How to cut down wedding costs?
We basically have $4000 to spend on our wedding with a guest list of just over a hundred people. The caterer, ceremony site, and reception site together costs $2700. My dress is already paid for. Where do I spend the rest??
- decorations, fresh flowers, d.j maybe?
- On your honeymoon!
- pictures and get a video done that way you will always
remember that day
- save the money
- Put the rest on a deposit for a lawyer...
Sorry my dear, but if you can't afford it, don't do it.
It will only end in tears if you try.
- You need a cake. Flowers, favours, decorations, transportation
- Sounds like you still have to do invitations, flowers, bridesmaid gifts, wedding day jewelrey/make up/hair, your fiance's clothes on wedding day, all that stuff too! I'm sure there will some some money left over if you do a lot of DIY things and cut corners.
- Photographer!! You're memories and the pictures are the most important things I think. I'm spending the bulk of my money on my photographer. Most of the time, you can find someone who you pay a flat rate for a certain time frame and then can buy the rights to all pictures taken and get a cd of them so you can make your own prints as you are able to afford them.
- Maybe you could go on dragons den and ask for some money? Failing that, then buy lots of small sausages and lots of cocktail sticks, as they never fail to impress! Next i would buy lots of cheap toilet rolls, as these can effectively be turned into several decorations quite easily, and too can be used as confetti! Imagine the hours of fun your kids can have ripping the paper up on the evening before. To compensate for the cheapness of the evening, i would employ three or four large mirrors at the back of the hall / room you are hiring to give the illusion of more people, and also, leave a small untuned radio on in the corner, behind some glossy magazines. these magazines will also give the impression that you keep up with the day to day lives of the most important people.
Last tip, don't hire an expensive PA system, merely ask all of your guests / speakers to shout.
- D.J ,, Decorations , save it for ur honey moon or just cave the money , u'll never know when u might need that bit of extra cash!!
- I personally think you should spend as much of the money as possible to benefit your guests. You should try to find a really great DJ who will make the reception lively and fun. Flowers are great, but expensive if you hire a florist. I would buy a really simple glass bowl from Michaels, Target, or Wal Mart and do your own centerpieces. Something like this:
Is alcohol included in your catering costs? If not, I'd think about doing a wine/beer bar only. Buy some kegs and a few bottles of wine (Bev Mo even has a buy one, get the second for 5 cents sale!) and serve this during a cocktail hour (while you are taking pictures!) to keep your guests entertained while you are busy!
Think about buying DIY invitations from Target or Michael's. I think you should also skip the wedding favors. If you can't afford nice ones, just don't get them and put that money into something else for your guests.
I agree with the photographer statement too! You definitely want to have a great photographer, but you may want to consider pricing out a few or having your wedding on an "off" day so that this doesn't gobble up the rest of your budget.
- I would write down all the left over items that go with a wedding: flowers, pictures, alcohol, honeymoon, favors (i'd forego those, waste of time and money), wedding cake, entertainment at wedding (dj, band, pianist, etc) and then decide IF you want to spend this money. IF not, save it for something else like a down payment on new furniture for your home or whatever. Noone says you have to spend all the money available but certainly don't skip over something that is very important that you'll kick yourself over later in life because you didn't do it.
- Have an affair. It would have saved Mum an awful lot of money if she hadn't already paid the deposits for various things. On the downside she is now very lonely, serves her right the philandering cow. My new Daddy-to-be was minted, but now I have to live in a shed. And the owner of the shed doesn't know.
- A competent DJ makes or breaks a reception.
Craigslist is full of them, and ANY whom you consider hiring should have some venue they play at where you can preview their shows, like a night-club.
Observe whether they drink or not, for nothing is as ruinous as a drunk DJ. NO exceptions.
Well, maybe a post-ceremony bride/groom FIGHT is worse, but otherwise....???
- I believe there are some things that make a wedding better:
Do you have your photographer?? You need pictues to remember the occasion!!! Also it's fun to do the disposable cemeras on the reception tables. It seems like 1/2 the night people are saying "Let me see??" "EEEeeeww I look fat!" BlahBlah Blah about the digitals. Take the picts and not being able to see is th efun part. U get everyone how they really are at that part of the event! Soooo funny to get together with friend one night and develop the pict.'s and lugh over drinks.:O)
2nd. get your music budget deducted f/m your balance
*Music : If U hire a band they can play lots of music that you like and also they DJ so they can play the classics like the chicken dance, bunny hop etc. Great for all ages...and gets funnier as the night goes on.
*Decorations: If U have not checked with florist yet U will be surprised at ho costly wedding flowers can be. Typical Bridal Bouquet ranges from $75.00 and up, MOH and Bridesmaids are usually $45.00 and up, then you have the bout's(Groom, Dad, Grandfather, men in wedding party, ring bearer around $8.50 a piece, Mothers and grandmoothers corsages $15.00 and up ea. Flower girl $25.00 and up, cake decorations $25.00 and up and table centerpieces that start at $35.00minimum and that isnt giving U much of a presentation.
Sometimes the venue U are having the wedding at provides mrror and table decor included in their cost. See what the have before you visit your florist.
DON'T FORGET THE FLOWERS...THEY ADD UP QUICK.
I say U get your quotes for flowers and take that out of the budget next.
If always makes it nice for the guest to take something home in the end. Something thta goes with the theme of your wedding perhaps. It gives people something to talk about at the least and maybe remember about your wedding making it differet.
And def. but something for your girls in the wedding party. Maybe an inexpensive charm bracelet they might all like to remember the day and how close you are with them.
after that what U have left should maybe be twords an hour o fopen bar?? People like to chat and get to know people at the begining of the reception. Somtimes it acts as an ice breaker.
GOOD LUCK! I hope I helped a bit.
- Your budget is actually double mine, and things are coming together beautifully for me. You've already got your food and sites together, so you need to think about your centerpieces, invitations, are you doing a save the date?, thank you cards, necessities for the ceremony (candles, etc) You can cut down on the costs by DIYing. I'm making origami lilies and bluebells in my wedding colors for the centerpieces, making cds for favors, doing my own invitations, etc. If you're crafty at all, look at this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
- theres a book called Bridal Bargains, it had TONS of ideas to buy flowers whole sale, and places for cheap but good catering, or Idea's for a potluck type thing, my friend and me loved that book while planning her wedding. (i MOH) i saved the title to use it when i planned my wedding.
- There are so many things you still need to get.
Flowers for yourself
Flowers for attendants
Flowers for tables'
Flowers for mothers
Flowers for male attendants
Flowers for grandparents
Flowers for alter
Soda, Coffee, Tea (I don't see booze by the caterer)
Gifts for attendants
Gifts for mother's
Do you need to rent the table linens?
Favors for guests
Hotel for wedding night
Pay the clergy
Tip the wait staff
Any money left? Be sure you get it in writing and that all tips are mentioned. Places have a way of adding on little things that add up big... Like: A fee for cutting the cake! At $3 a person, 100 people, it's another $300. that you didn't expect. Don't be embarrassed to have them put it all in writing. It's much more embarrassing to tell them you don't have any more money. They could say on the contract: No other charges. or No further charges.
- A good photographer, even on the cheaper end, will easily eat up a huge chunk of what you have left. We spent more than a third of our $3200 on an excellent photographer who did it as a side-job. You can easily pay even more for full-time photographers.
You might consider having video made as well. We enjoy being able to hold on to our own memories of what happened that day, without being contradicted by video evidence, if that makes sense. (Sentimental grin.) But our wedding ceremony turned out to be so unique (we altered a LOT of things and really made it our own in so many ways) that many people who were there and also many who weren't have actually asked if we had video they could watch or show others.
Do you have/want a DJ or can a friend or little sister happily burn some wedding-mix CDs? Have you already accounted for any decorations you want to have? Most of ours were simple and home-made or hand-picked bit by bit at sales in stores like Hobby Lobby; the decorations were highly complimented by people who thought they were professional by the creativity. As far as food, we had it catered, of course, but many things were served in ornate leaf-shaped dishes we picked ourselves at our fall wedding (my mom still has them). So there may be touches like that which you could consider. Have you already factored in clean-up? Does your ceremony and/or reception site offer the option of hiring personnel to clean-up, or is it mandatory and already included in the cost you've quoted? What about instrumentalists (even if it's just pianist or organist)? It's also fairly standard to offer the ministers some amount, even if they haven't specifically quoted any price to you. Do you want to give your guests neat favors or something simple, or just make a donation in their honor? Flowers run up to several hundred FAST.
If I were you, I would make sure you cover the photography first. You want to shop carefully to get the cheapest BEST service you can. Don't just hire the cheapest quote you hear without investigating their work. Then, prioritize the list of things like clean-up, DJ, decor, instrumentalists, favors, etc. and go as far as you can. Be aware that on smaller budgets, if you add TIME to the currency you're willing to spend, you can get away with a lot more. Most of the things our guests thought were best were things we put together using little money and our own ingenuity and work.
Ideas to add neat things that cost little to nothing: Home-made centerpieces for reception tables. Take an afternoon and pick all your favorite songs and burn to disc; borrow a reasonable sound system from someone to play them. We made a powerpoint slide show that showed pictures of us as children growing up (separately) and then engagement photos; we borrowed a projector and portable screen, showed the slideshow to our rehearsal dinner guests with commentary, and left it looping in a the reception hall during the reception at the wedding; it was highly enjoyed and complimented and we spent NOTHING on it.
So don't worry, your budget won't limit your ability to offer a unique, personalized experience.
- decorations, flowers. honeymoon. or save it and use it for a down payment on a house or start your emergency fund with it (you want 3 to 6 months salary for emergencies tucked away in some kind of savings--you can get it when you need it but it's not too easy to get to).
- Well if you have already covered the flowers, decorations, photographer, food, beverages etc, then save it...it will come in handy when starting out together. You'll need things for the house, and extra money is a good thing to have when you need furniture, appliances, etc.
You still need:
~ your accessories? (shoes, hair, make-up, veil?)
~ your fiance's attire
~ fee for the minister or other officiant (unless included in your $2700)
~ marriage license (average cost for this is about $30)
~ gifts for attendants
~ rehearsal dinner