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Wedding budget $5K and under

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#1 SgtPepperette

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    Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:06 AM

    I would love to hear from the brides that kept their budgets $5k and under. I know this is possible, but am losing faith!

    Would love to hear your tips, along with the ups and downs of planning. Im beginning to wonder if its possible....

    #2 cc91kilo

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      Posted 04 January 2009 - 02:56 AM

      I'm so glad you started this thread!!! I too don't want to spend a great deal of money on my wedding but like you said I as well am losing faith I don't think it may be possible either.

      #3 ACDCDCAC

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      Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:16 AM

      i know you can do it.

      there are SO many things that looking back i feel i wasted my time and money on. so many things i could have easily done without, and at the time i thought it was making my wedding special but now i realize no one even remembered i did it, and so many things i forgot i did too until i see a pic of it.

      some things i am glad i did/didnt do:
      ~SO glad i got my dress at davids bridal. the experience wasnt the best but i LOVE my dress and saved a ton of money.
      ~if i had to again i would for sure do paper parasols instead of flowers for the BM's, they were so pretty and saved me a bunch of money.
      ~i would have learned up about photogs a bit more and not went with the first one whos work i fell in love with. i could have saved a lot of money by doing a bit more research, and i would have been just as happy.
      ~i wouldnt have bothered with decorations or things to make the ceremony site look interesting, but instead i would have just went with the natural beauty of the day and surroundings.
      ~i would totally NOT waste time or money doing programs. it was a stressful last minute project that i decided i HAD to have, and after i realized that most of them didnt even get opened. people just dont care about that kind of thing (ok except us brides! we like that sort of thing haha, but no one else remembers!)
      ~i am glad i found a dress i loved and also that had a corset back (so no alterations necessary! woohoo!) but i would have researched different bustle options first. the bustle cost the same as the dress! i should have just done a simple 3 point underbustle, which would have been about $50. instead since i didnt realize i could have done something different, i ended up with like 16 points and it was SO expensive and took so much time to do up. (another option would be to look for a dress that doesnt have a train!)
      ~table decorations--i loved how mine turned out but i think i could have saved money by going simple, just plain candles and vases filled with free beach sand! no other foofoo decorations necessary.

      oh my i could go ON and ON about what i would have/could have/SHOULD have (haha) cut. but my point is, just think simple! everything will be so classic and lovely if you just stick with basic items that do the job.

      #4 Jacilynda

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        Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:18 AM

        Our wedding is costing us $5500, so close to $500. Although, we don't have to pay for our tickets, or accomodation so I don't know if you are having to include that. We chose to go to a small hotel, the owner has let me do anything I ask. This has really helped us out. We have decided to actually up our budget to $6000 to give us just a little bit more room. I've done alot of DIY to help keep costs down, although you have to watch what DIY projects you do, cause sometimes they come out to the same amount if you hadn't done them yourself. Such as I did the etching on our flutes and bought them for $2 each, and bought a cake serving set on sale at pier 1 so I had budgeted $80 for our flutes and serving set, but only spent $14.48.

        We've spent most of our money on our reception, photography, flowers.

        I hope this might help, I'm not sure if your looking for exact amounts we're spending on what and what it includes. If so I can through that. Let me know

        #5 syl1115

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          Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:49 AM

          Our wedding budget was about $5,000. I don't have an exact total. Here is where I saved money:
          1. I found my dress for $100.00 and alterations were $40.00
          2. used timeshare points for our accommodations and the ceremony
          3. A lot of DIY projects, however, I wish I had researched a little more on the paper I used. I found it a lot cheaper after I started the invites and programs. This was around $100.00
          4. Used a local vendor package for flowers, ceremony, photos, license $625.00
          5. Used shells from the beach on a previous site visit.
          6. Booked cruise for the honeymoon. $1800.
          7. I think the Oot bags cost me a lot. I am glad I did it because my guests loved them. I tried to put useful things in the bags instead of throw away items. Things such as flip flops, coffee, water, etc. I also made starfish cookies the day before we left and used them at my Bachelor/bachelorette party.

          So, yes it is possible to have a very nice wedding on a small budget.

          Our wedding slideshowhttp://www.facebook.....=1047086342460

          #6 kennynicole

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            Posted 04 January 2009 - 09:13 PM

            Thanks for posting this. I was just about to post one myself. Hopefully more will stop by with more ideas! Our wedding is Nov 09 so we are not too far behind you. Our budget is also 5,000....that includes our stay and air fare. How about you, dose you total include your hotel stay and airfare? I am hoping that we can do it for that price (fingers crossed).

            #7 Tobi

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              Posted 04 January 2009 - 09:36 PM

              Our budget is $6000. Ive been able to save $$ because we are having a cruise wedding and so no reception dinner, just appetizers and cocktails then everyone eats back on the boat for free. Originally I started out wanting the bamboo arch for the ceremony and steel drum band for the reception...I soon realized that all of this is not needed and my day will be perfect without it. We have the beach as a backdrop...what more can you ask for. We are doing music for the reception from our IPOD and with little to no decorations...the hotel is providing conch shells filled with local flowers. It doesnt hurt to ask. You'd be suprised what you can get.
              I found my dress for $300 and it's perfect. I bought the BM dresses and GM outfits as their thank you gifts instead of getchka stuff.
              Also saving on a honeymoon beacuse we consider the cruise a wedding and honeymoon all in one.
              You can have a beautiful day despite a small budget. Just get creative and simplify.

              #8 Jacilynda

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                Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:30 AM

                To spend $5000 or less for everything, probably the easiest thing may be to have a resort package. Alot of the girls do a package, but the package doesn't always include everything that they are wanting. For example, one of the biggest things is alot of the girls don't like the resort photographer, so they want to book an outside photographer, but then they have to pay a fee for the photographer, or sometimes pay for a night stay for them. Photography isn't cheap, so that's a big expense to add on.

                I think for $5000 you and your FI need to really decide what you really want the most for your wedding. Where do you want to spend your money? Photography, reception, cake, the dress.

                Also the other thing to think about is how many guests you plan on having. If you are only having 25 you can easily do this, if its 60 its gonna be a bit harder.

                For us we just didn't realize in the beginning the price of certain things. Investigate how much stuff costs, so you can really decide what it is you want. I didn't realize in the beginning I would be spending 25% of my budget on photography.

                Also are you having a WC? Their fee can add up too.

                We aren't having our wedding at a large resort, so we don't have packages, but the owner is allowing me to do what I want pretty much. If you haven't already decided on a location do some looking around to see if you can get what you want for that price.

                We are having 40-45 of us total. We have no fee for our ceremony sight, and it has minimal decor. We do have to rent chairs, but we'll be moving the chairs to our reception to cut the cost of renting our chairs in half. The chairs are costing us $280 which includes delivery.

                Our reception is costing us $1900 which gives us a cocktail hour, appetizers, soup/salad, and an entree for each guest. It includes our sound system as well.

                Our photography is $1400 for 2 hours to cover our ceremony and pics afterward. it also includes a TTD shoot the next day, which we really wanted.

                Our cake is $300

                Our flowers are costing us $900. We're doing real-touch flowers, but this includes my bouquet, 4 maids bouquets, 9 bouts, 2 corsages, a flower girl pomander, flowers for our cake, and our centerpieces.

                My dress was $348 including my undergarments. Although I will need to get it bustled.

                The rest of our money is small amounts being spent on our decor, gifts, etc.

                We started with a budget of $5500 but have gone up to $6000 just to get all of the minor decor, etc we want. Although FI's parents are covering our flights, and hotel, cause they are soo excited and love Akumal.

                #9 DWandMJ

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                  Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:40 AM

                  We too, are trying to keep the cost of the actual wedding below $5k (excluding hotel accomodations which total $3k itself). My father footed the bill for our airfare.

                  We were one of those couples that opted for a package through the Moon Palace in Cancun. By having our honeymoon there, we qualified for a free wedding package, which included: a wedding coordinator, restaurant reservations (AI resort so no added cost for food and drinks), a beautiful ceremony gazebo, the minister, the seating (pews), a champagne toast, and a cd player for the music. The wedding party only entails an MOH, with only approximately a dozen guests.
                  *The OOT bags will be done, but simple and include items that guests can actually utilize/may have forgotten: environmentally safe sunblock (required when swimming near the reefs), aloe, chapstick, sugar scrub, and maybe a couple of extras. Plus ribbon wrapped raffia fans at the ceremony.
                  *My dress was $300 from davids bridal, and fortunately my mother is one of those domestic goddesses that can alter it, make the sash, and the veil.
                  We're renting a suit for the groom which wil be $140 plus the cost of his shirt and tie.
                  *We'll have a nice dinner and go out to the disco in lieu of a traditional reception.
                  *Ceremony decorations will include a simple aisle runner, freeze dried flower petals, and candles on the altar.
                  *As extra, we're also going to use the horse drawn carriage ($130) and the resort photographer (whose work is surprisingly nice and prices are comparable to back home).
                  *We're skipping the cake because we will do one at our informal AHR.

                  All in all, I agree with the previous posts:
                  Keep decorations simple, taking advantage of the natural beauty.
                  All-inclusives (resorts or cruises) cut down on the expense of food and beverages.
                  DIY projects can save you some serious money, but be cautious and use coupons whenever possible.
                  and finally, Keep things in perspective. Avoid spending extra on things that don't matter and avoid over-personalizing keepsakes.

                  #10 SunBride

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                    Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:49 AM

                    Two ways to save a lot of money are to go with a resort that offers a free wedding package, and use whatever option the resort has for a free reception (usually the buffet restaurant would be free whereas a-la-cartes would have a charge, but this varies by resort).

                    I totally could have done it for under 5000$. Mine was 12000$ (including everything, even the trips and clothes and rings) but I splurged on photo and video (3000$) and I could have saved more on a bunch of other stuff if I had to.

                    I'm not sure if your budget is 5000$ plus travel costs or including travel costs. If you are including travel costs than I guess that only leaves about 1000-2000$ for the wedding itself (the rest being travel), which isn't much if that includes clothes, rings and all the normal wedding stuff, but I think it is doable at the right resort and if you don't go for many extras. If you mean 5000$ + travel then I think it's easily doable and will allow you to spend some money on extras such as decoration, more photos, etc but you will have to chose which elements are most important to you and forgo the rest. I think the idea of parasols instead of flowers for the bridesmaid is a great idea! Also OOOT bags can add up to be really expensive, and some people say their guests don't use them so that would be something to cut out. For decorations, just do something really small and cheap, like shells and sand and tealights, which will be cheap and easy to transport too (buy small plates to put them in rather than large, heavy vases).

                    Good luck! You'll find lots of great ideas around the forum for less expensive options.

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