Post # 1
Hello, everyone!!!! This is my first time posting here. My love and I are getting married January 5th, 2019. We started dating in October 2015 and he proposed in September 2016, so we’ve had a good long engagement and finally picked a date and started to get the ball rolling. I will be 22 and he will be 25 when we will be wed. I guess this is the part where I mention I’m planning this wedding with no involvement from my parents whatsoever…my mom is unfortunately incarcerated and my dad is a homeless recovering alcoholic. His parents have essentially adopted me as their child and they of course are going to help pull this shindig off. We’ve decided on getting married in the church his parents were married in, as were both sets of his grandparents, and all his father’s sisters. I’m just trying to figure out ways to pull this off on a budget and still have a beautiful wedding
Post # 2
“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
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
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
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
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
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 # 8
I was shooting for a budget of around 3k for maybe 150-180 people…I’m trying to keep the guest list on the small side, close friends and family for the most part, and people who have watched me grow up. My fiance’s dad will be walking me down the aisle which I find so touching =)
Post # 9
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
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
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
$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
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
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
$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?