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Beginner September 2019

Help weddings are so expensive

Emma, on August 4, 2017 at 2:25 PM Posted in Planning 0 50
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We've been engaged for about 6 weeks and in our venue search have realized that our budget is going to take some finagling. We have about $15k for 175 people in the Boston area. Any advice on venues that will help make this work? We know finding a place that will let us bring in a less expensive caterer will help, our main issue right now is how pricey venue fees alone are or how many require a tent (another $1500 ). Any new places we can check out would be great help!

50 Comments

Latest activity by Mandi, on August 7, 2017 at 4:40 PM
  • OGJessieJV
    Master July 1867
    OGJessieJV ·
    • Flag

    Cutting your guest list will help your budget. Or look into different venues like museums, art galleries, and the like.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrsBurroughs
    VIP October 2017
    FutureMrsBurroughs ·
    • Flag

    Yes, weddings are so so expensive! You have 2 years to save and plan, so that is a great start. A good way to cut down on cost is by trimming your guestlist. Congratulations on your engagement!

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  • LibraryBelle
    Super January 2018
    LibraryBelle ·
    • Flag

    It sucks, but cutting guests is really the only way to lower cost. Find a reasonable venue and make sure you price out inclusive vs diy (hardly ever much cheaper!). Until then, save, save, save!!

    Congratulations on the engagement!!

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    They're expensive when you have a guest list that big. Do you even intimately know that many people? Are they in your collective speed dials? You realize that you'll have about 30 seconds to spend with each one of them?

    Cutting the list is the best way to cut the budget. I can do a fabulous wedding, right outside NYC, for 12-15 guests, with music/photographer/flowers/apparel/great food and liquor for 5000.00.

    The great thing about small guest lists is that they are self limiting. When you make that decision, people understand that not every relative and friend is invited because yes, weddings are expensive!

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Super October 2017
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    I'm hosting 200 people in the Boston area and it's costing me 25k. That is on the cheaper end too in this area. You need to cut your guest list.

    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Super May 2018
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    Agree with everyone else! Make a priority list too! For me having everyone there was most important but because of the guest list size I cut down on other things: no favors, using plates that our BBQ caterer provides instead of getting china, doing a DIY photo booth, etc.

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  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    Cut your guest list There's no need for most people to have that many people at their wedding.

    • Reply
  • KDoubleU
    VIP October 2017
    KDoubleU ·
    • Flag

    Also in the Boston area, look to the suburbs, that is where you can save money. Also what PP said about cutting the guest list. Try contacting venues that don't normally host weddings, they may have cheaper facility fees.

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  • Leeann
    Super August 2017
    Leeann ·
    • Flag

    Weddings are expensive and the Boston area is super-expensive. My sister hosted about 150 people at the Andover Country Club and her total wedding cost was around $30k. How far outside the city are you or are you willing to go? Cafe Escadrille in Burlington, MA (south of Boston, off Route 128) is reasonably priced for a nicer venue and Spinelli's is affordable with lots of food. Maybe New Hampshire would be less expensive? What kind of venue are you looking for? Can you cut your guest list?

    • Reply
  • J
    Beginner May 2018
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    I have found that cutting the guest list is honestly the biggest help. We originally had a budget of $15k for ~125 people and we already see its going to be more like $17-$18k. I have cut a few non-essential people from the list to get it closer to 100, which has cut quite a bit of cost for us in terms of the venue (also the venue we ended up choosing limits our people which helped us to 'cut the fat'!).

    I also found a venue that includes the cake (score!) and has options for included centerpieces (they aren't AMAZING, but I can add to them for a pretty low cost and still have it look nice!).

    Basically anywhere you can make something yourself will really help you out as well! There are great DIY ideas on Pinterest!

    Do you know anyone that can pitch in for free or for a discount for things outside of the venue (i.e. officiant, invitations, flowers, photographer, make-up artist, hair stylist)? I unfortunately do not but I have seen that suggested on other sites Smiley smile

    You also may want to look just outside of Boston, perhaps its cheaper in the surrounding cities? I used to live in Arlington so I know the Boston area is prrrrretty expensive!

    • Reply
  • E
    Beginner September 2019
    Emma ·
    • Flag

    To everyone saying we need to cut the list- this is our cut list haha. Our original was 220. My fiancées family is huge - 3 brothers on her moms side and 4 sisters on her dads. Add in spouses and adult children and their spouses, her list is well over 100 just with family and close friends, not even counting my family. So yes, we know we need to cut the list down however possible.

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  • Julianna
    Dedicated March 2018
    Julianna ·
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    Consider doing a Friday or Sunday wedding during the off season. We are saving 2,000 by getting married in March instead of June.

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  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Jessica, don't suggest friendors. It sounds cheap but it's usually a very bad idea.

    List? Parents, siblings and spouses. The end.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Savvy June 2018
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    I know your guest list cutting struggle!! My fiance also has a huge family. Thankfully we were able to find a venue that can accommodate the 200 guests we are expecting and it wasn't an outrageous price tag. I was venue searching for months and just happened to stumble across the one we chose. Keep looking!! (: Check photographers in your area... on their blogs they will typically have the location they shot at. This is how I found mine!

    @Julianna I agree! We are having our wedding on Friday which saved us money on the venue and videographer Smiley smile

    Good luck!

    ETA: Add

    • Reply
  • J
    Beginner May 2018
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    My bad, my bad, no friendors Smiley winking

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  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
    • Flag

    Cut your guest list and, if possible, move the wedding further out west may help because Boston is always crazy expensive.

    • Reply
  • Madelayna
    VIP September 2017
    Madelayna ·
    • Flag

    Oh you said adult children. You're just going to have to cut it down some more (do you actually know all of those people?!) or have your wedding somewhere else.

    • Reply
  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·
    • Flag

    Of course you want to invite all of your siblings and their spouses, but there is no reason to invite the adult children unless you are really close with them. Only invite very close family and the friends that you can't imagine not being part of your wedding day. I'm sorry don't think it will be possible to properly host 175 wedding guests in the Boston area for only $15,000. If planning that big of a wedding will cause financial stress, I think you will ultimately be happier with a smaller wedding.

    • Reply
  • Victoria
    VIP February 2018
    Victoria ·
    • Flag

    Wow, that's a large guest list. I'm in socal and hosting 125 for $20K, but at a pricier venue. I'd imagine that if you take it down to 125 you'd have a much easier time

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  • Sos0033
    VIP September 2017
    Sos0033 ·
    • Flag

    Also in Boston with similar size guest list... 15k won't even come close to cutting it. If you're north, try NH, and if you're south, try RI. Most venues we looked at did not offer a discount for Friday weddings since they've become so in demand, but maybe a Thursday or Sunday of a non-holiday weekend? Brunch wedding? You could also try off-season, but then you also run the risk of having a blizzard on your wedding day. Even with all of these things considered, you'll likely need closer to 30k to properly host your guests.

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