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J
Master October 2022

Budget weddings you have attended

Jana, on July 24, 2020 at 3:26 PM Posted in Do It Yourself 1 19
A couple years ago on a morning radio talk show, the topic of weddings came up and how to pull them off on a tight budget without offending anyone. Many of the stories were pretty interesting and proof that it can be done. As an example, the lowest price one was the cost of the license and cake. Invites by phone and held at the couple's home. The "most expensive" was around $3000 with restaurant catering and grocery store flowers in a church. These were all in a pretty expensive to live area.


As for ones I have actually attended, the majority were cake and punch in the evening with a dj optional. The most extravagant budget wedding was mid-afternoon in the local church with platters from Costco to make a meal. Again all of these in the same high cost of living area.
On the same token, there's always one wedding where no one thinks of the guests.

What experiences have you had a guest?

19 Comments

Latest activity by Jacqueline, on January 14, 2021 at 7:24 AM
  • M
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    I actually don’t think I’ve been to any that were budget. There was the one I went to last year where it was only a reception with no dance floor or dj but it had a photo booth and was a buffet dinner with a wine and beer bar so I don’t think that was exactly cheap or budget either.
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  • Sinaya
    Devoted August 2022
    Sinaya ·
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    I've never been to a budget wedding. My friends and family either have a moderate to big wedding at a venue or they get married at the court house.

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  • Molly
    VIP September 2020
    Molly ·
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    I have been to plenty "budget" weddings. I have never felt un-thought of. Weddings are insanely expensive. I prefer a more "budget" wedding as a guest. I like to be able to enjoy myself and not have to worry about looking fancy enough. My sisters wedding cost her $700. There were 40 guests, we picked wild flowers for bouquets, thrift store wedding dress, we were fed a meal and had dessert. Nobody complained.

    One of my favorite weddings cost about $1500. It was a backyard wedding. They self catered BBQ tri tip and chicken, green salad, beans, bread and corn. The food was one of the best meals I have had at a wedding. We got grocery store flowers the night before and DIY'd all the florals. They did not have a DJ they used a speaker and a spotify playlist. Everyone had a great time.

    I think there is such a misconception around "budget" weddings. You do not have to spend a lot of money to have an amazing wedding!

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  • Eri
    Super October 2020
    Eri ·
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    I'm not sure if I've been to any that I would consider "budget," because that's pretty relative, but I went to a pretty laid back wedding last year in SC.

    Took place on a Sunday, no wedding party, the ceremony was outside and short & sweet, and there was a BBQ buffet line inside an air-conditioned little park house. Decorations were all DIY and I don't think there were any favors. They did have a DJ, but things wrapped up for a lot of guests around 8 pm.

    We had a great time and didn't feel forgotten about or anything.

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  • J
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
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    All of these sound lovely.


    Most people tend to think of budget as saving money by skipping what isn't important to them and keeping what is while still having a nice wedding. So all of above definitely fit in that category.
    There's a huge difference between that and treating guests like an afterthought where the couple's comfort and wishes take priority over guests' comfort.
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  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
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    My BBF’s wedding was probably the most budget-friendly wedding I’ve been to. That was about 17 years ago. DIY invitations, the ceremony was held in the afternoon at their church, the reception was in the church hall with no major decor, strangely no dancing was allowed due to church rules (not even a first dance) so they didn’t need a DJ. There was no alcohol allowed and I recall eating, but I don’t remember what the meal was. A friend’s mom made the cake for free. After they cut the cake, it was pretty much over. It all worked out for what they wanted.
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  • Lisa
    Super October 2021
    Lisa ·
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    I have been to one “budget” wedding. It was in the backyard of the brides families house, foldable chairs used for the ceremony then reused for the reception (the guests had to move their own chair). The tables didn’t have centerpieces, maybe a candle?, and it was catered by a taco truck. Appetizers were chips & salsa from the bag/container. Dessert was a same cake for cutting and other mink desserts for guests. They did have an open bar, they bought alcohol and hired a bartender. It wasn’t horrible but not my style. It worked for them.
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  • Michelle
    Super October 2020
    Michelle ·
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    My future did in law had a budget wedding. It was so fun but it was soooo hot because it was sort of outdoors and on the hottest day with no breeze, no AC. I just remember it as fun and HOT lol.


    She had about 130 guests, she had her reception at a shelter house overlooking a small lake which was free to residents in her neighborhood, it had chairs and tables but we help set up. She catered in and had some alcohol, did cheap faux flower centerpieces, used her friend officiant, her cousin was the DJ, her aunt did her hair, got her wedding dress on sale, flowers and cake from grocery, so I’m thinking the wedding was no more than $10,000. Maybe under.
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  • Allie
    VIP November 2021
    Allie ·
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    I’ve been to a few budget weddings. While there were certain aspects of each wedding that you could tell they didn’t want to spend lavishly, the experiences weren’t bad because of their budget. The first one they opted to not have seating during the ceremony, so we all stood. Which honestly was fine because it only lasted half an hour and since it was outside, I just put my moccasins that I had in my car on so I wouldn’t sink in. That wedding didn’t use any flowers and they were catered by a grocery store. The food was actually pretty good. They didn’t have a bar, they just bought bottles of wine and cans of beer and you served yourself. That’s where I felt it was kind of cheap because it created a huge line and some traffic jams when people were trying to get their drinks, which would have been avoided if they had a bartender. The second wedding they did bbq catering instead of your traditional fancy meal, they had a cash bar that came with their venue, and they rented a hall for $100 instead of an actual wedding venue. The hall wasn’t something I’d pick for myself because it had animal heads everywhere (it was owned by a hunting club) but they made it work for them and the wedding was still fun.
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  • Jamie
    Just Said Yes May 2021
    Jamie ·
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    I love, love, love this about the backyard wedding! I’m thinking of doing something SO similar. Even tri tip crossed my mind today lol
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  • Molly
    VIP September 2020
    Molly ·
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    Awesome! Tri tip is the best! Congrats on your wedding!

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  • Jamie
    Just Said Yes May 2021
    Jamie ·
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    I just had it for the first time a couple weeks ago visiting my fiancé’s family. I’m from Texas so we don’t have it here. Thanks so much!
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  • Molly
    VIP September 2020
    Molly ·
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    Oh yeah, I visited Texas and was shocked to find out it is uncommon. My sister lived there at the time and said sometimes you can go to a butcher directly and they will sell you tri tip. You're welcome!

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  • Jamie
    Just Said Yes May 2021
    Jamie ·
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    Oh that’s cool! I didn’t know that about butchers. Makes sense.
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  • J
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
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    The picnic with tri-tip sounds yummy.
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  • Tori
    Dedicated November 2020
    Tori ·
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    I’ve been to weddings where you could tell it was an all in one venue. The decor is not very personalized and everything was just more basic than my taste. There wasn’t anything personal about it. I’ve been to weddings where the ceremony space was beautifully decorated, but then it was cocktail hour with a first dance that’s all. I think whatever makes you happy. I’m personally limiting my guest list to cut down on costs. Adding a few DIYs wherever I can. Our venue is also a friends huge backyard, so that was a huge cost savings except for lighting.
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  • Elissabeth
    Dedicated March 2021
    Elissabeth ·
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    I went to one very nice budget wedding where they used thrift store finds to diy the decor (flowers made of thrifted clothes in pretty fabrics and mixed glassware for candles) and the food was made by the bride's family and served family style. It was in the church they attended so the musicians were their friends and did the ceremony for free and they got a great deal on a school gym and were able to play music through the gym speakers from a computer.
    I also went to one slapdash budget wedding where everyone was invited by phone the week of. It was in the backyard of the couple but they didn't check the forecast for the week or have a backup plan for bad weather so when it started pouring with high winds throwing the chairs around, everyone had to cram into thier tiny living room. They borrowed fold out chairs from family for the seating but it didn't fit inside so everyone stood. They got a couple family members to make food but they didn't specify so everyone brought red chile chicken enchiladas and nothing else. The groom wore dirty jeans and a t shirt and the bride wore a nice lace sundress. They tried to shove stuff out of the way in the garage so they could have a dance but only managed to clear a small space. Most guests left immediately after the ceremony. I take that experience as the worst case scenario for a budget wedding because they can be so nice if there is planning and thought involved!
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Mostly just cake and punch receptions in a church hall.


    Attended a couple different ones with amazing restaurant catering at local community centers that was way better than any catering company (one was Hawaiian..teriyaki and fried rice..and another was tacos)..also with grocery store flowers and sheet cakes. The couples skipped the fancy display cake.
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  • Jacqueline
    Dedicated June 2021
    Jacqueline ·
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    My wedding plan is under $10k. We are getting married in my parents back yard and are DIYing our florals and decor. We are doing a bbq afterwards and while I will be supplying some bar items, coolers will be welcome! Expected guests are 100 people. In addition to the big expenses, I bought a few things here and there, like flameless candles at home goods. The big costs are:

    -rentals (tent, tables, chairs) $2000

    -catering $2000

    -florals (diy buckets from a local farm) $700

    -photographer - $1500

    -band - $2000

    -cake - $500

    a couple tips I have found- when calling around for quotes from vendors, don't tell them it's a wedding. just say it's a party. it's amazing the price difference! and with flowers, try and find a farm local to you that grows flowers. you may not get exactly the type you want due to what's in season but the price is way better that florists or grocery stores!

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