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Budget and DIY Weddings

Very small budget???

I am getting married summer of 2011. My fiance and I don't want to spend our saving on a wedding. We want the beauty of a wedding but don't want to lose sight of the day's purpose by focusing on small details. I am getting married at a banquet hall in Atlanta and the rental cost is only 900.00 for a Saturday. We get use from 8am-2am and are allowed to use our own vendors and provide our own alcohol/food. I know that this is our biggest money saver but flowers and linens are killing my budget. My mom wants to make the food and my bestfriend is going to officiate. I am getting all my vases and ribbon for bouquets from the dollar store since guests will take them hm at the end of the night. I am buying all the china and glassware there too because I can keep them all for my apartment instead of renting. My only issue with the venue are the chairs...I would have no problem using them as is but they clash with my color scheme(chocolate & magenta). I want to rent charivari chairs which adds a huge cost but renting chair covers do as well plus I hate the idea of them. With all my plans do you think it's possible to spend less than 3,500-4,000 on a wedding??? Please leave any other savings costs you can think of......FLOWERS are so expensive.....HELP!!!

Re: Very small budget???

  • As discussed in a recent thread, it is possible to have an entire wedding on a $3,000-$4,000 budget.  But you really do need to be honest with yourself.  What sorts of foods would your mother be making?  For how many people?  It would actually be a little weird to me to go to a wedding where you spent half of your budget on rentals and next to nothing on food.  Right now it's sounding like you're going to go over your budget.
  • The chairs a white folding chairs and they really stand out like a sore thumb. since the table clothes are chocolate and the napkins and flowers are magenta. I am ok with the chairs being a little over 7.500 each because they pull the entire room together. We are only having 50-60 guests IF everyone we invite comes. We are already cutting costs by not doing favors, invites and programs.....they are unnecessary costs. My mom makes incredible food and I know that there will be tons of it so I am not worried about food. I just want to make sure Im not being too cheap!!!
  • did i read this right? your not doing invites?

    my wedding as of right now is costing -2,240

    food is 600 dollars, 30 per person. only 20 ppl have rsvped (talk about really small)
    dj - 500
    restaurant- free
    decorations- 100iish
    flowers- i actually haven't done them yet, but i refuse to spend that much
    photographer- 400
    cake -150 (we did the basic we could)
    organist- 150
    church- 500
    limo- 100
    tuxes - 170 each so 350
    my invites were a weddin gift and my dress was a gift from my parents
  • Yea 7.50 is a lot of money for a chair but it's a cost I am comfortable with spending right now. Later on I may find a more cost effective option that doesn't include chair covers LOL. I am not doing, save the dates, programs, invites or menu cards. I feel that ppl never use them they end up being thrown away or left behind. All the guests I am inviting are very close friends and live fairly close so no need to send invites. I am going to use my wedding website and have them RSVP there.
  • ohh okay. just wanted to clear that up.I know a girl who got married in 3 weeks and just had the wedding at her parents house. I guess her mom had called all the family and told them to come. Honestly I wouldn't do that, but whatever floats your boat.
  • Do you already have a budget worksheet?  If you don't, then I would start one.  Think about every single little thing that you will have to spend money on for your wedding.  Don't forget about trivial things like stamps (for thank you notes), ribbon, and escort cards if you choose to have them.  Look at the list of what you will need to purchase and figure out how much each item will cost.  If the total cost of everything is too much, you might need to cut back on things like chairs.

    I understand not wanting to use the chairs available at your venue.  The ones available at my church are ugly metal folding chairs.  I would love to have white folding chairs, but the money is not in the budget for them.  We're just going to dim the lights a bit and hope that guests like the food enough that they don't fixate on the chairs.
  • Try looking at Costco for the flowers they have wedding packages that are beautiful with roses hydrangas. They do bouquets and center pieces.






  • The best prices on flowers I have found is freshroses.com.

    I have a similar budget, and am really having problems with it. We will be working with the church's hostess to see if we can cater for 200 people for less than $1000. We also are getting a lot of things donated.

    We cannot afford tablecloth, chair, or table rentals. We are just going to have to make do with the church's (white table cloths and grey chairs). People are there to celebrate our wedding. Surely they won't criticize the fact that the chairs don't match the tables.

    If you want to make the white chairs look better, I have seen people tie small pieces of fabric or bows to the back of the chair, so that it has some of the same colors as the table setting.

    Dress, undergarments, and alterations:                                     $500
    Candles, accessories (guest book, ring pillow, candles, etc.): $200
    Flowers (ordering bulk and having friend assemble):                $300
    Attendent gifts (14)                                                                     $200
    Cakes (the one thing I really couldn't sacrifice on):                    $600
    Vases, ribbons, etc. for centerpeices (dollar tree):                   $75
    Parent Gifts (three sets):                                                            $75
    Church Rental:                                                                            $425
    Invites (300 people~ 200 are out of town):                                 $400
    Hair, nails, etc:                                                                            $150
    Tux (for FOB):                                                                            $75
    Photographer:                                                                             FREE

    TOTAL without food:                                                                  $3000

    Happy planning.
  • Consider doing your flowers yourself.  I actually think that you might enjoy that more because you can put them the way you want.  You can go to community colleges and see if they can order any flowers for you at their price.  Colleges and florists get a tax break on those items.  Community colleges will often times have floral classes so they will need to order flowers anyway.  You will still have to pay for them but not as much as going to a florist.  I would say that if your colors are choc and magenta you could do majenta flowers with some choc in there somewhere.  The BMs could have magenta and white (if your gown is white).  Making centerpieces yourself is also an option.  My favorite is getting vases and putting colored water in them with a floating candle.  You could do magenta color water with a floating candle and add some choclate candies around the bottom of the centerpieces.  GL

  • Would you really need chair covers as well if you are hiring pretty chairs?  Could you not just hire prettier chairs & skip the chair covers?  Shop around, there are some good deals online for chair cover rental.  Honestly though, I don't think anyone will notice, white chairs are not that bad.

    The easiest way to work out if you are going to go over budget or not is to set yourself up a budgeting spreadsheet (google wedding budget spreadsheet), it might be helpful to put a column in that gives you the amount as a % of your total budget and that way you can put things into perspective. 

    At £3.5k you would be spending 13% of your total budget just on the chairs!!! Personally I think that's crazy.

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