New Jersey

Wedding Budget Out of Control

I am physically sick when I think how much we are spending on our wedding, I have never spent this much on anything; if I was buying a house the cost would be understandable. But for six hours of one day the price is horrific. And I'm sorry ladies, I'm not a DIY girl and I think that's whats the problem. Just venting

Re: Wedding Budget Out of Control

  • Unfortunately, you are the one that is spending this amount of money. There is no one that is making you spend this money, or have an event that costs this much. Sure, you can say your parents or family members are "making you" - but that doesn't mean you can't be creative and think of another way to still get married but not spend as much money.
    • A good way to cut costs is to cut the guest list. Obviously, 200 guests are more expensive than 45.
    • You can also choose off season, Sunday nights, Saturday afternoons or any other combination of dates/times/locations to keep the costs down.
    • You don't need alcohol, or at least, an open bar.
    • You don't need to have a huge cocktail hour and an additional sit down dinner.
    • You don't need a band - an ipod preset to music could be "free" or at least, rather inexpensive
    • Having a "show" cake and then serving sheet cake cuts down on the costs of the cake

    These are just a snippet of examples of ways to save money. It is really a regional thing for weddings to be with lots of food, open bar, expensive locations, etc. Now, you may not want to go against these regional customs for fear of people complaining or not appreciating your efforts since it is not the "norm." But, really - you can't complain. Taking 20 peoplpe out to dinner at a local restaurant after being married by the Justice of the Peace would make you just as "married" as a $40k reception, at a fraction of the cost.

    If you don't currently have the money - it is not worth going into debt over planning a wedding. You will not "make back" in gifts all that you put out for your vendors. If you are really concerned about the money and that upset by paying it, push your date back giving you more time to save and think about your decisions.


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  • No one is making you spend the money, this is your own choice.
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  • Go to city hall and get married then.
  • My parents had a reception in the local VFW hall.  Their parents had some close friends back to their 4th floor walk-up in the Bronx for some sandwhiches.  Do what you want, not what you think you have to.
  • Hi Ladies!

    I love coming to these board for some awesome advice :) I think SewInLoveWithDM def pointed out some great money saving tricks and like the rest of you mentioned - obv having a smaller reception & going to the courthouse is waaaay cheaper than a pricey typical wedding. Also being in Jersey versus all the other boards im reading i feel like the tristate area is soooo pricey - i wish i was in arizona to book a hall at $60 per person instead of the $130 my fiance and i are paying haha

    But i did want to add a nice note to LeslynA - i am also def not a DYI gal so i can totally relate to see how things start adding up - for example i was thinking guest book & pen cant be more than $20 right? well if you research and look around you can totally score that deal but i know most are up to $100 I think if you want to cut back on money and not DYI - it will take time and research to find cheaper alternatives! I found that going to a local wegmanns to get bouquets was 50% less than a local florist!!! And i realize the choice to host a big wedding at a big venue is all up to the couple - but i think looking at a way to cut back on the little items is also important :)

    Hope this helps!!!
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  • dalm0mdalm0m member
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    edited February 2013
    You have to shop around & spend carefully.  It took me months but I found a grogeous silk wedding gown for $399. (sales rack, cash & carry, RK Bridal in NYC on 39th)  I got my veil on valuveil.com for $12.50.   I took the linens & the cake that came with the package rather than doing an upgrade. I borrowed all my jewelry from the richest relative I had. We got married on a Sunday of a 3 day weekend rather than the higher priced Saturday & everybody got chicken not filet mignon.  I set a flower budget & color then let the florist have free resign.  I bartered for a few things.  I bought my invites on line from bbcprint.com & got single color with no tissue paper inserts; postcards as RSVP cards will save you money.  I got my cake servers at Walmart for $10.  They look like the $125 Lenox set in the pictures & I wasn't heartbroken when I forgot them at the venue.  I actually brought my wedding in 22% under budget so it is possible.

    Run like heck from anybody who "should's" you.  You don't need  things like aisle runners, colored table cloths, candy bars, photobooths etc. 

    You do need a license & an officiant. 

    NJ is a  HCOL area.  Weddings in the tri-state avergae about $60,000.  They average about $28,000 for the rest of the country. 
  • dalm0m  - i loved all your details of saving money - thanks so much! Def going to get my serving set from walmart as well :)
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  • I can see how this would happen! It is hard for some of us (like me!) to figure out what our budget should actually be. Here's why I had trouble: prices were rarely listed on websites, and any website that gave averages was way off because they were taking the whole country into account. Then you had to talk to the vendors on the phone because they offer "customized" packages depending on your needs. Then, they took that opportunity to make you feel like you needed things you would have never considered. We definitely went over what we expected to spend, but ultimately we were okay with it because we didn't break the bank and we really loved everything we picked out.

    You most likely can't do anything about the vendors you've put deposits on already without losing money. In some cases, it might be worth it to cancel them to get a much cheaper vendor. Some may also be willing to work with you to figure out what you can eliminate (though I wouldn't count on it if they already have your deposit). What haven't you booked yet? I recommend going in with a specific plan and being prepared to refuse anything above and beyond that.
  • For me I am trying to look at what I really really need versus just want cuz someone else did it.  Don't need save the dates. Don't need programs. People have eyes. They will figure out what is happening without reading about it. Don't need more than one DJ to play music. Don't need chair covers. Keeping the bridal party small cuts down on expenses too. Less boquets and thank you gifts to buy. Don't need fancy place cards. It all adds up fast.
  • It's been so helpful reading all your replies! I'm newly engaged and we are just starting to think about what we want - not even sure of our total budget or anything.  I've been researching just for fun and I can see how easy it must be to get inundated with expenses.
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