July 2014 Weddings


My Fiance and I do not come from very wealthy families and are not made of money ourselves. We're going to be paying for the wedding on our own. My sister had a very nice wedding she paid for all on her own a few year ago and did it for $10,000. My goal is to meet that, but preferably stay far under that. We've already thought of some great ideas to save on costs, but I'm finding a lot of the things I really like are going to kill our budget. Is there any good money saving ideas anyone is willing to share.

Re: Budgeting

  • it can be so scary to think of the amount of money a wedding costs! to save a little on money here are some things we are doing: 

    marrying on a friday evening (july 4th- people have a long weekend and we are saving about 25% from our biggest expense - the venue), you can find simple and beautiful wedding dresses for less than $200, having someone we know take our save the date photos and putting them together on our own, making our invitations, making the centerpieces, making overlays (the centerpieces and overlays you can always turn around and resell)... these all seem like little things, but it's the little things that will eventually add up...
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Another couple ideas along with what laurieweddingthings said is lowering the cake height (if possible). The higher the cake the more expensive it is. My FI sister did 3 sheet cakes (3 different flavors) from a grocery store instead of a "wedding cake" and no one cared. They were just happy there was cake. Lol

    As for the flowers, use flowers that are in season when you get married and either order them online wholesale and cut the stems and arrange them yourselves or go through a local floral shop. Consider flowers that use more space per stem such a hydrangeas or open roses. 

    If you're doing menus at the reception have 1 menu (which you make and print off at home) inside a frame (Dollar Stores, Walmart, have cute frames for very cheap) and put one on each table instead of one per guest.

    If you're serving alcohol, tell the waiters/ waitresses not to fill glasses or remove glasses that are not completely empty. Also, close the bar down about an hour before the reception ends and only offer soda, coffee, tea and water. This also helps the guests to begin to sober up a little.

    Your Thank you cards can come from Walmart or Target. You do not have to order them from a wedding site or store. You will pay way too much that way and places like Walmart and Target do have very cute wedding acceptable (lol) thank yous. That's where we got our from.
  • I know some of the money saving ideas we've already come up with is to use cupcakes versus a whole tiered cake. I've seen lots of pictures using this idea and I'm in love with it. I can get the tiered look without breaking the bank. Another idea I got was to stack Costco cakes, which I thought was funny, but a friend of mine said he'd seen it done and pulled off very well.

    The one thing that is making me super nervous is that the venue we both seem to really like so far requires a licensed bartender to be present in order for ANY alcohol to be served. From what I'm finding renting a bartender costs a pretty penny and most require you to provide your own alcohol on top of it.

    I'm not too concerned about food as both my fiancé and I both want to go for a more relaxed feel and are honestly thinking of getting catered bbq more on the buffet style.

  • Here are a few things that I am planning: 
    1. Have a reception space that allows you to bring in your own food.  For about 175 people, we are planning to spend about $500 on renting the space, and $1200 on catering food from a local grocery store, who has amazing food (and they do shrimp, rib tips, etc.).  Renting a space that required in-house catering was about $35-40 per person, which is between $6k and $7k for food alone.  That being said, guests will have to stand in line to get food instead of get a plated meal served- but that is something I have never cared about at a wedding. 
    2. Offering a few types of alcohol - We are going to have a 4 hard-alcohol drinks (his favorite, my favorite, and then 2 crowd pleasers), a sangria and a white-wine "sangria", and 3 or 4 types of beer. 
    3. I am not sure if you are close to a Sam's Club or Costco, but they offer beautiful flowers in bulk.  I am making my bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres, and 22 centerpieces in mason jars and a few extra vases around the room for around $600.  This is for 60 hydrangeas, over 300 roses, and 24 mason jars.  I am planning to spend about another $60 on candles. It will obviously take some time to make and set up, but I would rather enlist a few friends the day before the wedding to help make them instead of spending 2 or 3 times as much to have someone else do it. Bribe them with something!
    4. Sams and Costco (or any other wholesaler like this) also has great discounts on pop, water, beer, fruit trays, etc. For example, 40 bottles of water costs only $4 - at Walmart, a 24 pack costs about $6.  This isn't a huge savings when you look at only a few items, but if you can get many items in bulk, it can really save you in the long-run. 
    5. I am not sure where you live - but here in NW Indiana, it seems like there is an abundance of alcohol servers (or maybe I just know too many lol). Here, there is one class that runs a few hours and the fee is less (I believe) than $50. Try to figure out what the requirements are and see if you can think of anyone that would be willing to go through training.  Someone that wouldn't mind "missing out" on the reception, but that you can trust and might give you a discount- maybe a sibling of one of your best friends?  You can offer to pay for their training. 
    6. The last thing is to plan in advance - we are obviously all doing that, being July 2014 brides.. but having a plan of exactly what you want, where to get if for cheap and watching out for sales is a huge help. I am getting most of my tableware from Party City- they already have major discounts on some items, but I will also wait until they have a 25% or 30% of sale to get everything.
  • there's also a whole board on budget weddings that I'm sure has all sorts of tips
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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