Need Help!!!

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blue2185 Posts : 5 Registered: 9/24/08
Need Help!!!
Posted: May 20, 2009 7:18 PM

I'm having difficulty with this as well. My dads side of family is 90, my moms is 30, my FHs is 30 and familiy and friends is about 70. We dont have much money saved and want to pay for most of the wedding ourselves; we want to split the cost between our parents (10,000= we pay 5000 and the 4 of them split the other 5000) but with a list of over 200 ppl its going to be 18,000 for food alone. We are considering having a small ceremony so that we can travel and start a family. Another big issue is : We Cant Afford To Pay For A Big Wedding. But I dont want to leave my dads side of the family out (they all live in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, illionois, Cali) We were thinking of only having those that are closest to our hearts at our ceremony and have a small reception afterwards but that is going to be my moms family of 30, maybe 10 on my dads, about 15 from FH and than maybe 10 of our closest friends. Even though I'm not close to my dads side, I still feel like I am letting them down. It is something I, myself, need to get over. How do I plan a small wedding with such a big family??? What do I tell my aunts, uncles and cousins?? Help!!

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adrigirl01 Posts : 287 Registered: 10/2/08
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 20, 2009 7:51 PM Go to message in response to: blue2185

Breathe. Okay, now did you already send out the invitations or is this a pending guest list? If it is a pending guest list, pay for what you can afford. Now, why would it be 18000 for food alone? That seems like a lot to me. Instead of cutting the guest list, why don't you resort to simpler foods? Perhaps a dessert bar or cake and punch or an afternoon tea set up (in appropriate times of day)? That way you wouldn't have to eliminate as many if anybody. Our food is going to be inexpensive (compared to having it catered). The wedding/reception is at a county park. Our parents, with the help of a couple others, are making the food. Barbeque beef and pork, roasted turkey, lots of side dishes. It saves hundreds of dollars to do it that way (not to mention that is what my family likes).

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 20, 2009 8:34 PM Go to message in response to: blue2185

We were thinking of only having those that are closest to our hearts at our ceremony and have a small reception afterwards

That sounds sensible and do-able. Since there are many of your original large list with whom you are not close, and many live out of town, you could try to draw some lines with whom you invite. For example, if there are people that you never see, hardly know, don't invite them---"blood" is not enough reason to invite virtual strangers. Once you get it down to people with whom you actually have contact, then you can draw other lines (e.g. age-nobody under 12 or 16 or whatever; aunts, uncles, and first cousins only--nobody more distantly related; no business associates, or just the boss and people with whom you actually socialize outside of work). Whatever you do, don't sacrifice your own friends for people that you never see. As far as explaining goes---don't. If people aren't invited and they are rude enough to question why, or invite themselves, then simply explain that your budget and space limitations have determined that you are having a small wedding with just immediate family and closest friends.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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blue2185 Posts : 5 Registered: 9/24/08
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 20, 2009 10:11 PM Go to message in response to: adrigirl01

Adrigirl: The place we wanted was asking $85 per person for the meals. The package for the place included everything; cake, decorations, tables, chairs,dj etc. We really want to travel instead of have a big wedding, but I am torn... I want the big wedding

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blue2185 Posts : 5 Registered: 9/24/08
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 20, 2009 10:15 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Myra: Thing is, is my dad has 7 sisters and 1 brother. Each had between 2-5 kids. Then my first cousins each of 1-4 kids. so I have 90 blood; first cousins, second cousins (ages 6mo-6years), aunts and uncles alone on my dads side.

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adrigirl01 Posts : 287 Registered: 10/2/08
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 21, 2009 1:52 AM Go to message in response to: blue2185

That seems like so much to me, but the longer I'm on these boards the more fortunate I feel to live where I do. I love it anyway, but it is so budget friendly compared to other places I've seen written about. The area's best photographer is doing our wedding and we're getting his biggest package that comes with a lot of stuff for $1400....which apparently is the cheaper route in other areas. Officiants (though we're using a pastor) run about $100 instead of the upper hundreds I've seen. Anyway, sorry about that tangent. These boards just make me appreciate more the area I live in.
Is there anyway possible to get the price per head negotiated down? What kind of meal is included in that? Is it really worth it? If the food itself is almost twice your total budget...something needs cut, unless you have room to expand the budget.

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blue2185 Posts : 5 Registered: 9/24/08
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 21, 2009 8:34 AM Go to message in response to: adrigirl01

Adrigirl01: We have looked at other venues but its still going to be at least 10,000 for everything. thats not including the dress/tux, flowers, photos etc. We are going to have to do a lot of compromising. He wants to get married at the courts lol I'm up for that but he will have to compromise with me on some stuff.

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BostonBrideJuly... Posts : 7 Registered: 5/21/09
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 21, 2009 12:21 PM Go to message in response to: blue2185

Hi Blue,

It sounds like you are wanting to invite your whole family, so let's come up with a solution to let you do that. I completely understand what you are going through - it was the same situation when I was planning the reception. Everywhere I went told me that it would be at least $75pp and I was completely frustrated, until I changed my method. This is what worked for me.

Step 1: Set up an automatic wedding savings account with your fiance. We decided that $65 weekly was doable. Even with only 9 months before the wedding this really adds up -it is nearly $5,000.

Step 2: Make a budget and decide what YOU can spend on the reception. For example, if you decide that you could do $5,000 on the reception with 220 people, that is roughly $22pp. Then email vendors and tell them you are looking for options between $18-$20pp before tax and gratuity. This way they can't set the bar, you control what you are spending and they can use their expertise and creativity to make it happen. You will get a lot of no's, but you only need one yes. And in these times, people are more willing to work with you than ever because they want your business.

Also, I would look for smaller country clubs and function halls. What you are looking for is no room fee, chair fee, linen fee that other venues may tack on. I have found that it is the smaller halls that just charge for food as long as your party is large enough.

Good luck! Everything will come together! A client of mine once told me that people either have time or money - never both. So if you are on a strict budget, be prepared to spend a lot of time!

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Need Help!!!
Posted: May 21, 2009 2:03 PM Go to message in response to: blue2185

Myra: Thing is, is my dad has 7 sisters and 1 brother. Each had between 2-5 kids. Then my first cousins each of 1-4 kids. so I have 90 blood; first cousins, second cousins (ages 6mo-6years), aunts and uncles alone on my dads side.

Yes, I understand that, and, if you wish or feel obligated to invite every single last one of them, then do what you must.

My point, above, is that "blood" alone is no reason to invite everyone, and especially not everyone's kids. Do you actually see, socialize with, or even know all of these people? If not, why invite them to your wedding? If your parents insist on having a "family reunion," then perhaps they could host an informal family barbecue/picnic after you return from your honeymoon.

Otherwise, you will have to think outside the box about the type of wedding you wish to host. Not every wedding must be a sit-down dinner on Saturday night with a band and complete open bar. think about a morning wedding followed by brunch. An afternoon luncheon. A barbecue in the park. Each type of wedding can be fun, elegant, and a lot less expensive than the standard "dinner and dancing."
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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