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

  • bluevelvet
    Devoted October 2017
    bluevelvet ·
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    Kelsey, I would HIGHLY recommend discarding favors, programs, menus, props, anything extra. We focused on food, drink, good atmosphere and a short ceremony. The bridal party was three guys (my two sons and a Best Man) and their suits did not match - I did not care. It was an informal 11am wedding in an Arboretum, not 6pm candlelight in a church though. What will your guests care about? Food and drink and a comfy chair. Photo booths, chocolate fountains.....none of that really matters. Per your guest list: I FEEL YOU. Brokering peace in the Middle East is easier!!! We had to cap at fifty, after immediate family we each had 15 or so to invite. It was lean. My hubby gave me four of his "slots" so I could invite a few more people - LOL! Best wishes and good luck!

    PS - my wedding dress was $60 from Amazon!!! Our expenses (the big ones) were food and drink was around $1300, venue $500, photography $500, flowers $150 (one bouquet a few boots) invites were $70, thank you and postage was another $40 or so, plus a musician playing the reception was $350. Our room at the restaurant was free, we reserved it from noon to 3pm. Huge savings there!! Food was buffet - mac and cheese, pulled pork, salads, fruits and veggies. Again, zero regrets.

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  • An
    Super September 2019
    An ·
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    It is a fine line because some people take saving money too far and sacrifice their guest's comfort or leave it up to guests to cover/subsidize costs that hosts should be covering (i.e. cash bar). I am all for saving a buck here and there but you have to think about how that will affect your guests' experience.
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  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
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    Yep. Like $28pp for a 7-course meal, $700 to feed 300 guests low.

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  • April
    Just Said Yes August 2018
    April ·
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    It is actually $24.99 per person for a seven course buffet 2 meats and 4 sides and a salad and includes an open bar, that also includes the use of the facilities and everything else that was listed. The $2800 was rounded up to include taxes and other charges. The wedding is also on a Thursday which tremendously knocked down the price per person. The Venue has been in business for over 30 years and does not have a lot of overhead therefore is able to pass the savings on to there customers. So it confuses me why someone having an affordable wedding and reception brings up concerns for you. You do not have to go into debt to have a beautiful day.

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  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
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    For the open bar vs cash bar thing, there is another option that people do not consider. I don't want booze at my reception but will have an after party at a bar that I do not have to rent since its just a wall away from the venue. It works for me as well as the guests since I already asked for their opinions. For the reception, I will be serving sparkling white grape juice to have that effect of champagne. Everyone need to find the best options for them so I say to each their own and to their own budget.

    I do agree about taking the saving thing a bit too far because some things you cannot truly cut on. Food is definately one of them because of how many people who actually say yes to coming. I do find sales on food items and freeze them in my deep freezer but that works for me. Some do not have such conveniences and some food items you can only get fresh as 2 days or even hours before you cook it.

    Finding venues and vendors is another. You can find a cheap venue but looks like crap on a stick, photographer thats dirt cheap but photos look incredibly sloppy, videotographer that doesnt follow your vision nor know how to simply hold a camera, dj that does not cater to your needs and music choices, or a number of thing.

    This threat can be very helpful but we also have to be mindful of who is reading it and if it will help them. Generally speaking, if it will not help at all, dont post. If its a good iead and it worked for you and thinknit will help other, by all means, post it. I like reading posts that will help me through it all.
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  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
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    I in no way think you have to go into debt to have a beautiful day (also people can afford different things without going into debt). The concern is that a seven-course meal, plus alcohol, plus electricity, staff, insurance, and all the extras that go into running a venue and catering, costs more than $25 per person, even without the venue trying to make a profit. I've lived in a place with a low COL, I get that things can be cheaper depending where you are. I'm glad you're having a nice wedding with your budget, but I would be concerned if a venue quoted me a price that low for that much stuff. The whole "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" thing.

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  • Bridgett
    Dedicated September 2018
    Bridgett ·
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    I think you plans are awesome!! There are several people on here commented that they have their small intimate ceremony and then a large reception later. So I don't know where some of these rude comments are coming from. I got my flowers from Michael's too!
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  • An
    Super September 2019
    An ·
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    I have already posted extensively on another thread re: alcohol today, so I won't get into that. I would just point out that your family and friends will probably not be honest with you about things that they think may hurt your feelings, no matter how close you are with them --sometimes because of how close you are. That is why this forum is helpful, because people will provide unbiased opinions.


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  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
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    Honeslty, they are being blunt on their opinions but they do raise a good point. If the bride and groom are willing to cook and do all prep and setting up everything themselves, thats fine but they have to be prepared for whatever complications that arises. They will have to hold the responsiblity if something happening at the reception. Having a small ceromony then a huge reception is a lot of work. Having enough food cooked is a lot of work alone. Imagine you serving it, preping the reception site, clean up, and maintenance and you as the bride and groom are doing this all. You will not have the time to even greet your guest much less taking pitcures with them. Its not really being rude, its being realistic and look at what all may and may not happen.
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  • Kaye
    VIP October 2018
    Kaye ·
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    Guest list cutting more difficult than brokering peace in the Middle East. Smiley heart

    Each day I start with a list of 30. Then it becomes a list of 60 and then I finally say screw it and increase the number to the max allowed which fortunately is under 80. I'm waiting on final quotes from the caterer. I'm sure it will "get real" real fast and I will settle somewhere between 40-55.
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  • L
    Devoted June 2019
    Laurel ·
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    Semi budget bride here. We’re looking at $10k for 100 guests in St Paul, Minnesota, not including honeymoon or my wedding ring since it came as a set with my engagement ring. Ceremony site is $500 (historic church) and reception is a hotel ballroom with no fee for tables, chairs, linens, cake cutting, or honeymoon suite on night of wedding. Food will cost us $28/person plus the service charge and tax. Hosting beer and wine only. Found my dress at a consignment shop for $165. It’s a beautiful ball gown. Will stay relatively simple for cake and flowers to minimize costs.
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  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·
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    No offense, but that's not a seven course meal. That's a seven option meal, options being: 1. a salad, 2-5: 4 sides, 6-7: 2 meats. That's really a 2 course meal, if that, since a salad at a buffet is normally a side, not a separate course. Very few people have seven course meals, and that's ok, but call it what it is, a single course buffet of a few options (which is a lot of good weddings!). Are there appetizers too (that can be a course)? Is there a cocktail hour?

    And providing alcohol if considered a requirement of good hosting unless religious views prohibit it, which isn't the case here since you are going to a bar afterwards. Are you picking up the bar tab?

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  • Kaye
    VIP October 2018
    Kaye ·
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    I think the confusion here is courses versus items. You have 7 items on your menu and the price is not that wildly out of range depending on where you live. I've been given similar quotes in SC.
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  • Bridgett
    Dedicated September 2018
    Bridgett ·
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    Oh I definitely agree that it is a TON of work. I would never even consider it, but I guess if they feel like they have enough people who actually want to help go for it. I LOVE cooking, but could never imagine cooking food for my wedding. I'm too critical of everything, and I just want the day to be about me and FH.

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  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·
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    Hi Laurel- is there a fee to rent the hotel ballroom at all besides the per person food charge of $28? If there is, then the tables, chairs, etc. aren't free, they are in the rental cost for the ballroom. If not, they are included in the food or service charge. Nothing is really "free."

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  • D
    Just Said Yes 0000
    Danielle ·
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    I set a budget of 1,000 with 25 people...and I have about $200 something left to spare! I'm doing it myself!
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  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
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    Ah, I totally missed this!

    Yeah, $25pp for a standard buffet makes more sense. It also still feels like a very low price for everything else that's included (esp. open bar), but not outrageously low.

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  • April
    Just Said Yes August 2018
    April ·
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    No offense taken, I understand that. I just copied what was on the venues website. Which is why I stated what was included in the buffet. Yes there is a cocktail hour, appetizers and a late night snack. And it's an open bar, we are not going to a bar afterwards.
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  • Sharice
    Dedicated October 2018
    Sharice ·
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    I understand and have stated again that it is each to their own. Families are different and my family do not bite their tongues no matter how I feel about it, even do their best to force their opinions on how things need to be done which didnt work for me, what I say or do because I am like that with them and respect me because of it. I'm not rude with it and neither are they. Some think peole on this forum are being bias and/or rude. It hard to figure out sometimes due to how people take it which is why I said if it dont help, dont post. I know a lot are taking offense to some of the comment and see who are and if im one of them, I do apologize for it. thank you for your input.
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  • Kelsey Brielle
    Super June 2022
    Kelsey Brielle ·
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    Yes I haven't even thought about favors and had not intent to. Thank you for the tip of what to focus on, a close friend mentioned the same thing and told me to spend my money where my focus was. And yes, lol I have been going back and forth in my mind about this darn guest list. I had to take a break from planning because I felt so stuck but this really makes me excited again. Congratulations on your savings!!!! This is so encouraging!
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