(Closed) Wedding budgets $5k or less… Share your pics and how many guest you had

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 2
29 posts

I don’t have pics yet but ours is around 5000. Were planning for 100 people. The venue is about 4800 and includes venue, cake, small dinner, flowers, basic decorations and a photographer. If we get a little fancy with any of those things then the price would go up… That’s for a 3 hour reception and if we need more time we can pay by the hour on the day of.

I paid $82 for the invites and matching business info cards, envelope seals and tags for our favors from vistaprint. I do have to add burlap backing and lace to them but those supplies didn’t cost me much. I will calculate the total cost later.

I spent about $55 on favors. They will be rolls of mints wrapped in burlap with the tags. . *Mint to be* with our names and the wedding date.

This doesn’t include liquor. Haven’t decided on that yet. 

Post # 3
2097 posts
Buzzing bee

250 people for 5k??? Your parents need a reality check. Unless there is no booze and no dinner? You could do a lunch picnic in a park? Have you nailed down any details yet? 

Post # 4
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I honestly don’t think a 75 person wedding could be done with 5k either unless you have lots of help from family and friends and diy everything. 

On that note we are planning on having a 60 person wedding. 45 of them are adults, 11 kids, and 4 babies. My fsil is a wedding planner because of that we had some really good connections with vendors at a really good price. We are planning on having a less than 5k wedding as well but our wedding isn’t until July so Idk if we will go over 5k or not. We will find out the last week of June. 



Photographer: free from family is doing it

Food:2 k


Ceremony chairs:$60

cake cutting fee:$60


Total so far:$4,220

This is just an estimate but doesn’t include sales tax, service fee, decor, venue fee, and tips.

Plus you still need to budget in your dress, rings,grooms attire, bouquet, bridal party bouquets, corsages, and boutineers, centerpieces, favors, cost of getting hair, make up, and nails done, accessorries, bridal party gifts, etc. 


Post # 5
7892 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

75 people with a 5k budget sounds realistic as long as you have reasonable expectations. We don’t have a specific budget per se, but we’re set to be less than $5k for our wedding celebration with 60 guests this May.

It helps that we live in an area with low cost of living, and we are also not extravagant people. The venue is a beautiful indoor park pavilion with a lot of natural beauty. We’re having a casual buffet Our invitations are self-designed cards printed by Vistaprint. My dress is from a department store (white and simple), not from a bridal boutique. 

Post # 6
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Anything is possible, just depends on your expectations. 75 people for $5000 will be something in a very affordable setting (home, public park, etc) with simple food (maybe just cake and punch) and not a lot of extras. Which is great if thats what you want!  

The first time my husband and I talked about a wedding we were like “we could do it for a couple thousand…” once I actually priced some stuff out and looked into it we quickly came to a more reasonable budget of $9500 – which is darn good for San Diego county.

You have to decide whats important to you and what you really want out of it… Do you want food? Do you want to have fun? Do you want to dance? Do you want to drink? Start with you and your fiance’s priorities and figure out what you can get for your budget.

We have a budget of  $9,500. Our priorities were food and having fun…which we decided meant having a wedding on our property with a delicious food truck and lawn games. Where we really splurged was the photographer….$3,000 but we could afford it and everyone kept telling me that the pictures were going to be the most important thing. And now that I have them and see what an amazing job he did (especially compared to amateur photos from the day) I am SOO glad we splurged.  

Anyway, ways we cut costs that might help you meet your goal:

-Small guest list (70 people)

– Did things in the “off-season” in February which kept most things a little cheaper than if we’d had a June wedding. We also considered a Sunday wedding, but for the vendors we were using it didn’t make things any cheaper.

-Skipped wasting money on invites that would be thrown away. We used glosite.com for email invites and collection of RSVP. then just called the older folks that might have a hard time with that.

-Food truck instead of formal caterer (and the food was AWESOME!) only $35/person

-Rustic wedding on our own property (which also makes for affordable easy DIY decorations – burlap, lace, etc isn’t too pricey)

-Fake flowers instead of real ones

-We bought all our own beverages and just had beers, sodas and a couple of wine options. Also as a daytime wedding people drank less.

– I did all my own make-up with products I already owned.

– Small bridal party (Best man and 2 bridesmaids)

– Made our own playlist through Spotify (it was 99 cents for 3 months in Dec!) We aren’t big on dancing anyway so there won’t be any formal dancing just background music.

– A girlfriend of mine made the cake for us as a gift (Think about what talents your friends have (ie can a girlfriend do your hair and make-up as a gift? Can his old college buddy DJ? etc))

– Kept the whole event relatively short (outside without a lot of artificial lighting, we started at 1:30 and most people were gone by 6pm, we were in the shower by 730p)

– Bought my dress from China for $200 – custom made, no alterations needed

My recap is here if you want to see how it turned out: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/affordable-rustic-wedding-at-home/


Post # 7
1323 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

highly suggest looking into intimateweddings.com

they have budget weddings for under 10k in so many different categories (5k, 8k, 1k, etc). 

Post # 8
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Our budget was $6500. So far, we have booked the venue (which includes some decorations), the photographer, and bought my dress. While those were the things I wanted to spend the most money on, we have already exceeded the $6500. 

Here is what we’re doing to cut costs on other things:

  • I made sure I loved the venue so I wouldn’t feel the need to go crazy with decorations
  • We aren’t doing a rehearsal dinner (for a lot of reasons), but my FI’s father said he wanted to help with something so we’ve asked him to cover the catering
  • To minimize cake cost, we will serve the guests sheet cake and get a small one-tier cake to cut
  • Our officiant is a friend so that will be free (aside from the “Thank You” gift we get for him). Our friend was already ordained, not sure how much it costs to get ordained online
  • We won’t get a DJ, we will just create a playlist and hook up our ipad
Post # 12
1541 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I really truly hope you can do this but it sounds so impossible to me! Even saying you are going to rent nice chairs and a tent – our tent was $1,500 (nothing special just big white tent) and chairs are at least a couple hundred bucks. what about booze? Are you going to do potluck? maybe you can get a cheap photographer. 

I may be a bit jaded because my sister had a 40 person wedding for about $8,000 they definitely didn’t do anything fancy. She is happily married but I know she regrets parts of the wedding and she wishes she had better photos- hired a friend of a friend and her photos were AWFUL. 

Post # 13
7350 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
Lokie85:  It’s certainly possible, but you have to manage your expectations. 5k is going to get you a very casual, basic wedding with no frills. If you’re ok with that, by all means go for it. Not everyone feels the need to have a fancy venue or a lot of fluff. Keep in mind at that budget you’re going to be working with budget vendors – so expect that. It only becomes a bad thing if you’re expecting 5-star service out of a budget vendor. A 1k photographer will not produce the kind of work a 3k photographer will. Same with catering. Some people are ok with that, you just have to be realistic in what you want.

Everyone is different, and wants different things. While I opted for a large and expensive wedding, my brother’s wedding was around 5k, or maybe just a bit more. They made it work by keeping things small, simple, and low-key. It was a lovely wedding. They found ways to cut money and save – and were happy with DIY (where as I had NO desire to do DIY anything for mine).

Here’s what they did:

  • Kept it small. They started with immediate family, but ended up adding a few close family and friends. Around 45 people.
  • They opted not to have a bridal party, to cut down on extra costs associated with that.
  • Their venue was a vineyard getting started in weddings. It included ceremony & reception space, and well as tables/chairs, and basic white linens. ($500)
  • Rented napkins (in their accent color) and a cake stand through a friend who owns an event rental company ($75)
  • Used the floral section of a local grocery store for centerpieces, her bouquet, and his bout. ($350)
  • She used a friend for hair/makeup who had just gone to cosmotology school. (Free)
  • For cocktail hour the family made things easy to keep cold and serve, like pasta salad and a cheese/fruit tray. (Free, well they didn’t pay for it)
  • Dinner they opted to do drop-off BBQ – chicken, BBQ, sides, sweet tea, bread ($750)
  • Music – they splurged on a local wedding musician who played for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and during the reception (Not sure total cost, but I think around $700)
  • Our stepmom did all cupcakes instead of a cake (Free)
  • I’m a wedding photographer, and myself + assistant did their photography (Free)
  • Decor – they went with a fall theme, so they had a lot of pumpkins and gourds and mums. Things that ended up being able to be used at their home the rest of the fall season. ($350)
  • Her dress was a splurge ($800 – she origionally wanted to stay under $500)
  • His suit they rented ($75)
  • My brother brews beer as a hobby so he provided that, and they did wine through the vinyard – not sure of that cost.

I normally do NOT do family weddings, but due to the nature of how casual this was, I made an exception because it was more important to me that my brother have quality photography. I would NOT let them end up with crappy photos because they couldn’t afford to drop 3k on someone.

Additionally, several of those costs were absorbed by family members. Our aunt paid the $250 deposit on the venue as a gift, and our stepmom paid the $250 balance. Our mom covered the cost of the flowers from the grocery, as well as a lot of the decor. She also contributed towards the dress.

Their reception was not fancy. After cocktail hour they joined everyone for a few minutes of mingling before we had dinner. The reception lasted mayed 2-3 hours (including cocktail hour)? Everyone chatted/talked and had some wine/cupcakes and then we headed out. They didn’t do a first dance, parent dances, or any of that. There actually was no dancing at all. It was very low-key. If you’d like to see their photos, feel free to PM me.

Post # 15
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
raspberrymojito:  My fsil is doing our photos. I wanted a professional photographer but we can’t afford it. It sucks how expensive weddings are. 

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