Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsWeddings · 4 weeks ago

How much did you spend on your wedding? Any advice on cost-saving ideas?

We want to have a nice reception & ceremony, but we also don't want to blow too much of our savings on a one day event. I would be happy to do it at city Hall or eloping to Vegas, but husband to be wants something more traditional. 

What did you guys end up spending? Does anyone have fun ideas on what we can do instead of a banquet hall type of venue? Or ideas on anything wedding related in general. I'm lost here, and the more I google the more overwhelming this all seems!

12 Answers

  • Trish
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    My mother paid for everything.  When my sister got married she had a family potluck in the reception hall in back of the church. 

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    The moment you attach the word "wedding" to anything, the price triples.

    Why a wedding should cost so much more than it needs to is just a spending trap orchestrated by the wedding industry. With the US average cost of $34,000.00 for a wedding, people are clearly being taken for one helluva financial ride. No doubt about it. It is flat out crazy to spend that much money on a 240 minute party. That averages to about $142.00 PER MINUTE!  Y I K E S !!

    SO, WHAT IS A BRIDE TO DO? Be smart and be reasonable and drop all the hoopla and needless spending.

    Only invite your immediate family and best friends. Let everyone know from the start that you are keeping your wedding intimate. That is easy to understand. Perhaps just have only a Maid of Honor and a Best Man as your attendants. That alone cuts down your bottom line costs instantly. Less gifts for you to buy and it also saves on your floral bill and it keeps the rehearsal dinner nice and quaint.

    I am not sure what your idea of a wedding dress may be, but, think outside the box. My friend literally stumbled upon her wedding dress in a random small shop. It was under $200.00 and perfect for her tented outdoor wedding. Thousands of dollars saved/not spent. There are plenty of dresses, including white dresses that are not "bridal wear" which are perfect dresses to wear on your wedding day. The search is worth the savings for a dress you will wear one time.

    I have been to about two dozen weddings and to be perfectly honest, only two stick out in my memory and my own wedding is not among them because I can't even remember the food that was served to my guests. My four reception hours felt like 30 minutes, My point is that this is not a competition to impress people with a lavish reception, but a nice relaxing comfortable time. I always felt that big weddings and formal weddings dilute the intimacy of such an important event.

    Sure, you want your guests to have a good time and not be hoarded in, stuck to their seats, fed and out the door. The best parties I have ever been to are ones with a flow. Movement encourages people to be sociable, which, in turn, gives life to the party.

    Consider a tented outdoor reception either in the morning or mid afternoon, after lunch and before dinner. A morning wedding can be lovely, with gourmet coffee, bakery goods, and an omelet bar. Signature Mimosa and Bloody Mary drinks would keep your alcohol bill down. A mid day reception could consist of substantial appetizers and perhaps just wine and beer. Who cares what Aunt Ester and Uncle Ralph think? This is YOUR wedding and most importantly, your money!

    Listen to this...sadly, my dad passed away. We planned a Celebration of Life party. There were about 85 people in attendance in my sister''s back yard. Her covered outdoor area and home would accommodate guests, should it have rained, which it did not. But, for a wedding, I would rent a tent. Anyway, we rented a few tables and a stack of chairs, borrowed lawn furniture from friends and set up seating and conversation areas. We bought a ton of appetizers from Costco, made great dips and sauces, a huge fruit, nut, cheese and cracker relish tray. We rented glasses and small plates. We bought colored napkins and only served food that did not require utensils. We hired some high school kids (children of friends) who heated up, plated and served the guests and manned the food table. We bought a lot of alcohol and hired a bar tender.

    The trick to avoiding a stagnant party is not to have a seat for everyone. You want people to mingle and socialize. So, how do you do that? Easy. You have the beverages and the food in opposite locations. With some high top tables here and there, people can have a place to set their drinks upon. This keeps the party moving. A dance floor stuck in the middle just divides the party, avoid that.

    That party lasted 6 hours and cost just $1,500.00, plus a can of paint to freshen up the front door and my sister used this time as an excuse for her husband to buy new outdoor furniture. Plus, she spruced up some flowers in her landscaping. She kept the furniture and enjoyed the flowers (avoiding florist prices). 

    So, in the middle of this party, my engaged niece had an epiphany. She decided to copy this party plan for her wedding. She put the ten grand she saved toward a house, which afforded her one more bedroom! Only she spent a little more ($2,200) than my dad's party  her savings were huge when she took the word "wedding" out of her spending plan. You can  toooo!

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    you already have a husband, but you are planning the wedding??

  • 4 weeks ago

    I agree with the others so I just have a couple things to add. 

    First ,a wedding with 20-30 guests can be lovely.  One option that seems to be picking up speed over the last decade is renting a private room in a restaurant.  They love weddings and they'll work with you on pricing and menu options.  This is really all you have to worry about, other than getting an officiant.  All states keep lists of people certified to perform weddings in that state.  If the restaurant is in a nice walking neighborhood, it's fun to hang out and stroll through that walking area.  I was in a wedding once where we did this and ended up at a kareoke bar.  If your city or nearby ones have a nice restaurant on the water, etc consider this. 

    The other thing you might try is googling "small wedding packages" and then a city.  All hotels have these, but other things will pop up:  botanic gardens, museums, aquariums, vineyards, etc.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    I spent nothing. My parents paid for it.  But it wasn't elaborate because i don't see the sense in wasting that sort of money

  • drip
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Dig. There are unique places out there.  We have a park district that owns a old house on a large pond. They rent out the bottom of it for small weddings and parties. 

    There is a historic hotel that had a gazebo over a  river, with a rose garden and patio. It has two rooms inside for small weddings.

    My best friend got married in a beautiful restaurant. They had private rooms. They didn’t do the open bar and Dj and dancing. They had a wonderful meal with drinks. And during coffee and wedding cake they got up and mingled. 

     if you want to keep costs down, keep the guest list as short as possible. 

    Set a budget and stick to it. Figure out what is important to you. Spend the money there. 

    A Friday or Sunday wedding can be cheaper. My daughter had her wedding on a Sunday of Labor Day weekend.   Not only was the venue cheaper, so was the photographer, DJ.  A breakfast or lunch reception can be cheaper.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    We bought a postage stamp.   We converted our domestic partnership to marriage by mail. 

  • Tj
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Go to the court house and get married.  It costs a small fortune to do it his way. It cost $15,000  or better today. Money that will never get recovered. that money can go to a home.

  • 4 weeks ago

    On cost - basically don't spend money on things you don't want/need (for example table centerpieces; bows on chairs; huge quantities of flowers; expensive dresses / shoes you'll wear once etc)

    Set a budget - then stick to it. 

    You don't need to do a sit-down dinner; you could do an afternoon canape / cake scenario. Or hire some food trucks and serve your guests pizza, or whatever your favourite food is. Look at your options, and figure out what's essential; cut whatever's not.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Are you even allowed to have a wedding where you live?  

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