Texas-San Antonio

wedding suggestions on a budget

ok so i am fairly new to this but need some major help... my fiance and i have been dating for 7 years (high school sweethearts) and we are finally going to get married except he is a cop in a different city and i am a dental student here in SA. we are having to do long distance while i am in school and originally were going to get married back in our hometown but now with my extremely busy school schedule its too difficult to plan in a different city. therefore, i need all sorts of help for sites, vendors, photographers, cakes, catering, etc....the only time possible for us to get married is during march 2011 which is my spring break for school. also, since he is the only one working and i am in school, we are on a hUGE budget restriction. both his parents and my parents will contribute money but they cannot cover the entire cost. we are both catholic but churches now seem so expensive so i am even at the point if i can find a nice place that will do ceremony & reception for reasonable price? unless people know of a pretty church that is not too expensive...i also need help with decorators and such.... please give me some help!

Re: wedding suggestions on a budget

  • edited December 2011
    I don't know about the price of Catholic churches but you can save money in various ways.  First off the biggest way to save on a wedding is the guest list. Hate to say it but only invite people who have to be there. It'll save you money on food and invitations. Another thing would be to do the invitations yourself. You can find some really nice ones at Michael's and they tend to have coupons and sales all the time. The other thing is rather than do flowers for your centerpieces consider using candles instead or fake flowers. They'll save you money and double as a take home if you want to just get rid of em after the reception.Um cake wise...If you know someone who makes cakes you could ask them to make one for you and see if you can get a discount on it. Heck they might even do it for free as a gift to you. If I think of others I'll post more.
  • edited December 2011
    --Do anything involving stationary yourself: Invites, Save-the-Dates, Programs, Seating, Cards, Menu, etc. --Do a Friday or Sunday wedding--most vendors and sites will give pretty good discounts when it's not on a Saturday --Choose a Site that you can bring your own vendors in--that gives you the option of shopping around and finding catering (for under $20/plate instead of a "preferred" caterer who will be $50+), linens, cake, etc. for better prices --Do an afternoon wedding--serving lunch instead of dinner will reduce your catering bill and also cut down on hours you will need for the site, photographer, DJ, alcohol--people generally don't party as long when the sun is out! So your reception can be 2-4 hours long. --Cut down on the florist bill by incorporating lots of fabric, candles, etc. into the decor that you can pre-make, buy, and organize yourself --Have your baker do a layer or two of the cake in styrofoam--it cuts down on the total cost while still looking larger and pretty--no one will know the difference. --Do your ceremony and reception at the same venue--huge saver there! We spent an extra $1200 by doing the ceremony at a church and the reception at the Woodward House. --Hire a coordinator....they can REALLY help save what you payed for them (and more) and take SO much stress off of you, if you find the right one. --Rent a car or use your own instead of a limo (you won't really need one if you are in the same venue, though) --Suits instead of Tuxes--also great for an afternoon or outdoor wedding --Find a location that is already beautiful, so you don't have to do much decorating --Keep your guest list down to under 100 --Limit the alcohol --Don't do favors--a candy bar or similar can be cheaper and add to the decor. Plus, people most likely won't even notice. --HOBBY LOBBY, HOBBY LOBBY, HOBBY LOBBY I can't say it enough--this is the mecca of places to get cheap centerpeices, decor, etc. and find new ideas. Never buy full price--it will most likely be on sale next week! DO NOT: --DO NOT do the flowers yourself (unless you are doing silk and can make months ahead of time). You will end up with a bucket of undone, dying flowers in a watery bucket [and a bucketload of stress] on wedding day morning. --DO NOT make the cake yourself, unless you have a professional in the family--this is the centerpeice of your reception and you don't want it to look bad. --DO NOT do the Ipod thing (unless you want the reception to end REALLY quickly)...Having an MC/DJ really does make a big difference. Some people can pull this off if they have someone really on the ball taking care of it, but I've seen it fail too many times.
  • edited December 2011
    I think ScottandCaitlin gave some good advice to you. However, I planned my entire wedding during graduate school and there's no way I would not have had time to DIY many of the things that have been mentioned because of how demanding school was. The first thing I can tell you is to nail down your budget. Then, plan to spend a thousand or two less. Trust me,this will help because there are a lot of unplanned expenses that will come up. The second thing is to make out a guest list immediately. The hardest part of the guest list is knowing where to cut it. You might feel guilty cutting some people, but know that you can't afford to invite every person you've ever known. If you want to get married in a church (this was important to me), look around carefully. I had a friend who had to invite over 300 people (mostly family!) and had to do it cheap. She found a church in the Eisenhower/410 area that would do her wedding inexpensive and would also hold all her guest for  a reception afterward. She also used Bill Miller's or Grady's for catering to cut down expenses. Centerpieces expenses can be saved on by using more candles instead of flowers. You can buy them in bulk to save more money! In your situation, I would consider having a smaller wedding. You don't want to be too stressed and you may have extra work to do over your spring break. You'll find a way to have a beautiful wedding no matter what! To be perfectly honest, I didn't even remember half of the "important" stuff like flowers on my wedding day anyway. What matters is that you have a good time!
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • jdv7700jdv7700
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    thanks everyone for all your help!!! i really appreciate it! my 1st option was the san fernando cathedral and at&t community centre my 2nd option was the UIW church and witte museum i think i will definitely have to rethink venues & sites now because SA is just very expensive to get married in when you add tables, chairs, decor, food, flowers, cake, dj, stationary, etc i guess i will keep looking
  • edited December 2011
    How many people are you planning to invite?
  • jgilbergjgilberg
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    All of this advice is really good. I would add, if you want to have alcohol at your reception, find a place that lets you hire a bartender and buy your own alcohol. It cuts the price a lot!~Julie
  • edited December 2011
    The wittie is very reasonable! They also let you bring in your own alcohol and Bartender, which other places do not and they also provide the security for you since they have the park police there after hours and its already included in the price. I had to cut my list back quite a bit to insure that I would have a really nice and reasonable wedding. I look at it this way.....I'd rather have a gorgeous intimate wedding than a large cheaply put together wedding! Keep that in mind!
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