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How much does a wedding cost?


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So my boyfriend and I are talking about getting married, and I would prefer to have a low cost wedding. My parents are paying for it and they said whatever we don't use on the wedding we can use for our honeymoon! Sooo....

How much does a cheap(er) wedding cost? 

I'm not into the designer dresses, fancy venues, catered $100 plates and whatever.  I just want a simple wedding (maybe about 50 people). 

Cost estimates? 

For an area reference, we live in the suburbs of Portland, OR. 

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Alrighty Sheba, this might be too much info, but let me start by saying I LOVED our wedding; loved loved loved.

And I have been divorced, widowed and now happily married for over 17 years.

My hubbie and I started with a wonderful conversation and from there, a plan.

It doesn't matter what wedding it is, you want it to be a beautiful start to your married life..so PLAN with your boyfriend. My hubbie had a lot of input in our wedding and it was wonderful.

We picked out invites, yes, we didn't have alot of money, but we wanted everybody to feel wonderful and really celebrate family, so we ordered invitations and sent one to not only the parents, but also each child in the family.

We catered the reception (and of course did not charge anybody!!!!!) because we wanted all our friends and family to visit and dance; not to be stuck in the kitchen; or to be cooking and freezing things for weeks beforehand.

Our meal was a ratatouille, a chinese cabbage salad, ham, roast beef, and other stuff...we talked to the caterer and she was wonderful in helping us.

We picked out the flowers, and took a trip (chaperoned of course!) to go and pick out my dress ($650.00 and worth every penny!)

One of the best "expenses" was to buy a lot of colouring books, including Barbie's big day, to set up the colouring book table for all the kids.

Hubbie and I chose all our music and a friend set it up and was pleased to be DJ for us. His dear wife made special rose chocolates to hand out.

Hubbie had given me a sweet card and I copied the design of a couple dancing, and we made our own decorations (which we put up at the reception hall with that glu-tack stuff, so it was very simple to take them down)

Hubbie's daughter supplied the china for the head table...while I made the lettering on the tablecloth, echoing our wedding invitation.

We left all the tables up for everyone to visit,  while others danced.

Oh, and that tricky dress for the matron of honor thing? Well, I had one and we bought the dress and she went out and had it altered and even dyed her shoes to match.

It went off with only one hitch...dear hubbie and I were married.

So costs..well, we had no cost for the spiritual side of things, as the official and hall, was all done volunteer and no charge (as usual)...and as we had a sit down dinner for about 180 or so...

dinner, dress, rings, gifts,decorations etc...perhaps 7000.00?

It was so beautiful and to have so many friends really enjoy themselves and their families was wonderful.

One of the best things was how we worked together...it was the first of many projects we've successfully done together and planning our wedding really set a nice precedent for our married life.

All the best to you!

 

 

Ours cost $200 at the justice of the peace. ;)

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20 years ago in Portland my wedding cost less that $1500. I drycleaned my sisters dress. I bought silk flowers for the bouquets and made them myself. It was an afternoon wedding in the summer so my theme was a garden party. Food was sandwich fixings with lemonade for drink. The local grocery store made the cake. The music during the ceremony was a cassette tape of beautiful songs. etc...  I did as much as I could to save money. Even today people remember my wedding and comment on how beautiful it was.

i actually got paid to get married :)

well, that sounds bad.

we bought wedding bands, i bought husband a nice shirt, i bought myself a cute white sundress from Old Navy, found our magistrate on Craigslist, and went to our favorite park and got hitched!

we spent about $500 total.  our family still gave us money because we just happened to buy a house right after we got married.  so we actually got back the $500 we spent plus some.  we have a big family.

i loved my wedding.  loved, loved, loved!!  the wedding doesn't make the couple, the couple does.  if that makes any sense, lol!

best of luck to you! i'm sure whatever you do it will be memorable and beautiful and perfect :)

eta:  about 30 people attended for our ceremony.  had we made it more public, it probably would have been closer to 50 ish.  we wanted it simple and small.  MIL had other plans Undecided

Original Post by 0queensheba0:

So my boyfriend and I are talking about getting married, and I would prefer to have a low cost wedding. My parents are paying for it and they said whatever we don't use on the wedding we can use for our honeymoon! Sooo....

How much does a cheap(er) wedding cost? 

I'm not into the designer dresses, fancy venues, catered $100 plates and whatever.  I just want a simple wedding (maybe about 50 people). 

Cost estimates? 

For an area reference, we live in the suburbs of Portland, OR. 

Weather permitting, you could have a very lovely outdoor wedding in someone's backyard if it's sufficiently large and pretty.

So, you could skip the cost of a church/banquet hall there, and maybe rent tables and chairs, possibly a pretty white canopy to go over it, and then you're just stuck with music, flowers, food and booze..if you choose to have alcohol.

If anyone in the family/friend circle is a Martha Stewart in the kitchen, maybe someone could even bake you the wedding cake.

If you want to go super cheap, you can get married at a courthouse, then throw a reception right afterward for the family and friends to attend.

No idea exactly how much it would cost..but not too much!

Personally, I'm dreading wedding plans..because I know BF's dad is going to want some huge affair.

The planning of it alone makes me want to rip my hair out.

 

All together, mine cost $6000. We invited about 150 people and catered using trays of veggies, fruit, sandwiches, and sweets.

The biggest expenses were the photographer ($1200) and my dress ($800). If I had it to do over, I would make my own invitations using scrapbooking supplies.

I really like luvs2eat's wedding, with the garden theme and all! Great idea!

I live near Roseburg, Oregon and 4 years ago we had our wedding. Not including the rings, we spent just a little over $2,000 . We had a church wedding, reception at the Elk's Lodge , caterer= Dominoes Pizza, and my dress was less than $300 (including alterations) from David's Bridal, I carried beautiful flowers and we had boutineers for the men in the wedding and corsages for our Moms. Oh, and a professional photographer and DJ too. It is just a matter of doing your "homework" and making it work for you guys. CONGRATS!!

It all depends on your expectations and your must haves.  My husband and I got married a year ago and we wanted a wedding that felt classy but didn't cost a ton.  My parents spent about $5000 and, since we skipped a rehearsal dinner, his parents pitched in $1000 for the drinks.  January was a great month to get married because nobody gets married at that time of year, so we were able to save a couple thousand on the photographer!  Our priorities were 1) good venue, 2) great food, 3) a semi-open bar (champagne for the toast and 2 free drinks for each person).

My personal priority was a kick ass wedding cake.  I bought a cotton/bamboo wedding dress on etsy for $140, my husband wore Old Navy chinos and a Tommy Bahama cream silk shirt.  We only had one attendant each, plus four flower girls.  I made the bouquets for everyone.  A friend made the invitations and charged us $100.  We got married at the botanical gardens and had the reception right there with a great caterer.  We were very fortunate in that his brother is a musician and played during the ceremony and his band played during the reception and his dad is a pastor, so we saved a lot of money that way.

Obviously you can spend far less than that and still have a great wedding, but if you wanted something that feels polished, it's certainly possible to achieve that without spending tens of thousands.

First wedding - 17,000 - home church - posh hotel for reception - open bar

Second wedding - 6,500 - including honeymoon to Porta Plata - backyard deck ceremony, bbq reception for 100.  Includes dj, table and chair rentals, purchased tents and dancefloor, girls dresses (found at a second hand store) boys outfits, mens suits and my dress (375) and hairdresser for all 5 ladies. Oh!  and I also hand made my invites.

You do need to discuss with hubs-to-be how casual or formal you want your day to be and go from there.

It costs whatever you want it to cost.  Mine was 10,000.  My best friend's wedding was 2,000.  My aunt's was 25,000.  Do not place pressure on yourself.  Do not let other people pressure you. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. 

That is the best advice I can give! 

Too much.

*kicks the wedding hater in the shins*

Someday you're going to fall madly in love and get engaged and we shall all mock you mercilessly as you ask for advice on what flowers to use in your bouquet.

Don't even try to argue.  It will just make you look that much more ridiculous when it happens.  Meanwhile, try staying out of any and all threads having to do with weddings, you mellow harsher, you.

I wanted to pay for the entire wedding because my MIL made it absolutely horrible. I wasn't allowed to. Heh. It ended up being in a fancy location which had mediocre food. All I wanted was a nice ceremony, preferably outdoors. That didn't happen due to the weather.

We got married "legally" at city hall, and had a family clergy member (who didn't have the power to officiate) do the ceremony. That was beautiful.

City hall wedding: 300 dollars + 160 for license

Hair and make-up: 150 dollars, including trials.

Photographer: 1500 dollars. You really want pictures to be beautiful.

Dress and Suit: His was more expensive than mine. A bit over 1000 dollars.

Flowers: Silk flowers (I wanted blue) - 130 dollars

Cake (mini one for cutting) and cupcakes for everyone: 100 dollars

DJ: absolutely horribly DJ. I didn't pick him nor pay him. Get a good DJ.

Venue/Food: Meh food, but great location for pictures and it was a hotel too, so ceremony/reception/wedding night all in one. Didn't pay that one either. If I did, it woulda been somewehre cheaper.

I was gonna say it will cost you your freedom and the best years of your youth, but after pavvy's lecture up there, I will just say instead, Yay weddings!

:D

There are lots of ways to save money and still have a beautiful wedding.  If you know someone who is a good photographer see if they will take pictures.  Or, check with a university in your city and see if they have a photography student who may be interested in earning some money.  Same with the cake.  If you have a college in your area that has a chef or pastry program, see if they make wedding cakes.  Things like that are often very discounted because it is also a learning experience.

 

My husband and I got married in Florida on the beach.  For all of our pics and the ceremony it cost us $700.

 

Nowwww....  that's not including his suit and my dress, but since we went the destination wedding route, I was getting what I wanted, plus we didn't spend much to actually get married...  my dress was $1000 and his suit was like $150.

 

So all together, (not including traveling down there)  it cost us under $2000.

Original Post by pavlovcat:

*kicks the wedding hater in the shins*

Someday you're going to fall madly in love and get engaged and we shall all mock you mercilessly as you ask for advice on what flowers to use in your bouquet.

Don't even try to argue.  It will just make you look that much more ridiculous when it happens.  Meanwhile, try staying out of any and all threads having to do with weddings, you mellow harsher, you.


Never.

Maybe to the falling in love, never to the engaged.

And I will always say weddings cost too much for what they are.

Kicks scolding lounge aunt in the shins.

0Queen, it really can cost as much as you want it to. i'm in the middle of planning mine right now! from all the research i've done, i've found venues where you can spend anywhere from $25-$250 per person for catering and venue rental. then you have to think of photography (i've seen ones that charge anywhere from $1000-$7000), flowers, DJ, booze, cake, dress, etc etc.

of course there are always non traditional routes to go too. instead of a sit down meal, just do heavy apps. or a BBQ. you can do whatever you want! for me, the photos are really important, so i'm spending quite a lot on a photographer. our venue is a ski lodge, so i'm going to do everything else pretty rustic. our "rehearsal dinner" is going to be a bbq/house party.  

it's really hard to give you a guess when it comes to cost without knowing what kind of wedding you want! 

My husband and I just got married in September, we got married in this cute little gazebo in a botanical garden - only $500 total...had a co-worker of his at the fire department who was also a notary mary us...we had about 60 guests.  It was a short but sweet ceremony and since we were at a botanical garden, we didn't have to spent the money on flowers!  We had a piper do the wedding music for us for only $100.

Our reception was at this Tiki Bar where we first went out together, we only did appetizers and open bar - they worked a lot with us on the pricing because they didn't typically hold wedding receptions there, so for 3 hours open bar and 7 appetizers and a few passed appetizers the bill at the end of the night was only $3500.

....then $600 for the band....$600 for my dress...and $100 for my husbands suit...we went to "Flowers to Go" and just bought one boutenierre for my husband, my bouquet and my three bridesmaids bouquets and flower pedals for only $130.

 

I'd say our entire wedding (not including the wedding bands) cost us $7500.

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