Okay, for those of you who have successfully pulled of a very nice, but relatively INEXPENSIVE wedding, please pass forward any advice you can give me!
Currently, I have been planning our wedding for the last 6 months, and we are scheduled to wed June 5, 2010 (which happens to also be my birthday) and had an initial budget of 10,000. However, as of last months bank crisis and the sudden downturn of our tumultuous economy with unemployment at an all time high where the ones who still have a job even have no guarantee of keeping their livelihood, we have decided to cut our budget in half (to $5,000). Now, my reservation with keeping it at $5000, and not decreasing it even more is that I don't want a tacky wedding. Now while I realize that many wedding receptions, if not ALL wedding receptions is basically impressing your guests with an "oooh Ahhh" ... at the end of the day, your celebration and their participation is at your expense. Quite frankly, if I could pull off a vegas-style wedding and just simply elope w/my fiance and come back w/announcements that tells everyone "WE ALREADY DID IT! HA!, NOW LETS HAVE A BBQ", without anyone getting upset over it like babies that they weren't there to witness it, we'd be married by now.
SO any suggestions on how a girl can cut costs even more would greatly help! Here's what we've shaved off initially:
Downtown Wedding, at an Old GOTHIC Cathedral: $1600.
(Instead, we are getting married for free at my church on the eastside of town in a so-so neighborhood where my church rests. I got free use of the church because I grew up in that church and my entire family on my mother's side has grown up there too). With a stipend ($200-$300 donation) to the church priest, that's about as out of pocket on the venue as we'll likely spend.
Initially this was a 4 tier wedding cake because my fiance has a pretty big family in all parts of the country (of course some of whom he doesn't talk to that often but thought he'd want to invite them because people thought he'd be a bachelor forever) and my small family, (which many live overseas)... we thought, after we saw how expensive things were becoming, that we were offered, by a friend, to pay $218. So this was a steal!
Reception: $1700 @ BRIO's TUSCAN GRILLE
I always loved Brio's and it was only $125 to rent the facility banquet room. I made the menu, and negotiated the linens, china, table settings, decorations, & the restaurant gave it to me AT NO COST! With 50 guests under $15 per plate for a luncheon, all you can eat salad bar and unlimited tea, coffee, water, lemonade including servers, cost me $1699, due on the day of the reception. They even threw in a complimentary toast. However, because now we’ve decided to cut the costs and the reception #’s literally in half, we were going to have an intimate luncheon of 20 guests. (25 if you include us and the best man, maid of honor & 1 brides maid). And the best thing of all… the 20 intimate family/friends agreed they’d pay for their own plate!
Other than the invitation and flower ideas from one of the members here on this board, do you think this is being too cheap? Again, we have 2 kids, 2 cars and a mortgage. Quite honestly, I’d rather spend what we were going to spend on a wedding, on daycare, mortgage and car notes. I’d like party favors, but are there any crafty, cute yet cheap ideas? Thoughts?