(Closed) Wedding Cost Research:Pre-Engagement

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1639 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

When I first researched I felt nauseous. When all was said and done our whole event cost $4k, and I felt much better with that cost

Post # 4
11657 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@nerdybee:  I would start with your guest list.  If you know you’re paying for it then you’re the only one who really has a say in the guest list.  Start there.  That way you know what size venue you need.  We have a list of 118, venues for 75 don’t work, but I don’t need 200.  FH and I also knew that hotels and banquet halls were out due to FH’s profession, he didn’t want to feel like he was at work for the wedding.  we had very specific things we (HE) wanted or didn’t want, and as a result our wedding is going to cost more than it needed to but we’re still okay with our budget (as much as it makes me want to vomit sometimes).  We’re looking at about $25,000 for May 17 in Toronto at an Art Gallery with a private caterer for 118 guest (assuming everyone accepts the invite)

Post # 5
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza

@nerdybee:  We started out with when we wanted to get married and figured out how much we could save up between when we got engaged and when the wedding would be.  And then we used that to come up with the overall budget for the wedding.  Once we had our overall budget, it was easier to determine how much to spend on everything – that’s where prioritizing comes in.

I think the breakdown I found was something like this:

Venue:  50%

Flowers – 10%

Dress/Accessories – 10%

Music – 10%

Photography/Videography – 10%

Ceremony: 2%

Stationery: 2%

Parking/Transportation: 2%

Cake: 2%

Gifts: 2%

That’s just a rough estimate and those percents change based on what is a priority to you.  Once you have a range of what you’re willing to spend on something (i.e. a DJ, a dress, etc.) it makes it a lot easier to make decisions.

Post # 7
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Honestly, I would not bother with any of this right now.  You aren’t even engaged yet and you are sick over the costs.  Just wait for your engagement, take some time to enjoy it, and get to the knitty gritty later.  You can’t even really budget without knowing the guest list, which you won’t know until your parents’ send their lists.  

Post # 9
2037 posts
Buzzing bee

@vanike:  +1

It made me sick!  So, I decided to 1)  Start Saving Money ASAP  2)  PUSHED back my TBD wedding date another year. 

IF/When Mr VB and I get engaged (as early as December but could be as late as next summer depending on his job search/graduation) we can discuss in further detail and I’m with you by not wanting to think about it too much until AFTER the engagement-but, seriously, @nerdybee:  I feel soo much better now that I’ve opened a wedding savings account and while I’m not putting a huge percentage of my money in there now, it’s nice to know that whenever the engagement comes I’ve already got a jump start on the funds.

Good Luck!

Post # 10
18 posts
  • Wedding: January 2014

@nerdybee:  I wanted a fancy/formal wedding but was nervous about the costs. I chose a winter wedding because it is “off season”. I’m getting married in January and saved almost $1500 on my venue because it is January and $800 on my photographer. For decor, don’t be afraid to check out Ebay or even craigslist. People always resell their vases, candelabra’s…etc. Chances are they were only used once. I bought 15 vases that are 2.5 feet tall for $70 on Ebay. They run about $40 EACH. I am putting tall, wirey branches in them, filling the vase with Epsom salt (for illusion of snow) and a bunch of ivory roses at the top of vases. I spray painted my branches with an adhesive glue, then sprinkled glitter on them. It also makes them twinkle like snow. I have slate gray table clothes (Ebay) and the vases are placed on gold chargers (hobby lobby) surrounded by candles. My venue has a massive fireplace, and I want tons and tons of candles.(Hobby Lobby!)

90% of chicks get married in Spring/Summer/Fall. I am happy to have something different. I don’t need tons of flowers because I am embracing the winter wonderland. (no cheesy snowmen or snowflakes). 

Because of the off season discounts, I am now able to have fine china and waiters pass appetizers around. Good luck!

Post # 11
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@nerdybee:  I wish I started thinking about this stuff before we got engaged! I’m in the same boat as you, I don’t know if my wedding will be in CT or AZ, we don’t have a date picked yet, no budget planned yet, literally just started saving money for the wedding and we’ve been engaged since May! 

It’s very overwhelming and I completely empathize with you. We just graduated college and we both have relatively low paying jobs. I’ve been kind of putting off making a budget until I find a job in the field I graduated in (nursing) but who knows how long that will take to happen. I just feel like if I don’t start doing something I’ll just keep pushing it off. I wish I knew what I was doing :/ 

Post # 13
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza

@nerdybee:  I think Feb. 2015 is a good starting point.  I would go off of the fact that you have 16 months between now and then and figure out how much you can/are willing to set aside per month for the wedding.  

Post # 14
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’d start with a tentative guest list, month, and location.  Those 3 things have the potential to vary your cost a lot!

Post # 15
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’d try to figure out your life goals and go from there.

Like if you want to spend X amount on vacations per year, you want to buy a house with X down payment in X months, how much does that leave for a wedding budget?

Do you need 100 people there? Maybe you do… but SO and I would have to invite all our acquaintances to hit that number since we both have small families.

If you cut down on guests, you cut down on venue costs.

I really resent the pressure that (some) families, the wedding industry, and even the couples put on themselves. Like why? You can marry for < $200. Why does it have to turn into a lavish affair that takes away from other life goals? We said screw it, decided we’re inviting 4 people, and we’re doing the whole thing < $2,000.

Post # 16
9689 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Definitely come up with a tentative guest list.

You can’t really even look at venues without some idea of the # of people.

I mean, if I’m having 100 people I don’t want a venue for 300 that is too overwhelming.  And if you have lower numbers you can find some smaller venues too.

That cost calculator is pretty acurate.  I went back and entered all of my stats/info and it came very close (to the total cost, the breakdowns weren’t as accurate).

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