(Closed) Venting… Bride on a very tight budget.

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 17
44 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008

I’m w/ya! I’ve planned our entire wedding for 150 ppl on a very tight budget! Here is my advice (sorry if Im repeating anyone, I didnt read all the posts!).

If you know anyone w/a nice house and yard, move the wedding to summer and have the ceremony/reception outside and in! Gives lots of room plus it can be very affordable or free!! You dont even need to rent chairs if the ceremony isnt that long! Ive seen a few gorgeous weddings where guests stood for the ceremony! One couple had a runner down the middle and an arch (I bought our arch, lighted and all for $40!). You can also have it at a time where you wouldnt have to provide a meal (say after lunch or dinner) and just serve cake and beverages! (you can get wine at a discount if ordering in bulk, or just do a sparlkling cider!) You can also use balloons in your colors as some of the decor! And balloons are pretty cheap! I had fallen IN LOVE w/a wedding dress that was $800 and upon investigating found a very similar dress on the $99 clearance rack at Davids Bridal! Also, I found flower petals in our colors at a craft store that were also on clearance and I had a coupon!! Not only can u use them in the basket, but you can sprinkle them all over tables etc (which is what were also doing)! Great for cheap decor! If you google “paper and more” they have gorgeous paper (ours was $22 for 100 sheets in a beautiful silver shimmery color that matches our theme) that u can use as program paper! We went to kinkos and printed them out (for $14!) and then off to the craft store for $1 roll of black ribbin we tied at the top! They look so professional! Target has invite kits that include EVERYTHING you need for $25-$50! Take em home or to kinkos and print em out! Smartyhadaparty.com has amazing deals on paper plates etc for serving your cake on, and (if you want but totally dont need to) they have little pouches (we got ours for $15 for 100 pouches) to put little candies in for your guests favors! Hope this helps! If you have more specific questions Id be more than happy to give u suggestions! Like I said, we planned ours for 150 ppl on a $2000 budget! It can be done! Having a wedding is suppose to be a joyous time to share w/all your loved ones! It doesnt have to “break the bank”. If everyone u invite loves you, they wont care that you didnt spend thousands of dollars! They’ll be honored just to witness and be part of your special day! The best of luck to you and congrats! : )

Post # 18
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

You can do it.  Don’t get discouraged.  The thing is, you might need to redesign what the perfect wedding is.  I have read in several posts this week, and it keeps me going, all you need is the bride and groom, and the legalities (so an officiant ( in some places) and a witness).  Affter that the rest is really want.  Try not to see it as going with out, as much as doing it different.  For me, having a very untraditional wedding, I don’t feel like I am missing out, cause its just so different. 

I agree with other posters about looking into a park, farm or ranch for an oustide venue.  I think you can get outdoor space for a steal if you research.  Also about DIY, don’t assume cause its DIY its cheap!  Sometimes making things yourself cost more if you aren’t careful!

Best of luck and be happy!  You are getting married!

Post # 19
6890 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

View original reply
@smcopp89: Just from reading through this, I get the impression that your mom wants to do this “bigger” than you do. It’s a tough spot – she’s had her OWN visions of you walking down the aisle. But you’ll have to be clear to her that a ballroom is not within budget for you. She’s already gotten you to cave on spending more on your dress; I’d be careful with that.

Other than that, everyone else has given great advice. It’s totally do-able; the industry just likes us to think it’s not. 🙂

Post # 20
6 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

I am on the same boat that you are on, and you feel like your sinking! Every place that I can think of is taken already. I really do not want a outside venue but it is turing more that way. Florida is just tough to tell how the weather will be. It still rains in November, heck it always rains on Halloween which is the just before my Wedding. I have splurged on my dress and my photographer, so now I am trying to figure out the rest. I need to stop watching all these Wedding shows where people have 25,000-100,000 for a Wedding. I was trying to keep mine at about 1000, now that went out the door and now I am hoping for 3000. But is not looking likely either. Even the Church I was hoping to use – will be 2000 alone!

Post # 21
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I have decided to go “picnic chic” in order to keep my budget low and my festivities fun! I’m having a Sunday afternoon wedding and using a local waterfront park as my location ($25 an hour to rent, and FULL of fresh blooms – so it keeps the flower cost low).  I am buying picnic baskets off Craigslist ($5-10 each), mismatched china from thrift stores (usually less than 25 cents a piece), and using quilts that I’ve made as blankets, etc.  I am putting two bottles of wine, fresh assorted cheese, local fresh bakery items, fresh fruit, etc on each blanket “setting” along with some cute little vases with flower sprigs from the farmers market.  Instead of dancing and a DJ (which isn’t my style anyway), I’m setting up croquet and bocce ball on the flat lawns of the park. I figure everyone can sit and enjoy the sunshine, view, and play a little bocce ball after we’re finished eating.   


I intend to copy this look (http://www.modernphotographers.net/tag/picnic-wedding-photo/) EXACTLY and can do it for less than $25 a blanket – four people per blanket! Everything (except the food) can be bought at thrift stores for next to nothing!  It requires TIME, but it’s cheap!!!  

A photographer is a must, but you can go to websites like modemayhem.com and find new photographers (who have good work, but haven’t broken into the field) who will be willing to shoot your wedding for free so they can start (or add to) a portfolio and starting marketing themselves as wedding photographers. 

Post # 22
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I second the suggestion to look into local parks. We rented one for $50 that was gorgeous.

And you can do it! We had our wedding for right around $3000, and that included the honeymoon.

Post # 23
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

If you were a billionaire, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would be wayyyy richer than you.  Don’t get caught up in what you think you should have. I know that’s easier said than done, but sometimes you just have to put the wedding magazines away.  And Style Me Pretty–I love that website but it always makes me feel so inadequate.

There is a ton of good advice here.  Don’t forget about Friday night, Saturday brunch or Sunday.  Almost everyone you have to pay is cheaper.

Since you are a younger bride, have you considered postponing it a little while longer to save more money?  You said you are high school sweethearts, so it probably feels like forever already, but another year would probably help tremendously.

As many others already said, what matters most is that your guests are comfortable, you are having a wonderful time and you are married to the love of your life.  Everything else is just a means to an end.

Post # 24
40 posts
  • Wedding: July 2012

How about getting married without a reception, and save up and have the reception at a later date?

Post # 25
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Those are good suggestions. Another suggestion is to look for a restaurant or cafe that will let you use the room for free. When I got married, we had a shoestring budget.

I found a restaurant that already did Sunday a champagne brunch buffet. We got the room for free, and all the linens were included (I even got to pick the colors). It was the normal price of the Sunday brunch and we were just required to have a certain number of people (or pay that amount). We got waiter service and champagne up to a certain bottle amount. There was a bar there (outside the room) for anyone who wanted hard liquor (that they paid for).

And the buffet food was GOOD (we’re talking crab, multiple, carving stations, omlette and pasta stations – the works — and the juice varieties and coffee were included). I could NEVER have afford that level of culinary goodness, and I never even would have considered that as an option until I saw a babyshower at that restaurant.

We had the wedding and the reception in that room and the room had an amazing view. You may want to try a local restaurant that has a private room (for free). You could always have the actual ceremony outside in a park and then the receiption there, or do the ceremony there.

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