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Wedding under $3000 - is it possible?
I live in N. VA (DC area) and I am completely overwhelmed. I am planning our intimate wedding for Sep/Oct 2009. I am expecting to invite less than 50 guests (mostly very close friends and family). I would like to have a nice intimate wedding and reception. Do you think it possible to have this for $3000? I found a location that offers a garden wedding (the site is $1200 to include tables and decorations). They also offer an additional package for $600 to include the bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres plus 400 pictures taken by the owner and a photobook. This adds up to $1800 plus I will need to cover the cost of food and a dj. I'm not entirely sure this is what I want.... any suggestions out there? Thanks!

Married: 10/17/2010
Posted On: Aug 2, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Vendors are allowed | Add to My Watchlist | Flag As Inappropriate

9 Answers This question is closed for answers.

Married: 07/06/2007
Reviews: 5
Aug 02, 2008 at 1:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Have you looked at the Grand Atrium in Vienna? I had my reception there, and you pay per person which includes the usage of site, food, drinks(non-alcoholic) staff, tables, linens etc. So you basically write one check to them and they take care of everything! The place is very nice! Its two levels, dining upstairs and overlooks to the dancefloor downstairs, there's a baby grand piano that can be used free of charge, fireplace, a bar and lots of places where guest can sit and mingle with other guests. You can also host your ceremony there for an additional $200 or $250...I forget. I would look into that I am sure they will work with your budget. If you were to do it there, it would it would take care of a lot things involved with the reception.
Aug 02, 2008 at 2:15 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Anything is possible. You can be very thrifty and still quite elegant. Look into doing as much as you can yourself. Favors can be bought in bulk and personalized yourself, invitations can be done yourself, even centerpieces can be done yourself. Go to a craft store or two and spend a while looking and thinking. It can be done! Good luck. Do not worry about your guests - they will be thrilled with whatever you have. Remember, they are there to share in your joy, not judge or enjoy food and drink!

Married: 10/27/2012
Aug 02, 2008 at 3:07 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Have you considered looking into restaurants with a private room. Maybe you can cut out the deejay and use and ipod to play music so you can splurge on a photographer instead. There are many ways you can cut corners. Also, have your wedding on a friday or sunday because having it on a saturday is expensive. By the way, can you recommend the venue that you were referring to? I may be interested and want to take a look. Thanks!
Aug 02, 2008 at 11:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Leave the wedding industry and you can totally do it! We held our small wedding for 50 in a karaoke bar. Since they weren't a normal wedding venue, there was no venue rental fee - all we paid for was the open bar. We used their bartender and karaoke host/dj so no additional charges there as well. We served pizza for dinner (it was a bar, after all!) and cupcakes instead of wedding cake. I know this is a bit extreme for some people, but the moral is if you get outside of traditional wedding venues, you can save big bucks!


Favored Events
Aug 04, 2008 at 12:48 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
It is totally possible to stay within that budget number for less than 50 ppl. As a planner I stress to my clients that it is very important to allocate your dollars in areas that are important to you. The most important thing to remember in your planning is that you are getting married for a lifetime. Don't let the details overwhelm you! I am a planner that serves the N.VA area. If you need any suggestions or more advice. Please contact me at I wish you the best on your special day.

Unique Expressions Event and Party Planning

Good Gyrl Entertainment
Aug 04, 2008 at 8:38 AM • Flag As Inappropriate

I want to say yes you can but remember the most important part of your wedding is presentation of everything. The location price sounds great I say stick with it. But you might want to open you budget a little more because catering is most expensive part of your day. If you need a planner to assis you in little deals feel free to look me on wedding wire (Unique Expressions Event & Party Planning).

Unique Expressions Event & Party Planning
Aug 05, 2008 at 11:06 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
It is very possible, I planned a wedding with a 7000 budget and that included the wedding,reception, honeymoon, food, rings,dress, and tux and all those items in between. So wedding under 3000 is definantly possible. For the wedding venue and pictures for 1800 is a great deal. Now for the food and dj, i am no sure what type of food you planned on serving but with 1200 left to spend i would lean towards maybe appetizers and h'ordeuvres since it is a small intimate event appetizers and h'ordeuvres can go a long way and are not very expensive. And to save money on a dj check with the facility to see if they have a sound system and maybe opt for a CD of the two of you favorite songs versus a DJ. Now if you are willing to stretch your budget a bit you can work in a DJ. If you need any further assitance you are free to contact me.

Whimsical Floral Design

Whimsical Floral Design
Aug 07, 2008 at 8:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Have you thought about doing your own flowers? I am in VA and could travel out to you - I already have a wedding in that area, so the travel cost would be reduced. $600 is a lot for a few flowers and pictures. I can do a lot better for you in terms of flowers and my husband is a photographer/videographer. I can easily add in floral centerpieces for you too without driving up the cost too high.

Aug 10, 2008 at 8:14 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
It is possible to have plan your wedding for under $3,000. I would love to sit down and discuss a flower budget with you. I could offer you some ideas for bouquets ad boutonnieres for a reasonable price. i am also in the Northern VA area!

Vow of Conduct