Hawaii

How much are you spending??

Help!! My mom clearly didn't understand what she was getting into when she signed up to pay for the wedding. She keeps adding and adding guests to my list but insists that I stick to the budget she gave me... I really want to have certain things at my wedding that we might not be able to pay for (like limos for the bridal party, the centerpieces I want, etc) if she keeps adding people to the guest list. (Like her brother's second wife's adult children from her previous marriage are kind of unnecessary??? I've never even met those people. UGH!)

Anyway, I am just wondering what people have been spending on the "extra" things, like flowers, save the dates, invitations, transportation, DJ, photographer... everything EXCEPT the wedding dress, wedding rings, venue fees, food, and drink I guess?? 
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Re: How much are you spending??

  • breanessbreaness member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm going to be no help because we're not doing most of that stuff. We're getting a rental car for the entire trip and driving that to the ceremony location, top down. Our photographer we're flying in and paying for her stay in exchange for photography ($1,900) and I designed all of our invites so grand total for all of the paper stuff was less than $100. The bouquet was included in our package, so I'm not sure what it would have cost on its own, but we're not doing centerpieces because we have a really small group. We're not even paying for centerpieces for our AHR because the venue has really nice ones we can use for free.
  • edited December 2011
    Unfortunately, what I have to say probably isn't what you want to hear.  If your mom is paying for the wedding, then she gets to dictate both the guest list and the budget.  Also, while it is nice for her to let you have full control on the flowers, since she is paying, she really could dictate how those look as well.  If you personally care so much about specific elements like the limo and flowers, can you save up yourself so you can cover those elements and therefore have full control to be sure they happen?

    Also, have you sat down with her to go through the budget, and also included her in things like the florist meeting so she knows what it costs?  I think the one thing that would be frustrating for me is if she kept changing her mind to the point that I couldn't sign a contract with any of my vendors, but you have over a year left, which gives you plenty of time to iron out the guest list and agree upon budgets for the key elements you really want.

    Good luck!
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  • edited December 2011
    @Breaness: how many guests are you having at your wedding in Hawaii? I grew up there so the extra people my mom are inviting will likely attend...

    @Tanq&Tonic: My mom DOES keep changing her mind! At first she wanted to limit the number of guests FI could invite, then she said, let him invite whoever he wants. We had settled on a smaller ballroom at a hotel for the reception, that holds about 96 people max, and then my mom decided to invite nearly everyone she knows and if they all show up, they definitely won't fit in the tiny ballroom. I told her this and she said "then get the larger ballroom" without understanding that the minimum charges would spike an extra $10k for food and drink. Now I'm worried we have to start the venue search all over again and I'm freaking out because I know venues in Waikiki disappear quickly, especially for summer wedidngs! We also have lots of friends and all of FI's family flying in from out of state and wanted to be able to give them details well in advance so they can start planning to be there. We were going to book our venue tomorrow, but now it doesn't seem like we're going to be able to do that... Personally I would rather have a really nice 90 person wedding than a budget wedding for 200...
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  • breanessbreaness member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We're only having 8 including us, 10 including our photographer and husband. So definitely a much smaller group than you're looking for :)
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Tanq that if your mom is paying then she gets to dictate who will be invited and what vendors to use. Sounds like you have a difficult mom, like mine! And I know how large families can be. I, too, have extended family in Hawaii and my mom insists that I invite them. The church I'm getting married in only holds 20 people and as it stands, we will be at standing room only.

    As for costs, FI and I will be paying for most of it ourselves so it's very budget friendly. The flowers will be bought at Costco and we will make our own bouquets. I budgeted $250 ($150 of it is sponsored by my mom's cousin). Transporation...everyone will drive themselves to the church using their rental cars. Invitations were done myself and the cost of the supplies ran me $200 (that includes the invites for the AHR and stamps...no STD. I just sent the invites a year in advance to act like STD). And I'm not doing centerpieces for Hawaii but I am for the AHR. That cost me $150 for all of the supplies ($120 more will be sponsored). My photographer is $900.00 for 3 hrs. of photo shoot.

    Good luck dealing with your mom!
  • FSForeverFSForever member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We will have about 22 guests that are expected to come.  I know for sure there will be 16.  Its hard to calculate the extras because we are big on DIY but I will try.  We aren't doing flowers per se. I am not really into them so we are just ordering leis for each guest and I know that we can get them for about $10 per person, Our budget for those is $200 and ours are included in our WC package. I am usying envelopements (got these clearanced half price when a paper store when bust), printed scrapbook paper and making my own invites. They will end up being about $100 with postage for 24 invites. I made our STDs and they ended up being $76.10 with postage for 20. Our WC and I had a talk about the transportation and she said it really is a cost we didn't need because the limo would sit for 4 hours and we still would have to pay for it.  She said if people need rides to call cabs.  It helps that our lodging is 15 mins away from the reception. I am thinking of renting a classic car for the afternoon and evening for FH and I.  Part of it because the car I want is in one of our colors. LOL So that is definately a splurge at $350 for 9 hours. 
    I have to say I do agree with T&T that your mother does have a lot of pull because she is paying.  Try and talk with her and show her where the costs are and what is important to you.  Maybe you and her could agree somewhere in the middle.
  • fabutanfabutan member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our parents contributed a set sum to our wedding and the rest was paid by us.  Fortunately, my parents couldn't care less about decor, etc., so I had total control over the budget and what was done with it.  If there was anything they didn't like or questioned, I said that was the part paid by us, tee hee (it's difficult to divide up what was spent for what in the end anyhow!).  :)  Try having a conversation with your mom and make her realize that this is your wedding (and not hers) and try to convey your vision of your dream day...

    It sounds like you're set on having your wedding in the Waikiki area.  But another tactic to reduce the guestlist and downplay costs is to have your wedding on a different island.  I also have relatives on Oahu, but we decided to have our wedding on Maui and on a weekday (...specifically because we wanted a small and intimate wedding).  That significantly reduced the number of people who could make it over.  That saved us a bundle and ensured that the guestlist comprised of people who were close to us and not just my parents' friends or distant relatives.  

    As for costs, it varies depending on how many guests you're inviting.  Different people have different priorities and "splurge" on different things.  So it all depends...  Like you, florals were important to me, so I put more towards that and less on other things.

    Maybe check out http://costofwedding.com/ for some ballpark estimates.  That was really helpful during the planning process.  Hope it all works out!!  Keep us posted  :)

  • tiggy85tiggy85 member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Totally agree with the other posts. If you Mom is forking over the cash, she gets a bunch of say. Shoot my mom isn't paying for anything and she is still trying to have her way lol. Notice I said trying. My money= my choice.

    If she is unwilling to budget on the list then save your own money for the things you think you must have. It will work out in the end because all that should really matter is you and your hunny are married at the end of the day.

    In response to
    "Anyway, I am just wondering what people have been spending on the "extra" things, like flowers, save the dates, invitations, transportation, DJ, photographer... everything EXCEPT the wedding dress, wedding rings, venue fees, food, and drink I guess?? "

    I'm doing a lot of projects now so that it doesn't seem like money is flying out the window when it's closer to my wedding. I will have a small group 20-25.

    Flowers: DIY est. $150 for aisle decor, centerpieces, bouquet, MOH bouquet, leis
    Save the dates: $100 (not including postage)
    Invites: $75 (not including postage)
    DJ: Not having one...first dance only, IPOD run by my coordinator
    Photography: Slurge!! $2200 includes e-shoot, TTD. 3 hrs day of, multiple locations, 2 photographers, CD with all rights, no prints
    Transportation: Not really important right now...play it by ear


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  • edited December 2011
    I'm expecting around 200 people - there are a lot more OOT people who say they will come, but I am definitely not banking on it.

    And I am having my wedding at Lanikuhonua - so money wise, thats already about $3k. And then I have to bring in all the vendors. On average for photog and video for an 8 hour day (bridal prep, ceremony, reception, etc) - its been on average about $3500 each.

    Plus Catering, and also the Tents, Tables, Chairs, DJs... And we're doing the 1,001 Japanese Cranes (I'm folding them all, so I hope that helps cut down on costs when I have a co-worker's sister mount it (its her business)), and also a Chinese Lion Dance...

    Probably for me ... upwards of $25k... :( When I first started budgeting last year things were slightly cheaper, and some other vendors I really wanted raised their prices (quality over quantity of weddings was the reason). So I've slowly seen my "budget" creep up.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the input ladies! I'm just trying to figure out if my mom gets her way on the guest list and $10k extra is being spent for the larger ballroom in the same hotel if there would be enough money left in the budget for everything else... It seems like I'm going to have to start from scratch with my venue search... I'm also starting to think that we should just elope and not even have a wedding.. :-/
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  • edited December 2011
    My 1 piece of advice is to not spend beyond your means in any area.  For example, iIt'd be much nicer to have your reception at a restaurant and sacrifice some of the "venue WOWness" instead of having a GRAND ballroom for the reception but only being able to afford veggies trays :)  It's extreme, but I think you can definitely sacrifice in some areas that don't matter to you as much. 

    It isn't as relevant what everyone else paid for things as it is what you can get away with NOT paying for.  I dropped a lot on many things, and $0 on an officiant because my best friend got ordained.  Flowers...can you DIY?  Buy from Whole Foods?  Use fruit?  Flowers are costly. 

    I think you just have to put down on paper your MUST HAVE list.  Figure out if you can save yourself to cover those so you have sole control of that budget (aka it won't shrink).  And then live with the compromise on everything else.  Heck, you could buy me a plane ticket and I'd shoot your photos (and Brea would shoot your video).   LOL, j/k but you get my point...you can compromise / do other things / cut corners and save on almost anything if you're creative enough.
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  • memegracememegrace member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    good advice ladies-all valid points I would say!  Tanq, you are the voice of reason..it is so awesome!   lol  Side note for Tanq:  Was it strange at all having your best friend marry you for your hubby!?  I am thinking about having my aunt.  I also thought about having her and an officiant together but not sure! 
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