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Budget Weddings

Where are you cutting in YOUR budget wedding?

Everyone has their priorities -- where are yours?

Where are you replacing a service/product with a DIY project? Are you cutting something entirely?

I'm still figuring a lot out, but here is where I am at so far with my budget wedding:

Dress -- bought off the rack, saved 10% and ended up with a dress that needs minimal alterations.

Venue -- Ceremony and reception at the same location, utilizing family memberships to get a really good deal on the hall (we'e getting married at a Legion Hall)

Flowers -- It's not important at all to me that I have many flowers, so we are only doing bouquets and boutonnieres. Plus, a client of mine owns a nursery and I will be getting all of my flowers wholesale and having people I know with experience helping me make simple bouquets.

Rings -- We bought our bands yesterday on a sweet v-day sale (1/2 price!!)

Hair and makeup - FSIL is a hairstylist and is doing my hair for free. Coworker's wife is a makeup artist and her service is a great rate (about 25% less than the going rate).

One area I am NOT cutting is Photography. That being said, we have hired my boss' wife (she was my 1st choice) and as a wedding gift, he is helping a LOT with the cost. Photography was very important to me.

Decorations and food are my next things to tackle. Looking for ways to slim the costs in these departments. We are doing a casual, fall-fair themed wedding. Looking at BBQ style food and Fair/Carnival-esque decorations.
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Re: Where are you cutting in YOUR budget wedding?

  • My wedding wasn't a budget wedding per se, but there are definitely some areas I saved on.

    Big one was flowers- we also only had bouquets and boutonnieres. 

    We got a really good package deal with our venue- ceremony and reception at one location, they provided all the service, tables, chairs, linens, food, bar, and basic decor. I had a friend get married there a few years before and she brought all her own decor in. I didn't- I was happy to take whatever the venue offered! We also married in January, so we saved some money with it being off season. 

    Found a local private baker to do our cupcakes. 

    We went relatively cheap with photography- seemed good at the time, but while the photos did turn out well we had some other hassles with the photographer and getting our photographs. I think photography is one of the areas you shouldn't skrimp on (of course not putting yourself in debt either).

    No limo. Used the cars we already own for transportation. 

    Our DJ was a man who owns/runs his own bar and does a few weddings and other events on the side. Experienced, and reasonably priced as he has the equipment as part of his bar but also isn't paying overhead to a company. 

    My dress was also pretty cheap. It was brand new, and I ordered it, but it ended up being one of the cheapest dresses available at David's Bridal. My original budget was higher, but when I tried the dress on, I liked it, and ended up spending just over half the original budget. It did also make me realize how much taxes and alterations eat up that budget too! 
  • Ceremony venue -- since it's my local church and I'm a parishioner, there was no fee for the ceremony. Suggested donation for the officiant and musicians, of course, but we were able to forgo the $1000 rental fee for using the location itself. 

    Flowers -- doing silk bouquets for and boutineers. Found some very nice already pre-made bouquets for $25 each, and adding a few silk lilies from Hobby Lobby to them for a few extra dollars per bouquet. Exactly what I want for about half the price of real flowers. 

    DJ -- using my brother's speakers from his band and an ipod. So. Much. Cheaper. 

    Photos -- I taught high school previously, and one of my former students interned at a wedding photography company, and is hoping to start her own business. She had a portfolio for me of her work to review, and she does pretty quality wedding photos. Since she's still starting out and I'm her old teacher, though, she isn't charging too much. It's still not SUPER cheap, since she has professional experience, but it was certainly less than some of the other photographers we'd looked at. 

    Transportation -- we will probably need to rent some cars for our WP and FI and I (ours is beat-up and affectionately called "the death trap" by our friends...  I love it but I am NOT sitting on the stained seats while wearing my white gown), but we are just doing basic cars, not limos or anything. 

    Hair and make-up -- I'm doing my own make-up (I have never found somebody who does it to my satisfaction, so figure I may as well just do it myself). I'm having my hair done at the beauty-school in town, which only charges $20 for styling and updos. Win!

    Invitations -- doing my own calligraphy. I used to be really into it as a nerdy teen, and now that skill is coming in useful. 
                        


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I can tell you about my daughter's wedding budget cuts.

    Invitations were from Vistaprint.com. 

    Centerpieces were a simple hydrangea blossom in a vase from Hobby Lobby.

    Bar was limited to mimosas and bloody marys.  It was a brunch buffet.

    Morning wedding with brunch reception cut costs.

    Dress was ordered from Pearl's Place.  Saved 40%.

    Everything else was as expected.  They wanted more guests instead of limo, fancy invitations, expensive flowers, open bar.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Several things have saved us money:

    1) Ceremony and reception are being held at our favourite restaurant. They are only charging us for food and drinks ... no rental fee.

    2) No wedding party means reduced cost for flowers and gifts.

    3) Not having a centerpieces since our meal is being served family style and I don't want the tables to be too crowded.

    4) Our friend is a photographer and I love his work. He declined to be paid (except for prints) ... huge saving there!

    5) Fell in love with a dress that was $600. Alterations will have to be done but I was quoted around $200-300 at several places, so overall, not too bad.

    6) We are driving our own car, so no need to worry about transportation.

    7) No dancing, so no need for a DJ. Hired a ceremony guitarist but relatively cheap compared to what I've heard of other people paying. iPod will be played during cocktails and dinner.

    8) Our guest list is 60 people so we saved a bit by keeping the list smaller. 

  • @wandajune6 Knottie1453109194 might be a vendor ...
    wandajune6
  • 1. Friday vs Saturday saved us at least $1,000 at our venue (could have been more, I forget).

    2. Dress from Preownedweddingdresses saved me $250

    3. Cupcakes purchased from a local bakery running a groupon so we saved about $150 doing that

    4. Photographer was new to weddings and I booked it via a facebook special. By no means are these the worlds greatest shots but we got some good ones and overall I'm happy with what we paid for sure.

  • Reception Venue-local Knights of Columbus Hall:  It was very affordable fee and didn't have required caterers.  And their prices for alcohol were very reasonable, especially since liquor laws in my area don't allow you to bring your own to most places.

    Food-Had a local Italian restaurant cater.  I think this was probably the biggest money saver I found.  And the food was awesome.

    Flowers/centerpieces-Used silk orchids in glass vases that my grandmother found at a consignment shop.  I made silk boutonnieres and did fresh for the bouquets.  I bought fresh flowers at a local place that's super cheap but still good quality-dozen roses for $5.

    DJ-Spotify playlist with rented speakers

    Invites-electronic save the dates and designed our invitations myself.  Then I bought paper online and had it printed at staples.  Ended up cheaper than Vistaprint for us.

    Transport-My grandpa drove us in his nice car.

    Tablecloths-bought them online since that was cheaper than renting.  

    We spent a good bit on an organist and cantor since music is very important to us, but this would have been cut if we couldn't have afforded it.  Our guest list was pretty large too, but it was important to us to have all of our family and DH has 40 first cousins.  
  • There was nothing about my first wedding that was "budget". I was fortunate to be able to pick out what I wanted and not have to cut back anywhere. However, when I remarried, I learned a lot about what was important vs not. At least for my priorities. While I had a completely different type of wedding the second time around, some things I learned and carried over:


    - Dress. I spent over $4k on my first dress. Wore it once and then sold it on eBay. I hired a local seamstress the second time around. We picked out a lovely silk and she custom made my dress. I don't recall what I spent on material, but to make the dress, it was only $275. Granted, the dress was very simple. But, A LOT less expensive.

    - Shoes. I went barefoot for my second wedding. Not everyone can do that, but I did learn that expensive shoes are pointless. Just wear something comfortable for being on your feet for 8+ hours.

    - Flowers. I went minimal on flowers the first time around just by chance because that is my style. So, when arranging flowers the second time around, I did even less! Why take away from the gorgeous beach we were getting married on? I had only a bouquet. They made a bout for my H, but he didn't wear it. The flowers also had to be silk, because we married at a national park. They looked amazing and no one could tell they were fake.

    - I splurged on photography the first time and did it again without hesitation. Well worth the money. I did, however, find the video to be pointless. Not even sure we could have had a video, as the resort we married at was run on solar and battery. But, even if I could, I would have opted out.

    - Hair/Makeup. I had everything professionally done the first time around. I probably would have the second time around if we didn't have to fly people in via helicopter. So, to be able to properly take care of things myself, I had a hair trial with my local stylist. I told him what I wanted, he prepped my hair for it, and gave me all of the right products. For makeup, I went to the local Chanel counter, had their makeup artist teach me, and used the same products. It was probably a little pricey because I spent $200 on new makeup, but it obviously lasted well beyond the wedding. That, and I had no makeup to start off with!

    I can't really speak to invites, food or drink because we didn't have any guests. However, we both had big traditional weddings the first time around and did not want to go through all of that business again. So, had we had a wedding at home, we would have hosted a small, family-only wedding with a reception at one of our favorite restaurants. We obviously would have paid for everything for everyone. But, typically, smaller restaurant type receptions are a bit less expensive.


     







    Pinksatin91016
  • To use the venue we wanted and not go over budget I made all paper flowers (winter wedding and I didn't really want real flowers anyways), made brooch bouquets for everyone. Used all lamps my dad already had for centerpieces, and refinished old windows for menu and program (so no printing). We wanted the money to go to food, drinks, and photography and by doing the rest myself I was able to throw in a photo booth with a book for us which turned out amazing. For me with decorations it was just looking around our house and my dad's shop to find what I wanted instead of buying a bunch and it turned out perfect for us.

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  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Including rings and a buffer for last minute, week-of purchases, our budget will be about $12,000. We originally wanted a $5,000 budget because my mom told us she'd give us $5k, so we were just going to run with that. Over time as the reality of the "free venue" hit and our values or wants/needs for the wedding changed (yay long engagements), we decided to pony up some cash ourselves. Based on my current spreadsheet, my mom will contribute about $5500 and we will contribute about $6500, so fairly evenly split 50/50 between us.

    Where we saved -

    Paper products. We have save-the-dates and invites but nothing else, no RSVP cards and envelopes, no ceremony programs, no menu cards, no escort cards, no place cards, nothing. Total cost for my stationery including postage and two years of a custom domain name was about $140.

    Decor. Very early on in my planning my MOH gave me a bunch of burlap/lace stuff (runners, mason jar decorations, etc.) that one of her friends had, and so that's what I chose to do for decor. (Free is the best price!) We are using beer and cider bottles (ones we drank) to hold single-stem flowers on the table. We are compiling white twinkle lights from our collection, my parents', and a few family friends. I bought some fake candles from Costco and some glass votive holders, that's about it for what I've spent on decor, approx. $80.

    Hair/makeup. I asked for Ulta gift cards for Christmas and got $100 worth which should cover almost all of my makeup. I am wearing my hair down, my cousin (bridesmaid) will do a very simple style to it.

    Food and alcohol. BBQ, beer, cider, and wine for the win. For ALL food incl. the rehearsal dinner ($4-500), food for the wedding party the day-of ($200), and alcohol ($800), we are at about $3400, 30% of the budget.

    Dinnerware. Plastic disposables and paper napkins from Smarty Had a Party and five colors of 16-oz solo cups from Party City. About $150.

    Where we could have saved more - 

    Band. My FH wanted a live band for the cocktail hour. $800. We did save by doing Spotify for the rest of the night instead of a DJ, but even so, this was an optional expense.

    Rings. 10k white gold bands from eweddingbands would have been about $350. We paid $1250 for custom, handmade 10k white gold bands from Brent&Jess. Could have saved $900.

    Venue/rentals. My venue is my mom's house. We have had to bring everything in, including a tent. It would likely have been cheaper to go with a community center or similar where tables and chairs are included. Rentals for us are about $1700. I could have gotten a community center for around $1000 so I will say we could have saved $700.

    Flowers. Originally I was going to DIY flowers using Costco florals, for about $200. I changed my mind due to the amount of work needed in the day before/day of timeframe... I have a very anxiety-prone personality and decided to spend more money to save some sanity. We are paying our florist $600, so could have saved $400.

    Dress. I could have purchased a $99 David's dress but I bought a $600 David's dress instead. I chalk some of this up to the limited options available to plus-size brides, but it was my choice to spend the money at the end of the day! Gave up savings of $500.

    That's $3300 we could have saved, or about a third of the budget. I don't really regret any of it, honestly. The rings, flowers, and dress I think were particularly money well-spent. I think getting married at my mom's place will be so special, so while I sort of regret the DIY venue thing just due to the sheer amount of work and logistics involved, I think it will be worth it for us. I would not recommend a DIY venue to others unless it was a similarly special or sentimental location. In other words, do NOT do it to save money. Bad idea.

    Neutral items, not budget but couldn't really have spent less -

    Gifts for wedding party and parents. We have $500 budgeted for this. We have 10 members of the wedding party and four parents, so it's not that much per person. I wanted to do special gifts for each person instead of generic wedding-related stuff like jewelry.

    Day-of coordinator. Really any amount of money would be well-spent, but we are spending $600 for ours, a family friend who is the catering manager at a local restaurant and has done dozens of weddings.

    Photography. I am spending $1500 which was both the absolute max that I felt comfortable spending and the bare minimum that I think any reputable photographer should charge (and our photographer came down a bit to meet our budget). This includes 6 hours, an album, and engagement photos. 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    Pinksatin91016
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    Food and location were super important to H and I. We planned a DW that we had to cancel, but the bulk of our budget there was spent on food and rental fees for the location (a mountaintop bar/restaurant). When we planned the wedding at home, we used a restaurant on the top floor of a highrise building with no rental fee, so we had a great venue with great food for no cost other than food/drink. We spent probably 85% of our total budget on food and drink and splurged so it definitely wasn't a "budget" type menu, but that's what we wanted.

    We had no centerpieces (used the restaurant's house stuff, but I did buy paper flowers on etsy that we'd planned on using at the DW and a box of vases for a total of like $75). No DJ (no dancing) and I bought a brooch bouquet on etsy. We spent probably a total of $75 on stationary - for magnet STDs and an etsy template and local printer for invitations. No transportation (used my car), no officiant fee (my brother got ordained). We had a MOH and BM only for the bridal party, and we spent about $400 total on their gifts.

    Our photographer was a friend of my brother's and grew up in our neighborhood so I'd known him my entire life and he gave us a crazy cheap deal. But, over a year and a half later, I still have no edited pictures so I guess I did get when I paid for.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    Pinksatin91016
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    A word of advice - make sure you have a contract with your boss's wife that clearly lists the expectations (when you'll have pictures available, if she's doing an album, etc.) on both of your parts. 

  • We did a lot of little stuff to stay within our budget - it all adds up! Food/open bar was priority so we cut back on the more "selfish" stuff like stationery and decor, and always tried to buy on sale or with some sort of coupon code!
    • We had small centerpieces done by a florist, but we provided the vases, which we bought at the Dollar Store (they were nice glass vases that looked the exact same as ones from the florist or any craft store!)
    • STDs from Vistaprint. And postcard-style to save on postage.
    • Chose a photographer who had a deal with our venue to include a free wedding album in our package.
    • Guestbook was a photo book from Shutterfly that I made using a free code, so only had to pay shipping. 
    • Downloaded pretty fonts and ran invitation envelopes through printer instead of paying a calligrapher. We also didn't include any inserts besides the RSVP card/envelope... all hotel/transportation info was on our wedding website and spread through word of mouth. 
    • Small tiered cake to cut and then extra sheet cakes. 
    • No videographer - had our own camera on a tripod to record the ceremony and BIL volunteered to film during the reception. Nothing like the Hollywood-style wedding films you see these days but we still have the day captured and that's all that was important to us!
    --

  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Most of our savings came from choosing an inexpensive venue but we also cut corners on a few other things:
    1. A smaller tasting cake plus sheet cakes from Costco.
    2. Flowers from Costco (other than what was carried/worn)
    3. I bought a discount dress from David's, wore my own shoes, and bought used/borrowed accessories.
    4. No limo, etc. My parents drove me from the hotel to the venue and DH and I drove back to the hotel together after. (We planned for a cab or a ride from my folks but this worked out better. Plus, we were sober.)
    5. We borrowed from our venue: vases, serving pieces, etc. What we couldn't borrow, we shopped for: LED candles/holders with coupons, table numbers from Craig's List, all of the assorted little accessories (ring box, lasso, etc.) from eBay, etc.
    I'm sure there's more that I can't remember now!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • The biggest cost-saver we are using is keeping the guest list down - we have about 70-75 people on it now. That was hard (and remains hard; FI's family wasn't thrilled and for all we know is still mad/planning to try to convince us before invites going out this summer).

    The other big thing was having it on Saturday afternoon instead of Saturday night.

    And, of course, we picked a relatively less expensive venue. Looking in north/central jersey for a place to get married, that's no easy task, but we managed. We did want a certain kind of reception (big cocktail hour, full meal, open bar), so that limited us.

    For things that we really wanted but were potentially very expensive, we just picked the least expensive option possible (like we wanted a videographer, so we found an inexpensive one and used a lower package; we wanted a florist so we didn't have to worry about arranging stuff or dealing with someone who didn't know as much, so we literally told the florist to pick the cheapest flowers in our colors). 

    We're also very fortunate in that my mom offered to pay for my hair, make-up, and dress, which was beyond amazing (and completely unexpected). Otherwise, I wouldn't be scrimping there - I'm not nearly good enough at hair or makeup to not have it done professionally.
  • A word of advice - make sure you have a contract with your boss's wife that clearly lists the expectations (when you'll have pictures available, if she's doing an album, etc.) on both of your parts. 
    Oh no worries there. We have a 12 page contract and she even included his gift right in the contract! He can't back out now ;) She's super professional. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    A word of advice - make sure you have a contract with your boss's wife that clearly lists the expectations (when you'll have pictures available, if she's doing an album, etc.) on both of your parts. 
    Oh no worries there. We have a 12 page contract and she even included his gift right in the contract! He can't back out now ;) She's super professional. 
    That's good. Unfortunately we've seen brides here screwed over by photographers they trusted, and that includes brides that had photogs that were close friends. 

  • Flowers from Sams club 

    Centerpieces were ikea lanterns (that I sold on a facebook wedding consignment group) and oysters I found paddleboarding

    Food- Italian restaurant I liked. Of the 225 people invited 40 were kids under 10 and they offered a great kids meal as part of the buffett- most of the adults complimented the mac and cheese that was technically part of the kids menu. I had a beef entree, chicken with crabmeat (Maryland bride here, crabcakes would have been very expensive)entree and penne with marinara and buffalo mozzerella. The pasta was a cheap, filling a vegetarian option

    Invitations- I can't say enough great things about the davids bridal bundle option. Both cheap and nice- raised ink on nice paper.

    Davids bridal dress. I know each store is different but I had horrible anxiety after going to a locally owned boutique and Davids was just so relaxed- like going to a normal store. 


  • Definitely agree with not cutting photography.  We have been struggling, which I am sure is extremely common, with cutting down our guest list to cut costs.  Thinking of having our ceremony outdoors at some of the beautiful parks to cut costs but I am a bit worried about the weather.  Thank you for the post and I will be looking forward to the responses. 

    kayteekay85
  • Our biggest cost-saver was definitely keeping the guest list small. Per person, our wedding will actually lean on the expensive side, but overall it won't be too bad due to the small guest list (30ish). Vistaprint is a God send, we did all of our paper stuff (STDs, Invites, itinerary/welcome) and even the welcome bags from them and they always have coupon codes to save even more! We also went pretty simple with flowers and décor and skipped a lot of (in my eyes) unnecessary stuff like videographer, favors, wedding-day gifts to each other. I saved big on my dress (off the rack and a family friend did the alterations for an amazing deal!) Most expensive will be the food, drink, and band.
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    • Ceremony and reception at same venue
    • Doing our own playlist and asking my brother to be MC and take control of the music
    • Both our clothes will be off the rack (she's wearing a white dress, I'm wearing a navy blue suit)
    • Making our own bouquets, decorations, etc.
    • Bought engagement rings on Etsy and getting our wedding rings from Etsy
    • We're only doing appetizers and dessert in addition to the cake. No alcohol (the venue is alcohol-free and many of our guests don't drink); we're providing water, coffee, iced tea, punch, and some basic sodas.
    [Deleted User]
  • geebee908geebee908 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    edited February 2016
    • Ceremony and reception at same venue
    • Doing our own playlist and asking my brother to be MC and take control of the music
    • Both our clothes will be off the rack (she's wearing a white dress, I'm wearing a navy blue suit)
    • Making our own bouquets, decorations, etc.
    • Bought engagement rings on Etsy and getting our wedding rings from Etsy
    • We're only doing appetizers and dessert in addition to the cake. No alcohol (the venue is alcohol-free and many of our guests don't drink); we're providing water, coffee, iced tea, punch, and some basic sodas.
    Is your reception at a non-meal time? It wouldn't be nice to only serve appetizers and dessert at a time most people would be wanting a meal.

    Edited because I saw on your other thread that it will be during a meal time. Move your wedding to earlier in the afternoon if you want to have this kind of reception.
    CMGragain
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited February 2016
    We're going to crunch the numbers and see whether early afternoon with appetizers and dessert or late afternoon-early evening with  a meal will cost less.
    geebee908
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Oh, and we're doing a "staycation" honeymoon; I'll take a week off work and we'll do all the things in town that we haven't done yet (museums, daytime sporting events, etc.).
    Pinksatin91016
  • edited February 2016
    We're trying to keep our wedding under 5k.
    To do this I'm doing some diy combined with utilizing everything local in my city. I live in a college town...and we're finding it surprisingly easy to keep costs down.
    The major big thing we've done is keep our guest list to 50.
    Our diy invitations cost us ~$25 These were a royal pain to create :(

    Reception hall is an old Dept of Conservation building that is currently used for the City's Parks and Rec ballet/fencing lessons, entire building costs $35 per hour, so around $235 total but it has 4,000+ square feet. This is a HUGE cost saver because most reception halls charge around $2,000. 
    Beautiful old English Church venue for the ceremony is more expensive $900, but still, we wanted a beautiful venue, so we didn't skimp on that!
    Catering from the local grocery store is saving us a ton too! Not to mention their cakes are cheap!
    I'm ordering Sam's Club roses $125 (120 white) with dollar store vases (diy), I'm planning on quite literally tossing the roses in the vases and calling it a good day. 
    Photography is going to be around $400 for about 3-4 hours of coverage time with a new emerging photographer.
    Drinks: local wines (these tend to be cheaper at ~$6 a bottle) I'll set out on a drink table as opposed to a staffed bar. With our wedding, it's so small that paying for a bar seems absurd anyways. 

    My viewpoint is that I will diy wherever I can, but there are a few things I won't skimp on, like the church, or my gown, or hair styling...a girl's got to have standards! ;) .


    OurWildKingdomspockforprezCMGragain
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Definitely always consider what is important to you, even if other influential people have different priorities. It's very easy to get swept into "GMs must have tuxes" when black suits the men already own will do just fine. It's very easy to get swept into having real flowers when fake will do just fine. 
    We wanted to have a really nice wedding, which we would have had to compromise on if we'd had a lot of guests. It would have been easy to have a wedding of 150 people in a wedding conveyor-belt type hall, but the food and venue would have had to be lower quality than what we ended up getting for 70 people. 

    Our budget:
    Splurge: Venue & food/beverages/cake (all inclusive), gifts for attendants, my hairdo, DH's suit
    Mid-range: DJ, photographer, officiant, rings
    Frugal: My dress- evening gown from department store, invitations designed by Mom and printed at OfficeMax, fake flower bouquets made by Mom, no centerpieces besides bud vases and tea lights provided by venue, did my own makeup, no bouts for the men, men wore their own suits, bridesmaids/groomswoman wore dresses of their choosing (2 new, 2 from closets), favors were bought on sale, no day-of transportation needed as hotel was right by the venue (ceremony and reception in same place). Also, I haven't preserved my dress- I just had it dry cleaned and now it's hanging in the closet. 
    ________________________________


    OurWildKingdomPinksatin91016
  • A tad off topic, but anyone considering DIY for flowers, I highly recommend doing a test run.  You can get a feel for how long it'll take, problems that can come up and what it will actually look like.  I've done flowers for 3 weddings, including my own, and I always do this.  I time it around a dinner party or other special occasion so I can use them as decoration for that.
    OurWildKingdom
  • My FI and I have a $5k budget or less if we can manage it.

    Bands- We found wedding bands on Amazon for $35.88, on sale, for both rings and free S&H. They're beautiful and exactly what we wanted. 

    Flowers- We're having a December wedding, and I have access to free holly, evergreen boughs and pinecones. I can do floral arrangements, bouquets and Boutonnières myself out of those materials.  We were thinking of buying some cranberries to put in the vases to cover up the look of the branches, but I can buy wholesale for $.99/16oz bag, so it won't add a huge cost.  My family and I possess vases aplenty.

    Wedding cake- my sister is an executive pastry chef and is giving us a croquembouche as our wedding present, along with a host of other desserts for a Viennese table.

    Gown- I am strictly against traditional white/ivory wedding gowns personally.  Perfectly fine for others, but I am going to buy a silver/grey evening gown that suits my taste.  I have found one I liked for ~$200.  I will be wearing my mother's veil. 

    Makeup an Hair - I am perfectly comfortable doing my own makeup.  My sister will be doing my hair because she's just naturally talented in that area and I'm not.

    Venue- Ceremony will be held at our church.  We are members, so we'll simply make a small donation to our pastor and music director, probably about $150. Reception is about a 5 minute drive away and is a non-traditional option.  It's a local artist gallery that doesn't get much traffic as an event site. It's also in late fall/early winter so he could use the revenue boost. It's going to cost $450 and that includes the entire day prior for set up. It also has no catering clauses.

    Music- The gallery owner is also a jazz musician and his band will play for us because I sing for them occasionally for free for only $100 for theatre evening.

    Catering and alcohol- We are self catering. Multiple chefs and accomplished cooks in the families so this is easy for us and we have the equipment necessary to accomplish it.  Alcohol will be limited  and bought by us and self-serve.  We can actually cater and provide alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks as described for $550.

    My FI has his own kilt and jacket so we're good on his outfit.

    Photography- This is where we're not cutting any part of the budget and will take the bulk.  Best I could find with an excellent portfolio and great references was $2500.

    Invites- Going DIY on STD & invites. I can design and print my own for $40.  postage will have to be calculated yet.  RSVP is via my free website or you can call me.

    Guests- We're inviting 56 people and expect 50 of them will attend.  We're keeping it small and very family oriented because that's what is important to us.  My family will have to travel as will a few members of is, so we're having it on Saturday.

    I think we're lucky that we can do so much ourselves and with family help.

    Linzrene
  • wellnow said:

    My FI and I have a $5k budget or less if we can manage it.

    Bands- We found wedding bands on Amazon for $35.88, on sale, for both rings and free S&H. They're beautiful and exactly what we wanted. 

    Flowers- We're having a December wedding, and I have access to free holly, evergreen boughs and pinecones. I can do floral arrangements, bouquets and Boutonnières myself out of those materials.  We were thinking of buying some cranberries to put in the vases to cover up the look of the branches, but I can buy wholesale for $.99/16oz bag, so it won't add a huge cost.  My family and I possess vases aplenty.

    Wedding cake- my sister is an executive pastry chef and is giving us a croquembouche as our wedding present, along with a host of other desserts for a Viennese table.

    Gown- I am strictly against traditional white/ivory wedding gowns personally.  Perfectly fine for others, but I am going to buy a silver/grey evening gown that suits my taste.  I have found one I liked for ~$200.  I will be wearing my mother's veil. 

    Makeup an Hair - I am perfectly comfortable doing my own makeup.  My sister will be doing my hair because she's just naturally talented in that area and I'm not.

    Venue- Ceremony will be held at our church.  We are members, so we'll simply make a small donation to our pastor and music director, probably about $150. Reception is about a 5 minute drive away and is a non-traditional option.  It's a local artist gallery that doesn't get much traffic as an event site. It's also in late fall/early winter so he could use the revenue boost. It's going to cost $450 and that includes the entire day prior for set up. It also has no catering clauses.

    Music- The gallery owner is also a jazz musician and his band will play for us because I sing for them occasionally for free for only $100 for theatre evening.

    Catering and alcohol- We are self catering. Multiple chefs and accomplished cooks in the families so this is easy for us and we have the equipment necessary to accomplish it.  Alcohol will be limited  and bought by us and self-serve.  We can actually cater and provide alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks as described for $550.

    My FI has his own kilt and jacket so we're good on his outfit.

    Photography- This is where we're not cutting any part of the budget and will take the bulk.  Best I could find with an excellent portfolio and great references was $2500.

    Invites- Going DIY on STD & invites. I can design and print my own for $40.  postage will have to be calculated yet.  RSVP is via my free website or you can call me.

    Guests- We're inviting 56 people and expect 50 of them will attend.  We're keeping it small and very family oriented because that's what is important to us.  My family will have to travel as will a few members of is, so we're having it on Saturday.

    I think we're lucky that we can do so much ourselves and with family help.




    Self catering for 50 people? Yikes! 
                 
  • wellnow said:

    My FI and I have a $5k budget or less if we can manage it.

    Bands- We found wedding bands on Amazon for $35.88, on sale, for both rings and free S&H. They're beautiful and exactly what we wanted. 

    Flowers- We're having a December wedding, and I have access to free holly, evergreen boughs and pinecones. I can do floral arrangements, bouquets and Boutonnières myself out of those materials.  We were thinking of buying some cranberries to put in the vases to cover up the look of the branches, but I can buy wholesale for $.99/16oz bag, so it won't add a huge cost.  My family and I possess vases aplenty.

    Wedding cake- my sister is an executive pastry chef and is giving us a croquembouche as our wedding present, along with a host of other desserts for a Viennese table.

    Gown- I am strictly against traditional white/ivory wedding gowns personally.  Perfectly fine for others, but I am going to buy a silver/grey evening gown that suits my taste.  I have found one I liked for ~$200.  I will be wearing my mother's veil. 

    Makeup an Hair - I am perfectly comfortable doing my own makeup.  My sister will be doing my hair because she's just naturally talented in that area and I'm not.

    Venue- Ceremony will be held at our church.  We are members, so we'll simply make a small donation to our pastor and music director, probably about $150. Reception is about a 5 minute drive away and is a non-traditional option.  It's a local artist gallery that doesn't get much traffic as an event site. It's also in late fall/early winter so he could use the revenue boost. It's going to cost $450 and that includes the entire day prior for set up. It also has no catering clauses.

    Music- The gallery owner is also a jazz musician and his band will play for us because I sing for them occasionally for free for only $100 for theatre evening.

    Catering and alcohol- We are self catering. Multiple chefs and accomplished cooks in the families so this is easy for us and we have the equipment necessary to accomplish it.  Alcohol will be limited  and bought by us and self-serve.  We can actually cater and provide alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks as described for $550.

    My FI has his own kilt and jacket so we're good on his outfit.

    Photography- This is where we're not cutting any part of the budget and will take the bulk.  Best I could find with an excellent portfolio and great references was $2500.

    Invites- Going DIY on STD & invites. I can design and print my own for $40.  postage will have to be calculated yet.  RSVP is via my free website or you can call me.

    Guests- We're inviting 56 people and expect 50 of them will attend.  We're keeping it small and very family oriented because that's what is important to us.  My family will have to travel as will a few members of is, so we're having it on Saturday.

    I think we're lucky that we can do so much ourselves and with family help.




    Self catering for 50 people? Yikes! 
    Sounds like her guests will be working in order to do this.
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