I am getting married October 7, 2007 for the first time. I am 39 years old. While planning my wedding, I realized the wedding industry is such a scam! But if you know where to look & do the majority of the work yourself, you can save $. I expect all of my wedding expenses to come in under $2,000 - $2,500. My wedding will consist of 35 people (I invited 50).
Size of Wedding - If you hold a smaller wedding, your costs will be lower. Plus I want to be able to spend time with my guests, I know I couldn't possibly devote time to all of my guests if I held a larger wedding. I only invited those family members & friends that I am really close with. Try to invite only the people that matter the most to you & don't worry about offending anyone -- this is your day, not theirs. Plus most people are relieved to not have to attend weddings for people they are not close with so they do not have to buy a gift.
Wedding Dresses - Look online but make sure you know your measurements before you order anything because wedding dresses are usually not returnable plus I believe you are supposed to order the dress 2 sizes larger than your street clothes. Most web sites post the measurements. I found my dress on Ebay. It was brand new with tags from a bridal shop. With shipping it cost $185!
Wedding Invitations, Flowers, Decorations & Favors - Look at local craft stores/dollar stores/Wal-Mart/garage sales. A local craft store in the Chicago area frequently holds 50% off sales in their bridal department. To give you an idea of the items I bought & prices I paid: wedding invitation kit (60 invites with response cards) - $17; bridal bouquet (silk flowers) - $6; ring bearer pillow - $6; mint tins (30) - $10; favor bags in my wedding color (60) - $6; cake topper - $10. I found wedding invitation samples online for free & printed the invitations on my own printer. I got so many compliments on them that I was even asked for the name of the printing company. Boy, were they shocked when I said it was me!
Hair/Makeup/Nails - If you call salons & tell them you want price quotes for bridal services, the prices are usually higher than if you asked for a quote on hair/makeup/nails under regular services. Don't mention the words "bridal" or "wedding" & get a better deal. If you are really pressed for the reason you want these services, say you have a big date.
Wedding Cake - I am getting my wedding cake from a local grocery store bakery that feeds 60 people for $60! I didn't realize what a good deal that was until my Mom told me that's how much her wedding cake cost in 1964 for 100 people. When I called professional bakeries, the costs for cakes were much higher.
Family/Friends - My Mom is crafty & she created all of the corsages/boutonneires from silk flowers for less than $15.
Thank You Cards - I bought a box of 50 elegant Thank You cards from Wal-Mart for only $4.99.
I hope my tips help you & congrats on your upcoming wedding day!
Victoria had some wonderful ideas! Also, if you don't know of them, Oriental Trading has some wonderful wedding items for low prices. My daughter was married in August 2004, and I purchase alot of the items from Oriental. They normally have really good sales right before and after Christmas. The dollar stores are great resources for low prices. You can have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank! It just takes creativity and some "thinking outside of the box"
The previous feedback seems very helpful and informative. I also was married in 2005, on a tight budget. I found a lot of my wedding stuff for 50-75% off at places like Hobby Lobby or Walmart. We also printed our own invitations and bought the better envelopes to mail them in. I would stay away from bridal websites and magazines, since they push the more expensive ideas. Websites like Martha Stewart Living or Simple Living are great for ideas and research. One idea we used, was to take jelly ice that looks like real shaved ice and put into minature round glass bowls. We then placed floating candles inside and had flower rings outside. I thought they were nice table center pieces. Oh and i borrowed mirrors from a friends to place under the centerpieces. Ask around to family and friends to borrow their formal silver or crystal ware for the wedding. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
A lot of the little things can be purchesed at discount or dollar stores, such as napkins, cutlery, champaign glasses, etc.
You can make your own table centerpieces from vases, bowls and flowers from there also.
Get your attendants to help you at a pre-wedding party for a fun time.
You can make your own, or have made wedding invitations (they don't have to be ingraved)at statonery stores. There are also programs for the computer to print out anything.
Shop around for discounts or rentals of table linens. Ask family members to help prepare some of the simple food items instead of catering the whole "affair".
Look into renting a hall of a fraternal organization, which should be cheaper than a Hotel, or some churches have nice accomodations for weddings.
At the party for making table decorations, have them also help you make "birdseed bags" to be thrown after the ceremony.
The one thing I can say is dollar store! Not sure if you have a dollar tree in your city, but that store that sounds so cheap, has some pretty things in it. I watched the show who's wedding is it anyways and one lady by the name Lynette, made one couples wedding just so elegant and expensive looking using many things from the dollar store. You just need to use your imagination from with in to make it work. Good luck!
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My fiance and I are getting married next March and I only have a budget of $2000 to work with. I don't know where to start. I also don't know what type of low budget foods people would like, and we are inviting over 100 people.
By Hollie from Paducah, KY
Think outside the box; just adding "wedding" to the name of any items shoots the price up. A plain white guest book will do, lovely dresses that aren't "bridesmaid" can be found, the same with "wedding" dresses. A white Bible with a single flower and ribbons trailing is a lovely bridal bouquet.
We did a beautiful wedding when all the decorating "flowers" were greens of all kinds clipped from our yards and placed in clear glass vases, etc., the only colored flowers were the the bridal party carried. The high end florist (who did the bridal flowers) was so impressed because it didn't detract from the key flowers and looked very lush.You have a work party of family and friends put them together ahead of time. I have been to totally dessert receptions where the bride and groom baked a number of cakes themselves. Everyone was charmed.
There are so many ways to make your day "yours" and special by staying away from the "traditional" stuff. Aisle ribbons are simple to make and just running/draping plain tulle between pews that are tied at the end of each pew with ribbon is charming and also keeps guest out of there before the wedding. Ushers can release it at end of wedding if you want guests going out that way.
There are so many simple, elegant, cheap things you can do it you just make a plan and follow it. Favors are not necessary. A handmade program can serve two purposes if you feel the need. Some friends made handmade paper covers and included special scriptures and words inside beside the service program and thanks. It was lovely and enough. I could go on and on (as a former wedding coordinator) but you can do it, Keep it simple and elegant.
First I would suggest talking to friends and family to see what things you could barrow, like tablecloths, serving platters and table decorations. Maybe talk to them also about being able to help serve food, decorate cake, or do the music as a wedding gift to you guys. If you want to find simple table decorations look at the dollar store. As for location, find a cheap spot like someone's backyard or a church building. Also fake flowers are cheaper. Hope this helps.
Is there a way I can have my wedding reception for under $2,000 including venue, DJ, and catering. The wedding is in 60 days please respond ASAP. Thank you.
By betsyla from Jacksonville, FL
Why don't you just plain go and get married. The wedding should have been planned a lot further ahead. If you have to have a reception, have it in the church fellowship hall, one of your parents homes or the home of friend. Have it at a time of day that all you have to serve is cake, coffee, tea and punch. Forget the dance, it isn't necessary. Have friends or relatives such as cousins, serve the cake, coffee, etc. Having this type of reception, the main costs would be the location and the cake. Your helpers can make the coffee, tea, and punch, with your furnishing the supplies.
We actually found a minister willing to marry us in his backyard in front of our immediate family. He was willing to meet us anywhere we wanted (within reason) and hold the ceremony.
We held a party literally in a field two days later, perhaps you could rent a shelter at a local part and have a barbecue cookout/potluck party to celebrate with friends and extended family. My original plan involved hiring a few of my brother's friends to grill burgers and hot dogs for us, but my mother got involved and vetoed that plan. If you have a connection to some teenagers (that you trust) you could pretty easily hire them for a few hours to lend a hand. What teenager would say no to cash?
As for music, we found a friend with a PA system (you could always find someone in the family with a loud stereo system that you can bring) and brought CDs to listen to, you could absolutely bring an mp3 player and just shuffle through all the songs.
Remember, no matter what you decide to do to celebrate with friends and family the only really important thing is that you and your fiance show up and get married. Your marriage will not be worth less than anyone else's just because it cost you less.
Best wishes for a happy marriage,
Kristi in Kent
Our reception hall was free, my father in law worked there. Find a friend or relative who works somewhere with a big open space. Maybe a park, school or library. Find a deal.
Do you know someone that owns a restaurant or catering company? Call around to mom and pop restaurants. Or make a deal like we did. We paid a caterer to make the main dishes (chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables) and we supplied appetizers, salad, soup and beverages from a restaurant supply store. Total was under $500. If you like, just serve cake, coffee and punch. Call local bakeries. They are more willing to work with you and your budget than the bakery departments of chain supermarkets.
Our friend is a DJ so we supplied him with CDs of our favorite songs and told him what we absolutely did not want to hear. His gift to us was free DJ service. Call local karaoke bars or DJs in your yellow pages if you can't find someone.
Do you have a skill or service you can trade? Do you babysit? Can you make a website or sell someone's collectibles on eBay for them? Offer to wrap all their Christmas presents or crochet them a blanket in exchange for what you need.
Don't worry if you can't serve filet mignon and have a string quartet. The most important thing is the commitment you are making to each other. Everything else should just be for fun and memories.
Good luck and best wishes!
My husband and I got married last spring at a large park in Atlanta, which was free. The minister was $150, I believe. We didn't need decorations since it was so beautiful outside.
For the reception, we chose a nearby pub in an old fire station. Since we were buying food, we got to use the large event space for free. We got married at 11am, so we had a brunch reception, which was much more affordable. We had a large buffet of all kinds of brunch items, as well as mimosas, draft beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. The entire bill for 60 people, including tip, was $1,000! We did not have a DJ, but instead just plugged in our iPods to the existing speaker system. We also spent about $200 on cupcakes, rather than getting a cake.
So our entire wedding cost under $1,500, and it was fun and sweet and perfect! Our guests said it was one of the most special and beautiful weddings they'd ever been to, and that it suited us to a tee. :)
Be creative and have fun, this wedding is about celebrating your love!
I am trying to plan a wedding with $2,000, but I have no idea where to start.
Have the wedding in your backyard or a park. Have a potluck wedding, and purchase your dress used. Have a friend take pictures. You can do it.