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Wedding Budget Hacks

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  • Avatar samy77 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 30
    Joined: 09/26/2017

    Saw a post from 2 years ago but thought I’d restart a new one. Recently engaged and planning a Midwest wedding next year. We are trying to be financially responsible and not spend too much money but have a few things working against us:

    – multi-cultural wedding that involves a lot of extended family i.e. large wedding (probably ~400 guests)

    – need to find good caterers to serve specific ethnic food but unsure of availability in the area

    – music will be from different cultures and might need multiple DJs or band (still haven’t explored this yet)

    – out of town planning (currently on the West side of the country), making us consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the details (brief research shows can be anywhere from $1000-$5000)

    – trying to pay down loans by moonlighting currently >$250K

     

    Questions for you all are:

    1) how much did you spend on your wedding?

    2) best tips/hacks for saving money when planning your wedding?

     

    Thanks!

    #133823 Reply
    ACN ACN 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 666
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Destination wedding. Costs are passed to the guests due to travel and hotels, but ultimately it’s a vacation for them and you. Food and booze free since it’s an all inclusive resort. Cost was $15k.

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #133826 Reply
    Liked by Hank, SPlum
    ACN ACN 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 666
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Compared to my sister’s wedding. Suburb of Chicago, nothing fancy. $100/plate (avg cost). 350 guests, so $35k just for the reception before any other costs.

    Wedding costs are stupid. Find a reception hall that meets your Criteria for food and size. Given it’s a specific ethnicity, I bet you can find one. Problem is if you can live with having a “cheaper” wedding g. Definitely skip the wedding planner.

    But, I’d take my wedding over my sister’s. Way more fun with the destination. Obviously some friends missed out, but for a quarter of the price, worth it. Also, my parents were 99% against the Idea of a destination wedding, but in the end, they enjoyed it more than my sisters.

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #133827 Reply
    ACN ACN 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 666
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Also keep it simple.

    Email save the dates.
    DIY website wedding invitations.
    Avoid real flowers for the wedding in church
    Skip favors
    Online website for rsvp, directions, etc

    Saved you at least $10k right there. ?

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #133828 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3567
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    1. Too much

    2. Elope

    #133829 Reply
    Avatar bean1970 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 565
    Joined: 07/12/2017

    we eloped. The year was 1997. The wedding cost roughly $200 bucks.  We were in Vegas at the time. Just did it randomly that weekend.  No guests. The same year I read an article which concluded …The amount spent on the wedding statistically is inversely related to the length of the marriage. I have about a n=10, but all my friends are divorced.

    #133831 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3017
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    There isn’t going to be a cheap way to do what you have listed.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #133832 Reply
    Avatar adventure 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 1204
    Joined: 10/24/2016
    Questions for you all are:
    1) how much did you spend on your wedding?
    2) best tips/hacks for saving money when planning your wedding?

    Click to expand…

    1.  Way less than 10k. We paid for it, and there wasn’t much extra money after med school graduation. Kind of limits things.

    2. Didn’t invite many people. We rented a tent, tent heater, chairs, catered for 100, shuttle for folks from lodging. Had family and friends play the music, take the photos, dj. I made all the dessert. (I have a baking habit…) Had tons of extra everything. We brought beer and wine from every place we’d lived, put it in coolers on the patio. There was plenty extra. We used a google doc to manage RSVP’s, and printed some boring wedding bulletins. It fit us. If 400 people party is you, that’s awesome too – it’ll be a different cost level than a small different type of event.

    We saved money by having it my parents backyard and not renting an expensive place, by limiting the number of people attending, by having family and friends help out, and by not going for endless “Wedding-ing” type of stuff (e.g. frilly seat covers for $5/seat) – that stuff adds up!! We also had the ceremony and the reception in the same location, so it was less to manage, and more enjoyable for people too.

    #133833 Reply
    Avatar OlyFizz 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 26
    Joined: 01/03/2018

    we had a wedding with 20 people and went out to brunch afterwards. it cost a few hundred dollars (including ring). we have been married for 9 years

    you cannot do the things you have listed and spend less than probably $20k if you are in a medium sized or greater city, unless you have family/ friends doing the cooking, music, photography, etc, and do it somewhere that is not a typical wedding venue (which, again, will be difficult when you are having that many people). for a guest list of 400 people you could easily spend double that and it would still not feel over the top. weddings are ridiculous.

    #133936 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4646
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Saw a post from 2 years ago but thought I’d restart a new one. Recently engaged and planning a Midwest wedding next year. We are trying to be financially responsible and not spend too much money but have a few things working against us:

    – multi-cultural wedding that involves a lot of extended family i.e. large wedding (probably ~400 guests)

    – need to find good caterers to serve specific ethnic food but unsure of availability in the area

    – music will be from different cultures and might need multiple DJs or band (still haven’t explored this yet)

    – out of town planning (currently on the West side of the country), making us consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the details (brief research shows can be anywhere from $1000-$5000)

    – trying to pay down loans by moonlighting currently >$250K

     

    Questions for you all are:

    1) how much did you spend on your wedding?

    2) best tips/hacks for saving money when planning your wedding?

     

    Thanks!

    Click to expand…

    all those things you listed means you will not save on this wedding.

    good luck.

    #133979 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4646
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    you should also look at this:

    “marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.”

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2501480

    #133982 Reply
    Avatar MEtoNC 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 25
    Joined: 06/05/2017

    I just got married and I will tell you in are in for quite a time trying to plan a wedding for 400 guests and trying to be frugal.

    #133984 Reply
    Avatar ajm184 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 657
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    Had to smile reading the OP’s post.  Going to state I paid for the entire thing ($10) at a county courthouse.  Had two witnesses come out (our respective best friends).  The witnesses sprung for lunch at a local restaurant, then is was off to Wisconsin Dells for our weekend honeymoon.  Spent a bit more on a real honeymoon in Rome/Florence/Sienna though about 5 months later.

    Wife spent $300 on a wedding dress that fit off the rack and like $100 on makeup.  I dressed in one of my Gordon Gecko suits.  Her ring cost multiples of the wedding/honeymoons.

    #133987 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 199
    Joined: 01/02/2018

    Use the phrase “no boxed gifts please” on your invitation. Depending on your cultures they will understand that to mean give checks or cash only as presents. That covered almost half the cost of the wedding for us

    #133992 Reply
    Avatar rdo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 187
    Joined: 03/12/2017

    wow 400 guests! both of you must be popular.  Wedding was important to us but we only had 3-4 months to plan it.  I prioritized the ones that will last me some memory- rings, video, photo.  oh, in our area, cash bar was common.  so we made sure we paid for the alcohol.  it was great for us to see family and friends. our budget was around 30k but that included the airfare of my family that we flew from overseas.  have fun, don’t stress on minor stuff!  it is the marriage that is important, not the wedding.

    #133993 Reply
    Liked by Hank

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