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Places/Things to have a nice wedding but not too expensive?

So my FI and I have been engaged for a few months yet and are still no where close to having the money to even begin the planning. Neither of us make a lot of money and we're pretty much paying for the whole thing ourselves. On top of that my dad's eyesight is going and i don't know how long he'll be able to see and its really important to me that he see me on my wedding day.
 So my question for you guys is what are some tips that you can give me to cut costs from the wedding but still have a nice one. And where are some inexpensive places for the reception? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I just really want us to be able to get married in the somewhat near future and for my dad to see me. Thank.
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Re: Places/Things to have a nice wedding but not too expensive?

  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on the engagement and sorry about your dad!
    First of, what part of the state are you in? We're pretty scattered on this board, I'm in Salem and know most of the surrounding areas around here.

    A fiance, an officiate, and a license. That's all you need to get married, the rest is gravy. Pretty, sparkly, fairly important gravy, but gravy nonetheless.

    The cheapest venues are going to be city parks and community centers. Universities are also worth looking into. Does your family belong to a church or know someone with a fabulous backyard? Those are usually the cheapest options.

    Easy ways to cut costs are:
    Having the reception at a non-meal time and doing apps and/or dessert reception
    Having a BBQ reception
    Hit up Sample sales and David's Bridal $99 sale. Check out used wedding gown sites, there are lots out there - especially in this economy! Also, look into white/ivory bridesmaid dresses, way cheaper than bridal gowns and some are absolutely gorgeous.
    Look at Costco, online bulk flowers, and Trader Joe's for flowers.
    Check out the DIY board, lots of awesome ideas on that board.

    There are lots more, that's just what's coming to mind. Several girls on this board are doing BBQ receptions and they have all sounded fabulous.

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  • edited December 2011
    City parks are a great suggestion.
    Really though, decide who HAS to be there, and who is "extra". If you only have 10 people you need to be at your wedding, you can do a lot more for a lot less than if you need 100.

    Like PP said, DIY, non-meal time receptions, flowers, cake, etc. from non-wedding places.

    Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    Pretty much what these gals have said.

    Prioritize.  Find what things are most important to you.

    If you can cut out a huge fancy reception cuz you simply dont care.. do it.  It's your and your fiance's big day.  Dont stress over monograms and personalized napkins if they dont matter to you.

    I've been to wedding that have had hundreds of people at them... and weddings that have only had 20 people at them.  They're all beautiful because it's what reflects the couple.  Like nannabug said... You really only need You, Your fiance, a marriage certificate, and someone to marry you guys legally.  The rest is just filler.

    Congratulations and good luck!
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone for your opinions/advice we live in the portland area by the way. Technically we're in Milwaukie but close enought to Portland. Our ceremony is pretty much a free thing because my family belongs to a church in Beavercreek near Oregon city. So we don't have to pay for the ceremony site or anything like that. However, I don't know where to have the reception.
           By the way I'm glad someone suggested the BBq idea becaue that was what i was thinking for food anyhow. I guess the good news is that we don't want much more than 60 people there. We're only inviting family members that we actually talk to and some close friends. So I was thinking about trying to do it for 5,000 I think we'll be able to have a decent wedding for that with only 60 people. Anyother advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated I'm just a little frazzeled thanks.
    August 2011 sig challenge: Fave e-pic Photobucket Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Oh $5,000 is completely doable - especially for 60 people!! When were you hoping on getting married? This summer or a little later?
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  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011

    Not knowing exactly where in Beavercreek you'll be getting married, here are some places to think about/look into for a reception...

    *Milo McIver State Park
    *Metzler County Park
    *Weatherford's Grand Lodge fireplace room or ballroom - you could do both the ceremony and recption there if you wanted to
    *Stone Cliff Inn

    The McMenamin's properties all (to my understanding) charge a food/drink minimum and as long as you hit that there's no rental fee, so you could easily do the ceremony and reception at any of the properties that do weddings and still be ok with your budget.  You might want to look into those, as well.

    Other notes - to reduce your cost, do an appetizer or dessert reception rather than dinner.  Having a 7 or 7:30 pm wedding means you can just do dessert.  At 2pm, you can just do cake and punch or appetizers rather than a full on dinner.  If you need a caterer, try The Bomber in Milwaukie.  We were super happy with them and our fantastic menu (with tons of options) was only about $10 a head.

    Don't worry about favors.  They aren't necessary and no one will miss them.

    An iPod or friend with a sound system is just as good as a DJ!

  • edited December 2011

    Well we want to do a Summer wedding but this summer i don't think will be possible. So I'm hoping that next summer we'll be able to do it. We've also thought about Aiming for July 2012 and if we have to do something sooner that we can just do a quick wedding thing for close family and friends and then maybe doing a big one later. My dad's eyesight is the big question. I'm hoping that he'll be okay for another year or two but I don't know. I'm a little freaked out and stressed about it.
      The church I'll be getting married at is Grand View Baptist Church on 213 in Beavercreek its the really big one on the corner there. And thanks for the location ideas you rock.

    August 2011 sig challenge: Fave e-pic Photobucket Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Another thought I just had, if you don't mind doing your ceremony and reception someplace other than the church, is to do both at Risley Gardens.  My mom and Dad looked into it for their vow renewal and it's only $100 to rent it.  Now, it comes iwth nothing so you'd have to get the chairs and tables and whatnot, but $100 for a beautiful place is a steal!
  • edited December 2011
    Just to give you some perspective... My budget is 5k as well.. and I got engaged in November... and my wedding is 9/25/10.

    I"m inviting 112 people... but my estimate is that 90 will show.  (I have a HUGE family).

    I'm still WELL within my budget. It's totally doable.

    Does your church have a hall you can rent for the reception??
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
  • marieprince22marieprince22 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Mcminnville Grand Ballroon is really nice and the price is right.  A block away is hotel oregon and it an awesome place for guest and members of the bridal party to stay.
  • edited December 2011
    If you're going to be married at the church on Hwy 213, you could look towards Molalla for wedding reception venues/parks. I know the Farmstead Inn at Arrowhead Golf Course has a banquet area for parties/weddings, but they also have an outside space on the golf course. I've been to weddings at both and they were nicely done. Also, Canby & Oregon City have a handful of places for large & small receptions, including Ainsworth House, Masonic Lodge and others. Might be worth checking out venues in smaller towns, as they might be better priced than those in Portland. 
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