Post # 1
So, I have to start out that I’m totally obsessed with this site and I will spend any spare moment (and even non-spare moments!) looking at it and reading what everyone has to say and getting so many great ideas for my wedding that I think I will need to have 5 weddings just to be able to have everything I love from this site! You ladies are so encouraging and helpful!! It’s like this extended family and support system that every girl needs at this time in her life!!
In reading posts and blogs I have come to think that maybe I’m just a little country bumpkin because in my wildest fantasies I can’t imagine a wedding costing more then $5,000. And a dress that is more then $300 seems like something that I couldn’t ever be able to find and much less pay money for
Let me say that I’m a single mom and have been for the past 10 years. I have worked every type of job and I’m finally in a "real job" (for going on 5 years) that I feel I can have until it’s time to stop working and start building a larger family. I’ve struggled to put my daughter through private school that costs more a year then a new car and done pretty well, or so I think. So, for me, every penny counts and is counted. While I am not rolling in the money or anything, I’m not going to starve either. I know that if I really wanted a huge over the top wedding my guy would make it happen, but I really truly don’t want to go into our marriage in debt
Is there anyone else out there who is planning a wedding for under $5,000? How are you making sure that you don’t go over the top? My biggest fear is that I will not save as much money with the whole DIY wedding as I think I can. I’m really afraid that no matter what I do, I will end up spending more on my wedding then I really have.
This being said, if Oprah (or anyone) gave me $50,000 for a wedding, I would totally be able to spend it!!
I know there are both ends of the budget spectrum out there, so I thought I would see what end everyone is at. What things have you done or are you doing to make sure that your wedding comes in at or below budget? Anyone else out there doing it all on their own and trying to keep from going in to debt at the same time?
Post # 3
We are planning ours for 5k or less. We are doing it on a Friday night and a small reception after. I’m getting my dressed used and not doing flowers or a bridal party. My guy is a photographer and several of his friends who are also photographers have offered to do the photos for travel and out of pocket costs. We aren’t doing a DJ because the reception will be so short.
I want to start a life with him, but not one that starts in debt.
Post # 4
We are doing ours for about 1k. We have a friend that is going to do the photography(i think) and the wedding is going to be in a friend’s backyard. The pot luck reception will probably be at the church on another weekend. We just wanted a very, very small wedding, and his mom knows a lot of ppl, so we doing the reception later.
I got my dress second hand, I just went to the bridal shop to see what I liked and what size I needed. Then I found someone online that had the same dress, got it and the pettycoat for half the price!
The only thing I am DYI ing is the invitations. I found a kit at Michael’s that has everything in it and all you have to do is print the information on them!
We also decided to do cupcakes instead of cake. That way its different, and since we are going simple, we wanted the ‘cake’ to be simple also. Besides, it something you can do with your family and also have several different flavors to choose from.
We are also using fake flowers and on the day of the wedding I am just gonna run to walmart or sams and get a few real ones and tuck those in with the fake ones.
We are placing a few potted plants to add color too, which we will later plant in our flower beds.
Unless you really want to, you dont need to have napkins, glasses, or anything else with your intials on it. Those things can add up quick. Also if you have alcohol at your wedding that can be quiet expensive. Maybe see if one of your friends could do your hair and makeup? If you have friends that ahve gotten married recently see if you can use some of their stuff. A wedding coordinator can also be expensive. Maybe instead of a DJ you can play cds.
And don’t forget, its what you and your FH want!
Hope this helps!
Post # 5
We’re trying to keep our costs around $5,000 also. We don’t really make a lot of money and we decided that saving for a house was more important to us than a big fancy wedding.
We’re getting married in Upstate, NY on 8/01/09.
Things that have helped us save $$ include:
-Having the ceremony/tented reception on my Aunt’s beautiful property (FREE- I’m going to get her a nice gift as a thank you)
-I found my dress on Ebay for $200.
-No hard liquor/mixed drinks. Beer and wine only.
-Non-floral centerpieces. We got different sized vases from Michaels and filled them halfway with sand and beach glass from the property and topped off with a white pillar candle.
-Hired a new photographer
-Having BBQ style buffet instead of sit down.
-Small guest list, family (that we actually talk to) and close friends only.
-Using ipod for music.
Staying on or under budget is fairly easy once you have a game plan. Make a list of what you think are the 4 most important elements of your wedding with your fiance. Try to get what you want with those, do lots of bargaining, and cut the rest of the stuff the doesn’t matter to you. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box, but it can be done. Another place besides the lovely weddingbee that I go to for inspiration is http://www.apracticalwedding.com
Best of Luck!
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2018 - Coyaba Resort, Montego Bay
We bought a book when first engaged that had some really helpful money saving tips:
Granted, some of the suggestions are pretty generic, but they feature a lot of "real" weddings and budgets that are interesting to read.
I fully believe that it is possible to have a wedding for under $5K. You just have to be resourceful & it sounds like you’ll be able to do it. Good luck!
Post # 7
5k was my original plan but it is now closer to 7500k. My wedding is not until May 24. So, I have to stop finding great ideas on this site and watching We channel. The expense I wasnt prepared for was renting chairs, chair covers and tablecloths. Here are some money saving tips I’ve found:
- My dress is a bridesmaid dress in ivory
- Venue is a building at a city park
- Hired a photographer for 3 hours and will get a cd not physical pictures
- Using a popular casual dining restaurant as the caterer because their service charges are a lot less than typical wedding caterers
- Getting eating utensils from craigslist
- Buying alcohol and fresh flowers from sams club
- Borrowing a friend’s deck furniture for "lounge atmosphere"
- Bought vases from dollar store
- DIY invitations and invitations
- Renting an suv from rent a car chain instead of limo
I hope this helps!!!! Good Luck
Post # 8
I also purchased a similar book about doing a wedding for $5,000. My guest count is 150 or a little less so I had to be creative. I think I will be over budget by $1,000, not including bands.
I purchased my wedding dress from ebay for $100 – it was $360 at Nordstrom and the same at BCBG.
I am doing 10 – 12 flower centerpieces spaced out on rectangular tables that are cheaper than round tables. The centerpieces will have curly willow branches to give height, fake orchids hot glued on the "branches" and carnations at base. Carnations cost $80, for 150 at Sam’s Club. The orchids will probably cost $3 a stem at 10 stems and the glassware will be from the thrift store.
All other glassware lining the tables will be thrift store glassware. The only rule was that it had to be clear and round in shape. At .25 for small ones, and .79 for large it is a steal. Plus, I am recycling.
Food and drink is the largest chunk.
I think it is doable if you keep your guest count at 125 or so and under. Good luck!
Post # 9
I am planing a wedding for under $5K as well. Here is what I have done so far to stay under budget.
I will be purchasing my gown through brides against breast cancer. Brides and wedding boutiques donate there dress to them and then they sell them for super cheap, PLUS your doing a really good thing because the money goest to a great cause.
I have a large guest list so I will be doing just a small traditional wedding cake and do a large costco sheet cake to make up for what the wedding cake cant feed.
I am only having my wedding partially catered. The main dish will be catered and the side dishes my family has offered to make.
The only alcohal we are having is some champagne for toasting.
I found these great disposable plates at costco, They are a hard plastic but have gold leafing to they look like real china. It was cheaper than renting the dishes and yaaahooo!!!! NO CLEAN UP
I am using tons of candles they are much cheaper than flowers and they are ultra romantic
My best advise to you is use all you resources. Any crafty friends or talented family members that offer to help take advantage, just make sure you let them know that they are appriciated. Also be sure to shop around for the best deals.
Ebay is your best friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry I was so long winded hopefully this helps;)
Post # 10
You could also get a wedding planner. They can save you a lot, They have hook ups that we dont even know about.
Post # 11
We trimmed our budget from $15,000 to about $7,000 mainly because we felt it was more important to get into a nicer home than to have a bigger wedding.
We’re hosting the reception at a restaurant (still expensive, but less than the "generic" catered food we’ve had at so many weddings. Plus, no extra charge for NICE servewear, plates, cloth napkins, tablecloths.
We’re getting flowers from Costco and using vintage jars and POM jars with "custom sleeves" made with fabric (idea from Design*Sponge).
We worked with a designer friend to design our invitations and we’re working with a letterpress studio to print them (for under $400!)
I scoured Michaels for escort cards (on 40% off coupons) and am creating cupcake stands myself (idea from style me pretty).
NO Save The Dates (with 100 invites going out, that saves us a few hundred dollars for ordering and stamps).
NO DJ/Band — just a great iPod mix and a borrowed sound system.
Ceremony at a public park — only $200 to rent the space for the entire day! Our officiant is from Craigslist but way cooler and more comfortable to work with than any others we met with (and only $250!)
I am sure, after the fact, the only regret I’ll have is that I didn’t trim MORE from the budget. And I know I won’t regret our fantastic house!
Post # 12
We are planning a wedding for 5k as well. My mom is giving us 3k and my younger brother’s dad is giving us 500. We will use our tax refund to make up the rest.
My mom’s friend is helping us with the planning and several hook-ups. My FI’s godmother is making our cake and his friend is a radio dj and will dj at our reception.
Post # 13
Well my parents gave me a budget of 10 k which I thought would be plenty, but most of the photographers I’ve seen have been around 2500 and up. So I’ve decided to a Sunday wedding which will lower my reception price and keep me under budget. I have heard from many people it’s better to spend the money on a good photographer rather than a nice dinner. Also I am renting some of my flowers which helps to keep the cost down. Hope this helps
Post # 14
Our wedding won’t be under 5k, but it won’t be terribly over that-excluding the honeymoon and rings. How we cut back:
-We’re having a lunch reception, which is saving a lot.
-We found a photographer who is hundreds if not thousands of dollars cheaper than her counterparts.
-I will probably be buying a dress off the rack.
-Our centerpieces are a grand total of $0 thanks to friends and family!
-We’re skipping a DJ (we’ll probably rent speakers and a mic), fancy transportation on the day, and probably hair & make-up. I never wear make-up and I have baby fine hair, so an updo is kind of pointless, it will fall before the wedding.
Post # 15
Luckily, my parents have offered to pay for the wedding. I’m trying to keep my budget down to 6K- and thats a high estimate. We are having a small wedding, I want less than 50 people there is possible.
We are paying for accomodations for the wedding party and I got my dress off ebay for $200. My hubby-to-be suit is going to cost the most, attire- wise.
Photography= 1200 since I only only want pictures for 4 hours and not the reception since it is dinner only, and no dancing (yes, I know- I’m boring)
We are eating at a local resturant so we dont have to worry about table settings, linens, chairs,etc. It will be about $50 a person. I don’t drink alcohol, so no alcohol will be served at dinner unless the guests purchase it. We are having a cocktail hour before the ceremony (pre-wedding jitters cocktail hour), where we will serve drinks, so I feel its okay to make the guests pay for alcohol if they want it at dinner. I may reconsider wine though, if we can bring it in ourselves.
I’m not doing Out of Town bags just because most of our guests will be staying 20 minutes or more away from the wedding venue, so they are somewhat impossible to hand out.
Instead of a rehearsal dinner, we are having a rehearsal brunch the morning of.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
Ours’ll be $5000 or less. And probably a good $2000+ of that’ll go to the photographer. How will we do this?
Potluck/BBQ style reception on a family member’s property.
Dress for $800 or less.
No pro makeup/hair/nails/etc
You get the picture… taking it back to the basics. A laid back party with friends and family. 😉