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New Jersey

Could you plan a wedding for under 5K

Just wondering after visiting the budget board.

Lately there have been numerous arguments lately where brides from smaller towns and less expensive places think it's possible, regardless of where you live, to have a wedding for under 5k.  This includes ceremony, reception (food for 100+ people) attire, decorations, and HM.  They've even gone on to say that us North Easterners should move our wedding to less expensive places.  I don't believe it's possible, especially when it comes to a venue and feeding 100 people. It's starting to get pretty heated and causing a divide on the board but it go me thinking.  Could you plan a wedding for 5K?  If you can/ did how did you do it?
 
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Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K

  • goaliegirlgoaliegirl member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I am sure in other parts of the country where weddings are not elaborate/over the top it is possible.  I am not so sure that is possible in the NJ area.
  • GolfChick78GolfChick78 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It depends on your definition of planning a wedding.  My grandparents' reception was in my great grandparents' backyard and dinner was sandwiches.  When my parents got married, they tell me it was not terribly uncommon to get married at a VFW or similar type of hall.  My mom even ordered her gown out of a JCPenney catalog.  So I fully believe it can be done even in NJ, but it takes vastly simpler tastes and expectations than most of us go into it with.
  • goaliegirlgoaliegirl member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Although now thinking about it...I am talking about a "traditional" NJ area wedding, which clearly can be very different than in other parts of the country.  My stepbrother got married in Indiana and they had a fairly large wedding at a local park/hall and it was very nice, and I know they paid a fraction of what we paid.  When they came to our wedding they thought it was so over the top, and wanted to know how on earth we could afford such an event.

    That being said, if you do something small, and not go all out, you could probably have something very nice and basic here in this area on a budget, so it could be possible if you really wanted it to be!
  • edited December 2011
    The only way I could see that pulled off is if the wedding was in a backyard (no tent) and family cooked all the food. lol The DJ would probably be someone from a local Gogo bar. LMAO. It would be a hot mes.....
  • edited December 2011

    I really think it's possible. I always say to my FI that I wish I could be happy with a "cheaper" wedding and I really think it has something to do with where we live and the type of weddings we're used to seeing around here.

    A $5,000 wedding may not be what we consider a "nice" wedding but I definetly think it can be done if budgeted correctly.

    And who's to say it's not a "nice" wedding? As long as you're marrying the one you love and everyone is happy then that's all that matters.

  • edited December 2011

    It really depends on the wedding. I think you could if you did it in a backyard, no frills, home cooked food, no favors, very minimal. It would be difficult but I think it could be done.

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  • GolfChick78GolfChick78 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    It really depends on the wedding. I think you could if you did it in a backyard, no frills, home cooked food, no favors, very minimal. It would be difficult but I think it could be done.
    Posted by kasabby
    And there's nothing to stop an event like that from being romantic and charming when it needs to be, and kick-A when you want it to be.  When you get down to it, the most exotic center pieces really don't contribute very much to the good times and memories that you hope everyone takes from the day.
  • sgdc2011sgdc2011 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It would be a bare minimum wedding. Which is not at all what i would want, but it's possible.  It would definitely not be up to my standards of what a wedding should be.
  • shoebieshoebie member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our reception will be under 5k we are only inviting 80 guests not 100 we are having it on federal property so we don't have to pay tax. A high school teacher of mine will be dj'ing for $600. My flowers (if i go with flowers) will be free as my aunt owns a flower shop I got my dress on ebay for 24 bucks, FI tux will be free with the groomsmans rentals.

  • edited December 2011

    I think you can only do it under very special circumstances e.g. you know someone in every vendor industry, or you go the extreme DIY route. 

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  • felicia220felicia220 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    You technically could plan a wedding for under 5k but here is the thing that the rest of the country doesn't understand.  What you get for 5k here is completely different than what you get for 5k in other parts of the country.   Just like Homes, $350,000 will get you about 1800Sq Ft (on average) in New Jersey where as it can get you about double that in a State like Virginia.  I, like you OP, have tried to explain this to people that do not live in this area and they just can't understand it.  So I give up, they can think what they want but at the end of the day they have no idea how expensive it is to live here, or what things cost in this part of the country.  
  • uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Anything is possible if you're willing to make compromises.  I think it would be trickier here than in places where more low-key weddings are more normal (because in those areas there would likely be more venues catering to the low-key).  

    And honestly, I'm perfectly fine with the idea of a more low-key wedding.  Around here I think the food at weddings is ridiculous -- it is vital to have a huge cocktail hour followed by four courses of dinner, followed by tons of desserts.  Doesn't matter if the entree is inedible -- it is more important to show off the amount of food that you bought for everyone.  If people could do without all of the showiness and just have a few hors d'oeurves and a great dinner, NJ weddings could be a lot less expensive.  And I think just as nice.  Mashed potatoes in martini glasses are not the be all/end all of classy weddings.

    I don't get the "They've even gone on to say that us North Easterners should move our wedding to less expensive places" statement.  No-one should be concerned with what anyone else spends, whether that is $5000 or $5,000,000.  If it was in response to someone from the northeast complaining about how awful it is that weddings here are more expensive then I actually think the non-northeasterners have a point.  I don't understand why people complain about high cost of living.  Nobody is forced to live anywhere.  Usually areas are HCOL because they're desirable to lots of people for some reason or another.  If your HCOL area is not desirable to you, move.  If northeastern weddings are so expensive and that's so awful, have your wedding somewhere else.  
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  • HobokensFuryHobokensFury member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Uppereastgirl- No one was complaining about the price of weddings here we were just saying things are more expensive.  A girl from Arkansas told everyone she thinks spending 10k on a wedding is ridiculous so we should all have a "destination" wedding in a cheaper area of the country just to save money.  It's laughable, I know.
     
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  • ConKFA319ConKFA319 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think it's possible, but it depends on what kind of wedding you want to have. As PP have said, it wouldn't be a reception hall, high-end catered, flowers-everywhere type of shindig - it would be infinitely simpler. I could have probably done one for that much at a VFW hall or something of the like, done the flowers and decorations by myself, and so on, but that's not what my FI nor myself wanted.

    I do agree that some of the prices in Jersey are pretty exorbitant. As such, we're having our wedding in Philadelphia, in our favorite hotel, at our favorite restaurant, and we're paying a fraction of what we might have up here. The decor is elegant, I don't need to rent linens, it includes a 5-hour premium open bar, food for everyone, a crazy cocktail hour, and our cake, to start. As an added bonus, Philly is kind of a romantic place for us, and we have lots of history there, so it's perfect.
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  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If I only had $5K to spend, I probably would've opted to take 50 people to a restaurant for a pre-fixe meal. Department store dress and MH could've worn his regular suit, and hopefully we could've found a photographer for maybe $1K or so.

    But I doubt we could've chopped our guest list to 50 without leaving out some important people, so the other option would've been to have hosted the same 120 people in a VFW hall or the church's basement, hooked up my laptop and run a DIY playlist, and done inexpensive supermarket/deli catering (sandwiches, fried chicken, barbecue or a spaghetti dinner).

    MH and I actually batted those ideas around for a while, but ultimately decided that since this would probably be the fanciest thing we'd host in our lifetime, we wanted to do the "typical" NJ wedding. And all things considered, we really didn't have a big budget when it comes to NJ weddings anyway, because we kept a lot of things simple and we did without a lot of little things that add up in the end (Save the Dates, aisle runner, big bridal party, etc.).
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  • redroses333redroses333 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    Our reception will be under 5k we are only inviting 80 guests not 100 we are having it on federal property so we don't have to pay tax. A high school teacher of mine will be dj'ing for $600. My flowers (if i go with flowers) will be free as my aunt owns a flower shop I got my dress on ebay for 24 bucks, FI tux will be free with the groomsmans rentals.
    Posted by shoebie420
    Just curious...how did your experience go with buying your dress on e-bay?   was it made in USA or is it one of the dresses custom made from China?
  • shoebieshoebie member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K : Just curious...how did your experience go with buying your dress on e-bay?   was it made in USA or is it one of the dresses custom made from China?
    Posted by redroses333

    Its from China it will not be here til about the 20th the seller has 99% positive reviews and the one bad review was a girl complaining that the dress was a day late really from china and only 1 day late sounded like a spoiled brat to me i will def update when it gets in 

  • edited December 2011
    Ha ha, I lurk a lot on the Budget board, so I've been following those threads.

    I think what uppereast said is key - if low-key were more the norm here, there'd probably be more venues catering to low-key weddings. 
  • edited December 2011
    OP,

    I'm actually doing a "destination" wedding to Arkansas and I live in the Washington DC area!  Though to be honest, the reason I'm doing it in Arkansas is because most of my and my DF's family live. 

    As someone intimately familiar with the COLA in both Arkansas and some of the more expensive parts of the country (Washington DC and Los Angeles), I think it's true that anyone can have a $5,000 wedding, but to say that people can have the *same* $5,000 wedding in both places is ridiculous.

    My budget is around $6,500, which is pretty close to $5,000.  For this, I'm getting a fantastic venue all day and for a rehearsal the night before, a coordinator, professional catering for a full meal for 100, (limited) professional photography, (limited) professional flowers (the venue is gorgeous and needs little decoration), a designer dress, and a professional DJ.  Nothing is over the top, but it is going to be a wedding nice enough that I feel like my family and friends from out of town will not think it a waste to fly in to the wedding.

    That being said, there is NO WAY I could do that same quality of wedding for that price in Washington DC or LA.   I imagine if I were trying to throw this same wedding in the DC area, it'd be around $18,000.  The food would be more expensive, the venue would be much more expensive, the dress about the same, the DJ more expensive, the flowers about the same, and the food would be much more expensive.  Property here costs about 4x the price in Arkansas, so to meet their mortgage, a venue owner has to charge about 4x what and Arkansas venue owner would.  Wages are higher here (about 1.5x higher), so caterers have to pay their cooks and servers more and pass the charge on the users.  Etc., etc., etc.  Same wedding, vastly different price tag.

    P.S.~ to whoever said those of us who live in an area with a higher COLA should just move , it is sometimes not possible.  I would LOVE to move back to Arkansas, but my fiance works in a specialized industry and cannot find a job in Arkansas or pretty much anywhere in the South.  You should also consider yourself lucky that your family and friends are in an area with a lower COLA.  If you had the choice of leaving your family and friends just to move somewhere things cost less, would you? 
  • kristen8040kristen8040 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'd rather take that $5,000 and hop on a plane to Aruba with 25 people.
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  • edited December 2011
    Can you really fly and bed 25 people anywhere for $5k?  I seriously doubt it
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  • kristen8040kristen8040 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    No I meant spend $5k on a wedding in Aruba. With a destination wedding they would pay for themselves to fly and stay obviously.
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  • edited December 2011
    Ohh! :) I see.
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  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Yes i could plan a budget wedding in NJ for $5k, but not including HM or rings.  The reason I know I could is that I threw 3 different elaborate birthday parties with buffet dinner & open check (variation on open bar but you only pay for consumption not per person) for 200 people for around $2,500.  Thus for only 100 people I'd still have about $3000 for dress, invites, postage photogs, small flowers etc. 

    You would have to do it in a hall, & shop very frugally for everything.  Anything that could be borred should be.
  • uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    Uppereastgirl- No one was complaining about the price of weddings here we were just saying things are more expensive.  A girl from Arkansas told everyone she thinks spending 10k on a wedding is ridiculous so we should all have a "destination" wedding in a cheaper area of the country just to save money.  It's laughable, I know.
    Posted by HobokenBride2012
    Yes, very laughable!  Basically they think you should have your 100 (or however many) closest family and friends fly to another part of the country so you can save a lot of money (and they then end up spending probably $50,000+ if you add them all together for travel costs)?  Very considerate.  

    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    P.S.~ to whoever said those of us who live in an area with a higher COLA should just move , it is sometimes not possible.  I would LOVE to move back to Arkansas, but my fiance works in a specialized industry and cannot find a job in Arkansas or pretty much anywhere in the South.  You should also consider yourself lucky that your family and friends are in an area with a lower COLA.  If you had the choice of leaving your family and friends just to move somewhere things cost less, would you? 
    Posted by srieske
    Well, your fiance doesn't have to stay in that industry or could have gone to another industry.  And you don't have to live near your family and friends.  (I'm playing devil's advocate here.)  And I didn't say that we should all move to a low cost of living area -- what I said is that I don't understand why people complain so much about cost of living.  If the advantages (which may include good jobs in chosen industries and proximity to family and friends) are not greater than the disadvantages (cost, for example), move.  Or suck it up and realize that you're getting a lot of good stuff for your high cost of living and that living in a cheaper area might not be that awesome.  I just don't why people complain so much about something they can change.  That's all.
     
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  • shoebieshoebie member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    I'd rather take that $5,000 and hop on a plane to Aruba with 25 people.
    Posted by kristen8040

    I could not see making people spend that kind of money to come to my wedding including having to take vacation time from work as well.

  • kristen8040kristen8040 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K : I could not see making people spend that kind of money to come to my wedding including having to take vacation time from work as well.
    Posted by shoebie420
    You're not making anyone spend money, they are choosing to come, no one said they had to.
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  • shoebieshoebie member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K : You're not making anyone spend money, they are choosing to come, no one said they had to.
    Posted by kristen8040

    Yes but if they want to be part of your day and be there for your wedding they are then obligated to spend a thousand dollars or more to do so

  • yoko2011yoko2011 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011

    My hat is off to anyone to anyone who can do it. I tried doing the back yard/VWF with catering and broke $5k in estimates for upscale bbq. So, I ended up just planning a scaled back version of the traditional wedding in NY.

    A destination would have been so much easier/cheaper. And all the weddings I've done have involved vacation time and travel so I think for those who opt that route, if enough notice, those who can attend will.

  • kristen8040kristen8040 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K:
    In Response to Re: Could you plan a wedding for under 5K : Yes but if they want to be part of your day and be there for your wedding they are then obligated to spend a thousand dollars or more to do so
    Posted by shoebie420
    Yea and again that's their choice.  I wouldn't be disappointed or mad if anyone couldn't come because of cost or work, that's what comes with a destination wedding.  There are pros and cons to every style of wedding and people not being able to make it is definitely a con, but I'd take that over a lot of aspects to a 5k wedding in Jersey.
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