow up” who do not qualify in the close friends category. My preference would be to have an amount of people I can actually talk to all at one event. (I’m not a fan of inviting people who you aren’t friends with anyway. And that would be *actual* friends.) But if you do keep those numbers then you are going to need to schedule it at an off time and not do a meal. 

Have you actually written out a guest list or is this an estimate for numbers? 

Post # 13
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2021 - British Columbia, Canada

150-180 is not small by any definition of the word, and as PP’s pointed out, a $3K budget for that size is nearing impossible depending on the type of reception you want. Are you two paying for everything entirely yourselves, or will his parents be helping out?

Post # 14
Member
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Unless you are doing a cake/punch type of reception, $3k is a really small budget for 180 people.

If you are attached to that large of a guestlist, you’ll need to save for a couple more years to be able to do the wedding you want.

 

Post # 15
Member
231 posts
Helper bee

$20 a person is a small amount even for a regular party.   I would see if there are any parts you could get through donation or as someones gift.   Example:   Aunt is a great baker, would she make the wedding cake as a gift.   If you attend the church regularly, would they let you use the hall with no fee?  will they waive the honorarium for the minister?

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