(Closed) Wedding budget!!! please help

posted 8 years ago in Money
  • poll: How much are you spending for your wedding( including dress, cake, food, venue, etc.)

    under $5,000

    $ 5-10,000

    $10- 15,000

    $15,000- 20,000

    $20- 25,000



    over $50,000

  • Post # 17
    120 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Yes, it absolutely can be done. I’m getting married in California, on my uncle’s farm, about 60 people or so. Without photography, its less than 5K, way less. Not sure exactly because my parents are paying. I’m so happy they’ve been so generous and I don’t have to pay. It may not be an over the top wedding but it will be beautiful and I get to spend my money on my new house.

    Post # 18
    163 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    It can be done, but you just have to be smart about it.  I’m in the 15-20k range.  We’ll be about 17-18k with about 50 people.  Our venue and catering is about 62% of that amount.  (The venue rental was more than I wanted to pay, but we completely fell in love with it.) 

    Our parents both chipped in $5k each and we are picking up the rest of the cost.

    Be realistic about the guest list size… this can completley throw off a budget. 

    Post # 19
    2346 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    geez Fiance and i dont even have 100 ppl that we like enough to want them to come to our wedding. i dont live in the city i grew up in, mostly cuz i hated it, and still dont have a whole lot of ppl we would want to invite. to me 100 guests is not a small wedding at all. im thinkin like 30 ppl max might come to mine and that is still too much stress and too many ppl to be able to go around and talk to each one of them. im hoping to spend between 10-15k and get something beautiful on a tropical island.

    Post # 20
    72 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Ours is coming in at at about $11,000.  We paid for it all by ourselves :). (it’s my 2nd wedding, my parents paid for the first ). We are having 75people at an elegant venue. That being said I love in a relatively low cost of living area.

    Post # 21
    72 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    For example, there is no venue rental here.. Only the food/liquor cost 

    Post # 22
    249 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We’re having 180 (invited, not final #s) at a local park. They have a beautiful barn pavilion and we rented that. Grand total of venue rental $500. We’re catering in a bbq pig roast ($2 pp for the meat, unsure how much for the sides). Got an up-and-coming photographer and someone who just does DJing for fun on the side and saved a few grand from those choices alone. Total, we’re spending around $3k.

    Post # 23
    701 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Our wedding for 150 people was around $23,000 including honeymoon and rings and all the money and gifts that others supplied to us for use in throwing the wedding.

    ETA we invited around 190.

    If you don’t include rings and honeymoon we spent about $16,000.

    Post # 24
    4673 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We are having 120 guests (around 150 invited) for around the same price as you.  (I haven’t kept perfect papers of my budget).  It’s do-able, but you have to get crafty.

     My venue is a county parks building (a very pretty one!), which only cost us $350 to rent.  I obviously didn’t get a fancy designer gown, but I’m happy with what I choose.  I am planning a lot of decor and personal touches which are very much DIY.

     If you can get your mom to extend it thats great, if not it is do-able, you just have to get your thinking cap on.  If you are having a hard to finding more affordable venues, ect may I suggest taking her with you?  So she can see that this is what a weddign costs.  

    Post # 25
    9129 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    I am in Florida where there are so many wedding options that you can do a lot with a small budget.  I would assume that California can get pretty expensive pretty fast based on my vacation spending there.

    The easiest and best way to do a budget wedding is to either slash the guest list or scale back the reception (i.e. do a nontraditional day of the week or serve brunch or cake and punch instead of a full meal.)  I have always chosen to slash the guest list because it follows that everything else is cheaper and I really prefer the intimacy of a small wedding (50-80 people.)  Both the first time I got married and this time I have been able to throw a Saturday night dinner with drinks and dancing receptions; $8,000 for my first wedding and we’re budgeting $5,000 for this one but we will likely edge over a bit closer to $6,000.

    Try out the book Bridal Bargains.  it has the best book for cutting costs in both of my planning experiences.

    Post # 28
    2457 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m in the $10-$15k range, and I live in Orange County, CA. Actually I would imagine venues out your way would be cheaper, because the closer you get the the beach, the pricier everything is. I agree with PP about checking out all kinds of different stuff and even maybe just drive around and see what you find; there are a lot of places that don’t advertise. 

    I would actually just start inquiring at venues and get price estimates and go over it with your parents – not so you can get more money – but so that all of you can be on the same page as far as averages and then you can discuss where you can cut it down. I’m at one of the cheapest venues (that regularly does weddings) in Orange County, and we’re still paying around $9000 for 110 ppl including food, linens, chairs, DJ, photographer, strings, photobooth and flowers. (we splurged a little by getting the strings and photobooth 😛 )

    I would also recommend looking into online wholesalers for flowers – or even farmer’s markets. It’s MUCH cheaper, and there’s a bazillion tutorials and videos online for how to make bouquets and centerpieces. Ikea and the dollar store can be your best friend, and coupons for places like Michaels and Hobby Lobby are a lifesaver when it comes to DIY decor!

    Also if you need a recommendation for a photographer that’s reasonably priced in your area, let me know. We got a great deal, and a great photographer.

    Post # 29
    1623 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    Midwest Bride here

    Ceremony is at a Catholic Church ($300ish) and venue is downtown hotel. 

    350 people + bridal party. 

    Budget breakdown is totalling $25,000.  (Keep in mind, we have gotten mutiple small discounts due to the “off-season” date, also ordered my dress from China, and found great deals for photography, videography, DJ compared to other vendors in the area… I’m a bargin hunter). 

    My parents are paying around $12k(ish).  FI’s (it sounds like) offered to contribute but not sure on that yet (initially they threw out at one time $5k).  We are paying the rest.

    Good luck!!


    Post # 30
    341 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Yikes, that’s not much at all. Unless you do things more creatively, that wouldn’t cover a wedding over here, much less in Southern CA!

    I’d show your parents the brochures and pricing info you’ve found and ask them what they think you should do with that budget.

    Post # 31
    529 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I think it’s depending on where you live. I’m having 150 people and the venue was $1700…..I live in a small city.

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