North Carolina

Help-Budget Wedding in Charlotte

Hey everyone! I'm recently engaged and planning a wedding in the Charlotte area for April 2012.  I have a very small budget to work with - around $3000-$4000 for about 75 people.  I would like to have the wedding and reception at one location to cut down on costs. Does anyone have any suggestions for budget venues or any other money saving tips? I appreciate any help! Thank you!

Re: Help-Budget Wedding in Charlotte

  • pirategal03pirategal03 member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm not familiar with Charlotte locations, but as far as tips:

    Consider a less popular time of day to help cut your catering costs.  We had a morning wedding and served brunch.  Our pp cost for brunch was less than half what it would have been for dinner.  An afternoon wedding with just cake and hors d'oeuvres at the reception could also be less expensive than a full meal. 

    Also consider non-floral centerpieces or DIY centerpieces.  DIY invitations can be far less expensive than ordering them. also has a lot of wedding things for sale, our invitations came from there (seller info is in my bio), I couldn't have made them myself for what I paid for them. 
  • redhead3985redhead3985 member
    edited December 2011
    Since you said Charlotte area, have you looked at Carrigan Farms? I think they have pretty reasonable prices and if you use their caterer, they don't charge you the facility fee. Plus the scenery out there is so beautiful (especially the rock quarry) you wouldn't have to spend too much on decor. If you don't like Carrigan, I would search for similar places.

    If you're looking for venues that cost less, I would look just outside of Charlotte. I second pp - the earlier in the day you do your wedding will be cheaper not just for food, but often for site fees, etc. Another option is having your wedding during the week, or at least on a Friday or Sunday if you want an evening or afternoon wedding. We decided to go with a Sunday wedding, and between site fees and catering, that saved us about $3500!

    And if you must have fresh flowers for centerpieces, definitely google some images for carnation arrangements. They're actually really pretty and delicate, and are making a come back in floral arrangements (and they're budget friendly). I'm also making my bouquet out of my mom's wedding dress and various scarves and brooches that have been given to me from family members. I went to school for fashion so the fabric flower thing was "me" more than fresh flowers would be (and way cheaper since I'm crafty). 

    Good luck!

  • edited December 2011
    Carrigan Farms is beautiful -- I looked at them for our wedding! 

    I definately agree at looking outside of Charlotte -- you may find more reasonable locations just outside of town.  And everything PP's say to cut costs are definately true.  Make sure you shop around for everything though -- there is such a wide range of what people will charge you for various services (I was amazed), but do your homework on all your vendors to be sure that you do get what you are paying for.

    As far as venues -- it's hard.  I think even at Carrigan Farms (if that type of venue is what you wanted), it would be hard to stay in your budget with them.  I might be mistaken.  I can't find my paperwork on them right now!  Let me think some more and maybe by tomorrow I will have some more ideas on locations.  I agree with Mary -- time of day and cutting catering costs will be a huge help.  Even day of the week (doing Friday evening or a Sunday wedding) would help you on costs. 

    If you do decide on fresh flowers, Party Blooms was by far the most reasonable florist I found in Charlotte.  She was very accomodating and doesn't have a "minimum" to work with -- I gave her my floral budget and she helped me get everything into it that I needed. 

    Good luck -- everyone on this board will do anything we can to help you along in your planning process!
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  • JessicaT9673JessicaT9673 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I love the idea of Carrigan Farms! I have checked into it and it definitely has potential! I think we are definitely going to be looking at a Friday or Sunday wedding as well.  One venue I called was $1000 difference between Saturday and Friday/Sunday.  It's a quick way to save money!  I'm also thinking DIY centerpieces.  Also, thanks for the Party Blooms suggestion! I do not have a florist in mind as of yet so I will have to look into that! Thanks again!
  • ahjaynesahjaynes member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    If you don't want to travel all the way to Mooresville and want to be a little closer to Charlotte, I would suggest a gem of a venue we found in Waxhaw. Absolutle beautiful & SO budget friendly!

    The lady that owns this place is wonderful!

    She includes tables/linens, in season flowers, and so much more! We have planned an October wedding with her an I'm beyond excited!

    Good luck!

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  • ju1ianaju1iana member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Check out some of the ideas in Bridal Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields

    For flowers you might want to try DIY and get them from either an online vendor (the book above lists a bunch) or costco also has wedding packages and bulk flowers.   For instance, see European Mini Bouquets $99 which could make about 6-8 center pieces.

    DIY invitations try Michaels or Papersource (in Charlotte - they have a wedding invitation workshop next week). has good prices too.

    I also looked on Craigslist and found many photographers and a few cake bakers.  There were a few people who were just starting out in their business who offered discounts.   But I saw 1 or 2 experienced bakers with $2/serving prices in the RDU area.  

    Happy planning!
  • edited December 2011
    I am a wedding coordinator and I am planning a wedding for one of my brides that is a rustic/barn/lake wedding with bbq. Very simple and cute!
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