$12,000 wedding for 200 guests. Need help in doing this!
My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding for 200 people with a $12,000 budget in San Diego. That budget is for venue rental, tables, chairs, food (with hors d'oeuvres) and alcohol. People have called me crazy, but I know it can be done. For all you brides who are planning a wedding under $12K, how are you doing it??? We still need a venue too. We're pretty casual people. We don't need anything fancy, but would still like a nice wedding. Heeelp!

Married: 04/26/2014
Reviews: 1
Edited On: Jan 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Posted On: Jan 30, 2013 at 10:30 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate0 likes

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Married: 2+ years ago
Jan 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'd search for an alll in one place. I was able to find a great deal where I am that includes everything (food, venue, 3 layer cake, decor, table, chairs, chair covers, table covers, bouquet and boutiner, food and drink-non alch) for 50 people. 25.00 per person extra. Also use of venue all day 9am-10pm. I found it using the venue tab on WW.

What state are you having the wedding?

Married: 07/19/2014
Jan 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
If you're crafty at all or have close friends/family who want to help, DIY works to keep the price down for a lot of things. And honestly, depending on your area, that budget doesn't sound too low at all. Just do some googling, browse pinterest, and get some ideas. :)

Married: 03/27/2015
Jan 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Hi May,
I do event coordinating and may be able to help you. Certainly, there are ideas to pinch pennies -

* dyi flowers/bouquets
* have it on a weekday or on a weekend early in the day (like 11AM to 4PM)
* Do a casual theme where your ladies and gents are dressed smartly without all the expense - like a casual business look
* Buy used decor
* Do a buffet to save on costs for staff
* A civic center, country club, local college, YMCA/YWCA, Veteran's Hall, etc. would have party rooms
* Have family members chip in for appetizers, alcohol, and make a special drink, like a champagne punch or a rum punch to cut expenses on alcohol
* Ipod and great speakers instead of a DJ
* Check out local photography schools and get an advanced student to do your wedding. They are usually good and you'll get a lot of photos
Jan 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM • 
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Married: 09/28/2013
Reviews: 6
Jan 31, 2013 at 12:44 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Not sure if it is socially acceptable in your area but a cash bar instead of open bar would save you TONS.

We found a venue that we can have both ceremony and receptiion. We are also skipping the aisle runner, no favors, no STD's limited flowers, no bouquet/garter toss no veil. I am DIY'ing a ton of stuff. We are also making cakes for each table and the cakeplates will double as centerpieces.

Hoping to keep ours under $10K for 150 ppl.

Married: 04/12/2013
Reviews: 12
Jan 31, 2013 at 12:49 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are doing a Friday night to cut costs. It was like half the cost of a Saturday. We are also not doing alcohol other than the champagne toast. Best way tto cut though is to chop the guest list.

Samantha Renee Events NJ
Jan 31, 2013 at 1:09 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Be careful, while DIY will certainly save you tons of money, if you aren't a very crafty person, DIY will end up costing you more if you start and not finish or don't like what you are doing. Overall, you have to decide what aspects of your wedding you want the bulk of your wedding to focus on. I'd pick food, since your guests need to eat!
Pick an all-inclusive venue, but make sure you are careful in knowing what is included in the price and ask them to quote you with tax and gratuity included so you have no surprises later. The things with spaces with no catering included like those mentioned above, means you have to bring in a caterer, a staff, linens, and sometimes your own table and chairs. And you may end up spending more than you need to.

If photos are important, I wouldn't try and find the cheapest. Find a quality professional and ask if you can get a customized package. Not everyone needs 12-16 hours of coverage or 1500 edited photos.

Samantha Renee Events NJ
Jan 31, 2013 at 1:21 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Also be careful of hiring your vendors, most venues require them to be insured and if they are not, will not gain access to the venue. And I'd be wary of a professional who doesn't carry insurance. Leave the students in school, they are there for a reason. And no friendors, unless it is what they do professionally. Also your guest list should include your vendors, because some (photographers, mostly) will require a meal in their contract.

You can achieve the wedding you want, without sacrificing quality.You just have to smart, creative and take your time and research! Good luck and happy planning! :)

2d Bride
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 12
Jan 31, 2013 at 1:39 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Think outside the box on the type of wedding you have. For example, a sit-down dinner with dancing and an open bar on a Saturday night is about the most expensive type of wedding you can have. How about a brunch wedding? (The food will cost less, you can serve just mimosas instead of a full open bar, and you can skip the band or DJ.) Or an afternoon wedding with just cake and punch? Or a weekday or Sunday wedding? If you're getting married at a church, look into using the church social hall instead of a formal reception venue? Or consider a restaurant, which probably won't charge you much or any rent if you buy the food from them? Or a fire hall or community center as your venue?
Edited On: Jan 31, 2013 at 1:40 AM
Jan 31, 2013 at 2:12 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
You can save money by having a wedding on a Sunday or Friday night, have a cash bar, and buffet style dinning. Like someone else said find a venue that is a "packaged deal" Shop around, compare prices, set up a good budget. Most of the cost will be going towards the venue and food.
Feb 01, 2013 at 1:29 PM • 
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Married: 05/31/2012
Feb 01, 2013 at 4:08 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
If you're willing to do hors d'ourves instead of a meal, you can save a bundle. Or, if you do cake and punch instead, you'll save even more again. Remember, no matter what your guests eat, you're just as married at the end of the day!
Feb 01, 2013 at 4:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Look into your local beauty schools, you can have them do your hair and makeup for a lot less. You can also look into your venue and ask what they can throw in for free some may be willing to work with you especially if it is during the slow time of the year and business is slow. look into having it on a Friday, your most likely to have your guest arrive on a Friday vs a Sunday and the price is typically the same.

Angel J
Married: 04/19/2014
Feb 01, 2013 at 4:41 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
its times that this that make so glad i live in Texas. 12k would buy a damn nice wedding down here. im able to easily plan an elegant affair for my 2k - 2.5k budget. then again a lot of it is diy, but still.

Wedding: 06/13/2020
Feb 01, 2013 at 4:49 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Welcome to the WeddingWire Community @May H!


We Cater San Diego, LLC
Oct 26, 2014 at 10:51 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Hi May,
We can work with any budget within reason. If you haven't found your caterer yet I would love to talk with you and send over a proposal with some menu options.
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