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What Items Would You Cut for an Inexpensive Wedding

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Hi,

In order to cut expenses another Bride to be received a lot of Flack from readers on tic tac. for saying she planned to use fake flowers, although silk, for her table arrangements and bouquets, no music, and to me, best of all no wedding cake. She planned to buy a $40.00 cakr for the bride and groom to cut, and serve Crispy Cream Donuts for desert to her guests. I liked that idea.

Where would you cut costs? She wanted the photographer.

My aid in the hospital wanted a cheap wedding so we chatted about that. I saw one on TV that I also liked. Rent an empty Movie Theatre. Use the stage for dancing . Move seating and place table there. ect. The part that I liked was that you can have a Movie Star entrance, red carpet, couples being interviewed and flash cameras going. This aide had a pair of Louboutin(Sp) that she was determined to wear at her wedding. The shoes were a gift from a rich friend when she was her bridesmaid.

This could be a helpful thread to all those bride to bes lurking.

Annette
 

Mekp

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I had a very inexpensive wedding. Immediate family only, park ceremony (just cost a little bit for a photography permit), photographer just for the ceremony and a few pictures afterwards, then we went out to dinner in a restaurant's private dining room (didn't cost me anything more than the food that was ordered). We had a single live musician for the ceremony, and splurged on real flowers and a limousine. No wedding cake at all, no dancing. It was very simple.
We also planned it in 4 weeks :)
 

Tartansparkles

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Well, I cut the whole lot. We had a humanist service in my mum's living room. The most expensive part of the day was £400 for the humanist celebrant. My dress came from the high street. My flowers came from Lidl/supermarket. I baked the cake, my friend took a couple of photos and the parents provided the BBQ food and sparkly wine. That's not to say everyone should do it that way - I'm sure to some people my day sounds like their worst nightmare, each to their own. But it is only one day. I once heard that people pay so much for anything related to weddings because weddings are about committment - and no one wants to be seen to be 'cheap' when it comes to committment.
 

dk168

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People, as in trim down to the bare minimum.

For my own wedding, the taxi driver who took me to the register office was one of the 2 required witnesses; the other being one of the photographers that I hired.

There were no guests, just the two of us, and we went to have a nice meal in a 3-star restaurant on our own. The photographers and the taxi driver were invited for a drink before we sat down for our meal.

I stayed in my own flat the night before, my OH stayed in a hotel room across the road.

Gifts for the witnesses were a pair of cufflinks each.

OH wore a suit, I wore a made to measure dress that did not cost a fortune.

The most expensive part was the meal that was probably half the total cost of the whole thing.

I don't get on with my ex-outlaws, and my folks were in Canada. Hence we decided no guest.

DK :))
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

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Oooh I have a lot of ideas! I don’t know if all of these would work for everyone but hopefully some of these resonate :)

In my opinion, the thing that your guests will remember the most will be the food, the booze, and possibly the “entertainment” (DJ, dance floor, bride/groom games). The thing that will stay with you the most will be photos and/or videos (after the day is over, the photos will be what will serve as the biggest reminder). So these are the things that I would prioritise. Decor on the other hand, is easily the most forgettable part of a wedding; and I don’t remember any of the favours I’ve ever received, so those can just be cut imo.

I have no problems with fake flowers, especially for general decor. You can achieve a really pretty and grand look with a (fake) floral arch or wall as a decor/pictures element and it’s not very expensive in India at least. Some people don’t like centrepieces to be fake flowers but I personally feel like it doesn’t matter, who is going to be feeling up your centrepieces? If you want real flowers, look for a flower wholesale market in your city. Pick up the flowers from there and DIY your centrepieces (but only possible for an evening do and with lots of helping hands, I think). One quick DIY can be those shallow vase like dishes, with water, candles and flower petals.

Theme: going for a rustic or outdoor woods sort of theme always means that you can spend less on decor and get away with it. In general, pick a venue that is naturally beautiful if it’s within budget; or pick a venue that gives you a lot of perks (like decor related perks) if possible. Eg some venues in India will have tie ups with decorators/caterers and give you discounts or access to some decor elements you can use.

Cake: if you want to have a cake to cut, get a single real tier to cut (small one) and multiple fake tiers; and serve the rest of your (sheet) cake as petit fours or plated servings.

Entertainment: have a designated dance area even if you don’t have a proper dance “floor”, and while you don’t need to have a DJ, spend lots of time curating the perfect playlist and making sure the venue has a decent sound system at least.

Food: my controversial suggestion is a buffet. This is the way food is done at Indian weddings and it just makes SO MUCH SENSE and is way cheaper because you don’t have to get your food plated fancily. If you want to do a sit down dinner, then a shared plates style probably works out the most cost effective.

Booze: personally I really don’t like cash bars as a concept. But you could do a limited bar, a wine/beer bar, or cover 2 drinks and have people pay for the rest of their booze.

Photographer/videographer: get the best you can afford. But if it’s a real stretch, check out film/art schools in the area. Often, students trying to build a portfolio can give you a good price. Just make sure you vet their work to make sure you’re happy with it.

Outfit/makeup/hair: I think you should absolutely try and look your best; but don’t need to spend a bomb. If you’re good at hair and makeup, you can do your own. If you want a professional, again going for a student of some sort is your best bet from a price point. For outfit, this may not work for Christian weddings but pick an outfit you can wear again and again (for example, Indian lehengas you are basically expected to wear multiple times, but for a white gown, maybe go for something that if dyed you could wear to someone else’s wedding) or something on sale/secondhand/online etc. Basically save money here as much as you can while still looking great.
 

dk168

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Food, make it a self-service buffet, and not a sit down formal affair at a hotel.

Even cheaper if it is an American supper as in bring a dish and share kind of meal.

Bring your own alcohol - it will be cheaper even after paying corkage.

DK :))
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

the bride to be in my opening also said she would skip the "save the date", Honestly, I have never understood why this became part of planning a wedding. The invitation was enough in the past.

I would have a smaller wedding -50 people tops. I would find a restaurant that had dancing or a dance floor and use that as my venue. I would want a bridal dress. Find sales. If I used a venue, I would use silk flowers, although I know how tacky that is to others. Some silk flowers are beautiful.

I went to a wedding held in a church, bride wearing gown, and venue at a lovely restaurant. A chamber orchestra played, as we danced. We could order anything off the menu. This was one of the nicest weddings I've been to. 40 people,

I would not use a limo. Use a friends beautiful car. I would not have favors- another stupid thing, I think, IMO. I have never saved a favor from a wedding.

Annette
 

kenny

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What items would we cut?
Everything, except the marriage license.

My SO and I have discussed this.
We'd cancel the entire wedding.
Who needs all that?

Alone we would go to the county building to complete the legal requirement at a window with the clerk as the witness.
Easy Peasy. :dance:
 
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hayley_cat

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Sep 7, 2017
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We married 10/10/2020 on our one-year-of-dating anniversary. We only had 11 guests. I think it was a little less than 4k, with a fairly even split between the photographer, food and venue, my dress, and decor. I made the (fake) flower centerpieces, my (real) bouquet and my husband's boutonniere and my dad built the arch. We had so much fun planning and diy-ing together and would do the exact same thing in a heartbeat! We didn't send out invitations, do party favors, have dancing or have engagement/bachelor/bachelorette parties. My sister did my makeup and I did my hair, and instead of a bridal party, we asked our family to color coordinate for pictures. It was most important to us to have a day to commit to one another. Secondly, it was critical (to us!) that we put 20% down on our house, and thirdly, to go on a fun adventure for our honeymoon. Different strokes for different folks, but this was the right thing for us!

My friend and her mom planted and grew all of the flowers she used for her wedding. I thought that was a beautiful, symbolic detail that they both will cherish.

oZTU4tMg.jpeg
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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Oh gosh, I was married half-way through grad school (we paid most of it ourselves). DH had just finished his BS degree and actually didn't have full time employment yet. The biggest thing we found to save money was to obviously cut the guest list and get married on a Sunday morning. We had the ceremony and reception in one place. no limos, dj only, beer and wine bar, buffet. In all we still had a "nice" wedding but spent about 1/5 of what most of our friends ended up dishing out.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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Well a girl can dream even if i think im well over wanting a wedding
i would cut the guest list
Id rather have really great food and drink for just a few people than be miserable with the reception
and the dress - just buy something nice off the rack from a regular shop down the mall
But id still want professional photos and beautiful flowers
Id also still want a tradionallu decorated fruit cake wedding cake and a full dessert offering
Oh and id cut venue and have it in the backyard and id cut bridesmaids
I see weddings on tv with a redicoulss amount of attendants - is the bride really going to be besties with all those girls in 20 years time ?
 

PinkAndBlueBling

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My wedding was elegant, but not crazy. The cake was made by my cake decorating teacher, topped with fresh flowers. I wouldn't cut flowers, as I love them! The florist I used ran her business out of her house, so she was very reasonable. I know there are gorgeous dresses out there for a decent price, so I'd spend less on a dress. I'd cut the band and use a DJ or whatever.
I'd definitely cut the photographer. We have a couple of framed photos out, but other than that I don't even know where the photo album is. I've looked at it maybe twice in 30 years.

My daughter wants a beach wedding with an In-n-Out truck when the time comes. She's the smart one! ;)2
 

dk168

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Save on the dress - I really struggle to appreciate why one would spend thousands on a garment that is worn only once, like a massive and impractical meringue fit for a princess or whatever.

Some of the prices as seen in TV shows such as 'Say Yes To The Dress' is outrageous!

Get something nice to wear by all means, however, save the money and put it towards some blings that one would wear after the wedding would be my advice.

DK :))
 

missy

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I wouldn't cut the food quality/quantity (including liquor) or music as IMO those are the two most important ingredients for a good party. Especially a wedding.

Anything else is fair game and I would say the first expensive item I would consider paring down on is the cost of the wedding dress.

Personally I got a sample dress for my wedding and it was beautiful and didn't break the bank if you kwim and if I were doing it again? I would spend even less on the dress because now that I think of it what I spent was still too much.

We spent 0$ on the photographer as one of our closest friends is a photographer (hobby) and he offered to take the photos as his wedding gift to us. He did a nice job too. :)
 

missy

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Definatly no DJ or band
It would be Bruce Springsteen nonstop all night
(Possibly one of the reasons Gary and I are not married)

Daisy, just wanted to let you know the Stone Pony is up and running and having concerts. Please excuse the thread jack Annette. Thanks.
 

dk168

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I went to a wedding of an ex-colleague some years ago.

The couple were both in the mid-20s, and they had debts that they had to pay off for a good couple years if not longer after taking out a loan to pay for their lavish beyond their means wedding, based on what the groom had told his colleagues etc...

DK :confused2:
 

dk168

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I wouldn't cut the food quality/quantity (including liquor) or music as IMO those are the two most important ingredients for a good party. Especially a wedding.

Agree.

Cut down on how the food is served by not having a sit down waiter-serviced meal in an expensive venue, and opt for self-service with good food instead.

DK :))
 

missy

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Agree.

Cut down on how the food is served by not having a sit down waiter-serviced meal in an expensive venue, and opt for self-service with good food instead.

DK :))

Yes if I am throwing a party I want my guests to enjoy themselves. That is my main goal always. I am the host and above all else it is my responsibility to make sure the guests have all they need to enjoy a lovely time.
 

dk168

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Yes if I am throwing a party I want my guests to enjoy themselves. That is my main goal always. I am the host and above all else it is my responsibility to make sure the guests have all they need to enjoy a lovely time.

Yup, I have the same approach too, to make sure the invitees have a good time.

Expensive does not always equate to good quality, and does not guarantee a good time IMHO.

Of the big wedding I mentioned earlier, I felt the happy couple was doing it for show, and that's what I experienced in other big family weddings in the past.

Each to their own and all that.

DK :))
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

I recollect going to one wedding that I didn't think worked. The bride had a beautiful dress. it was held in a Cathedral. The female guests wore formal dress, but the gentlemen wore suits. The church was elegant.

We had to drive a long way to get to the reception, which was held at a Veterans of Foreign Wars building. Its like a beer hall. We had to pay for our drinks. From the ceremony to the beer hall was culture shock. (In the Midwest people do have pay for your own drinks). My long dress in the beer hall just didn't work for me.

They stayed married for over 40 yrs and got divorced when they were in their mid 60"s

Annette
 

Grymera

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We cut the guest list down to the bare minimum of immediate family and then had the most luxurious and gorgeous wedding ever. Had we scaled up the guest list, it would have easily been a small fortune. But instead we were able to have an incredible wedding for a fraction of the cost. We also chose to be in a beautiful venue so we didn't need to pay for any decor or upgrades. I was also going to do my own flowers but my wedding planner (worth it) begged me not to do it and found an incredible deal with a local florist.

My very dear friend wanted a large wedding, so she ended up doing the opposite of what we did-- she prioritized the food and drinks for her guests as her largest expense. The church was free, and she said yes to anyone who offered to help (free invitations from a dear friend who owned a print shop, free photographer friend who did it as a wedding gift, etc). She also did her own flowers (which turned out great) and had an incredible wedding for a bargain price.
 

nala

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Never been a big fan of party favors but have found they can be done inexpensively. Same for Invites and centerpieces. That’s where I did trim.
I did not trim the guest list bc I wanted all the people whom I value in my life to be there. In my defense—that amounted to 100 which is small for some people. Food—nope—from the appetizers to the entree to the cake to the dessert bar—I chose good food. Venue and DJ—nope. Chose my favorite venue With a gorgeous view and a DJ that kept everyone dancing all night. Alcohol—I opted for beer, wine and soft drinks all night rather than open bar for half the time or at a costly price. Photographer—I got lucky. She was super inexpensive bc she didn’t print the photos—so I had them printed at Costco. No video for my second wedding bc i never even revisited my first wedding video—lol. I have zero regrets.
 

bludiva

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We cut the guest list down to the bare minimum of immediate family and then had the most luxurious and gorgeous wedding ever. Had we scaled up the guest list, it would have easily been a small fortune. But instead we were able to have an incredible wedding for a fraction of the cost. We also chose to be in a beautiful venue so we didn't need to pay for any decor or upgrades. I was also going to do my own flowers but my wedding planner (worth it) begged me not to do it and found an incredible deal with a local florist.

My very dear friend wanted a large wedding, so she ended up doing the opposite of what we did-- she prioritized the food and drinks for her guests as her largest expense. The church was free, and she said yes to anyone who offered to help (free invitations from a dear friend who owned a print shop, free photographer friend who did it as a wedding gift, etc). She also did her own flowers (which turned out great) and had an incredible wedding for a bargain price.

I think these are the two best options for keeping the cost reasonable—keep it intimate or make it large but less formal. Bet both weddings were fabulous!
 

MamaBee

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I had 200+ at my wedding. I paid for it because my parents couldn’t afford it. They were mostly their friends. I told my son that we would only ask him to invite the immediate family and my husband’s brother’s children. That’s it..I gave them the money for half the wedding and told him to either have a huge wedding or use the money as a down payment on a house. My daughter-in-law’s family wanted to pay for the wedding so all the money we gave went to the down payment on a house. I didn’t want to get into we pay for this..they pay for that, etc. I gave them the money up front and they decided what to do..They were married in a historic house instead of a hall in DC. It was really elegant with just a hundred people. They actually got married on a Saturday and had the reception on a Sunday. My daughter-in-law is Jewish so she couldn’t get married before sundown on Saturday. The historic house had to be closed at 10pm..She was stressing about it. I suggested I would do a wedding dinner instead of a rehearsal dinner..and her parents would do the big party the next day. It was a fun weekend! It was much less expensive than doing it in a hall..
 
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Jambalaya

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Church ceremony and a really simple, down-to-earth homemade buffet in the church community center next door. Sandwiches, chips, soda, salad, fruit, cheese, vegetables and dip, maybe some pizza slices. Homemade cakes and maybe some store-bought ones, too. No alcohol. Pretty white or cream dress from a chain store. Plenty of room for all the children to run about. Everyone there to see each other and us, not for the posh food, drink, and beautiful venue. Isn't this how people used to do it in the 1950s? I like that. I've got a bit of a thing about liking things and people that are down-to-earth these days.

I know that this probably sounds like some people's worst nightmare, but as someone above said, it's only one day. And I do think the quality of the day is determined y the company, not by material things.

I probably wouldn't have an evening reception, either. It would be like a few decades ago, where the couple leaves for their honeymoon late afternoon/early evening.

I would probably pay a couple of people to serve the food and clean up.

ETA: So to answer the question, I'd get rid of an expensive venue, flowers, restaurant food and drink, photographer. Just the church properties and down-home food.

Music....I might have splashed out for that. Haven't given it any thought.
 

MamaBee

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Church ceremony and a really simple, down-to-earth homemade buffet in the church community center next door. Sandwiches, chips, soda, salad, fruit, cheese, vegetables and dip, maybe some pizza slices. Homemade cakes and maybe some store-bought ones, too. No alcohol. Pretty white or cream dress from a chain store. Plenty of room for all the children to run about. Everyone there to see each other and us, not for the posh food, drink, and beautiful venue. Isn't this how people used to do it in the 1950s? I like that. I've got a bit of a thing about liking things and people that are down-to-earth these days.

I know that this probably sounds like some people's worst nightmare, but as someone above said, it's only one day. And I do think the quality of the day is determined y the company, not by material things.

I probably wouldn't have an evening reception, either. It would be like a few decades ago, where the couple leaves for their honeymoon late afternoon/early evening.

I would probably pay a couple of people to serve the food and clean up.

ETA: So to answer the question, I'd get rid of an expensive venue, flowers, restaurant food and drink, photographer. Just the church properties and down-home food.

Music....I might have splashed out for that. Haven't given it any thought.

@Jambalaya Your wedding sounds like one I would like to go to. My mom had a football wedding in the early fifties. It was held at a park. People brought food..Children were invited. The way she described it sounded like so much fun. The day should be about the couple wants..
 

Jambalaya

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Your mom's wedding sounds amazing, MamaBee. It DOES sound like so much fun!
 
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