North Carolina

Is this realistic?

Hey everyone! I am very new to all of this and I just wanted to see if this was a realistic budget. It is the low end with the idea that if we had overages we could realistically cover them. 

We would like to have a wedding on a Saturday night in October 2011 with 300 people for $15,000.  The wedding will be in the triangle.  Since we live in Raleigh, we are open to anywhere within an hour or so of our houses.  Because of family there is absolutely no way we can cut the guest list.  We both have huge immediate families. 

My mom will be paying for my dress and my sisters dresses so that is not factored in.  We are open to any ideas or critiques. One of the pros of having a huge family is that we have lots of help!

Re: Is this realistic?

  • edited December 2011
    I think that's do-able. I'm doing my wedding on a $5k budget, Our guest list is 100 people though, but your budget is definitely do-able.

    Are you planning on doing anything DIY to cut some costs?
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  • edited December 2011
    I was planning on doing everything I can DIY.  The only things I don't want to do is the cake, catering, and pictures.  The rest I am hoping to enlist some of my wonderful family members to help :)
  • meredithl618meredithl618 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm sure you could do it. But, it totally depends on what look you want. You'll definitely have to cut costs somewhere, most likely on decor. As feeding that many people will be outrageously expensive.  Our food and alcohol alone was more than $100 per person.  This will probably be the biggest part of your budget, so if you can get that under control, you'll be fine.  

    Also if you're inviting 300, you'll most likely have a lot less than that attend.  You may have a great turn out, but still, it's surprising how many people end up being busy/saying no, etc.  We invited 248 people and had 165 at the wedding.  

    No matter what, you shouldn't feel pressured to spend more than you can.  If that's your budget, that's your budget. You can make it work, you might have to get creative or DIY some stuff, but I've seen great weddings on here for much less.  
  • edited December 2011
    What time is the wedding going to be? If you have to serve dinner to 300 guests, that is going to be very expensive. If it was an afternoon wedding, I am certain that it would be much more reasonable and that budget would certainly be doable.
  • Beth0882Beth0882 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would suggest looking at a list of things brides normally include in budgets so that you get an idea for what you will need to factor into the budget.  I had no idea how much to budget to certain things (ie, flowers, cake, etc.) so I asked on this board and a bunch of girls were nice enough to share their budgets or expenses with me to give me an idea. 

    I have budgeted $21.000 on a wedding for 150 guests.  A good portion of that is the photographer (about $5K) and the caterer (about $8K for food, open bar, linens, and tableware),  venue ($2200 all day), flowers($800), DJ ($900), dress (about $1000 with alterations).  I think if you cut the expenses on things like the photographer and flowers, etc. you could probably do a large wedding for $15K, as long as you can find a cheaper venue, and cheap linens.  Maybe offer a heavy appetizer reception instead of dinner, and only wine/beer rather than wine/beer/liquor?
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  • edited December 2011
    That is definitly doable!  We are inviting about 300 guests and although I wanted tgo spend only $5,000 its looking more like $7,000 but that's still good!  And we aren't really doing any diy.  We are getting married in Rocky Mount about an hour from Raleigh so i realize that location makes a big difference but our caterer is doing 2 meats, 3 vegg, and 2 desserts for $12/person!  And he is our of Bunn.  It can most definitely be done and now is the time to get started!  We started about this time last year and are getting married this October.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you so much for all the responses!!
  • edited December 2011
    That budget is definitely doable.  We spent about $5,000 on our wedding (about 150 guests).  DIY will definitely save you a good bit of money.  And, the ladies here have tons of great DIY ideas!
  • edited December 2011
    Welcome to the board!  I agree with pp.  You can make it happen for $15k!!!  Best of luck to you!

    Leigh Anne & Billy
    *October 2nd, 2010*
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  • alliegator8alliegator8 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    have you considered doing your wedding on a friday or sunday?  They are usually cheaper since they aren't as in demand.  I am doing mine of a sunday.

    I think it is doable.  So of the things we did to keep costs down were:
    1. found a nice location to have the wedding that wasn't expensive and allowed outside food and drink.  That way we were able to go out and find a caterer who fit our budget.
    2. don't have an open bar. We are serving wine and beer only.  Open bars are expensive!  You could always do a signature drink if you do want something with liquor in it.
    3. Ask your friends. My friend Scott is an amazing photog. So he is doing our pictures as a wedding gift and my MOH is doing our hair.  Take advantage of their talents!
    4. Start early and Shop around! Don't be afriad to say no to something or ask a vendor to lower their price.
    5. Be creative. We did our invites and all the other paper products on Vista Prints. With their coupons, we were able to create and order 150 invitation for $60! And they looked awesome!  We are having our guest RSVP on our wedding website. It saved on postage and printing. It's been a huge success. We put directions, hotel accommodations and tons of other things on there.

    Hope this helps!
  • ecuchikaecuchika member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Yea 15K is so do-able...but is this also for your HM?  FI and I and I were shocked how things added up so quickly.  But we have gracious family and friends helping us.  His parents are paying for somethings as our gift and my mom is covering the catering bill. A good friend is doing our invitations and hopefully being able to print the STDs for free! and print the invites for super cheap b/c of where she works.

    GL
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