(Closed) Wedding on a budget

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
827 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Have you already sent out save the dates or invitations? 

Post # 3
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

A backyard reception might actually end up costing as much if not more than an all-inclusive venue. Remember that you’ll have to rent chairs, tables, linens, silverware, even portable restrooms if there aren’t enough in the house for 100 people.

I think your best bet is to halve the guest list, although that might be difficult if you’ve already sent out Save the Dates to everyone. 

Post # 6
849 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
younglover :  That’s a big guest list to try to accommodate. I’m not sure what your budget is, but if you’re planning on serving a full meal, you’re looking at $2,500 for food only (and that’s if you can find really inexpensive catering–BBQ, brunch or something). Keep in mind that with every person comes an added cost for catering, rentals, favors, seating cards, invitations, etc. 

If you’re set on inviting all 200, be ready to spend. We have 120 guests and tried to do as much budget-friendly stuff as possible and we’re still spending $20,000, which kills me. I can’t even talk about it, I get stressed out, hahaha. But $2000 for the venue fee, $3000 for appetizers/dinner, $300 for alcohol, $3000 for the photographer, $1300 for the DJ, $200 for favors, $200 for chair rentals, $100 for wine glass rentals… the list goes on and on.  

Post # 7
2155 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I would keep looking. Backyard weddings may seem like they would save you money, but there are so many additional aspects you might not be considering. What about tents if it rains/to protect from the sun. How will you keep food warmed up? Bathrooms? Unless your parents have a 5 bathroom house, you will need to rent additional bathrooms because 1-2 bathrooms won’t cut it. How will you deal with parking? Then there is chair rentals, purchasing or renting all the cutlery and china, etc. You will need additional insurance coverage for your event in case someone gets hurt on your parents property, otherwise they will be responsible. There is a lot more than goes into a backyard wedding than your mom might be considering.

Post # 8
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

View original reply
younglover :  I agree with the other bees about the backyard wedding being more than what you bargained for. But the bees are super helpful – what area are you looking to get married in? Maybe some of them have suggestions of less expensive venues that get you more bang for your buck.

Post # 9
940 posts
Busy bee

I think running out of savings is worse than cutting your guest list 🙂

I also think that backyard weddings are only budget friendly at 20-30 people or below, the casual, no-frills way. More than that and it ends up being a full-blown wedding that will cost as much as doing it somewhere else.

Post # 10
3440 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Usually when I see a budget wedding thread the guest list is fairly small. How much is your budget and what were you expecting it to cover? Seems like it would be difficult to have a budget wedding while hosting 200 people no matter which location you pick. I’d consider cutting the guest list regardless. We’re not having a backyard wedding but still need to have chairs, linens, tables, china and a tent to keep guests out of the sun delivered and set up. The park itself is cheap to rent but necessary items add up quickly. 

Post # 11
2655 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
younglover :  Congratulations on your engagement!! In my opinion, the best way to execute a budget wedding is by reducing the guest list. At 200 people, I’m sure that there is some wiggle room where you can trim people who are not very close to you or your soon to be husband. Then, I would also suggest to have your wedding at a free / unconventional venue – maybe a restaraunt where there is no venue fee and amazing food is included? Good luck!! xoxo

Post # 12
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

It’s almost impossible to have a truely budget wedding for 200 people and host them properly. We’re having a 15 people wedding and it’s costing us $5000 (which in my mind is budget). But I wouldn’t dream of having a 200 people wedding and spending less than $10,000 unless there were some extenuating circumstances (like my parents just happened to own a restaurant or a large estate with lovely lawns or I lived out in a rural area where venues were completely free).

Post # 13
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

so as for the backyard venue, my wedding is may 20th, we are having the ceremony and reception in a freind backayrd and we cut it a ton, we are only having 70 people. its been cheaper, but still not CHEAP… i will say though, its much more relaxed this way. This day is for YOU not your guests in the end. and who wants to start off their marriage a huge stress ball because you spent so much money on it? NOT ME! 

Post # 14
5013 posts
Bee Keeper

It is not rude to only invite 100 people to a wedding even though you have 200 people you may wish to invite, provided you haven’t already promised everyone an invitation by way of “save the dates”.

It is rude to invite people and not host them properly (meaning chairs for sitting, a comfortable environment that isn’t too hot/cold/rainy/windy/difficult to navigate, appropriate food and drink for the time of day).

Therefore, you need to make sure that you can afford to properly host whatever number you invite.

The first way to have a budget wedding ceremony and reception is by cutting your guest list.

The second way is do have a daytime wedding (also consider non-peak wedding months and avoid holidays).  Food costs are almost always cheaper for brunch/luncheons than they are dinner and alcohol consumption is usually lower.  The most inexpensive variation of this is a cake and punch reception.  Have your wedding at a non-meal time such as 2pm (this is key – you can’t have your wedding during meal time and not feed them a meal).  Have tables and chairs, some cake, punch and a few other beverages, some light finger foods like veggie, fruit, and cheese trays and then everyone be on their way by 5:00 or 5:30 and off to do dinner on their own.  You save on food and because there generally isn’t dancing also a band or DJ.

The third way to save is do catering from local restaurants or delis if you have the option to bring in your own caterer.  They are almost always significantly cheaper than full-blown wedding caterers.

Backyard weddings can be cheaper, but that usually only works for very small crowds in an informal setting.  Unless your mother lives in the country with no neighbors, where will 100 people park?  You’ll need to rent EVERYTHING, including tables, chairs, generators, sound equipment, dishes and linens, port-a-potties unless she wants 100 people traipsing through her house, a tent in case of rain, fans in case of heat, and insurance in case something happens.  And you’ll be responsible for clean-up.

Post # 15
7398 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Backyard weddings are rarely cheaper when you’re talking about 100-200 people. If you were having an intimate wedding for 20 or 40 people? Sure. You’d need a tent (rain backup!) and for that size group you’d need a large tent. You’ll need tables, chairs, linens, lighting, portable restrooms (because I doublt your mom is going to want 200 people coming through her house to use the bathroom….and her septic probably couldn’t handle it).

The best way to save money is cut the guest list, and then manage your expectations. You’ve said budget wedding, but you haven’t mentioned how much that is to you. For some people a budget wedding is $5,000….for others it’s $15,000.

A morning wedding w/ brunch reception, or afternoon BBQ is generally the cheapest option because food is one of the biggest ticket items. O

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