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Wedding Woes

Please help!

btorres2113btorres2113 member
Second Anniversary First Comment
edited October 2014 in Wedding Woes
Hi everyone!

I'll start out by saying that I have been engaged for 2 years and started planning 7 months ago (we're both students)

We began planning for a big - ish wedding of about 130 guests and have a venue, photographer, dj, dress, etc., most of the fixings are set up or at least chosen. I personally never really wanted a big wedding, I'm more of a "let's get out there and do it!" type, so I wanted to elope. My FI however, is pretty traditional and didn't want to upset his family by eloping, so now we're about 6 months away from the wedding date and now he too is open to eloping. We just sent out save the dates a couple of weeks ago and as I said most things have been booked or picked. Now here is the problem: We can cut our losses and elope, probably losing out on about 1k (not including the photographer, ill get to that in a bit) or go through with the wedding and end up spending about 15k. So as you might imagine, us being broke college students has lead us to seriously consider eloping, however 2 out of the 3 installments for the photographer have been paid. We considered bringing her along, but then we'd have to pay for her airfare, lodging, and all her meals. That could easily cost us an additional 1.5k on top of the 1k we still owe her for the original contract. BUT if we don't bring her along, we lose out completely on what we've paid thus far since she has a no refund policy. Which totals about 2k. 

Any savvy brides out there have any suggestions?

Re: Please help!

  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    So would your photographer be amenable to doing some other kind of photo shoot in place of your wedding? Time in the park or some other favorite venue? Or if you throw a grand party in a year, how about photographing that?
    btorres2113
  • Hi everyone!

    I'll start out by saying that I have been engaged for 2 years and started planning 7 months ago (we're both students)

    We began planning for a big - ish wedding of about 130 guests and have a venue, photographer, dj, dress, etc., most of the fixings are set up or at least chosen. I personally never really wanted a big wedding, I'm more of a "let's get out there and do it!" type, so I wanted to elope. My FI however, is pretty traditional and didn't want to upset his family by eloping, so now we're about 6 months away from the wedding date and now he too is open to eloping. We just sent out save the dates a couple of weeks ago and as I said most things have been booked or picked. Now here is the problem: We can cut our losses and elope, probably losing out on about 1k (not including the photographer, ill get to that in a bit) or go through with the wedding and end up spending about 15k. So as you might imagine, us being broke college students has lead us to seriously consider eloping, however 2 out of the 3 installments for the photographer have been paid. We considered bringing her along, but then we'd have to pay for her airfare, lodging, and all her meals. That could easily cost us an additional 1.5k on top of the 1k we still owe her for the original contract. BUT if we don't bring her along, we lose out completely on what we've paid thus far since she has a no refund policy. Which totals about 2k. 

    Any savvy brides out there have any suggestions?
    Do you have to go away to elope?  If you do a low-key wedding locally, you can save a ton of money and still use your photographer without having to pay travel expenses for her.

    FWIW, I tend to come down on the side of not spending money if you don't have to.  If you both had your hearts set on a big wedding, I'd say save your money until you could afford it.  But since you're both on board with eloping, that sounds like a good option.  There are so many things you can put that money toward:  paying off student loans (if either of you have any), grad school, nest egg, house, rainy day fund, retirement fund, travel, etc.

    And in my experience, both here and IRL, doing things to make other people happy (or not make them unhappy) never tends to work out the way you hope.  There is always something else (holidays, kids, whatever), and you don't want to spend your life doing things you'd rather not.  And with all due respect, if FI's family wants a big blowout, then they can either foot the bill, or they can deal.

    Also, even if you end up losing your entire photographer deposit, that's still less than you'd have to shell out for a big wedding, so I'd rather take that loss.  If you had to choose.
  • penguin44penguin44 Kansas City member
    500 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper First Answer

    I have a different definition of "broke college student."

    It sounds like eloping locally would be your best bet for saving money. You wouldn't have to pay travel for your photographer.

    Also, you will need to send out wedding announcements after you elope to the people you sent the STDs.

    Anniversary

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  • *Barbie* said:
    I'm trying to understand why 2 "broke college students" planned a $15K wedding that they couldn't afford?

    I think you need to make an informed decision on what you are going to do before you make any more payments. and by informed decision - i mean you need to call your vendors and see how cancelling or modifying your contracts will impact the overall cost to you before you make your final decision.

    THIS!!! 

    You obviously want something you can't afford if $15K is what you're anticipating spending.  I hate to be the one to let you know, that unless you're running off to Vegas for the weekend, you're going to be forking over a huge chunk of change to elope.  You need to start making cuts to your budget, eloping at this point would be downright rude considering you've already sent out STD's .  Flowers - Sam's Club or set a dollar amount and give your florist some flexibility as to what you get.  Food - about that $10 pasta dish - sounds yummy!  If 130 guests is how many are invited total, not all of them will be able to attend so you'll save some there.  Photographer is one that you should leave alone or shrink the size of package you're getting.  Decorating - go with what your site and/or caterer has with their basic package - will likely run you $5-8/table but that's cheap compared to what it'd cost you to either DIY or hire the florist to do something.  For 130 guests it's possible to have a VERY nice event in the $5K range if you watch your pennies.  Also, not sure what your parents are willing to contribute so if you haven't had that chat the time is now!

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  • If your fiance didn't want to elope because he wanted his family there, can he just call up his family and say, "Hey, we decided this big wedding hoopla isn't for us.  We've decided to get married two weeks from now at city hall.  If you're available to join us, we'll be taking everyone out to Red Lobster after getting hitched."  Make sure the date you choose is one that your photographer is available for, and pay her for the quick and easy courthouse and Red Lobster wedding rather than the big to do later.

    Then send out wedding announcements and whatever else you send when the wedding is no longer going on as planned.
    Heffalump
  • btorres2113btorres2113 member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    edited November 2014

    One of the big reasons we are trying to elope abroad is because we both have a passion for traveling but can't afford to travel and have the wedding. When I say broke college students I mean not quite adult income levels, but we have the funds to have a 15k wedding. I am an onsite manager for a small apartment complex which doesn't pay but gives us free rent (which in the Orange County area saves us about 2k/month). My FI has a really good job that gives him a lot of flexibility with his hours so he is able to still be a student. The reason we want to to elope is because even at 15k we were looking at going over budget by the end of this whole ordeal, with all this in mind we decided to elope in Scotland and still keep the photographer for the same date as my mom will be hosting a small reception. 

    I thank you all for your input! 
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited November 2014
    PPs gave some good advice.  I just want to add that if you cancel the wedding that is presently planned, you need to send out something to the people that you have sent STDs or verbally invited already to let them know that that specific event is cancelled.  Something like "The wedding of Ms. Jane Smith and Mr. John McGregor will not be taking place as planned.  Apologies for any inconvenience." sort of thing. @CMGragain  might be more help with wording (sorry girl, no pressure, I just know you are good at this sort of thing).
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