October 2014 Weddings

THE budget

I know weddings can be very expensive and some throw couples into a huge debt. I am not one of those Brides who wants a go for broke wedding day. I do want a sweet, memory filled day, without cutting some little luxuries that are sentimental. I am not looking for a thrifty wedding with paper cups from the dollar store. 
Just off the top of my head I am thinking that 150- 200 will be invited and thats being generous. More like 150. What is a realistic budget amount? 


Re: THE budget

  • Hmmm... it's hard to answer this because I think there are a lot of variables to consider when you're making your budget, location being one of the main ones. We're living in DC, and my fiance is from NYC. We knew that a wedding in either city would mean cutting a lot of things we both wanted, so we chose the country club in my hometown to get 'more bang for our buck' :) Your style and general vibe you want also factor in as well -- a brunch or cocktail/hors d'ouerves reception on a Friday night will be considerably less than a seated dinner on Saturday. I'd recommend sitting down with your fiance and first figuring out what you want your big day to be like, and then look at your finances and plan a reasonable budget that you can work from. There are a few budget tools on here that may be able to help, and there's also a site where you can look up the average cost of weddings by zip code -- that was a huge help when we were figuring out what to expect to pay in DC vs. NYC vs. my hometown.

    I feel like I'm starting to ramble a bit, so hope this helps :)

     

    HisMrsJ
  • I agree with @tmclawchick

    Your wedding can be as expensive or inexpensive as you decide to make it.  Our wedding will have about 250 people and our goal for the budget is to be under $15k.  To do that, we looked for a venue that was not a typical wedding venue, and ended up finding one that will allow us to provide all of our own alcohol and use whatever catering we choose with no fees. 

    It will really depend on your location as well as what you want for your wedding. 
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    HisMrsJPrettyGirlLost
  • It all depends on where you are from. I am from New York (about an hour or so north of NYC.) It is one of the most expensive places to get married in NYC. I am in the same boat as you. I don't want to go in debt but I am unwilling to budge on many thing. I am only doing this once. I know that our wedding of 130 max guests will be costing us about 20K. A majority of that is our venue at $90 per person not including tax our venue bill is at least 13K.

    Your best bet is to look at venues and caterers and meet with them. See what they charge per person. Then you can sort of figure out where you stand. 
  • Agree with all PP.

    I read somewhere that you can take your guest list and add 2 zeros and use that as an estimate.

    We are looking at inviting 200, guessing about 175 will attend and our budget is $10k.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Look at some budget calculators to get a feel for how much of you total budget should be allocated to each element of your wedding day.  For example, your total reception costs (site rental fees, food and drink costs, any chair and linen rentals, etc.) should be 50%-60% of your total budget. 

    The reception will be hands down the most expensive portion of your budget, no natter if your total budget is 10K or 100K, and no matter if you are hosting 20 guests or 200 guests.

    This is where I see many brides getting into trouble on this board- they don't properly allocate funds to the individual elements of their overall budget.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Like all the other PPs, there are so many variables that will decide what your budget will be. Zip code, size, month, style (casual vs formal), your personal style ("bling-bling" vs "less is more," etc) that it's hard to give one definite answer.

    We're going to be inviting roughly 225, and estimating about 175-200 will actually attend. I'm getting married in Newport, RI, and most prices start around $95/head. Doesn't include alcohol, which from what I've seen, the cheapest starts at about $15/person per hour. If we chose to get married in western MA (west of Boston/MetroWest), northern Connecticut, western RI, or anywhere in NH, VT, or ME, we could've easily found places that were under $50/head.

    Venues that are "all-inclusive" (includes tables, chairs, linens, caterer, etc) can save you a lot in the long run and also time-wise, cause it cuts down on the number of vendors you have to deal with. Sometimes they do end up being expensive when it comes to the alcohol (with mark-ups and all that), but easy way to save would be a limited bar, beer/wine only, etc. Venues that let you bring your own alcohol can help you save, especially if you get it from a vendor or store that will let you return unopened bottles.

    One thing that I was surprised about when I first looked, was that a large buffet or dinner-station style reception can actually be a LOT more expensive than a sit-down plated dinner, considering buffets are usually with a more informal atmosphere than a plated dinner.

    Good luck with planning! :)
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  • i am having a wedding in california with 200 people our budget is $10,000
    my dress was $200.
    my veil:$17.00
    my tiara:$15.00
    venue came with food for 200:$5,600
    photographer $1000.00
    dj:1000.00
    cake :$800.00
    photobooth:$600
    and $600 for flowers and centerpieces....
    toniab06
  • I think $80-100 pp is a generous wedding budget.  I am working with a smaller budget because I am only having 50 people attend.  I think some people can be thrown off by my budget $5000 (ceremony and reception, not including photography) for a wedding, but when you consider how many people I am inviting it is about $100 pp.  I know that this is a stressful time and I think we all have to be completely honest with ourselves as to what type of wedding we really want.  I could have invited 300 people if I wanted, increase my budget because of amount of people, but I know that I would have to make so many cost-cutting decisions.  At the end of the day, I know that I would have had a lot of guest at a B-rate wedding.  What I wanted, which I think every bride wants, is a A-rate wedding.  I say, throw the wedding of your dreams and if you need to, cut the guest list...not the dream.
    LDay2014
  • Mochadia said:
    I think $80-100 pp is a generous wedding budget.  I am working with a smaller budget because I am only having 50 people attend.  I think some people can be thrown off by my budget $5000 (ceremony and reception, not including photography) for a wedding, but when you consider how many people I am inviting it is about $100 pp.  I know that this is a stressful time and I think we all have to be completely honest with ourselves as to what type of wedding we really want.  I could have invited 300 people if I wanted, increase my budget because of amount of people, but I know that I would have to make so many cost-cutting decisions.  At the end of the day, I know that I would have had a lot of guest at a B-rate wedding.  What I wanted, which I think every bride wants, is a A-rate wedding.  I say, throw the wedding of your dreams and if you need to, cut the guest list...not the dream.
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with this.  Figure out your guest list first, and then make it work with your budget.  If there are only 50 people that you really want by your side on your wedding day and you're cutting people you don't care about sharing your day with, then that's fine; however, I think the most important thing about a wedding is to share it with the people that are most special to you.  There's no reason that a wedding on a budget has to be "B-rate."  Figure out who you really want there, and then have the wedding you can afford based on that.
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  • i am having a wedding in california with 200 people our budget is $10,000
    my dress was $200.
    my veil:$17.00
    my tiara:$15.00
    venue came with food for 200:$5,600
    photographer $1000.00
    dj:1000.00
    cake :$800.00
    photobooth:$600
    and $600 for flowers and centerpieces....
    Just out of curiosity.. What does $28.00 per person get you for food and beverages? That's an amazing price.
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