(Closed) Wedding Dreams don't fit the Budget

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

What are your dreams?  What is your budget?  I’ve seen people pull off some amazing weddings on a budget, my sister was one of them.  Maybe if you put it out there, some of the Bees can help you figure out a way to bring your vision to life without breaking the bank.

 

Post # 4
Member
4041 posts
Honey bee

@MsGinkgo:  First, you both need to figure out a realistic budget that both of you are comfortable with and can afford. Then create your “vision” for the wedding together. There is no use in dreaming up a wedding you cannot afford and you don’t know what you can afford until you set a budget.

Post # 5
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

If you want super-fancy, keep the guest list small.  If you want super-fancy AND huge, something’s gotta give.  But…first you need a concrete budget!!!

Post # 6
Member
3402 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@bmo88:  I think a HUGE part of how much a wedding will/can cost deals with where you live. This comes as no surprise, but my FI & I putting together a really tasteful and budget wedding for 5-6k, but a big reason we are able to do so is because we live in the midwest.

We haven’t had to compromise much, to be honest. One of the best decisions we made was picking the particular venue that we did, because it is so beautiful that it requires very little decorating. I would say that in total we are probably spending about $400 on decorations. Our venue was much more pricey that we were expecting to pay (we expected to pay $500-ish for our reception venue & the venue we picked cost us $1,350 for our 5 hr event for 100 guests, & it includes our ceremony space, our reception space, a photo studio, and bridal suite to get ready in before). 

What I’m getting at is that the biggest expense will likely be decor & small details, so if you pick a venue that is beautiful in it’s own right you can go for a more simple approach to decorating (consider omitting fresh flowers & opting for boquets from etsy & candle centerpieces). Also, it was a huge help being able to bring in outside catering & bar service (we actually found our bartender through craigslist, which is another great tip I have). We were able to save a penny by buying our own liquor and mixers, and just hiring the bartender. We also inquired about catering at local restaurants as opposed to actual catering companies. We ended up talking our favorite local restaurant into catering our dinner reception using their lunch menu. It’s going to cost us $8.50 pp for sandwiches, soup, salad, and cake. Plus, their food is Ah-mazing! Our total cost for stocked bar & catering is right around $1,700. Other venues were looking to get about $40 pp, without an open bar or cake! That’s thousands of dollars saving right there! 

Consider buying a second-hand dress, or an older season dress too. My dress cost me $250 on ebay (brand new dress) and in 2011 it was sold at stores like Macy’s for $1,150.

Lastly, check-out weddingwire.com because they have a budget feature that is super helpful & has really put everything into perspective for us. We originally thought we would be spending 4k, only to actually budget it out and found out that we are closer to the 5k range. Just be very mindful about how much you are willing to spend, & if you overspend somewhere (for us, it was the venue) make sure to take it out of another catagory.

Best of luck, and if you need help PM me! 🙂 

Post # 9
Member
2694 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

That’s hard but it can be done.  You will have to keep searching for venues that maybe aren’t your typical wedding type venues; those will be cheaper and allow you to bring in your own caterer.

I could not fathom spending $30.000 on a wedding day.  To me, that is just an insane amount of money for one day (or for the one event as weddings have become an event now that last sometimes a week or more with all the pre-wedding activities and such). 

I spent less than $5000 on my wedding and even by my standards, that was a little high but I got pretty much everything I wanted by comprmising and exhaustive searches for vendors in my price range.  My hall was $400 for 130plus guests.  Caterer was $10 p/p. Florals ran me less than $300 for everything including bouquets and centerpieces. Photographer was $220 with no time limit.  And so on and so forth.  Cheaper alternatives are out there, you just have to look.  Like instead of a limo for just me and my maids, I was able to get a microbus for guests to utilize as well. I still got my dream wedding and no one would have known it was only $4500 for the whole shabang, including my dress.

Post # 10
Member
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MsGinkgo:  do you REALLY want to spend $25,000 for 1 day of your life? It was an easy answer for me….and so we are only spending a small fraction of that amount..

Post # 12
Member
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think you’ve got a few options:

1. Choose a different venue
2. Get quotes from the other 2 caterers – find out what they offer
3. Ask all 3 caterers whether there is any flexibility with their menus
4. Provide less alcohol
5. Invite fewer guests

Some of the venues I’ve looked at advertise their wedding breakfasts at starting around £60 plus wine but at less popular times of the year they are happy to offer an afternoon tea reception with champagne for around £25.

Other options:

1. Ask for off-peak discounts. Get married in November. A lot of other things will be cheaper too – like photography, flowers, etc.
2. Get married later in the day so you don’t have to provide such a full spread of food.
3. Get married on a Sunday – often it is cheaper.
4. Even better, get married on a week day.

Post # 13
Member
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s a tough balancing act but some amazing weddings have been pulled off on very reasonable budgets. It just takes a lot of research, a few compromises, and time 🙂 Saying that, don’t give up too much of your vision. You don’t want to look back and think “Damn. Why didn’t I just spend the money?!”. One of the big lessons I’ve learnt in life is that money is just money. Be smart with it of course, but you might as well use it on things that will make you happy because you can’t take it with you. It all depends on what your priorities are as a couple.

Post # 14
Member
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@lunalyra:  Good tips!

I got married on a Sunday which cut the cost per head about 10%, it was great! 🙂  

Post # 16
Member
9149 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Are there any other venues you like?  If you’re at $23k for the venue, food, alcohol…I could easily see you spending at least $30k (most likely more) once you include photography, dress/attire, transportation, hotel rooms, DJ, flowers, decor, officiant, etc…

Can you find a less expensive venue, or maybe one that allows you to bring in any outside caterer?  If you can bring in a wider variety of caterers that could greatly reduce your food costs.  I’m not sure how much of that cost is alcohol related. 

I think people typically spend around 50% of their budget on the reception (venue, food, alcohol, linens, chairs/tables)…so keep that in mind.  At that rate you would be looking at a $40k wedding.

I would rethink the venue if I was you.

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