Wedding under (or close to!) $5,000???

Hi Ladies,

So I'm going to try to do it! We are hoping to come in under $10,000 (and of course much much closer to $5,000) For our wedding!
I understand this means having a Sunday wedding, possibly a coctail reception and cutting out fancy flowers and gigantic cakes. I'm ok with that. I'm just having a ridiculously hard time trying to figure out where to start! I'm a deer in the headlights. All I see are big halls or fantastic venues with $100+ per person price tags. I am willing to DIY my little fingers off. I am willing to not hire a DJ.
I think once I find a venue everything else can fall into place so this is where I am asking all of you for HELP!
Where can I host a kick ass party for pennies? We have "narrowed" our guest list to about 95 people (this is mostly immidiate family too!) so I can't really compromise on that. 
So, any suggestions? LOTS of suggestions? Smile That would be fab! Thanks for all the help!!

Re: Wedding under (or close to!) $5,000???

  • Jewel224Jewel224 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Hi Mrs. April,

    In your situation, I would strongly recommend a wedding planner/co-ordinator.  They can assist you with finding the right venue for you and your budget.  Plus, they can get better pricing for you because they know all the venues and the owners or director of sales of the venues.  For examples, venues that were quoting us $120/head starting quoting us $95 or less with our wedding planner - and that's before we started negotiating.  And that's all we hired her for - was obtaining a wedding/reception venue and contact negotiations. 

    I've heard the Granite Brewery on Eglinton & Mount Pleasant does a great job for under $10K.  If you're not opposed to traveling - the Dufferin Peel Police Association has a banquet hall in Brampton that will charge only $900 plus taxes for the rental of their hall but it's a consumption bar only, which works out well, if your guests aren't big drinkers.  You'd need to find a caterer, but if you're fine with that, then you can definitely have it there for under 10K. The hall is beautiful and neutral in decor and for a seated dinner holds 130 people.  They also have a gazebo where you can get married - I think they charge $150 or something like that for the ceremony.

    Definitely DYI your favours, and your flowers, if you're crafty - you can do fake/silk flowers.  That saves a ton of money.  For wedding dresses, check out the Bride's Project at or Your White Dress out by Yorkdale for inexpensive dresses. 

    For invites - check out vistaprint - especially when they have a sale (I've heard from a few brides that for 100 invites or STD, they only paid for shipping, which was $10-$12) or go to Michaels and buy one of their invite packages from BRIDES and print them yourselves.

    For photography - check out some photography schools.  My FI and I got our engagement photos done for free because we were the models for a Wedding 101 photo course @ Ryerson - we got the high res DVD for free!  They may also be able to do your wedding for less.

    That's all I can think up at the top of my head right now - I may add more later.  Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
  • unplainjaneunplainjane member
    edited December 2011
    when you say $5K is that just for your reception or is that for everything? my reception costs were half my budget. so for $2500 for 95 people, have you considered hosting your reception at one of your parent's homes or other relative that has a nice property? or maybe doing a brunch time wedding with apps? i think the drake does nice brunch weddings on their roof.
  • edited December 2011
    Where are you located??  Knowing where you are might help!

    I know of a caterer, that is SUPER cheap, and my wedding coordinator recommends him to EVERYONE, I saw photo's from one of his weddings, and OMGoodness, did the food ever look delicious!

    If you're in the Hamilton-Niagara area (or if you're willing to go that way) I know of some amazing, historic, frugal locations

    I'm not sure where your budget stands, but I honestly had some amazing, inexpensive vendors, if you want their names, PM me your contact info, and I'll get you in touch with them!

    I swear by my vendors!
  • mattycammattycam member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I would also recommend sites such as (that's where we found our florists and decorator) and Kijiji (that's where we found our photographer and make up artist). You can also get ideas by visiting the budget weddings board. There are a lot of ladies planning their wedding under 10K so it is very possible for you to have a beautiful day!!
  • SNTJ2012SNTJ2012 member
    edited December 2011
    My sense is tht the biggest expense will be the reception (feeding people). I don't  have any suggestions for how you might go about keeping costs low on this one, but I would agree with a previous post that suggested hosting the reception (& perhaps even the ceremony) at a friend/family home.  You will probably want to book this first.

    Here are some suggestions, which I calculate would work out to about $4500 not including the reception cost:

    You can find an officiate at a reasonable price ($300 ish) at All Seaons:

    You can find a reasonably priced (approx. $500) wedidng gown at David's Bridal
    or the brides project
    or Gown & Glory

    For flowers/decor: I would recommend silks...or purchase fresh flowers and have your most artsy bridesmaid/firned put the bouquets/arrangements together...or think outside the box and decorate with something other that flowers. I am sure you could do this for under $500

    For stationary, I would recommend vista print. Sign up and purchase when they offer 50% or 80% off (you can do invitations for about $100)

    I would recommend an ipod of your favorite tunes for music.

    If you have the ceremony and reception at the same location you can forego transportation costs...but you can also arrange for taxis if you need to.

    you can get creative and make your own favours for about $1.50 each I am sure. Check out the favour chat board for ideas (Approx $150)

    I know of a bride that purchased a couple of plain white tiers of cake from Sobeys, put them on cake stands (which you can by at home Sense) and decorated with flowers,,,you could pull something like this off for about $100...or think outside of the box and order cupcakes or pies or some other dessert.  You may also want to check out Ache for Cake  for affordable and tastey cakes...I am pretty sure she can make something lovely for you for approx $200.  Remember only about 1/2 of yoru guests will likely eat cake.

    Hopefully your fiance has a great suit he can wear...otherwise one can be rented for about $300 at Moores, Tip Top or Freemans

    Rings - you can probably get at Peoples / Spence for $1000 ish (for both bands)

    There are many Day of Wedding Coordinators that will provide about 4 hours of service for somewhere in the range of $500.  We are using Cristina and Jen from Simply Sophisticated & they are great!

    Photographer - You can get 4 hours of photography instead of the standard 8 and then have friends take and share pics afterwards.
    I would suggest Julie's Gallery, as they do lovely work and could likely accomodate a shorter time period (approx $1000)

    Hope this helps!
    Happy planning!

  • shaunaceyhshaunaceyh member
    edited December 2011

    Not sure where you're located... but Destiny (where we are getting married) has really amazing deals if you're willing to get married on a Fri or Sun (check out the promotion section).
    happy searching!!

  • edited December 2011

    Not sure where you are located but you can rent halls and bring in your own caterer and save alot of money.  Then you would stock your own bar as well, and maybe only have wine and beer to cut costs.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    I'm in Hamilton and planning our entire wedding for $5000! It CAN be done so dont fret!  Check out historical sites for the ceremony (  If you belong to a church, they often offer weddings to members for cheaper than the going rate.  

    We're getting married at the Ancaster old town hall- its costing us $350, and that includes taxes, chairs, and a microphone from 1-5pm

    Try to find venues that allow you to bring your own caterer/alcohol.  It took us a while, but we found one :P the best places we found were actually halls rented by the police association/fire hall/coast guard hall.  They aren't grand or anything, but they provide tables and chairs and rent for $3-600, the one we got was $650, but it included all the tables and chairs and a bartender for 5 hours, all the permits we need, and full use of the kitchen

    As for caterers, we are catering our own, but thats only because I have experience preparing food for large parties, and I have a lot of friends willing to help on the day to get it done without me having to worry.  We did look at simply bbq though as an option- ( and a lot of small "mom and pop" type restaurants cater for pretty cheap- a good one is sweet paradise, if you're from around here!

    For flowers we're hitting up the local farmers market.  I'm a HUGE flowers fan, so every week in the spring/summers I buy a bouquet from a lady there, she noticed the ring on my finger and showed me all her wedding work- its gorgeous and she quoted me 1/3 of the price of all the other popular wedding florists.  To save even more money we are limiting flowers to bouquets and boutonnieres/corsages and doing centrepieces with candles only.

    We're getting our groomsmen to wear black slacks and jackets and a white shirt, we'll provide them with matching ties.  I am buying my dress from the brides project, I won't skimp on it if I find one I love, but the max price in the place is $1250, and I love knowing that the purchase of my dress will help fight cancer.  I've budgeted $900 including alterations and accessories, hopefully I'll find one for ~$500, if not, I have other places I can cut- but they do have dresses for as low as $100, same with davidsbridal- which also has a canadian store in scarborough now I believe!

    Tablecloths and napkins we're purchasing from on November 11th they have a sitewide 25% off sale, so we're waiting to purchase them then.

    Rental items from its in St Catharines, and they do have a delivery fee, but it was SOOOOO much cheaper than other places that the 50 didnt even come close to the other guys :P

    Our rings, he doesn't even want to wear one :P so I got it on ebay for $10, its pretty, tungsten, fits, he likes it, so I'm happy!  Mine I got off Kijiji for $100, its just a plain gold band- 4mm 10k gold, I don't care that its preloved, I'll get it polished!  

    Needless to say, if you have a bit of extra time and arent afraid to get your hands dirty, $5000 is TOTALLY doable!  10k is absolutely doable, but again you just need to do your due dilligence and don't give up!!
  • orlykahnorlykahn member
    edited December 2011
    If you want hall suggestions and vendor suggestions for a wedding aruond 5k, let me know!
    [email protected]
    i will send you all the info!
    Orly Kahn *Makeup Artist*
  • edited December 2011
    Lots of great ideas here,

    If you're willing to be quirky in venue choices and are in Toronto, the Granite Brewery and Pub is extremely affordable.  We're doing our wedding and reception there and it's costing out to $4500 or so with wedding location fee, speakers and mic, food for 80 people, exclusive use of party room and patio, open bar, etc. plus free parking on site, arranged discount at the hotel a black away for our out of towners...  So, depending on your guest list size, and how much DIY you want to do, $10K is easy (ours is clocking at about 8.5K for everything) and you could probably push even closer to 5K.  You just have to be very patient and hands-on, and really hunt for bargains.

    Another cheap venue is the Argonaut Rowing Club!

    If you want simple wedding bands, try the various jewelry places in the exchange and little halls of vendors along Yonge between Dundas and Queen.  We got two tungsten bands for $300 there when fi wanted "matching engagement bands" and everyone's willing to haggle. 
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