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    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #1

    Aug 31, 2009, 02:14 PM
    My Friend Is Having A Wedding On A Tight Budget
    She wants me to help plan her wedding for the spring 2010 and said that she only wants to spend $1,000 for the wedding and reception. They already have the rings, wedding cake is being done for free, location of the ceremony is free too. But, can you give me any ideas about how to plan a wedding on a tight budget such as reception, food, flowers, etc? They have about 50 people so far who will be attending.
    hheath541's Avatar
    hheath541 Posts: 2,762, Reputation: 584
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    #2

    Aug 31, 2009, 02:25 PM

    My sister recruited family members to make the food for the reception. The only flowers were the ones carried by the bridal party, and I think a couple other small arrangements. The decorations for the reception were simple; plastic tablecloths with a simple paper center piece. A friend of the family agreed to dj for cheap.

    If you need a place to hold the reception, then I would suggest someone's yard or a park, or even the same venue as the reception. It'll be hard to find a rec hall or anything you can rent for $1000, without even considering other expenses.
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #3

    Aug 31, 2009, 03:41 PM
    Thanks Hheath. What kind of food did they have at the reception and what did the paper center pieces look? I am considering a park would be nice for the spring, but I worry of the possibility of it raining.
    hheath541's Avatar
    hheath541 Posts: 2,762, Reputation: 584
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    #4

    Aug 31, 2009, 03:52 PM

    It's been about 10 years, so I don't remember what all food was there. I do know there was bbq chicken, potatoes, baked beans, bread, and I think there were a couple casserole-type dishes.

    The center pieces were just those simple paper things that you unfold and them become a round decoration. Her's were purple bells.

    If you're worried about rain then make sure the park has shelter houses. You could also rent one or two of those tent roofing things. I want to call them awning, but I don't think it's the right word.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,254, Reputation: 5642
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    #5

    Aug 31, 2009, 04:04 PM
    I had a pig roast... Caterers only cost about 300... Flowers bought at a nursery (petunias) and placed in home made crafted vases... still in the soil (took home to plant in my front yard for the rest of the summer).
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #6

    Aug 31, 2009, 04:20 PM
    That's pretty cool J_9 growing with your own flowers. Hheath that sounds like a lot of good tasty food. Maybe I should plan a potluck then and just create the menu of what people should bring. My friends initially opted for just the appetizers, but I think potluck will be better as people are able to eat a good meal and it will cost much less.

    ... so I will have to brush up on my craft-making skills. Though I am also an artist, I am by no means a good craft-maker. But, this will come in handy with creativity.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,254, Reputation: 5642
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    #7

    Aug 31, 2009, 04:23 PM
    My wedding cost about 800, including the catering and the booze.
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #8

    Aug 31, 2009, 04:35 PM
    J_9 spending $800 for a wedding is a success. I don't drink alcohol or eat pork, but I don't know if my friend wants these as she completely put it in my hands to plan. What did you do about bridesmaid' gowns, wedding dress, etc?
    hheath541's Avatar
    hheath541 Posts: 2,762, Reputation: 584
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    #9

    Aug 31, 2009, 04:38 PM

    My sister went to deb's when they had formal dresses on sale after homecoming or prom and got her dress for $3.
    Jane75's Avatar
    Jane75 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Sep 19, 2009, 08:38 PM

    If you want to do wedding favors, I think just about the cheapest kind you can do is a small amount of candy in a small cello bag. Cello bags are cheap -- like the ones here: Cellophane Favor Bags - 4in. wide x 6in. long, Candy Bags, cellophane food bag, cello bag, wedding favor bag
    artlady's Avatar
    artlady Posts: 4,208, Reputation: 1477
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    #11

    Sep 19, 2009, 08:50 PM

    Find all your crafty friends and put them to the task. Go to a craft store and pick their brain,they will be so helpful.

    Weddings invitations you can get patterns for on line.

    Get your DJ soon,as the good ones are usually booked.My son is a DJ and he has told me many times ,they will work with you on how much they interact and bring the price down.Be ready to bargain with your DJ.
    artlady's Avatar
    artlady Posts: 4,208, Reputation: 1477
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    #12

    Sep 19, 2009, 08:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Girl View Post
    Thanks Hheath. What kind of food did they have at the reception and what did the paper center pieces look? I am considering a park would be nice for the spring, but I worry of the possibility of it raining.
    VFW halls often rend out their space quite cheaply and they usually have a kitchen you can use as well.
    Look on craigs list for cheap halls to rent out.
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
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    #13

    Sep 20, 2009, 12:09 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Girl View Post
    J_9 spending $800 for a wedding is a success. I don't drink alcohol or eat pork, but I don't know if my friend wants these as she completely put it in my hands to plan. What did you do about bridesmaid' gowns, wedding dress, etc?
    I don't know how cheap you are willing to go with the wedding (or your friend for that matter)
    But you can pick up some beautiful cheap dresses from second hand stores...

    Whenever I go into the second hand store near me there are always dozens of wedding dresses and formal evening dresses.
    Now I know there is the issue of them being used but you can just use the dress as a base.
    They can easily be added onto with some lace or beading to make it her own style very cheap!
    Even (I hope this doesn't offend) hideous 80's dresses with puffy sleeves can have the sleeves removed and altered to look amazing.

    For the catering hheath and J_9's suggestions were great.
    You can just do cheap things like potato or pasta salads or buy roast chickens in bulk and pre-cook them.

    You can hire a bain marie to keep the food warm at the reception relatively cheap so you can re-heat the chicken or any other meats and keep them warm.

    Decorations can be fun..
    A friend of mine did a fairly low budget wedding and opten for balloons instead of flowers (I wish I had photos)
    She had red and white as her theme and blew the balloons up to different sizes using helium and arranged them rising from the center of each table on ribbons.

    Keep an eye out at craft stores for discount ribbon in your chosen theme color...
    It comes in very handy for decorating, you can create curled ribbons the hang from the bunches of baloons, or use a LOT or curled ribbon in different shades to create interesting center pieces.
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #14

    Sep 20, 2009, 02:43 PM
    Thanks everyone. I believe the craft stores and second hand stores will become my new best friends, I have been checking their items there and srted writing out a list of what I will need, I have also been sketching out some ideas for the reception and bride. I may try even looking at the flea market.

    Thanks Jane75 for the links, I agree. I think candy will be the best route, plus they won't be wasted. I was thinking of chocolate, like the hersheys kisses and have a feww wrapped somehow.

    Artlady I'll also contact the VFW halls, I never thought of that. Craigslist does wonders, I was considerng later posting an add for what services and venue I need for the wedding in exchange I could offer to do some graphic and web design services free of charge they may need in return.

    Shazamataz I like the idea of used dresses. My friend even said she wants a pretty white dress or gown, something she can wear again, great for bridesmaids gowns as well. Only concern my friend wears a plus size and it has been really hard finding a dress in her size without paying a lot for it. Potluck I like more than having h'orderves, so I'll have to ask her to see if she would like to do a potluck as I think the guests may like like more? True, Michaels is always having sales on ribbon and ballons can also add beauty and fun to a room and I could pick them up from a dollar store.
    plonak's Avatar
    plonak Posts: 742, Reputation: 117
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    #15

    Sep 20, 2009, 02:55 PM

    Definitely make sure you feed everyone, you don't want people to feel cheated when they go out of their way to bring a nice gift. And you also don't want a lot of hungry and cranky guests on your hands.. I've been a cranky hungry guest at a wedding and it's not fun.

    Broach the topic of a potluck to the bride.. she might like it.. it's a cheap way to feed a lot of people.
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #16

    Sep 20, 2009, 03:02 PM
    I agree Plonak. I really love the idea of a potluck so it can feed everyone. For me, part of the reason for me going to a wedding is for the food and cake. So, yeah I will bring it to her attention again as people will be more happy with this. I wouldn't mind also help cooking some things for the guests too. Thanks.
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
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    #17

    Sep 20, 2009, 03:26 PM

    A lot of people just donate their old dresses if they are plus sized.
    Without sounding mean, they are harder to re-sell than a smaller size dress.

    If you cannot find one then it would only cost a hundred dollars or so to have a smaller one taken out professionally by putting panels into the sides of the dress.
    Hard to describe but this image might help a little...
    http://www.bridalwave.tv/Tsarina7Jan.JPG
    You can see on each side of her waist there are black panels, you can either make them contrasting like that one is, or the same color, even accentuate the feature with beading.

    Might sound like too much hard work but it's a back-up plan anyway :)
    Golden_Girl's Avatar
    Golden_Girl Posts: 1,930, Reputation: 60
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    #18

    Sep 20, 2009, 07:54 PM
    Thanks Shazmataz. I agree, it has been challenging for me to find a nice affordable one in her size. I plan to take her out this week to search, but I thought of calling around first. The dress on the link you posted is very beautiful. So, I'll keep you posted. Thanks
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
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    #19

    Sep 21, 2009, 12:54 AM

    Good luck, I hope she finds the dress she is looking for!
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,254, Reputation: 5642
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    #20

    Sep 21, 2009, 06:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Girl View Post
    What did you do about bridesmaid' gowns, wedding dress, etc?
    Traditionally the bridesmaids buy their own dresses. SOOOO, I chose my colors and we went shopping to find a suitable dress within the price range of the bridesmaids.

    As far as my dress, it was borrowed from a very near and dear friend of mine. I couldn't have been more proud to wear her dress. I would have worn my mother's dress, but it was so old it basically fell apart when we took it out of the packaging, so instead I made my veil with my mother's tiara.

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