Illinois-Chicago

What is your overall budget?

Hi, i am curious to know what is your budget, for how many guests and how are you affording the wedding?

In my case, my budget is 12,000  for 150 people without honeymoon. My parents and his parents are helping but most of the expenses are going on our own. Since we won't have much for honeymoon we will be 1 week in New York City, we will save our europe honeymoon for when we are done with all the wedding expenses.

My biggest expense will be the reception and the photography and video.

Greetings!

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Re: What is your overall budget?

  • edited December 2011
    I am hoping to keep mine around 18k for 120 people - but since our reception is around 13k that is going to be difficult
  • jg2eajg2ea
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Where are you guys having the wedding? Every venue I looked at in Chicago ( I saw about 8) would cost us at least 25K for food/drink/alcohol for 150 people.

    All of the loft spaces cost 4-5K to rent + catering (15-20K)
    All of the restaurants have a food/bev min of at least 18K.

    I would love tofind a cheaper venue!!
  • edited December 2011
    Ours was about $18,500 for 130 guests.
    @jg2ea, check out our venue (Embassy Suites Lakefront), the East Bank Club, and Kendall College for more affordable venues in the city.
  • edited December 2011
    My wedding will be at the Meridian Banquets in Rolling Meadows, IL. I could not be able to afford anything in downtown or near Chicago. Check it out, it is nice, the tasting i had was great, and they have lots of stuff included even the open bar is included and cake, pretty much you just have to bring your dj or band and some flowers. Highly recommended.

    If multiple weddings site is not an issue for you and you don't mind to have the reception out from Chicago, you should definately take a look at it.

    Joyce is my wedding advisor at Meridian Banquets and she is really nice and willing to respond and help whatever is possible.
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  • CASK85CASK85
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    We're aiming for 15k for about 80 guests. Our ceremony and reception are at Mrs. Murphy and Son's Irish Bistro. Not traditional, but right for us.

    ETA: We're paying for half-ish. His parents for about 2/3 of the remaining half, and my mom for the 1/3 of the second half.
  • edited December 2011
    We're spending $40,000 for 250 guests out in the suburbs. We had a really long guest list and all the venues we looked at in the city were not our style (outdoor ceremony and ceremony and reception location in the same place) and in our price range. I am still really sad we couldn't get the Peggy Notebaert Museum to work out for us.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: What is your overall budget?:
    Where are you guys having the wedding? Every venue I looked at in Chicago ( I saw about 8) would cost us at least 25K for food/drink/alcohol for 150 people. All of the loft spaces cost 4-5K to rent + catering (15-20K) All of the restaurants have a food/bev min of at least 18K. I would love tofind a cheaper venue!!
    Posted by jg2ea

    hey lady!  okay so i hate talking about $$ but maybe this will help you?  we're getting married at a church downtown and having our reception at aeree loft in west loop.  TOTAL budget for 200 guests is $25-29k.  we're paying ourselves - our engagement is long-ish, we're already homeowners, FI has a good job and i've trimmed our household budget like crazy.  plus we're not big spenders - i buy sale clothes from old navy and he drives an older car.  so, this once we're splurging on ourselves!

    it's only possible because aeree doesn't have a vendor list so our caterer is from outside chicago city limits.  you have to pay the loft rental fee ($3500-$5k) but it's worth it because our caterer has a 7.5% tax rate instead of 11% and prices are WAY cheaper.   the tax rate alone saves us a ton of money.

    our catering proposal is $13k - this includes 3 passed apps, family style dinner with 3 entrees, desserts, a late night hot dog cart, taxes, fees, and rentals including chiavaris for 200 guests.  that's like HALF of any city caterer's quote i got, for way  more stuff.  if you have 150 guests and trim out the extras (the hot dog cart, the chiavaris, the overtime since our party goes until 4am), then you could maybe cut that down by a third.

    my parents are paying for the church and flowers directly and i trust them so i took that out of the budget.  everything else we're paying for ourselves.  it's a lot, but we feel like our wedding is a thank you to our families, you know?

    oh and we can also bring our own booze, we just have to hire a bar service.  HUGE savings!

    i'm still looking for ways to save too, PM me if you want to brainstorm!!!!!!!


  • edited December 2011

    It is not easy at all to find a decent venue with reasonable prices. I remember i asked at the Trump Hotel, and they were so rude asking: You think you can afford us?? (on the phone!), at that moment i had to finish the call, i couldn't believe how rude can the vendors be; later on i found out that trump hotel was $180 minimum per head! and now i compare my venue and Trump and my venue has sooooooo much more to offer, Trump sells you the sights (who cares, people will be dancing) and the name.

    I am so happy with my venue and i dare to say that my $12,000 dollars will look like a MILLION! I am bringing really beautiful mexican handcraft for centerpieces, even my venue wedding coordinator was in shock, and i saved lots of money with florist (i will only get my head table centerpiece, nothing else).

    The invitations were made in Mexico too, and all my Fiance's friends and rest of guests are like OMG!!!!........

    I am saving lots of money since most of the things like favors, dress, shoes, lace, bouquet, veil, etc were made in Mexico =)

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  • edited December 2011
    I'm trying to keep everything from the venue, photographers, flowers and all that under $20k for 230 people. I'm doing a decent job of doing it. The venue I'm having it at which is the Victoria Beau Jolie, I'm doing under $14k. I'm lucky to have friends everywhere! My friend is doing the flowers as a wedding gift, the videographer is a family member who offered to do it free of charge. The photographer was having a "sale". The trolley was a deal as well. You just have to be patient and look around. It's time consuming (besides looking at a computer for work almost 10 hours a day for work) looking for deals, but well worth it. Shopping around is your best bet. Good Luck!!
  • fashionxfashionx
    500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I'm budgeting $16-18K for everything for about 150-175 guests. We are getting married in the suburbs in Elmhurst, and our hotel venue is all-inclusive. The venue/catering/bar is about 12K.

    My FI and I bought a house last year, so we got the home buyer tax credit, which is going to pay a big chunk of the wedding, and the rest we are saving every month and putting money towards it as we can.
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  • edited December 2011
    We want to stick close to $10,000 of our own money. My parents are paying for the catering which will be like $6,000 so I guess the total budget is $16,000. We have 100 guests. So far we are looking at...

    Venue (Logan Square Kitchen) $2800
    Catering/rentals $6000
    My dress $400
    My shoes $150
    Invitations $100 (DIY Baby!) but we haven't bought stamps yet...
    Alcohol proposal is $1500 
    Judge $275
    Hotel the night of (Longman and Eagle) $250

    So that leaves about $5,000 for his suit, my hair and nails, the DJ (we are hoping a friend will do it for super cheap), photographer (that will be about $2500, we just haven't confirmed with him yet), invitation stamps, decorations and flowers (I am thinking seriously low budget there), and anything else I am forgetting. Doable, right?
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: What is your overall budget?:
    We want to stick close to $10,000 of our own money. My parents are paying for the catering which will be like $6,000 so I guess the total budget is $16,000. We have 100 guests. So far we are looking at... Venue (Logan Square Kitchen) $2800 Catering/rentals $6000 My dress $400 My shoes $150 Invitations $100 (DIY Baby!) but we haven't bought stamps yet... Alcohol proposal is $1500  Judge $275 Hotel the night of (Longman and Eagle) $250 So that leaves about $5,000 for his suit, my hair and nails, the DJ (we are hoping a friend will do it for super cheap), photographer (that will be about $2500, we just haven't confirmed with him yet), invitation stamps, decorations and flowers (I am thinking seriously low budget there), and anything else I am forgetting. Doable, right?
    Posted by laurenann82

    Where did you find the judge to marry you?  I'm interested in doing something like this instead something more traditional.  Also, do judge's do that on Saturday evenings or is your wedding on a weekday?

    TIA

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  • edited December 2011
    I would say my budget for reception, like is said, for 150 people is of 12,000 but plus music (dj and mariachi), dresses, transporations, favors, invitations i would raise it to 15,000 in total.

    What you guys is more important:  music, food or attire of groom and bride?
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  • jsquared62009jsquared62009
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its First Answer
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    edited December 2011
    We're thinking about 15k-20k for 200 people. We have a long engagement so we have lots of time to save up the money. Our families are helping some but most of it will be us.
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  • edited December 2011
    The judge's name is John Laurie. He is a retired judge who now just does weddings. He works any day or time. Google him, he has a website and also has good reviews on Yelp.

    In Response to Re: What is your overall budget?:
    In Response to Re: What is your overall budget? : Where did you find the judge to marry you?  I'm interested in doing something like this instead something more traditional.  Also, do judge's do that on Saturday evenings or is your wedding on a weekday? TIA
    Posted by motogrl13
  • GinaK119GinaK119
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    We are having 200 people and our budget is 25,000. My dad is paying for the wedding. We are getting married outdoors and having our recption at the same place. Old Orchard Country Club in Mt. Prospect. It's a really good deal! If you have more than 175 people you get free horderves, free colored lighting in your choice of color, 15% off your entire bill and choice of free chair covers or you can get your open bar upgraded to the good stuff, not to mention they have a 6 hour open bar, and only 1 wedding per day and the hotels in the area offer shuttle service and so far they have been great to work with. Finding them was such a deal! I am easily going to stay under 25,000!
  • edited December 2011
    Wow.....25,000.......you are lucky!

    My parents have the idea that since it is our idea to get married, than it is our responsability to pay it. They are not stingy but definately i wish they could help us, because most of our guests are family on my side, and most of them i don't even know them. They are giving some money but definately the rest is gonna bleed from us.
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  • edited December 2011
    Our budget is $6000 for 130 people in the south suburbs. I however, work at the venue where our reception will be, so I only have to pay costs for Reception location and all of the vendors (ie, caterer, Photographer, etc) have been GREAT and worked whatever deals they can for us! I am also a member at the church so they charge a LOT less. We are also DIY as much as we can to save money!

    We are paying for everything ourselves.
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  • edited December 2011
    Our budget is $25,000 for 100 people.  I work in Sales, so I have saved lots of my commission checks so I can contribute between $10,000 and $15,000 for the wedding.  My parents are contributing a max of $15,000.  Both my fiance and I decided on some non-negotiables: Downtown Chicago, Saturday Evening, Open Bar, Good Photographer.  We also both got our dream outfits.  I spent nearly $4,000 on my dress and veil and my fiance got a Black Label Tuxedo from Ralph Lauren - so a huge chunk of the budget was spoken for.  Our ceremony and reception venue is at a New Leaf in Old Town, which costs $4,000 to rent for a Saturday.  The kicker is they allow you to bring in your own liquor - hello Binny's and Costco!  So we plan on spending around $1,500 on liquor for the open bar.  We found a fantastic photographer that gave us a discount since our wedding is in April as opposed to May - September.  Instead of $3000, it was reduced to $2500, which includes the engagement session, two photographers, ten hours of coverage, and rights to all our images as well.  A family friend is DJing the reception as long as we put him up in the city, which will cost about $500 for 2 nights in a suite.  We are going cheap on invitations - like less than $250 including envelopes and stamps.   I am in the process of evaluating caterers.  One got back to me today and quoted $120.00 per person - without the liquor package.  I called him crazy and moved on to the next one.  I anticipate spending about $6000-$7000 with the caterer including tax.  If anyone has caterer suggestions and an approximate cost per person, I would appreciate it!       
  • edited December 2011
    I would check out Salvatore's. We just booked there this past weekend and looking at about $16K for 125 people (includes rental of entire restaurant for our ceremony and reception, tax/service charge (31% total!!), open bar, sit-down plated dinner, wedding cake, etc.).
  • kwortman80kwortman80
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I know this is an older thread now, but I'm so curious about what's 'reasonable' to expect in Chicago.  Ideally I'd like to get married in the city, though don't care if it's downtown.  We'd prefer something unique or historic (I know... like everyone else), Saturday night, and my fiance is pretty biased toward a sit-down dinner.  

    I'm pretty gung-ho on Columbus Park Refectory right now, and am attempting to get quotes from caterers to see if the venue/catering combo fits into our budget.  I'm trying to stick to $11,500 for venue+catering, and $22,500 overall.  

    How are folks that are spending more on the reception and the same or less as me overall compensating for less money everywhere else?  I'm already planning around $500 for dress and $250 for alterations, but hope to go under budget, and don't want to spend a lot of money on flowers.  

    Can you tell I'm a little anxious about this?  And I'm only entering week 3 as an engaged lady!
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