(Closed) Who knew expensive taste could be so…expensive?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I promise you can do a wedding for MUCH MUCH less! You just need to get creative. Here it is cheaper to buy table cloths then it is to rent them. We are going to be saving  52 dollars just on buying our own tablecloths AND we can sell them after to recoup the costs. If that number includes rentals check out SmartyHadaparty.com they have very nice looking disposable plates and silverware that you can get a lot cheaper than renting. can you borrow tables from a church or fire station? Once you put a tablcloth on it no one will know! and that can save you a LOT of money! I am doing my whole wedding for 130 people for 8,000 dollars! You can save money if you just get creative! 

Post # 4
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I just had a wedding for 82 people in Fort Lauderdale and our expenses ended up coming out to almost 35. We were hoping for more like 15 or 20, but realized quickly that just the venue and catering would eat that up. Our wedding wasn’t even that elaborate and we got great deals on an amazing florist, photographer, and DJ. It costs a lot to get married in South Florida.

Post # 5
224 posts
Helper bee


Wow… I thought I was going overboard at £15,000 which is roughly $30k!

I made a spreadsheet of every detail I could think of and how much it would cost. Then I split it up into 2 sections. Necessities, and Ideals. Things like staying in a hotel the night before, a videographer etc were all ideals that I would love but could live without.

What’s the most important thing for you? The venue? Having a band? A designer dress? To cut the cost down I’d start to think about what is a ‘must’ and what is a luxury.

Also – go crazy negotiating prices and find the best deals. If you think something’s good just because it’s expensive, you need to change your thought processes.

Why do you need the amazing flowers? Would you day be ruined if you had simple centrepieces? Would the guests be disgusted if the napkins weren’t folded into swans, or is that just something you want? (you get my drift!)

Once you’ve done all that you can see where your priorities are and where you need to make compromises.

Post # 6
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

PS, I recommend all those vendors:

Steve Lawson at Michelle Lawson Photography (be careful if you Yelp him; there are 33 reviews, but only 2 make it through the filter, so you will have to select to see the filtered ones)

Anthony Bonomo with ALB Events and Productions

Bobby Kyser with Panache Style

Post # 7
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@MizzStark1026:  Don’t worry! You can still have an amazing wedding, with pretty much everything you want, the way you want it. But you will have to do tons of research on less-expensive options. And you’ll have to plan, plan, plan. You will find, as you go, the things that stop being priorities and that you’re even a little surprised to see fall by the wayside with no struggle.

The prices you see are based on designer brands, full-price options, etc. If you figure out where to look, and how to ask for things without using the word “wedding,” you’ll be able to cut that number way, way down.

I’m buying my corsages and boutonnieres are a grocery store, because traditional florists charge way more than what I’m paying, for exactly the same thing. I’ll have to pick them up myself, but it’s saving me a ton of money. I’m also buying other flowers I want from them and making my own bouquet (total cost of my bouquet will be approx. $35, as opposed to the $200 a florist would charge). My dress is an ivory bridesmaids dress (I didn’t want the big poufy dress) and so is costing $250, but if I were getting a traditional bride’s dress, I would have bought used or a sample, or ordered a knockoff from one of the reputable overseas sites (but do reserach to avoid the scam ones). We’re getting friends and family to do the cake, be DJ, do centerpieces. We’re doing a limited bar, just beer and wine, instead of an open bar – which at one point we thought we just HAD to have. We’re getting one photographer, paying an hourly rate, and doing our own photo albums on Shutterfly  (total cost $450, rather than $4,000 for a full service 2-photog package).

The savings are out there, and you can find them. There are some great websites and blogs (I love The BrokeAss Bride). You’ll find great advice on here, too, as other Bees work through the same issues and help you solve problems. Pinterest to your heart’s content, but be looking for pins of less-expensive options, along with your dreams and ideas.

Good luck! And best wishes on your forthcoming engagement!

Post # 8
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I know how you feel.  When I first started wedding planning…I had no clue how much everything cost.  Esp..here in the DC area.  I felt $20K would be plenty for a wedding for around 125 guest.  Boy was I wrong.  I had to double our budget and really start saving.

Post # 9
2586 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I feel like *most* people’s Pinterest boards are full of things they can’t afford…heh…so don’t let that set you up for a let down.  One of my friends boards is full of Jenny Packham dresses – which led me to believe she was getting one, and had me all swoony with envy…  but her dress was actually from Davids.  😛    My point is, don’t be under the impression that all of that outrageously expensive stuff you see online is the norm, or what people will expect of you – its simply not the case

Be flexible and open minded – think about what your friends are good at.  Just as an example, I’m saving about 2k by having my friend make cupcakes (in lieu of a gift) and a couple of my guy friends split DJ/MC-ing duties (also in lieu of gifts).  We skipped a limo and rented a school bus shuttle instead (almost 500 bucks cheaper), and I’m just going to pick up flowers at a local farm a couple of days before and tie ribbons around them for the bouquets (saving around 1500 bucks). Also consider little details that you might think are vital, but that guests TRULY don’t really care about – like chiavari chairs or fancy chair covers. Have you ever thought less of someones wedding because they didn’t have them? Going with our venue’s standard chairs saved us 550 over the chaivari rentals, and probably 3-400 over getting covers.

You absolutely do not need to spend 60k if you don’t want to!!  It just takes a bit more effort and a good eye for whats really essential to your look – and what isnt.

Post # 10
434 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

The good news is that you have a year and a half, which is plenty of time to figure out what elements of the wedding you can DIY and enough time to cost compare vendors, etc.

I also got married in South Florida – I ended up using a temple as my venue, but I was doing a lot of research before I decided on the temple because I originally wanted a beach hotel or a garden-type area, etc. Word of advice: don’t go with a hotel if you’re looking to stay within a budget. They charge fees for everything (which I’m sure most bees already know) and jack the prices up sky high. I know there must be venues in S.Fla that you can find for a reasonable price, so just keep at it, do rigorous reserach, and I know it will turn out beautifully!

Post # 11
11368 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You’re so right. It definitely does produce sticker shock!!

I had been engaged once before, many years ago, but canceled that wedding and broke that engagement. In the 17 years that passed between then and when I married Darling Husband, prices for everything relating to weddings seemed to absolutely skyrocket. I don’t know how that truly compares with the rate of inflation over the same period.  However, bottom line, my wedding budget when I married Darling Husband was more than double what we had been planning 17 years earlier.

Darling Husband and I are now helping to pay for my DSD’s wedding this fall, and, unfortunately, her budget is five-to-six times less than the one my parents generously were able to provide for me. Because DSD and her FI also have great taste, they both are struggling with the same thing you are. It’s challenging to have the wedding of your dreams in this day and age unless someone involved has (or a collection of someones have) some fairly deep pockets.  However, based upon some of the amazing things I’ve seen on WB, there are many DIY brides whose weddings and pics are absolutely gorgeous. 

I wish you the best in your planning!

Post # 13
2067 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

You can definitely do it for cheaper… It takes lots of shopping around… lots of DIY… and some sacrifices – and if you don’t want to sacrifice and can afford not to, then GO FOR IT!! 🙂

We are in Western NY (So a lot cheaper than FL, I’m sure)… Our budget was $10k for about 200 guests… Once we looked at venues, we had to up it to $12k… But we ended at between $12,000 and $12,500… So we were right on the money… It’s definitely doable!

Post # 14
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I can’t believe the minimum is $60,000. You either have way too many must-haves or you are inviting like 2000 people haha. You can compromise on lots of things or shop around for better prices. 

We are in a fairly expensive city in Canada and I am aiming 15k for 150 people. 

Post # 15
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I completely understand the sticker shock. When I first got engaged I started looking into how much the things I wanted would cost. I quickly realized they were going to be much more expensive than anticipated. I live in AL, which I would assume is cheaper than FL, but I was looking at $20-30K for what I truly wanted. There was NO WAY I could stomach that sort of cost, but I also didn’t want to cut out a lot of my “must haves”.

I started really soul searching and realized that I hadn’t always dreamed of a wedding (the parents and grandparents were the main ones pushing one), but I did know what I would want if I were to have one. I realized that having a wedding wasn’t all that important to me, but, if I was going to have one, it would have been very important to me to have the things I wanted in it. I realized I would be perfectly fine not having one, but I would not be happy having a lack-luster (in my eyes) event. We ended up going to the courthouse, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. 

I’m not saying you should decide against having a wedding. I’m just saying you should really do some soul searching and decide what is most important to you. You may be surprised at what you find out about yourself. 

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