So I’m recently engaged. We wanted to get married in April 2022. We aren’t super picky about where we have our wedding, as long as it isn’t a courthouse. But here’s the problem: we are really trying to get our life together as far as finances and debt goes. We can’t afford an expensive wedding and almost all weddings are expensive. So we’ve been talking about going somewhere special and just eloping, but I really want our family to be there as I know they will be upset if we get married without them. There will be less than 100 guests if we don’t elope, but I don’t know. My brain is frazzled trying to think of ways to make this work. Any ideas?
I think the cheapest way to have a ~100 person wedding would be to have it an a non-meal time. Like a ceremony at 2pm, followed by light snacks and mingling/dancing/etc, then wrap up by 5 or 6. It would be pretty rude to ask people to come at a mealtime and then not give them a whole meal, but if it's at an off time, you can definitely do something light like cake and punch, or small finger sandwiches from the grocery store with lemonade.
You could either set a date and every month put aside a certain amount of money that you know you’ll be able to put aside.
Low cost places that you were able to get married or places like State Parks or beaches , lakes etc. Depending on how low your budget is, you could have an afternoon wedding and serve finger sandwiches etc.
Depending on how much money you have to spend you could also check out venues and see what their prices are for weekday weddings. My fiancé and I did this however we still managed to get up to about 40K in total for our wedding lol But we also live in a very high cost area and we are having it at a well-known venue so not everywhere is going to have this ridiculous pricing. Some things that I would not suggest:Asking family for help.Renting any houses with big backyards.Signing a contract that may put you at your max. With this whole wedding process I’ve learned that there are always extra expenses that you may not factor in. We basically already gone 20,000 over an actual budget and I’m doing all the floor on myself so just a heads up for that.
But most importantly have fun planning! This is the one time in your life where this is 100% your day!
The very first thing you will need to figure out is what you can comfortably afford. I know my brother-in-law and his wife wanted to spend $10,000 or less, but they quickly realized that wasn't realistic based on everything they wanted. Not to say you can't spend $10,000 because you definitely can, but they picked a place with food and beverage minimums that made it impossible to stay within that limit. Another huge factor is how many people you invite. Food and drinks are usually charged per person so the more guests you have the more it is going to cost. The best option for you is going to be to A. invite less people and B. host your wedding someone non-traditional like a park. You will want to stay away from places like hotels and country clubs because both usually have minimums.
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Great idea! I haven’t even thought about an earlier wedding with just finger foods since a bulk of the money would be going towards food.
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Thank you bunches! Will certainly check out public places for our wedding. We’ve been looking at venues and gracious they are pricey here!
Another way to save funds is having the ceremony and reception at one site. We saved by not needing transportation (ex: limo, gas money, maps printed) by having it at one site and the overall timeline was significantly easier! Good luck on the wedding planning!! ❤️
You can always elope with just your parents. That way you get the cost saving aspects of an elopement while also having your family present. Not sure what your budget is, but if you end up having a wedding with 100, you will likely be spending a minimum of $3,000 for just food.
You can also check to see if there are any companies that specialize in pop-up weddings in your area! For example, in DC, POP! Weddings Co. specializes in super small, 15 or fewer people weddings, and they do awesome photography for you as well as provide a small cake! I know these companies are really only up and coming so they aren't everywhere, but it doesn't hurt to look and see!
Research venues around you area that offers micro wedding packages. Usually micro weddings allow up to 50 guests max. I'm doing a micro wedding with 60 guests and it's saving me over $20k as a result. Narrow your list down to family members you really want there and close friends. Find a place that is all inclusive or allows you to hire your own catering or BYOB. Otherwise it will get really expensive fast. A lot of bigger venues will require a guest minimum which really means spending more money and also require alcohol and beverage minimum. For some places that might be 15k. Biggest thing is to do research on venues who let you bring in your own catering and alcohol. Because besides the venue the next biggest cost is food and beverage. Hope that helps!
My FH and I decided to elope, regardless what our families thought. Unless they are paying, then it's really not their call. I recommend you either elope or have the ceremony in your yard or a family member's yard.
Ultimately, what do YOU guys want? It’s your special day- elope, micro wedding, big wedding, court wedding. A wedding for 100 people will still be very expensive because of the food. Like one of the gals said, food alone will cost you about $3k. So backyard wedding is the way to go. But remember all the little things like chairs and tables for the guests- you’ll still have to rent all that. I’m getting married in Hawaii and I am fortunate to have a good budget. But I am a deal hunter haha. I recommend an elopement/minimony in Oahu with parents and siblings and anyone else who is super super close to you both. There’s so many places that offer packages for <10 guests. And usually, you have to deposit 25-50% and then pay the rest of it on or 30 days before the wedding day, giving you time to save the rest. The packages usually include the bouquet for you, officiant, food, chairs, basic rentals, and the venue itself. I’ve even seen some that include the photographer. DM me if you want more info! I have notes for most vendors in Oahu that I’ve been collecting.
I’m in the process of planning our small elopement/micro wedding (max 22 guests) and we chose a venue that would allow us to have he ceremony and reception outdoors. In the beginning, I totally thought under 8k was possible but after lots of research, realized that an all inclusive venue that we had available for only 4 hours was totally out of budget (15k+) if we wanted our immediate family, best man and maid of honor, and allow us all to not travel a lot to each destination for each event. We chose a lodge and will be staying for two days, but mainly chose that because parks in our state still do not allow group gatherings which is why we chose to rent the venue for two days. We are also cutting back on having a dj, makeup artist, florist, and photographer which each vendor was ranging in the 2k+ and was not in our budget. This way, we can spend more on what we personally wanted which was alcohol, catering, personalized decor and activities, and the ability to see our family after a whole year of isolation/quarantine.