Sunday, April 20, 2008

#282: FOTB.



remember when steve martin pictured himself manning the grill (whilst donning a chef's hat, at that) in his backyard with picnic tables, streamers and balloons and kids running around everywhere...

the wedding ultimately ended up being much more of a schmancy affair, at $250/head. (a little trivia: i'm very familiar with the actual house they used in the movie; my piano teacher lived 2 blocks away from it!)

so that begs the question...does going budget-friendly automatically mean having to go casual like a simple cake and punch affair. or, if not casual, limiting your offerings to just champagne and dessert. or, if not limiting your offerings, paring down your list to 25 people.

fact: when you're going 'budget', you have to give hard-knuckled consideration to and from the get-go decide where you're willing to compromise and where you're...just really not.

i think i've been fairly consistent in saying that i'm ok letting go of: the $5000 dress, the flowers that are going to wilt within days, the huge bridal party, the extensive guest list, the fancy paper, and the extras (favors, bathroom baskets, OOT bags, etc).

but i'm also getting more stubborn with the there-are-no-compromises-here items: good food (meaning a complete meal. not just apps or desserts. this is top priority.), style, pizzazz, amazing photography, and a blow out party (aka major drinkage for all!).

knowing this, bf said to me the other night: "$10,000 isn't possible when a decent chicken dinner for a wedding costs $70/pp. i think you have to consider spending more than $10,000. how about setting the limit at $20,000?"

i'm a capricorn which means i don't handle defeat well. and i'm stubborn as hell. which means i'll just have to find a way. i just have to.

16 comments:

Kathryn said...

I'm taking this as a personal challenge! :)

Kathryn said...

I just sent you an email with a little idea for a possible challenge - let me know if you're up for it!

amanda said...

i'm doing my reception picnic-style, with gourmet sandwiches and sides in lunch boxes, and a dessert buffet to beef things up a bit. the quotes i've gotten for the boxes varied from $10-25 pp and we're doing the buffet with some homemade, some costco, some catered. it's not an uber fancy, sit-down dinner, but it's a full meal for as many people as we wanted to invite (around 120-150) and still keeps us in a reasonable budget. and there's plenty of room to make it elegant with diy details. just a thought!

Joanna Goddard said...

you can do it!!! xo

122LOVESME said...

i was originally given a $10,000 budget, but my fiance and i have decided to save an extra $5,000 to contribute should we need it. i think it's totally possible though. my sister and my brother both got married in family friend's backyards which cuts down a lot of costs for venues. my fiance and i are hiring a caterer to smoke and barbeque for us on-site (menu consists of salmon, chicken, and pork, baked beans, honey butter corn on the cob, potato salad, yum!). my mom and her friend used to do cakes and flowers for weddings, so her friend will be doing those for us. and the church we're using for the ceremony and reception includes the price of tables and chairs and allows alcohol. it's totally doable. you just have to decide what's more important? the food? the photography? the details? the venue? etc. order your priorities and find ways to skimp on some things so that you can spend more on others.

peihan said...

Doesn't have to be $70pp if it's lunch, or if it's served buffet style. We're having a nice lunch with appetizers and two entree options for $19pp! Totally doable. And cut the guest list! We're going right around 5K and it's no backyard shindig either =) Good luck =)

Meg said...

I guess this is more doable if you are not in a urban area. We just couldn't hit the mark in San Francisco. I'd suggest (if you want nice food and drink) a venue that is free or next to free, someplace you can go BYO on drinks, and a small guest list (50-75 people). We decided that we were willing to go a little higher to have more people... plus... we couldn't find a free venue that didn't lock us in to horrible contracts. So! I'm sure it can be done, but you definitly will have to make some hard decisions. Even with a slightly higher budget we had to make some hard decisions. Biggest tip is to plan way in advance (1.5 years or so) we are saving a bundel that way, by getting to lock down the best and most affordable spaces and vendors, and have lots of time to plan DIY projects

Teana said...

oooh, i love meeting a challenge especially if it's kind of motivated by spite...you know, the whole "see, i told you i could do it" and i'm not even a capricorn. lol. if you're smart with your spending and stay focused on what is important to you then you shouldn't have a problem. it's totally doable.

Christine said...

I don't think its doable in LA. sigh.. I'm coming to that sad realization myself. (Damn this infernal recession!) No matter how much my fiance and I have slashed the unnecessaries or tried to come up with creative ways to avoid the overinflated wedding industry prices, the reality is that unless you want the backyard BBQ with the supermarket daisies (see Amanda /122lovesme / Steve Martin's vision) or just a ceremony and punch, you're going to spend $25K minimum. The wedding in Father of the Bride was $50K ($250 x 200 guests) and that was 17 years ago!

Kathryn said...

I've been doing some research, and it seems like to make this work, you'll need to be willing to consider a few alternatives, like a luncheon instead of a dinner, or any day of the week but Saturday, or only serving certain drinks that you can buy in bulk. Even if you cut in every other area but food, this would be near impossible to pull of on a Saturday evening if you want to have a larger guest list...

Anonymous said...

We could technically afford more than $10000 too, but I can also think of tons of other things to do with that extra money. So I'm sticking with the original budget, and trying to be more imaginative about things.
I want a full sit down meal for everyone too, and a bar tab. So my aunt's making my dress (if she wasn't I'd buy a cheap one), we're having a very simple cake, simple flowers etc.
You can spend a fortune and have a hideous wedding, so as long as you cut it down to the right things for you, it's all good :)

Meg said...

Re: Kathryn, even doing a Sunday brunch, buying our drinks at Costco, and doing our own flowers we can't make it. It would help to do it on a weekday (and that cuts your guest list by default). You'd definitely need to pay next to nothing for a photographer, to cut that line item out. The other thing that gets you is that if you get a inexpensive venue where you can bring your own catering and drinks, you need to factor in that you may need to rent tables and chairs and/or linins and china. That will put you back another grand or so.

I'm not saying it can't be done... but if you want yummy food (and a full meal), it's tough. You need to get out of a urban area for sure! You are talking to a girl who keeps a post it with the wedding budget under her keyboard at work and in her wallet, and examines it regularly for places to save. I *do* plan on coming in quite a bit below 25K though...

Heidi said...

We're coming up against this same situation ourselves. Our budget is about $15k. We are having a saturday evening wedding at an art & garden park outside SF. Site fee is about $3k. Guest list btwn 75-100.

Some things we are entertaining with catering (ie: where MOST of the cost is) is to eliminate the passed hor'ds, and try a simple family style dinner. Plus we're doing cupcakes for dessert. No cutting fee! will let you kno wif this lowers the cost at all... good luck everyone!

Kathryn said...

Just wanted to check and see if you got my most recent email... My Spam folder is more trouble than it's worth!

thatdisneygirl said...

We were totally going for $10,000, but when we decided to have a destination wedding, that budget got doubled thanks to all the travel costs. If we were only having one home reception, though, I'm positive we could do it for ten grand, although about one third of that would have to go to photography. You can really cut corners with everything else. My dress only cost $250 and that was one of the most expensive things we've paid for so far!

(of course, i personally think rings are a free space. otherwise we'd be in trouble!)


http://budgetdisneywedding.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I'd second the luncheon comment, or recommend looking into some ethnic restaurants for catering. Even very nice ones can have much more reasonable prices with great tasting food. And if you have your ceremony at the restaurant, many already have great decor related to the theme, tables & chairs, and no additional fee to rent the space.