Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!

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ShanesGal333 Posts : 11 Registered: 3/3/10
Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 4, 2010 11:03 PM

Ok, so I am getting married next april 2011. I just got engaged about 3 or so weeks ago and didnt have any idea how much a wedding would really cost. Both my fiance and i want something simple and cheap. Hes been married before, but he never had a wedding or anything like that, just the court house. Thank god :) im weird about that, I really wanted this to be something special and new for each of us and it wouldnt have been the same if he had already done it before you know? But anyways, off topic.

I have 5000 to spend total. Honeymoon, wedding, reception, you name it thats all I have. My dad was sweet enough to give that to us as out wedding gift. We are both in our early 20s and so we dont want to start off a marriage in debt so we are going to keep to that budget. But the more and more I seach around and get quotes, the more i am getting freaked out!

My idea is to rent a beach house, right on the water, have the ceremony on the sand, and the reception at the house. I have looked at houses and found one that I may be able to afford. It is 2600 for a weekly rental. It has 8 bedrooms, so my idea for cost effectiveness is to rent out the rooms to family and help that save the budget. So, with everyone helping with that the house would be about 1000 out of the budget. That now leaves my dress(yikes!), cake(may have to make it ourselves), table and chair rentals(got a quote for about 250 for the amount of ppl i have) a dj, photographer(help me lord), food, (i was thinking of doing a buffet/cocktail hour style to minimize cost), invitations(found some at walmart so that saves money haha) linens - my mom is making them, centerpieces - my step mom is buying them, hair dresser, flowers...i dont need much just the bouquets and maybe some at the ceremony. SO yah...im freaking out! Not to mention i have to add the honeymoon into all this. Which is probably going to be half the budget.

If anyone has any money saving ideas, or knows of people who live near the outerbanks nc and can cut us a deal lol, please let me know!!!
thank you all so much for listening to me rant :)

"Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever Ours"

 4-23-2011

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 4, 2010 11:20 PM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

Dear SG,

It sounds lovely. But. Guess what, just call me the Old Wet Blanket but I do not think your plan is a good idea.

Why not? Because you are committing $2600 out of $5000 (over half your total budget!!!) to the beach house without any assurance that your family will help with the cost. Let's consider the worst case scenario. You sign a rental agreement, then one by one your family members say "Oh, gee, it sounds great, but it's a bit too pricey for us. We'll just come for the day."

Here is my alternate suggestion. Look around and see if you can find a restaurant with a private banquet room. Call, ask for the sales and catering manager, and say "Hello, do you have a private banquet room?".

Now, think of how many people you want there. Look at the prices, per person, for a nice dinner in the private banquet room and see what you can do.

Let's say dinner, including tax and tip is $40/head. Let's say you want to invite 20 people. That's $800, plus you two, so that's $880. That's less than one-fifth your total budget!

Next, once you narrow down a few private banquet room choices, call back and ask if you could have a wedding ceremony right there in the room, then have the dinner served. Go and look at the rooms. You want something truly private, not just a corner of the main restaurant. In other words, you want a real door and real walls between you and the rest of the restaurant.

This gives you much more remaining budget for your clothing, flowers, cake and honeymoon. My suggestion is to put aside about $1000 for your honeymoon. That will get you several nights in a local nice hotel, meals and other activities.

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ShanesGal333 Posts : 11 Registered: 3/3/10
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 4, 2010 11:30 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thank you for the reply!
The reason I was looking at the house is because Shane and I currently live in nc but we will be moving to kentucky in a couple months. we both wanted a beach wedding and my dads side of the family lives in nc, so we figured nc beach it was! my moms side of the family lives in california, so the house was a good option because it would be somewhere they could stay. I already have all of the rooms reserved for my family, most from california, because its so much cheaper then staying in a hotel. so the house would only end up being 1000 out of the budget, and that would be cheaper than staying in a hotel for a couple days before hand, and i would get to be with my family all together :)

"Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever Ours"

 4-23-2011

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mrscreamer2be Posts : 153 Registered: 6/14/09
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 5, 2010 12:13 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

Hi
Congratulations on your engagement and welcome to the boards!

We thought about doing something like that in the beginning -until we realized it would be much more expensive. You have to add costs of catering and rentals (chairs, linens, flatware, tents) really add up. We went with a hotel instead. It was less hassle for us doing it this way and much cheaper. The most affordable caterer we found was about the same price as the hotel was per person. We would have still needed to rent items and rent a hall or use someone's house.

Take a breath. I was freaked out too, because our original budget was also $5000. I talked to a few people and they all told me that with my budget -all I could have was a backyard wedding. Not very creative and not very helpful.

You still have a lot of time. Do your research. Pick the things that are important to you. Take out the things that aren't.

My wedding dress is an Allure Bridal designer gown that retails for $1700. I bought it at a sample sale for a fraction of the cost! It's in perfect condition. I searched around for a good, but affordable seamstress that is doing all the alterations for $100.

We are doing our own flowers -fresh flowers. I'm only getting the altar pieces professionally done.

My MOH made my invitations. Beautiful custom made invitations that had I purchased them, I would have had to pay at least $300.

It will take a bit more work and creativity, but you'll get there.

Good luck!

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TRACYJOHNSONBRA... Posts : 42 Registered: 2/8/09
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 5, 2010 7:37 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

For the cake don't under estimate the local grocery store. The one I picked did a great job with the cake and it wasn't to expensive. My grocery store even gave me the option if I wanted to have them set it up or set it up myself.

For food you could consider a taco bar. My sister did that. It worked out very well and wasn't that expensive.

Watch for sales at local craft stores.

Don't overlook formal sales at department stores when getting your dress.


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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 5, 2010 9:42 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

On the beach house idea, I agree with AOTB that you should think about it carefully before committing to it. You said that you have family lined up to rent the rooms in the house, but when will you get the money from them? Unless you get money from everyone in advance, you'll have to plan on $2600 of your cash being gone - that's cash you can't spend on something else. Even if you get everybody's money a month before the wedding (I wouldn't ask people to commit to attending much earlier than that), you don't have the cash to spend on other things until then. That means you'll be scrambling at the last minute to get everything else paid for....if you're even able to get the money from everyone. Lesson #1 about planning weddings: Do not count on any money that is not in your hand. It can be VERY difficult to get money from family members sometimes, and the more people involved, the higher the chances that you won't get it all. Someone who is planning on coming now might not be able to attend - say they lose their job between now and April 2011. Someone else may decide not to stay at the beach house. Someone else might give you excuses on why he/she can't get you the money until after the wedding. Don't count on money until it is IN YOUR HAND.

Personally, I think you can find a better deal. I'd be pretty uncomfortable with a key part of my wedding plans depending on others. You can plan a nice wedding with 5K, but if $2600 of that is going towards the venue and you don't get the $1600 that you're expecting to get from family, that leaves you short a large chunk of your overall budget. Between you and your FH, could you save $1600 in a year? That comes out to $133 a month, or $66 for each of you. That way, you'd have that extra $1600 beforehand without counting on others getting it to you, and if they do come through with the money, you have some leftover as a cushion.

You mentioned that the 5K includes honeymoon. My advice is to spend the 5K on the wedding and take a honeymoon later. Some people are really focused on the honeymoon, but here's how I viewed it: A honeymoon is really just a vacation. We can take a vacation anytime, and will take many of them over the course of our marriage. But we only get married once. For that reason, we chose to spend our money on the wedding itself rather than setting aside a portion of it for the honeymoon. We both took the week off following the wedding, and we ended up spending a couple hundred dollars on a short trip. It sounds lame compared to what we think about as the 'average' honeymoon, but I don't regret it for a minute. We've taken several trips since getting married that seem more like the typical honeymoon. They're still fun. It's not like you have only one chance to take a nice trip in your marriage.


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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ShanesGal333 Posts : 11 Registered: 3/3/10
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 5, 2010 9:23 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

thank you all so much for your helpful ideas! I just got scared because i looked at the prices for the hotels around us and it was sooo expensive for the food and drinks that i want. ill take another look at it, but im not sure its going to be the right price. however you do have a very valid point with the money situation. shane said the same thing about the honeymoon, but i have already down graded from wanting to go to italy to maybe somewhere nearby thats cheap. im not sure yet, i just really want a honeymoon. its important to me. I know how we are financially and we prob wont go anywhere nice for a while so i wanted to do it now. lol. but i will do some more looking around and see how much things are for the hotel. i just got overwhelmed with the idea of adding this and that, and the wedding will prob have 50 or so people, less than more.

"Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever Ours"

 4-23-2011

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 5, 2010 11:42 PM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

Dear SG,

"I have 5000 to spend total. Honeymoon, wedding, reception, you name it thats all I have. My dad was sweet enough to give that to us as out wedding gift"

" but i have already down graded from wanting to go to italy"

Let me get this straight. You and FH have no money saved of your own for your wedding and honeymoon. Your father gave you $5000. That is, now, your budget for your entire wedding and honeymoon.

You want to rent a beach house for a week? And you've "downgraded" from a honeymoon in Italy?

Get real.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 6, 2010 10:54 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

Gah - I just typed out a long, thoughtful reply, but my kitten pulled the internet cable out of the back of my computer before I hit reply and I ended up losing the whole thing! Bad kitty!

Anyway, my point was that you need to drop your 'ideal wedding and honeymoon' scenario and come live in the real world. I understand wanting a honeymoon and I think you should take one - more on that later - but what you're talking about isn't reasonable with the money you have. And unless you have a money tree in your backyard (and please let me come live with you if you do!), you're not magically going to come up with more before your wedding.

You have three choices:

1) Have a very simple wedding (I'm talking a few people, an officiant, and dinner afterwards at a restaurant for a couple hundred bucks tops) and spend the 5K that you have on your trip to Italy. You'll need all of your money for a decent trip to Italy.

2) Divide your money in half and spent half on the wedding and half on the honeymoon. Forget the beach house and the trip to Italy, because you don't have money for either one. We're talking about a modest wedding with a small group and then a couple days at a resort.

3) Spend the 5K on your wedding. Try to do what you've planned, or find a private room at a restaurant (usually a great deal). Then spend a few hundred bucks on a couple days in a domestic location that you can drive to (or get a cheap flight to). There are some AWESOME travel deals available if you're flexible about where you go. I just booked a 4-day cruise for next month for about $600 for the two of us, including airfare. We'll spend more on incidentals, but you can't beat that for airfare and 3 nights accomodations!

I understand why you want to have a fabulous trip for your honeymoon. Believe me, I had trouble letting go of the idea, myself - but I'm SO GLAD that I did. We've taken several great trips since we've been married. Having had a wonderful wedding and several honeymoonish trips, I wouldn't trade the wedding for a trip.

That said, definitely have some sort of honeymoon. You need at least a few days to relax together after the wedding and enjoy one another's company. I couldn't imagine getting married on Sat and going back to work on Mon, as if nothing was different! But you can have that just as easily in the next town for a couple hundred bucks as you could in Italy for several thousand. And personally, we did not want to do much of anything on our honeymoon. Well, I mean we didn't want to leave the hotel much, so a fabulous destination would have really been a waste for us. Better to do the cool trip some other time, when we'd feel like leaving the hotel once in a while. But that's me. I know that when I'm in Europe, I'm running about a hundred miles an hour, excited to see everything. On our honeymoon, I didn't care what was outside the hotel. I just wanted to unwind and spend some time with my new husband. My advice is to save Italy for another time. You might not think you'll have money to travel anytime soon, but you're young. Remember that your salaries will increase as you gain experience and get promoted or find better jobs. It might be more attainable in a couple years than it seems now. I'd plan on doing it that way.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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hljanes Posts : 57 Registered: 12/31/09
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 6, 2010 12:01 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I don't know what your financial situation is other than the $5k you were given. But my fiance and I are getting married next May, and we have virtually nothing saved. We're going to be scrimping and saving for what feels like eternity because we're paying for almost everything ourselves.

Are you guys in the position to put aside a little money every month? Even setting aside fifty or a hundred between the two of you can help. Maybe earmark that for your honeymoon - that way you can spend your $5k on the wedding and say that you'll put whatever you can save yourself toward the honeymoon? It won't be Italy, but it'll be enough to get away for a bit to unwind after the wedding. You've got a year until your wedding--take advantage of it.

Beyond that, I agree with what's been suggested. Look for a restaurant where things like tables, chairs, linens, etc. will be included.

I know my aunt got her dress at a (I think) JC Penny outlet store or something like that, so shop around in places other than a traditional bridal salon.

For the hairdresser - is there anyone in your family who can do your hair?

Also, bear in mind that buffets sometimes cost more than a seated dinner.

Heather

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 6, 2010 1:28 PM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

You're going through what many other brides go through, even those with much larger budgets than yours. There is a major disconnect between what you dream about and what your bank account can handle. So, as Aunt says, get real. First of all, if you know next to nothing about what things cost, then do your homework--you have plenty of time. Bookstores and websites are just loaded with information about how to have a lovely wedding on a budget. Check vendors and websites, gather your information. Right now, your thinking is very traditional (but your budget isn't!) For example, you mention a DJ--what about an iPod? Hairdresser--can you do your own, especially at the beach? Wedding dress--for a beach wedding, there are lovely, informal, "destination" type dresses available for a couple of hundred dollars, if not less, and they suit the occasion. The biggest single thing you can do to cut your expenses is to cut the guest list--so, really think though inviting anyone other than closest family and friends, especially if they are out of town.If you have a small wedding, there's nothing to stop you from having some sort of family reunion party later on, or from visiting the CA relatives after the wedding and having a small gathering there.

Frankly, if it were me (and I know, it's not!), I would have a simple, small wedding and go on a trip to Italy. Or, as Art said, have your wedding and take a vacation later (actually, I did this, not because of money, but because we moved across country two days after the wedding). The idea is to open up your thinking to possibilities other than the traditional wedding with every single thing included. You still can have a fun, memorable occasion, and most of all, it will be unique.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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alymar Posts : 100 Registered: 3/2/10
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 7, 2010 2:08 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

I would just do some research. Make a spread sheet on what you find and do comparisons. There are some good deals out there. You can buy a package of printable invites and do your own invitations for 35 bucks for 50 invites. Weddingdivas.com you can purchase your invites pretty cheap - if you don't get all the others - save the dates, receptions, escort cards, etc... We are saving money by just letting people RSVP on our wedsite here at brides.com. (our 25 invites are going to be about 75 bucks printed).

A resturarnt if a good idea for the dinner. That is what me and my FH are doing for our wedding. Just finding a nice restaurant that has private dining for about 40-50 bucks each. We have about 5-7 grand for our wedding (we have nother 5 to help family get to the wedding if need be since its a destination wedding). Some places have a private dining menu set up already and then you can find a good cake for the dinner, or maybe the restaruant can make one for you for a good price.

If you want to get married in NC on the beach, check some of the hotels for wedding packages. Some places, resorts, will do your wedding pretty cheap or free if you stay there. But you can still do it for pretty cheap. Maybe look at a house for yourself and your FH on the beach. Let everyone else deal with their own places. And this will give you two some privacy after the wedding without the entire family around.

I would say - you have a full year until the wedding? You have plenty of time to save up some more cashes for the wedding or the honeymoon so you can have the one you want. Do an estimate on the rates for a trip to Italy then see if you would be able save up for it. Maybe not right afterwards but not far off?

There are plenty of ways to do a nice inexpensive wedding. Actually, I think there is a book out there on doing an elegant wedding for around $5,000.

Did a quick search on amazon.com for those books - here are the results:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_1?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Awedding+5000&keywords=wedding+5000&ie=UTF8&qid=1267945673
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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 7, 2010 11:16 PM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

2600.00 for a beach house? Yikes! Like everyone said before me, I wouldn't commit and I would keep searching for a venue. Did you check with the owner of the house to make sure you could have your ceremony/reception there? Some rental property owners may not allow it due to insurance purposes. Just something to keep in mind.

I'd honestly search for a banquet room or restaurant. I read somewhere that 60% of your budget is supposed to go towards your reception (that would include food, drink, hall rental, reception decor) and that is $3000.00 of your budget. I think if you are shelling out close to three grand for a reception, food, drink, tables, chairs, linens and service should be included. If you shell that money out for a house, you are just paying for the house. Food and amenities are separate. You would already be over your budget.

Honeymoon would be the furthest from my mind at this point. Like Art said, it is just a vacation and you can take a vacation any time.

If you are stressing out over your budget, maybe you should wait or have something smaller. There is nothing wrong with having immediate family and a few close friends watch you get married on the beach and then attend a beautiful dinner afterwards. Splurge on a photographer to capture your day. Sometimes, you need to work with what you have.

Just remember, getting married only takes an officiant, a willing bride, a willing groom, two witnesses and a marriage license. Everything else is just extra!

 

  

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 8, 2010 8:18 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

I read somewhere that 60% of your budget is supposed to go towards your reception

I wouldn't put much stock in figures like this, since costs differ drastically depending on where you live and what type of a wedding you want. 40% of one's budget (no matter what size it is) on a ceremony sounds insanely expensive to me, since it can be done for basically no cost other than the marriage license. Our ceremony cost less than 5% of our total budget, meaning that we spent about 95% of our money on the reception. Really, that's where most of your costs will be. For a ceremony, all you're paying for is a location fee, officiant, musicians, and marriage license. You can get all that for less than $500 easily - and with a 5K overall budget, I would be looking to spend even less than that on the ceremony if I could.

In short, the OP needs to look around some more. $2600 rental fee for a ceremony and reception site is a great deal if your budget is 15K, but since her budget is 5K, it's not a good deal for her. If I were her, I'd look to spend roughly $500 on the ceremony, $3000 on the reception, and the remaining $1500 on photography, clothing, and flowers. If one category goes over budget, she must either make a cut in another category or save her own money and add to the budget. But she's being pretty unrealistic in planning to pay over half her budget on rental fees. That's setting herself up for a disaster.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Financially Freaked OUT!! pls help!
Posted: Mar 8, 2010 10:29 AM Go to message in response to: ShanesGal333

I am not so sure I agree with everyone about foregoing your honeymoon. Sure, you can "downgrade" but, for me personally, I view it as really special. Sure, you can take vacations whenever, but you really only get one "official" honeymoon.

I do agree that it doesn't have to be a $5K trip to italy. And I agree 100% with Art about being in Europe, or a foreign country and running around like the Griswalds at the Louvre. I didn't picture my honeymoon that way but I did picture it pretty luxurious and it was. And we charged it--oh well. We paid it off so whatever.

I think in your situation you shouild think about saving your own money for the next year (or longer). You can save A LOT in a year. Open an ING account and accumulate interest and you can save even more then just the regular bank. Do you HAVE To get married next April? Can you push it back a few months? Or if you book through a travel agent, you can put deposits down and pay it little by little. Or put it on a credit card (something reasonable, not $5K) and pay it off by honeymoon time--sorta like a layaway. (I know I am gonna get crap for saying that, but oh well--I do it all the time, and I am still alive and my credit is in excellent standing)

At the risk of sounding like my nerdy DH, make a spreadsheet. Play with the numbers. Figure out if you pur $X away each month you will have $X by this date. Then research, research research. It takes A LOT of work for any bride to plan a wedding with the money she/he has.

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