Wedding Budget/Stories

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Wedding Budget/Stories
Sun, 07-08-2012 - 5:53pm

Hi everyone,


I am happily engaged to my SO since earlier this year.  Many of you know that he and I have been in a over 3 year relationship which until April 2012 it was long distance (Mtl/Ny).  I now stay 3 weeks in NY and commute to Mtl 1 week per month for work.  We initially were to be married in May 2013 and were planning a full out wedding with a small number of guests.  Just with 20 guests at a restaurant (private dining room) serving a three course meal, beverages and with the tiered wedding cake included and all other wedding related expenses this was costing us over $10K.

$10K seems perhaps on the low end of the scale but my SO and I want to buy a house in the next 18 months plus we need to pay for my immigration (green card) expenses.  More importantly there is no way we are getting in debt to get married!!!

We decided in early June to move up the wedding and do a small scale version.  We are not having a reception which cut our costs by $3K.  I found a sample wedding gown for $400 which normally retailed at $1K, we scaled back on our wedding bands and saved over $1500 there, no bouquet for me because I honestly don't care for them - I'll wear a flower in my hair instead so that cut $400 from the budget.  We are getting married in Central Park so the permit is only $25.  Photog will cost us about $2500 which is half of the current budget but we both agreed that this was really important to us and the photographer in question is a personal friend of mine who runs his own company and does very high end contracts yet we are getting him for a steal - he is a truly gifted photographer.

I could continue but the point is we managed to cut the inital $10K budget down by almost half.  Yes we could have done the courthouse option and saved even more money versus hiring a wedding officiant but we wanted to be married in a beautiful setting.  We are thinking we may throw a dinner party in Mtl a couple of weeks after the wedding since that's where most of the guests would have been travelling from.  Immediate relatives living in NY will attend the ceremony in NY.  We are paying for this ourselves as my parents and his mom cannot afford to contribute.  My parents are in full support of our decision to scale back and they won't be able to attend the ceremony because of health issues.  SO's mother I gather wanted a bigger production in part so she could look good amongst her family (brag...) so she is attending but is not very excited. 

For those who are or have been married would you be willing to share how much your wedding cost and how you decided to go about it?  What reasons led you to have the wedding you did and how do you feel about it looking back.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 4:56pm

I haven't visited the board in a while so my post is a little late, but I'll add my story anyway.

My husband and I had be engaged for over a year when the company I worked for announced that I might be laid off in 3 months.  Since I was working in California on a visa I was very scared of the instability so we talked about it and decided to get married at the court house and possible have the big wedding later.  The courthouse wedding was just my hubby, me and his brother as our witness.  We went out to a nice dinner afterwards.  We paid for a video and a wedding picture which I think made it come to like $75 plus the dinner which was probably $75 too.  I bought a new skirt and top but they were on sale so maybe $50.  And since my husband didn't want a ring we didn't buy wedding bands right away.

I know my Mother was dissapointed she couldn't attend so I wanted to do something to celebrate with my family.  At the time my Husband was only speaking to his brother who was at the courthouse Ceremony so we decided it made the most sense to have celebration in my hometown, Ottawa Canada. My mother organized and paid for most of it but I think all toll it was about $5000 maybe a little less.   I made the invitations on my computer, so all I had to do was buy fancy paper.  It was held in the summer at my parents place.  So we just had a catered buffet and rented chairs and tables for the yard.  We ate and spent most of the day outside.  My parents wanted to invite extended family and I invited a few college friends that I had kept in touch with.  I think it was about 50 guests in total. My mother made our cake and my dress which was just a simple white dress.  And for decorations we just bought stuff at a craft store and made center peices, etc.  We even bought some candy and made little favors for the guests.  My sisters in-law helped alot they were both just dating my brother's at the time but we all had alot of fun buying decorations and puting them together.

I wish we had more pictures from the party at my parents place and that maybe we had done a few professionally but I don't know that I need as many as some photographers do.  Some of the poses can be wierd too, I was a bridesmaid for my brother's wedding and he has some really good pics but there's also a bunch that just didn't turn out right or I just didn't care for the pose.

Both my brother's had big weddings and yes they were beautifull but really I think don't think they would of fit me and my husband.  We're just not into big weddings, so l like what we did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-1999
Re: Wedding Budget/Stories
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 8:06am

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your wedding stories!  I enjoyed reading them!  I have never been married, but I love wedding stories.  What's funny is that my SO is studying to be a minister, and in a few years he'll be able to officiate at weddings, so I wonder what stories he'll come home with!  His mother has wanted a wedding for years, but I bet she never thought her son would be the MINISTER INSTEAD OF THE GROOM!  LOL!!!

Best wishes to Kassie!