Date: January 5, 2013
City, State: Branson, Missouri
Number of Guests Invited: 350 (225 attended)
While planning our wedding, I consulted tons of other brides’ blogs, articles, tips, and tricks! I could not have done it without their help, so this is my way of giving back. I hope you can find something that helps you!
If you are like me, you are probably wondering how you are going to plan the wedding of your dreams on a budget that is a little more “restrained.” Believe me, I spent a few months on the verge of defeat—I mean C’MON, $2,000 for a CAKE?! Wedding prices can be downright ridiculous. But I want to tell you right here, right now, that your “perfect” wedding IS possible (and within your budget too)!
So take a deep breath. No really, I mean it. Breathe on three. One…two…three! Relax! You CAN do it and you WILL do it! All you need is determination and a little elbow grease. Enjoy the ride!
Date: August 28, 2010
City, State: Halifax, NS, Canada
# of Guests: 68
Sigh. We were so determined to keep our wedding cheap—and yet we ended up almost doubling our modest budget!
We were thrifty students who paid for our intimate wedding ourselves in an affordable city. What could have possibly gone wrong?
Looking back, I have two suggestions (that may seem obvious to you, but were not to me):
Date: July 24, 2010
City, State: Vancouver, BC, CANADA
# of Guests: 97
You say cheap, but I say FRUGAL.
Like many other brides in this world I had dreamed of my wedding since I could remember. Imagine my fiance’s shock when I explained to him the reason girls run around with pillowcases tied to the back of their heads is because they want a wedding veil. My family feared that I would go nuts with our wedding because I had thought of it so much. I grew up in a very small town with a population slightly filling out the 800 mark. Although I would have loved to have had our wedding there, my personality had outgrown the style of the town since I had moved to the “big city” of Vancouver. To compromise and infuse my past into our present and future, we chose to have a low key, grassroots-level wedding with an added touch and class of a Vancouver high-class wedding.
Brittany and Eric held a classy Southern affair for under $10K!
Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010
City, State: Columbia, South Carolina
# of Guests: 150
Wedding Day Costs
Hivemember ejs4y8 threw a festive and fun shindig for 120 of their closest friends and family on their own dime and lived to tell the tale! Here’s how it all went down:
Date: June 20, 2009
City, State: Saint Louis, MO
# of Guests: 120
Wedding Day Costs
I came across the Larimore House Plantation about a year before I got engaged. I fell in love with it and showed it to my now-husband and he loved it, too. It was a little Southern and a nod to his Kappa Alpha fraternity. Plus, it was just gorgeous and close to home.
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
Date: September 12, 2009
City, State: Finger Lakes Region, New York
# of Guests: 156 invited, 120 attended
We originally thought we might be able to do an $8,000 wedding, but after doing a little research and committing to a church wedding, we realized we needed to bump it up. We decided on $13,057.63 by budgeting out each individual piece, rather than the entire wedding as a whole. Since we already knew how much some stuff would cost when we made our budget we came up with a very specific number, instead of a round one.
We saved in a lot of areas, but the biggest savings for us was probably the catering. It was done by a local grocery store (Wegmans). We splurged a bit on the ceremony and paid a lot of fees to the Church and for music. Our parents also contributed around $2,400 and the bride’s sister and BIL paid for the champagne. We kept what they paid for in the budget to portray the real costs of this wedding, even though we ended up paying less due to their contributions.
Wedding Day Costs
Date: July 11, 2009
City, State: Santa Barbara, CA
Initial Budget: $43K
# of Guests: 270 invited, 180 attended
Wedding Day Costs
Date: June 6, 2009
City, State: Philadelphia, PA
# of Guests: 115
Planning Time: 11 months
Wedding Day Costs
Ceremony/Reception Site: A tall ship turned into a restaurant on Penn’s Landing
The Moshulu really “made” our wedding. We weren’t too keen on having a “ballroom” wedding, but were overwhelmed by the work of a “tent” wedding. The Moshulu is a great restaurant with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Real Bee Budgets series! We’re wrapping it up today with, what else, but honeymoons! Be sure to check out all the posts in our Real Bee Budgets series!
The Peep Toes’ Honeymoon
Location: Panama for 14 nights and 13 days
Flight: Air miles. First class the whole way on American Airlines
Total about $4,400
“We lived like royalty on our honeymoon. We ate A LOT and stayed at some really great places. Panama wasn’t really cheap, but the dollar did go a bit farther in Panama then in the States. Overall, I think we spent more than we anticipated, but we also knew we had the money in the bank to do it.”
Here is a little glimpse into how some of the bees ensured their guests didn’t go thirsty! Be sure to check out all the posts in our Real Bee Budgets series!
Mrs. Cherry Pie’s Alcohol/Drinks
Total: I can’t correctly give a total or cost per head because we took lots of unconsumed bottles of wine and Coke home with us and only drank a third of the keg(!!), the rest of which was bought by the saloon for re-use there.
90 person wedding
Here’s a peek into how some of the bees transported themselves and their guests to their weddings! Be sure to take a look at the rest of the posts in our Real Bee Budgets series!
Mrs. Flamingo’s Transportation
Mode: Rental of one Vintage 1957 Bentley to transport Bride and Groom.
Here are the bees’ budgets for wedding bands! Were you able to find the perfect rings for your budget? Be sure to check out the rest of the categories in our Real Bee Budget series!
The Sushis’ wedding rings
Mrs. Sushi’s Ring
Engraved yellow gold over top of white gold, Hawaiian Jewelry
Vendor: NEX, HI
“I knew I wanted to get Hawaiian jewelry as my wedding ring, so we waited ’til we were in Hawaii to order my ring. I ordered my ring a week before the wedding and paid a whopping extra $25 to make sure it would be ready in time. My ring available for pick up the evening before the wedding. Talk about cutting it close! Thanks to the military and the Navy Exchange, I was able to get my ring far cheaper than if I would have bought it locally (no tax, too!). ”
Mr. Sushi’s Ring:
Here is a peek into how the bees budgeted for live entertainment for their weddings! Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our Real Bee Budgets series!
Mrs. Quiche’s Live Entertainment
Band: Steel Drum Band
Price: $400/hr x 2 hr = $800
Ceremony music (Calypso Trio (included for ceremony) & hired for an additional hour): $100
Speaker/Microphone/iPod hookup (for after) – $225
“Our resort offered a number of options for live entertainment, but initially, we didn’t want to spend the money on it. For example, the reggae band was $3,000!
In the end, we wanted to have authentic Jamaican flair & hired a steel drum band. What a great decision! They were awesome. We changed our minds about having them at the reception & decided we’d rather have them at the rehearsal dinner. It was awesome!”
Today in our Real Bee Budgets series, check out the bees’ favors!
Mrs. Flamingo’s Favors
Favors: Imported Italian Sparkling Water + Donation to Quebec Breast Cancer Association
# of Favors: 96
Total Price: $192
Price per favor: $2
“When it came time to choose our favors, we decided to make a donation to the Quebec Breast Cancer Association. We felt as though our guests might like to leave the wedding with something in their hands, so we purchased Italian imported water. We created little cards and DIY pink ribbons with the mention of the donation in memory of my grandmother and in honor of my mother, who is a survivor.
The guests loved our favors and still talk about them today… some even shed some tears!”
So many brides debate whether or not to hire a wedding planner/DOC. Hopefully, the bees’ experiences can help you with your decision! Be sure to check out the rest of the Real Bee Budgets series!
Miss Beagle’s DOC
DOC: Pam Donaldson w/ Celebrations Event Planning, Austin TX
Price: $795 for Day of Coordination (includes Rehearsal Dinner the night before); 2008 pricing
Prior To Wedding:
Week Before Wedding:
Day of Wedding
“I hired Pam in November of 2008. Originally, our venue did not have an on-site coordinator, so I decided to hire a DOC primarily because we needed help with set-up and clean-up. Pam has been a dream to work with thus far and I only expect great things from her on our wedding day! She’s done so much more than I ever expected I would need and has always been my go-to person for wedding related questions.”