One of the most frustrating things about planning a wedding is trying to cut costs. Weddings are expensive, even on a small scale for the average bride. There is also a lot of judgement and sometimes shame surrounding the topic of money, in particular in dealing with weddings because couples want to have a nice wedding day without wanting to appear to have spent too lavishly or too cheaply.
We also live in an instant gratification society and when you are looking in wedding magazines and on the internet for inspiration, it can be discouraging to see all the beautiful weddings featured and then realize you can’t afford a lot of the items featured, even if you DIY a lot of the details. And if you are aren’t particularly crafty (like me), having to come out-of-pocket for the little details that make your wedding special, can start to add up.
Which is why I think that’s important to talk about wedding budgets to show that you can have a nice time at a decent price, even in a city as large as Houston. Mr. Google says that the average cost of a wedding here is from 17K-28K. WTF??? If I had 28K, I wouldn’t be spending it all on a wedding, that’s for sure.
I had a mental budget of 10K, all inclusive. I deliberately looked for venues where I could do a ceremony and reception at the same place. I deliberately sought out venues where I wouldn’t have to deal with multiple vendors for food, alcohol, chair rentals, linens, etc.
Here are our final numbers, exclusive of wedding rings and our mini-honeymoon.
|Gifts (bridesmaids, hostesses, parents)
We were extremely pleased with how the wedding turned out BUT we were extremely blessed with lots of contributions from family and friends. Myron and I actually only had out of pocket costs of $4464.00. The remainder ($4645.00) was gifts to us from parents, family and friends. For example, my aunt gave me $500.00 toward my dress and one of our groomsmen gifted us our DJ. My sorority sister works at Anheuser-Busch and was able to get us 10 cases of beer for free. One of our twitter friends designed my invites for free and printed address labels for me. I selected a venue that was already very aestically pleasing and didn’t require a lot of extra decorations. I didn’t do wedding favors. I used artificial flowers. All of those choices saved us a LOT of money.
I think the lessons a couple can learn from us is to research a lot of venues, limit your guest list, and don’t be too proud to accept help if folks offer. The people that love and support you really will move mountains for you if they can.
I’ll be glad to answer any questions in the comments and hopefully by talking about this subject, someone can be helped and not discouraged from having a wedding if they really want one.