Hi all, newly engaged & overwhelmed with budget issues.

Hi all,

My fiancee proposed to me on Valentine's Day this year and we are very excited for our engagement and to get married in the near future. People are keep asking when we are going to get married and we told them we don't know. A little bit about me, I'm 30 years old, have a full time job but have quite a bit of debt because of credit card using in my 20s and student loans. My parents were divorced and none of them supports me since I was 17. I work hard and all my income goes towards bills and debts so I don't have any saving. My fiancee works in creative arts industry and his job is project by project basis. He has a saving but that's for "just in case rainy days". His parents might help us with the wedding but I don't want them to help with the whole thing since they have a daughter and another son who aren't marry yet.

I'm just overwhelmed with the early steps of wedding planning. For now, I pick the date of August 18 2013 but I'm not sure that will happen because of the money. I'm starting my saving now, but I don't know if I will have enough budget by next year. I don't know if I do it right, but I start with looking for the venue first. These prices of venues in Portland, OR and surrounding area are pretty high. It starts from $1000 and up, I just don't know if we could find a venue less than $1000.

I will appreciate any tips and tricks regarding planning a wedding. We are not looking for a perfect wedding, we are looking for small (up to 60 guests), fun, and affordable wedding. Thank you for letting me vent and introduce myself. Y'all are the best :).
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Re: Hi all, newly engaged & overwhelmed with budget issues.

  • Hi eviliciouz!

    I don't have any answers for you, just wanted to commiserate - I'm new here, recently engaged as well and trying to plan (quickly, I might add! Our date is this summer!) on a budget.

    Good luck!
  • Hi Erin,

    Wow this summer? That's coming soon! I hope you are doing well in your planning. We are shooting for next summer :). Congratulations on the engagement and I wish you a fabolous wedding. :).


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  • Yes, it is coming VERY soon...and that little counter at the top of the page has made me realize just how much work I have to do in a pretty short time!

    As far as venues go... I read elsewhere on this forum about a few places that were under $1k, in your general area. If you're OK with travelling a little ways out of PDX, I bet you could definitely find something within your budget that would work. I've noticed some venues include tables and chairs in the rental cost, while others don't, so you might keep that in mind while looking at prices.

    Costco and Trader Joes have both been mentioned as good, affordable vendors for flowers - and I just noticed that they also have invitations and printing services also. Obviously, I can't personally vouch for any of this Wink since I'm still planning out my own! I've accomplished a lot in the last week, but there's still a LONG way to go!

  • Hi there!  Budget weddings are totally do-able in Portland!  Check out Portland Public Parks that you can rent, there are some brides on here that found great parks for a ceremony in the sun and reception under cover. 

    Check out this brochure for Portland Parks, might make you feel a little better!  http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=38300&a=93274

    Here's a park in Gresham that caters to wedding and includes a lot of things that you would otherwise most likely spend money on to rent- http://cedarvillepark.net/

    What I have learned is that 99% of vendors you contact will give you their normal price, and it is NOT set in stone at all.  Tell them your budget, what you have in mind, they will either work with it or usually refer you to someone that might be able to.  You can also take one of their packages and tailor it to your needs, and to your price tag :)

    If either of you are in the wedding mood this weekend, check out the Fabulous Affordable Bridal event this weekend at Bridgeport Village, they will have 1000's of gowns up to 80% off.  My friend bought a $1000 dress for $200, and got a free veil because she "liked" them on facebook.  It was a ton of fun to look through all the gowns and have her try them on, there were more gowns than we would ever have time to try on!  I honestly wish there was one in town when I was looking for a dress, I'm tempted to go there this weekend myself!

    Here's their website- http://fabulousaffordablebridal.com/
    Facebook page- http://www.facebook.com/#!/fabulousaffordablebridal

    Good luck!

    Good luck!
  • First off, congratulations! PPs have some good tips on planning with a budget.

    Week day wedding are becoming more and more common as during the week prices can be drastically different than weekends.

    You can find all sorts of things in unlikely places. Put your feelers out for resources through friends. They might have a family member or a friend outside of your normal social circle that might have a talent for taking pictures , baking or flower arrangements.  Talk to some people at the Saturday market like flower farms. You can often get buckets of loose or pre-arranged flowers for much cheaper than what a florist might quote. Garage sales and Craigslist (just be careful) could become your new best friends for gently used items. Want a string quartet? Call your local high school.

    Check out www.somethingborroedpdx.com . It is a great resources for decorative items and serving pieces. Items are loaned out free of charge with a $50 refundable deposit in case items get damaged or returned unclean.

  • There are defnitely deals to be had- and a park can be a really good place to start! Also keep in mind backyards, if either of your families has a nice big yard. If you're comfortable replacing dollars with DIY, you can really have an event with a ton of style, that is really personal, for a whole lot less money. Sit down together, figure out what you can reasonably set aside each month for the next 17 months (while still paying down debt and saving for your emergency fund), get an idea of the top 2 or 3 or 4 things that are important to you (inviting a large # of people? Start thinking bbq! Small is okay but you really want an incredible photographer? That might be a large part of your budget.), and go from there. Remember that you don't *have* to do anything apart from get together on a given day with an officiant and a couple of witnesses, so everything else should be a balance between what you want and what you can afford. Enjoy the engagement, too! Feel free to tell people who press you about planning, "Oh, we're just enjoying being engaged right now!" :D And really do enjoy it!
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  • Wowww! Thank you so much all. These are really really good tips. I will try to search for parks because we prefer to have an outdoor wedding than an indoor one or combination of both will be fine too. I contacted McMenamins yesterday and they emailed me right away with their packages. They seemed decent and pretty good prices.

    Thank you so much ladies! You girls are the best.
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  • 2013 ? that's a long time to say "I do" considering two people who love eachother  and are willing to tie the knot .So here are some suggestions coming from someone who had to do it very cheap ......1. You could do the whole "court house marriage" thing then plan your reception at a party hall with family and friends and have the food catered or have a huge pot luck dj ,cake and all  . 2. Or you could just have a small lil wedding in someones backard  in the summer (with nice landscape of course) thats another affordable way ..... Ummm ,,Or I have a friend who is really tight on finances and she and her fiance found a Nice Brewry Pub who do weddings inside  https://www.facebook.com/macsbeer's   . They are having 40 or 50 guest catered food (but they ordered there own cake) All for like $500 ! thats pretty good ! And the inside is really nice !....  Well I hope some of these suggestions helped . I would hate for you to be having to put off your wedding due to finances "ugh" . Besides in the end of it all ,, it boils down to being comitted, faithfulness , patience and unconditonal love for eachother . I wish you the BEST and I hope all turns out Laughing Sincerly yours 18 years of marriage!
  • Destination wedding! 

    You can usually find "all inclusive" resort packages. Honeymoon and wedding all in one. And it reduces the guest count which reduces prices. 

    Good Luck!
  • Being that it is Portland you should check out the places you might not think allow weddings. Here is a list I found for you and most are free:
    Private afternoon wedding on the deck of Salty's Restaurant on the Columbia River.
    Leach Botanical Garden
    Crystal Springs Rhoddie Garden
    Whitaker Ponds
    http://www.enomotodesigns.com/pages/barn.html not 100% sure she rents out the barn she created but Id email and ask.
    [email protected]

    For invites have your Fiance do them. If he is in the arts field he should be able to design something you both love.

    Do you have any friends that are amazing bakers have them make you cupcakes for your reception instead of a cake, You can create a cupcake stand for ten bucks or less there are several online DIY explinations.

    Maybe choose a time that is after lunch and before dinner so you are not serving a meal and just have stations with snacks, think mini foods. You should check out facebook services section. Sometimes you can find private chefs or someone doing side work that can create you all your food at a very reasonable price.

    For Decor and other needed wedding items check out used wedding sites like the Knot.com or bravobride.com or recycledbride.com. You can find the items you want for your wedding but cheaper because they have been used once. Most items are in new condition and only used for a few hours doing the same thing you will use them for.

    For hair and make up check out ladies in beauty school or on craigslist. There are a lot of really good ladies who come to you to do this for a reasonable price or you and your bridesmaids can always just help eachother out. Do any of your friends do hair?

    I think I touched on just about everything. I hope this helps. I think your just stressed out over the big picture and not thinking about each thing individually. Usually you only have to pay for things as they come so work on one thing at a time.
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