Amanda
Master January 2017

What are you cutting to stay on budget?

Amanda, on April 8, 2016 at 11:29 PM Posted in Planning 0 33
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I'm struggling hard to stay within budget. We live in an area where services have high cost all around. We've booked the venue and catering, which eats up about 50% of our budget right there. I have no idea what to cut because we are only looking at the basic essentials right now (dress, DJ, photography, invitations, and flowers). We've already decided against a planner, photo booth, transportation rental, hair/makeup stylist, program, menus, extra furniture rentals, and any extra decor. Should we cut out the honeymoon or the DJ? Or the dress? I have no idea what to do since we aren't having any fun extras already and are sticking to the bare bones of a wedding. I'm doing extensive searches looking for the best deals without compromising on quality but I honestly don't know what else to cut without sacrificing essential wedding things like the dress or the honeymoon (since those are likely the two most expensive things aside from venue and catering).

33 Comments

  • Amanda
    Master January 2017
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Also we've already decided we wouldn't travel far for a honeymoon if we decide to have one--none out of country and staying on the western states of the US.

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  • CA_DesertBride
    Devoted October 2016
    CA_DesertBride ·
    • Flag

    I cut the DJ, but only because it wasn't important to me. I'm also cutting flowers for the most part. We're going to see what we can get day of, but I cut the budget by more than half once I realized I didn't care that much. One of the other things I had to cut was food - I mean we're feeding everyone, but we're getting BBQ instead of a plated meal. It will fit my backyard venue, but it wasn't what I originally wanted. Coming in under budget on photography is what is really going to save my budget though.

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  • 1Sooner.Fan
    Expert May 2017
    1Sooner.Fan ·
    • Flag

    We cut the guest list to 35 people, cut out DJ and planner completely, cut the hours of photography, cut decorations, cut the catering (we're doing a lunch instead of dinner, which can save a ton), my dress budget is under $200, the rings budget is under $200 for both of ours (yes, it is possible), and there's probably more I'm forgetting.

    Basically, you cut what you need to to make it work. If you have to sacrifice some things (ie, not invite your entire extended family and acquaintances, or have a cheaper dress and rings) then you do it.

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  • Sarah
    Master April 2017
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    Cut the honeymoon and save after the wedding for an anniversary trip.

    Also consider cutting the guest list.

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  • LoLo.P
    VIP May 2016
    LoLo.P ·
    • Flag

    I personally wouldn't cut a DJ but I want everyone to dance and have fun! They honeymoon can always come later?

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  • MrsPettit
    Super May 2016
    MrsPettit ·
    • Flag

    I would cut the DJ. Everyone I know who cut the honeymoon and said they'd just take a big trip later, regretted it. Life gets in the way, and suddenly you look up a couple years later and it's just a vacation. Taking time to celebrate being a new married couple -- even if it's a minimoon or a stay-cation is really important.

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  • xray12280
    Master June 2017
    xray12280 ·
    • Flag

    What about postponing the honeymoon until you have replenished the bank accounts a little? That is what we are doing. Cupcakes instead of a tiered cake? I plan on getting my flowers from SAMs club.

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  • S&P
    Master January 2017
    S&P ·
    • Flag

    First thing I cut was the videographer because it would be a waste of money for us. We're limiting flowers and using a lot of candles instead, I think that works really well for a winter wedding. We're DIYing invites because I just wanted something really simple anyway. I don't know what your budget it, but you can find a dress at David's Bridal for pretty cheap. Depending on the time of day and feel you're going for I would be hesitant to cut the DJ.

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  • Kelsey
    VIP December 2016
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag

    Can you cut your guest list any more? For the dress, try Davids Bridal $99 sale, Modcloth, BHLDN.

    I wouldnt cut DJ. your whole party depends on the music! Would you consider a mini-moon? Staying domestic?

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  • NowASeptMrs
    Master September 2015
    NowASeptMrs ·
    • Flag

    I would cut the guest list or honeymoon. You can always have a kick ass honey moon a year later but you only get one wedding. For me, having my whole extended fam there was important so we had to make it work for 150-180 guests. That's not something I was willing to compromise on and I would've been so sad if they weren't there. We pared down everything else and DIY decor and such. Photos were also important and we splurged. I don't regret it because I have amazing photos of an amazing day with all my family.

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  • weddingdiva2016
    Expert October 2016
    weddingdiva2016 ·
    • Flag

    Make your own center pieces! I am doing some of my own center pieces just because we have so many tables. You could also try to look at a sample sale for your dress. I know that David's bridal has some good sales. Believe it or not I actually found a gorgeous pair of shoes on eBay for like 50 bucks! As for invitations I would try wedding paper divas or one of those kits from the craft store! Lots of great so it yourself ideas from etsy Smiley smile

    I want to commend you because many brides don't realize that they need to stick within their budget before it is too late.

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  • Stephie Emm
    Devoted October 2016
    Stephie Emm ·
    • Flag

    We kinda ran in to the same issue- I'm assuming your getting more of the "Napa" quotes. We we're getting the same, but with Santa Ynez. We were able to keep everything on our list except that we decided to go against the custom invites. We found really nice DIY ones at Target for like $30 a pack, bought two and spruced them up by going to Paper Source. We're looking at less than $150 including the save the dates, invitations, and postage including the rsvp return.

    We also looked in to a DJ that allowed the DIY method- You basically out all the music on an iPod and they bring the audio. You could ask someone in your bridal party to keep an eye on that for special moments like the first dance and cake cutting. That was like $300.00.

    We still want a Photo Booth, but thats on the back burner at the moment. We found one of the Fuji Film Instax cams on craigslist for like $40 including film and we stock up on film when ever Michaels has 50% off coupons.

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  • C.C.
    Super August 2017
    C.C. ·
    • Flag

    We cut favors & programs! Totally unnecessary. We're putting the schedule for the day on a big chalkboard in the venue.

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  • FutureMrs.Lockhart
    Devoted November 2016
    FutureMrs.Lockhart ·
    • Flag

    I would definitely cut flowers before the dj! Try silk flowers and David's bridal has cheap dresses!

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  • E&M
    Master July 2016
    E&M ·
    • Flag

    If there's dancing at the reception I wouldn't cut the DJ. How about postponing the honeymoon or doing a mini-moon?

    ETA: if you're willing to do simple arrangements check out bulk fresh flowers from Costco. I think they even have wedding flower packages.

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  • LeahKtoL
    Super August 2016
    LeahKtoL ·
    • Flag

    I cut the flowers and my honeymoon is a couple months after the wedding so there's at least four paychecks imbetween.

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  • OriginalLaura
    Master March 2017
    OriginalLaura ·
    • Flag

    I think you just need to cut the guest list.

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  • Nessa
    VIP December 2017
    Nessa ·
    • Flag

    Use less, and more inexpensive flowers. Keep the DJ, it'll make the party. My photographer suggested that we not pay to have her there the last hour of the party, since most of the pics end up being of people on the dance floor, maybe you can do the same?

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  • justnaynay
    Dedicated May 2016
    justnaynay ·
    • Flag

    We cut favors and programs, cut the flower budget ( decided no flowers for our outdoor wedding at a park), got a fairly inexpensive dress at DB's, are using a consultant who charges an hourly rate instead of a wedding planner, we're having our wedding during the day instead of the evening cut the catering and venue costs, I bought my veil from an online store and we will be using an iPod instead of a DJ

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  • Amanda
    Master January 2017
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    FH has a very large immediate family (I'm talking brothers and sisters only, plus their significant others, plus his parents significant others because they are divorced). We are having around 50-60 guests. We each invited only two of our friends, and the rest is family; we're not even inviting any of FH extended family. We've really cut the guest list down as much as we can without severing ties with close family members. The DJ is really important to us, both of our families love to dance. I've found a reputable DJ for half the price of all the others I've found; same goes for photographer. We are already doing few flowers, only small pieces (1-3 flowers and succulents) mostly greens and candles by a friend of my sisters and my mom is doing the bouquets and bouts. I'm really saddened that we won't have anything extra for other fun things. :-(

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