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Genna
Curious July 2022 British Columbia

Small wedding budget. Where did you draw the line? 30ppl only

Genna, on January 13, 2020 at 20:11 Posted in Plan a wedding 1 16
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Planning on having a very small wedding. Just 30 people.. At Max 35 and that's stretching it. What did you do to keep your costs down significantly and what was your budget? Budget planning is coming up and I need to be realistic

16 Comments

Latest activity by Megan, on February 4, 2020 at 14:09
  • Megan
    Frequent user April 2021 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    I also only hired a photographer for an hour or two. It was super helpful in keeping costs down! My mom was thrilled when I said she could do whatever she wanted with the flowers, as long as she ordered through Costco. A friend volunteered to make cupcakes. Another friend is doing my hair.

    The more you look at other weddings (pinterest), the more you want all the things. But you really don't need all the things. I've loved the minimally decorated weddings I've been to, especially the ones with the casual vibe. I've been to one that was catered by a local BBQ place, and it was awesome having chicken and ribs.


    Lots of restaurants cater to small celebrations, and you don't have to pay to rent the space.

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  • Tracy
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Tracy ·
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    Get help. Use your friends and family to help you make food, decor etc. Borrow vases, drapery, candles, crockpots etc from people you know....even if they are not invited to the wedding they are willing to help!

    Facebook Marketplace for used wedding items, I have found so much including my veil.

    Don't skimp on what's important to you for the must have's. If it's a maybe then look at alternatives.

    Music - karakoe machine for the speaker. Photographer, use a friend with a good camera or phone for video/photos.

    Flowers - grocery store, costco, farmers market, grown your own.

    We are having about 30 people (originally 20). Found a cute hall for only $100 a day and they have all the tables, chairs, plates, etc.

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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    I don't think it's tacky at all. But I've read multiple articles about so called dos and donts that say that it is. I guess some people feel like guests shouldn't need to pay for anything at the wedding. I've never been to a wedding with an open bar, and not for a moment did we think about paying the bar tab for all our friends and loved ones!
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  • Genna
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Genna ·
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    Why is a cash bar considered tacky if it saves the bride and groom money
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I agree with Rayanne and figure out what you absolutely need/want vs. what to cut.

    You need an officiant, a marriage license and 2 witnesses. That's all to make it legal.


    Next, figure out what you absolutely want at your wedding. If photography is important, prioritize that. If you don't want to spend $$ on a dress, check out some online places (Azazie.ca and 1861.ca are both really good). If a DJ isn't a must-have, skip it and build a Spotify playlist instead. You get the idea lol

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  • Genna
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Genna ·
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    Thanks. I will check them out
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  • M
    Expert September 2019 Ontario
    Meaghan ·
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    Absolutely! I bought it from Light In the Box.
    https://m.lightinthebox.com/en/c/weddings-events_1180?prm=1-2.1.340.4

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  • Genna
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Genna ·
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    May I ask what website you got your wedding dress from?
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    I did originally budget for $20K and spent little less than that in actual which was a great feeling.

    Venue was the most expensive and shopping online was the least expensive knowing items ordered were available over retail prices. Only things bought in person were husbands outfit with accessories, my suit and favours.

    Renting was a wise choice considering the space to keep at home if purchasing centerpieces, backdrop and money box. The cost itself was way less than what was going to be bought and returned the next day.

    Our guest count was 72 and still small in the sense. Your budget wouldn't be as much unless floral is going to be real.

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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    I would say the biggest thing you can try and do is if you are getting a space at a restaurant to not mention that it's a wedding party - just say you need a table/room for 30.

    Otherwise DIY'ing decor and selling them after was a huge save as well.

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  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    Your budget is whatever you can afford. if its only 6k stick to it! dont go over on decor and have a 10 teir cake. when you call vendors tell them what your price range is and dont go over it. cuz vendors will say say oh upgrade this or add that and sometimes you wont need that. pick and choose where you want to splurge

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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    Maybe instead of cutting stuff out start with what you need. An officiant, 2 witnesses. Next do you have to have dinner? Or will apps be fine? Is it important to you that guests do not pay for drinks? Would they care? Is a dress important or could you see yourself in a nice new dress? Pictures, do you want 500 or are you just looking for a few to look back on the day with? Could the photographer just be there for a couple of hours? Do you know someone that has a great camera and a knack for taking pictures? Maybe if you start with what you need you will find yourself more on target with a budget. Putting a few things that would make your day special to the two of you into it. A wedding doesn't necessarily have to break the bank to be incredible.
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  • Amanda
    Devoted July 2020 Ontario
    Amanda ·
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    We are having a small wedding as well; 29 counting us I believe Smiley smile


    We aren't having a reception; that seemed to be the most expensive part with most places wanting several thousand just to rent the space (and then having to rent chairs, linens, etc on top of that plus a DJ or band). We are doing a dinner at a restaurant we like instead that has a cute outdoor patio so as long as the weather cooperates we will be outside Smiley smile (fingers crossed!). This will probably be our biggest expensive and are expecting it to cost ****
    From there there were a lot of things that didn't make sense for us to spend money on, or we just plain didn't care about. We're not getting transportation, we are just going to clean our car up and maybe get a just married sign to put on it; nothing too flashy. Not having transportation saved us at least 500-1000.
    We are having a small cake; a six inch cutting cake and two quarter sheet cakes to feed everyone. This saved us at least $100 by doing it this way rather than having a tiered cake.
    We are not doing wedding favours or centre pieces. It's not something our guests will care about. I have a friend hopefully doing my make up but I will pay someone to do my hair because I want to wear it down and we are getting married in the summer and I don't want to risk my hair becoming frizzy from the humidity.
    I ordered my flowers online from a site called florals for less. I'm going to (hopefully lol) make my own bouquet from faux flowers. I wanted to be able to keep it forever.
    We talked about the things that we didnt want to do without for our wedding and the main one was a photographer. We have a friend who is a photographer who is giving us a great price. We agreed that we would much rather put all the money we saved by not doing things like a reception, fancy transportation, etc to our honeymoon or an additional trip so that is what we are going to do. We feel we will enjoy a trip much more than a fancy limo Smiley smile
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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    Don't be afraid of a smaller budget, anything is possible of you've got the time and energy to save yourself a bit of cash.
    We skipped dinner! That's $35-100+ per guest.
    Having a Friday evening wedding helped make that easier. We will have cake, and apps as a late night snack. We're also doing a cash bar (every article online says it's tacky but its more common in my area than having an open bar) we might do a round on us for toasts.
    We decided what we could/would spend the most on (photos and my dress) and where we could cut back (food, and favors).
    Our guest list is also small (75ish) and that helps keep costs down for sure.
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  • Erika
    Beginner July 2020 Alberta
    Erika ·
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    Umm we kinda failed at this since our small 30 people wedding somehow ended up with about 70.


    If we had kept the 30 guests though, we would've probably only spend about $12k with our wedding package which included venue, some simple decor, cake, and wine. The only catch is that the reception would've been in a restaurant or a small event space in a hotel. And there wouldn't have been a dj playing.
    Tips to keep the budget low? Skip the dj, videographer, fresh flowers, drive yourselves, have a cash bar instead of a full host bar, do your own makeup or have a friend do it, etc. But this all depends on what's important to you as a couple. Another thing you can do is to have a backyard wedding. There are plenty of ways to save money. In the end, all that's important is you guys are getting married. Everything else is just cherry on top. Smiley winking
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  • M
    Expert September 2019 Ontario
    Meaghan ·
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    I think you've already done the most important part of keeping costs down, which is limiting the guest list.
    We had a smaller wedding than you (9 people including us!) and, not including jewellery or attire, we spent $2500. That included photography, officiant, park permit (for the ceremony), limo, florist, musician for the ceremony, and 4 course meal at a restaurant for the 9 of us. My dress was bought online very inexpensively. My husband did splurge on a custom suit (and this is why I don't usually include our attire in my budget!), but obviously that can be rented or purchased for much less than we paid.

    I think it's important to decide what your priorities are and, likewise, what you are not going to prioritize. For example, I only wanted a few nice pictures so I got a photographer for an hour. I didn't want to spend huge money there so I didn't. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on a dress, so I didn't splurge and bought my dress online for a couple hundred. The food, flowers, and musician were really important to me so I prioritized those items when I was spending money.
    I think most things in a wedding can be done relatively inexpensively. It's just determining what will not matter as much and is therefore a place to save, and what really matters and is therefore a place to splurge.
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