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Any other LIW worrying about wedding costs?!?

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Treasure43

Brilliant_Rock
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The economy the way it is, and wedding costs being what they are is anyone else feeling stressed about wedding costs? FF and I will be paying for it all ourselves and I can''t see spending that much money, especially when it could be going towards a down payment on a house. Anyone have any budgeting tips? Or any thoughts on what is a REASONABLE amount to spend on a small, elegant wedding.
 

Rock_of_Love

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Jan 7, 2009
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1,274
Yes!! We are trying to save for a pretty large remodel on our house, and even small, elegant weddings can be...what? Like, $20 - 30K??

I also feel like wedding vendors should be coming down in price to get the business, no? But, I feel like I have''t seen any "deals" out there.

I, too, would love to hear everyone''s thoughts...
 

gwendolyn

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
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6,770
YES, definitely worried about money. We''ve got immigration paperwork to pay for before we will even know what our budget will be, so I don''t know yet even what to expect. Maybe the city hall and then reception at McDonald''s?
 

ilovesparkles

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Date: 4/11/2009 8:24:51 PM
Author: gwendolyn
YES, definitely worried about money. We''ve got immigration paperwork to pay for before we will even know what our budget will be, so I don''t know yet even what to expect. Maybe the city hall and then reception at McDonald''s?


LMAO, Gwen you always make me smile!

I am super SUPER worried. H doesn''t realize how much it really costs, and I keep trying to tell him that its big bucks. "Well honey we can have something small and easy." Ummmm, dear! Ugh! I don''t think he will understand until it comes down to the actual planning! Once officially engaged and a tentative date is set, I think we will have to sit down and figure out a real budget, and a real savings plan. My parents can''t donate a cent. I may go to grandparents, and I have no idea what is parents are able or willing to afford. Grrrrr!
 

misskitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
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1,691
Definitely. We just talked about this yesterday, actually. Thinking of a 2011 (instead of 2010) wedding, which means I''ll be a LIW until at least the end of this year. It just makes more sense to wait longer and have time to save.

As far as budgeting tips go...if you''re good at crafts, use that to your advantage. I''m planning on doing quite a bit of DIY for things like invitations, and budgeting $$$ for things like food and photography.
 

Treasure43

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655
Date: 4/11/2009 8:55:43 PM
Author: ilovesparkles

Date: 4/11/2009 8:24:51 PM
Author: gwendolyn
YES, definitely worried about money. We''ve got immigration paperwork to pay for before we will even know what our budget will be, so I don''t know yet even what to expect. Maybe the city hall and then reception at McDonald''s?


LMAO, Gwen you always make me smile!

I am super SUPER worried. H doesn''t realize how much it really costs, and I keep trying to tell him that its big bucks. ''Well honey we can have something small and easy.'' Ummmm, dear! Ugh! I don''t think he will understand until it comes down to the actual planning! Once officially engaged and a tentative date is set, I think we will have to sit down and figure out a real budget, and a real savings plan. My parents can''t donate a cent. I may go to grandparents, and I have no idea what is parents are able or willing to afford. Grrrrr!
I''m in the EXACT same boat as you! I didn''t realize how much it really cost until I did some research. We thought two years would be enough time to save but with a wedding, honeymoon, and possibly a house a few years after that I''m stressing.
 

idreamofcushions

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736
"Worried" doesn''t even cover it. SO and I talk about this all the time. We have a mortgage, student loans that have gone into repayment (so let''s call it mortgage #2), and I''m going to need a new car soon. So yeah, a little strapped for cash. Our parents won''t be able to help so if we want a wedding, it''s all on us.

My sister''s wedding was beautiful, intimate, tasteful and about $12k. So yes, it can be done.

In our case, eloping is starting to sound really good. I''m totally against going into more debt. I mean, I''d like to actually have a life after the wedding! Did you know alot of places have "elopement packages"? It''s really cool. They include ceremony, photographer, and a nice honeymoon suite. It''s an option we''re looking at. I love this site:

http://www.letsrunoff.com/elope.php?page=de-home
 

Treasure43

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Sigh. I want something but I don''t want debt either.
 

mrscushion

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 15, 2008
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I am definitely worried about the cost of the wedding. It's pretty ridiculous how expensive even a small wedding can get. I have a good chunk of wedding-designated savings and my parents will probably help with a lot of it, but I also going into a grad program in September and that will be expensive, too, so I feel like both of those things at once are a lot for my parents and me to pay for.
 

ilovesparkles

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Date: 4/11/2009 9:16:03 PM
Author: idreamofcushions
''Worried'' doesn''t even cover it. SO and I talk about this all the time. We have a mortgage, student loans that have gone into repayment (so let''s call it mortgage #2), and I''m going to need a new car soon. So yeah, a little strapped for cash. Our parents won''t be able to help so if we want a wedding, it''s all on us.


My sister''s wedding was beautiful, intimate, tasteful and about $12k. So yes, it can be done.


In our case, eloping is starting to sound really good. I''m totally against going into more debt. I mean, I''d like to actually have a life after the wedding! Did you know alot of places have ''elopement packages''? It''s really cool. They include ceremony, photographer, and a nice honeymoon suite. It''s an option we''re looking at. I love this site:


http://www.letsrunoff.com/elope.php?page=de-home


Ahahaha, no worried doesn''t cover it. I just can''t get much beyond worried right now, because I still have to think about moving this coming Dec/Jan which will be a good 2-3K. UGH! Student loans through graduate school, just sunk $1700 into my own car (so there goes the tax return), monthly trips to even get to see each other..... It never ends! And there is no way, $12K is an option. MAYBE, half of that. Unless some serious cash comes from an unknown source.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 14, 2007
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19,456
35 people + Vegas = $13k+

...sigh...
 

EricaR

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2007
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I think budget should be discussed before even setting a date. It can be done, just depending on what you are doing.

We are doing a combo Destination Wedding/honeymoon to Mexico with 8 guests. Total cost for ceremony, dinner afterwards, airfare, hotel for 10 night and all food/activities for those 10 days is running us about $8k. But we put a bigger priority on the honeymoon rather than the wedding itself.
 

gryffindor

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 21, 2008
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156
I get overwhelmed every time I look at my calculator. Weddings don't come cheap at all in NJ where we are getting married. My parents and I have been to so many weddings in the past 15 years where we've had a good time so now it is our turn to invite everyone to celebrate. "Family and close friends ONLY" is putting our guest list at 300. My parents know too many freaking people. I have looked at their guest list and realize I know most of the people on there too so "small wedding" is completely impossible. FI doesn't seem to think cost matters because my parents are paying for the wedding and keeps asking ridiculous questions like "Why doesn't the open bar include Cristal?" All I know is that I will be working like crazy for the rest of this year to bank some money so we can afford a nice honeymoon.
 

sammyj

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 28, 2008
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1,247
Being worried comes pretty easily when you''re spending tens of thousands of dollars on a single day! I mean, when else will you ever do that? We are definitely worried, but we''re also not the type of couple to spend way beyond our means. Our parents are contributing a little bit but we plan on paying the majority of the wedding by ourselves. I think that if either of us were still in school or paying off loans (I just paid off my student loans at the end of March!) then I would be much more worried about our financial situation (not to make anyone else more worried though!).

I''ve been telling my FI to allocate any extra money I have to our wedding savings account and I''ve also been doing a lot of sourcing to make sure I''m getting the best price before I go and purchase anything. Like misskitty said, DIY what you can. I love making crafts so I''ll be doing the save the dates (if we even decide to do them, maybe just for our friends overseas), invitations, placecards/favours, table numbers, signs, etc. I''m going to visit flower markets this summer to see if it''s feasible to make flower arrangements and bouquets on my own. We''re also trying to make the best of our resources, i.e. talented friends who can play music during our ceremony, a friend to do a short engagement shoot, his mom''s awesome sewing skills...

Prioritizing is also key. What means the most to you on your wedding day? For us, it''s a host bar, great food, and a live band. These are things on which we won''t compromise. Photography is also a priority but I don''t need hundreds of amazing pics, maybe just 50 of them. Just yesterday I was on craigslist looking for photogs, make up artists, wedding coordinators, etc. who were just entering the business and looking to work for free or at a discounted rate to build their portfolio.

There are TONS of blogs out there about ''budget weddings'' where you''ll find tons of great ideas and beautiful weddings to boot! Just google ''budget wedding blog'' or something like that.
 

Mannequin

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Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
1,733
I''ve got some savings that are intended to be a wedding fund, but if my FF happens to lose his automotive engineering job, that money will evaporate quickly. He and I will have to pay ourselves, and he quickly realized that we can''t afford the standard wedding that he is used to going to among our friends and family. I am more into the idea of marriage than the idea of a wedding, anyway, and if needed we will just do a courthouse visit and have a barbecue later.
 

Treasure43

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
655
We''re going to get together all our finances and start figuring out what is reasonable for us. We''ve talked about trying to keep it at around 10K because neither of us is willling to go into debt over a wedding. Hopefully 2 years will give us a chance to save that. But as someone else pointed out, it''s a HUGE amount to spend on a single day. We need to start prioritizing what is most important to us.
 

Jessie702

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
2,308
Hmmmm, i am a bit worried but not much. my mom has agreed to help pay for most. She said all we would have to pay for is dress, cake, honeymoon and than favors and stuff. Im not too worried about the cost for my mom because my sister was married not too long ago and she had 150 guest and it cost my mom roughly 6000, that included wedding, reception, food and decorations.
I know i want to DIY for a lot of things, like favors, invites,veil and flowers....but than again we are looking at under 30 people when we do it.....
 

laughwithme

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
667
I would say I was worried up until about six months ago...then, I sort of hit "do it" mode. Basically, this maybe goes back to having a finance degree, but I created the most intense budget spreadsheet you may ever lie eyes on!

The two biggies are wedding and house - and the goal is to get a house within several months after the wedding! We both know exactly what sort of wedding we want, and we don''t want to sacrifice that. We will luckily be getting *some* help, so we are setting aside $15k for the wedding. It will be do-able, for sure. The goal then is to put $20k on the home - depending on unexpected expenses between now and then, it may be less.

We are very fortunate that we both have good salaries, and his pays the bills - 90% of my take-home income goes to savings, and my savings is only for house and wedding.

Time is on our side, too, since we have over one year (and my savings started several months ago.)

So, yes in some ways I am worried, but in more ways I am like "bring it on!" I am challenging myself to meet my savings goals, while negotiating prices if possible, DIYing where possible, etc. I noticed a huge change in my attitude about the wedding when I turned the worrying stress into get-it-done actions. Budget, plan, anything to turn the worrying into something effective.
 

somegirl932

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 2, 2009
Messages
311
it''s one of the reasons that our timeline for marriage is still 2+ years out... i''m hoping we''ll have enough time to save what we need, and DIY what we can. luckily, we both basically came out of school without students loans (generous parents on my part and grandparents on his)... so i''m hoping!
 

jaylex

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
847
I agree with the DIY invitation and gift ideas..

I don''t know where you are from but I live in Ohio and we definitely have an "off" season for weddings (October until about April). My step sister just got married in December (the 29th) and had a large wedding (300 guests), very elegant for about $12,000 including everything (her pricey dress, open bar, rehersal dinner, large rose bouquets for all 10 girls in her party... everything else). This girl did not cut corners on anything except that she had a friend in medical school do the cake (don''t know what she was thinking... big disaster.. make sure you are confident in the person who makes your cake). She also didn''t shell out a freakin cent herself as his and her parents (and my mother) paid for the whole thing **lucky B!tch**. BF and I KNOW we won''t get that kind of help and like you, we will be paying for most, if not all of our wedding ourselves.

As far as the weather went, surprisingly, it was a BEAUTIFUL day! 60 degrees and not a bit of snow which is nothing short of a miracle for Ohio in december.

If the state you in has an wedding off season, try to plan for one of those dates. Because wedding vendors won''t have that much business, you can get them to cut you amazing deals!

Flowers: one of the most costly parts of a wedding is the flowers, especially around a flower holiday (mothers day, easter, valentines day, etc.) ! Have you ever considered using silk/fake flowers? If you are set on having a beautiful live bouquet for yourself, maybe go faux for the bridesmaids bouquets and other decorations?

Cake: Do the fake cake thing. (Top two tiers real cake; one for cutting in front of guests, top one for freezing until your one year anniversary if you want. bottom layer(s) decorated styrofoam). Have the person who makes your cake make a sheet cake that you can have cut for guests in the back. Mucho money saved.

Reception: Pick a place that has pretty enough chairs that you won''t have to rent chair covers or purchase excessive decorations. If you will be getting married on a date that you think will have nice weather, perhaps an outdoor reception at a state park if you have one near you? Not much need for decorations. Just make sure they have a lodge or something in case it rains.

Photography/Videography: If you can, try to find a photography student, someone who just graduated and is looking to work at a studio, or someone who is starting their own. Chances are, they would do a good job and would JUMP at the chance to have your wedding photos for their portfolio.

honeymoon: BF and I have talked about going on a cruise for our honeymoon. You get to go to several different locations, food is included as well as entertainment. As far as the fare goes, if you book the cruise early you can get a discount. With the cost being only a little bit more than you would spend in a nice hotel each night, you can''t beat it! Depending on where you live, there may be a port that you can sale from a couple of hours away... you could drive and save money you would normally spend on a flight!


If all else fails, elope! lol


Hope this helps! If I think of anything else, I''ll post.
 

trillionaire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
3,881
I want to elope, and I am hoping that wedding sticker shock will help to convince SO that this is a good idea for us. I told him that the most important aspect of the wedding was a good photographer for me, whether we elope, go to the courthouse, or what have you. I want GREAT pictures of our special day, end of story. He can plan the rest for all I care


I don''t think guys know ANYTHING about how expensive weddings are, so I try to drop tidbits (we aren''t enfianced yet) like saying, ''oh man! the average wedding is 30K, that is sooooooo much, it''s ridiculous''! However, his brother got married last July, so he will probably get some idea of costs from him, but his wedding was sooooo far from what I would ever imagine for my own. Oh well. I am focused on the big picture. Great photos and great hubby! The rest doesn''t even matter.


With this recession, a traditional and/or expensive wedding is my lowest priority. $1K is about what I would like to spend, lol!
 

jcarlylew

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Jun 27, 2008
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Date: 4/11/2009 9:46:23 PM
Author: Treasure43
Sigh. I want something but I don''t want debt either.
ditto.
we''ll be looking at a backyard wedding. fortunately, we know people with some nice lawns


actually, it seems like city parks will be the way we are going. they are usually $1000 or $2000 less than ceremony/reception sites.
 

ilovesparkles

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Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,389
JAYLEX - That was really, REALLY good advice! I''m sure I will also be researching budgeting books - hopefully at the library! LMAO! Cause why pay for a book that tells you how to saves your pennies!




Last night while hinting at this very subject, I told H that food is $25 per person, minimum no matter how you do it, he replies "They can starve!"
 

hawaiianorangetree

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
2,692
i have a figure in my head, $8000 for 60 guests at home, but that doesn''t include our rings or honeymoon... not sure where that money is coming from!


I''m fairly crafty and consider myself to be a bit of a ruthless ebay queen so i am hoping to do alot of diy. Our garden should be in full flower by next march so i am hoping that will help me cut down on the flower decorations too.
 

NakedFinger

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Date: 4/11/2009 7:51:24 PM
Author:Treasure43
The economy the way it is, and wedding costs being what they are is anyone else feeling stressed about wedding costs? FF and I will be paying for it all ourselves and I can't see spending that much money, especially when it could be going towards a down payment on a house. Anyone have any budgeting tips? Or any thoughts on what is a REASONABLE amount to spend on a small, elegant wedding.
Haha careful Treasure.....that is a loaded question. Last time I brought up what is "reasonable" I got attacked lol (thinking that $50,000 was a "low key" wedding...and being shocked it was possible to have a wedding for $7,000). It is VERY dependant on geographic's. Because the "norm" widely varies. I.e: according to studies done in 2008, the "average" wedding in the US, costs $28,000. That is factoring places that spend much less, and places that spend much more. However, the average wedding in NYC costs $46,000. Big difference right?

I dont mean to threadjack, but I was actually typing a new thread about a similar topic, when I saw yours and decided to post it here. I was going to ask about all these FF's telling their girls that they dont want to propose/get married with the economy as their excuse. However, as a wedding planner and a member in active bridal communities/conventions/etc, I get articles/reports/updates etc. And in a recent study conducted, 65% of the couples said they were getting married now to TAKE ADVANTAGE of this economy. This is very wise, and I feel, is a GREAT time to get married on a budget.

Many vendors, are not getting the steady flow of leads they once were. Rather than getting bombarded with calls/emails that just naturally fall into place, they are actually having to "sell". Meaning the business just doesnt fall into their lap, and because they have so much of it, have a "take it or leave it" mentality. Instead, they are needing to sell themselves, and be much more flexible. Some of the highest end wedding vendors I know, that use to not even talk to a bride unless her budget was 6 figures and up, are now willing to work with brides within their budget. Its an excellent time to get the things you may not have been able to get one, at a MUCH better price.

I too am getting a little overwhelmed with talking about our "budget" though. As my FF and I are paying for it ourselves, with no help from parents. We also just bought a house, and would much rather use our money to upgrade things in the house. So I SO know how you are feeling!

A little advice to save:

1) if possible, BOOK SHORT TERM! If you can pull off a wedding within 2009, DO IT. Many vendors, ESPECIALLY venues, want to fill up any dates left in 2009 (rather than have them sit empty), and will do whatever they can to fill them, including HEAVILY discount their package price. For example, I just saw a catering facility take $70 off their per person wedding package price to get someone in for this Sept. Might not sound like alot, but if you are having say 200 people, thats a $14,000 savings!

2) Book in "off" months (this will vary depending on areas). In NYC, peak months are Sept/Oct, but other places may be different. I think almost all places that experience a cold winter, its safe to say that Dec/Jan/Feb even March, are "off months". There are significant discounts for those months as well.

3) If you have no problems with a Fri/Sun wedding, DO IT. Most places offer discounts and/or lower their F&B Guarantee or # of attendees guarantee for those days.

4) Dont be afraid to negotiate, and be upfront with vendors. There is nothing wrong with saying "I really love your work, but so and so company offered it to me for this much". Many vendors will work with you.

5) Be upfront with your budget to all vendors. Dont assume you cant afford what they offer, EVERYTHING can be modified to accommodate a budget. Ie: Remove a course in the menu to lower the price, or instead of getting orchids in your centerpiece that need to get flown in from thailand.....get hydrangeas which are much cheaper, or stick with flowers that are in season in your local area

6) Finally, most brides are still having the wedding of their dreams, they are just having less people I am finding. They are still having them at the place they want, with the flowers they want, with the food linens band they want, etc they are just having 175 people instead of 350. When you think about it, thats less per person in food, less centerpieces needed, less linens, less chair covers, etc. Gone are the days of inviting everyone under the sun. haha.

Just paying attention to little things like that, can make a HUGE difference. Good luck!
 

dec2410

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
499
i''m not worrying too much about wedding costs. the more time goes by and the more weddings my SO and i go to, the less we want to have the traditional, huge party wedding. as fabulous as traditional weddings are, its just not US. neither of us like much attention so when the time comes for us to get married, it''ll be very intimate. we plan on just having immediate family + my grandma, and the people we would''ve had as our bridal party (about 20 people). we plan on having a simple wedding at the church where we met and currently serve at and have a small luncheon afterwards to celebrate! after the lunch, i have the rest of the day to spend time with my new husband and probably have our wedding dinner, just the two of us.


i''m getting super excited just thinking about it!
 

WistfulAurora

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
119
I can definitely relate! Neither of us have money for a wedding, and I think Gwendolyn has a good idea having the reception at McDonalds!! Except I''m so poor that I''d have to have everyone buy their OWN food too!!! I try not to stress too much about it yet. I figure once I get a ring I''ll be super stressed!

How much does it cost for a notary to do a wedding?
 

Rock_of_Love

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
1,274
NakedFinger...

I really loved your feedback! Wow, now I''m wondering can I work an engagement and wedding all in 2009?!?! Ha ha! Probably not.
Two of my really good friends are getting married this year, and with all the wedding related events, it is too much to add ours to the mix!

Hmmmm...maybe those discounts will extend to 2010???
 

absolut_blonde

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
808
Oh yes, very much so. Weddings are EXPENSIVE! Yikes.

I''ve been looking at various vendors to get an idea of what we should actually expect and boy, it''s pricey here. Most dinners seem to run $50-40 a head. I am not very crafty or much of a DIY type either.


SO''s family is big and they are all very close - it would be difficult to cut the guest list down much. Realistically, we''re looking at around 200 people at least. I''m a bit concerned about the budget, to say the least.
 

Jessie702

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
2,308
O wow...200 is a lot of people. I have a large family on my moms side, but im not close with them, and on my dads side of the family, it so small you can count them on one hand. Same with SO but is family is just small, so we are looking at 30 to 35 people MAX, and that includes friends...hmmm, i coudlnt imagine inviting that many people. My sister had 150 but thats because her SO had a BIG family.....
 
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