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North Carolina-Raleigh-Durham

Is it too early to freak out?

So my FI and I aren't getting married unitl May 25, 2013, but I feel like I'm bout to freak out over prices.  I think we have finally set a number reaching 160 but now I'm nervous that our 10,000 budget is not really reasonable.  I have gone to venues, but I guess Im just thinking in my head is there some other venues that are affordable.  Does anybody have any ideas that I can use when it comes to keeping my limit down with wedding invitations and favors?

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

  • What do you mean by "keeping your limit down"? Do you mean guests or cost?

    If you're referring to costs, you could check out Etsy for invitations. I've seen a lot of awesome ones on there that were extremely affordable. As far as favors go, those are optional. If you do go with favors, I suggest doing something edible as those are usually the favorites and wont be wasted.

    Don't freak out yet. Budget for what you're doing. May is going to be an expensive month for weddings as it's one of the more popular months. You could have a friday or sunday wedding and that could possibly save you a little money. With that said though, take your guests into consideration when it comes to their travel.

    There are a lot of affordable places, it just depends on where you're looking and what you're looking for.

    again, dont freak out! Have fun with the planning and congrats on your engagment!
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  • I am doing mine for half that, its just finding the right balances of what you need, versus what you could go without.  Feel free to message me, I am getting married 2 days after you :)
    May 2013 Siggy: Flowers imageWedding Countdown Ticker
  • I freaked out about cost early, too. When my fiance and I started seeing what might be possible for 2012 after getting engaged in late February, everything we looked at came to at least $15,000 -- and that was with no cake, no dress, no tux, and by doing the flowers myself. There is NO WAY I was going to spend 15K. Even cutting our first-round guest list from 150 to 110 didn't really put a dent in it. And I was very surprised to find out that 125 people was "a lot" -- so many places could fit half that, so few could fit that or more! We also figured out quickly that eloping and having a party wasn't cheaper, either -- it was the party that was the expensive part! So we talked about what was important to us and what we each knew we DIDN'T want. (I'm not one of those women who'd always dreamed of her wedding day, so there was no "fantasy princess thing" to try to recreate, or any other limit -- everything was in play, which is way too much!) 

    For me, I knew I wanted our day to be warm and joyful, and I wanted to celebrate our love with friends and family who are so, so excited for us. I knew I DIDN'T want to fret over a billion details (will the napkins be folded this way or that way) or spend 15K. My fiance knew he wanted people to know it was our wedding, that it wasn't just a party. He also really wanted it to be a Saturday evening, which of course ups the cost by like $1500 at most "wedding venues".

    So we're having a ceremony venue (Durham Arts Council - very reasonable rental fees), a white gown and a black tux, flowers (I'm making them), and a first dance (SEE, IT'S A WEDDING!) and then we're taking everyone to the Bulls baseball game for our reception. (We thought about just doing it all at the Bulls game, but there's just not enough time before the game starts; the stadium and the old ball park can be rented on non-game days, though, and we toyed with the idea of the old ball park but gave it up for an indoor setting.) It's very tleling, I think, that when I first threw out the idea of getting married at a Bulls game, this warm, peaceful feeling washed over me. I dismissed it a couple days later because I want to show cheesy pictures of us, but we figured out we can do it on a computer instad of a projector, so the Bulls are back!

    Until we decided to add a day-of wedding coordinator (we're not having a bridal party, and there's no one I'd feel comfortable asking to take on all that work the day of -- my dad assured me that *I* shouldn't do anything that day except enjoy my fiance and the experience) and a professional officiant, our plan was right at 8K. Happily, my dad is throwing in 2K, which covers the cost of the coordinator and officiant, both of which I know will save me much stress in the weeks leading up to the wedding. We'll have 120 guests, because that's all the Bulls game can fit.

    Some friends got married at a local state park (they had to reserve the picnic shelter they wanted to use, but I don't think it cost them anything). Some hotels are pretty reasonable -- we had preliminary discussions with one that had no rental fee but basically had a minimum for food and beverage based on the size of the event -- we might have been able to do the ceremony and reception there for under $4K if we'd done it in the morning and served lunch hors d'ouvres. Time of day, number of guests.... those are the big drivers, I think. 

    To keep your costs down, you may need to be brutal with your guest list -- with a first round and second round -- the second round is only invited as/if people on the first round decline. If you invite 160, you need to be prepared to seat and serve 160.... You might want to arrange an hour-long consultation with a local wedding coordinator who can help you think of places you might not have found. I actually found the Arts Council by looking at the "venue" links on some obscure caterers' websites. Similarly, blogs by wedding coordinators and photographers often name venues you might not have thought of. You might also check your town/city's convention and visitors' bureau, if there is one. 

    Other cost savings: We did electronic save the dates through another wedding website, and we may do only limited paper invitations. The invitations may be a customized card from Zazzle, but we haven't checked out Kinko's yet to see if we can do something there for less. (I sure like doing it from the comfort of my own home!) RSVPs will be online -- no cost for RSVP cards, and no cost for RSVP postage -- at 45 cents a stamp, you need to budget A DOLLAR PER invitation for postage. That is crazy!! We'd skip favors if we hadn't already bought a ton of conversation hearts to give out. (But we may go with one container and a spoon, and save the time and hassle of putting them into little bags, and while I'd wanted to do tags with our name and the date on them for the bags, I have since come to my senses -- what a time suck that would be, and they'd all end up in the trash as soon as the candy's gone! So WHY would I spend hours stamping tags and tying them onto little bags?) 

    I was so stressed out, my fiance actually apologized for proposing! I'm much better now, though, now that we've found things that meet what we each want and don't want, and we've done it with what we want to spend. Good luck finding the same peace! I definitely feel your pain.
  • Skip the favors and look online for cheaper invitations and make them simpler. Also, you could send email or electronic invitations to everyone or the younger guest and send paper invitations to only older guests who will appreciate them to cut costs.
  • edited December 2012
    You and I started freaking out around the same time girl. I get married 2 weekends before you and you can check my past posts where I was freaking out big time over prices, # of ppl, etc. So, don't feel bad and take the advice so many other brides have given me and just breathe. There are several locations that are priced reasonably. Check Lake Johnson & Montague Lake. I have been to weddings at both locations and they were great. Then you can just get your own caterer, good one is Donovans Dish, to bring in the food. Check groupon or one of those sites for coupons on cakes. Several yummy stores add coupons regularly.

    Some venues, like the one I ultimately chose, have all inclusive packages. You can get food, cake, venue (obviously), DJ, and other stuff in the price. If you choose to get married on a Sunday instead, the price starts at $9k.

    With invitations, my best friend is making hers. She just simply finds a graphic she loves (make sure you can use it first) and creates the wording and layout, then takes it to somewhere like Kinkos and has them print it on cardstock paper. It ends up looking pretty nice and at a fraction of the cost. You can also send invites electronically through evite.com if you don't mind getting everyone's email address.

    Congrats on your engagement and good luck!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_north-carolina-raleighdurham_is-it-too-early-to-freak-out?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:606Discussion:03cea9f4-f8e4-41e9-b8af-bd600dbdfc90Post:e4b67473-0ebd-4127-bd2b-0eed5da0fe4a">Re: Is it too early to freak out?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You and I started freaking out around the same time girl. I get married 2 weekends before you and you can check my past posts where I was freaking out big time over prices, # of ppl, etc. So, don't feel bad and take the advice so many other brides have given me and just breathe. There are several locations that are priced reasonably. Check Lake Johnson & Montague Lake. I have been to weddings at both locations and they were great. Then you can just get your own caterer, good one is Donovans Dish, to bring in the food. Check groupon or one of those sites for coupons on cakes. Several yummy stores add coupons regularly. Some venues, like the one I ultimately chose, have all inclusive packages. You can get food, cake, venue (obviously), DJ, and other stuff in the price. If you choose to get married on a Sunday instead, the price starts at $9k. With invitations, my best friend is making hers. She just simply finds a graphic she loves (make sure you can use it first) and creates the wording and layout, then takes it to somewhere like Kinkos and has them print it on cardstock paper. It ends up looking pretty nice and at a fraction of the cost. You can also send invites electronically through evite.com if you don't mind getting everyone's email address. Congrats on your engagement and good luck!
    Posted by mmccuiston[/QUOTE]

    Sorry - meant to tell you, my venue is The Hudson Manor in case you want to check it out.
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