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December 2009 Weddings

Need opinions,..

I do need opinions, but please be nice!! :) So... my FI and I invited too many people to our wedding (like, 43 too many), which was due to my FMIL telling us, well, if you invite so and so you have to invite all of these other people. Not to mention that since my FI has two kids and I don't have any, we decided to invite all of the kids of our adult guests so we can make this a family event. I'm good with all of this. But, we are on a tight budget. As, I know there are a lot of brides on this board who are also on a tight budget. So, we have 112 people paid for at this point, as far as dinner goes. I love polish style food, so we're having a polish buffet. YUM! We invited 283 people. I'm so not happy about this. I told my FI that if more than 140 people RSVP Yes, then we have to cut back somewhere. I told him I thought the best thing to do would be to cut out the use of the venue's china. It's $3/person to use it, plus a 17% service fee for the caterer to use it, clean it, and put it back. The caterer has this really nice plasticware that you can't tell is plastic, until you pick it up. It's ivory with a gold rim. I think it's cute and will be just fine for our guests to use it. I really don't think our guests are going to be so snobby that the plasticware would be the memory of our wedding that sticks in their minds the most. But, FI really doesn't want to serve our guests food on plastic, he wants the china. I don't know where else to cut money from... the alcohol? My question to you all that I need your opinions on, is, if you were a guest at a wedding and you ate your food off of plastic that was nice plasticware, would you be offended or think we were 'cheap' because of it? I don't want people to think we're cheap... I'm just trying to be frugal and stick within our budget. Plus, since we are having kids at the wedding and reception, I would worry about a piece of china getting broken. I'm sure that can happen with adults, as well. But, still... Oh, sorry this ended up being so long. Good grief.
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Re: Need opinions,..

  • Hmmmm that is a tough one. Re: Cutting out the china and using the plastic-ware - what is the venue like? Fancy and formal? Casual? I'm thinking it all depends on that. Also, if you do decide to use the plastic, I wouldn't worry too much about what snobby guests will think. :)
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  • The venue is the local Scottish Rite. The upstairs is very, very nice. Marble on the walls and floors, But, the reception area, isn't nearly as eclectic. They have padded chairs, but you can tell they've been there for a while and the tables are pretty old, even though we will be covering them up. There is white paneling on the wall behind the head table. It's a nice room, but it doesn't compare to the rest of the building... Another issue my FI has is that we got this $800 cake. We love watching the food network and Ace of Cakes. So, we wanted to splurge on the cake... we got one with fondant. We're serving it on plastic plates. We have to get the plates for the cake, ourselves...
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  • Where does you FI suggest you cut costs?  If he doesn't want to cut the china, tell him he needs to come up with a way to come up with the extra money. I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times before, but you have to plan for 100% attendance.  Otherwise you set yourself up for this kind of situation. You shouldn't have let someone have so much control over your guest list (unless they are paying, which, from your post, I don't think she is).  In fact, having your FMIL pay for her guests should've been used as bartering tool with her ("We'll invite these people for you, if you pay for them if they come.  Otherwise, we can't afford to go over our budgeted guest list.").  I personally think that plastic would be fine especially since you're having a buffet style dinner.  Unless you're having an uber fancy/formal wedding.  I doubt anyone would notice and it'll be better for the kids, which you mentioned.Good luck.
  • Can you cut the cake out at this point?  That would be a great place to cut costs since you could get another from a local bakery or grocery store for a fraction of that cost.
  • As a guest, I personally would not have a problem with being served on plastic plates, especially if they are nicer ones. I think it could depend on the style you're trying to convey though, maybe even more so than how nice the room itself is. If you're trying to have a very formal reception with everyone in very nice attire, then it might seem out of place to have plastic plates. If it's going to be more of a casual night with just a lot of friends and families gathering and having a great time, then I don't think anyone will really think twice about it. And obviously casual isn't the same thing as cheap, so you shouldn't think of it that way either. Alcohol could be a way to cut out costs, but I would only do this if you were already planning on having an upgraded package (like open bar with mixed drinks, imported beer, etc) and could just choose a less extensive option (like house wine and domestic beer and no well drinks). I would not cut out the alcohol completely to save money. Are there any other places you could cut down on costs? It seems like anything with a per person or per item cost is a great place to look. Can you opt for cheaper linens? Can you cut down on your favors? Get rid of as many appetizers (if you're having any)?
  • I agree with pp's. IF there is any chance at this point to call off the pricy cake and get a more affordable one, that would be great. Also, I would not mind using plastic plates as a guest...as long as it's suitable for the food you're serving.
  • Well I hope people don't think less of you because we aren't having real china.  Haven't decided on what we will be using but it won't be the real thing. 
  • I'd rather spend money on alcohal vs. china : ) But seriously, nobody will care that they are eating on plastic instead of china, they are there to celebrate with you, not judge how much you spent on your reception. FI and I went to a wedding this summer that was at the local archery club, nothing was fancy, dinner was served on plastic plates with plastic utensils and paper napkins. They clearly didn't spend a lot of money but we had an absolute blast!  It was one of the funnest weddings we've been to!  We then went to another wedding a couple weeks later at the fanciest place in our area, very classy, and it was pretty lame and we left pretty quick after dinner. Your reception is about celebrating, not eating a fancy meal on fancy china : )
  • My FI and I are paying for everything. Well, his parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner... that's at a pizza place with beer and wine. We are trying to make our wedding and reception just a fun, casual, family event. So, this is totally casual and not formal. I have talked to FI about where to cut things out of the budget and he just says he doesn't know... He doesn't like looking at the budget. This is the second wedding for both of us. I could have went to the courthouse and got married by a judge. But, he wanted the wedding to share the event with all of our friends and family. Whenever I mention that we are way over our invite list and tell FI and his mom the numbers, they just say 'It will be okay, it will all work out in the end'. I have to explain that about 8 years ago, FI's fathter's parents passed away and his father inherited a couple million and retired early. THey lost some money in the market, though, so they don't have as much as they used to. Hence, why his mom just thinks things will work themselves out and wants to invite everyone she knows to the wedding. As for our costs, the cake is paid for. We got a great deal from our caterer, the price of the buffet was marked down plus they gave us FREE linens and three free appetizers for paying with cash. They were losing money with people paying by credit card so they offered incentives. I bought our favors last year... so those are paid for. Also, FI works for a liquor distributor as a manager. So, we're getting our own alcohol at a really good cost. Paying the bartenders is expensive... but not something we can really cut out. I just wish I could convince him that 'we' aren't going to worry about what people think if we serve food to them on plasticware! They're getting fed and they get to experience our day, which wil be totally beautiful! I got a lot of decorations at 90% off, and our ceremony is going to be awesome.
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  • I agree with the other ladies on this one...I definitely would not mind getting served on nice plasticware...some people might actually think its neat. I have been to a couple weddings recently where they had plastic forks and spoons...but they totally looked like real silverware until you picked them up and they were light as a feather! I thought it was actually really cool because I had never seen anything like that before. I just think that is a crazy amount to pay just to use their china...try not to care what others might think. If they really care that much, those people probably aren't that close to you anyway. Do what you need to do.
  • I have talked to FI about where to cut things out of the budget and he just says he doesn't know... He doesn't like looking at the budget.If he's not willing to look at the budget and help you find somewhere to cut costs, then go with the plastic despite what he thinks.
  • I'm with the other pps.  Go for the plastic!!!  No one is going to even notice, they will be too busy enjoying your big day and great buffet!Good luck!
  • I say go for the plastic too...if anyone has the nerve to make a comment tell them it was b/w the plastic or them coming and you chose them.I really don't think anyone will notice, I'm always amazed that when I go to weddings I never notice the little details they say they've done..all I notice is how much fun everyone is having.You can also cut back on flowers if your using them, that's always a big saver.  I personally wouldn't change the open bar b/c that is something that people notice
  • My uncle gave me this piece of advice - If it's something that is going to result in people having more fun - spend money on it.  If it's something that does not result in any more of a good time - don't worry about spending money on it.
  • We're using the really nice plastic. It was used at my brother's wedding and my Grandma didn't know it was plastic until she picked it up. Best part--just toss away when people are finished AND they won't shatter if someone drops it! Granted we're having a garden bbq wedding so it will for sure be on the casual side but I would rather spend that money on an extra hour of music or alcohol. GO FOR IT!
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  • I've seen many venues turn to using the "Lenox Like" plastic dishes. It saves time and energy. That way saving us money.We are likely using it. It looks nice, and like you said... no on notices until they pick it up.
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  • I know I'm as bit behind, but I do want to respond because I have been to a wedding that used very nice plastic plates and utensils.  The ceremony was in the bride's parents home and was lovely.  The reception was also at the home and I do remember the plastic, but that's only because I'm a wierdo that would remember stuff like that.  I still think it was just fine and I certainly don't have a different opinion of anyone because they used plastic.  Between your FI and FMIL, I'm sure you're having a hard time with the budget, but somethings got to give and I think the China is it. Also, you may need to cut back further and I think you may want to reconsider the fondant since it is very expensive.  Have you considered skipping the fondant on the main cake and getting a cool groom's cake?  Not positive, but I'm pretty sure you'd save money doing it that way and then you wouldn't have to give up the fondant - just compromise. GL!!
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