wedding planning

any advice for budget wedding planning?

if you’re married i’d love to hear about your special day! where did you get married? how many people attended? how was your reception? where did you go for your honeymoon? we’re thinking about going to Antarctica. :snowing::winter:

anyone a size 3 and have their wedding dress lying around? i’ll buy it off you! :slight_smile:

might try looking for online stores in asia…

My advice might not be the most helpful because my DH and I are somewhat poor and aren’t big fans of elaborate formal settings to begin with. Our wedding and reception cost under $2k and our honeymoon was about $900.

I read that when budgeting a wedding you should pick the top 4 most important things to include and budget about half your money towards those then pick the least important 4 and spend nothing or very little on those.

In our case we wanted for our guest to know how much we appreciated their time and so put reception food and drink as our number one goal. It was important for my parents that I have a nice dress so that was on our list. We also budgeted more for thank you gifts and payment for our muscians, readers, wedding party, and priest. We only thought of three important things. Least important to me were flowers and decorations, venue (reception), and photography.

We spent about $500 on food for 100 people (we got sandwhichs from a chain sandwhich shop and made our own lemonade and tea from grocery store mixes. We used paper plates. We didn’t have a cake bought bought cinnamon rolls from the grocery store.)
We spent $200 on the dress
We spent about $400 on all our thank you gifts
We spent about $100 to rent a shelter house at the lake
A family member took pictures for free, although we bought them a gift as a thank you.
I bought a bouquet at a grocery store the night before for $10 and those were our only flowers.
We bought a handful of decorations for the recpetion and garden planting flowers for wedding favors all under $100
We spent about $50 on invites and thank yous, we hand wrote them all.

For our honeymoon we rented a car and went to St. Louis. We stayed in a nicer hotel at my insistance and then did cheaper activities.
$300 for the car over the weekend
$400 for the hotel
We went to the zoo, the arch, a handful of museums, and bought food from a grocery store near our hotel. For the remainder. We wanted an elaborate honeymoon that involved leaving the country but it was going to be ridiculously hard to afford and in the end my DH’s job would only let him take two days off so we only had 4 days for the wedding and honeymoon combined.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

Quick edit: We are active in our parish so they lent us the church for free. We have been trying to put more in the basket to thank them every week since then!

I got my gown from a website called “quickgowns” you can google them. They sell dresses directly from factory and are based in idaho or somewhere like that? Anyway they are all under $300 and they ship them to you in 3 days and you have 2 weeks to return them and get a full refund if you don’t like the dress or it doesn’t work for you. I found them to be reliable and the dress I got was wonderful and super high quality.

Wonderful! Valuable advice! Thank you so much!

Hi! I am also lookin to put on a budget wedding this year, so thanks for starting this thread. :slight_smile:

I think the most important thing is to figure out what is most important to you and your fiancé so that any extra money in the budget goes to what matters most.

As for the dress… I would look at David’s Bridal before thinking of ordering online, DB has some pretty cheap dresses that are still quite pretty.

Other ideas for saving money

Flowers: consider having the bridesmaids carry a single long-stemmed rose, or maybe even two or three. Getting in-season flowers for everything and having finding ways to make your flowers stretch, placing the heads of a few gerber daisies, say, so that they float on water, maybe with candles next to the container, maybe some rose petals scattered around and you could get some nice centerpieces without having to pay a ton on flowers. Or if you really like the idea o having floral centrepieces you can order the flowers bulk online and pu it together yourself.

Photography: See if any relatives or friends are good at taking pictures and ask them to do your wedding for you. I’ve also heard that you can get cheaper prices wih still excellent results if you look for students in a professional photography course. You would still want to be careful to look at their portfolio and make sure you like their work.

Cake: think about having a small show cake and then getting sheet cake to be cut in the back for everyone else. If you have a friend who is good at baking see if they would be willing to make your cake.

See if any friends have a large enough yard where you could have the reception, or see if there are any local halls or parks that you could probably rent more cheaply. If it’s outside though you will probably need a backup in case it rains, some sor of tent or covered area.

Yeah, basically see what your friends and family can help you out with. Also, as much as possible avoid looking for things marketed as for a wedding, the label “wedding” automatically increases the price on anything. Which is why if you can buy a nice cake for a “family gathering” you’ll probably get a better price.

Well, I’ve been married 26.5 years. One of the biggest ways we saved on money was that we had a 11:30am Saturday wedding so the reception was a luncheon instead of some big night party with a DJ (or band) and drinking. We had a guitarist do some very nice music for our guests, there was no alcohol (which saves a lot of money) and it was very elegant and nice. It also was a buffet instead of sit-down which also saved money. One of the biggest expenses in any wedding is the reception. If one has the wedding early or earlier, it is much easier and less expensive to do a simple lunch reception than some big over blown night party.

hello, guys!!
thanks for improve my wedding planing because my wedding is upcoming on this years
so really thanks to all of guys
i want to buys first of all dresses and after then for wedding accessories!!

We spent more money on photography than anything else, and it was beyond worth it. It looks like we had this big elaborate fancy wedding. We did not. A good photographer is worth their weight in gold.

Tip: When booking your honeymoon/activities/eating/etc. Always mention somehow that you are on your honeymoon. Get a “just married” tank top and wear it everywhere. Upgrades upgrades upgrades!!! My husband and I got an insane upgrade for our honeymoon at Disneyworld, just by mentioning it was our honeymoon to someone on the phone when booking.

Oh and we save money by timing it mid-afternoon and having a “dessert reception”.

I think we worded it “please join us after the ceremony for dessert at ____”

You save money and people know it will just be dessert so they don’t get all cranky expecting a meal.

I was about to suggest David’s bridall!!! They have some amazing sales!!! I got mine for …$125.00!!! And they have beautiful dresses. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a beautiful dress, check for the sales on David’s bridal, I totally recommend it.

I agree that you can ask for friends and family to help and there are many things you can do it yourself. I got lucky because my maid of honor is a wedding planer herself so she did an amazing job in helping me to do a wedding on a budget. My father in law owns a lot of land so we rented a tent and we are going to have the party at the tent in my FIL’s land. That saved us sooo much money, I can’t tell you. I have a cousin who agreed to be the dj so that cut costs too. The center pieces are all done by ourselves. We went to the dollar store, bought a bunch of little candles, a bunch of empty glass candle.containers, filled them up with water and we are placing the little candles floating on the water (three per table) , and a bunch of rose petals around it. Cheap and easy. One of our friends is baking the cake and I have heard of people getting cupcakes for the weddings which is cheaper. Most of the decorations we did it ourselves with things bought at the dollar store, all you need to do is be creative. I used too a lot of rose petals and looks very pretty. The tables and chairs I am.getting them from my maid of honor but I think you can just rent them saying is just for a family party and would be much cheaper. I agree everything marketed for wedding is going to be super expensive. Buying in bulk is a great idea, just put things yourself together. Also my make up is being done by a friend of mine from the university. I always loved the way she did her own make up and she is very knowledgeable when it comes to colors, eyes etc so o asked her is she would like to do mine and she was very happy to do it. The flower bouquets were done by ourselves so much cheaper and the deserts are going to be done by my sister in law. You don’t have to spend a ton to have a nice wedding.

Oh and we are not having alcohol except wine (one per table) and beer. We don’t drink and no one I’m my fiancee’s drinks and many of our friends are ok with just beet, that saves a ton too.

I can’t remember now how much our wedding cost, but two nearly-broke young people fresh out of school were able to afford it with not much (financial) help from relatives.

I bought the dress off the rack and saved several hundred dollars. I ended up donating it, you can check thrift stores and consignment shops for dresses. There are good finds sometimes (like whoever found my dress! ;)) Sometimes tux rental places will have a “rent for the groomsmen and the groom is free/discounted.”

We were married on our college campus and held our reception there. The catering was done by the company that ran the dining services and they were very reasonably priced. We were allowed to bring our own alcohol, which saved a lot - we only had to pay for the mixes and garnishes. No way was our wedding going to be a dry affair. :stuck_out_tongue:

We had highly talented friends of ours do our music at Mass, DJ the reception, and photography. We were willing to pay them very fairly and had budgeted that in, but they refused. We did get them very nice thank-you gifts. :smiley:

Our cake was made by the local grocery store bakery. They had the most reasonable prices and it was one of the best wedding cakes I’ve ever had. We had a small decorative cake made and the rest was sheet cake that was sliced out of sight.

We made our own centerpieces out of pieces found at thrift stores, Big Lots, etc. We got flowers from Costco, believe it or not, and they were absolutely beautiful. They were delivered, already arranged, the day before the ceremony and they kept up really well. We did not decorate the church and used the flowers they already had. We didn’t use an aisle runner. Mass was still lovely.

For our honeymoon we rented a tiny beach house in the Carolinas for the week. We drove ourselves there and ate in most nights. We had a great time and it was very romantic. :slight_smile:

Several years later, many of our friends say that our wedding was “the most fun they’d ever had at a wedding.” That was our goal. No one else remembers the details. :slight_smile:

This is spot-on. You can also usually rent the parish hall for much less than what it costs to rent space at a hotel or something like that. The parish where we got married also had an altar society that would cater weddings held in the parish hall or the town community center for a fraction of the cost of a professional caterer. The food choices were more simple, but they did a very nice job and of course the money they made went to support the work of the altar society! OP, you might see if your parish has a group who does funeral luncheons, and see what they would ask for to do a luncheon for your wedding.

I had some relatives do the flowers, but the parish may even have someone in the parish who does flowers, too. If you choose flowers that you allow the parish to keep for the Sunday Masses, they may even do your flowers at cost, provided you don’t insist on colors that won’t work for the parish.

If you are really on a budget, have a sheet cake instead of a tiered cake, but you can also split the difference and have a small uncomplicated tier cake (for “cutting the cake”) and sheet cakes on the side to make up the difference. (Of course there was a time when there was nothing at many wedding receptions other than cake and coffee, the wedding dinner being only for the immediate family and members of the wedding party.)

If you have a very small group who will be the invited guests at your wedding, it is also possible to exchange your vows at a regular weekend Mass. I have seen that done, too. The parishioners seem to love it!!

About 70 people attended. We had our wedding in the Church I grew up in. We had a small bridal party.
Flowers were done at a local supermarket for a fraction of the price.
Our reception dinner was pizza and beer at our favorite restaurant.

We didn’t use limos…we drove ourselves to the receptions since it was less then 2 miles from the Church.

Our DJ was a good friend of my husband. The reception was a low key restaurant that had an amazing view of the atlantic ocean and a nice bar area with dance floor. We didn’t decorate any of the tables or do table settings. It was a beautiful day and just about everyone snagged a drink at the bar and rushed outside to enjoy the deck and the view.

Dinner was low key and buffet style. Steak tips, chicken, rice, salad and veggies. The cake was outstanding and it wasn’t ordered as a wedding cake.

It was so much fun. People still talk about it today.

The only regret I have was not getting a photographer. We had a photographer lined up (my best friend’s mother) who fell through at the last minute.
We lucked out a little since my parents and my husband’s Godparents took loads of pictures and made lots of copies.
We compiled our own little album later on. Not to mention the fact I got a few nice picture frames as wedding gifts.

No honeymoon. We had just purchased a house and planned on using the extra money we had to buy furniture. We needed a new bed, dinning room table, couch and a couple of other things.

I don’t mind that we didn’t take a honeymoon. It was far more important that we bought a house.
We’ll take a honeymoon with or without the kids someday. :thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit