Sandra
Dedicated May 2021

Low budget weddings

Sandra, on January 14, 2018 at 9:02 PM

Posted in Planning 140

I want to hear about your low budget weddings! What have you/are you doing to budget and save money? We are located just outside Milwaukee, have invited 65 guests, and we are below budget at $6,400!
I want to hear about your low budget weddings! What have you/are you doing to budget and save money?
We are located just outside Milwaukee, have invited 65 guests, and we are below budget at $6,400!

140 Comments

  • April
    Just Said Yes August 2018
    April ·
    • Flag

    I'm in Michigan

    Dress $82.00 from Amazon and its just as beautiful if not more than dresses I tried on that cost over $1000

    Venue $2800

    100 guests- ceremony (outside overlooking the water in a gazebo) and reception (inside banquet hall and outside) in the same location. We were very lucky to find a venue that does everything including decorations. The $2800 is including

    * Seven course meal - Buffet Style

    *Complimentary wedding ceremony on our waterfront gazebo

    *Coffee bar with assorted coffees and creamers

    *Chiavari chairs

    *Late night snack (Choose from Coney Dogs or nacho bar)

    *Colored linens to match your personalized theme

    *Centerpieces (your choice)

    *Ice cream sundae bar

    *Outside Tiki Bar

    *wedding coordinator

    *Cake cutting & wrapping

    *Complimentary photo slideshow with free memory card of your ceremony & reception

    *Uplighting (Your choice of color to fit your theme)

    *Champagne table during cocktail hour

    DJ $300 found on Thumbtack with great reviews

    $30 Invitations, made myself and printed at Staples

    $100 my cousin is a professional cake maker

    Photographer is my fiance's cousin we just have to pay for our own prints

    Videographer I am seriously considering Wedflicks for $279






    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Expert June 2018
    Adrianna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    What's wrong with their plans? They seem happy with their wedding planning.
    • Reply
  • April
    Expert September 2018
    April ·
    • Flag

    Our entire wedding for about 100 people is only going to cost about $6k

    Venue for ceremony and reception: $1800
    Buffet dinner: $1600
    DJ: $350

    Hair and makeup for myself: $120

    Makeup for 6 bridesmaids, mom, and MIL: $500

    Flowers and decor: $500

    Photographer: FREE (my cousin is a photographer and she is bartering with a photographer friend as our wedding gift)

    Dress: gift from MIL

    Grooms attire: unsure yet

    His ring: $500

    My ring: FREE (wedding band came free with engagement ring)

    Favors: $200

    Save the dates: $100

    Invitations: $100

    Total: $5770

    May add alcohol still if we can fit into our budget.


    • Reply
  • danilaughs
    Expert August 2018
    danilaughs ·
    • Flag
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    It no longer is "my wedding and I do what I want" as soon as you invite anyone. Do you have a food handler's license? Are you and FH trained in catering? Will you be cooking in a commercial kitchen? Are you prepared to handle any allergies or dietary restrictions? Is you insured so that if someone at your large reception gets ill or has a reaction, you won't go bankrupt? Will you be tending the food for the duration of the reception to ensure it stays at proper temperatures? Do the guests invited to your reception know they didn't make the "small" 50 person cut for the wedding ceremony?

    If any of the answers to these are "no", then it is no longer a difference of opinion we are having. It is that you are being rude and putting your guests at risk and we are telling you so.

    • Reply
  • Spaghetti
    VIP November 2018
    Spaghetti ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    First of all, it's rude to invite people to a ceremony but not thank them with a reception immediately after. Receptions held a different day than the wedding are usually for destination weddings or elopements and are held back home for those who weren't invited/couldn't attend. The married couple would still take those who did attend at the DW/elopement out to dinner. Secondly, catering your own food is very difficult. You risk the food being handled wrong and making others sick. Half the time I have friends over at my home I will order food because it's simpler and I can focus on hosting, enjoying my time with them. I can't imagine being worried about cooking at my own wedding reception and I would never consider letting my family or friends help by working at my wedding.

    • Reply
  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
    • Flag
    The price some of you are paying for food is really concerning me...
    • Reply
  • bluevelvet
    Devoted October 2017
    bluevelvet ·
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    Too low? I assume too low as it is a budget wedding thread.

    • Reply
  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
    • Flag
    I am a diy person when it comes to the wedding stationaries so I have designed the STD cards, invitations, rsvp, thank you cards, and rehearsal dinner cards for $250 for all of it. I found already made up flower bouquets for $6 a peice, mens flower pockets for $6 a peice, reception farvors for $25 for 300 people, center peices $10 per table, venue for $500 wedding part favors for $100 for everyone, 3 tier cake and 200 cupcakes for $600, caterer for $450 (buying the food in bulk from costco and sam's club $700 budget), officiant and ceromony site for $350, my first dress and vail was given to me worth $5,100, second dress (since the train is very long) is set at $500, accessories for myself at $14. My budget is $7,000 and ive gotten a lot for about $3,000 for what I already have. Its very do-able when you find places to shop that are really cheap and find sales whereever you can and plan when to buy things according to those sales.
    • Reply
  • Selena
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Selena ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    That sounds great I am just trying I live in northern ky how much was bar packages
    • Reply
  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    What favors are you giving for 8 cents each and what are you feeding everyone for $2.33 per person? A standard meal I make at home costs more than that.
    • Reply
  • Ashlee
    Devoted September 2018
    Ashlee ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    They have all kinds of different packages for everything. It's BB Riverboats in Newport
    • Reply
  • Kelsey Brielle
    Super June 2022
    Kelsey Brielle ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    That is really amazing. That give me hope. I initially started with 130 guests but after sitting down with FH and being realistic, we HAVE, not want to but HAVE to cut that more than in half. I struggled a while with guilt and other emotions about doing this, but this thread is really helpful. Im glad I came across it today. Again thank you all for sharing.
    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Super May 2018
    Rachel ·
    • Flag

    There is some good advice here on such as decorations, flowers, attire, shopping during sales, having few guests, seasons, and times of weddings.


    There are even more very, very bad ideas. Please do not subsidize the cost of your wedding by forcing your guests to pay for part of it (either by BYOB or DIY catering or providing services to you). If they are your friend and they are close enough to be invited to the wedding- then they are close enough to be treated like a guest. To be honored and pampered with love. If they are working for you, then they become employees and no longer guests.

    Also, many of these "low-budget" posts do not seem to be including entire costs of things, which can make other future brides have unrealistic expectations of what they can and cannot afford. I know, because I was one of those brides that looked online and thought I could have one type of wedding for very low cost, but now I realize that is not possible once you add everything together.

    The small things really add up- postage, gifts, tips, stationary, DIY materials for decorations, etc. So if you post your price break-down, please include all line items, and clearly state if somebody gifted you a service or gifted you money that you did not include.

    • Reply
  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Even if you are "self-catering" (which I'm sure if you look at other threads will realize is a bad idea, even if you know about catering. It will keep you SUPER busy the day of your wedding (which you should be enjoying, not working!) and before (how are you going to take be in the ceremony and pictures when you need to be cooking/reheating/monitoring/serving food during that time before the reception and during?, you can think get super stressed and forget something or do something wrong which then leaves people sick (or worse) and you legally liable for their medical bills and pain and suffering), but you have to pay for the actual food ingredients, so it isn't $0. Unless you are serving air.

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  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
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    I am getting the food in bulk so it saves a lot as I mentioned before. There are a lot of places the sell things in bulk and have sales in those bulk food items so I get them while they are on sale. I found apps that sell things as cheap as $2 per item or even free and pay $2 for shipping like tophatter, wish, groupon, etc. If I can feed 10 people at my house for $20 (which I do on a weekly basis) for the whole meal by shopping smart, that is what I will do. Find sales on everything you can get sales from and you will come out cheaper. Its not like it cant be done. It also depends on where you live. Some states are much cheaper on the cost of living than others. But again, its not hard to do.
    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Expert June 2018
    Adrianna ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    🙄 Wow.
    agree to disagree.
    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Expert June 2018
    Adrianna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Agree to disagree. 🙂
    • Reply
  • An
    Super September 2019
    An ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Care to elaborate?


    • Reply
  • Sandra
    Dedicated May 2021
    Sandra ·
    • Flag

    Well, this was not supposed to be a thread of terrible ideas. it was supposed to be a thread of motivation.

    • Reply
  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree whole heartedly on this. Some of the guests may be vegetarians, vegans, have allergies, and food complications and the person who cooks and the host are soley responsible for things if an incident happens. Let's face it, we all do not know everyone we invite on how they eat, what can and cannot eat, nor their complications with certain food items so food is to be handled with care and by someone that have the license, and prove they have them, to cook for the guests. Its not fair to the guests that they have to suffer for the lack of food preparation and maintenance.

    Also I know I will not be able to enjoy the reception if I'm the one cooking, cleaning, keeping up with the prep and maintaining food temperatures, restocking the food if its a buffet, etc. Even if I had a team to do it, I would still be worried if it is done correctly and in a professional manor. I do not want to worry about every single thing on the day to celebrate me becoming 1 with my significant other.
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