We are also having a wedding for about 65-70 people and our budget is looking to end up around $9k. We actually got really good deals on our venue, invites, photography, my dress and my jewelry. We’re having a saturday evening ceremony on stage at a historic theatre and then dinner at the hotel next door. Overall, our wedding is more expensive than what we are paying for it. We’re actually saving somewhere in the neighborood of $5k-$10k.
Cut out unnecesary things. Like spitfire, we are not renting transportation or getting chair covers. We also dont feel like we need tons of paper goods, so we are not doing programs or any of that.
Prioritize your budget. Decide which elements are the most important to you and spend the most money on those things. For us, it was photography and venue/food, so thats what we spent the most money on.
Shop around. We took tons of inspiration to different vendors and “price-matched”. Some places would do it, some wouldnt. Our cake was the main one. We saw a cake at one bakery and they wanted like $800 for it and would only do it in fondant. We took that same cake to another baker who would do it in buttercream (we hate fondant) for half the price, including delivery.
Use small businesses. Our florist is a tiny mom-and-pop shop and were far more willing to work with us to get the most for our money than the bigger florists. Our centerpieces from them are $100 cheaper than what some other places quoted us.
Haggle! Most vendors will give you a discount if you ask for it. Due to different circumstances and our wedding date, our photog gave us $3k off of our package. Yep. $3k.
Second hand. Thrift stores, ebay, craiglist, garage sales, etc. All awesome places for finding stuff. We got my aisle runner for $2 at a garage sale, it was brand new and still in plastic. We also got our candy buffet dishes at thrift stores, the centerpieces for our cocktail hour.
DIY. The most important thing about this is to do what you are capable or doing. I made my own jewelry, I assembled our invites, we’re sewing the BMs dresses, amoungst other things.
Use friend(or)s. My mother runs a Curves (gym) and her ladies have helped out a lot in doing stuff for me. One is monogramming bathrobes for me BMs for free, we just supplied the materials. Another’s husband printed our invites for free. One, who works as a banquet coordinator for a chi-chi venue in my city, is going to be my weekend cooridnator/DOC for free. My aunt gave us use of her timeshare in Puerto Rico for 4 nights for our honeymoon. You never know who will step up and do things for you. Just make sure to show your gratitude. We’re going to get them all a little something.