My fiance and I come from very low budget families and I grew up knowing that the tradition of the bride's family paying for the wedding would not apply to me. That means that my fiance and I are paying for our wedding on our own - with a few exceptions. My mom surprised me and paid for my dress and his mom paid for our invitations. His mom also offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner. This is so great, because we really cannot afford any extra expenses. However, she gave us a budget of only $500.
I'm not upset about the budget, but I am finding it very difficult to plan around. (She wanted NOTHING to do with planning). First, we cannot seem to find a location. We are getting married out in the country and there are very few local restaurants outside of a diner here and there. Our apartment, being 30 minutes away, would be the closest, but I cannot accommodate all of our guests in our small space. My parent's live 7 hours away, so they can't host. My sister lives 2 hours from the venue, and all of his family is long distance as well. Basically, a backyard bar-b-que is out of the question. We thought that maybe we could just work around it and plan to pay any differences in cost and try to keep it under $1000.
This probably could have worked, but now our rehearsal dinner guest list keeps growing. I am under the impression that I should invite the bridal party, immediate family and out of town family. Well, now that RSVPs are coming in, I'm realizing I am having A LOT more out of town family attending that I anticipated. I have family flying in from Amsterdam, Mexico, Prague, Thailand - all over (we are a family of expats!). Of all the out of town guests I should invite, I feel like my international family should be at the top of the list since they came so far. But, now we are pushing 50-60 people when we were originally struggling to figure out a plan for 25-30.
I was thinking of going casual and maybe renting a private room at a bowling alley. That would allow us to have some fun together and catch up before the wedding without spending an arm and a leg. But, even that is getting pricey - especially if we try to book a nicer location. Any advice would be very appreciated!
How do you host 50 people for under $1000? (preferably closer to $800, if I'm being honest). OR who should I cut from the guest list? Should I ban plus-ones? I know at least 2 of my international cousins are bringing their significant others, so I feel like the SO's should be invited. Which would make me feel obligated to also invite my Bridesmaid's SO.
Wedding and Rehearsal are in Anna, TX which is close-ish to McKinney, TX. If you are local and know of a place, I am all ears!