Post # 1
Why is everything so expensive?! All I want is a simple pretty wedding, but it looks that thats not in a cards. All of the venues average $5000-$7000 and catering is going to be about $4000 on top of that. I suppose it wouldnt be so bad if we didnt both have HUGE families who expect to get invites. I wouldnt mind trimming some of the fat off of my guest list, but my family members who didnt make the cut would never let me hear the end of it.
I’ve considered having a backyard wedding and reception on my family’s land but where would people use the restroom? Also, with the cost of renting tents, tables, chairs, linens, dishware, etc. it seems like it would come out to be just as expenisve and more stressful than an all-inclusive venue. I’ve been planning for a week and its enough to make someone want to elope.
Its not that I cant get the money together, but as much as I want a beautiful wedding it seems like such a waste when I think about other things we could use that money for. Venue and catering is going to already be over $10,000 and then I have to worry about decorations, dress, photographer, etc. Its all so much!
Sorry for the rambling rant. I dont have anyone to vent to at the moment and I needed to get it all out.
Post # 2
I was also shocked when I started, it’s not just you. I was floored by how expensive everything was. I’m having a backyard wedding and then restaurant reception (rented the restaurant out). We’re also getting married on a Thursday (cheaper) in the morning so lunch reception (wayyyyy cheaper). I say stay away from “wedding” venues. I’m not having a wedding party which further cuts costs.
I think you should consider backyard wedding then restaurant reception. For the ceremony all you really need is chairs, maybe a wedding arch, no need to decorate the beautiful outdoors. Restaurants are so much cheaper to rent out than venue places that do events. They also already have decor, tables, chairs, alcohol, etc.
Post # 3
Yes, this whole thing stinks!! It’s so stressful. I envy those that are great visionaries and planners. No creative bone in this body 🙁
Post # 4
I’m a little flustered myself! My first plan was a total bust, :(. I feel like we have to research before we can even start planning! Have you considered any DIY projects?
Post # 5
As far as the backyard wedding venue goes, I went to one recently and the biggest issue was the bathroom. Even though it was held in summer, the bathrooms (and places to freshen up) were portapotties. The majoirty of the guests drove 20 minute to Tim Horton’s.
Post # 6
Thats one of my biggest concerns. I know that they have nicer ones in like trailers, but I dont know…
It may be nice to take it to a restaurant, but I’m concerned about accomodations with so many guests.
Post # 7
Take a step back, decide on your budget FIRST and then figure out what kind of wedding you want.
If your expectations are out of line from your budge then yes – you’re going to be miserable planning. I just sat down with my fiance and we decided what we wanted and what WE would enjoy (NOT what our families would expect) and then I spent about a week price checking and booking stuff and then we were done. Now I have some minor decorations I’m doing but frankly if there’s an officiant, bride, groom, chairs and food everything else is just extras so if I never get around to the DIY I’m ok with it.
Some thoughts on how to save money. 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. 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) Think about who you really want at you wedding…do you really want hundreds of people? Would you rather save money and have a small intimate wedding?
Anyway, ways we cut costs:
- Small guest list (about 80)
- Food truck instead of formal caterer (and the food is AWESOME!) only $35/person
- Rustic wedding on our own property (which also makes for affordable decorations – burlap, lace, etc isn’t too pricey)
- Fake flowers instead of real ones
- We’re buying all our own beverages and will just have beers, sodas and a couple of wine options. Also as a daytime wedding people will drink less alcohol
- I’m doing all my own hair and make-up. Small bridal party (Best man and 2 bridesmaids)
- Making our own playlist through Spotify (it was 99 cents for 3 months last week!) We aren’t big on dancing anyway so there won’t be any formal dancing just background music.
- A girlfriend of mine is making the cake for us as a gift
- Keeping the whole event relatively short (outside without a lot of artificial lighting, we’re starting at 1:30 and the sun goes down at 5:30 so I expect it will pretty much wrap up by then)
- Bought my knock-off dress from China for $200 – custom made, no alterations needed!
Regarding your concerns about backyard wedding
- Bathrooms – we are renting a fancy porta-potty (looks like a hotel restroom) – cost $1500 but thats still cheaper than a $4000 venue fee.
- Yes you have to do your own decor but how much does that really matter? Brides obsess over this but no one really notices or remembers a few vases or candles (look on save-on-crafts.com or afloral.com) and you’re golden
- A caterer or food truck would handle the dishes for you – our food truck is giving us awesome wooden disposable dishes (VerTerra.com) with the food…its fits the rustic theme wonderfully.
- Use the natural beauty of the backyard instead of spending a bunch of money on flowers
For an idea, here’s how our budget shaped out:
Suits etc $50
Food truck $2300 (for 65 people)
Party Rental $1700 (30’x40′ tent with a heater system, 10 8′ banquet tables, linens, 85 chairs)
Website/invitations (glosite.com) $60
If you really want a venue instead find an all-inclusive venue thats reasonable. I found ones that were $50-$60/person if we were willing to do it on a Friday or Sunday (and I’m in expensive Southern Caifornia)
Post # 8
I couldn’t believe how much it cost to put together a wedding as well. We had 43 people at our wedding and it cost just under $25,000. Looking back at it now I can’t believe how much money it was just for six hours. Hopefully your sticker shock goes away cuz the costs just keep on coming!
Post # 9
Your post is super helpful! I would LOVE to cut the guest list down. I may end up doing it and just deal with any backlash as gracefully as I can. The backyard wedding is more appealing cost wise. My only concern is location. We dont really have any hotels nearby and my fiance’s family would be traveling a considerable distance and he wants them to be able to stay close to where the wedding is.
We for sure need to sit down and figure all of this out and we both will most likely have to make a few compromises.
Post # 10
Wedding planning can be incredibly expensive. Considering that you indeed want to include a lot of people at the wedding, maybe you could have it on a less popular wedding time (i. e. not Saturday night). You might get a better deal on venue and catering on Sunday or if you did a Saturday brunch.
I do like the idea of having the wedding on your family’s land, especially if it’s going to have so many people. You might be surprised by how much better you can budget if you look for the deals yourself rather than having the all-inclusive venue package. Alternatively, you could consider a destination wedding, and the wedding guest list will cull itself.
Post # 11
- Wedding: Hawksnest Cove Beach St John USVI
There are a lot of ways to cut on costs, all inclusive resorts (usually pays for food and sometimes your honeymoon is paid for if you have enough guests and they do a lot of the planning for you), public parks, banquet halls, family property, off days or off seasons. Don’t be afraid to negotiate especially if you choose say a Sunday in March when there aren’t a lot of weddings. That works with all your vendors. Also, when you get quotes tell them thanks you’ll think about it but youve heard better prices from competitors. You’d be amazed at how much they will come down on price.
Post # 12
I have defintely been feelng the sticker shock over the las month. I have a 20,000 budget and I thought that would be plenty to plan a beautiful wedding. What I am finding is I’m having to cut and budget to get the weddng I want, especially since the guest list has grown to almost 250 (but that’s another topic).
The biggest cost saver I have found is I am using an events/conference center for the reception and they do not charge to use the room – only for the catering, Prices for sit down dinners start at 25.00 including tax and gratuity! So I can hold my reception and feed the people for under $6,000. My ceremony is at my church and $500 for the clean-up / people.
I am also using fake flowers for my reception centerpieces as it would cost a fortune for 24 tables. My aunt is helping me with all the decorations and I have found vases at dollar tree and cheap table overlays at smarty had a party.
I also ended up cutting a videographer as I would rather spend the $800.00 elsewhere.
I agree with others – determine your budget first and then work backwards, but just realize everything will cost more than you think!
Post # 13
I started calling venues immediately after I got engaged before Christmas and would you believe that places were already booked in May of 2016?!? I did not believe it. The more I tried to fit things into the budget the bigger the bill got.
I scrapped every plan we made and we are going to elope, yet have a family party/dinner in November later this year. I also want to add that the second you say wedding or reception to any of the venues it’s triple the price of the meal. I am getting a wedding dress [though not traditional], I will have a photographer with a specific list of shots I want, I will have one bouquet of red roses for myself, and my Fiance and I chose the menu.
We’re getting 4 hours of open bar along with an hour of appitizers [4 types] and a plated dinner with a delicious desert. The venue’s room is surrounded by water and has two full scale balconies for my guests. All of that fit my budget. We got everything we wanted with none of the bs and stress.
Post # 14
yes it sucks. In my family I’ve seen so many girls try to have a simple wedding and just wished they had spent the money for a nicer honeymoon, instead. But I have an understanding family, who doesn’t expect fancy weddings and at this point, understand why no one has a wedding due to family drama., plus the money …This is why I’m doing a just us two. Sorry, but not spending money to throw a party for everyone else. I can still have a dress, cake, we found a very pretty venue that is charging us photographer rates by the hour not full blown wedding rate. A good photographer cut their rates to protraite rates, and so far they have been the most expensive thing. All of this is not on a weekend, either. I know this isn’t what you are looking for but just in case you end up scaling back. Otherwise., I would have immediate family only for a nice dinner. Ive been to many cake and punch receptions and for a rehearsal dinner I’ve seen a dessent bar set up in the hotel recption area. All desserts picked up from places like Costco. Just remember , as my family says, they just want to see you get married. If people are expecting you to throw a party for them ,shame on them. Good luck!
Post # 15
so you’re doing a destination wedding with a small group or are you describing your party in November?