(Closed) weddings are expensive

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
5001 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Well first of all, is your wedding in NYC or Boston? Or Buffalo? Not sure, but I would definitely choose a less expensive city which can make a huge difference. Do a morning wedding and a lunch or even just appetizers and don’t offer alcohol, that will also save a lot. If your parents can afford it, I would take some money from them depending on how much they offered and how much you feel comfortable taking. You’re gonna have to cut the guest list to really save, there’s no way around it. We can’t invite my entire family on my dad’s side (~60 people) so he chose about 20 of them to invite and that’s just life. You have a lot of time, so try to figure out ways to save. Can you get a part time job babysitting or tutoring? If you’re really young, maybe you should wait a few more years until you both have “real jobs” and it’s not such a struggle. 

Post # 4
662 posts
Busy bee

Hang in there, it will work out somehow in the end.  There are other things that you can do to cut costs.  You could have a weekday wedding so that you still invite everyone but not everyone can make it.  You can have a brunch or cocktail reception so you just have to serve appetizers.  You could find a state park for a venue so you won’t have to spend much on the venue itself. 


Most of all, when you get frazzled and feel defeated think about your man sleeping next to you and how amazing it is going to be to wear that dress and meet him at the end of the aisle.  Hell or high water, ya know?


And there are a lot of gently used options for veils and shoes and all that.  Perhaps look there first.


Good luck!

Post # 5
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I’m sorry. Wedding stress is always hardest when it comes to money.

If you can’t afford a huge wedding, then you shouldn’t have to have one. Your aunt is being ridiculous. If she doesn’t want to celebrate your wedding because it’s not a 50k affair, then screw her! She’s being crazy. You two obviously aren’t in a spot in your life where you can drop 50k on a wedding, so she should be glad that you aren’t trying to. 

I’d just have a small wedding that you can afford. If she doesn’t like it, or if the rest of your family doesn’t like it, tell them exactly that: it’s what you can afford and you didn’t want yourselves or your parents going into debt over one day. And if your aunt decides not to come, or your family doesn’t give you a shower or gifts, as you said they wouldn’t? Well, who gives a crap? You’ll be getting married on a date you love, to the man you love, and no one had to go into debt for it! 


Hope you get this worked out. And keep your head up! 2014 is still a while away, there’s tons of time to stash money away.

Post # 6
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

First off.  Im am so sorry that your wedding is causing you this much stress.  A wedding is a celebration and should not be so stressful. 

I wanted a smaller wedding.  We didn’t want more than 50 guests.  But if you were to take all the friends and family we could of had well over 100.  We cut the guest list down by first.  No children.  I am personally not a fan of kids being at a fancy occassion.  Mainly because I think that it is ridiculous that some 4 year old kids will still be running around at 1 a.m.  I don’t like that personally *no offence intended*.

Also there is a 2 year cut off.  If I haven’t talked to you in 2 years then you were not coming to the wedding.

Finally a wedding should not be able thinking “what gives can I get”.  It is a beginning to your life together.  A big wedding sounds like something that you cannot afford.  There is more to a marriage than a wedding.  Don’t bury yourself in debt and put yourself in such a financial strain for a day.  It is your wedding.  Do what you want and feel comfortable doing and tell everyone else to live with it.

Post # 7
10 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

I am/was in the same boat as you- I have a HUGE family and have always been expected to follow suit and have a church wedding, a banquet hall reception and invite everyone I’ve ever met. Not only can we not afford that, we don’t want it either. But I still wanted a wedding so here’s what my fiance and I are doing in able to afford the wedding we want:

My fiance and I actually live in Arizona while the rest of our family lives in Illinois. At first we were planning on having the wedding there but venues in Illinois are significantly more expensive and they are all the same standard banquet hall. I wound up looking at venues here in AZ and they are much cheaper and by planning a “destination” wedding (even though it technically isn’t a destination for my fiance and I) we were able to cut down our guest list in half (it’s not expected for you to invite your 2nd cousin or neighbor to Cacun or Vegas or whatever). So we are inviting our closet 75 family/friends knowing that only 50-60 can actually afford the trip. And honestly, those people who care about us that much to save the make to make it are the ones we really want there anyway. So what I am saying is, possibly look into destination wedding even if it’s in the same state but a couple hours away.

I know you are stuck on your date but for me it was significantly cheaper to book our venue on a weekday. I could have saved even more money have the wedding in the off season, which here in Arizona is summer. I would look at Mondays on or after a holiday because most people are already off then. I would have saved over $2k to have my wedding on Memorial Day because it was in the off season and a Monday (and convienently most people are off work anyway).

I think the best thing is that you have time on your side right now. I spent the first year of our engagement looking for a wedding venue we liked and could afford. I can’t tell you how much hours of my life I have spent reading bridal magazines, looking that theknot.com reading reviews, and going to open houses. It totally sucked but it was so worth it- I found a lot of places that do all inclusive and it’s super affordable.

If you want it bad enough, you can make it work! Just don’t strive for something that you don’t really want. I flat out told my family- if you want it, then pay for it… if you aren’t paying then stop complaining!

Post # 8
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yes wedding are so expensive. I’m losing hair over it. At the end of the day, it’s about the couple and long term. Don’t go into debt over the wedding, and if worst comes to worst 5-10-15 has a good ring o it. 

Post # 9
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Im sorry you’re stressed and i’m sorry there’s pressure!! I have had several meltdowns of my own over money.  Try reading “A Practical Wedding” – its a book, and there’s also a great blog.  It helps you remember what’s really important and what you should focus on.  There are lots of options, you don’t have to go all Martha Stewart to have a beautiful, memorable day.

Post # 10
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B

Im so sorry to hear you are so stressed! Take a deeeeep breath. One of the ways you can majorly cut down on costs is to try Ebay, Etsy, and classifieds here on WB! If you have friends getting married around you, ask to borrow/buy stuff from them.

I got 199 navy blue chair bows for only $75 from a friend’s sister’s wedding. I got 80 yards of white tulle from another friend because I helped her cut it for tulle swags from the ceiling. Another friend gave me about 50 paper lanterns, 15 picture frames (hers were table numbers, I’m putting menus in mine), little white signs that say bride and groom and thank and you on the flip sides… our centerpieces are made of tea lights, wine bottles from friends and family, and the corks….

It may take a bit of work, and some creativity, but go all out recycled/ebay/classifieds/borrowed for your decor (and even for your look… im borrowing a VERY good friends petticoat… its my something borrowed) and maybe some of the other extras and then your bottom line can focus on the things you NEED like food, drinks, and venue.

I agree with other PP’s, have a beautiful brunch wedding and serve maybe one or two specialty mimosa like drinks, and breakfast foods? Or a fancy luncheaon… I’m doing just a big long cocktail hour (ok so its like 4-5 hours) to save on buffett or plated dinner costs. My guests will still have a ton to eat and hors d’ouevres can be fancy two bite delights.

And if it comes to it….5/10/15 IS a nice sounding date!!!!!

Post # 11
3 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

Hang in there! Weddings aren’t about how big they are, they are about your love! Maybe you can find an inexpensive place that does an all inclusive type package that includes catering and decor, cake ETC?  I am an encore bride to be but with my first wedding we were young (21 and  20) and our wedding cost about $5000 total. It was nice and perfect for us, on a Sunday afternoon. We had it at a local wedding venue and served brunch, no alcohol except a champange toast and we hired the photographer for 3 hours instead of 4. We also didnt do a DJ because we didnt have dancing but we could have had a first dance easily. The venue was really nice and let us bring an ipod that they controlled. We had dinner music that I picked and different songs for the boquet toss ETC. The venue handled the food, cake and decor really it was very simple and stress free!

Post # 12
739 posts
Busy bee

Here are a couple of tips on saving money on weddings, I have worked in the industry for 10 years and planned my own wedding:

  • Weekday wedding – most vendors will give a discount if it’s on a non-holiday weekday. Remember if it’s holiday, that vendor is giving up time away from their family on that holiday so don’t expect a huge discount. Also, since most guests will have to take time off work then your list will cut it’s self down. So what if you don’t get “gifts” you are essentially paying for those things for paying for that guest to be there. If it’s something you want/need later on you can just buy it.
  • If you must have it on the weekend have a morning wedding. breakfast food is cheap and people wont be drinking as much. Then you and hubby can have the afternoon to yourselves or close friends.
  • Have a buffet – less serving costs.
  • Consider having a candy/or desert bar rather than cake when you take in account the serving/plating costs.
  • Cash bar – or only open bar during cocktail hour
  • Used decorations. Keep an eye on the classified list, ebay, Craigslist etc for past brides getting rid of their wedding stuff.
  • If you have any skills {web design, handwork, etc} see if vendors would be willing to barter for whatever it is you can offer them. Just make sure to have a contract so everyone is on the same page.
  • Hire the MOST TALENTED photographer you can get for your photographer budget. Worry about albums, digital files, prints etc after the wedding. You wont want the “stuff” if you don’t end up loving your photos.
  • If you can try to get a part-time job and put everything you can towards the wedding. Even if it’s only a few hours a week. You can look for odd jobs as well. I do not

Post # 13
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m sorry you’re feeling financially overwhelmed. There are a lot of bees who’ve been in the same situation and have some great money saving ideas (as some have suggested above).

It makes me so sad when family expectations exceeds a couples budget. Are these people going to pay for your rent, groceries and light bill when you can’t if you have to go into debt to please them? Some members of your family may be pissed, as you put it but you can’t always live by what other people think you should do. How will you feel afterwards when you had a wedding you couldn’t afford and didn’t even want?


Post # 15
253 posts
Helper bee

Are you having a family only family? how many of these people that you are inviting that are just friends

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