(Closed) We can’t afford a wedding

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 17
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

I’d change the date to a less popular month to try and cut expenses. In this area, May and October seem to book up first. Even moving it back a month should help, as well as having it on an off day like a Friday or a Sunday.

Post # 17
7581 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

View original reply
@Bostongrl25: did you try to move it out of boston. maybe like an hour out of boston? you should see prices drop.

Post # 18
5109 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

You have to do your homework we are spending right over 6k with everything including dj, cake, photographer, dinner, church, and pastor fees its 36.45 pp.

We are having a reception and we are serving 3 types of pasta, salad, bread, meatballs, and soada. It is served family style. buffets also maybe a cheaper option. Look for photography students that are your taste, just make sure they have portfolios for you to view. Or a photographer who is just starting out. You can even try to negotiate prices with vendors. look for deals and coupons alot of djs especially have specials of hundreds of dollars off if you book by a certain time. Always book before the new year and rates go up. Those were the two main things that we saved money on. As well as the churuch some people spend a lot of money on the church we did not and still found a beautiful church. Shop around 🙂 You can do it.

Post # 19
3519 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My sister got married in Boston and the reception was on a boat that went around Boston Harbor.  If I remember correctly, it was $85 per person and you could bring your own alcohol. They covered the DJ, dinner (3 courses), cake, white linens, and it was a really fun time.  The reception lasted about 3 hours.

Best part, when it’s over, you’re in the Faneuil Hall area and can keep partying!

Post # 20
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I live outside Boston and was helping a friend plan her wedding last December.  I found a fairly reasonable place in Newburyport, if you’d be willing to go that far – http://www.harborsidecatering.com/content/phoenix.html

The prices may have changed since last winter, but here are the notes I took:

Room rental = $600

Ceremony fee = $200

Dinner = $51/person

Bar = 1 hour – $950, 5 hours – $1600

Cake = not included

Post # 21
3253 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Bostongrl25: I feel you; we are pretty bust-ass broke, too. We are having about 125 people, but we saved money in the following ways:

1. We are having the ceremony at a family member’s home. We are lucky enough that my grandparents have a beautiful backyard we can use.

2. We are using the local VFW hall for the reception. Super classy and elegant? Definitely not. They’re having Bingo for elderly people the night before our wedding- haha. But we rented out this large venue that is well taken care of for a few hundred bucks and have worked really hard on decorations and such that will make it look nice.

3. I didn’t allow myself to look at gowns I couldn’t afford so I wouldn’t be tempted to go above what I could handle. I love my dress and spent less than $500 on it even with alterations. And it’s not a cheap-looking dress, either- it’s real silk and feels awesome.

4. We are serving pie instead of cake. Not only is this a cool-looking idea and great for us because we hate cake, it’s saving us hundreds of dollars and we’re eating really nice pies from a delicious local bakery. It is only costing us around $275 to serve over 100 people…

5. We are serving gourmet sandwiches and salad that are being made through a local grocery store instead of having an expensive meal. Everyone will be full and it will be easy to serve. It’s costing us about $900 to serve all those people and the food is going to be great!

6. Instead of hiring a DJ, we’re having an iPod wedding and hired my outgoing cousin and his friend to run the dance playlist. 

7. We had DIY projects for favors, centerpieces, etc. They were fun to put together and look personalized and AWESOME.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t fool yourself: you can’t have a seafood and steak dinner with fancy wine, and you can’t have a super fancy venue. But what you can have is a gorgeous wedding where you and the people you love will have a total BLAST.


Post # 22
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Have you thought about having a morning wedding? (sorry if you have already addressed this above), you can save a ton of money and have a breakfast reception with a waffle stand and mimosas (much cheaper!)

Post # 23
3253 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Photographers are also extremely pricey.

I know it’s a bit of a risk to take, but you can always contact a local university and ask for students who are looking for freelance jobs.

I had a roommate majoring in Photography when I was in college and she did weddings all the time for a few hundred dollars. The photos were always awesome and she had a small portfolio she showed to couples before they agreed to work with her. She charges normal prices now that she has her degree but the work is the same! 🙂

Post # 25
1011 posts
Bumble bee

Have you considered any areas that are an hour or an hour and a half away?  If you have an early afternoon wedding, you can have light appetizers with cake & punch . . . plus that gives your guests time to travel to and from Boston without needing to spend the night.

I’m in Houston and was recently invited to a wedding that about an hour away the center of town.  The bride’s family was able to find a lovely venue that had really reasonable packages that were all inclusive (flowers, centerpieces, food, beverages, officiant, and I think dj) starting at around $25 per person.

Post # 26
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It is frustrating, I’m in Boston and the prices are crazy. An average wedding can easily cost $30K here, and I mean an average wedding, no bells & whistles and having some DIY projects.

I know how insane it can be dealing with family or friends who do not understand the pricing at all. I’ve had people suggest things that are double what we are going with, and they think they are giving you money-saving advice! Or they suggest a venue that you know costs $6000 just to rent, including nothing, and then look at you like crazy when you say “yeah, we decided to to go with that option….”

My friends who have had the least expensive weddings have done backyard receptions. I like brideatthebeach’s suggestions.

Post # 27
572 posts
Busy bee

Keep faith and continue to look. There are so many ways to save. Don’t use flowers (candles, etc.). Keep everything simple (invitations, etc). The suggestions to get married on a Friday, further out of the city and early in the day are all very good suggestions.

My Husband wanted a big blow out and I obliged but we could have saved more money by keeping it more intimate. I had to keep reminding him of the costs as we went along. Show him the numbers.


Post # 28
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think a Massachusetts wedding can be more reasonable, but you have to move it out of the Boston/128 area. Check into Southern MA – there are a lot of more affordable options out this way. One thing in particular I would recommend is to go with a place that includes almost everything in their package. I honestly thought I would save more money by choosing each and every vendor myself, but I’m finding that that is not the case at all. Also, as others have mentioned, off-peak dates and times will really help – I found places where the venue rental fee was halved for a Friday/Sunday event, versus a Saturday event.

A few places I might suggest looking into: Country Gardens, in Attleboro, and Independence Harbor, in Assonet.

Post # 29
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

hmm, brunches are usually cheaper, or a potluck wedding at a park which can be so beautiful, also you can have a cocktail reception and just serve appetizers and drinks. Or you can have a small wedding in a restaurant which will bring down the cost a lot. Hope these ideas help even a little. 🙂

Post # 30
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Bostongrl25: Oh there is a way. There is always a way.

Check out 2000dollarwedding.com and 5000dollarwedding.com and


These ladies did it for less and their weddings were beautiful. You don’t have to have a photobooth or a 8 piece band. All you need is the bride, groom, and someone to marry you (in some states)

You can turn the VFW halls into wonderful spaces with wall drapes. You can have a late night wedding with cocktail style foods. You can save money by not having a full open bar. You can skip favors (no one will miss them) There is tons of stuff you can do. Did you see the thread from the bee whose cousin just got married with $1500?

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