My budget is $3500 for everything besides my dress, but right now I’m coming in right at $3,200 but a last minute chair situation is probably going to put us right at budget (because I refuse to have the aluminum folding chairs). Here are ways I saved (big time):
*A friend of my family is amazing at barbeque/smoking/etc. and has all the equipment needed to make the food, and my Brother offered to pay for all of the food that they would cook (the hot part anyways). He’s even going to get up at 3am to start smoking my food on the day of the wedding. So: no catering.
*I got my cake at Publix, not sure what it would have cost elsewhere, but it was $355.00 for the cake, $20.00 for the topper, and that’s for 100 guests.
*So much DIY, all of my decorations are DIY.
*Used a family connection to score a super cute ranch for the wedding for FREE.
*I wanted round tables, but my brother can get me rectangular for free, so rectangular it is!
*No Alcohol (not a sacrifice, we wouldn’t have had it anyways for religious purposes.)
*No limo/transportation. Its not practical as the wedding is in the middle of no where.
*Local photographer who is slightly new, but completely sweet and amazing – $700.00 total (Lost $200.00 to a wanker photographer, but whatever)
*No videographer, just going to put my own camcorder on a tripod.
*DIY invites from a kit with a coupon at Michaels.
*DIY all of my flowers from Sams Club (about $200 for tons of baby’s breath and tons of white flowers like hydrangeas, etc.) Enough for 7 bouts, 2 corsages, 4 bouquets and all of my centerpieces (27).
*Skipping the programs alltogether.
*Got a deal on a hairdresser who is a friend of the Maid/Matron of Honor she’s charging $200 for me, three maids, and my mom.
I will say this: I could have worked during my engagement and used the money I made (as a Nurse) to pay for someone else to do all of the wedding stuff because I would have been too busy, or I could have done it all my self and paid only for cost of materials. I figured it up, and I think it worked out even on both regards though I may have made slightly more than a planner would have charged, I think it was worth it to not stress about work and to be able to put so much love into each thing about my wedding.
A lot of things didn’t get figured into my original budget, so that threw it off completely. Like chairs (my brother said I could get them free, but they were ugly) so I’m renting 100 for $350.00 unexpectedly. Gifts for our parents didn’t make the original budget ($150.00), groomsmen gifts ($100.00), Day of Coordinator (she hasn’t named a price but I would like to pay her at least $200.00 because she’s sweet and a very old family friend), Forgot to include my violinist ($175.00), etc.
Also I way underestimated some things, like mason jars. They wound up costing a lot more than I anticipated, but not so much that they broke my budget. Some things wound up cheaper than bugeted too, like table cloths. I bought them from an online site an got them for cheaper than I could rent them and they are good quality.
My Fiance told me that he wanted to spend $7,000 on the wedding and honeymoon, and I think that we are good on that front, because as of right now we have paid for most of the wedding, all of our lodging, our rental car, and our flights for our honeymoon as we are coming in right at $5,500.00 ish, which leaves us $1,500.00 for our food and entertainment which is completely doable.
Tip: pick one or two things that are super important to you, and put your money there. The rest is just extra. I’ve realized that yes the wedding will be special, but I’d rather have a nicer honeymoon because it lasts longer! I wouldn’t cut my guest list to accomodate having catered food, I’d serve cheese and crackers if I had to because to me, inviting my friends is the most important thing. Followed by photography (almost a third of my budget). Good luck and happy planning!