Author Topic: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?  (Read 27401 times)

henrysmom

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2015, 09:07:55 PM »
I am posting here as an older member of MMM community (mid 50s).  Been married twice, first time was a big extravagant event with catering, open bar, band, professional photographer.  Marriage lasted only a few years.  Next marriage in Las Vegas  at a chapel , off the rack dress, and dinner later for everyone off the strip at a restaurant.  Still married 25 years later.  My opinion is that waaayyy too much is spent on weddings nowadays.  When I was growing up weddings were at churches or small chapels, and receptions were punch, (sometimes spiked), cake, candies.  Whole reception over in 1-2 hours, which was appreciated by everyone!  No one went broke, and it must have worked because people stayed married! A few years ago I went to a similiar wedding, that was held at the chapel of a local university here in Southern California on a Sunday afternoon.  There was a small meeting hall to the side of the chapel, and afterwards we went in there (it was beautiful with a fireplace and old, dark wood), and had champagne, punch, and a variety of desserts.  Everyone was gone by 4 or 5 and the groom told me they spent under $800 for everyone. (The venue was free to them as employees).  It was frugal, intimate, and the guests, including me, appreciated that it was simple, didn't last all day into the night and I didn't feel the unwritten need to give a very expensive gift to somehow make up for the cost of a the normal catered meal with alcohol.  Also went to a early morning wedding on a beach here in So Cal and we all went to a buffet brunch at a local restaurant, which was certainly less than $45 a person and even including mimosas!  Good luck to you!

JustTrying

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2015, 09:10:57 PM »
I can support the elope comments, unless you really want a wedding. If you do, I am telling you: The BEST way to save money is to pick a venue in which they don't have any rules regarding what food/drinks you bring in. Costs get crazy when you have to use their caterers. We found a venue that allowed us to do whatever we wanted, used a caterer who is not typically a "wedding" caterer (so cheaper), and bought wine a costco and let our guests serve themselves. It was fantastic.

MBot

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2015, 09:13:00 PM »
Two ways I've seen the food done deliciously for a cheaper cost:

- We got an Italian catering company to cater TRAYS of meat, pasta, etc and hired a couple people to serve it. Sheet cake from Costco and apps from costco, including on each table bread and a bowl of salad. Under $1k for 120 people.
- Brunch buffet reception at a country club. Amazing wedding, great setting, cheap meal. Awesome, delicious, fun. Morning wedding, brunch reception and just mimosas available to drink (included).

Spondulix

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2015, 09:59:42 PM »
A couple ideas from weddings I've been to:

- Food truck. That's actually a trendy thing in SoCal right now to have a food truck cater an outdoor event (even if it's burgers and fries). Could just get some bags of lettuce and do an easy salad alongside
- dessert pot luck. That works well for out of town too cause people can pack homemade desserts and such. It made for adorable pics
- Cupcake tree or pie. Cupcake tree is cute. Pie was cause the couple didn't like cake. It got rave reviews
- 1-800 flowers. The bride bought 2 dozen tulips and only used one or two in each centerpiece (in addition to wheatgrass they grew in their backyard)

Just keep in mind that DIY takes time. I planned a bunch of stuff to make myself to save money, but the week before the wedding there's a lot of people who will want to spend time with you. The last thing you'll want to be doing is making bows. Local friends will probably ask if you need help, so have tasks ready to delegate as you get closer to.

iris lily

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2015, 10:16:37 PM »

...ETA: to make the whole thing more relaxed and more "us", we were at the venue greeting everyone as they arrived.  The open bar started BEFORE the ceremony so people could grab a mimosa or a latte and settle in/chat while everyone arrived.  Then people sat down, beverages in hand, and we did the ceremony. Then food.  We loved it that way. Felt like a big cozy get together.  Just to extend the thought in case it caters as well to your personalities as it did to ours.

This. A thousand times this.

Please set a mimosa in my hand to enjoy the festivities of your nuptials, thanks so much!haha.

Big White Weddings are a giant bore. Intimate, casual, with drinks--that's the ticket!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 10:18:53 PM by iris lily »

frugaldrummer

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2015, 11:10:03 AM »
The key to controlling costs is to find a free- or-low-cost venue that doesn't require you to use their caterer.  At my wedding, we then got large trays of lasagne from a local restaurant (you could also make these and freeze them in advance yourself, and cook them the day of), salad, and a sheet carrot cake with a gingerbead cookie bride and groom on top.   The food was delicious and plentiful at a fraction of the cost of catering.

We picked wildflowers from the side of the road for the tables (upstate New York, wild lilies were in bloom).  My spouse's tux came from a thrift store, I made my dress.  I do regret not having a professional photographer, the amateur photos were just that - amateur.  We spent all our money on a live band.

I once went to a potluck wedding and that was great too - they divided the guest list into sections alphabetically - one group brough salads, one brought
breads, one brought appetizers - the wedding couple provided grilled salmon and chicken prepared on the BBQ at the site they were using (a community house in a park.)  The food was awesome because everybody put extra effort into it - the only time I ever carved a watermelon basket for a fruit salad.

socaso

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #56 on: February 10, 2015, 01:38:30 PM »
I didn't read the whole thread so if I am repeating someone's advice I apologize. For our wedding we had a restaurant we like cater the buffet and it was more reasonable than the catering companies we spoke with. We didn't do a full bar but we did have white and red wine a couple of types of beer and that was it. We had a little inexpensive wine tasting with some stuff available at Trader Joe's and picked a couple of things we thought tasted good and bought a few cases. The wine was less than $200 and we had leftovers and the beer was probably less than $100. I've heard people say that they JUST CAN'T not have a full bar because their families will flip but I say to hell with that, if you are old enough to get married then you get to decide what to serve at your wedding. As far as I know no one complained about what we served and we even had several people comment that the wine was great.

As far as the photos go I don't regret hiring the pro photographer one bit. I did a ton of DIY projects for my wedding and a good friend of mine did all the floral arrangements and I'm so happy to have beautiful photos of those and our guests. The photographer took so many more pictures than I ever dreamed he would, 1500 to be exact. Plus he was a pleasure to work with and even though I don't typically think I photograph well he took some amazing photos of the two of us.

I found several books at the library with terrific advice about cost cutting for weddings. You might check there. The best advice I got was to find a venue that can do three things, host the ceremony, reception, and not have restrictions about caterers or bringing your own spirits. Also if you can find a place that is already gorgeous you save a ton on decor. We got married in a historic hotel that was filled with beautiful antique furniture. I really didn't need flowers at all.

spruce

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2015, 02:56:30 PM »
I am in the same boat - trying to pull off a somewhat traditional wedding with around 50 people, most of whom who are coming in from out of town, for less than $5000.

Here are the tips I've found so far...look at non-wedding venues, like others mentioned, parks, restaurants, retreat centers, etc.  We ended up renting a retreat center for three days with cabins for out-of-town guests to stay at for less than any "wedding" venues charged for one afternoon.  This lets our relatives save money on lodgings too, so we're hoping it will encourage more of them to come than might otherwise. Plus, they have a big kitchen and no rules on noise, alcohol, caterers, or anything else, so it keeps it easy for us.

Same for food - we went with a local restaurant that typically serves company lunches and things like that. We're doing it buffet-style, they're delivering it, setting it up, and picking everything back up for less than $18 per person.  For drinks, we're just doing beer and wine, water and tea (included in the catering). A bar with too many options is too complicated, and most of our guests generally aren't liquor drinkers.

Two things I was big on were flowers and a photographer (it's important!). A local farm sells DIY buckets that make 5-7 centerpieces, so we'll do the arrangements ourselves.  I emailed a heck-ton of photographers (I think the count is up to around 20). Most scoffed at my low budget (~$500) and only needing them for 3 hours, but one finally put a post on a photographers listserv for me, and I got five responses with photographers willing to do less than a full day in my budget range.

In the end, I'm hoping our families will have the weekend "wedding" they want, and we'll have the family gathering and good food that we want.

Best of luck to you!

h2ogal

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2015, 03:53:41 PM »
Hello
I think you can do better on the food cost.

I would suggest you check out some small, local venues instead of the big caterers or hotels or party houses.

DH owns a rustic country restaurant in a small town setting.  We recently hosted a small (60 person) wedding at the restaurant, on an evening we are usually closed. The bride and groom were a young military couple on a strict budget.

They did a country rustic theme.  Brides friends and family came in early and rearranged tables and decorated with home made centerpieces and candles.  They married outside, and decorated our outdoor patio with strings of lites, candles and rustic hay bales and quilts.  Extra chairs and tables were borrowed from church. 

We served a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  They were not a drinking crowd so they brought sparkling grape juice and we had a cash bar for any who were interested.  Brides aunts baked desserts and a talented friend brought a wedding cake.

Her cousin was the DJ and they hired a pro photographer.

I think the whole thing cost the bride less than $3K and everyone had a great time.
   



 

Zora

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2015, 04:18:52 PM »
I haven't read the whole thread, but speaking from my own experience at semi-frugal/DIY wedding plaaning -- don't cut +1's.  People will be confused.  Wouldn't you be weirded out to be invited to attend?  It should be all or nothing.

Goldielocks

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2015, 04:54:50 PM »
If you are simply nonpracticing and not Anti- religion, ask at a couple of local churches.

Chances are in Edmonton, you will get a ceremony space plus officiant for about $200.

Then break for formal pictures and have guests meet up at a restaurant at a certain time.  50ish is very easy to find restaurant private room for your party.

This way people can come or not to reception, granny gets a seat without extra effort or cost.   Guests can buy drinks at restaurant bar before your private room is ready.

Set menu controls price, offer free yo your guests beer and bottles of wine.  Drinkers can buy at the public cash  bar in the main space.  Almost no decorations or flowers.  And you get table servicr. Instead of buffet.

No dancing or anything, just a few toasts and a party.

So nice, easy, pretty affordable.

madamwitty

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #61 on: February 10, 2015, 04:58:48 PM »
You should check your local college to see if there are photography students getting into wedding photography - you might be able to find someone new, enthusiastic and inexpensive.

I second this. We got someone from a local art college who wanted to expand her portfolio and got a great deal on a couple hours at the wedding and lots of time spent doing photo touch ups, plus she gave us the full set of digital photos and rights to print our own photos at Shutterfly or whatever. (This can be a problem with professional photographers - they charge am arm and a leg for each print).

If you go this route, or if you use a friend, I suggest having a clear idea of what poses you want to do and a checklist of things you want them to photograph (in addition to letting them use their artistic judgement). Don't want them to forget a picture of the cake, bouquet, etc.

mlipps

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #62 on: February 10, 2015, 10:11:41 PM »
For prints, MPix does pro quality at affordable prices. If you sign up for their emails they give  frequent discounts. I wouldn't pay their prices for everyday pics but it was worth it for the few wedding shots we had printed.


WESTOFTHEHUDSON

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #64 on: February 11, 2015, 10:21:54 AM »
Could you use a bar or even a place like the legion? We held ours in the basement of a nice pub in Manhattan and gad finger food and it was minimally decorated and  super inexpensive.  I too wanted nice photos and net perked with friends on a knitting site to get an amazing photographer for super cheap, same thing with our baker and makeup/ hair for me. Manhattan wedding for 75 people
for under $4,000.

I love Canmore too.

What about outdoor reception with BBQ theme?

HopefulMustache

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #65 on: February 11, 2015, 11:13:17 AM »
There's a of great advice already mentioned, but my biggest suggestion for cutting costs is going with a venue where you can bring your own caterer and alcohol.

The cost of buying a few cases/handles of your favorite beverages from a liquor store and hiring a single certified bartender for a few hours (keep it to one, it's an easy way to moderate) is insanely less than any pre-arranged bar costs will be - run the numbers between one "bar cost" drink ticket and the cost of providing an average of a few drinks per guest yourself and see how it adds up. Acquiring the alcohol is also a task that's super easy to outsource to a friend with a truck. As others have said, another way to easily moderate alcohol is to have the event earlier in the day... maybe you have some friends that will blow by "a few drinks" at night, but at lunchtime they will be less likely to. You can also do something like buy a single special "signature" bottle for yourself and close friends this way, paying perhaps ~$40 for a liter of your favorite whiskey that you get to take home after, rather than $10 for a shot of "whatever's on the top-shelf".

Similarly, the costs from providing your own caterer tends to be dramatically cheaper than any pre-arranged catering. I imagine you can beat that $45/head even if you do want a professional caterer rather than restaurant catering. Costs do add up putting it together yourself, needing to rent plates, silverware, and all the rest... it was all a shock to me too when I first saw the prices, even at places that proved reasonable. Unless you want to setup/serve yourself, you do the best you can though, and I think it's worth it to lower costs by arranging as much as you can yourself ahead of time. You get more control that way too, which is an added plus.

Unless you've fallen in love with a dream place, I'd keep this a top priority. I also agree with those who say to get some sort of photography for some well-shot memories, but there's no need for the "generic full wedding package" if you want to keep your budget intact.

Wedding planning is stressful but also remember to enjoy yourself during it, and that most of your guests will have fun almost no matter what you do, because they're happy to be at your wedding. Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 11:17:36 AM by HopefulMustache »

desrever

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2015, 11:31:50 AM »
Just one small word of caution: if people are coming in from all corners, think twice brute you compromise on day of the week -- you should balance the amount that you'd be saving on venue fees against the fact that your out of town guests will have to take extra days off of work.

People will be more understanding of a frugal wedding if you don't make it super inconvenient to attend.

LucyBIT

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #67 on: February 11, 2015, 12:56:14 PM »
I got married last August for ~$3k.

- Venue was a state park (not sure if there's a Canadian equivalent), $200 for an entire Saturday. Picnic tables, gorgeous mountain location, volleyball pit, huge meadow for horseshoes and such
- We took advantage of the meadow and asked friends and family to bring games/volleyball net
- Pig roast for ~60 was $16/person, and that included plates etc. plus iced tea and lemonade
- Bought our own beer, and we bought too much; people really do drink a lot less during the day. Borrowed a crapload of coolers from friends and relatives.
- My dress was $150, we bought DH a nice suit that he's worn several times already
- No flowers, DIY/upcycled/cheap decorations. Saved beer bottles for months and stripped off the labels, my sister donated a crapload of scrapbooking paper for paper flowers, foraged for pinecones, borrowed centerpiece elements from a family friend.
- Friend is a professional sound engineer, volunteered to DJ
- We splurged somewhat on the photographer, but she charged by the hour so we booked her for 3 hours, which was $1000 and enough time for the ceremony, group photos, and the beginning of the reception/lawn games
- In Colorado, you don't need an officiant, so I wrote our ceremony and we had a friend "MC"
- My sister did my hair, and her professional makeup artist friend did my face for $20 and a few mimosas
- Invitations on VistaPrint, RSVPs on free wedding website
- Standing ceremony (no elderly guests)

It was a great wedding. Everyone told us "This was such a fun wedding!" and seriously, people don't say that unless it's true ("Beautiful wedding!" is a much more common platitude lol). It was relaxed, fun, and once the caterers left, there weren't any strangers around, just us and our friends and family.

My only regret is that I had to get up at 5am and we were rushed getting ready. It was a combination of the venue being far away from our house and the fact that we wanted to get the ceremony done early to avoid afternoon mountain rains (and it didn't rain a drop! all day! beautiful and sunny! all day!), but it could have been mitigated better.

I don't regret anything else, except not inviting a few friends (because reasons, whatever). Everything else was perfect. I loved (and still love) my $150 dress, the pig was delicious, it was just fun and awesome.

One of the weirder things we did was not having any music at the ceremony. For recorded music we would have had to run an extension cord out about 50 feet or use something battery-operated, for live music we would have had to pay someone and risk instrument damage, so in the end we just didn't do anything, and it was one of the most memorable things about the whole day.  Walking together into the aspen grove with loved ones standing on either side of the "aisle", listening to the birds chirp and the wind rustle in the aspens was awesome enough, but when we entered, the guests spontaneously broke into clapping and cheering. It was beautiful, and we both cried.

So the moral is, maybe something seems odd, but it could turn out completely awesome. My centerpieces were made primarily from, well, rubbish (beer bottles, paper, and dirt figured heavily), but they were beautiful.

rocketman48097

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #68 on: February 11, 2015, 01:04:03 PM »
Have you thought about doing a private ceremony followed by a public reception?  One where there is just fruit trays, cracker and cheese?  I have seen this done before.

My wife and I went to the DR to get married, still had a Catholic wedding, followed by our honeymoon right there at the resort.  True, our guests had to pay for themselves, but our actual ceremony expense, from the resort, was only 1k US.  That included the gazebo, music, flowers, and wedding cake.  I think my wife's hair being "done" was only $50, and it looked PHENOMENAL (her comment, and she's critical). 

Right after the wedding, our guests went up to the "all inclusive" bar and drank as they pleased.  They also ate on the resort, and this was no charge to us, as all inclusive means they already paid for their meals.  Sure, they basically paid for their portion of the wedding, but this was far cheaper than the plan you have designed.

Also, go cheap on the wedding rings, we didn't, and I regret it still.  Should have invested instead. 

lax4life93

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #69 on: February 17, 2015, 08:12:00 AM »
Well thanks to much of the great input from this post, I think we managed to wrangle the budget in without much compromise.

- Community Hall which is actually really nice we can rent in one of the national parks ($500) and we get it for the entire weekend! we might infact use it on the Friday for some activities as well
- Local caterer ladies @~20$/plate (70 people max = $1400) for a solid farm house meat and potatoes meal
- Photographer: We are wrangling up our cousin who is a very talented amateur (FREE!), and well as a good friend will get some of the casual photos throughout the night.
- We decided if the photos don't turn out how we like them, we will jump back into our wedding get ups and get a pro to shoot us for an hour some other day. We wont have a wedding party or anything so we are just looking for a few pics of us outdoors that need to be good, the rest are not a priority.  We found this to be a great compromise, especially since no one but us will know it is taken a different day. 
- Booze: Toonie bar, with a Costco liquor run (should come out pretty much even since beer <$2 per can and win is a little more, and liquor is much less so we might even make some money)
and the rest is minor details.
- Ceremony site outdoors (FREE) and absolutely gorgeous.

The thing we are the happiest about is that we can have it in our preferred location without sacrificing cost, and It just happens to turn out that its the same price regardless of what day of the week or time, so we can have it on a Saturday night and make it easy for all of our out of town guests.

Thanks again for everyone who helped out! We managed to cut our costs by almost 70% so far.

Goldielocks

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #70 on: February 17, 2015, 03:01:15 PM »
Well thanks to much of the great input from this post, I think we managed to wrangle the budget in without much compromise.

- Community Hall which is actually really nice we can rent in one of the national parks ($500) and we get it for the entire weekend! we might infact use it on the Friday for some activities as well
- Local caterer ladies @~20$/plate (70 people max = $1400) for a solid farm house meat and potatoes meal
- Photographer: We are wrangling up our cousin who is a very talented amateur (FREE!), and well as a good friend will get some of the casual photos throughout the night.
- We decided if the photos don't turn out how we like them, we will jump back into our wedding get ups and get a pro to shoot us for an hour some other day. We wont have a wedding party or anything so we are just looking for a few pics of us outdoors that need to be good, the rest are not a priority.  We found this to be a great compromise, especially since no one but us will know it is taken a different day. 
- Booze: Toonie bar, with a Costco liquor run (should come out pretty much even since beer <$2 per can and win is a little more, and liquor is much less so we might even make some money)
and the rest is minor details.
- Ceremony site outdoors (FREE) and absolutely gorgeous.

The thing we are the happiest about is that we can have it in our preferred location without sacrificing cost, and It just happens to turn out that its the same price regardless of what day of the week or time, so we can have it on a Saturday night and make it easy for all of our out of town guests.

Thanks again for everyone who helped out! We managed to cut our costs by almost 70% so far.

Looks like a great plan.... just...   your guests are likely giving you a generous wedding gift, and you are asking them to fork over $2 for a beer or glass of wine?  This is not a frat party, is it?   If you have guests over the age of 30, it won't be taken well, but no one will say anything.   Yes, cash bars are not unusual at hotels, where the cost of drinks average $7 each... but to not pay for $300 worth of beer for your guests is not frugal, it is cheap...   I had this experience last summer and it really left a sour taste in my mouth -- volunteer bartender, beer / wine purchased from liquor store, plastic cup, and a request for $3. 

It may be better to ask for "by donation" or just "tips" jar.

Tapp

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2015, 03:06:01 PM »
I didn't read all the replies before this.
BUT,

My sister has her Wedding this last december.
She had it at a very nice and trendy restaurant in downtown Raleigh. Had the ceremony in the a covered and heated courtyard (50 people) and the reception was in the restaurant with courses served "family-style". The entire event with food was $2500. I payed for my own tux as part of the wedding party.

Ask your family and friends to help you, because they will. Its easy to do it frugal.

Better yet, do it in a forest. It's kick ass and free. Robin Hood style.

green daisy

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2015, 03:40:55 PM »
I just wanted to chime in with an edible frugal favor idea.  I generally don't like wedding favors that are trinkets--I feel obligated to hang onto them for sentimental reasons.

I made these bride and groom chocolate covered pretzel rods for my sister's bridal shower.  They came out great, were cheap to make (I think it cost about $20 for the supplies), and they were easy!  They took a few hours to make since you have to wait for the chocolate to harden.  You could probably make them a week ahead so you're not scrambling at the last minute. My sister requested them (she's not frugal) and she expected me to order them from a bakery for $2/set for 60 guests.  Umm, no. 

They probably won't work outside on a hot day though!

Here's a blog link (not mine).

http://www.garnishandglaze.com/2014/06/06/bride-groom-pretzel-rods/

ETA. If you change your mind on the cupcakes, for my sister's shower, I also did a plain white sheet cake from Costco.  I asked them not to decorate it except for white icing and white piped frosting around the edges.  I then decorated it with fresh flowers (also from Costco).  It was cheap, tasty and very elegant looking!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 05:09:28 PM by green daisy »

mhovancsek

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2015, 04:39:48 PM »
Where I live, the local food bank has a catering off shoot- and is willing to cater weddings.  They're closer to $12 and that is in my big expensive American city- and their food is good.

Also, I found a non-profits in my urban area that support affordable weddings. The one in Washington DC is called St. Anthony's bridal. They sell used wedding dresses for $100 or less, sell table linens and used wedding decor for thrift store prices. Check it out to see if there is something similar in your area.

I found a lot of other helpful hints in the book BridalBargains.  Worth my $15.


couponvan

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2015, 08:21:51 PM »
We had friends that did a tiered cheesecake for their wedding cake. I think they did Costco large cheesecakes and bought 4 large cheesecakes - they made it look like a big tier by cutting three into progressively smaller cheesecakes. They added more graham cracker crumbs and edible flowers to the outside so they looked good.  They actually used the outside pieces for precut extras that came out on a cart.  It was so yummy, and did not look like Costo food at all.

Also I had a friend get married in the pub at a very nice golf course on St. Pats weekend in the Midwest.  There was still snow on the ground, they got a great deal on the location and served corned beef and cabbage (talk about cheap).  It was AWESOME - they had an old bagpiper too....

MrsCoolCat

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2015, 08:48:43 PM »
Good luck. My wedding was about $8-$8,500 for 28 people and that did not include the honeymoon and I don't believe the wedding bands. My only regret was inviting this one cheapskate family out of pressure and how they behaved was worst than the $50 they gave me for 4 guests.

Venue and food is always the most. Keep looking at places for your venue that are not necessary labeled "for a wedding". Anything marked wedding is going to be overpriced. Pictures are forever. MANY people regret their photo and video, so consider that. Skip the favors. I liked mine but you can go without. I was also going to say do the potluck but you're right. It will be hard for out-of-towners. Also, offer a signature drink or no drinks at all. Agreed to having it during an hour alcohol is out of place, like breakfast or brunch. It's your wedding. Screw the guests that disagree because they can bring their own! Seriously, if I had an open bar the $50 family would have made out like bandits but I personally don't even drink that much.

Yes, flowers and everything adds up just because it's a wedding. I like your ideas so far. I would say do a destination elope but that might be rude for guests that truly want to be there and would otherwise not be able to if you did that. You're going to have to do a lot of DIY. Every little bit counts. Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 08:58:38 PM by MrsCoolCat »

gimp

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2015, 01:06:58 PM »
Quote
- Photographer: We are wrangling up our cousin who is a very talented amateur (FREE!), and well as a good friend will get some of the casual photos throughout the night.

- We decided if the photos don't turn out how we like them, we will jump back into our wedding get ups and get a pro to shoot us for an hour some other day. We wont have a wedding party or anything so we are just looking for a few pics of us outdoors that need to be good, the rest are not a priority.  We found this to be a great compromise, especially since no one but us will know it is taken a different day. 

Be very, very careful on point 1. I'm telling you from other people's experience so you don't make the same mistake. Make sure that your cousin is totally on board, doesn't spend too much time taking photos, and - super importantly - if you don't like the photos (or even if you don't get the photos for whatever reason) you don't blame or get mad at your cousin. Seriously, lifelong friendships end over shit like this. People get very emotional and invested. Your cousin might take 20 hours editing the photos... remember that they're doing half a week's work for free.

Point 2 is pretty much what I recommended so I obviously think it's a great idea!

LiveLean

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2015, 03:05:20 PM »
At the end of our street we have a beautiful waterfront county park nestled among live oak trees with a number of shelters that seat -- at picnic tables -- anywhere from 40 to 200 depending on the shelter. The park closes shortly before dark and does not allow alcohol or music, though people will set up a small speaker with an iPod for soft ambiance music. Rarely is there a weekend where at least one reception is not held there (this is Central Florida) and the photos are spectacular. Though we've never been invited to a wedding there -- we're in our mid-40s, the time of life where you don't get many wedding invites -- we've walked by dozens of weddings over the years.

I've always marveled at what bang-for-your-buck you get. You eliminate venue, alcohol, and band/DJ costs, and can bring in your own catering. You can rent a shelter for free (reserving 6 months in advance) and you have a spectacular setting. Sometimes the ceremony is there, but often it's at nearby churches.

I was thinking of this as my sister plans her April wedding in NYC, where nothing is cheap. I told her "you're basically paying $35,000 for a photo album." Which means you should not cut corners with photography. I have some pro photographer friends who shoot often in this park at the end of our street.



 

Spondulix

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #78 on: March 05, 2015, 04:02:16 PM »
Quote
- Photographer: We are wrangling up our cousin who is a very talented amateur (FREE!), and well as a good friend will get some of the casual photos throughout the
Be very, very careful on point 1. I'm telling you from other people's experience so you don't make the same mistake. Make sure that your cousin is totally on board, doesn't spend too much time taking photos, and - super importantly - if you don't like the photos (or even if you don't get the photos for whatever reason) you don't blame or get mad at your cousin. Seriously, lifelong friendships end over shit like this. People get very emotional and invested. Your cousin might take 20 hours editing the photos... remember that they're doing half a week's work for free.
I completely agree. We asked musician friends to play our ceremony, they did nothing to prepare, and a couple weeks before we had to frantically find (and pay) some pros. We also had a friend agree to officiate, and he backed out a few weeks before. In retrospect, it was not worth the stress to be that cheap.

The flip side is that we hired a pro photographer who lost an hour of our formal photos! It's so silly cause we even had friends taking pics off to the side. I really regret not telling them to jump in for a couple mins to shoot a couple shots (which I'm sure they would have loved to do.)

partgypsy

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #79 on: March 05, 2015, 04:41:40 PM »
Gosh, there is a lot of really good advice on this thread, so much so that it almost makes me want to throw a big party, just because. Frugal weddings I've attended have been at:people's houses with seating outside (3), potluck weddings, bbq catered, church weddings catered by the church members for fundraiser (ok may not be best food, but campy fun), Moose lodge, and for us as we eloped, marriage and honeymoon in one, with a party afterwards at our house where we grilled outside with some items catered by a Mediterranean restaurant.

What I want to say, is that a wedding is not something "outside" your life. If you don't normally go to a hall and eat dry chicken, why would you do it for your wedding? Do something that symbolizes the kind of life you and to be wedded already live? For me if you can find a restaurant you both like (food is good) and has say a good back room, then having a wedding at that restaurant may be the most cost effective, especially if you can negotiate corking fees. Or having it during lunch, and say a red and a white wine, and a toast included, rest people have to purchase themselves (cash bar). Our wedding wasn't like that but I have been to funerals and baptisms where it was all done at a restaurant, for not unreasonable amount for the amount of service included. Maybe you don't even have to say it's a wedding, just a family get together, etc. 

oh, and my 1 regret for getting married, is lack of pictures. We had 1 disposable camera, which happened to print with distorted pictures (maybe it got wet?) so while I have a few not ones I will display proudly. 

Krnten

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #80 on: March 05, 2015, 07:26:38 PM »
I agree with the brunch/lunch suggestions and having it at a restaurant.  That's what we did and it was low cost (for NYC area!)

I will say this: go easy on your guests.  You're hosting them so make it comfortable for them.  Like someone else said, rent chairs so they don't have to stand during the ceremony.  Make sure there are hotel options nearby.  Don't have it in a field in the middle of nowhere that's hard to find and has no parking.  If you're doing it in a cold off season, make sure people don't have to do a lot of walking.  Don't have the ceremony and reception far apart.   Just think about your most elderly/infirm relative attending and make sure that person will be comfortable.

And YOU don't want to be DIY-ing the day of!  You want to be enjoying your guests, not setting up chairs, figuring out where the iPhone speakers are supposed to be, etc.

My brother is planning a cheap wedding and it can be a touch annoying.  He wanted to use our apt, which was fine, but he he wasn't interested in our pretty basic requirements like have the place professionally cleaned after, don't use our kitchen for heavy cooking.

queenie

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #81 on: March 05, 2015, 08:38:10 PM »
Also I was at a wedding once where their were disposable cameras on the tables for guests to use and take pictures so that the bride and groom ended up with photos from the evening (I think you can get disposable cameras for around $5) so if you want pictures from the party without having a photographer there that can be a fun and relatively cheap way to do it.  I also was at the wedding recently where the couple had photographer for just one hour after the ceremony and did all their pictures in that time. Afterwards they had a friend with a digital polaroid walk around and take pictures of everyone as part of the guest book which was a fun way to get pictures of all the guests too.

You'll likely get better photos from people's cell phones. Ask a few to bring their cameras.  At my brother's wedding, they hired a professional for formal photos only - maybe an hour. We printed up business cards on vistaprint with the link and password to a photobucket gallery and instructions on how to upload photos there. They received over 300 photos this way from guests, and it was pretty much free (I can't remember if the business cards were a small cost).

We had our wedding at a music camp in the country. Found a great caterer for a great price and brought our own wine and beer. We could have gotten a legion for cheaper but I really loved the camp.

As an aside, I shot my first wedding (10 hours) for $500 and my second (a small one for 3 hours) for free. People looking to get into it will cut you a deal but just be careful that you've seen their other work and you're happy with it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 08:49:58 PM by queenie »

Camper

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #82 on: April 17, 2015, 07:43:44 PM »
This thread is a couple months old at this point so I hope I'm not chiming in too late. My wife and I recently pulled off a frugal wedding for around $5000 or so. We had about 50 people in attendance. This was my second wedding. For my first wedding my former father-in-law spent an ass ton of money, probably like $15,000. These days a similar wedding is probably $25,000 (that's about the average cost for a wedding these days according to the internet). This time around we pulled it off for approximately $5000 and you probably could not tell the difference between the two. We rented a great big house with a large amount of land on VBRO for a week for $1500. This housed myself, my wife, and probably 12 family members. We paid for it, but you could probably get the family members to chip in for the room and board if you wanted to. Then we rented a tent, tables, chairs, dinnerware, tablecloths, etc, for another $1300 or so. Rental company pitched the tent, we setup the rest. I bought a cheap PA system off of Amazon for $100 and plugged by iPod into it for the "DJ". I bought a few cases of beer and wine, and some liquor for mixed drinks for probably $500 or so and still had enough left over afterwards that I was giving it away. So we basically had an open bar, for $500 or less. We also paid about $1000 for a photographer.

That totals around $4400. Here's where we saved a lot of money. We cooked ALL the food. A lot of it was prepared ahead of time, and frozen. The rest our family and friends helped prepare the day before or the day of. We just made yummy food people would enjoy at a cookout, except we had fancy rented plates. Burgers, chilli, salad, sandwiches, pasta, whatever. Most people are more focused on the booze anyway. The total grocery bill plus other random miscellaneous expenses brought the grand total to just over $5000.

Everybody who attended thought this was a professionally organized and catered wedding. In my mind, we saved $20,000 and still gave everyone the wedding experience they expected. If you factor in the monetary gifts we received it cost us almost nothing out of pocket. So, I guess my point is you can still have a kick ass wedding on a budget of $5000 or less if you're willing to do a little preparation and work instead of paying someone else to do that for you.

MrsPete

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #83 on: April 18, 2015, 06:35:54 PM »
Pick three things that matter to you, and don't skimp on them.  Everything else becomes optional. 

For example, I have a friend for whom the dress WAS the wedding.  Even though she eloped (parents disapproved of the groom), she spent over $1000 for a dress -- and this was in the 1980s.  I thought it was a stupid choice, but she wanted the dress more than anything else.  Not my money.  I don't think she even had pictures made.  Incidentally, her parents were totally right about the groom:  They only stayed married about two years.  Turns out a rich girl who marries a paycheck-to-paycheck man her father's age is, well, setting herself up for trouble.   

In contrast, I've known a few people for whom the music was everything.  For quite a few people, it's the decorations and the food.  I think a whole lot of people care about the photography.

But, seriously, putting aside the real important things -- marrying the right person, etc. -- pick three things that really matter to you on your wedding day, and make sure you get those things.  You can't focus on EVERYTHING, but you probably can have those three things. 

I totally agree with picking an off-time:

- A 10:00 am wedding followed by a breakfast, for example, will be less expensive than a Saturday night wedding.  And if you feel it's necessary to serve alcohol (I don't), at a breakfast you can serve pitchers of Bilinis or Bloody Marys ... and when the pitchers are gone, they're gone. 
- A Friday night wedding will be less expensive than a Saturday wedding.
- I once attended -- by surprise -- a super-simple wedding:  We were at Sunday morning church service, and the pastor announced that a certain elderly couple (both long-time church members, both widowed) was going to be married at the end of the service.  The two were sitting in the front row, dressed a little more nicely than for a typical Sunday.  The service ended as usual, and as he dismissed us, the pastor said, "So-and-so's wedding will begin in 15 minutes.  Anyone who'd like to stay is welcome." 
- Consider a Christmas Eve wedding.  The church will already be decorated -- probably with poinsettas, etc. One of my siblings married on a major holiday, and he swears it was a great choice:  A good number of people didn't attend, but he and his wife ALWAYS are off work /can take a weekend trip for their anniversary. 

You might come out cheapest of all (assuming you're going to have some celebration) by doing a ceremony whereever ... and then taking everyone to a restaurant afterward.  Seriously.  You don't need to decorate, though you could toss some appropriate-colored candies up and down the tables, and perhaps get some wedding-colored balloons for your chairs.  You can go in ahead of time and arrange with the manager to have a private room ... and you can pick out perhaps 3-4 entrees from which the guests can choose (you don't have to offer them the whole menu).  This could be done for less than $20/person, including tip and drinks. 

A punch and cake reception is FINE, though they are somewhat out of favor these days, and they're typically only seen in a church wedding. 

Though it's inexpensive, think twice about an outdoor location.  Oh, they are LOVELY when the weather cooperates, but I worked briefly in the wedding business ... and when outdoors goes wrong, it goes way wrong.  And if you choose outdoors, you will worry and worry and worry as the dates approaches about whether you're going to have a beautiful sunny day, or rain.  Outdoors is setting yourself up for trouble, and you have zero control over it.  IF you plan something outdoors, have a backup plan.

For what it's worth, I attended a wedding last summer that I thought was a VERY NICE mix of splurge-and-budget.  The bride's father (my husband's cousin) paid, and he can definitely afford it.  The bride's dress was nice but simple, and her six bridesmaids wore dresses that were nice ... but looked as if they might've been purchased at JC Penny's.  They're definitely dresses that the girls could wear again (to a nice dinner, even to work with a jacket).  The guys all wore suits, not tuxes.  The dinner was served in an old barn location, and the meal and cake were simple.  Alcohol was not served, and I heard no negative comments.  The flowers came from Harris Teeter, and they were lovely.  Music was played from a stereo that was probably provided by the best man.  The couple drove away in the groom's car.  Maybe 100 people attended.

You don't have to have alcohol.
You don't have to have dancing -- I'm not sure how many people consider dancing to be the height of fun anyway.
You don't have to have favors.
 

« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 06:51:53 PM by MrsPete »

chouchouu

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #84 on: April 18, 2015, 09:26:06 PM »
All very great input.

ELOPING will be tough, this will be the only wedding for either of our parents, and although they say "do whatever you want" they want to be part of some kind of ceremony.
I'm starting to realize our priority isn't to have a big fancy "wedding" but rather just a family get together and dinner.  What I said we should do is just get married where ever, then have a HUGE multifamily potluck celebration somewhere to celebrate it and just tell everyone that we are now married.  This might be plan B.. or plan C.  She isn't sold on the idea.... YET

TIME OF DAY: This is something awesome I have never considered.  Maybe we can do it over lunch to keep costs down as suggested! AWESOME.  We are already having it in the "off season" to keep costs down and give us the ability to negotiate with the venue if we decide to go that route

VENUE:  The Community hall is a great idea... we need to look into this further! I just hope this doesn't become a logistical nightmare with chairs and all that jazz.  Does anyone have any experience with this to let me know how it worked for them?  Please and thanks :)

BOOZE: Drink tickets are very common here, and it gives you control over what happening.  IMO the open bar weddings I have been to just get messy haha, we want to avoid that.
If the idea like the community hall presents itself, we know a couple bar tenders and we could buy COSTCO booze for next to nothing.  This could work out well together.

FOOD: Currently, venue catered $45 per person is the cheapest we have found, and its not overly fancy, but its not bad either.  Plated meals will cost us more.  I think we will find trying to go the route of the community hall and getting our own caterers will be much cheaper as canuckie mentioned.  We are persistently looking into this
Potluck with be very difficult with the distances people are traveling currently, I am not sold if this would work.

PHOTOGRAPHER:  Most of the comments have been around this because its a tough one to figure out.  This is where I think we will compromise, and please let me know if you have any experience with what my "plan" might turn out like.  FIRST, we hire a photographer for a half hour or so to shoot us in our formal dress at the ceremony location, and then have our quick 15 min ceremony with a couple photos.  SECOND get the family and friends to shoot some photos throughout the night.  We don't really have any photography friends, but we don't care too much about the reception photos.  This way we get great photos when they matter for a price, and then misc photos throughout the night.  I keep telling myself this will work.

PARTY FAVORS: I never liked these things, unless you can eat them.... and then I eat them that night at the wedding.  If we do anything it will be something for the kids not the adults, like little bottles of bubbles, and they can play with it at the wedding, so this would be dollar store cheap!

KEEP THE COMMENTS COMING!!! They are all awesome, thank you so much :)

I am a caterer and have done a community hall venue. I only hosted one sit down wedding, the rest were cocktail parties. My suggestion would be to hire a bunch of college students to waiter and do a cocktail style reception or a brunch. I would not have a sit down reception because they take longer, are expensive to decorate and take a lot of organising on an otherwise busy day. There are two ways you could do it. Have waiters walk around with platters with food and drinks. This keeps people mingling and stops people over eating and drinking. Usually I would serve six different choices of food and have 2 serves per head.

So an example menu would be;
Peking duck rolls
Seared scallops
Fresh oysters
Hokkien noodles
Vietnamese rice paper rolls
Champagne and strawberry sorbet

Of those items the Vietnamese rice paper rolls were bought from a Vietnamese bakery, the oysters require next to no prep and the sorbet was made to order from a restaurant $50 per tub, so two flavours for $100 plus the bottle of sparkling. So my suggestion is to check out what items you could have pre made to serve cocktail style.

If that seems like a little too much work you can go the way of the buffet brunch. Three oblong tables set up against a wall with white table cloths. Large white platters along the tables filled with bakery items, smoked salmon, fruit platters and one or two cooked patters such as kedgeree. Glass dessert cups filled with fresh berries and yogurt topped with granola look fancy. At the end table set out mimosas and coffee and tea. People tend to not drink early in the day yet mimosas are festive enough and the orange juice can hide the taste of cheaper sparkling. Have a few seats out but not too many. When people are seated they stay forever. Also check if your liquor store will buy back unopened alcohol and if they can provide free glass hire and ice boxes.

KBecks2

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #85 on: April 19, 2015, 06:15:50 AM »
I would look for a restaurant or hotel location that has a small banquet room with patio attached.   Then you can eat inside and party on the patio, and you get a little indoor / outdoor experience.   

Or you could look for a church that has a reception room.  Ceremony in church, reception in church hall and boom you're done.  Very inexpensive.

Or a bar with a patio. 

A park will have logistic issues with tables and chairs, unless you can get a place with a picnic shelter and picnic tables..  You can save by self-catering or pot luck. 

Have fun with it! 

You could get married at the courthouse and have a party almost anywhere.  Be creative. 

KBecks2

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #86 on: April 19, 2015, 06:17:14 AM »
Find an inexpensive non-pro photographer, you will find one easy.  Not "just friends" but not a wedding photographer.  Someone with a day job or a SAHM who works from their home and will give you digital images.

brycedoula

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2015, 12:06:33 PM »
I'm in Winnipeg MB. My husband and I were married in September 2014. We were able to keep costs down a few ways:

-went to local Party Stuff store and bought blank invites & thank you cards; printed them on FIL's printer. Fifty invites were maybe $30, and $50 to replace FIL's ink cartridge afterwards.
-married on a Sunday afternoon w/ appetizers/drinks/dinner following (although we were covering all costs of food/drinks, guests didn't go too crazy as most had to work in the morning).
-had both our ceremony/reception in a private room @ a local restaurant. They offered us several menus(with 4-5 options on each) @ several price points, with rolls/salads/entrees/coffee included. Brought in our own wedding cake & restaurant charged a plating fee per guest.
-my best-est male friend was our officiant. In Manitoba you are able to do this 1x only, as long as the proper paperwork is completed. We still had to pay the $100 for the marriage license, but not the extra $250-$350 for the marriage commissioner.
-a co-worker & her mum do wedding flowers as a side gig. Ended up with BEAUTIFUL bouquets/boutineers/corsages & centrepieces for a fraction of what a florist would have charged.
-another co-worker does photography on the side. Hired her for just ceremony & formal family/couple pictures. Again, ended up with lovely shots for a fraction of what an all-day/all-night shoot would have been.
-husband & 2/3 brothers opted to rent tuxes, but 1/3 brothers wore his own nice suit; SIL wore a dress she already owned; I brought a $149 dress @ David's Bridal, currently trying to re-sell on kijiji.ca
-we didn't do favours but instead made a donation to the local Humane Society ($5/person); they gave us little cards to put on the table explaining "in lieu of favours blah blah blah". Quite a few people came up to us & said they were really touched by this. Bubbles for the kiddos are a really good idea, or maybe dollar-store colouring books, stickers, etc?

A word of caution about all the DIY stuff: be SUPER-realistic about how much time/inclination you & fiancee have for this. I originally thought that I would do stuff like that, but quickly realized a) no time and b) no skills. Pinterest can be your WORST enemy...

lax4life93

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #88 on: April 24, 2015, 08:54:09 PM »
Keep the suggestions and comments coming!!
UPDATE: As of right now, since I was laid off from work, we are post posing the wedding for a bit, which is giving us more opportunity to fine tune everything and figure what we really want out of it.

I love to hear about everyones past experiences though!!

myrax

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2015, 03:42:20 PM »
We went super casual and frugal by ordering takeout out from all of our favorite restaurants instead of getting catering. Our guests ate so much they didn't have room for dessert!

My brother and his wife rented a hall in a state park that had a kitchen in it. As the rental was for 48 hours, they prepared all of the food the day before and had family members set up the buffet and watch over it. It only cost a few hundred dollars and the food was better than at most weddings.

FatCat

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2015, 04:03:56 PM »
I would go for potluck meal. It gives the feel of a family gathering. Using a caterer would make me think of a work place party.



Of course now says folks have nicer cameras and perhaps you can find a somewhat skilled friend from your guest list to take some nicer photos?
The nice camera myth.

"Oh, what a wonderful dinner you've prepared here!  This is one of the best meals I've ever had!  You must have a really nice stove."

Don't hire someone because they have good tools :)

But they also said "somewhat skilled friend".  Which isn't the same as "guy who bought a DSLR and has never moved it off green square".  Sadly, there are way too many people out there who call themselves professional photographers without having much skill. You have to be really careful hiring photographers.

Do people tend to judge the skill level of a photographer based on how expensive their camera is? I would want to see a portfolio. That would be the main thing I would care about.

elaine amj

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2018, 06:17:57 PM »
We had our reception pretty cheap by renting a community hall that allowed us to bring in our own caterer. Then we got a local Chinese restaurant to cater a full 12 course meal with servers, dishes, cutlery, everything for way less than regular wedding caterers. We had a crazy amount of food and our guests left with plenty of takeout boxes :).

We are dreaming of hosting a 20th wedding anniversary party (incl a simple vow renewal) for about 50+ people in a couple of years. Our current thoughts are to rent a really gorgeous picnic pavilion on a beach in our local national park. It even has retractable side walls in case of bad weather. And either do potluck, cook ourselves, or cater simple stuff (probably a mix). And an ipod or a DJ (we do like to dance so are willing to spend on it). Alcohol is prohibited so that might help our drinks dilemma. DH and I rarely and usually host dry parties so this would suit us well and in general anyone who spends time with us are used to hanging out with us with no drinks in sight (including on NYE)...so I actually kind of like it as a reflection of us. I would also love to rent a few campsites at a different park a few mins away to camp out with any friends who would like to join us (since camping is my favorite vacation).

frugaldrummer

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2018, 11:18:24 PM »
At my wedding (many years ago) we got trays of lasagne from a local Italian restaurant, with salads, and a carrot cake sheet cake with a gingerbread cookie bride and groom on top from a local bakery. Everything was very inexpensive that way.

I also once attended a potluck wedding. The bride and groom provided ? Grilled salmon I think, and they divided up the alphabet for everything else. As mentioned in a previous post, people put extra effort into their offerings because it was a wedding and the food was great. I made a fruit salad in a carved watermelon basket!


Jouer

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2018, 09:13:19 AM »
I think it's very rude to have a cash bar. You are hosting the event and if you wouldn't charge someone for a drink in your home, don't charge them at your wedding! One idea is to do a morning wedding with appetizers/brunch/coffee and cake, etc...(something within your budget with or without alcohol) then you could choose an "after party" bar that evening for people who stick around and want to continue the partying...and you wouldn't be obligated to pick up the tab for that.

Nuts to all this. If you aren't from old money, go ahead to have a cash bar.


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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #94 on: November 26, 2018, 09:30:27 AM »
I think it's very rude to have a cash bar. You are hosting the event and if you wouldn't charge someone for a drink in your home, don't charge them at your wedding! One idea is to do a morning wedding with appetizers/brunch/coffee and cake, etc...(something within your budget with or without alcohol) then you could choose an "after party" bar that evening for people who stick around and want to continue the partying...and you wouldn't be obligated to pick up the tab for that.

Nuts to all this. If you aren't from old money, go ahead to have a cash bar.

Totally disagree. If you invite people to an event, they shouldn't be expected to pay. If you have a cash bar, might as well make them pay for their meal too.  Just go to a restaurant and have everyone order and pay their own way.

If you can't afford a full bar, limit to a few wine or beer options. But it is extremely tacky to make guests pay themselves.

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #95 on: November 26, 2018, 09:40:49 AM »
This thread is almost 4 years old, I think the wedding is done.

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #96 on: November 26, 2018, 10:09:10 AM »
This thread is almost 4 years old, I think the wedding is done.

other people are ALSO trying to have frugal weddings though. 

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Re: How the Hell am I going to pull off this frugal wedding?
« Reply #97 on: November 26, 2018, 11:45:19 AM »
Posting to bookmark this

My wedding venue was free. Yes, free. It was a local restaurant and they blocked off tables for our 50 guests. If you don't have a restaurant that will do this, sometimes they will close for private events and they whole place can be yours. All we paid was the meal costs. We gave our guests a few different meal choices, told the venue in advance, and they cooked a bunch of the three different pasta dishes, and then served them all at once. I think we paid a small corkage fee for the wine we brought in to toast. If people wanted extra drinks, that was on them. They also made us a giant tiramisu and that was our "wedding cake" and it fed everyone.