$12,000 wedding? I don't know what to do!?

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My dream wedding, in all actuality, including dress, rings, gifts, cake, honeymoon, etc.. will probably cost about 12,000 dollars... My parents have about no money and tons of debt, so they can't help me.. my fiance's parents can't afford the wedding themselves, and being young and not quite financially stable yet, we don't know how we're going to pay for this.. Does anyone haev any advice on how to cut costs, how to finance, etc? I have already switched to almost all silk flowers to cut costs for my wedding.. I feel like I am being so selfish with my wedding, but I am not really splurging too much on anything, and it's a pretty normal wedding, it just seems so expensive!




  1. Your best bet would go to Las Vegas, get married in one of those small wedding church. Have a honeymoon while you're there. Go back home and have a wedding reception with just cake for your family and friends.

    Why spend that much money for one day. Use the money for a down payment on a house. Being in debt is not a good way to start a marriage and it's time to get real!

    I gave my son tickets and hotel room to Las Vegas and rented them a nice Bed and Breakfast place for their reception with wedding cake, fruits , cheese and etc. for less than $1,000. Everybody loved it. No one was hurt because they couldn't come to the wedding, they had it on video.

  2. Thats how I feel about honeymooning too. We can't afford one now, and we have our whole lives to travel. Our wedding is at a restaurant/bed and breakfast so we reserved a room and are staying there our first night.

    My wedding is going to be beautiful and it is only around $7,000

    We cut costs my limiting the number of people coming for starters. We are also holding the ceremony and reception at the same place, which is cheaper too. I hand-did the favors (jelly beans in organza bags with hand-stamped tags). We reserved a photographer for the first 3.5 hours, just enough to get pictures before the ceremony, then pictures of the ceremony and early reception and cake cutting. The rest of the pictures are being done by just guests and their digital cameras, and my uncle's fancy 35mm.

    You can have a wedding for $6,000 and still use real flowers. Silk flowers can be cheaper if you are buying them over the course of a year, but I think you should save any money you want to spend on wedding things now and then you will have that money saved up for real flowers as the date draws closer.

    You can also save money by doing a smaller cake, or a styrofoam cake and then servings the guests sheetcake.

    Just a note about silk flowers: they are not necessarily cheaper. I bought some fake coffee bean plant from a craft store for $4.50 per bunch, and then found out it was only $4 per bunch for the real thing from a florist. If you can arrange flowers yourself (which is what you will have to do if you go the silk route anyways) you should just order the real flowers and assemble them yourself (saves you tons since you just pay the cost of the flower and not the cost of labor). It is cheaper to stick to flowers that are in season, and then if you want to cut costs get any out of season flowers in silk from a craft store (for example, I am doing baskets with 2 sunflowers and some daisies so we are using fake sunflowers since the real ones are so expensive).

  3. It is your day, but do you really want to start out your new life in debt?  My wedding (in 2003) cost $500.00 for everything, and we had a beautiful wedding.  Just remember, the wedding is just 1 day, the marriage is a lifetime, and will you be any more or less married depending on how much money you spend?

  4. Your dream wedding should be about you and your husband being there, committing to each other.......

    Seriously, your friends and family will absolutely respect your sensibleness if you choose a low key, pretty afternoon tea, at a relatives or public garden......... Close family and friends will help with sophisticated fingerfood, choose a pretty but cheap or second hand dress........I even heard once of a bridal bouquet made up of each guest bringing a single flower from their own garden to the ceremony, wrapped up with a ribbon just before you walk down the aisle....symbolising allthe special people that will be there to support the two of you in your new life together!....No-one will look at it as cheap....all brides look like princesses...and everyone will admire your self-control....committing your funds to better use, such as buying a house and raising a family down the track. It is absolutely not worth getting into debt over!!!!!! It places the focus of the day even moreso on your love for each other, and the real reason you're there!!!!!

  5. I think your making a very decision. You will get lots of suggestion on here on how to spend your $5700 wisely. Although I do think you should take at least  some of that money to spend the night in a nice hotel. Even if it's only for one night.

    good luck. :)  

  6. go to the cheap stores and do alot of things yourself...

    like with me.

    *my Fiances father is a wonderful cook. he's catering our reception.

    *I'm looking in the dollar stores for anything i like that fits my theme so I can make all my decorations myself.

    *We are having beer, not whine. and bying it ourselfs. not using a service.

  7. Weddings just end up costing too much. Good for you to realise that you shouldn't go into debt.

    Don't serve a meal - do punch and cake.

    Invite only those who are closest to you, and explain to others that you just couldn't afford a big reception.

    If you have large families, consider a potluck reception.

    If either of you attend a church, see if you can get a deal on the church hall for the reception.

    Talk to friends - you might be able to get the photography and the music done as gifts (ceremony cost goes way down if you don't need to pay musicians).

    Best of luck!

  8. "Dream" wedding is a "dream" for people these days who are on a budget. I too had a "dream" wedding envisioned but in the end reality mandated that my husband and I go down to the justice of the peace and get a marriage license.... and I got married at 29 to a man that is 33 so being young has nothing to do with it. I was in a graduate program, he was in college, neither of our parents had expendable money, and a wedding is NOT a reason to go into debt! So what happened was that we got married and that was the important thing. Yes, inside I felt bad, like it wasn't fair, like I missed out, like I wanted it so badly and it didn't happen, so I had a little pitty party for myself but you know what? There is also a satisfaction in being mature and realizing what your limits are and staying within those limits. Not making anyone feel bad for not dishing out money for YOUR one day, not feeling bitter that my dream didn't come true about a wedding, etc. Do the grown up thing and look at how much money YOU have, how much money does it REALLY take to do what the bottom line is, which is getting married, and then do what you can with what you have, without complaining. That's reality, and the most important thing is the life you will have with your spouse.

    Good luck!

  9. Congrats first of all! I am to be married in 8 weeks. We allowed ourselves a budget of $12,000 for our wedding and reception. We are currently at $9500 but we only have to pay for one more thing and thats the celebrant for $450 minus our deposit. So we are right on track with our budget. Here are some tips to keep your costs down.

    -If you know anyone who sews, ask them to make your dress for a fraction of the price. (mine was $2500, my MIL made it for $129)

    -Ask friend or family to do your hair and make up

    -Shop around for photography before booking because prices vary a lot

    -do your flowers yourself or use silk flowers instead

    -For things like wedding bubbles, use (I saved $140)

    -Ask someone you know to make your wedding cake (I saved $650)

    -Have a beach or park wedding because its free and its beautiful

    -don't have a HUGE wedding party

    -register with a travel agent so that you can afford a honeymoon

    -have a cocktail party if you can't afford a sit down dinner

    -let your boys hire their attire as its cheaper than buying

    -borrow your transport if you know someone with a nice car

    -don't supply spirits, only beer, wine and soft drink

    -try to strike a deal so your paying for the wine by the bottle and NOT by the glass

    -make your own invitations by hand, yes time consuming but again HUGE saving

    I could go on forever...the main thing is that you shop around. A saving here and there adds up, believe me. Hope this helps you.

  10. Congratulations, first and foremost, on the wedding!  My best friends put on an amazing wedding for only $6,000!  They had friends rotate being bartenders, we all helped make the invitations, and we all helped make the favors and setting up decorations for the reception.  A family style dinner is a good way to go- that way, people only take what they want and that is accounted for when the chefs cook, so you won't have as much left over food.  (By this, I mean, each table got a big bowl of pasta, veggies, salad, etc... and we shared.)  They also had friends rotate being DJs.  

    Don't kill yourself on one night, though- you don't want to be stressed about how much you're spending.  Best of luck to you in your wedding and marriage!!

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