Friday, October 3, 2008

#393: i'd love to stay sane.

"i want this bad boy $10,000 budget to encompass everything...the venue the food the dress the booze the rings to the everything else. e-ver-y-thing." -me

yes, that was me. about 1.5 years ago. and wow, how things doth change with 1.5 years worth of reality checks.

so here's what i'm thinking:

$10,000 must include venue, food, drink, dress, dj, centerpieces, invitations.
$10,000 will not include photography, rings, honeymoon, gifts.

because my tag line is "can i do it?" and at this point, i'm really starting to feel like i can't. not with my original checklist.

the MUSTS:

  • 100-125 guest list (80% of that is family. so cutting further isn't an option.)
  • evening event with alcohol
and those 2 criteria are killing me larry. no matter how i slice and dice, i can't seem to make it work, not if the $10,000 has to include food + bev, PLUS photography, the rings, gifts, etc.

so what do you think of my re-write, now that i know about 20% service fees and 8.25% sales tax charges? and cake cutting fees, dance floor fees, site fees, security fees...

does it make my budget more reasonable? or is it a cop-out?


Abbie said...

It's not a cop-out. When I set a $10k budget, J looked at me like it was outrageous... and now, he's wondering if we can keep it under that without making too many sacrifices. Unfortunately, we did have to cut family. Our parents have too many siblings... 15 on his side and 12 on mine, not counting spouses! You gotta do what you gotta do. Don't sweat it.

AmyJean said...

Have you looked into the OC (slightly less tax), something like a state owned beach or park? You probably have... i still have faith you can do this! :)

Stephanie said...

It is completely not a cop out. I tried my hardest to keep ours around the same number, but even moving the wedding to our hometown rather than the "big city" didn't do the trick. And yes fees and taxes will kill you. I am convinced that many times when people quote a wedding budget they are not actually including things like this, or postage for invites, RSVP's and thank yous. Heck I even had a line item for nice pens in my budget (yes it was down to the last $1.89) and I can't envision how we could have done it for under $10,000....unless we required friends and family to take on the burden of providing things which I was not willing to do.

loren weltsch said...

dear $10,000 wedding bride,
i wish you all the luck in the world with meeting your $10,000 budget! your blog is always a highlight. you have been to open with your planning process and it is always good to hear the other side of things. check out my website - if you like my style, i would be happy to work with you (and your budget)!
all the best,

teneisha said...

yeah, we originally had a 5k budget. Which was...practically impossible.

Its easy to forget about all of the service charges, set up and all the million other things that add up oh so quickly.

Thankfully our families have offered a no strings attached help with cash. So that makes things easier. We are now hovering a little over 10k

nicole said...

my original budget was $10,000. we did EVERYTHING ourselves and i couldnt make it work. For me the extras were dress, rings, crafty-addins.

our honeymoon was the gift from our parents - we did all inclusive so we didnt have to spend any money there.

Autumn Witt (future Autumn Witt Boyd) said...

I don't think it's a cop out. I wanted to have a 10K budget to include everything (rings, photog, apparel, gifts, hotel rooms for bride and groom, EVERYTHING!) for 250 guests. My fiance thought it was an insanely high number. Now that I've been out in the mean cold wedding world, we're trying to keep all of that to 15K and it's still really tough, now that I know a dance floor costs $1000, even a really basic dinner will cost $20 a head, etc., etc. We're cutting things that are less important (flowers and other decor, favors, aisle runner, etc.) to keep things that are important-- our guest list, good food, drink and dancing.

Skeeta25 said...

I had the exact same budget, 10K. My date is April 25th, 09. I am also in an expensive city, Miami and we are getting married on the beach. As of now, Im at about 11K. Guess how many on my guest list? 25!! Yes, 25 ppl, and I cannot do it. EVERYTHING is DIY, no planner, etc. We aren't even going on a honeymoon because we can't afford it. It is not a copout. If you aim for the moon u will land amongst the stars and still be way better off than many others going through this. ;o)

katie the lady said...

you can do it! stick to your guns! You might have to dance on grass instead of a rented floor, but I think thats pretty awesome myself! Of course, you cannot have Martha Stewart's wedding for $10K, but you can have the best "you" wedding, which is SO MUCH BETTER! Good luck :) I'm rooting for you.

Liz said...

It's a cop-out, sorry. All it means is that you are not having a 10k wedding and that is totally ok. But for some reason excluding photography or bridal party gifts and saying that is still a 10k budget doesn't make much sense to me, as they are totally and completely wedding expenses unless you're in the habit of hiring professional photographers to document your life otherwise.

I do understand that honeymoon and maybe rings should be excluded since honeymoon is just a glorified vacation so something you would do without the wedding, and maybe rings take place of a different gift you would otherwise still give each other.

Anonymous said...

It's a cop out. Don't give in to the big bad wedding industry that is trying to suck every last drop out of us!

Linda said...

Our wedding cost us less than $10K including food, clothing, photography, etc. I would suggest sitting down with your FI and deciding on what is most important. You can have a beautiful, meaningful wedding without breaking the bank.

Kathryn said...

I guess the thing is, no matter what, you have to make compromises, and the thing that you were most willing to compromise was your budget. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and it doesn't mean you can't still try to save in certain areas.

desert bride said...

first of all: who cares if it is a cop out. what does that even mean. just because you started blogging about a $10,000 wedding before you were engaged doesn't mean you have to have a $10,000 wedding now that you are engaged. of course if you decide to increase your budget for certain categories i thing you should be honest about that amount.

that said; i encourage you to examine what is best for you and your fiance. if spending 15,000 instead of 10,000 is a practical choice for the two of you [not going into debt, not cutting into savings for something that might be more important to you like a home, etc] then great!!! more power to you!

if it is not so practical, know that it can be done. [with liquor and 125 guests.] you just have to be willing to shift some expectations, which is obviously different for everyone. We spent very little on booze, and everyone drank their fill + leftovers [trader joes wine and costco liquor] cake cutting fee? F that. You certainly have to scour socal until you find a location that is flexible. they do exist. while we didn't have a bridal party we knew we needed thank you gifts for everyone who helped us SO MUCH. in trying to decide what they might be and what the budget is we kept coming back to the same concept: our friends and family are helping us because they love us and are happy to help with this occasion and happy that their help can save us money. that being the key. it did not make any sense to spend money to say thank you for helping us save money. so we made the gifts. we did not take a honey moon because we were not willing to go into debt for this. instead we are planning a trip for next year. [have you considered registering for a honeymoon?]

Having just gotten married a few weeks ago- it F*n FLEW by. There was no way to slow that down. It was even dragged out over a weekend, and it was still a blur. Given that if I would have gone into debt or sacrificed something more lasting for it, that might have been a little disappointing, [Again, that's just me.]

ANYWAYS- sorry for the long post- We all have different financial situations. And spending mote than 10G might not be the end of the world for you. I think this [rather than holding onto the concept just for the pure ideology of it] is the key. What is best for you. Good luck! Whatever you decide you are getting freakin married! Congrats and don't let it stress you too much!!!!!

Meg said...

My dear, if those are your goals, you may well need to raise your budget. I've thought that for awhile actually, but didn't want to say it. Can you pull off a low key picnic wedding for 125 in the afternoon for $10K? You better belive it. Can you pull off a night wedding in LA inside with really good food, drink, a DJ and a slightly more expensive dress for 125 on $10K? Extremly unlikely.

Which is fine! Spend what's right for you, the h*ll with the internet.

Here is the thing, we have the same size wedding, the same goal of good food and drink, and a slightly more expensive area and we picked a bigger budget... and we still made tons of compromises to do it. Ours are: no florist, no DJ, only wine, afternoon wedding, less expensive dress. And we didn't think of counting the rings (not that we splurged, but they are something we'll have forever, not part of the party budget), or the honeymoon (fun, but it's an optional vacation not a wedding expense) in our budget.

You've been working backwards from a number. I'd suggest you work forwards. Figure out how much the party you want to throw will cost you. Then, when you've done that, think about if you can afford it. I'm suspecting the number will come in higher then you want. If that's the case, give real thought to what you are willing to cut to make it happen. Keeping a budget is just a bunch of compromises and not a lot of magic (well. Maybe a *little* magic).

{amy lynn} said...

wow. great post (above). i feel like it's a pixar film..and we are the little mice looking up at the princess and wondering if she's gonna quit on us? (not to add any pressure). :)

i totally believe in you. we all do...

{amy lynn} said...

(by great post...i was talking about desert bride)...not that meg's isn't a nice post too...

oh. you know what i mean.

Eliza said...

I think changing your mind when research proves your original plan isn't feasible isn't a cop out. It's grown up.

But I don't think you can call it s $10,000 wedding. Give it a new, cool name. And own the new plan.

.reese. said...

i think i have to agree with meg. i started out like you, but it was driving me insane and into depression.

we're working forward now and trying to decide what things we need, really want, and can do without. it's tough.

we started with a $10k budget, but it looks that it is only covering photography, dj, florals & linens, and photobooth (which will be our favors)...i hope.

hard work does pay off though. and i want to believe it's still possible. hope you pull it off!

Guilty Secret said...

Please don't think I'm making any judgement in saying this (by which I mean I don't think it's a bad thing if you spend more than $10k) but I do think it's a cop out. As far as I'm concerned a wedding budget is everything spent excluding the engagement rings and honeymoon. If you can't do it, you can't do it (and there's a lot of benefit in saying goodbye to unrealistic goals) but there's no point calling it a $10k wedding if it's not.

Still, I think you'll have a great time whether you admit defeat and spend $15k or get determined and bring it in in or around $10k. Whatever happens, don't beat yourself up about it. Focus on the marriage and the fun over arbitrary numbers and you'll be just fine.

Best of luck!

Miranda said...

I don't think it's a cop-out at all. If the "bottom-line" decisions are important to you (guest list and evening wedding), then you should stick with them. And you do live in a very expensive part of the country, which can't be helped. Finding other areas to save will help you maintain relative sanity.

My bottom-line items are: dress, venue, photography - which also happens to be some of the biggest expenditures in a wedding. So we changed the day and time (to Sunday afternoon) and season (from fall to spring). We can do that because we don't have a lot of OOT guests and I don't think our guests will mind not having a huge evening blowout. We'll save tons on alcohol and the food minimum is much lower. And choosing a gorgeous venue cuts down on rentals, flowers, etc...

I still think you'll be able to pull off a practical wedding with your new budget.

Susan Fussell said...

I kind-of did the same thing. I've been saying we're trying to plan the mythical $10,000 wedding. The truth is that a few months ago I did what Meg (love her!) suggests above and priced out the wedding we wanted and then decided what we could live without. After we did that, our total came to $11,868 and I decided it was a number I could live with. It's not the number I wanted, and it's a not a 'Martha' wedding, but it is a wedding that feels like me. I should write a post soon about how we set our budget. Thanks for the reminder. Love reading your thoughts.

Stephanie & Chris said...

It's not a cop-out, it's inflation!!

Ms. 12k said...

It almost looks like I could've written this post myself. I totally understand where you're coming from and I don't think it's a cop-out at all. You can only compromise and cut your guest list so much and the wedding industry will always be overpriced. I know it's a disappointment but if you're already down to barebones needs and wants, what else can you do?

Anonymous said...

i don't think it's a cop out. and please, don't feel boxed into expectations of a $10k wedding if you don't think it's doable. you've provided us with a witty, informative, and personal blog that just happens to be called a $10,000 wedding. i promise i won't be disappointed if the reality isn't quite like what you originally conceived when you created the blog =).

there will certainly be naysayers that may not agree that with your views on raising the budget, but you do what's best for you and your FI and you keep your head on straight. i think it's at these sorts of moments that i like to think about meg's blog and remember it's not about who can outdo the other on pinching pennies, but it's being practical in your mindset towards the wedding.

Andi Pandi said...

I felt so sad when I read your posts & the comments! It's a sad situation when you're trying to plan your beautiful day & you can't get what you want because of the hidden costs involved. It's a scary thing to face & I have to say, I'm glad that I'm reading this before I go into the battle myself!!

I think you've narrowed your lists down pretty far, but you should stick to your guns on the items that you think are your favorites. I know there is a lot out there about marriage over wedding, but to be honest, you want to be happy at what you planned & worked hard on, not just cut out items to cut costs & end up disappointed in the end.

I also think that you're being very honest & I appreciate that, as a woman who wants to plan her own wedding (hopefully) soon! If you can't keep everything under your main goal, there is nothing wrong with that as long as the final amount is something that you can live with, along with being happy with your day.

Robin said...

You are 100% NOT a cop out, don't torture yourself by wondering it a minute long. Remember, you can have anything you want, do anything you want, REGARDLESS of all the things you have said or thought you wanted in the past. I like to think of it this way, when I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. I'm not a doctor, so sue me, it's what I thought I wanted at the time, I thought it was a reasonable thing to want. But the reality of medical school, ya, well that made me realize that it wasn't what I wanted!

Marianne said...

This is not a cop out!

We started out SURE that we could do it for under $10K, maybe even for under $8K. Now we're thinking $12-15K is more likely. Anything more than $15K, though, and I'm going to FREAK OUT! Hahaha.

Blind, Irish Pirate said...

We originally set a $5K. Then a $6K. And then it was $7K. (Granted, we are in rural IN and really *ahem* forced our way into good deals) ... that included photography, rings, gifts.

Not a cop put.

ka1t_lyn said...

hm. well, i suppose if those are your expectations for your wedding than ever trying to do a wedding for 10K was unreasonable.

either way, it seems like a cop out to me. those items your leaving out can add up very quickly by themselves. easy way to hide about 10K from your budget.

isabel said...

$10,000 is a good goal. Set that as your goal, and work within the budget, and outside the box! If you go over, it's not the end of the world. Even the $2k bride went over by a few dollars.
Look at, craigslist, etc. Call in your favors! Do you know anyone creative? Could you DIY anything?
Here's one to think about: Art galleries or Any non-profit space. They don't have all the tax and service charges.

tkc 16 said...

It's a COP OUT!

But whatever. It's your wedding, do whatever you need to do to make it as great as you want to! All that matters is that you have what you want there, and that you and your groom are married.

invisiblyrose said...

it's not a cop out! i think it is an admirable goal and you shouldn't beat yourself up if you don't meet the original, or even the rewrite. the fact is that you are trying to have a lovely event on a reasonable budget.

Anonymous said...

I have to say it's a cop out, but only regarding your blog's name/ the original idea of having a wedding for that amount. And that was 1.5 years ago? Well, what in this world hasn't inflated 100% since then?! I agree with Meg; start working forwards! We've got an $8k budget, and so far (since I'm only allowing myself to think 'forwards') it's working. Keep your chin up!

Dubbs said...

i've been rootin' for you and your $10K budget, but at the end of the day, you gotta do what's right by you. get each item that at least meet your minimum standards at reasonable prices. even if it adds up to be over $10K at the end, each purchase would still have been the right decision. sometimes people say 'hey i had my wedding for X amount and it was great!', but hey, your wedding ain't theirs! they don't know what would make your wedding just as great to you as theirs was to them!

i think it'd be more of a 'cop-out', whatever that really means, if you blindly stick to your budget and end up unsatisfied with this day you've been planning since... ehh... FOREVER. a big part of your blog has been showing what's cool and what alternatives would work in weddings in affordable ways, which shows your strength to be flexible. allow that flexibility to take you to a reasonable (to you) budget be it under or over $10,000.

best of luck to ya, sweets!

Broke-ass Bride said...

Errr, technically, if you spend over 10k on "The wedding", and "the wedding" includes the things you're excluding from your 10k list.... then it may be time to call a spade a spade.

That being said... who fuckin' cares?! Its YOUR wedding. You had no way to know what to expect when you set your budget, pre-engagement... just like most of us went through. Its a harsh reality.

We started out thinking 10k would do it... and then we made concessions. We've had to revise, and hike up the budget a bit, but its as close as we could make it without unnecessary extravagance or compromise of things that we count as important.

Its whatever is right for you, so that you get the wedding you want. Its not about the wedding you feel pressured to conform to, because of a goal you set before you had enough information.

Know what I mean? Do your thing girl.

Crafty Beaver said...

Have you considered holding the wedding in a less-expensive city? Is there another place that would be meaningful to you?

My fiance and I live in Minneapolis, and I was set on having our wedding there - but blown away by the prices. After some serious research, we decided to have the wedding near my parents' home in Iowa.


Waaaay less expensive.

Waaay more family connections to musicians and caterers and helpers.

My mom is thrilled to be able to host a brunch at her home on Sunday.

It's actually fairly traditional to have the wedding where the bride is from - and it's helped me a lot that my mom was able to do some research for me, since I'm busy with grad school.


A lot of our friends will have to drive now and stay overnight - but it IS driveable, and a lot of our friends would have had to travel anyway.

The vendor choices in Iowa are....less diverse? Let's just say there were a lot more cocktail weenies on the appetizer lists for the caterers than the fancy things I had imagined.

I know that not everyone has the option of moving to another city - I'm sure it would be very complicated for me if my parents didn't live there - and there are certainly things I am giving up by holding the wedding in a smaller city. But for us, this is what made everything work!

Katie said...

I don't know if cop-out is the word. But it's not a 10K wedding. You just can't continue planning under the guise of a 10K wedding with half of the wedding expenses set aside.

We have a similarly small budget (which is why I started reading the blog). Honeymoon is the ONLY thing not included in our budget. It is the only thing that isn't wedding/celebration.

So we have 5K set aside for our honeymoon, and a 12K budget (honeymoon is important to us). And we'll stick to our 12K budget with EVERYTHING in there.

We got an amazing photographer who is photographing our wedding for free given our budget (thank you oh so much Dan at (RENT Wedding)), our friends are singing, playing guitar, and providing music during the ceremony, we are using an iPod for the reception, holding our wedding on a Sunday in the town square ($75), and holding the reception at the upscale restaurant & wine bar where I work And we will serve a limited selection of free-flowing booze and wine.

AND we live in a very expensive little mountain town.

It can be done if you want to do it.

Don't work forward. That's the worst advice I've heard. Working forward will allow you to plan a huge event with a nice cushy number that is going to hurt the bank.

Set your budget and make the hard decisions and get creative about the rest. (If that's what you want of course!)

And remember, it's your day! Don't want a 10K wedding anymore? Fine! Plan a bigger one! Just be honest about the fact that you're not planning a 10K wedding. :0)

Ms. Grrrl said...

It is entirely your decision. If you choose not to have a $10,000 wedding, you will be in the company of many, many other brides -- but please, please, please don't go into debt for your wedding! Especially in this economic climate. I'm just really worried about all the brides out there right now. If the reason that you set your budget at $10,000 was that you really didn't have more than that to spend -- don't change the budget now. If you do have the money, than you should weigh your options and do what you feel is best -- but if you don't have the money, you really just need to tell yourself that step back.

There are lots of ways to have a 10K wedding -- maybe not in LA -- maybe you'll need to have a destination wedding somewhere less expensive.

Just don't go into debt. Please. A good friend of mine did that and now she's living with her in-laws. Scary.

GingerStone said...

Hey TTO,

I have read everyone's comments and the one I am with more than anyone is Katie's from today, Oct 4th.

Look I have been working with you... not just following you...for the year and half or whatever long you've been blogging...You were my light in this madness...

But I have been engaged the whole time...PLEASE dont stop and dont give in.

I live in LA too and have exactly 10k to work with.


Maybe we can go in on a "bride share" on things...ooooo!
YOU SHOULD GET Referrals for discounts!

Girlfriend.. you are a resource for sooooo many brides now...there has to be some vendors who will assist you at this point.

Your blog is now a business, work it!

Toronto Bride said...

You can stick to a 10K budget, but you'll probably end up making sacrifices. I originally had a 10K budget and with research I found that if I wanted to stay within budget I'd have to sacrifice good food, great photography, and a nice venue. If I had to forgo those, I wasn't going to be very happy on my wedding day.

All that really counts is getting married to the love of your life. But if you're going to be throwing a huge party, you better be enjoying it if it's on your dime!

Anonymous said...

What I have learned so far in this wedding planning process is the idea of compromise. I think many people envision certain things about their wedding from their venue to their invitations that will just not happen due to budget constraints. For me and my FI our big compromise thus far has been to have a daytime wedding. I understand that is not for everyone (heck it was not for us) but it was a big compromise to live with in order to have it in a place that wen wanted (my hometown of NYC). I don't think you are copping out at all by not having a $10K wedding. At the same time I think you could do it, if you were willing to perhaps make a few more compromises. Maybe less people? Maybe a daytime reception? I think it's possible but if you are not willing to compromise more, don't feel bad about it. Have the wedding that YOU want and that will make YOU and your FI feel good that day.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is a cop out either. I've just begun planning my (hopefully) $10K wedding and I expect it to be hard. I think a lot of it would depend on the venue and how fancy of a dinner you provide. I don't know what is reasonable for feeding people, but I always do the math just x100 and it's so much! Good luck with it. I think it's okay if you go a bit over budget, as long as you don't throw it away entirely. It's a good mark to keep you grounded in reality.

Caroline said...

It's not a cop out if you have the funds available and don't have to borrow money to have a wedding - my opinion. We set our budget at $5000 (we only have 40 guests and are utilizing family connections for some amazing deals), but quickly realized that even with those amazing deals we would be far over that $5000 if my parents has not offered to pay for the food and his the drinks. This also doesn't include my engagement ring or our honeymoon, which we are taking a couple of months after the wedding. We are getting married next week (!). One thing to keep in mind about some of the items on your not included list, though, is that they can be had beautifully yet still inexpensive. I found an amazing photographer whose prices are a third of others with a similar style. My diamond-and-white-gold wedding band only cost $300.

Beach Bride said...

don't let anyone tell you how much you can and can't spend. when i started reading $10K wedding, i figured you would be going over that. unfortunately, that's just a fact of life. it has nothing to do with "bowing down to the industry," you just want to provide delicious food and drink and a night for your family and friends to remember. i'll read whether you're doing 10K or 20K, as long as you're true to yourself!

and yes, i would exclude rings, honeymoon, and gifts.

Laura said...

I'm rooting for you! Please don't feel bad if you have to go over to get what you want - you didn't know until you did all of your research how hard it would be. I was married recently and had such a hard time over trying to keep things as affordable as possible but also getting the quality I wanted. It's such a fine line between not going overboard on a single day but being happy with the sacrifices.

Ally said...

Dear 10K bride, You can TOTALLY do it. My suggestion for you is to do heavy hor devours as a dinner. It can be so much fun...coconut shrimp, mini crab cakes, spring rolls, a couple carving stations. Our guests LOVED it! Also, for flowers, definitely see if you can get a farmer's market to do your flowers. I don't have crazy taste and I got quotes for up to $4,600 for flowers and ended up paying $1,300 for EVERYTHING using a guy at a farmer's market and a woman at my church (we paid her to do it but it was still SO much cheaper.) GOOD LUCK!

EBM said...

You can do it, 120 people you can do it. You can do full sit down, service, tax, gratuity, alchohol for about 5500. I found a photog in LA for 1150, 8 hrs, engagement session, dvd of photos, no album. Dress 800, flowers 400-500, get someone to arrange it, pick it up from downtown LA. find a place with a dance floor, ipod the music, make the slideshow yourself, find a friend to take the videos, skimp on favors for like your favorite snack, ikea is your best friend for candles, etc..ask your wedding party to pay for their own stuff in lieu of a gift. It is totally possible if you find a venue for the right price.

future Mrs. Jones said...

Cop out, no. Reality, YES!

Anonymous said...

i know that things may be diffcult as it may seem but i truly want to see your 10k wedding possible. if getting money elsewhere,like family and friends, is a big no no. try doing something like a car wash or some sort of to help you out with some things. sure you might not get everything you want but be sure to not cheap out for your ring. you will be wearing it for the rest of your lives so maybe that can be not a part of your budget. photography, try looking for friends with connections there can be possible discounts there. and if need be. if you're invites aren't yet made result to cutting up your own cardstock paper and doing something yourself with stamps, glitter, and some ribbons. with some creativity anything can be possible. and as a side note: try to relax. too much stress will make it hard to thing outside the box.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about forgoing the traditional big wedding in favor of smaller, city-hall style nuptials? You seem to be putting a high priority on the party aspect of this event and that might be more easily achieved by only inviting people to a big party.

Heather said...

To have my dress, photography, invites, venue, etc. and stay between 10-15 we cut people. It's, unfortunately, the thing that has to happen. We went from 95 to 62 on an A list with 17 on the B list. (The taxes and charges are absolute killers and are putting us over the 10K no matter what we do).

We also decided on a Friday night cocktail reception with the ceremony beforehand. We're getting everything we want but just on a smaller scale. And I'm actually feeling much more relieved about the whole thing. And I'm not feeling guilty at all. Anyone who wants you to be happy is going to understand that there is only so much you can afford without going into massive debt as you start a new life. I can't imagine anyone would make you feel badly for making that tough decision. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

We are also planning a 10,000 wedding. We are saving on alcohol but buying cases of Trader Joes Charles Shaw wine (less than $40 for 12 bottles), but that does require a venue that lets you serve your own alcohol. Also, we have a winter wedding, so we are also serving an alcoholic wassail, where several bottles of rum can go a very long way. Just some suggtions on the alcohol

Anonymous said...

I think you can still do it. We are having 100 guests and using one of the best (and unfortunately most expensive) caterers. However, we are having a cocktail reception. Great food but small bites. The total for the food and drinks is $5020.

Heather from the bar said...

As for what to re-name your blog, cop out or no cop out, whatever. It is your wedding, and really you owe the internet world nothing. Do what works for you and what makes you happy, we will live (and keep reading :) )
I wanted to comment on the "what's in... what's out" idea. We are having a "$10,000" wedding too... but not really because Bryan's mom is paying for the flowers... I guess I should add those in :) Also, we are paying for certain things ourselves that will last forever, and aren't just for the big day. Our rings, gifts for each other and the friends standing up front with us, honeymoon, my shoes... And probably more along the way. The most important thing is that we have good food and drink for our guests, so if that means I pay the $40 for Save The Date supplies and don't send my mom the receipt, then thats what happens. All in all, we will come in under $15,000 for sure... an Orange County wedding, 100 people, during the day, cocktail reception only. Weddings are crazy I tell you. said...

This makes me think of Rich Bride, Poor Bride (the show on TLC if no one's ever heard of it)

You give your initial budget to the planner, if you go over by a little not a big deal. If you can plan an event you're happy with for around $10 000 (not to the dime..) $12 000 give or take, you're still in the clear!

But anyways, who cares what people think!! You started this blog for yourself. If you need to change your outlook on the budget, change it. What are going to do... hunt you down? Good god no!

Are any of your friends photographers? Idea for you: I take photography on the side and have been doing weddings as wedding gifts for my friends for a while now. I can't afford to give them expensive gifts, so I offer to do their photos/wedding albums (maybe you have a friend like me?) this saves them $4 000 in the long run.

Side note: I very much enjoy your blog btw, I'm not going to quit on you because you went over budget. ;)

maggie said...

NOT a cop-out! Moderation in all things! Do what you want to do, create a wedding you will love, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!!

keyla said...

I have to say I'm torn. I was (and will) root for you. But I'm sure it's possible to have a 10k wedding with all the perks. Hey what are friends for? You must know someone that can Dj for you, a friend which takes amazing pics, that can get the alcohol a lot cheaper. Go ahead dig, research and recruit your friends and try not to let it get to you and ruined your initial plans. Go for the 10K!!!!

Meg said...

And hey - whoever said planning forward was the worst idea they'd ever heard - I didn't mean, figure out what the wedding you want is going to cost you, and then charge it up! I meant, figuring out what the wedding you want will really cost is a good reality check. You figure out what you want is going to cost... and say it comes in at $25K. Then you say, "Oh my gosh, that's totally not something I can afford. What am I willing to sacrifice? What can I afford?" and work backwards from there.

I just think when you set a arbitrary number (you set $10K a long time ago as a magic number for you) you can spend a lot of time trying to cram everything into that number, and thinking "I don't understand why this isn't working!" Well, it might not be working, because it might be a $25K wedding you are trying to plan. Working forward will help you figure that out.

We started by figuring out exactly how much we could/felt comfortable spending, and then we made that number work. Not everyone works that way, but it was good for us. And since you picked 10K long before you got engaged (and hey before the economy tanked) that might, or might not be a number that actually works for you now.

All I'm saying is you need to figure out what the wedding you want costs, and then figure out what you can afford. After that, you'll be in better shape to make compromises to get those numbers fit together. The title of your blog shouldn't be a factor.

Kathryn said...

I'm with Meg. The title of your blog shouldn't really be a factor in this decision.

That said dis-including certain costs from your "official number" doesn't actually make your wedding any more affordable. It's just creative accounting.

Figure out how much you feel comfortable spending and make that your budget. No one else can make that call for you.

PurpleLime said...

I do think everything for the day-of (ie photography) needs to be included in the overall budget (whether that's 10k or 15) but that the honeymoon and rings can be left out of the final tally.

As far as how much you don't want to look back on the day and either feel like it wasn't what you wanted just because you arbitrarily tried to save a few grand or look back and feel like you wasted money that would have been better spent. Only you and your fiancee can decide what the balance should be.

Either way, I'm still going to read. It would be so cool to see you accomplish your original goal but I think most of us see how difficult that would be and would not want you to compromise what should be a beautiful perfect day that represents the love of you and your finacee.

Pretty Bride said...

absolutely more reasonable... and even your revised is hard to do!

SARAFINA said...

Don't worry about if it is a "cop out"...who cares what others think!Worry about what you can realistically afford! Do you really want to pay 2-5K extra for one day of your life?? It does not sound like you need more sounds like you taste might exceed your budget riht now. I know there must be a zillion couples that have gotten married for site we have down here in San Diego is called the Admiral Kidd Club...I know a bride who got married there with 125 peeps for under 10k.

Step back from the ledge, Sister!! You are about to fall into the WIC abyss!

But, seriously, I live in SD and it is quite expensive...but we are sticking to our cute letter-pressed table numbers for me!! Does it bother me...perhaps a little. But, remember that this is only one day of your life. With all your creative ideas it WILL be special!!

Get a mid-level caterer who can do an "all inclusive event". My friend Zapher Dejani offers 10k packages at his business The Abbey Catering in SD...I bet there is more than one that offers this where you are!

Luis said...

A budget is important, but it's also important have a great wedding day and not stressing yourself out over every single detail. Our overall budget is significantly higher than yours, and it's not because I'm throwing money around. I am trying to get the most value out of every dollar I spend, but we also want an event that we and our friends can enjoy and not have to work through the entire way.

This whole being overly-sensible is a trend that I'm not all that into. I know the value of a dollar, mostly because growing up we didn't have any. I intend to spend what I can comfortably spend without going into debt on our wedding, and I'm going to enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Cop-out or not, at least I'm not secretly jealous of you anymore. I've been reading your blog for months thinking "how the hell is she going to really do it all for $10k?!" Now that I see you're facing the same problems we all are, I want to call you and be your best friend! This is your blog and your wedding. You can do whatever the hell you want! Just be responsible to yourself.

My wedding budget started at $15k. Now it's $20k. And I'm okay with that.

Joellen said...

Try winning your prize! I have a $12,000 budget and won an 8,000 dollar photography package. I enjoyed scratching that one off of my excel spreadsheet :)

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Yes, it is a cop out to call it a $10,000 wedding when actually it cost more. But if you can afford to spend more than who cares? If you spend $15,000 then it's a $15,000 wedding but if that's what's right for you then that's fine. You need to do whatever works for you. I think Desert Fete and Meg said it most eloquently.

Good luck, and whatever you spend it will be wonderful!

Laila said...

I JUST stumbled upon your blog (I'm new to this world) and I felt like reading this entry was taking the words right outta mah mouth (or my "mouse" as my barely-english speaking mom would say).

It's not a cop out. It's reality!

Robin said...

Yes, things change with planning experience... I started with a 8k-ish budget and ended up with a 10k wedding (110 guests, mostly family, and NOT including honeymoon).

As for your recent post about evening/daytime wedding, I'd say go for daytime! We had our afternoon reception in a park in my Vermont hometown, and it was FANtastic, lots of space for walks and frisbee throwing and happy relaxing and carefree sunshine. We didn't do dancing, but it would have been totally possible under the pavilion, and some people did spontaneously start dancing to the music.

A couple of other notes: we made our own invitations, with email/phone RSVP (no response cards) and that was TOTALLY fine.

We bought our own booze and we ended up with TONS of leftovers, but that means everybody had as much as they wanted.

My dress was $175 on sale. I fell in love with one that was $1500, but then decided to fall in love again with the other one, a sample that needed no alteration.

Also, cupcakes: no cake cutting fees!

Karin said...

A few words about cost savings for a 10 000 wedding.

We'll hire a caterer and have a buffet dinner. We'll hire a couple of waiters through the catering service for the dinner and the clean up after it. The alcohol will be bought by us (cheaply) and we'll make 'an open bar', so that people can get and mix their own drinks. My dream dress will be less than 500, my fiancee will use a suit he already owns. A friend is a dj. I will do my make up and my sister will do my hair. We'll get new rings made from old ones. We will not spend on a wedding night in an expensive hotel and my mum will make lunch (simple, of local produce) next day for everyone. Flower arrangements will be simple (but pretty!), we'll buy flowers from the flower farm and arrange them ourselves. We'll decorate and plan on our own (no planners or coordinators). I don't feel like I'm having to compromise anything: this is my dream wedding. If it feels like a compromise for you to stick to the original budget, then you should definitely increase!

Karin said...

Oops.. I forgot to say. A friend of ours, who is not a professional, will make a couple of cakes. We wanted nothing fancy, just delicious, and she is just the girl for the job. It will be her wedding gift to us. Our cakes can -and should- look homemade!

ellen said...

We were planning on spending about $10,000 for our wedding next fall. But that was before I realized how much everything costs! We aren't going crazy but we still want to have a nice wedding. Our budget will end up around $12,000. Which is still not bad!!

Lavonn said...

Well said.

Steph said...

I agree with pretty much everyone here who said that it's a cop out. If you want to exclude things from your 10k budget, then its not really a 10k budget right?

People go to your blog because they are looking for inspiration to have a $10,000 wedding. "A $10,000 Wedding, Can I do It?" Apparently you can't. Deciding to exclude items from your budget to MAKE it a 10k wedding on paper doesn't count and isn't fair to your readers.

If you look at the $2000 wedding website, she had a $2000 wedding. Period. Postage, lodging, rings, EVERYTHING. The only thing I would think it is okay to not include is the rings since in a way that's not really a "one day only" wedding expense, and maybe not a honeymoon (although I def wouldn't go on one if you can't afford it).

Instead of excluding things and still pretending to have a 10k wedding, why don't you just call it a 12k or 15k wedding, which would still be inspirational to a lot of people and would be honest?

"A $10,000 Wedding -Or maybe $12,000."

Or, just keep an honest tally on your side bar no matter how far over it goes. That's just my two cents.