How Cheap is Cheap?

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.

Cake: $550
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?

Dee Dee
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34 Days left till the BIG DAY

Well, I got so much done. I went to my first fitting. I went to my hair trial. Also we decided on our cake

My first fitting went great. My new MoH quickly took her place as being a maid of honor when we went to our first fitting. She helped the seamstress a lot. My MoH came up with my bustle that I LOVE. I had to walk out into the lobby after they got the bustle done to meet up with a friend that was running late. alot of people commented on my beautiful bustle. They all asked if they could take pictures of it and i was like go ahead.  this link is of my bustle and other photos taken during the fitting.

One of my bridesmaids will be doing my hair since she is a hair dresser. I told her that I wanted to do a test run so I can see how long it will take to do my hair so I can figure out what time we need to wake up the day of to start getting ready. We talked about how I wanted my hair & how my mom wanted my hair. Both my mom & myself wanted to see me with TONS of curls. I always thought my hair would be perfect with curls than in an up do. Well, after deciding what we were going to do she immediately started workin on my hair. 2.5 hrs and a whole can of hairspray later she was finally done. I love how it turne out. Here are the photos we took of my hair.

For our cake we decided on doing a chocolate & vanilla cream w/ buttercream frosting. We do not have a photo of what our cake will look like because fiance designed the cake. I so love my created fiance.

Let me know what you think.

married! 10/03/09

Just a few pictures for now taken by my husband's uncle, more to come later definitely! Also, some pictures taken by my while my girls and I were getting ready.
We had an amazing day, everything went smoothly as far as I know and the weather was great even though it threantened rain all week. A more involved/detailed post when I get more pictures back, I'm sure but for now I am completely exhausted! vand my living room is covered in presents that I have no spacee for!

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52 days left and counting

Well, a lot has went on during the year we have been engaged. We had a few fights where I just want to break up with him. But I just lock myself in my room for a week and then I'm all better.

I had a problem with my Maid of Honor and well, lets just say I had to get a new one. That happened like a month ago. We had to get her a dress and everything 2 weeks. It was not that fun.

We also ended up buying a house so we ended up being short for our wedding. But due to my nice uncle he offered to pay for the rest of it and we pay him back when we get the money.

But now its 52 days till the big day I am getting really nervous. I am shacking and crying 90% of the time.

My officiant gave me a deadline on to write out an outline on our ceremony which will be a fun task. I only have 10 days to get it done. OH JOY. But I am working on it... SLOWLY... lol..

But let me explain what we have got done.

We got everything for our reception ready.  We are having square plates and silver plated plastic silverware. We are having our ceremony & reception at the Sanibel Community House. We are waiting back on our RSVPs to see how many people will be coming. So far we are only having 12 people plus the bridal party. so that's a total of 24... people only have 10 days left  to RSVP or they wont be allowed to come inside for the wedding. we will have someone at the door checking. lol.

We also have my wedding gown and my bridesmaids has their gowns but my maid of honor is waiting on her gown. Our gowns are in alterations so I can't wait till I put my gown on again.

We also got a limo for us to ride in style to our honeymoon. We are going on a cruise for our honeymoon. I can't wait.

We are almost ready for this wedding. We just have to get food & cake & drinks. Then we are ready.

Well, I guess I gotta get to work on this outline. :-(
  • ohcean

Vendor Interviews

Always wanted to know why you're being charged $X for X service?

For my blog, I'll be conducting vendor interviews. I'll be asking some of the industry's best florists, photographers, wedding planners, etc.

Some questions I'm planning to ask:

Why is ______ worth the money?

How do you know when you're getting quality and when you are being overcharged?

When it comes to _____, where should you not cut corners?

Let me know what kind of budget-related questions you'd like to add to the list. I'll repost the most informative interviews here.
  • ohcean

Key to DIY Elegant Boquets

Real Simple has an article on using supermarket flowers into beautiful bouquets.

The key? Color gradation. The colors range from light to dark. There's no strong contrast of vibrant red and vibrant purples and oranges. There is a smooth gradation of color, with one dark shade that "pops" as an accent.



Photos: Lucas Allen

AVOID this:


Also a good find: Recommended by Real Simple's article, and other respectable publications.

x-posted from LBB.


Hello ladies (and gents?), I don't think I've posted here before. My wedding is October 2009, and I am a cheapskate PREFER THE TERM FRUGAL. Champagne taste, beer budget, yadda yadda, that's me. ... Hi. *waves*

Anyway, my mum insisted that I send out Save The Dates for our October wedding because we have a ton of out-of-town guests. So after pricing different options and having my fiance design us something totally awesome, the best/cheapest way to do them is to print them as 4x6s from KodakGallery (I'll be ordering a few test pics first to make sure everything's good before committing to the big order), and send them in little envelopes.

That's the part I need help with- the envelopes. Where's the cheapest place to get envelopes? Places/websites to avoid would also be extremely helpful. Color doesn't matter since it's just the save the dates, so I don't mind if they're boring white or off-white.


170 days till the big day

I have been planning this wedding for almost a year now and it is getting close to the end of this planning. At the beginning I had no clue if my parents would want to come to my wedding. It started out with alot of drama and now that its closer they are really happy and excited for me. I just can't wait for my dad to walk me down the isle.

We basically got most of our items when they were on sale. My budget started out being $8,500 and now its $6,500. We have my dress, the decorations, and the venue booked. My FH's sister is going to be doing my hair which I am so happy and can't wait for. My friend that sells Mary Kay is going to be doing my make-up.

We are having problems deciding on what type of food we want. We know we want sandwiches but we dont know if we should do an a la carte style buffet. Our reception will be for lunch so its kinda hard to decide. We know the side dishes will be potatoe salad, cole slaw, baked beans, and chips.

We were looking into renting a limo to drop the girls and I at the venue but they want a 3 hr min. So we decided nah my dad will be renting a car anyways so he can rent a bigger car and drive us to the venue.

The girls and I will be staying at the Sanibel Anchor Inn in one of the A-frame cottages. They are nice I took a tour of one yesterday. The venue is just down the street at the Sanibel Community House which we got for $575 for the night before and the day of. We didnt book the whole place. We just booked the north, middle, and kitchen. Its very antique and nice. Just one thing about it is that they don't want burning candles. So we got blue LED tealights. 

For our photographer, my FH traded in teaching this guy how to use photoshop for his wife to do our photography for free. She might not be good but my FH can fix any photo. Since he does that mostly for a living. LOL

I think thats a good update on my wedding planning. ONLY 170 DAYS LEFT TILL I AM MRS. JOSHUA D. THOMAS.

Cake topper.

We want a fun cake topper. I'd like to make it, but wanted ideas. I'd like to some how simulate my World of Warcraft character.... Has anyone else made their own fun cake toppers? I'd love to see pictures! 
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Intro! <3

Hi. I'm Jen. I'm getting married on Sept. 19th 2009, in Indianapolis, IN.

We've been together for 2 years. Our engagement has been short (he proposed to me a week ago).

We are a very down to earth, creative, *cheap*, geeky couple. So, having an inexpensive wedding is a challenge we're all about!

Out of our pocket Budget: $500-750 give or take.
Help from family: Around $2000 give or take.
Total at most: $3500 (we're trying to be reasonable and realistic)
Colors: Still deciding! I'm about to say the color is "I don't care."
Theme: The fiance "The theme is 'WEDDING!'" (Insert Jazz Hands here.)

First, we are very blessed to know creative and talented people. My fiance and I have entertainment, artistic, and networking backgrounds. If there's something we don't know how to do, we know someone who does.

We have been looking into renting a Historical House (which is haunted! That very fitting for us!) that's local. It's $100 an hour with a 4 hour minimum. We can bring our own food/own catering/own booze/decorations/whatever. Still have to call them to get an appointment for a meet up and walk through of the place. But, it looks very promising.

We do have back up plans if this place doesn't work out. I just wish that we did know someone with a large house that lived close to Indianapolis. (Lots of our friends live in the boondocks of Indiana).

The Officiant is our very close friend (we play World of Warcraft over at her house weekly!), who has offered to marry us.

One of our friends who is a local Goth/Industrial DJ offered to DJ our reception.

I've been looking at Corsets on Etsy/Ebay. I have a friend who is a seamstress who can sew up a skirt to match said corset. I know how to make petticoats.

I have a plethora of people I know that will do my hair/nails for cheap(I'm going to school to be a Cosmetologist. Which BTW... is an EXCELLENT place to shave off money to get your hair/make up/nails done). I'll do my own make up.

I know a photographer who I've modeled for, who has offered to do the photography.

And yet another lovely friend who will be doing belly dancing for our reception entertainment!

We're also speaking with other people in form of bartering services(foods mainly).

We have lots of decorations in our house and lots of arts and craft stuff as it is (I'm a freakn' sucker for art supplies and fun paper!) So our decorations are covered/or I can find "it" in a dollar store and hot glue stuff together.

We are not a traditional couple, so I think that makes things a lot easier on us. We're making sure that if we do buy something that is not consumable and that we have to take with us at the end of the night... that it's something we'd buy outside of it being in the wedding. (Dress, corset, his outfit, extra decorations...)

It's a start. Yet it seems like it never ending.
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