Budget Weddings Forum

Small Budget, Overwhelmed

Please Help! My whole budget is 26,000. My wending is October of 2017. Where can I find a venue in the 5 boroughs of NYC that will not break the bank for 100 people? 

Re: Small Budget, Overwhelmed

  • edited May 2016
    Ha, I wish I had a $26,000 budget. 

    Good tips from @madamerwin and @CMGragain. We're having a dry afternoon wedding with a light lunch and renting a pavilion through the city. 

    Definitely go to the NYC board for more advice. 
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    This is an average-sized budget... But for NYC, it's rough. Either post on the local boards (this is an international discussion board) or start looking at destination weddings, or a 3 hour radius outside of the city. 

    k thnx bye

  • aquietseasonaquietseason member
    Third Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited May 2016
    While I 100% agree that $26k is much closer to "above average" than "budget" in most of the U.S., NYC (like other major cities) is quite tough to have all the bells and whistles. We budgeted $15k but spend a bit under $20k for 80 guests. Our wedding was fantastic though and I highly recommend our venue (it's in Astoria in Queens - dont know where in NYC you're at) - http://www.renaissanceeventhall.com/ 

  • Your budget is roughly what we spent for a downtown Chicago wedding. While NYC is obviously more expensive than Chicago, my area is still a place where it's very easy to go 6 figures, so allow me to offer some suggestions. 

    First and foremost, spend money on what's important to guests: food/beverage, music, overall comfort. 
    For me, this meant spending roughly $300 on a dress and having only fake flower bouquets, no additional bouts or corsages. Invitations were hand-made by my mom (STDs through Vistaprint). 
    We also did no centerpieces. Our venue offered bud vases and basic linens at no additional charge, so we deemed that perfectly sufficient. The venue we chose didn't need decoration as a beautiful room stands on its own. We did the ceremony at the venue, so no transportation costs were needed. We chose a hotel next door to the venue, again cutting out transportation costs. I did my own makeup. We chose a DJ and photographer that fit our budget, do enough research and you'll find a very wide range of price points. Our venue also had catering packages which included basic yet still beautiful wedding cake, so, basic cake it was.
    We'd budgeted for about 80 guests, give or take, which allowed us to afford a high price-per-head for good food and top shelf bar. Had we had a bigger guest list, we would have had to go out to the burbs where things are cheaper.
    By cutting your budget on things that don't affect your guests, you can get a city wedding on a small budget. Try not to get taken in by Pinterest or paper/magazine pictures of over the top weddings. Yours will have to be simpler, but if your guests are well fed and comfortable, they'll be happy.
    Good luck!  

  • You may want to post this also on the local boards for suggestions. But I recommend thinking outside of the box of traditional wedding venues. Look into Restaurants that have private rooms available for rent. Also check into  club halls like your local Irish-American, Italian-American or German, etc clubs or Veterans Halls (VFW). Many of them rent out their halls, and some even have caterers that they work with so it would be like a traditional reception venue. Also look into city owned facilities. I know where I live several of the cities and park systems own buildings that are very nice & can be rented out. You just have to either use one of their preferred vendors or find one of your own to bring in.

    Tips to help with budget

    1. Skip Save the Dates or limit to VIPS & out of town guests who need to make travel plans
    2. Keep your invites simple, they can still be beautiful but simple. Avoid the fancy bows & embellishments & inserts. If you keep it to a simple 5x7 type invite, be it a diy kit or you pay someone to do them, along with just the rsvp card, you will save money. Not only are you saving on printing & materials, you can get away with sending the simple 5x7 card & rsvp card/env for just the cost of a forever stamp. The more you send with your invite & the bulkier it is, the more it will cost you to send. And to be honest, beside once your wedding is over, every one will be just throwing them away and won't even remember them
    3. Be open to ideas with your florist. Instead of going in with specific flowers in mind, go in with a look or color scheme and a budget & see what they can come up with. A creative florist can do amazing things if they are given the freedom to pick the flowers they know will give you the look you want within a specific budget
    4. Thank you cards - skip the photo holding the thank you sign. You'll end up spending roughly $1-2 a thank you card with envelope for those. Plus you have to wait for your photographer to get you the photo back. Go to the dollar store where you can get 10 or more thank you cards for $1.00. Again, this is something that people are going throw away right after they read it. They don't care how much you spend on your thank you cards, what they care about is that you sent them a card thanking them for the gift
    5. Keep favors simple with something edible, or you can skip them totally
    6. Guestbook - yes they are nice, but the reality is, you will never look at it again
    7. Stay off Pintrest, it's a great site but you will get so many ideas of things that will end up costing you much money because you want that dream look that in reality, cost them thousands to do
    8. What people will remember from your wedding is if the food was good or not, how you looked, did you have a good DJ. And for you the thing to spend money on is the photographer, because you can't redo those photos.
    9. Check out hotels where you can have the ceremony & reception. You then don't have to worry about renting transportation
    10. Try to buy certain things for your wedding used, like your slip if you need on for your dress. You can probably find one on e-bay for $50. or less. I sold mine for $20. Buy it & then put through the washer on gentle cycle with woolite & then attach to a pant hanger or use close pins and a wire hanger & hang it overnight from your shower curtain rod. Make sure to straighten it out while wet. It will dry perfectly & be good as new
    11. I know typically no girl usually wants to wear her mom's dress. But a friend of mine decided to start a tradition that I thought was cool. She wore her mom's veil for her wedding. She took the veil off the hat & had it attached to a comb to make it more current in style. The plan is to pass the veil down through the generations. A veil is something that can transition through the generations easier. So not only do you save money, but you have your something old at the same time.

    Good luck!!!

  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    "Thank you cards - skip the photo holding the thank you sign. You'll end up spending roughly $1-2 a thank you card with envelope for those. "
    @Erikan73 This is a good tip, but you could a step further and do postcard Thank Yous and Save the Dates to save on paper and postage (don't forget all the postage!!). Heck, we're doing postcard invitations (along with a Glosite wedding RSVP/website, non-Internet folks are getting more materials). Postcards.com and Vistaprint are all good options for saving on paper goods.

    If you absolutely must have flowers, you might want to look at dried flowers on etsy (I like paulajeansgarden), and placing them in small, clear Goodwill vases as centerpieces. Dried flowers can be considered a symbol of the everlasting love of your marriage   ;)    ...while also not breaking the bank.


    k thnx bye

  • I wish I could have a budget of $26K, maybe this is a depending on the area you are thing but where I am this would be a very lavish wedding. Our budget is $5K which is about average for a dry wedding here, one with alcohol would be a little bit more due to buying alcohol....and I'm hoping to come in way under budget because it is driving me crazy that one day costs so much.

    Ways we are cutting

    1) we are having a 11am ceremony followed by a lunch reception (originally it was going to be brunch but FI didn't want breakfast foods)
    2) no alcohol
    3) no dj/dancing We will be setting up lawn games and have board games available
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