How to cut down on the costs of a wedding? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2011, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone,

 

We are currently looking at planning a wedding for next summer in Canada. I should also add I will be across the country from Sept until June (I am teaching away) greensad.gif

 

I am just looking for ideas, places to start, how to keep a wedding on budget, suggestions etc.

 

I really want to diy as much as possible and would like to stick to a strict budget- around 2000$.

 

We need to find a venue that is wheelchair accessible as my fiance is a paraplegic. We know we do not want a church wedding and will most likely be using a justice of the peace.

 

Does anyone have any ideas, help, suggestions etc they can offer????

 

Thanks, Tina


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Old 08-16-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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Congratulations! Probably the biggest cost multiplier for a wedding is the number of guests who will be attending...this affects everything from the size of the venue, to the number of invitations (even if you make them yourselves, it can get expensive and time-consuming to do all the printing, not to mention postage), to the amount of food to be provided. Being able to control the cost of your wedding depends a lot on how flexible you're willing to be in your vision of what you want the wedding to be like.

 

FWIW, My husband and I got married for about $600, including the cost of a photographer, the wedding rings, and the marriage license. How we did it:

-We had two guests, who doubled as the two witnesses we were legally required to have

-I made my own dress (if you're into DIY, give it a shot! It was simple, pretty, and comfortable, and best of all fit perfectly since it was made to my measurements...and all materials included cost about $20).

-All flowers were cut from our own garden

-A friend did one of those online minister things so he could legally perform the ceremony (for free!)

-The photographer was a student, not a professional (and did a FANTASTIC job)...we paid her a set hourly rate and gave her photo rights so she could use the pictures in her portfolio.

-We got married at a public recreation area (a lake way up in the mountains, so it was totally uncrowded as well as beautiful) so we didn't have to pay to rent a venue...if your wedding is small, you could do something similar in a lovely city park that's wheelchair accessible. 

-We made all the food ourselves (obviously, with so few attendees it wasn't hard!)

-The rings, which were the most expensive thing other than the photographer, were made by someone on Etsy out of upcycled rosewood and turquoise (no precious metals or unethical diamonds thumb.gif)

 

Overall, we just decided that since it's the marriage that's really important (not the wedding) we said screw the wedding industry and everything you're *supposed* to do...and ended up having a beautiful, wonderful, tiny little oddball weddinglove.gif.

 

I hope this helps give you some ideas or places to start at least...just try to have fun and don't get too stressed, and congratulations again! 

  


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Old 08-16-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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My wedding was more expensive than what you're looking to spend($8000) but considering the average cost of most weddings, ours was still very cheap. This is what we did to cut costs:

 

I would say use friends, family and contacts whenever you can. We got discounts on so many things just by using friends or taking advantage of some contacts. The beer at the reception, my necklace, the groomsmen gifts, our cake cutter, wedding bell, and loving cup were all discounted as well as the photographer and sound guy(we just used our iPod instead of hiring a DJ service). The rehearsal dinner(and gift opening space), officiant, emcee, my veil, earrings and bracelet were all 100% free.

We got married at at public park, which was free as well and an added bonus for that was we didn't need to worry about ceremony decor since we got married in a garden.

 

We tried to use mostly local flowers in the bouquets and stuff, which helped cut costs. My bouquet was also more leaves than flowers, so that kept things cheap as well

 

We didn't serve a meal, we just had finger foods

Our florist and caterer worked out of the same building and they offered a 10% discount if we used both of them, so we got 10% off both bills.

 

We had our caterer makes us a two-tiered cake for cutting and for everyone else she just made individual brownie-cake things instead of getting a huge cake made through a fancy bakery.

 

My husband wore a suit and shoes he already owned instead of buying or renting a tux. As an aside to that, we had agreed to help pay for his brother's tux but ended up getting that for free because the tux shop had a deal that if we rented at least 5 tuxes, the groom's tux would be free. Since DH didn't rent a tux through them and since we were renting a total of 6 tuxes(5 groomsmen and a ring bearer), the tux shop let us use the free tux for DH's brother instead.

 

DH's wedding band is titanium so it cost us less than $100

 

We got my wedding band custom made through a jewelery shop that was next door to where DH worked. Because of that contact, we got my wedding band at a discounted rate and they didn't charge us any interest on the balance while we made payments.

 

I think that's about all we did. Hopefully you can find some good suggestions from that list. Good luck and congrats!


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Old 08-16-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Congrats! Like the pp said number of people is the big $$$. We did an out of town wedding which kept us from feeling like we needed to invite every person we knew. Just parents, siblings, and 4 of our closest friends. Also I felt like this made the wedding much more intimate and relaxed, we could really be ourselves. This cuts down on the food cost which is a major chunk. Even if you do something relatively cheap like pasta it still adds up.

 

Since you will be using a justice of the peace, I think outdoors is a great option. Every town has some lovely outdoor place to do some type of ceremony and usually a pavilion where you can have food. If you don't want to be outside I've been to some weddings at small historical houses (obviously this is wheelchair dependent). The big, fancy ones are expensive, but small ones usually can be rented for much less.

 

Make your own flowers. You can scope out grocery stores and see what flowers they have readily available. I had a bride's bouquet done from a florist, but bought the bridesmaid's from the cut flowers at the grocery. You can pick them up the night before or day of, wrap some ribbon around the stems and you are good to go.

 

I did all kinds of crafty things to give it a personal touch. I used the same colors to tie in a theme without spending a bunch of money. So I basically bought one big roll of ribbon at the craft store and put in on everything. This made everything look better. Made monogrammed paper cones to hold flower petals to throw, bought some chocolates from a local shop and boxed them up in cheap boxes with color coordinating ribbons for favors. My mom sewed a table runner in our colors for us to put on the table.

 

Of course cutting down on the bride expenses is huge. The dress is obviously expensive, but lots of consignments have dresses. You can also ask if any friends or family have one to use, I gave mine to a family friend. You may have to pay for alterations but that's still way cheaper. You or a friend/family member can do hair and makeup so that can be free. I went to a beauty school and had my hair done for something like $20!

 

CD/Ipod instead of live music. Way more personalized this way too.

 

My suggestion is to focus on what you will remember. 10 years from now will you be friend's w/ everyone you invite? Does anyone ever remember the food, music, cake years later from a wedding they attended? Usually not, people may remember the venue and how happy (or stressed and unhappy) the couple was. Good Luck!


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Old 08-16-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Congratulations! Getting married is such an amazing time in life :)

 

What kind of wedding are you envisioning? The size of the guest list does really determine a lot both in location and price.

 

I got married over a decade ago so it was a little different then. No blogs or smart phones or google .. lol. I looked at all the mainstream wedding magazines and tried to figure out how to DIY when I found something I really liked. Our flowers and favors and many other things were done this way. 

 

I don't have any specific advice other than the obvious to buy used instead of new for everything. People sell dresses for a fraction of what it would be new. You could go antiquing for rings. 

 

Happy Planning!

 

 


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Old 08-16-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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First of all skip the formal wear.  Very few people actually still throw a formal/evening event yet the wedding party wears formal wear.  Its weird if you think about it.  So pick a casual theme that is fun and fits your personality.  It is easier to be classy casual than trying to do grand and formal on a small budget.  

 

Don't worry about flowers too much.  I think this is one of the details people put too much thought into. 

 

Think outside.  have your wedding at a park, at the lake, in the woods....reception too.  If I ever get married again I am going to have a bonfire, roast hot dogs  marshmellows, maybe throw a lamb on the rotisserie.  Good beer for my guests.  

 

If you want an indoor location for the wedding you may end up renting a hall.  Ask around....does anyone have a barn?  You could do a country/rustic theme.  If you want something more traditional look around.  We have a "ladies club" (think back to the '50 and '60s when housewives needed something to fill their time) that rents its basement out for a $100 a night.  You never know what kind of buildings are around waiting to make a couple bucks.

 

Tulle is a great tool for covering stuff.  I got married in a gym and we covered a multitude of tacky with tulle and houseplants.  low lighting can also be a good friend if your venue is less than perfect.

 

one thing brides do here to save money is go cheap on the cake.  They get a small "wedding cake" and then have plain sheet cakes  for the rest of their guests.  Once the cake has been cut no one knows where their piece came from (and it is cake....who cares if it came from the show piece or the sheet cake in the kitchen).  

 

It is possible to plan a wedding that does not involve a meal.  Our reception was cake and mints and nuts.  My friends reception got a local coffee house to bring a mobile espresso set up and serve a limited selection of coffee drinks.  it was awesome.  Same couple also, instead of having a wedding cake, had a small cake at each table.  They invited the couple who had been married the longest at each table to stand and cut the cake with them.  It was quite possible the sweetest thing ever!  And it had to save a bundle.  Wedding cakes are so expensive.  Their favors were gerber daisies.  Which also served as decoration.

 

If you give us a theme you are leaning towards I could probably give you some specific ideas. :)

 

 


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Old 08-16-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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Parks are nice places for weddings, outdoors would be great since the season is right. Someone's house if they have a big yard that is nice. You might want to make sure of gazebos/ pavillions/ shelter just in case of rain showers. My wedding was at my church and cost very very little (we were broke, like to do things ourselves all the time anyway, and had good friends to help). We only really could put a couple weeks into preparations. For food, my friends got together and did a nice organized sort of potluck (they planned and everyone prepared their part and brought it in). I bought a nice discounted gown and made myself matching jewelry and a floral circlet with ribbons down my hair. DH did rent a tux. My centerpieces were floating candles and I think we did those tulle squares of candy or something for everyone. Someone we knew made the wedding cake, in each of our favorite flavors. We assigned various friends to get pics throughout and a teen friend to do video of the ceremony. Someone surprised me with a nicely done scrapbook of it later on. It was really amazing all the details friends added with their various talents, especially because we were new to the area and hadn't known them long. Coming up on 7 years married now, still doing things our way, perfectly personalized and inexpensive...planning to build a house that way next.

 

Now, my sister-in-law wants things professionally done and I don't even want to know what they're paying. Caterers, florists, gorgeous venue, nice wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, tuxes, photographer. They do want me to help them do some small details like folding the paper things and designing/arranging centerpieces.

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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Check out Indie Bride; they have some good ideas there.

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Old 08-16-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Our pictures.  What worked best for us were the pictures my xh mom took.  She got some really good shots.    Yo most likely have a friend with a nice camera and some decent skills.  Since everything is digital now anyway editing and emailing pics is easy.   And then you can print at your leisure.  That is a huge place to save money.  I'm not the kind of person to big tribute to ME on the wall even if it was my wedding day.  It just feels weird to me to have pictures of myself on the wall.  So I did not need any professional portraits.  What i really wanted most were snap shots of my friends and family have a good time...and that is what we got.

 

And this costs a little more...but I have been to a couple of wedding where they had disposable cameras on the tables.  The pictures were a riot!  if yo just told people to bring their cameras and then maybe set up a website where they can all upload their pics you might e surprised what turns up there.  you may get some really good ones.


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Old 08-17-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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Congrats! Check out the "our wedding" tab to see lots of awesome DIY wedding ideas.http://www.younghouselove.com/ 

 

 

 

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Old 08-19-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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how many guests do you want? are you set on having a "ceremony" and "reception," white dress, bouquet and suits? the more traditional a form your wedding takes, the harder it is to keep the costs down and still have a nice and relaxed time. 

 

a couple options come to mind:

 

go to the courthouse with your fiance and witnesses. then go to a really nice restaurant and have a lovely meal. 

 

have a barbeque picnic at a local park and get married outside. 

 

go to the courthouse by yourselves and then spend the wedding budget on an awesome vacation. 

 

 

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Old 08-19-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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I think you should decide what is most important to you about your wedding and figure out how to use your budget according to that.

 

When I got married we had a justice of the peace. We rented a local hall for both the wedding and reception- not fancy, just a big room. We had the wedding in the afternoon. My mom made the cake. We had punch instead of booze. We had a giant sub sandwich, chips, veggie and fruit trays. Dh borrowed a tux and I got a long white non-wedding dress for under $200 at a local department store. We didn't bother with a professional photographer or a dj/musicians or fresh flowers. We printed our own invitations. We only invited about 50 people. It was simple and we were pretty happy with it.

 

Looking back after 11 years the most important memories of the day were the people who were there to share it with us. I'm glad we were able to be with our family and close friends and really spend time with them instead of making a big production.

 

 


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Old 08-19-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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I got married 10 years ago.  DH and I were only 18 at the time and we planned the wedding in less than a month.  Originally we were going to travel to my moms house in VA from MA and get married by a Justice of the Peace down there.  That way we could avoid having to have an "official wedding" and keep it cheap.  Once we told family of our plans we ended up planning an actual wedding so we didn't upset family members.  We did it all for about $1500.  We rented a hall for the ceremony and reception, got a Justice of the Peace to do the ceremony.  My mother printed the invites on her computer (with a kit she bought, they came out pretty good too!) My now FIL cooked the food, we did a basic spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread type meal.  We found a cheap DJ.  My dress was actually a prom dress I found at a department store.  We got married in July so there were lots of great prices on dresses that were leftover from prom season. I think I paid less than $100 for the dress :)  I made all the table decorations (colored vases, covered in tulle, and candles covered in tulle also)  I had a friend of the family who is a hairdresser do my hair, and I made my own veil.  We put cameras on the tables so people could take pictures.

 

Of course looking back now there are a lot of things I would have done differently and maybe spent more time planning and putting more effort into.  Especially going to weddings that people put more time into the planning.  The only major regret I have, is that we didn't get a photographer or have a set person designated to take photos.  I thought that having the cameras on the table would be good enough and we'd get a good assortment of random shots... which we did, but that's what they were, random shots.  I only have one good photo of my husband and I on that day, and most of the pictures people took of the ceremony came out crummy because of lighting.  It makes me sad that I can't look back at the photos of us on such a special day.

 

Now with a wealth of information for DIY stuff on the internet, I'd say you can come up with a ton of really great ideas for little money and still be able to have a great day.  Look around on Pinterest, there's so many great ideas and inspiration!!!

 

Also, don't be afraid to ask for help!  Tell the people close to you that you are planning this, and that you are trying to keep costs low and I'm sure they will try to help you out.  I wouldn't have got all the stuff done for my wedding in time if I didn't have people there to help.

 

Good luck and congrats on your wedding!

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Old 08-19-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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My cousin and her DH eloped and married on a beach in Southern California, just the two of them.  They really had a lovely ceremony, as far as we can tell from the pictures, and she looked lovely.  Obviously you can get a very nice vacation for two for the price of most weddings.

 

Otherwise, I would say that the most important thing is to remember to go for romance, not "what you must do".  So wear a dress you adore, and get a bouquet if you want, but don't stress the small stuff.  Food, favors, music, this is all small stuff.  What really matters is the vows your share with each other and the people there to witness your pledge to each other.  Go simple.  Outdoor venues or a location that has personal meaning, like a family member's yard, are inexpensive, personal, and special.

 

Congrats on tying the knot and on sticking to a budget at this special time in your life.  I hope it is a magical day for you.


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Old 08-20-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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When I got married I didn't like any of the bride dresses so I looked at some of the brides maid dresses and found one that was simple and pretty and came in white. It was perfect and cost very little. 

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Old 08-22-2011, 02:07 AM
 
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We were married 5 years ago (anniversary this friday!!) and spent maybe only a couple hundred dollars. A little more for the honeymoon.

 

We had about 50 guests. A justice of the peace married us at my grandparents house. They have a beautiful house with a huge yard and deck. The ceremony was on their deck. Flowers were potted red geraniums that my grandmother cultivated through the summer. A couple of cousins and my aunt and uncle played the music for our ceremony. DH and I wore clothes that we bought off the rack. I had a really nice blue and white skirt with a nice blue shirt. DH wore dresspants and a beautiful shirt he'd bought while in Mexico earlier in the summer.

 

For the reception, our two dads BBQ'd chicken and a huge salmon that had been caught and given fresh to us by a family that my mum tutors. My aunts made salads. My uncle made the wedding cake. I think we bought some appies. We had wine and beer left over from my brother and SIL's wedding earlier in the summer. We rented plates and cutlery so no one had to wash up. Another uncle is a director of food services/hospitality at the local university and got us chairs (used also for guests at the ceremony) and tables for free. We didn't have a photographer but we did have a "phototaking time" with posed shots in the garden and whoever wanted to take a photo at that time could. We got some really lovely ones. I think we also paid for a guest book and all the guests wrote really lovely messages for us.

 

Honestly, we kept the money down so low because we really wanted to involve our family in the wedding as much as possible. They LOVED contributing. It helps that I have some talented (food and music) relatives! We absolutely wanted a wedding that reflected our values and I think this captured it. Neither of us had were tied to having the typical traditional wedding.

 

We did spend some money on a hotel room for ourselves that night. Our honeymoon was spent at a cottage my grandparents own on an island so we had minimal expenses there as well.

 

Congrats!

 

ETA: We also spent a little bit of money on "favours" for guests. We bought some nice little terracotta plant pots and painted our names and the date on them. Then we put a little package of soil and a package of flower seeds in them. Tied some nice natural raffia ribbon around them and each guest over a certain age got to keep one.

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Old 08-22-2011, 03:00 AM
 
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We got married almost 16 years ago. It at the marriage registry. I wore a pretty dress, my husband wore a suit. Friends and relatives came. Friends took pictures and shared them with us afterwards. We had a combination house-warming / wedding party that night at our apartment. We had a cake and some of our friends also brought a cake. Some of my friends also helped me make the snacks. Our biggest expense was a case of champagne for the guests. We also had beer, soda, the usual.  It was a great party and my husband and I were happy with it.

 

About 10 months later we went to the USA and had another party at my mom's house and a ceremony called "The Blessing of a Civil Marriage". Friends and relatives who could not come to our actual marriage came to that party.

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Old 08-22-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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I had my best friend take pictures, DH's best friend was our DJ for the reception.  My dad made finger foods, no meal.  I bought my dress on Ebay and made my own veil.  We had it in a friend's backyard and borrowed tables and chairs.  Basically a lot of our gifts were for the actual event. : )


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Old 08-23-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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I am looking back on our wedding (which we paid for ourselves) as well as weddings I recently attended -

 

Skip the professional photograher.  If professional photos are really important to you, consider hiring a photographer for formal portraits only.  I would suspect, after the excitement of the wedding has worn off, 99% of the formal wedding albums go into the closet or attic. 

 

Skip for florist or limit professionally done flowers.  Flowers can be crazy expensive.   Or reasonable and lovely if selecting in-season centerpieces like mums (fall), a pot of forced bulbs (spring) but this can be done yourself (or by a friend willing to be put into service)

 

Don't do a meal.  The two best weddings we attended did not have a sit-down meal.  There were various food stations (a mix of hot and cold stuff) that allowed people to mingle, stroll about and graze at will.

 

If you serve booze, limit it to wine and beer.  Or beer and a single liquior drink. 

 

Give serious consideration to the level of formality you desire.  

 

We have been to a lot of weddings lately, people we know well enough to have been told all about the cost, cost-cutting, the budget, etc and I may ruffle feathers with this statement here goes - I continue to be baffled by couples that go all out with a huge puffy dress (full-price, bridal shop, drank the Kool-Aid and broke the bank), rented tuxes, 10 attendents, giant sprays of flowers and so on and then go super low budget everywhere else.  Now, it is their dime and they can spend their money however they like but had they taken everything down a couple notches, they would have saved so much money and had a nicer event.

 

 


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Old 08-28-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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For our upcoming wedding, we plan to elope, then have a potluck dinner with friends and family a few weeks later. Our costs would be: rings, elopement package (the place we want to go ranges from $295-$950, and includes minister, photographer, wedding license), travel costs (gas, hotel), flowers (from the grocery store with ribbon wrapped around them), and my dress (I plan on getting one second hand for around $50-90.. DF will wear one of his suits).


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Old 08-28-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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If you want the full on wedding dress some options to consider is rental (lots if bigger cities have this available) and consignment.  Lets face it.  You are never going to wear it again and I doubt your daughter will wear it.....why buy if you don't have to.  And if you are lucky enough to have a consignment shop you may be able to sell it back and make some of your money back.  Also ebay...even savers and good will but you should plan a little money for alterations.


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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Some things we did to save money on our wedding:

 

  • I wore my mother's wedding dress and only paid to have it cleaned and altered (I'm a bit bigger than my mom was...)
  • I made my own veil
  • We had the reception in the atrium of a classroom building at the university where I teach, and had the campus caterer handle the food & drink (it was superb)
  • We ordered flowers in bulk from a local florist, bought some inexpensive ribbon and floral tape at a craft store, and made the bouquets and bouttonieres ourselves (this was especially nice because it meant we could make extra bouttonieres for all sorts of people we wanted to thank -- including the people who showed up the night before the wedding to help make the bouquets.)  :)
  • We asked for the following as wedding gifts: wedding cake made by a friend; cake decorating by my MOH; table centerpieces made by my other MOH; music playlists loaded onto an iPod by my SIL and BIL; the loan (and setup and running) of a sound system from my cousins; formal photos by a friend (who happens to be a wedding photographer -- I guess we were lucky on that score); help with flowers (see above) from my aunt, who used to do flower arranging as a hobby; invitation design by my brother who is a graphic designer; a bunch of friends sang/played instruments at our ceremony; a friend emceed our reception; probably lots of other things I'm forgetting.  Think hard about the people you know and love and how you can beg their help as wedding gifts!  Most are happy to oblige and delighted to be a part of your day -- especially 'cause it gets them out of buying you a gift. :) 

 

ETA: Really, the best thing you can do is think about what you can skip.  There are millions of "must-have" lists out there for weddings... and most of them are absurdly padded by all of the invented "needs" created by the wedding industry.  Nobody needs monogrammed napkins.  For example.  Look at the list and just cross off whatever doesn't fit for you.  Don't be shy about it.  Nobody is going to refuse to come to your wedding because you didn't hire a band.  Or a limo.  Or pay a videographer to record your professionally-choreographed first dance.  Your wedding is special because it is your wedding.  The rest of the details are just that.  Don't stress about them.


I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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Yes, yes, yes to this.  My wedding was pretty much the same.  And it was fun and everybody had a great time. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

Some things we did to save money on our wedding:

 

  • I wore my mother's wedding dress and only paid to have it cleaned and altered (I'm a bit bigger than my mom was...)
  • I made my own veil
  • We had the reception in the atrium of a classroom building at the university where I teach, and had the campus caterer handle the food & drink (it was superb)
  • We ordered flowers in bulk from a local florist, bought some inexpensive ribbon and floral tape at a craft store, and made the bouquets and bouttonieres ourselves (this was especially nice because it meant we could make extra bouttonieres for all sorts of people we wanted to thank -- including the people who showed up the night before the wedding to help make the bouquets.)  :)
  • We asked for the following as wedding gifts: wedding cake made by a friend; cake decorating by my MOH; table centerpieces made by my other MOH; music playlists loaded onto an iPod by my SIL and BIL; the loan (and setup and running) of a sound system from my cousins; formal photos by a friend (who happens to be a wedding photographer -- I guess we were lucky on that score); help with flowers (see above) from my aunt, who used to do flower arranging as a hobby; invitation design by my brother who is a graphic designer; a bunch of friends sang/played instruments at our ceremony; a friend emceed our reception; probably lots of other things I'm forgetting.  Think hard about the people you know and love and how you can beg their help as wedding gifts!  Most are happy to oblige and delighted to be a part of your day -- especially 'cause it gets them out of buying you a gift. :) 

 

ETA: Really, the best thing you can do is think about what you can skip.  There are millions of "must-have" lists out there for weddings... and most of them are absurdly padded by all of the invented "needs" created by the wedding industry.  Nobody needs monogrammed napkins.  For example.  Look at the list and just cross off whatever doesn't fit for you.  Don't be shy about it.  Nobody is going to refuse to come to your wedding because you didn't hire a band.  Or a limo.  Or pay a videographer to record your professionally-choreographed first dance.  Your wedding is special because it is your wedding.  The rest of the details are just that.  Don't stress about them.



 

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Old 09-01-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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I think there are several tips to planning a gracious wedding where your friends are made to feel welcome and you and your fiance feel celebrated. Come up with a budget and stick to it. Write a guest list of the people you would like to include. And THEN decide how you can best host those people on a budget.

 

If your future DH can be comfortable using his chair on grass, than I would rent a pretty public park space with some shade. Rent enough chairs so that everyone can have a seat. Please don't ask guests to stand the whole time. Ask DH to choose something comfortable to wear and perhaps buy a special shirt or tie. A suit of any type would be nice but a dress shirt is fine. Find a pretty dress for yourself. Perhaps have a fancy hair do in the morning. Ask a friend to marry you and choose some poems or verses or other items that have meaning to you.

 

If DH can't be comfortable on grass then I would choose an open rental space where he will have maximum mobility.

 

Choose a morning celebration which fits your budget and an overall casual theme. Serve your guests a simple brunch after. You can come up with stylish and inexpensive ideas on sights like Martha Stewart. Have a few pretty containers for water, lemonade, or bunch. Serve some mini croissant sandwiches and a fruit platter. Have some cake after. If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a photographer or ask a friend. We really enjoyed having a video. If you have a garden, consider choosing living plants that can be replanted after the fact. Skip the waste of things like favors that will thrown in the trash etc. Maybe a friend can make some music.

 

You can easily have a lovely, gravious celebration with your budget iif you priortize your guest's comfort and keep it simple.

 

What I don't recommend is the not to pleasant results of having grand ideas and not enough money. I have been to some pretty terrible weddings over the years that were NOT gracious. A wedding isn't about the entertainment but whatever is provided should be graviously offerred. If you are getting married in a park dont wear a sequined fishtail gown and flip flops. Don't have ten groomspeople decked out in $300 dresses that no one could afford. Don't serve different food and drinks to different people. Don't dress in clothes that are inappropriate for the location and formality (tuxedos in the afternoon at the park, huge poofy dresses). Don't make people fight over a few chairs. Everyone wants to sit down. Milling about for four hours is not comfortable. Don't schedule it at a meal time and then not serve a full meal. Don't spend a lot of money on things you "must have" like a limo for some reason and then exclude family members who care about you.

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Old 09-02-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

 

 

What I don't recommend is the not to pleasant results of having grand ideas and not enough money. I have been to some pretty terrible weddings over the years that were NOT gracious. A wedding isn't about the entertainment but whatever is provided should be graviously offerred. If you are getting married in a park dont wear a sequined fishtail gown and flip flops. Don't have ten groomspeople decked out in $300 dresses that no one could afford. Don't serve different food and drinks to different people. Don't dress in clothes that are inappropriate for the location and formality (tuxedos in the afternoon at the park, huge poofy dresses). Don't make people fight over a few chairs. Everyone wants to sit down. Milling about for four hours is not comfortable. Don't schedule it at a meal time and then not serve a full meal. Don't spend a lot of money on things you "must have" like a limo for some reason and then exclude family members who care about you.



I think this is the most important thing regardless of what your budget is.


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 09-02-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

What I don't recommend is the not to pleasant results of having grand ideas and not enough money. I have been to some pretty terrible weddings over the years that were NOT gracious. A wedding isn't about the entertainment but whatever is provided should be graviously offerred. If you are getting married in a park dont wear a sequined fishtail gown and flip flops. Don't have ten groomspeople decked out in $300 dresses that no one could afford. Don't serve different food and drinks to different people. Don't dress in clothes that are inappropriate for the location and formality (tuxedos in the afternoon at the park, huge poofy dresses). Don't make people fight over a few chairs. Everyone wants to sit down. Milling about for four hours is not comfortable. Don't schedule it at a meal time and then not serve a full meal. Don't spend a lot of money on things you "must have" like a limo for some reason and then exclude family members who care about you.



I thought for sure I was the only one that attended a wedding where this happened!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

Don't spend a lot of money on things you "must have" like a limo for some reason and then exclude family members who care about you.


 

I recently attended one of these.  Not nice.


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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Just in an effort to build a better wedding....My pet peeve...when I was married my dh was in several weddings and would be forced to sit at the head table with the bridal party.  But I was not allowed to sit with my HUSBAND because I was not in the bridal party.  So I git stuck sitting alone, with the kids if they were with me have a terrible time, for hours.  For the love of pete either let the groomsmen sit with their family or let the groomsman's date sit at his table.  


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 09-02-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Just in an effort to build a better wedding....My pet peeve...when I was married my dh was in several weddings and would be forced to sit at the head table with the bridal party.  But I was not allowed to sit with my HUSBAND because I was not in the bridal party.  So I git stuck sitting alone, with the kids if they were with me have a terrible time, for hours.  For the love of pete either let the groomsmen sit with their family or let the groomsman's date sit at his table.  


I think this highlights how you can't make everyone happy. IMO, the wedding day is about the couple getting married and you are agreeing to be there for them and help them with anything they need when you agree to be a bridesmaid or a groomsman. It's essentially accepting an unpaid job. I eat dinner with my husband every single night .. I can certainly get by without him for four hours at a party. If you really feel like you can't then neither of you should agree to be an attendant in the wedding. 


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Old 09-02-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Our wedding cost around 1500 dollars all told but was ahem about 18 years ago. We rented out a beautiful pavilion at a State Park in MD - I think it was around 100 dollars.  I borrowed my aunts wedding dress - it was knee length and simple. DH wore jeans and a nice shirt.  We went to a local meat place and got carry out bbq then my now BIL and SIL ran the grill.  Then everyone was invited and we had everyone stand (or sit) in a circle around us and the Justice of the Peace (make sure to go to the court house and get all the paperwork first).  So we ate picnic style and had a case of champagne but no other alcohol as everyone had to drive home.  Mom and MIL made simple decorations for the pavilion hearth and picnic tables....it was lovely...everyone was informal and you can have a lot of guest when the food is done this way...and it was lovely that day July, around 75 degrees..in MD that is something but it was up in the mountains....It was definitly handicap assessible as it was a State park so there you go.  The pictures were taken by folks there and were really nice...

 

Good luck!

 

 

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Old 09-03-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Quote:
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We have been to a lot of weddings lately, people we know well enough to have been told all about the cost, cost-cutting, the budget, etc and I may ruffle feathers with this statement here goes - I continue to be baffled by couples that go all out with a huge puffy dress (full-price, bridal shop, drank the Kool-Aid and broke the bank), rented tuxes, 10 attendents, giant sprays of flowers and so on and then go super low budget everywhere else.  Now, it is their dime and they can spend their money however they like but had they taken everything down a couple notches, they would have saved so much money and had a nicer event.

 

 


I think this is worth noting.  If you are going to skimp somewhere skimp on the ceremony and then splurge on the reception.  No one is going to remember what kind of flowers were hanging around during your vows.  They will remember if you threw a fun reception.

 


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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