Post # 1
How to set a wedding budget when you have the money but are frugal/cheap/don’t want to spend the money.
I’ve always been frugal. I buy almost all of my clothes at Goodwill, I drive a 14 year old car, I have a “dumb phone” that costs me about $15 a month, I use coupons, I get my hair cut at a cost-cutters type of chain (usually with a coupon!), etc.
But (probably in part because of my frugality), I have a pretty decent net worth – own a home, have investments and savings. Fiance does as well – we’re about equal in terms of our net worths (he’s frugal too but not as much as me). And we both make pretty good incomes from our professional type jobs.
In looking at wedding planning I’m finding it so hard to put together a budget and decide how much to spend on anything. I have money but don’t want to spend it! I do want to have a nice wedding and I want to treat our friends/families/guests well, but I always want to “get a deal” and save money and even if I think “yeah, I can spend X amount” when it gets to that point I don’t want to do it!
Like dress shopping. Most of the dresses I’ve looked at have pretty much been around $600-800. Very reasonable price for my situation! I realize this and totally could afford to spend up to several thousand on a dress (if I could make myself do it)! However, when it comes to actually picking out and paying for a dress, I even am thinking I should get a replica of the dress from a Chinese shop for <$300!
And it feels overwhelming to look at venues and stuff. It’s so hard to compare costs across different places (different packages, miniums, add ons, inclusions etc) and I just don’t know how much I should or will want to spend!
I know, it’s a good problem to have as things go. I did struggle financially in my younger years, and I sacrificed a lot to get where I am now (and am pretty much still sacrificing to save more), but that has sort of ingrained this frugal/cheap attitude/behavior in me and I can’t shake it!
Post # 3
You can send any spare money to me…I will happily spend it for you hehehehehe….
Seriously though, There is nothing wrong with a bargain and getting the most for your money…Considering that as soon as you mention the word “wedding” everything gets marked up by 400%
Post # 4
We are kinda the same way. We both have really good jobs, but are really good at saving. And while we are spending A LOT on our wedding, we have definitely done things along the way to save money. There’s nothing wrong with getting a good deal. Spend what you feel comfortable with, and everything will fall into place. There’s no reason to stress yourself out even more – weddings are already stressful enough!
Post # 5
Well, rich people don’t get or stay rich by spending all of their money! In this economy I think it’s smart to be frugal, but since you’re in a good position if you find something amazing and you really want it: go for it!
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Frugality involves weighing costs and benefits. There is a difference between being frugal and being cheap. $600 dress that you like = a good value = you are being frugal. $300 Chinese replica = being cheap, especially since you can afford to not be a part of a system that cheats designers and makes salon purchases more expensive because of the hidden costs other brides absord as designers seek to protect their brands from replicas.
There are lots of ways to have a nice wedding on a budget, but focus on frugality instead of being cheap and you will probably have a better time making sure your wedding is one you and your guests will enjoy. The focus is getting the most for your money, not spending as little as possible. Otherwise, just buy 20 pizzas and throw a party in your front yard.
Post # 7
I am even more frugal than you. We could afford to spend thousands on a wedding, but I am DIYing everything (except the dress lol) and having it at a free venue (a local park with a covered flagstone patio). My flowers will be coffee filter roses, white hydrangeas from neighbors’ yards (with their permission), and baby’s breath, which I am growing myself to save a few dollars.
I am getting my dress from a chinese replica store, and will be hand beading it myself to save more.
I am also keeping my guest list to aroun 20-30 people to save even more.
My wedding, including my dress, will only cost between $600-$800.
SO is not nearly as frugal as I am, so he wants to spend much, much more. But, I will flat out refuse. I just CAN’T. SO is paying for the wedding btw.
Post # 8
Just figure out what kind of wedding you want and how much that will cost. We didn’t have a firm budget. We just booked vendors if we liked them and felt their price was reasonable and within our means.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
If you don’t actually want to spend the money on these things, then don’t. You don’t have to have a wedding in order to have a marriage. A marriage license is about $50 and probably another $50 for the courthouse ceremony fee. That’s it. You can be married for $100.
Anything else that you add on to that should be something that you truly want and feel is worth the expense. You want a bouquet? $15 at the grocery store or whatever price you negotiate at the florist. Totally up to you. You want a meal after the ceremony? $30 at Applebees for the two of you, $150 per person at a swanky venue for 200 people or anything in between. Again, it’s all about what matters to you. Just remember that once you start inviting guests, you must be willing to spend money to assure their comfort. There are a lot of ways to save money, but cheaping out on food for your nearest and dearest, forgetting to make sure there are enough bathrooms, not renting enough chairs for people to sit, etc. is just inconsiderate and cheap. Frugal is good, cheap is bad.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
@DaneLady: well sad!
Make a list of what’s most important to you. For example- photography was high on my list, so that was one of our top costs, after venue and caterer. But flowers/centerpieces weren’t really important, so I went the DIY route. We got our cake from a grocery store. If you can find a venue/caterer that will let you BYOB, that’s a great way to save costs.
We were able to stay on budget by prioritizing, which allowed for some splurges.
Post # 11
LOL! I am the exact way…I have always been frugal. Sometimes I am forced to be frugal (as I am 22 paying for my own wedding)…but at times I have learned to let myself splurge.
For example…EVERYTHING I have purchased decor wise I got on sale or used from another bride to cut costs. I have tried cutting every corner possible when it comes to all that. Although being frugal I “in my head” as we all have a SET figure I think something is worth…if I can get it UNDER that…I buy, if not I wait until the next deal comes around (so far I am pleased to say pretty much everything has fit into my set price in my head).
A couple things I splurged on was some custom decor (kissing balls with red and white roses, bling floral pins, black feathers, and damask handles for my centerpieces)! Although it was CUSTOM I had a set price I expected and of course shopped around and found a really good deal so I pounced on it!
Another thing I def agree with you on is the cost of dresses! I went into several bridal shops trying dresses on and fell in LOVE with my Maggie Sottero Deidre gown $1400 locally (designer needs about 5 months to make the gown)! So I went into David’s Bridal to try on a fit and flare gown that was $550 (plus tax and alterations)…Honestly as hard as I tried…I could not make myself love it and it just didnt look good on me in my opinion. I also priced having a corset back put in, hemming it, bustling it, and etc…in the end it was about $800 (and I had to special order in white so I would be out 3 months). So what I did was found an ONLINE boutique offering discounts on my Brand NEW Maggie Gown (Came out in April 2012…so no samples are floating around) and ended up paying $850 for it. Yes, it was more than I wanted to spend but HONESTLY if I had bought that David’s Bridal gown…I would have NEVER been satisfied! My dress is supposed to come in late November/early December…PM me and I can give you the shops details and how it turned out for me! *It is supposed to be AUTHENTIC and come with certificate of authenticity* (I did consider knock off China Dresses but was WORRIED it would not be perfect and I would be out the money anyways)!
Post # 12
Nothing wrong with bargaining & negotiating! Just remember the money you are spending on your wedding (venue, catering, entertainment) is a gift to your guests, not really money you are spending on yourself (dress, make-up, hair, jewelry). I find it easier to not be ‘cheap’ when I think of my parts of my wedding as a present to guests.
Also, if you use local vendors and small mom & pop businesses for wedding purchases, you really are helping the local economy and small businesses out. You could me helping them hire more employees!
@mrsSonthebeach: +1 on the Chinese dress shop comments!
Post # 13
@rebwana– I agree, Make a list and prioritize (I did).
I cut costs on my Venue ($300 for 4-5 hours, no outside food restrictions, etc but only 50 guests allowed), cake will be from local grocery store (if I get 2 tiered its only $75 with FRESH roses and ribbon lining each tier), flowers (had faux flowers made up…although custom I saved alot PLUS I can use them to decorate my house later), getting used polyester napkins (these were a MUST to me as I didnt want my wedding to look cheap), etc.
I as well had room to splurge since I cut corners every where possible!
Post # 14
I am not quite as frugal as you, but I do take pains in parting with my money on things that are overpriced…as I think most would agree that anything with the word “wedding” attached, becomes. I never set an actual budget, but I had a number in mind.
I definitely cut corners and folks would probably say it was a “budget” wedding…because it was self-catered with ipod instead of a DJ. But the food was delicious and drinks were flowing and the music was perfect for us.
I set about making choices based on what was worth the money to me and what I thought was just silly. Looking back, there are some choices I might have changed, but I feel content with our wedding. Our photography was about 1/3 of our entire budget. I felt that was the one thing we could take with us in the end, and it was definitely worth the cost to me.
Post # 15
My DH and I were pretty much like this when planning our wedding – he had a ton in savings, but we didn’t want to spend any more than we needed to. Basically our process was to figure out what we like – for example, a certain kind of look for our photography, a pretty outdoor ceremony space, a venue with neutral colors so it wouldn’t throw off our color scheme (which was tough cuz like 95% of venues around here are either super expensive or have dark red and gold carpeting I hate), etc. Then I would spend what felt like forever searching for the vendor that had what I wanted for the best price, and still had good reviews from other brides.
Overall I’d say this method was pretty successful. I know the venue was the hardest part for us because I fell hard for a ultra-modern venue on the Detroit River with floor to ceiling windows, fountains, etc. it was gorgeous, but it also had like a 15k minimum for just the food and bar and space use – yikes! We ended up going with another venue that also had a lot of windows with a pretty view of a wooded area, the neutral color scheme I wanted, good reviews, and was $45 a person with no $$ minimum, just a 100 person minimum, which wasn’t an issue since we were inviting 150.
But I would say that if you can afford it, pick the one thing that it the most important to you and make sure you don’t cut corners there too much. For us, that was the honeymoon. I’d wanted to honeymoon at Disney since I was like five and never changed my mind, haha, and since we’d been there so many times I wanted to make sure our honeymoon was special, so with that I was willing to spend extra on the deluxe dining plan, the hotel I really wanted, etc. But it was worth every penny!
Post # 16
I’m kind of like you! We can afford it for sure, but it’s obviously better to get a deal. I keep track of all the savings I have found throughout wedding planning and gloat to my FI about how logical I am heheh.