(Closed) What did you have to sacrifice to stay within your budget?

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 18
3617 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We had a larger budget, and let me say. I still had to make countless sacrifices to stay within our budget. That’s what happens when you’re on pinterest all day looking at this ridiculous weddings 🙁

Post # 21
33 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@O.My.Heart:  I totally understand how you feel! Being in control of the budget is like a part time job. I had three excel files just to do comparison on different vendors!  In the end I felt like I compromised on my dream venue, but we’ll be able to afford a honeymoon and be debt free.  As much as it’d be fun to go all out on my wedding, part of me thinks it’s only one day and not worth going in debt for it. 

Post # 23
6114 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I didn’t go the traditional route.  We eloped to Canada and made it our honeymoon too. 

We wanted to keep around $7000 for the vacation, wedding, attire, photographer – everything.  Originally we set $5000, but you know things change then I started researching things!

Sacrifices for the wedding – I found a deal on my dress (half price Casablanca!), H wore s suite from Kohl’s that he can rewear not a fancy tux, I did not get a separate wedding band (I just wanted one ring period), then no guests – just two witnesses.

Sacrifices for the weddingmoon trip – We did not go all out fancy hotel for every night.  In fact out of the 10 days, we camped for 4 nights, regular hotelled it for 3 nights then we splurged for 3 nights’ lodging which spanned the wedding. 


Post # 24
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

No wedding party transportation, we had a local cheap honeymoon. DIY flowers, paper stuff, favors, & decor. Videography was done by a friend. Cheapest, most boring cake in town and half of it was a sheet cake (lol). DIY non-flower centerpieces (well they had one stem each table, so 20 stems).

I should edit to mention that we did not really stay in the original budget. Our original budget was something that we could not stay under and have what we wanted once I started pricing things.

Edit again because I started reading other posts. We had a pizza and pop rehearsal dinner, no photo booth, and a friend did our engagement photos.

And the BIGGEST was that I had a Friday wedding! We got discounts on the reception and the DJ for that!

Post # 25
387 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

We are just getting started on the planning, so the only sacrifice we have made so far is getting married in the afternoon instead of the evening. At my reception venue, it is a $15,000 difference (I’m trying to have a whole wedding for less than that amount) to have a reception in the afternoon slot on my date (1-5pm) instead of the evening slot 5pm+. So you mean to tell me, I can have the same food, same room, same service, same EVERYTHING, still get married on a Saturday and just have to be an afternoon bride?

I said sign us up!

But seriously, 

View original reply
@O.My.Heart: I know what you’re going through. I think what has helped me so far (besides the fact that I haven’t done much b/c I have a lot of other life things going on right now) is to be willing to be a little flexible. I was able to book the venue I really wanted but had to be flexible with the time. I am hiring the coordinator I really want to use, I just may not be able to hire them for the full service package I really desired. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, and get creative. I know you will have the best wedding for you, even if it isn’t exactly like you imagined.

Post # 26
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Pro videographer (we’ll video ourselves)

Ridiculously good photographer (we do have one, but he’s affordable)

Night-time wedding (we’re having a morning wedding)

Saturday wedding (having a Sunday wedding)

Crazy flowers (we’re using just roses and probably going through a grocery store)

Music for cocktail hour (not having any. Just for ceremony and reception)

Hard liquor (doing wine, beer, mimosas, bellinis)


These were all very easy sacrifices for us. I got the venue I loved in the month I loved (yay fall!), I have a dress I love, and I’m marrying the man I love with my whole family there. That was what was most important to me.

Post # 27
1488 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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@RoyalPurpleBride: We are getting married the same day and going to Napa as well on our Mini Moon.


We had to sacrifice on a Videographer and we are going Wine with dinner instead of an open bar.  

Post # 28
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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 DJ.

*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!

Post # 29
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I gave up a pro photographer and had my aunt take the pics for me, my brother took the videos. The pro would have literally doubled my budget. I also had my mom do my hair and my sister do my makeup. I skimped on the flowers too, and no programs.

I loved my wedding and sure I would have liked to have been able to afford professional photos, but we cant always get everything. I am very pleased with what I managed with a $5000 budget.

Post # 30
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012


We had to sacrifice the photo booth, for the light up disco dance floor. 🙁 

We also went with a lower photo package, to save on costs. I struggled with that at first because I’m such a photo-loving person but I realize that we are still going to have a ton of awesome pics and the money we saved is now going towards our Ireland honeymoon.

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