A Community for Brides Planning their Wedding in Australia

 
2bwed
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HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:45 pm

Much of this is guesstimation based on a lot of research, but I severely need help to cut down on the budget. Our original budget was $5000, which has exploded to $7500. We can afford $7500, but it's basically ALL of our savings over the next 18 months. I would rather keep it below $5000 so that we can afford a baby (which we're going to start trying for in January).

Guest List: 65 Adults, 15 Children

Invites + all other stationary stuff: $500

Grooms suit + shoes: $500

My dress + accessories + shoes: $800

Bridesmaid + Groomsman clothing allowance (the rest they have to pay for): $100

Transporatation (Each of our cars petrol to get to the venue, nothing special): $40 (It's an hour round trip).

Celebrant: $250 (My SIL)

Flowers (silk): $400

Music (CD player basically, but need to pay for a generator): $200

Site Hire: $550 (Includes tables, plates, cutlery and glasses).

Food (Antipasto platters, gourmet sausage sizzle + salads): $1200

Alcohol + other beverages: $750 ($500 for wine (guests asked to BYO beer and spirits), $250 for water, homemade lemonade and virgin sangria + Beverage dispensers x 2 (@$22 each)).

Dessert table + our wedding cake + cake topper: $300 (This is important to us, we'll probably make it all ourselves too. Cake topper is $80 for a pirate one)

Set up staff: 5 hours @$50/hour = $250

Staff on the day: 6 hours @$30/hour = $180

Cold Room Hire: $135

Game Hire: $350 + $150 Bond

Decorations (Material for table-cloths & something for centrepeices): $150

Chair hire: $370

Photography: $700

GRAND TOTAL: $7725 + $150 Bond

I know we have the option of cutting down the guest list but if we did this, we couldn't invited certain people because other people would be offended and so on. So the grand total of the guest list then would be 16 adults and 7 children. It's very important to me to have a bigger wedding - my last wedding we eloped and I didn't get to have any of my family or friends there and I always regretted it. Has anyone catered their own wedding and know how much it costs? I'm starting to think we shouldn't pick such an expensive venue even though we both love it so much...

HELP :(
 
melyz86
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:08 pm

Try vistaprint for invites. You should be able to get them for much cheaper than that there. Especially if you sign up to their emails and receive vouchers.

Also I recently had a wedding on a budget and bought my flowers from http://www.artificialweddingbouquets.com.au/. I ended up buying my bouquet, a wrist corsage, two button holes, cake flowers and including postage it came to around $140 and Karen was lovely to deal with.

The other thing was I ended up paying $300 for my photographer. I actually found him on ebay, didn't meet him prior and he was great. A few weeks later he sent all images edited on disc and I am very happy with the end result. I'm not sure where you are located but this is in Melbourne so if you want his details let me know and I can PM you.
 
gdemon
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:42 pm

From our own personal experience, the things that leaped out at me are:

- Stationery: you can spend much less than that, e.g. vistaprint. Skip all the frills: RSVP cards, place cards, table numbers and thank you tags etc., or DIY with a home printer. We paid $200 for 50 invitations (DH insisted on 'nice' ones) and I still think we could have done without it. I spent about $80 on quality cardstock to DIY our other stationery and it would've been easier and cheaper to use thinner paper (the thick card caused a lot of printer jams).

- Groom's outfit: can you hit up the sales for Boxing day / in january and get things on discount? Man-to-Man does great sales and I've seen suits going for under $200. Can you compromise on quality, e.g. polycotton blends and wool blends? Honestly we find that the blends are so much easier to take care of and wash, as well as being cheaper. Can your FH wear black shoes he already owns?

- Bride's outfit: same goes, do you have shoes and accessories you can wear instead of buying new? (I wore old shoes and earrings)

- Bridesmaid/Groomsman outfit: do they own outfits that they can wear instead of buying new? 3 of 4 of our party wore their own suits/dresses, only one bridesmaid chose to buy a new dress.

- Can you borrow a generator from a friend / family? (DH's country friends all seem to have spare generators lying around.)

As Agape mentioned you could try asking friends to do the set-up instead of hiring staff, but I'm not sure about cutting back on serving staff. There're recommended ratios of 1 server : X guests for sit down dinner or 1 server : X guests for buffet, depending on how formal the meal is. You could look that up online and make sure you're not hiring excessive staff, but any less than the recommended minimums and you could end up with hungry guests waiting for food while everyone else is eating.

Good luck, your wedding sounds fun :)
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Thanks guys so much!! I didn't realise that the stationary especially could be so inexpensive! I was planning on making my own mostly with scrapbooking, but I have NFI where to get nice quality paper from... I've even been looking at downloading scrapbooking e-packages, but I can't find any nice/free ones.

Just a few things I want to clarify as well:

FH has flat feet and owns no shoes that are suitable - he owns three pairs of shoes: a black pair of joggers that were specially made for him that he wears to work and nice occassions, an old pair of joggers that he uses around the yard, and a pair of sandles that he wears when it's hot. He can wear any pair of shoes that don't have the arches built into them... we were thinking about getting him a pair of yellow converse (my favourite colour) to wear with his suit. I want to wear yellow wedges under my dress too (Actually found some at Target for $40 that I want to put on laybuy now!!). So in terms of his shoes, they're going to be a bit on the expensive side :( As for his suit, I was HOPING that we could make a trip to Bendigo on the boxing day sales and get him a suit definitely. Do man-to-man have 3XLs? FH always has problems because he's kind of in between the maximum of a regular size (2XL) and the 'plus sizes' (3XL). Tres frustrating...

I personally wouldn't trust my MOH and FH's BM to wear nice (or appropriate) clothing to our wedding. My MOH went to a wedding recently in what she defined as 'classy'... I thought she looked like a bogan slut. She wore a (nice enough) maxi dress with WAY too much boob showing (and no bra), wearing thongs (and I'm talking just regular black, Target Essentials thongs). FH's BM looked nice enough... but we'll have to get him at least a yellow tie, maybe a vest and some yellow volleys or converse or something. FH doesn't want to wear a full suit to the wedding, just a vest, no tie, a white shirt, and black pinstripe pants - but he still wants to buy a full suit. Maybe I could find one on eBay... hrm...

The silk flowers that I found are already from eBay in the colours that I like, with a custom package including all the ceremony and reception flowers for $400 (I dunno... I thought it was a bargain personally). Definitely love that website melyz! BTW - WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT PHOTOGRAPHER!!!???? I WANT HIM!! Lol. The photographer we got is the cheapest around, and also a family friend - she's an artist and her shots are amazing... that 'package' is already a reduced price, for 3 hours, and no prints, just the edited pics on a USB.

We're also thinking that we might be able to run an extension cord down from the main shed at the winery and use a power board for the CD Player and whatever else needs power.

The set up staff are unfortunately a cost that comes with the venue... we can't set up/pack up without a staff member being there (I guessed for insurance reasons), and the 'serving staff' is only for alcohol and is 1 person already.

I've actually already got my accessories - my earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. Just need a veil, some underwear and a dress. I'm really uncertain about buying a dress off of ebay from a chinese seller that I don't know :( Does anyone know of any good ones? For my first wedding I got a recommendation from a friend to buy from JaysBridal (an american online wedding dress shop). I tried looking at the site the other day and it's closed down :( Pity coz she got her dress for $300USD. I've also thought about getting my dress made by myself and my FMIL and just buying the material... but I have no idea what I want in terms of a dress, and need desperately to go try on some styles. I usually wear maxi dresses from bali and thailand that are empire lined. I'm an hourglass figure but a size 22 - 24.... I thought it might be appropriate for me to just wear a simple white maxi dress with my yellow wedges and a really long veil...

I was trying to save money too buy doing my own makeup and hair on the day, and over the next year or so buying high quality make-up products and practising, and maybe going to a $25 class that we have up here to teach you how to do your makeup.

Finally, Game Hire is yard games - giant chess, Bocci, giant pick up sticks, and horse shoe throwing. FH really has his heart set on this part of the wedding. I've looked at buying instead of hiring - SOOOO much more expensive... (the giant chess set is like $3000!!!!).

I'm also open to changing the type of wedding (such as having just an afternoon tea party and then an after party that night for supper).... or pushing the wedding back (I've thought about changing the date to 2016 on our 4 year anniversary lol).
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:45 pm

Invites + all other stationary stuff: $200

Grooms suit + shoes: $300

My dress + accessories + shoes: $550


Bridesmaid + Groomsman clothing allowance (the rest they have to pay for): $100

Transporatation (Each of our cars petrol to get to the venue, nothing special): $40 (It's an hour round trip).

Celebrant: $250 (My SIL)

Flowers (silk): $400

Music (CD player basically, but need to pay for a generator): $200

Site Hire: $550 (Includes tables, plates, cutlery and glasses).

Food (Antipasto platters, gourmet sausage sizzle + salads): $600

Alcohol + other beverages: $550 ($400 for wine (guests asked to BYO beer and spirits), $150 for water, homemade lemonade and virgin sangria + Beverage dispensers x 2 (@$22 each)).

Dessert table + our wedding cake + cake topper: $250 (This is important to us, we'll probably make it all ourselves too. Cake topper is $80 for a pirate one)

Set up staff: 5 hours @$50/hour = $250

Staff on the day: 6 hours @$30/hour = $180

Cold Room Hire: $135

Game Hire: $350 + $150 Bond

Decorations (Material for table-cloths & something for centrepeices): $75

Chair hire: $245


Photography: $700

GRAND TOTAL: $5925 + $150 Bond

Went through with FH and cut down the guest list to 32 adults and 8 children :( I guess something had to give... we're also thinking of pushing back the date to August 2014.
 
seaweed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:26 am

You could also have your wedding cake as dessert. Served with cream and raspberry coulis it is fantastic. That would be a further saving.
 
melyz86
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:53 am

I'll send you a PM with all the details. :)
 
KateM
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:03 pm

Have you considered a second hand dress?
 
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StephMT
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:22 pm

I think you need more staff. 1 person to serve 65 people is not enough.

Game hire? buy a couple of bocce sets yourself
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:04 pm

Steph - already got a bocce set, but as I said, FH wants a giant chess set (and will not compromise on the size), which by itself to hire is $240. I told him we weren't getting it, we'll get a smaller set, but I will get him the bigger set as a surprise (and his wedding gift from me). I also decided that we will only hire 2 games, so the total for this has come down to $277 + $150 bond. We'll also be giving out card sets in the picnic baskets, because his family and my family love to play card games :)

KateM - yeah, I've considered a second hand dress... if I can find one around here that I could try on first that would be lovely though. I live in a tiny little town 4 and a half hours north west of Melbourne... I was going to travel to Melbourne for a few days to look at some second hand dresses, but the cost of doing that ends up being more expensive than if I just buy one brand new from Bendigo or Mildura (both a 2 hour drive away).

Seaweed - we're having a dessert buffet. That's another thing that's very important to FH and myself. We're going to make it all ourselves (because we both love to bake).

I also figured out that if we don't go with the winery and we just have the reception in someones backyard (which will make us both sad, but anyway), it will save us $1206, bringing our budget down to $4719 (that's adding on $154 for tables and chairs as well for the backyard reception).

*sigh*
 
gdemon
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:52 pm

Agree with Lawwa. Also, if it's important for you to have the original 65 guests, think hard before compromising on that... don't do something you may regret afterward...

This'll be different for everyone, but in hindsight, I'd have not bothered to have flowers or table decorations at all and saved a few hundred that way. Honestly the bouquets just kept getting in the way, and they appeared in very few photos. The table decorations were also pretty pointless, if I say so myself, and I made them myself! Other things that didn't matter in the end were: jewellery (mum got me some as a gift, else I'd just have worn what I owned), make up and hair styling, DH's dinner suit. We also weren't going to have professional photography at first, as we thought that spending the money on creating the memories took priority over spending the money to record those memories. (Although in the end we did have a professional photographer who gave us a very, very good deal, I've no regrets about that.)

So maybe have a think and rank your priorities in order of most important to least important - e.g. would you rather have photography, or an extra X number of guests? Would you rather have nice wedding stationery, or wedding flowers? Then figure out from there what you are willing to axe from the list without causing yourself regrets down the road.

(PS: I regretted not spending more money on nicer wedding rings, but in the end this one is really easy to fix once we are financially better off!!)
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:17 pm

At the end of the day the thing that is most important to me is that I'm married to the man of my dreams. FH has suggested that we just have a basic park ceremony and a picnic/bbq afterwards where everyone BYOs meat and alcohol. We've already got our wedding rings (and we both love them). The number of guests is important to me, yes, but so is having the people that I love there - and the cut down of the guest list will still mean that my immediate family and FHs immediate family and our closest friends will be there. Although this is my second marriage, it is technically my first wedding! ExH and I eloped last time and had a 'reception' afterwards. Things that I wished I had have had last time were: friends and family around us, lots of fun, and had the day all together (as in the ceremony and the reception on the same day). Things that I got to miss out on were things like flowers, invitations, wearing a nice dress that I loved, having a bridal party, and a fun reception. So those things are also important to me on some level. Because this is FHs first marriage it's important to him that everyone has a lot of fun (without alcohol) at the reception. He also really wants a dessert buffet, and he wants it to be special enough and beautiful enough that we don't have to have a 'do-over' (this is an issue at the moment because my bestie is on her hubby's case to have a vow renewal because she felt she got gipped).
 
flowerpower82
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:49 pm

Have you already bought the flowers? You can get them way cheaper i think! My fresh ones (usually more expensive than silk? maybe? hmm not sure on that) cost $320 for bouquets and centrepieces. Though if you aren't close to Sydney flower markets then its not really an option for you... :/

Hmm. Would your SIL give you her services as her present for the wedding?

Tricky one :/ If you put the wedding off will you still start trying for kids when you planned, or put that off too? Maybe get married and have the wedding you want, and put off children for a little longer? And you know what, grandparents go all goo-goo over their grand kids, so your parents may offer to pay for baby stuff when he/she comes along!
 
flowerpower82
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:54 pm

your FH's suggestion sounds great. It sounds really fun actually!
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:32 pm

Flower - I saw your flowers - they were amazing!! Unfortunately fresh flowers, while they'd be nice, are expensive here. FH went to price a bunch of yellow roses for me (my favourite flower), and the florist tried to charge him $300!! There is the option that my FMIL said she'd like to pay for the flowers because she has a friend who is amazing at doing centrepieces and stuff (she's a retired award winning floral artist). But I think I would feel bad... I dunno. I would rather look at silk flowers and pay myself personally. The total cost of 8 centrepieces + all bouquets, boutonierres and corsages + postage is $353.
 
flowerpower82
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:12 pm

Oh don't feel bad, family WANT to be involved. Some more so than others, but generally they feel proud at the end of the day that they helped your dream come true. You might find they're even disappointed if they can't help you somehow. Where do you live? I wonder how much it costs to post flowers? :P Although a good thing is that you can keep a silk bouquet.
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:17 pm

flowerpower82 wrote:
Oh don't feel bad, family WANT to be involved. Some more so than others, but generally they feel proud at the end of the day that they helped your dream come true. You might find they're even disappointed if they can't help you somehow. Where do you live? I wonder how much it costs to post flowers? :P Although a good thing is that you can keep a silk bouquet.


I live in this tiny little town called Swan Hill lol... it's 4 and a half hours from Melbourne...
 
2bwed
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:21 am

Ok, I figured out a way we can have EVERYTHING. Lol... actually was inspired by my rant in another thread, but anyway.

Firstly - Invite the 80 people. FMIL reckons only 2/3 will show up - that's 50ish people. Even if they all show up, we will ask not immediate family/not-so-close friends (so basically, most out of town guests) to contribute $10 per head (they can write a cheque, money order, or put it into our bank) and choose if they want lamb, chicken, beef or vegetarian/vegan/gluten free food. That will be for gourmet sausages/skewers, antipasto platters, wine, desserts and soft drinks/water. It actually costs us $35 per head when we really look at it, but the $10 will be enough to cover mains (the sausages/skewers, salads, dressings, breads). The desserts and the antipasto don't have to cost much, especially because we're making it ourselves.

It's either that, or cut out the mains altogether and just have an afternoon tea lawn party - both saving about $200 - $400.

Secondly - no professional photographer. Saving $700ish.

Finally - if the winery doesn't need us to have staff there on the Friday to set up and only on the Sunday to pack up, and don't need a staff member because it'll be during the day on the Saturday, that will save us about $300.

Savings? Priceless :) LOL no really, between $900 - $1400. If we cut the professional photographer, and can get rid of the staffing thing, that's $1000 savings, which is all we really need to save :) I'm also looking at making my own dress, or getting my MOH and FMIL to make it for me and just buying very nice material. That will hopefully save a bit of cash too!! FH also just wants a kind of vintage afternoon tea/lawn party thing, so I'm looking at having a white cotton 70's boho peasant maxi dress, and he was thinking of just wearing a yellow button up shirt (not a t-shirt) and black jeans.

:) Happy!
 
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mrcm1166
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:53 am

everything sounds good, we are having a very small wedding, its coming in under $2000, we had alot of stuff already (suits etc) so alot of that was covered, photos are being done by my niece (whos a photographer) and once the important ones of me and FH and family are done, FH can have his camera to go snap happy (hes a photographer as well lol). flower I got cheap from ebay, no decorations, lunch time meal, guests buying their own alcoholic drinks (we are supplying cool drinks and juice).
my dress I am getting from etsy, good price that I couldnt possibly get from anywhere in shops.
the most expensive thing for us is the cost of the lunch but even that is coming in fairly cheap.

good luck in saving, its certainly hard when there isnt alot to throw around to start with :)
 
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StephMT
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Re: HELP!! Need to severely cut down our budget!!

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:40 am

I have the ezibuy catalogue in front of me and they have giant chess set for ony $80! You could save yourself some $$ and get that and sell it after. There is also giant "Jenga"
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