Budget Weddings Forum

Where are you cutting in YOUR budget wedding?


Re: Where are you cutting in YOUR budget wedding?

  • Hi! I found this article on the Huffington Post and it talks about splurges you could skip http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariane-fisher/6-things-i-wish-my-best-friend-told-me-when-planning-my-wedding_b_9154684.html? Hope it's helpful!
  • As this was a second wedding for both of us, we decided we didn't want to do the big wedding again. We had our guests meet us in a park and our brothers officiated the ceremony in front of a beautiful lake view. We had a friend play guitar to entertain guests before the ceremony. We didn't have adults in the wedding party, and DH didn't wear a boutonniere. My bouquet and a $5 package of dried lavender were the only flowers (we have three little nieces and one nephew who were excited about being flower girls, otherwise we would have skipped that, too).

    Since the reception hall was 1/2 mile down the street from the ceremony park, we just drove our regular car. The town hall rental was $100. It had a kitchen and we could bring in our own food. Our parents, his sister, and my aunts helped by each bringing one side dish. We bought burgers, chicken breasts, portobello mushrooms, and dry rub ribs. We spent $100 to hire 2 servers to keep the buffet stocked, and $100 to have a cook run the grill (it was a 97*day, and we didn't want any of our guests or ourselves worrying about food or sweating over a grill).

    Our centerpieces were breadbaskets and cheese and meat boards. Built-in hors d'oeuvres! The tables and chairs came with the hall. We did rent table linens, but used brown butcher paper as the table runners (long tables). Since we did a picnic theme, the gingham and butcher paper looked cute with the picnic bread baskets. 

    We did rent a canopy to create shade over some outdoor tables. The park behind the venue was without trees, so it was a must for comfortable outside sitting.

    For decor, we strung paper pennants every which way from the ceiling. And since I have some artistic skill, I made a bunch of chalkboard signs, including a full sheet of plywood turned chalkboard behind the buffet and one behind the dessert table. I made smaller ones to place in other areas of the hall, like the beer station, wine table, coffee & tea table, and the cigar & whiskey table. 

    Our beverages were cheap. The tea we made at home. The coffee, DH's uncle roasts his own and provided it for us. A close friend of ours makes his own wine and he and his wife gave us half of what we needed. We bought the rest at Trader Joe's. My DH, my parents, and I went to a local brew-your-own beer joint and brewed one keg, then we ordered one other. My dad and brother had built a keezer (chest freezer converted to hold and dispense kegs). We bought bottled water at Costco. 

    For dessert, my aunt is a baker. She made a beautiful and tasty naked white cake loaded with berries. She also made 4 different kinds of cupcakes: German chocolate, strawberry cassada, peanut butter cup, and lemon blueberry. My MIL had a chocolate fountain and provided a variety of treats to go with it. For the non-cake people, we had pint jars of pie: cherry, berry, peach, and apple.

    For entertainment, since our guests (90 people) were so spread out between the hall inside and the beautiful lakefront property outside, we didn't have music. Well, we tried to use our Sonos speaker and Pandora, but it was drowned out by the guests' conversations. We did, however have lawn games. We had 2 sets of cornhole, giant connect 4, giant Jenga, yard Yahtzee, bocce ball, and a table top tic-tac-toe board (a wooden board and stones). There was a playground on the other side of the parking lot, so some of the kids spent time over there.

    My DH and I wanted a casual event, and we knew a July wedding was going to be hot (not kidding it was a 97* day. Thank goodness for the lake breeze). DH wore a light purple linen shirt (he picked it, I didn't force a color!), a pair of dark blue shorts, and black leather flip flops. I wore a white lace sundress from Nordstrom's sale rack. Cost me $130. My jewelry cost me $15 total. DH gave me earrings as a wedding day gift, I bought a cheap necklace, and I already owned a really nice bracelet. I did splurge on my shoes, but since they can definitely be worn again. I did have my hair professionally done because I wanted to make sure it stayed out of my face and off my neck on the hot day. I did my own make-up. 

    My cousin toys with photography, we asked her to take our pictures. She just graduated from high school and wasn't sure about it, but our philosophy was this: we had both been married before and had big fancy weddings. Neither of us looked at our wedding photos after the first year, except maybe the one nice one every has framed and sits on the shelf or hangs on the wall. If my cousin snapped pics all day, she was bound to get one nice pic. We got several nice pictures. And while she tried not to accept payment, we gave her $200. I was adamant about nice photos the first time, and I paid a lot for them, so I get that skimping on photos isn't everyone's cup of tea. However, Neither of us needed a big album of photos, so this worked for us.

    We told our guests no gifts, and dress for a semi-casual picnic. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We actually got a lot of compliments on how nice it was because we got the important stuff, but skipped all the frill. No favors, no large bridal party, no awkward dance floor, small guest list. A Completely family oriented celebration.

  • We kept the wedding small, which helped a lot.

    Pre-wedding: We emailed save the dates and printed our own invitations.  We had an informal rehearsal dinner of Costco pizza at the house - this worked out great for out of towners who had kids that would have melted down in a restaurant.

    Ceremony: We had virtually no ceremony site costs, because a friend officiated, and we were married outdoors.  For the most part we did not use decorations there, relying on the natural beauty of the surroundings.  A friend played ceremony music via iphone and a bluetooth speaker.

    Reception: We avoided the cost of flowers and used silk leaves in vases from the dollar store for centerpieces at the hall.  We got Costco sheet cake to serve, and had one small cake from a grocery store on display to cut. 

    Wedding look: I got my dress off the rack at a store that was closing and had slashed prices.  I found shoes that were deeply discounted due to a stain, and hand painted a design on them that covered the stain.  I made an appointment for makeup at the Sephora store in our local mall.

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