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Wedding planning

Posted by on Mar. 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM
  • 13 Replies

We got engaged last year and haven't really discussed wedding planning until one day this week when DF said he wants to get married this late summer/early fall. Yep were planning a wedding in the next 4ish months. So much to do in so little time oh and on a small budget. 

Any tips to keep the cost down. We will be inviting about 140 guests. I have no idea how much to budget for a venue. DF wants us to do our own cooking. But idk what? I don't cook much so idk what would be easy/cheap to prepare ahead of time for so many people and warm the day of. I know cakes can be expensive but I seen a cool idea of making a bunch of different cakes. I love to bake and that would be cheap. Plus DF and I have totally different taste when it comes to cake so that would solve that issue.

My current plan is find a venue ASAP from there I'm just browsing craigslist for ideas hoping I don't forget anything. Tips/tricks to wedding planning in general are much appreciated. :) 



by on Mar. 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM
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MixedCooke
by Bronze Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 1:01 AM

I had an Ebay wedding!  I won my dress on an Ebay auction (it was direct from the manufacturer), got my tiara, borrowed my veil, got the wedding decor, etc.  I ordered my invites from India and because the American dollar is worth more than the rupee, it was still pretty cheap especially since my Aunt bought them as her wedding gift to me.  My other Aunt did the flowers which we ordered right from a floral warehouse.  We got musicians for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour and a DJ.  My family friend officiated the ceremony and we wrote our own ceremony.  He rented his tux.  i do prefer home cooked versus catered, so it really depends in the style of your wedding but we did buffet style which we cooked for my Aunt's wedding.

chillemi78
by Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 6:43 AM
Look into community centers, volunteer fire department hall and parks for venues. If you plan for a park, rent a pavillion or be prepared to rent a tent in case of bad weather. Making your own food to keep costs down is good, but can be very stressful. Enlist the help of friends who would be willing to run things the day of so you are not in the kitchen the whole day. Other options are to have a brunch with an omelet station in the morning, or have a mid afternoon or later evening reception and serve appetizers. Your local grocery store's deli counter probably does platters for a decent price. Your grocery store can be helpful in general, flowers will be cheaper, and so will cake. You mentioned making your own, but you can make sheet cakes to serve and order a small, but really nice two-tiered cake to have on display and for cutting. Cut flowers for centerpieces can kill a budget. Live plants in painted pots can be beautiful. Late summer, simple, but colorful mums will be in season. Bonus: you can give them away to friends that helped in the kitchen as thank you gifts after the reception. If you have a clear spoken and personable friend to make announcements, you can avoid the cost of a DJ and use an iPod or mp3 player hooked up to speakers for music. Find local photography clubs and see if members will take photos of your wedding and give you the disc to do your own editing and printing.
I could go on forever. I spent a few years in the wedding industry, but never believed people had to spend the crazy amounts if money the industry seems to demand. Let me know if you have more questions!
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Mar. 31, 2014 at 7:18 AM

It can be done. 

Invites:  you can print your own.  There are Wilton kits at Wal-mart; all you need to do is personalize any template on their site and print.  The kits come with envelopes.  Or, if you're creative, buy cardstock (heavyweight paper) and print, then cut along the edges with scrapbooking scissors.  There are soooo many ideas on Pinterest!

Venue:  Outdoors?  church?  Beach?  receptions can be held in places like VFW halls, church halls, backyards, community parks/pavilions for a small rental fee/nothing.

Food:  meat & cheese trays w/buns for sandwiches, veggie & dip trays, fruit & cheese trays, meatballs kept warm in slow cookers/crockpots, pasta salad (not with mayo-based dressing), fruit salad, etc. 

Cakes:  cupcakes are simple yet can be elegant with the right decorations, and you can still make them in different flavors.  Buy a small 2 tiered wedding cake for YOUR cake/centerpiece for the cupcake table. 

I always preferred artificial flowers for decorating, sometimes even for the bouquets.  Hot glue and pretty ribbon can really dress them up.  I recently made up centerpieces and other flower decorations for an anniversary party (200+ guests) for $55 worth of artificial flowers (ordered online from a quality company)

Favors:  Look on ebay for little tulle bags.  you can put candy, mini thank-you cards, etc in them to hand out to guests.

Oriental Trading Company (you can find them online) has PLENTY of inexpensive favors, decorations, napkins, etc. for weddings.

Enlist the help of ANYONE who asks!  Assign them to baking duties, food contributions, photographer, music (we have used a playlist on a computer hooked to speakers), decorations, etc.

oddfox
by Bronze Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 7:30 AM

I got my dress from a thrift store and my husband found his tux at a vintage clothing place. We ordered invitations by mail and found our rings at a going out of business jeweler. My mom made the food. We had the wedding and reception at a church and just had to pay for the clean up person. Our pastor officiated, my uncle made the cake (that was his gift), and a friend played the music. After the food, the most expensive thing was the invitations (stamps to and from). // Another idea. One roomate had a pot luck reception-that actually was great fun. Favorite foods were gifts from her friends.//Another option is a desssert reception, as you mentioned. You'll just need someone to prepare the coffee, etc, and keep things stocked and tidy. We went to a cookie/finger food reception recently and it was lovely. The presentation made it quite nice. Small round tables set around the area covered with floor length tablecloths with tiered plates holding the goodies. A longer table held the drinks.

KenzieQsMommy
by Heather on Mar. 31, 2014 at 10:28 AM
Our wedding was planned in 3 months. We had it in dh's grandparents backyard. I bought the invites on clearance, as well as my dress. We got our food from a local place. I did cut corners on the dj and I wish I'd have just hooked up the ipod. He was bad.
JohnnyCakes
by Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 11:12 AM

You may have a hard time finding a venue that will allow you to bring in your own food if you are not a licensed catering company, at least I ran into that problem. In the end, I'm thankful. I made all the sweets, cakes, and tiramisu and I cannot imagine having tried to make all the food too! 

A coworker of my DH got married at a local orchard, and they had a soup bar with I think 8 different types of soups and stews, rolls, salad, which was perfect for the brisk weather. They had a small 2 tier traditional wedding cake but mostly the guests indulged in the variety of apple desserts, apple cider, etc.  

shellybird
by Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

DO NOT cook your own food.  You will be too busy to do that.  See if there is any place near by that caters (grocery store, resturant, etc)

I would ask some friends near your or ppl on Facebook near your area (buy, sell, give away sites) and see what they suggest.

I would suggest getting your cake made at a grocery store, I did and it was lovely.  They taste good and are cheaper.  PLus I  would suggest a small tier cake for pictures 2-3 tier should be good and then get a couple full size sheet cakes.  It will run you about $30-75 a sheet cake compared to about $500+ for a full huge cake! 

GL if you need anyother suggestions just message me!

kman88
by Member on Mar. 31, 2014 at 9:15 PM

DF is dead set on cooking his own food. I will look into grocery store prices and offer it to him but I doubt he will change his mind. His best friend got married a couple years back and they made their own food for double the guests we will have. It wouldn't be just us though.. We would have help from family and friends. 

Quoting shellybird:

DO NOT cook your own food.  You will be too busy to do that.  See if there is any place near by that caters (grocery store, resturant, etc)

I would ask some friends near your or ppl on Facebook near your area (buy, sell, give away sites) and see what they suggest.

I would suggest getting your cake made at a grocery store, I did and it was lovely.  They taste good and are cheaper.  PLus I  would suggest a small tier cake for pictures 2-3 tier should be good and then get a couple full size sheet cakes.  It will run you about $30-75 a sheet cake compared to about $500+ for a full huge cake! 

GL if you need anyother suggestions just message me!


TheBabyFactory4
by Catherine on Mar. 31, 2014 at 9:29 PM
Look for aquantances that may have skills in photography, cake baking, and other things you need. You might could get a great deal. Also make your own invitations
ablox
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2014 at 8:09 AM
So I live near Atl and the costs of things here may be higher then were you live. I can tell you I got married in August and here are some things we did. We got the food from Picadilly and just had to pick it up. I'm greatful I was personally to busy but I also have a toddler. Got my dress from the David's Bridal sale. Make sure you sign up for a bridal things someone called me from Mary Kay and they came and did my makeup for free. Got invitations from Hobby Lobby during their sales on the wedding stuff and stuck them in the printer. (Postage is a pain by the way.) Got my photographer off Craiglist she was AMAZING! Got a bartender off craiglist (we had to have one) we just provided the alcohol much cheaper that way. Rented tablecloths from a woman off Craigslist. As you can see Craigslist was my friend.
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