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Topic: Question about DIY wedding budget  (Read 4289 times)
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evaberry
« on: August 30, 2010 09:08:36 AM »

This is a question for all those who have completed or are planning a wedding involving some level of DIY. What was your (approximate) budget/actual cost, and what did that include that was DIY and not DIY? I was reading some wedding blog and it said something like "I decided to make a lot of the stuff myself, so the wedding only cost us like USD 20,000!" Ummm... sounds like quite a lot to me!

We've just bought a new house in the country, and the location is quite pretty and fairly big. So my idea is to invite maybe 80 friends and family round for a housewarming party next summer. And they won't know until they get there that we'll also be having a very brief wedding ceremony in the garden. We have a lot of fairly big garden parties so people shouldn't suspect. The reasons for the surprise are the following:

- People come to weddings with certain expectations. I want people to come just to have fun and spend time with family and friends. I want the focus to be on the party rather than on the couple.

- I don't want people to get all dolled up for a wedding, just to come as they are, to have a nice time.

- I don't want people to bring gifts! We've been together for 13 years already, we truly don't need anything.

The whole idea is to have a nice, relaxed garden party, although still elegant (not cheap-looking!). I don't want to go overboard with anything. It's already outdoors in a nice setting, so there will be no need for huge amounts of flowers or anything. I thought I'd DIY the following:

-invitations
-my dress (probably short and not white); hubby can wear whatever he feels comfortable in.
-decorations: I thought I'd make some fabric bunting, maybe paper-covered fairy lights, lanterns made out of candles and jam jars, and a major theme of fresh apples and apple-tree branches in bowls/vases (because apples will be in season and we will have 20 apple trees)
-flowers: the wedding will probably be in August. What flowers could I plant in my garden now in the fall or next spring that I could then cut for bunches in August? We are in hardiness zone 5b. Peonies are my faves but they will be finished by then.
- the other option is to make a huge load of these and skip fresh flowers altogether (just have those and the apples?)
- quilts: I thought some families with kids might like to have their dinner as a picnic on the grass -- weather permitting -- so I might make some simple quilts from my huge fabric stash (to match the bunting)
- the cake and maybe other desserts
- gifts/favours (not sure what yet, but I can make them over the winter)

Stuff I will try to find cheap:

- tablecloths: I have some vintage pieces of fabric, tablecloths and bedsheets and want to try to find some more. If they are all in the same colour palette (close to white) it might work to have mismatched ones. Otherwise I might have to rent or buy plain white cloths.
- I am thinking about getting mismatched bargain vintage plates and coffee cups from thrift stores for the dinner (I saw a café that did that and it was quite charming).
- music: I was going to make our own playlist from an ipod. We've got room to make a small dance floor inside the main house or in the "barn" building. I might be able to convince a friend of mine to play the violin as we walk down the "aisle".

Main stuff we will have to pay for:

- officiant's fee
- rings
- renting a tent, tables and chairs
- renting crockery and cutlery, unless I decide to go the vintage route (above)
- photographer (although he's a friend, but I want him to charge properly)
- hair/makeup
- drinks

Major question mark:

- Food. My fiancé is an excellent cook and people always love the stuff he makes for our parties. However, I want him to be able to relax and socialise on this occasion, which he rarely has time to do. We could make some things in advance (like I'm planning to make the cake), but can't possibly make everything. I think I read that Molly of orangette had people bring stuff to their wedding dinner and it was great. However, she probably knows people who are all chefs and stuff. People will probably be only too happy to bring food to a garden party but I'm worried that (a) they'll feel a bit cheated by having to bring stuff to a wedding (once they find out), (b) the food may not be stellar and/or go together very well and give a shoddy impression, (c) people do like a good sit-down dinner at a wedding, don't they? So I'm not sure what to do about it. If we have to order catering, it will be a big chunk of the budget. And it's not always great anyway.

So, anyway, thanks if you read this far! What are your thoughts? Did I miss anything?

« Last Edit: August 30, 2010 09:55:29 AM by evaberry » THIS ROCKS   Logged
blue_lalita
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010 01:21:06 PM »

Man, weddings are such a scam! I got married a little over a year ago for less than $8,000.00.  The location was great, so we didn't have to really decorate it, and we had the ceremony and reception in the same place (I called it "dinner theater" style, people just sat at their tables during the ceremony). You'll save a lot of money by having it at your own place! This is what I did DIY:

- Table cloth for the head table (embroidered our initals, added a ribbon trim)
- Center pieces (something involving candles, sand, hurricane jars, mirrors... I actually don't remember exactly how they looked!)
- Music (playlists on an mp3 player)
- Cake trays (we had mini cheesecakes, and I made several trays using plates and glasses from the second hand store)
- Favors. My husband friends helped me decoupage little boxes that we filled with chocolates. They looked great, but were a total pain the you-know-what. Keep in mind that favors are completely optional!
- Invitations. Bought a kit from Michael's.

Stuff we did for cheap:
- Aforementioned mini cheesecakes - they were a delicious, unique, and cheaper than a wedding cake.
- Food. We hired a caterer, which I would most definitely recommend, but saved money by having a lunch reception and buffet-style. We had canapes, little sandwiches, and a beautiful waterfall of fresh fruit.  She also provided all of the tableware.
- Alcohol. We just bought wine and beer at Costco, no hard alcohol.
- Flowers. We didn't use flowers in the centerpieces, and I ordered the (rose) bouquets and boutonnires from Costco.
- Borrowed the rest of the tablecloths from someone who had recently bought them for her son's wedding - score!

I think your ideas sound great! I love the idea of using apples, I think a sweet garden theme with mason jars and lanterns would be really pretty. If I was to re-do my wedding, I would probably do something similar. I wanted to make coffee filter roses for my wedding, but that was big failure. My favorite late summer flowers are dahlias and hydrangeas.
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pantsafari
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010 05:31:35 PM »

wedding budget 3,000 usd.

biggest money saver? having a small guest list. we had to be really brutal about not inviting too many people, and with the exception of my two nephews, who are ringbearers, we are not inviting children.

the reception is at a restaurant, so we didnt need to worry about decor. and we are having a no host bar (even though ALL the wedding websites say thats tacky. too bad. im not paying to get my guests drunk!)

I made all the invitations from scratch (you can buy invitiation kits that are really nice though, from michaels/joanns/party supply store/paper store/the internet)

I made my dress- total cost was about 200$

I will be making the bouquets the night before the wedding. this should save a fair bit, since i have four bridesmaids!
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Theosmumyum
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010 12:39:05 PM »

This is a question for all those who have completed or are planning a wedding involving some level of DIY. What was your (approximate) budget/actual cost, and what did that include that was DIY and not DIY? I was reading some wedding blog and it said something like "I decided to make a lot of the stuff myself, so the wedding only cost us like USD 20,000!" Ummm... sounds like quite a lot to me!

We've just bought a new house in the country, and the location is quite pretty and fairly big. So my idea is to invite maybe 80 friends and family round for a housewarming party next summer. And they won't know until they get there that we'll also be having a very brief wedding ceremony in the garden. We have a lot of fairly big garden parties so people shouldn't suspect. The reasons for the surprise are the following:

- People come to weddings with certain expectations. I want people to come just to have fun and spend time with family and friends. I want the focus to be on the party rather than on the couple.

- I don't want people to get all dolled up for a wedding, just to come as they are, to have a nice time.

- I don't want people to bring gifts! We've been together for 13 years already, we truly don't need anything.

The whole idea is to have a nice, relaxed garden party, although still elegant (not cheap-looking!). I don't want to go overboard with anything. It's already outdoors in a nice setting, so there will be no need for huge amounts of flowers or anything. I thought I'd DIY the following:

-invitations
-my dress (probably short and not white); hubby can wear whatever he feels comfortable in.
-decorations: I thought I'd make some fabric bunting, maybe paper-covered fairy lights, lanterns made out of candles and jam jars, and a major theme of fresh apples and apple-tree branches in bowls/vases (because apples will be in season and we will have 20 apple trees)
-flowers: the wedding will probably be in August. What flowers could I plant in my garden now in the fall or next spring that I could then cut for bunches in August? We are in hardiness zone 5b. Peonies are my faves but they will be finished by then.
- the other option is to make a huge load of these and skip fresh flowers altogether (just have those and the apples?)
- quilts: I thought some families with kids might like to have their dinner as a picnic on the grass -- weather permitting -- so I might make some simple quilts from my huge fabric stash (to match the bunting)
- the cake and maybe other desserts
- gifts/favours (not sure what yet, but I can make them over the winter)

Stuff I will try to find cheap:

- tablecloths: I have some vintage pieces of fabric, tablecloths and bedsheets and want to try to find some more. If they are all in the same colour palette (close to white) it might work to have mismatched ones. Otherwise I might have to rent or buy plain white cloths.
- I am thinking about getting mismatched bargain vintage plates and coffee cups from thrift stores for the dinner (I saw a café that did that and it was quite charming).
- music: I was going to make our own playlist from an ipod. We've got room to make a small dance floor inside the main house or in the "barn" building. I might be able to convince a friend of mine to play the violin as we walk down the "aisle".

Main stuff we will have to pay for:

- officiant's fee
- rings
- renting a tent, tables and chairs
- renting crockery and cutlery, unless I decide to go the vintage route (above)
- photographer (although he's a friend, but I want him to charge properly)
- hair/makeup
- drinks

Major question mark:

- Food. My fiancé is an excellent cook and people always love the stuff he makes for our parties. However, I want him to be able to relax and socialise on this occasion, which he rarely has time to do. We could make some things in advance (like I'm planning to make the cake), but can't possibly make everything. I think I read that Molly of orangette had people bring stuff to their wedding dinner and it was great. However, she probably knows people who are all chefs and stuff. People will probably be only too happy to bring food to a garden party but I'm worried that (a) they'll feel a bit cheated by having to bring stuff to a wedding (once they find out), (b) the food may not be stellar and/or go together very well and give a shoddy impression, (c) people do like a good sit-down dinner at a wedding, don't they? So I'm not sure what to do about it. If we have to order catering, it will be a big chunk of the budget. And it's not always great anyway.

So, anyway, thanks if you read this far! What are your thoughts? Did I miss anything?



have you thought as well for center pieces - sourcing vintage teacups and sources from thrift stores etc
and filling them with candle wax to make cute candles Smiley

xxx
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010 09:57:01 PM »

I'm helping my bestie plan her wedding on 1100 dollars. Minus her dress and bridesmaid gifts and whatnot. But that's all for food and decor for 80 people. Her venue's free, sounds like yours is too! Which is great. The only thing I know to say at this point is about 'people generally like a sit-down dinner' for weddings. This is probably BS. Sure it's nice, but as casual and relaxed as you seem to want this you'll be fine if you buffet style it or do a pot-luck. I'm LDS (Mormon) and most all my culture's receptions are buffet. It's cheap, easy, and everyone eats what they want, not what you choose for them. It's relaxed but you can still set it up so it looks nice. You sound like you want it simple, so don't tart it up with something so formal and stiff as a sit-down dinner.
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evaberry
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010 05:53:37 AM »

Thanks for all the replies so far! Food for thought...  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2010 06:22:58 PM »

Our budget is $5,000.
But the quote for catering (150ppl) is $4,000!!!!  
Food is the biggest obstacle for us right now.. we're trying to find a low budget caterer!  The $4G quote included linens, plates/glasses/cutlery, serving and cleanup.  I want to find someone who does just food!  Our goal is to have a "Family Fun Celebration" and we do want there to be good food!  If I can collect some tablecloths, (the venue can provide plates & cutlery) and pay some teenage friends to do the cleanup... maybe we can save money!  If I could bring the food down to $2,000, I think we can meet our $5,000 goal no problem!
But until we can find that perfect caterer... it's all up in the air!
Good Luck on your wedding!  Keep us posted!
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EllaRain
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010 04:22:53 PM »

Quote
as casual and relaxed as you seem to want this you'll be fine if you buffet style
+1
A friend of mine has recently showed me that buffet can really be quite classy. Whereas I always just plunk the food down in a row on a table, she used boxes and books and other random objects to create different layers to put the different platters of food on. Then she covered the layers with a fabric tablecloth (that I think may have began life as a twin bed sheet), put the platters of food on each of the layers and decorated the areas in between with flowers peddles.  The effect was really elegant and it was much better then many of the overpriced catered meals I have had at weddings. I wish I had pictures to show you but here is a similar idea demonstrating the layering technique so you get the idea.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010 11:51:29 AM »

In my investigations, catered buffets are more expensive, or the same price, as a sit down meal... with plated meals, you know how much everyone is going to eat, but with a buffet, you need extra food because people tend to eat more.  The money you save in servers, you spend in extra food.  Still, many prefer buffet, as the guests can choose what to eat, and I agree, it's can still be classy!

Though, I was playing with the idea of having friends and family help with food.  If that's the case, it was suggested by a wise aunt that I lean towards a cold buffet.  That way, no one will miss the ceremony and reception by being in the kitchen!  But still, for 150 people, that may be pretty silly of me maybe!  I think if I want 150 ppl, I need to hire a caterer.  If I really want to reduce my budget, I should invite less people Sad 

Or.. not serve a full dinner.  A friend of mine had only a meal for family members, and the rest of the guests (about 150) were invited for only the rest of the reception.  I enjoyed myself, and nobody complained.  In today's economy, we need to do what is financially healthy, and people respect that, (those that truly care for us anyways!!!).  But... it's still not what I had envisioned for my celebration.  I'm still hoping to find a lower budget caterer... fingers crossed!
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Larissa-Rasputin
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010 05:37:47 PM »

We did bbq'd pulled pork.  Pork is relatively inexpensive, and used two large electric roasters (like a crock pot on steroids)  to hold the meat.  We then did potato salad, baked beans, etc.  It kept it relatively inexpensive and everybody loved it.  It was also great because I was able to make everything up a day or two in advance and not have to worry about missing any of the fun.
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010 04:58:29 PM »

Success!  I have booked a caterer (A friend of a friend) who does catering on the side!  We're having build your own pasta, with a marinara sauce or a white sauce with chicken, and two types of Salad, and a build your own Sundae station!!!  $2,100 for 150 people, including set up and clean up!  She's such a blessing!  I'm so excited!  Just had to share Cheesy
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Larissa-Rasputin
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2010 01:41:46 PM »

Congratulations!  That's a fantastic idea too  Smiley  That way everybody can pick what they want.
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CraftinChristy
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010 04:08:27 PM »

Hubby can help you make some food the day before if you diy. Salads, mostacoli, and anything cold can be done the day before and then thrown in the oven at the last minute. I like the pulled pork idea! You could even shape hamburger patties earlier on and have friends help you throw them on the grill when it's time to eat.

Buffet-style catering shouldn't be too expensive, but even if you get the meats catered you can do the sides yourself in advance.

The mis-matched idea sounds like fun! it would match your vintage idea very well.
Now I want a picnic wedding...
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OrangeKnickers
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010 12:44:57 PM »

Just my $.02

I got married in LA (one of the most expensive cities to get married in) 5 years ago.  We pulled it off on a $5,000 budget and it was totally DIY.  You seem to have a lot of good ideas already, so I'll just add some of the big money savers.

-Location- Your "at home" idea is perfect.  Our reception was at a friends house who had a huge yard full of fruit trees that made a natural barrier between us and the neighbors and made it seem more of a private location than someone's house.  Keep in mind the cost of renting tables and chairs, dining items, and possibly heat lamps or extra lighting.  Also, the parking situation can get a little hairy.  And give your neighbors warning that the event is going to take place so that no one has any issues with the extra noise and traffic.

-Flowers and centerpieces- All of the flowers were silks, and were put together my me.  We saved money by not having floral centerpieces.  We had a wine/vineyard theme and our centerpieces were charger plates full of fruit with wine bottles to hold the table #'s.  Each bottle had been consumed with friends over our engagement and the story of who we drank it with and what we did that night, ect. was on the back of the table number.

-Food and drink- We ordered the food from a local Italian deli.  We had a seated dinner of salad, garlic bread, stuffed shells, and chicken parmesan for 80 and it was only $500 dollars.  We hired some people we "sort of" knew from the local college to serve and clean up.  We probably should have hired a couple more (we had three) because the woman whose house it was did more work that we would have liked on the day.  Because it was wine themed, we didn't have a full bar, but opted for only wine.  We served about 5 or 6 different varietals so that everyone could find something that they liked.  Trader Joe's was a big help for keeping the wine budget down, as was BevMo wine sales.  We also served iced tea and coffee for the non wine drinkers.

-Music/dancing- We had one of our friends who is an excellent public speaker, but who hates to dance be our MC and we pre-arranged all of the music in itunes and hooked a laptop to a sound system.  No need for a DJ or a band.

I hope some of that helps.
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2010 06:12:02 AM »


- Food. My fiancé is an excellent cook and people always love the stuff he makes for our parties. However, I want him to be able to relax and socialise on this occasion, which he rarely has time to do. We could make some things in advance (like I'm planning to make the cake), but can't possibly make everything. I think I read that Molly of orangette had people bring stuff to their wedding dinner and it was great. However, she probably knows people who are all chefs and stuff. People will probably be only too happy to bring food to a garden party but I'm worried that (a) they'll feel a bit cheated by having to bring stuff to a wedding (once they find out), (b) the food may not be stellar and/or go together very well and give a shoddy impression, (c) people do like a good sit-down dinner at a wedding, don't they? So I'm not sure what to do about it. If we have to order catering, it will be a big chunk of the budget. And it's not always great anyway.


Food and beverage is always going to be a wedding reception's biggest expense.  I agree with the PP that the best way to ensure capping the expense here is to control the guest list.

Other ways to cut down on the cost would be to have a reception when it's not meal time, and serve foods accordingly.  A mid-afternoon reception with only heavy hors d'oeuvres or a dessert reception later in the evening?  If you feel like doing passed hors d'oeuvres or having someone cut food for you, hire some local college kids (over 18+ so they can sign a contract) or high schools you know well to help out. 

Re: expectation of a sit down dinner: no, I don't think people expect that, thankfully!  By not having the reception at a traditional meal time, and letting the guests know with something like "Dessert reception to follow" on your invitations, they'll know what to expect.   

As for guests bringing food--IMHO, I'd avoid creating a situation where this might arise as much as possible.  The guests shouldn't be subsidizing my wedding, you know?  (OP, I realize that you are trying to avoid this situation.)  Have you thought about straight up letting your guests know they are attending a wedding?  Then they won't feel obligated to bring food.  The flip side is they may feel obligated to attend, which will increase your headcount and cost.

Re: beverages.  To reduce cost, have a dry wedding with some festive, non-alcoholic punches if you like.  Or, serve beer and wine only.  Definitely get from your local membership warehouse!

Re: at home location.  Check to see if there are any permits necessary for this.

Happy planning!

 
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rvladams
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010 07:10:11 AM »

Just my 2 cents here:

I think the DIY ideas you have come up with so far are great, but I wonder about not telling people your party will also be your wedding.  People who genuinely love you and would make it a major priority to celebrate this special event with you might have something else relatively minor going on that weekend, etc. and will not RSVP to the supposed "garden party."  If that were me, I would feel terrible when I found out I had missed my friend's wedding. 

I have been invited to several weddings that made clear from the get-go that they were relaxed and informal events.  People showed up in casual wear, passed food, and had a great time.  Just some food for thought.  No one here knows your guests like you do, so you should definitely do whatever feels right to you. Just wanted to make it known that it is possible to get the relaxed vibe you're looking to create across without the surprise.

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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2010 01:29:11 PM »

I'll re-post what I posted to the weddingplans community on LJ:

I just finished adding in all the figures into Excel. Final number does NOT include dinner on Thursday night (as that was paid for by my aunt) or the hotel room for Tim and I on Thursday and Friday nights. Total also does not include Tim's airfare from the UK or my upcoming visa and moving expenses (however those are the reasons we tried to keep costs down!). total includes: attire, marriage license & judge fee, reception venue, food, invitations, decorations, favours, & misc expenses.

Are you ready for this? I'm truly SHOCKED that we managed to pull off the most perfect wedding for this amount.

Here we go....


$1,424.53


That's right. The wedding cost less than $1500!

If we add back in Tim's plane ticket over, my visa fee, our hotel room, my new passport, and my moving fees, our total still comes in at less than $5,000 ($4,062.82 to be exact).

Ways we really saved money:

My Dress - My mom, aunt and I made my dress. I managed to score the pattern while Joann's was having a 50% off pattern sale, and we bought my fabric (something like 7 yards of crepe backed satin) with a 50% off one single cutting coupon. Tim wore a suit he already owned, and I made his matching tie. My dress cost less than $50! I bought my shoes on eBay, and after finding out they were scuffed, the seller refunded me the entire cost of the shoes (yay free shoes!), but I still had paid less than $30 for the shoes. My earrings also came from eBay. All my other jewellery I already owned. I spent about $30 on my bra/underwear at Target of all places.

Flowers - A friend of mine who has experience offered to help me, and we picked silk flowers. I spent less than $100 on my bouquet, 3 corsages, 2 single flowers, and 2 button holes.

Invitations - I had several people saving their AC Moore, Michael's, and Joann fliers for me so each week I had multiple coupons. I managed to get a box of 100 invitations for 50% off and the butterfly stamp for 50% off. I deliberately picked a stamp pad from the $1 bins and .50 ribbon. My invitations (pre-postage) cost $21 in supplies.

Favours - I went online and purchased the organza bags through http://www.jewelrysupply.com/ and got them for less than half of what the brick and mortar stores wanted, plus I was able to get the colour I wanted. Tim's mum picked up the chocolate for me when Tesco had the big tins on offer for buy 1, get 1. I made the tags using a label template and sliced them apart, punched a hole in the tag, and tied it to the bag. My mom ordered personalized napkins and matchbook notebooks through an online company (I can't remember the URL right now) at a discounted rate.

Thank You Gifts - I made baskets for the attendants and used coupons and other deals to get the items for the baskets. I spent less than $25 total on all the thank you gifts, but you wouldn't really know it by looking at everything. I utilized gift certificates from http://www.restaurant.com, where you can purchase $25 gift certificates for a fraction of the cost. I got really lucky and scored gift certificates when they were having a discounted sale beyond their normal discounts. The baskets for my attendants contained: bath & body products, a small candle, tea & coffee, chocolate, a handmade necklace, and a restaurant.com gift certificate. The small gifts for my friends who helped in the kitchen contained jewellery and a restaurant.com gift certificate. We gave our waitresses $30 each, plus I gave them each a bracelet.

Reception site - We rented out an indoor pavilion at a local park for a fraction of the cost of renting a banquet hall. We could have had a reception site for free, as my aunt offered us her backyard/basement/garage, but we didn't want to impose on her.

Food & Drink - alcohol was prohibited at our site, so that cut costs. We also made all the food and utilized my mom's office's membership to BJ's Wholesale Club to purchase most of the food and I comparison shopped Wal-Mart and the other local grocery stores to make sure we were getting the best deal on everything. I purchased plates, cups, napkins, and utensils either in bulk at BJs or over at the Dollar Tree. I also got the tablecloth's at the Dollar Tree. A friend gifted us the cake.

We didn't set out to deliberately have an inexpensive wedding. Due to my ability to find good bargains and my love of DIY we just happened to save ourselves a ton of money and not go into debt over our wedding. Anything missing was missing because we chose to not have it. If we had wanted something badly enough, we would have found the money for it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2010 04:55:08 AM »

I love the picnic idea, if you did decide to tell people it was a wedding in advance and that it was a picnic I think that would make it really relaxed and people wouldn't go too overboard with everything... Maybe you could serve your wedding meal to your guests in a picnic basket, maybe some sort of deli platter per 4 or 6 guests. If guests think they're coming to a garden party they will probably bring their own drinks anyway so I wouldn't worry too much about the alcohol thing, you could just put a bottle of champaigne in the baskets for the wedding toast... and what about "mini" baskets, like the kind you get at easter with a few chocolates in them on top of a cute fabric scrap as a "blanket" I have no idea how much any of that would cost, but in my head it doesn't sound too expensive... haha but maybe I am delusional Smiley August is the middle of your summer right? Some plants that are amazing here in summer and that could be very showy in just a year could be hibiscus and one that doesn't have stunning flowers but does have an amazing scent and beautiful leaves is a port wine magnolia, def. take into account scent as you plant! You don't want your guests to have major hayfever or not enjoy the taste of their food because scent is over powering... what about Gardenias? Beautiful flowers and smell Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2010 10:36:09 PM »

Quote
(a)they'll feel a bit cheated by having to bring stuff to a wedding (once they find out), (b) the food may not be stellar and/or go together very well and give a shoddy impression, (c) people do like a good sit-down dinner at a wedding,

Soooo, it sounds like you have your food dilemma solved, but for those pondering the same questions, I have this input:
(a) I would never feel cheated about having to bring food to a friends wedding, I know I like the food I make, not so much with catered food I've had before.  Besides, then I feel like I've been able to contribute to my friends celebration.
(b) if you are worried about the food going together, offer a theme to your invitees, so that the food they bring will kind of mesh
(c) Sit down dinners are restrictive.  keep your guests moving, interacting, and having a great time with each other.  It makes things fun.
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2010 12:12:52 PM »

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but something you definitely need to think about when having an at-home wedding: bathrooms.  You certainly don't want to leave your guests without one, but you also gotta remember that home septic systems typically can't handle a whole lot of people all at once. 

Certainly the least glamorous part of planning any event, but still necessary.
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2010 01:19:57 PM »

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but something you definitely need to think about when having an at-home wedding: bathrooms.  You certainly don't want to leave your guests without one, but you also gotta remember that home septic systems typically can't handle a whole lot of people all at once. 

Certainly the least glamorous part of planning any event, but still necessary.

I can remember many Thanksgivings where someone got the nasty task of unclogging the toilet because we had 30 people at my aunt's house and her neighbourhood hadn't yet been hooked up to the city sewers.  Yuck. 
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010 08:31:26 AM »

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but something you definitely need to think about when having an at-home wedding: bathrooms.  You certainly don't want to leave your guests without one, but you also gotta remember that home septic systems typically can't handle a whole lot of people all at once. 

Certainly the least glamorous part of planning any event, but still necessary.

What a good point! OMG Shocked
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010 02:57:23 PM »

Port-a-Johns can run to nearly $1k just for one!  We had to price one out for a family picnic a few years ago.
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katleo26
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011 09:43:04 AM »

Etsy.com has some beautiful and inexpensive wedding rings. 
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IHeartsTheArts
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2011 06:06:31 AM »

If you do decide to hire a caterer, what about one that will do a buffet style setup? Often they charge less for this because they don't need as much staff. Also, you could look into sort of unique things- depending on where you live, there are companies that specialize in party catering that do things like lobster bakes, pig roasts, or bbq. It wouldn't be fancy, but if you are going for a relaxed atmosphere, I think that could be fun... and tasty!
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