Wedding help!!

Hi all!
My fiance and I are planning on getting married 10 April 2010. I know planning the wedding shouldn't be a drag - but it is to me. We have a VERY limited budget and approximately 65 guests on our list. All the wedding venues I've contacted charge a ridiculous amount for venue hire and for food!!!

I also started making wedding invitations - have made 15 out of 30 invitations - but now I'm no longer sure if I like them anymore.... I started sewing my own wedding dress which I don't like anymore either....

I'm extremely frustrated!!! I don't know which way to turn or what to do!

I need help!!

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66 replies since 3rd December 2009 • Last reply 3rd December 2009

I'm doing the same as you. I'm getting married in September 2010 so thankfully I have a little more time to plan.

My guestlist is the same as yours and my budget is $2000 Australian dollars.

Have you picked a general theme or colours for the wedding yet? I found that this was the best place to start with the planning. I'm getting married on the beach so the theme is beachy and the colours are aqua and blue. If you keep your wedding casual it will be much cheaper than formal.

I bought my dress off ebay for $41.60, it's gorgeous, and all I need to do is make little adjustments here and then and it will be perfect.
I'm sewing the bridesmaid dresses myself, should only cost about $40 each and the girls will pay for their own, hair, makeup and shoes. I'm also getting little bits and pieces here and there to put in gift baskets for them as a thank you gift. If you spend a few dollars each week you don't really notice the cost.

As Mike and I are getting married on the beach we only need to pay a fee of $40. I found the celebrant/officiant costs the most.

I hired a small community hall that is only a minutes away from the beach front for the reception. That's only costing $100 for the night. It's not the Ritz, but with a little work will look amazing.
To keep the cost of decorations down, I'm going to make these tissue flower pom pom flowers that I'd seen on Martha Stewarts site. They are really easy to make and by using the wedding colours will make a huge impact. I'm going to make large ones to hang from the ceiling and smaller ones to put on the tables.

For my wedding favours I'm buying bulk jelly beans in aqua and red, about $40 worth, and then putting them in little envelopes with a clear window. They look good, taste great and won't break the budget. I've seen some elaborate favours, but really, how many guests are going to use the $7 ceramic shell picture frames right lol.

Instead of paying hundres of dollars for a wedding, I'm just going to order 2 cakes, both iced in aqua and sit some red ceramic shells on top. If you don't mention the wedding word to the bakers they'll be much cheaper.

If you have a buffet style reception the food will be much cheaper. Instead of hiring plates and cutlery, I'm buying some disposable ones. Didn't really want plastic plates and cutlery so I'm spending a few extra dollars to buy palm leaf plates, they are biodegradable and disposable wooden cutlery. It goes in with my theme, cheap, looks good and great for the environment.

Alcohol costs a fair bit, so it's best to buy some cheap wines (as long as they don't taste like vinegar lol), remover the labels and print some labels up with your wedding details and in your theme. They look really good and because the label isn't on it the wine snobs out there won't know it's only a $5 bottle lol. As for other drinks, I'm going to buy some drink dispensers, the kind you put in the fridge and am having my family refill them with drinks. If I mix the alcohol myself, it will much easier on the budget and you can control how much your guests drink. If your family is anything like mine then you may be able to prevent your Aunt getting drunk and dancing on the tables lol. I'm going to get Mike to build a little stand for the the dispensers and a cover out of cheap chipboard, I can then paint it in the wedding colours and make nice labels so you can see what cocktails are what. And the little box will hide the ugly dispensers.

As my reception venue is so close to the ceremony location I couldn't justify hiring cars. And plus you have to pay by the hour and I only need them for 5 mins. Instead of hire cars, at $800, I've hired a tandem bicycle for Mike and I and bikes for my attendants, all for the grand price of $118. I know bikes are the norm, but Mike and I are a little off centre too, and I hate being told what to do anyway lol.

We are going to burn cd's with the songs we want playing in the order we want them played and getting a friend of hours to man the music.

I hope this helps, you can have a great wedding on a budget. The most important thing is to do what 'you' want to, not what the wedding 'rules' tell us to do. Have fun with it, find little ways to make it unique and put your stamp on it.

All the best Happy

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Oh, and sorry for such a long post, I hope I didn't put anyone to sleep, just got carried away.....hahahaha, as you can see I just HATE talking about my wedding Tongue

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you know when I was planning mine, I got a dress from a thrift store and recon it. I was going to get freinds who bake and cook to help me make food. I like the bike idea, or maybe see if someone has a really cool car, or maybe someone has a nice yard you can use

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i planned my wedding in less then 3 months on a very small budget. I recommend to save money do as much as you can by yourself. maybe you just need a break from making your invitations and when you get back to they'll be fine. sometimes you have to take a step back and re focus. In the long run, does it really matter what your invitations look like, really??? as long as they are nicely done it shouldn't matter the theme kwim?
my sister in law used fake flowers instead of ordering from a florist. she put them together with her bridesmaids in one night and they looked super- i couldn't tell they were fake until she showed me.
look for a restaurant/hall that will not charge you rent for the space if you use their caterer. that's what i did. buffet is cheaper
i bought my dress at david's bridal when they had a $99 sale. it fit like a glove, i just had to have the straps shortened. if you don't want to continue with making your own dress, think outside the box look at thrift/vintage store and online. my friend's wedding dress was actaully in the prom dress section of the store, on clearance. (seriously who wears a white prom dress?)
craftalicious pretty much covered it all Happy i think maybe if you just take a step back and figure out what you really want then go back to it you'll be ok!

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Do you have any friends or family members that can help out to help alleviate some of your stress? I know it may be a lot of ask of them but be a little selfish, it is YOUR day and you should be enjoying this experience.

Do you know anyone who bakes? Maybe someone can make the cake, no one has to know it is from a box. It's cheap and gets the job done! Or maybe someone can bake cupcakes; frost them in your colors and arrange them in a fun way to look like a tiered cake.

I am not sure if this is cheaper but instead of a sit down reception, maybe a wine cocktail reception (I have always enjoyed 2 buck chuck from Trader Joes, so there is some great cheap win options out there). I only say wine reception because that would be cheaper than liquor.

I agree with Heather, take a break from the invitations. Maybe don't think or come back to them until the begging of the year. Get some friends or your bridesmaids to help out.

Do you live in an area where there is a local farmers market? That might be a good place to get cheap flowers. Or limit the amount of flowers you use; only purchase bouquets. Use candles at the reception or hang lights.

Basically take advantage of your family and friends if you can. I hope this helps. Good Luck!!!!!

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Try to get family and friends to help you out. I know for my brother's wedding their budget went mainly to tux rental, dress, band, and decorations.

For food, my dad and 3 other brothers did a huge cook out. My parents bought the meat and stuff which they didn't mind since they were doing this for my brother.

I took care of making the invites and decorations. (little pouches with candy, little bubbles with ribbon, dollar store class vaces-put glass beads in or water and put a floating candle in it and lots of fake flowers)

Each of the brides maids didn't have to have all the same dresses on as long it was a baby blue and each of us bought our own. ( i got mine on clearance for 20 bucks)

My sister in law had a friend bake the sweets.

They got their 3 tier cake at walmart...don't remember how much but it wasn't a lot.

For pictures we went to the dollar store and got a bunch of disposable cameras and placed them on each table with a note for the guest to take pictures.

My uncle who had a professional camera took care of the normal wedding pose portraits, and another family member had a camcorder and recorded the wedding.

My dad knew the judge and didnt have to pay the whole fee but you can always get deemed online and have a friend or family member do the wedding as well.

Also if your doing an outdoor wedding like my brother did, they rented a pavilion at the lake it was beautiful and it didnt cost much as long as you cleaned up. You can scout arround or contact your recreation center for more info for lovely places to do weddings.

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sug has great ideas

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Thank you for all the great ideas! Am feeling a little better already!

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super, and don't forget to check out the site, I bet there will be many crafts you could try

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I took classes to become a wedding planner. Its alot of fun, I wasnt able to have a wedding since at the time my husband had to be shipped to basic training right away so we had to do a quick justice of the peace thing. So its nice to help other ppl with their dream wedding even with a budget! I want to see pics Tracy after the wedding!! Happy

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Everyone here has some awesome ideas. While I haven't planned a wedding (just my outfit for prom lol). Definitely agree about the dress and the flowers- if making your dress is driving you crazy try a used clothing store or the like. I got my prom dress for about $7 (and it was this lovely velvet thing) and had it altered to fit. As for flowers, definitely considering making them. There are numerous options, ranging from tissue paper, to ribbon, fabric, or even wire and beads. Depending on your theme and colours you could even have the majority of your bouquet as greenery and just have a flower (or a few) as accents. If you or someone you know has a garden with some nice blooms at the time of your wedding that would be even simpler and cheaper. I'd also suggest making your own jewellery. Maybe get your bridal party together for an evening and everyone can chat and socialize while they work on their piece(s). There are numerous designs that are quite simple but have a very strong impact and look very classy. This should also make it easier to find something that matches your theme, dresses and/or colour(s). Do you know anyone with a large, attractive property that might let you have the wedding in their garden or something? Some gardens let you use their space as well, and that may be cheaper than an indoor venue, depending on where you are. You might also consider having the wedding and the reception in the same location. When my uncle had his wedding he rented a hall, and then went next door to have the pictures done in the chapel. It gave the official photos the look he wanted, but without the expense of renting the additional space. Or, as I've seen done, you might have the wedding party photos taken on another day, perhaps in a park (I know this gets done a lot in cherry blossom season). Hope this helps some. (Also, congratulations! I hope it's a wonderful day.)

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You guys are great!! I've decided to continue with the making of my dress - I removed a frill that I sewed on and I already like it much more! I already spent the money on the material so I've decided that I just need to make it work. Tomorrow my fiance and I are going to go check out this place to see what they have to offer.
http://aquilacorner.co.za

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Well the venue we went to check out yesterday was disappointing..... Anyway I since discovered the Martha Stewart site and there are loads of ideas, so I bought some tissue paper and started cutting circles to make this -----> http://www.marthastewart.com/good-things/paper-pew-wreath?lnc=04b42558738ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=collage_weddings_wedding-altar-and-aisle-decorations&&backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/altar-and-aisle-decorations#slide_4

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http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/pub/weddings/2005Q4/a101013_win05_wreath_xl.jpg

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