Budget Weddings Forum

Chicagoland budget wedding

I've been engaged for a few months now and dreading wedding planning because of the costs! I'd prefer to keep it around $20,000 (with some financial help), DEFINITELY under $25,000, and expecting 200 people. I'm Greek, marrying a Greek, so cutting the list more than that isn't much of a possibility. Open to almost anything -- Brunch reception, Friday reception, Sunday reception. Any information you have would be helpful! I've done a lot of searching but haven't found much. THANK YOU! 

Re: Chicagoland budget wedding

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    Are you looking for venues? What do you mean by "any information" and "searching"? Searching for locations/vendors or tips on cutting costs?

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
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    MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Are you marrying in a church?  If you are, you will probably want your venue to stay within a reasonable distance.  Can you be more specific about the area in which you want to stay?  Is your $20,000 the budget for ALL wedding costs or your reception costs? 

    You may also want to post this on the Illinois/Chicago board.  This board is international.  They can offer excellent generic budget advice, but if you are looking for Chicago specific venues, then your best responses will be from the local board.

    Typically, the Chicagoland suburbs offer a bit more bang for your buck than anything in the city proper.  Their taxes and service fees alone run close to 30% in the city.
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    TyvmTyvm member
    First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    The Illinois/Chicago local boards will likely be of more help here. Local boards can be found in the "Choose Another Board" scroll down menu in the upper right:

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    I'm getting married in the city in August. To save money, get out of the city. We are at a fairly inexpensive venue and it's still ridiculously expensive. 
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    Your choices ultimately determine how much it'll cost.  You can easily keep the 200 guests for your budget, but you've got to be smart with your budget whether it's $20K or $2K.  It's o.k. if you go under budget, so try to do that first (drop your budget down to $15k then you have a $5k budget for "overages" (things like service fees you may have glanced over, an upgrade, etc.).  Remember set your budget and be reasonable in doing so.  Also, TELL your vendors the budget you're working with for their component, but don't undercut or give an unrealistic amount (for example, $200 for a cake budget IS NOT reasonable in today's market unless you're ordering sheet cakes from Sam's).  Yes, start with your local Chicago area board (as mentioned above) and they can give you more regionally specific location ideas. 

    Years ago I was to a convention in St. Charles and it was overall reasonable especially if you've got OOT guests.  But really, the first thing you've got to decide is if you're getting married in a church, if yes, you want to stay within a half-hour's drive of your church (which it's Chicago-land, a half hour isn't a huge distance geographically!)... I've also been to other events down in Chicago - some near the airport, others in the outskirts...  The most important thing is watch your pennies - it's the small add-ons that add the most cost!

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    We have a large family, so I feel you on not being able to cut the guest list.  For us, since it was so important to invite everyone, we kept everything else pretty low frills. 

    Some tips that transfer well to different areas:

    -Dry wedding/beer+wine only
    -Skip favors
    -Skip decorations/keep them very, very simple (We found centerpieces at a consignment store.  Then resold them after the wedding.)
    -Keep bridal party small
    -Find a venue that lets you bring in your own caterer, if all inclusives are very expensive.  In my area, all inclusives start at $70 per person, before alcohol.  We used a Knights of Columbus hall and had an Italian restaurant cater.  Came to about $27 per person for apps, dinner and open bar for 5 hours.
    -Find the cheapest invitations you can.  Most people really don't care about how they look.  And make sure they're a standard shape and weight, so postage isn't extra
    -Keep attire simple.  Check out David's bridal $99 sale.  Make your veil if you want one (it's pretty simple if you don't want embellishments on it).  Get shoes that you can wear again/aren't labeled bridal shoes.
    -DIY DJ if you want music.  We used the free trial of Pandora and rented nice speakers for about $150.  But have back up playlists!  We learned the hard way, though we were able to fix it. Still had dancing all night long.

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