Wedding questions

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by runsw/scissors, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I am not a fan of looking at big money expenditures. I have no problem going for coffee daily, but the thought of spending hundreds of dollars makes me balk. And now I am trying to figure out what to spend on wedding related stuff.

    My goal is to find a dress for under $500, but it is looking more and more like finding one under $750 is more likely realistic. Here in the Midwest prices are much lower than on the coasts. I refuse to spend more than $1200. We found a reception hall that caters and can accomodate a wedding of about 150 for just over $4,000. I can handle that.

    The other stuff is, well, confusing because I don't know what is average and it all sounds too expensive. How much can I reasonably expect to spend for invites and response cards if I order them as opposed to printing my own? I can't tell if $1.89/each is normal or a ripoff. And what about flowers? The party will consist of 4 bridesmaids and groomsmen each, two ushers, plus the mothers/stepmother, grandmothers (anyone I am missing?) my boquet and his boutinerre. I don't know what other arrangements we might need. And then there's the musician and singer, DJ, not to mention the accessories for my outfit. It will be a church wedding, but that should be standard and easy to find out.

    Right now the $$$$ are making my head spin, and we haven't even begun paying out money yet!:dizzy:Can anyone help/explain/advise/comfort me with this?
     
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  3. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I just saw on Say Yes to the Dress recently that the average amount of money a woman spends on her wedding dress is $800. So I think $750 would be reasonable.

    For flowers- have you thought about using fake flowers? They look very real and are a fraction of the price. Plus, you won't have to feel bad tossing an expensive bouquet to someone else;)

    And this might sound tacky, but when my mom recently got remarried for food she just bought veggie burgers and hot dogs, then asked guests to bring sides. There was plenty of food and people were happy to help.

    And that's about all I have... I've never been married nor planned a wedding. Good luck!
     
  4. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    I was looking at wedding dresses on Pinterest the other day (my daughter likes looking at them) and there are a lot of online outlets to buy dresses. If you've tried some on and generally know what you want, try ordering one online. I was impressed by the low prices ($200-$700) and the beautiful gowns.

    We got married 12 years ago and the flowers, hor'dourves (sp?), decorations (for the wedding and reception), renting the tents, cake, and photographer all cost less than $3000. I bought fresh flowers from Safeway and used those for the table centers for the reception - that was a huge money saver. We had a simple wedding and reception because we didn't want to go into debt for many years just for one day of our marriage. We stayed focused on the marriage, not the wedding, and made sure we could afford everything we did.

    My advice would be to focus on your marriage and make sure you can afford what you are planning for the wedding. If it seems like too much, it probably is.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I know my sister spent over $50,000 on a wedding for her daughter one year ago. She wanted to give her what she wanted. You have to be comfortable with the decisions you make about your own wedding. Some people are happy eloping and inviting nobody else. Some want what my niece wanted.

    All the various aspects of a formal wedding seem expensive - because they are! Decide what the minimal requirements are for you and your fiance. Do you want a large reception? At a wedding venue or a backyard? Full dinner? Cocktail hour? Live music, DJ, no music? Wedding party?

    If it will be a church wedding, a vocalist and musician can be provided in their fee. Then, you just need to tip each of them plus the minister/officiator.

    Have you watched the show Four Weddings on TLC? You can get great ideas from it. Some couples do all the work (crafting own invitations, table decorations, decor pieces) themselves. Others hire everything. Some take place in castle-like settings, others put up tents in their.

    There isn't one right way. It's up to you. Get ready for tons of decisions to make.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My biggest piece of advice is to make your wedding your own-don't feel like you HAVE to have a huge bouquet if you don't want to.

    That being said, the thought of doing all that planning and spending and arranging was enough to make me run off to Vegas...so I did!
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My best friend got her daughter's wedding dress on ebay for $400. It was a gorgeous satin designer gown that had one flaw: the zipper in the under-dress had been put in backwards. My friend fixed it herself for zero dollars, and her daughter had a fabulous dress for very little money. She also scheduled the wedding for the early afternoon at a local park along the river and had lots of hors d'oeuvres but no liquor.

    Do you belong to Costco? They have great wedding flowers at a very good price, and you can't beat their sheet cakes for under $18!

    Here's a link to everything wedding at Costco: http://shop.costco.com/Feature/Costco-Weddings.aspx
     
  8. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    We went through a florist for bouquets, boutineres, and flowers for the parents/grandparents. I went to Hobby Lobby and made my own flower arrangements to decorate the church and my mom and I made our centerpieces for the reception. Just ordering the minimum of real flowers really saved a lot of money. Oh, and my florist included a "throwing bouquet" which was a mini version of mine that I could throw and not mess up my actual one :) have fun! It's a lot of work, but make sure it stays enjoyable :)
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    My wedding dress was $250. It was on clearance because it was a "spring" dress. I was having a fall wedding, but it was the dress I wanted anyway . . . short sleeves, sweetheart neckline, etc. It did not have to be altered. I had planned on wearing flat shoes, but it was going to cost me $50 to have it hemmed. I just changed the shoes to a two inch heel and didn't have to have it hemmed.

    The reception was at the fellowship hall of the church where I married, so there was no cost for that because I was a member of that church. There are ladies at the church who do catering, and they catered finger foods for 250 people for $1200. It was an early afternoon wedding, so we had finger foods. There was no alcohol and no music/dancing. (I'm in a very conservative area.) I did the basic decorations myself with the help of friends. The wedding director owned the florist shop in town, and I was able to get nice flowers that didn't bother my allergies and were not expensive. The church piano player is fantastic, so I had her do the music. We had ONE singer during the ceremony, and he sang to recorded music.

    I typed my own programs and had them printed at an office supply store. I found the programs at a local Bible bookstore, and they were inexpensive. That lady also makes great cakes, so I took in a picture of a wedding cake I loved and she copied it.

    We had an open wedding, so the announcement for the wedding was in the local newspapers, and we only sent invitations to family and friends who lived out outside of our hometowns.

    I also paid for everything for the attendants. Their dresses I wanted were $39 each, and the shoes were about half that. I also bought their necklaces and a small gift for each of them. Rental of the groomsmen's tuxes was also included. I don't remember how much those were. I had my hair done, but did my own make-up and manicure. I borrowed my earrings from my BFF, and I already had a great pearl necklace that was perfect with my dress.

    I got lots of compliments on the wedding. Most people said they appreciated that it wasn't long and elaborate. I got a lot of "simple and elegant" comments. That's what I was going for.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I found a dress that was on sale... $100!!! It was simple... I had a few bows taken off and a big one put on the back (to replace the old one). We bought the head piece, but my mom put on the lace part.

    We used fake flowers... I had heard too many horror stories of colors being wrong or flowers not showing up. I had mine a week or 2 in advanced and was able to make any changes. Plus they gave us a discount because we left them in the church for the Sunday service (that was the flower ladies thing)..

    I had the bridesmaids get very simple dresses (not the ones you think of for a wedding), but ones you could actually wear again (my fam member did)! We actually found the shoes for the bridesmaids at a store... $8 a pair luckily they had their sizes...just some strappy sandals with a small heel.

    My sister used fake and made all her flowers!!! They looked great.

    We did not have a program. We did get a deal on the invites. I think my sister got hers online... I don't remember what she paid... I could see if they have the info still.

    Are you doing boutiners for the Fathers/grandfathers. We did! Ours were fake with magnets... We found mine after my gparents passed away... so nice it meant that much to them!!!
     
  11. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    My entire wedding was under $5000 (still super expensive in my book but still...).
    My dress was Alfred Angelo and it was $500. I borrowed my veil.
    We found a reception hall that we loved and had the wedding there so that we didn't have to pay separate costs for separate venues.
    My mother-in-law catered. We actually still get people asking us if they can get our caterer's number!
    We have a friend in the beverage distribution business so he got us alcohol at cost.
    Most of our decorations were found at garage sales or were borrowed from friends.
    MIL won a gift certificate for a party rental company so we didn't have to shell out a lot for linens, chairs, tables, etc.
    I only got the flowers you listed and allowed the rest of my decorations to be candles, fabric, or pictures. I told my florist my budget and she was very helpful in finding me flowers that were within budget.

    If you've got time and people helping you, have them sign up for every bridal give-away possible. It helps A TON!!!
    I also didn't have my wedding planned since I was a child, which, I think, helped me be more open to suggestions on cheaper things. I didn't have to have long-stem red roses or chandeliers dripping with diamonds because I had never dreamed of it being that way (I'm not that type of person anyway. Roses and diamonds are beautiful but unnecessary in my opinion).
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I bought a big box of wedding invites from Target for around $12, although I think they go all the way up to $50. I used them for a bridal shower I threw. I printed them myself at home, and after some trial and error they turned out really beautifully. They didn't have embossing or anything, but they were just as nice as the ones the bride had paid a lot of money for. The paper was thick and high quality, nice subtle design, etc. If you have the ability and ink, it's worth a shot.
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    My dress was $500 I think, at Alfred Angelo, and then I had a $100 off coupon from their website.

    DH is a graphic designer, so he did our invitations himself.

    We found a place that did the ceremony, reception, food, everything for about $2000.

    Used an ipod for the music, flowers came from the grocery store (except for my bouquet, which was a splurge that I never would have done myself, but my grandparents got me exactly what I wanted - and it was gorgeous)
     
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Costco has wedding stuff? I never would have thought of them. I'll have to check out their website. Same with Target. I have tried to get Sweets to sit down and figure out a budget with me, but he keeps saying stuff like, "Figure out what you like, and we will figure out what we can afford." I am frazzled because I like to have top end numbers to work under and an overall maximum budget number. So it looks like I will be trying to figure out this budget mostly on my own.
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I am excited hearing stories about how reasonable dress prices can be. I will be looking into fake flowers, but I really want to carry real roses. Everyone else, who knows. Would it look bad to use both?
     
  16. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    It must be the Scotsman part of me but $800 to $15,000 for a dress you will wear for less than day (about 4 to 6 hours)!?
    It is great being a guy only <$100 for a tux rental.
    Spending $5,000, $20,000 to $∞ on a wedding is obscene, the money would better spent on a down payment on a house or pay off loans(cc, school) to have a fresh start.
    If I ever get married again it will be in the cafeteria of the "Curmudgeon Pines Rest Home" just before Dinner.
    Of course I could be bias since I have had 3 divorces.

    I only paid for one wedding, my middle one, it was in my backyard we had about 50 people. We had a reception with over 70,000 people, still dress in our Gown and Tux, we went to an Arizona State football game, BRW they won.
     
  17. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    No, it would show you have a sound financial head!
     
  18. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Congrats on your upcoming wedding.
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Most fake flowers look so real that no one will ever tell the difference. Especially since they won't be up close to the flowers (well except for those wearing them!) Buy yourself the bouquet of your dreams and then have everyone else wear fake flowers. No one will be the wiser;)

    Oh and also about the dress, I'm not sure how you feel about buying online but my friend recently got married and got her dress from a website. This website has all really nicely priced dresses which are knock offs of designer dresses. I think for the most part they come looking nice, though I have heard some horror stories!
     
  20. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    I got married in the midwest about 5 years ago.

    My dress was $800, with alterations.

    Flowers were something like $300, and that included centerpieces for the reception and flowers for the church in addition to the bouquets. I loved my flowers. Fake flowers just wouldn't have been the same.

    The cake was about $200.

    $1.89 sounds reasonable for invitations. Find a site that lets you order free samples of the invitations. Then you can see what you're getting for the money, and also see how the colors really look. I learned calligraphy so I could address them by hand. We invited 150, and 90 people attended.

    Are you getting a guest book or a cake server or programs? Those are all small expenses, but they add up.

    Don't forget to have fun! Especially at the cake tastings. :)
     
  21. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    You can totally get a dress for $750. The one I want from Davids even though I am not engaged yet is only $500. They have dresses starting at $100. It just depends on what you want.
     
  22. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I would say do the fake for the others and real for you... You will notice that the fake will hold up as boutiners (sp?) and for the grandmothers/fathers better... They don't look wilted...

    I would say ask around. I found my dress at a little mom & pop type shop, not a chain store... My flower lady worked from there as well...

    I would definately look at the fake flower the next time you to to a Hobby shop.
     
  23. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    One tip I learned was when you are calling vendors, don't mention that it is for a wedding, just say for a party. Some places will charge a lot more simply because it is for a wedding.
     
  24. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Run... I don't know how to post pix... but my avatar pic is what I carried in my sis' wedding...

    Let me know when you see it and I'll post the one she made for herself!!!
     
  25. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I got married 10 years ago (holy cow I can't believe it's been that long!). My dress was under $1000 that I got from David's. My mom's boss's mother made the flower arrangements, bouquets, boutineers(?s) with fake flowers..they looked lovely!! We rented some big pieces for candles with flowers for less than $50. We didn't pay anything for the venue because it was at our church. We arrived to our reception in a horse drawn carriage that was 'donated' by one of my dad's horse friends. I think we paid the most for the food and the reception area. I think my parent's paid less than $10,000 for the whole thing.
     
  26. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    I used both. Now a days the fake ones look so real, it's hard to notice differences :)

    Oh, and I got my dress for about $500 including alterations from David's Bridal. My wedding was less than 10k and we had at least a hundred people there! It is possible, it just takes careful planning and some creativity.
     
  27. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I have signed up with theknot.com but I haven't had a chance to scour the entire site. I have found the check list thing and the forums and the favorites list thing, but I haven't seen the budget helper. I will have to look for it. Thanks for the tips, everyone! Keep them coming.
     
  28. lnm130

    lnm130 Companion

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    I like weddingwire more than the knot for a budget tool. (June 2013 bride)

    I strongly caution you against the online knockoff sites. They are just that...knock offs. Many horror stories on the knot. Many are based out of China. Review, review, review.

    My wedding is going to be about $10,000 for 175 people.
     
  29. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My wedding dress was $550 from David's Bridal. I remember there was one I liked, but it was around $800-$900 and I thought that was way too expensive. Now I watch Say Yes to the Dress, and that would be a really cheap price compared to the show!

    I think my wedding was under $10,000. It was at my church, and that was free. My family made the food and decorated. The lady who made our cake gave us a discount because my husband is in the military. One my my uncles made the invitations for us. My photographer was the most expensive-I think it was around $3,500. We could have got one cheaper though. My grandma arranges flowers and did all the flowers for the wedding.
     
  30. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Congrats on your upcoming wedding about keeping costs down. Many years ago when I was married, things were just starting to get crazy. I had the wedding in the church (late evening so my dad could milk the cows first) with horsdeorves (we all know that's not spelled right) in Fellowship Hall after. We had a caterer but we could have done it ourselves.
    Ann Taylor loft has some nice dresses, both wedding and bridesmaids. I like the idea of the guys buying suits instead of renting tuxes. JCPenney has some.
     
  31. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I got married in a beautiful park in the middle of Orlando.

    We paid $25 to rent the outside pavilion for the ceremony. Then we had Publix veggie and meat trays and had us a picnic (complete with checkered table cloths for the picnic tables) for our reception.

    My husband and the best man were both singers...that took care of the music. The best man's wife played a small table top piano.

    $15 for a nice cake (again, Publix)

    I made my gown for $100.

    The whole thing was a few hundred dollars and it was, by far, the most expensive picnic we have ever had...but now, almost 30 years later I can't help but smile when I remember that wonderful day!

    May your wedding provide you with memories for a lifetime.
     
  32. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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