$4,000 Wedding For 245 Guests

by admin on November 11, 2012

We don’t mind sending you off to other web sites if the information helps you plan.   Check out the details of a $4,000.00 for 245 guests here.    The only caveat I would give is in regards to acquiring the cakes and pies for the dessert reception.  “Honoring” the women of the family by having them bake in order to display their culinary skills is somewhat disingenuous.    Wedding guests would be more honored to simply be a guest rather than a caterer.   It’s one thing if people, regardless of their gender, offered of their own initiative to bring a dessert but one must be careful not to go recruiting guests into taking on the duties of a wedding caterer or baker.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherry November 12, 2012 at 3:20 am

If someone tried to claim they wanted to “honour” my family by having us bake for them, we’d laugh them out of the house. Because believe me, they’d be leaving pretty quickly, one way or another.

Another thing is that this plan is incredibly sexist – in my house my Dad is the incredible baker. His cakes and desserts are amazing.


Mer November 12, 2012 at 5:17 am

Cakes/desserts from the family ladies was not the only part that caught my eyes. There were also several other pointers that can basically be summarized as “they will be saving the money by making somebody else pay it”. From the crazy amount of gardening to bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen suits (groomsmen pay for their own, groom gets his free because of this).

However, some of the tips were good.


Mary November 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

Every wedding that hubby and I have been in, the bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for their own attire (or rental) so I don’t really have a problem with that part of it.


Mer November 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

I know it’s quite common for bridesmaids and groomsmen pay their own attire. That is not actually the thing I have problem with but the fact that now basically groomsmen are also paying the grooms attire. Yes, I know that he got it free because groomsmen are renting theirs from the same company but you can bet that companies do not generally really give things for free. The price from groomsmen’s clothing will cover the price for groom’s. This combined with the attitude of announcing the “freeness” it’s probably what irked me. It’s not really free when somebody else is paying for it.


Erin November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I agree it is tacky the way the rentals have the groomsmen “pay” for the groom’s tux. i personally would just split the bill evenly with everyone, so everyone is getting the 20% discount or whatever it is. my husband paid full price for his and his parents paid full price for his brother’s and they split the rest of the tuxes evenly between the rest of the groomsmen (many were just out of college, and money was tight) so the other 3 could have an additional discount.


LadyR December 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

When we got married, I had a coupon for the groomsmen. My husband was also going to split the free tux 7 ways, so everyone got a discount, but we couldn’t do both and the other deal (that I paid $15 bridal show admission to get) saved them quite a bit more money than splitting the tux would have, so my husband did get his free and everyone else got a significant savings.

My MIL also baked cookies for our sweets table at her instance, in many Eastern European families its tradition to do do.

Bint November 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

Interesting ideas but agreed with Admin – presenting asking someone to cook for your wedding as an honour when they are saving you a ton of money is less disingenuous than just a brass neck. They’re doing you a big favour and you’d do well to remember that. The honouring the *women* bit I might just pass over (hello, 1955!). I was more surprised at the bizarre spelling of hors d’oeuvres.


Angela February 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

They couldn’t afford the “H”.


Mer November 12, 2012 at 6:43 am

Sorry about my quick second post, but I’d like to clarify something I said, basically about the groomsmen’s clothing. I found this very rude because groom’s near and dear are paying to attend the wedding and groom is benefiting from their money spent by getting his attire for free. I would think that proper thing to do in cases like this is to divide the benefit, so that all of them would get their rental bit cheaper rather than other (especially someone who is asked for an honorary position) paying all when someone gets everything free. Basically now groomsmen are paying groom’s clothing in their prices (it’s company, not charity) when I think that if somebody should be paying someones attire, it’s the groom who should pay his attendants.


Kate November 13, 2012 at 3:58 am

My fiance and I are not paying for groomsmen’s attire, but we are also not asking them to buy or rent a specific suit. They both have their own suits that are appropriate so if they want to rent one, it’s their choice, but we’re not making them do it.
As for the bridesmaids, I bought one dress and my parents are paying for my sister’s dress.


Libby November 12, 2012 at 8:33 am

This is horrendous. I can’t believe this person is bragging about how much she can take advantage of others. The worst is the sweet old man who is moving into his lake house so he can prepare the grounds for the wedding. Evidently he will also be hosting the bride and groom’s guests for up to a week before the ceremony. (Ten bedrooms full!!???) I notice the bride didn’t include food for all those guests for the week as well as things like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, the cost of utilities, not to mention all the daily cooking and cleaning that will need to be done. And I’ll bet dear bride and groom won’t be around to help clean up afterwards either, being as how they probably need to head out to their FREE honeymoon which they conned some other gullible person into paying for as well.


Mer November 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

Libby: Oh my, I missed the hosting the guests. Though I think the page does not actually state that guests will be staying there for free. It might be that the guests will pay for their living.


Roslyn November 12, 2012 at 9:09 am

I can’t stop laughing!! I want to move to la-la land where 600 mini cupcakes can be MADE and decorated with different colored frostings and flavors from just $20.

OMG……..can’t stop laughing………

……….rolling on the floor…………..



Tanya November 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

Well, discounting the cost of labor, let’s say a box of cake mix costs $1 (sale price at my local store is 10 for $10). I know that I’ve made batches of 60 mini cupcakes from a single box of cake mix. So you buy 10 boxes of cake mix, that means you’ll need 30 eggs (3 dozen, say $3/dozen at most), about 40 oz. of vegetable oil, that’s one of those big bottles (can’t cost more than $7). So you’ve just spent about $20 on just the cupcakes. You’d want to make the frosting yourself to save money, but if you skimped on ingredients and used shortening instead of butter, you could probably make a giant batch for about $20, depending on where you got your powdered sugar.

So yeah, $20 is probably underestimating the cost, but you could do it for $40 easily, especially if you have access to a Sam’s Club or Costco to buy things in bulk.


Tanya November 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

Eek, I meant you spent about $25 on cupcakes, not $20. So $45 total for the batch (assuming you don’t buy mini cupcake liners, which will cost another $10 or so).

But I would never dream of asking someone to bake 600 cupcakes for free…


clairedelune November 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

Also, by the way–I doubt that photo they’ve pinned at the top is just some big random field. It’s likely an actual wedding venue that charges a substantial fee for the labor and equipment involved in maintaining a rural road in drivable condition, building and maintaining a parking lot for the cars of all those guests, keeping the field clear and mown and drained, setting up and taking down chairs, providing restroom facilities, setting up that stand of birches as an altar, etc., etc.


Angel November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

I agree with Libby. While there are a few good DIY tips, the basic theme of the article is how to take advantage of others and have the cheapest wedding possible with the most guests. There is no way I would ask my guests to bake, cook, or bring anything other than themselves to my wedding. I have heard of successful dessert receptions, but usually they do not involve out of town guests! For out of town guests who are traveling the least you can do is give them a full meal. I think this article is outrageous and no way would I recommend doing this!


GroceryGirl November 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

Wow, I agree with all the other posters that this couple is really taking advantage of those around them. Save money by having someone else pay! A few good tips but overall it just seems like a gimme wedding.


Mary November 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

I do agree that they should be paying for a meal for the out of town guests, at least before the wedding and that should be factored into the costs. If all of those people are staying at the house, they need to be fed.

Although I don’t agree that the women of the family should be “honored” by making a dessert, I think there are ways to work around it. One of my best college friends got married and asked me if I would make a few pans of my famous chocolate peanut butter bars and do it instead of giving a gift. I am a stickler for etiquette and I had not issue with this at all. But I have a feeling this bride expected it on top of these ladies also giving a gift.

I also didn’t see attendants gifts (maybe I missed it) or someone to actually officiate the wedding. I would also love to know who is responsible for the clean up of the site.


Catherine November 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

This wedding apparently has taken place after the the author wrote this. I wonder if she did an update as to how the wedding went. It seems she is relying too much on the efforts of others to do this wedding.
Also, there is no way in heck a septic system can handle 245 people in one day. or bake 600 cupcakes.


Cat November 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

I have no problem with inexpensive weddings. Like most of the those posting, I don’t care for asking guests to provide you with free food to serve your guests.
I too hope the gentleman whose house it is will be compensated for the use of his home and grounds. I would not expect or ask him to do gardening for my wedding. I would hire a lawn service to do it and a clean-up crew for removing rubbish.
Food can be grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, trimmings, and potato chips but warn guests in advance for those with medical conditions regarding food and the vegans among you. Dessert-only weddings are likely to leave some folks looking for the nearest fast food restaurant.


WillyNilly November 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

This bride is assuming a lot. And while she might be able to make this work for her, I doubt its anywhere universal. Just the first assumption that everyone can find a free location – I don’t know anyone with a large yard, and in my area even parks cost money to have a wedding in. And she thinks having people arrive at 6:30 means everyone will have eaten dinner? That’s not a safe assumption – plenty of people consider 6:30 ceremony and 7:00 pm reception to be prime dinner time. Also she assumes her churches will give her the cotton candy machine for free instead of the usual $35 rental fee – why would they do that? (In my area a cotton candy machine costs $125 to rent) And lets not forget one still has to buy the sugar. And pay for the electric (or at least have an industrial power cord) plus cotton candy is messy (those sugar threads get stuck in your arm hair and in your eyebrows and your fingers get sticky, etc) – with guests dressed up they really should hire someone to run it. And why would the churches give her tables, chairs, platters/ trays, cupcake stands, sound equipment, lighting, etc for free? And even if they do, how will they all be transported and set up? She’s also only allocating 1 bottle of water per guest. In the summer. Outside. My BFF got married in June in upstate NY years ago and it was 98 at the peak of the day and still in the 90’s by sunset. She’s planning on putting her flowers – $7 per stem hydrangea’s – in *baskets*. Again in the summer. Baskets don’t hold water well. Her flowers will be wilted in about an hour or 3.
And who’s doing all the set up? She can’t just put a bunch of frosted desserts out int eh summer sun hours in advance, so someone will need to set up her dessert tables. The labor of tables and chairs and sound equipment (and whats that sound equipment for? Will she have a DJ or is that something she’s counting on guest labor for?). This is outside, starting at sunset – does she have a lighting plan?


Ally November 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

You make an amazing number of points. I was so caught up in the savings that i did not even stop to consider all these things. Which I am guessing is what happened to the bride.

I keep wondering why she budgeted so small and at the same time invited 245 people??? I am budgeting about 5-10K for my wedding and i only want 50 people there.

I think she reeks a little of Gimme Pig.


Katharina November 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

If I was invited to a wedding that started at 6:30 I would expect dinner since 7 o’clock is still in the realm of dinner. Depending on how far it is from where most guests are staying they are probably going to have to eat at like 4pm if they want to get the wedding on time. Even if the invitation stated that it was going to be a dessert reception I would hope that there would be something savory for guests that can’t or don’t eat so much sugar. How hard/expensive would it be to put out some cheese, crackers, veggies and dip? She could probably con one of her guests into bringing some “ordourves” by “honoring” them with their ability to put out a cheese tray.


GroceryGirl November 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

“She could probably con one of her guests into bringing some “ordourves” by “honoring” them with their ability to put out a cheese tray.”

Hilarious. I’d love to hear her make those requests. “Oh Aunt Marie, nobody makes a chocolate cake like you! How about you make 8 for my wedding guests?”


Shoegal November 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

You aren’t spending a fortune because you aren’t providing everything normally associated with a wedding & reception. I don’t call it “saving money” on bridesmaid dresses or the groommen’s clothing because the BM & GM usually absorb those costs regardless. No bar, no real food either – just some mini cupcakes and other desserts – I won’t judge them. It will probably be a lovely affair but I have to say it sounds a wee bit . . . boring. Everyone is going to stand around in field – have a plate of cake and a sip of lemonade then I would pretty much be out of there.


Enna November 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Gosh this is tackey and demarnding. I would think twice about this wedding.

I’m a Quaker and went to my firends’ Quaker wedding – they asked people to bring one dish, they didn’t expect any gifts and they wanted it simple: so you could bring something small or if you couldn’t do that no matter. As it was there was so much food we had lunch for the Sunday the day after!


Mrs. B November 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I agree that this sounds kind of mooch-y, it also sounds a tad overly optimistic. Things like flower arrangements and 600 mini cupcakes take time to do and there is a limit to how far in advance they can be done. As someone who was pretty hands-on/DIY with my wedding, those last couple days were CRAZY. I can’t imagine adding baking and flower arranging into the mix at that point.


AS November 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I have read the money-saver schemes. But very often, I have trouble with most of them.
1) It is an interesting assumption that there will surely be someone with a big enough backyard amongst our friends and family. Many friends might be starting new jobs and living in small houses; or people might even be living in big cities where the only “backyard” might be some place like Central park.
And even if someone has a backyard, it is not fair to think that they’d be willing to lend us their backyard! Lending someone’s backyard is a lot of work for them even if you offer to do all the setting and cleaning up and pay for any damage. It is their house after all! The author even says herself that the old man moved in to the house to do gardening and all to make the place look nice for them! It is NOT FREE! The owner is doing all the work – and they are very lucky. It is a lot to expect from someone.
And not everyone is religious enough to have access to a church or some religious place.
2) DIYs are not always a possibility. We are graduate students and were extremely busy until about 3 days before the wedding (we didn’t even have time for a honeymoon!). Most of our friends are grad students too, and it is unfair to expect them to do things for us when we ourselves cannot find the time. So, unless we have a time turner, or know how to stretch the day beyond 24 hours, we could not do too many DIYs. (My MIL took the lead and many of our family members joined in to make us a very nice wedding cake; but she was not pressured to do it for us).
3) Admin has already said against making guests cook for you, so I am not going to go in for that.
4) Unless the ceremony starts past 8PM, I will not assume that a wedding is dessert only reception. Not everyone eats at 5PM (between my family and hubby’s we have different ethnicities, so dinner times vary anywhere between 5PM to 10PM!). It is not fair to expect your guests dress up, maybe drive up and also eat before your 6:30PM ceremony. Brunches are a good alternative. Any other time has to be accompanied by some decent amount of food. If you plan to feed your guests only desserts for a 6:30PM wedding, you have to say that clearly on the invitation. Alcohol and hors oeuvres can be good avenues to cut down the cost, but you can’t serve only desserts for a 6PM wedding!
5) The flower girl/bridesmaid/ring bearer/grooms men dresses and suits are not free; it is just that someone else is paying for them! That may work fine for many people. But if not, well, it is time to rethink. Same with things like flowers – they are not free. The OP’s in laws are paying for them! It is nice to get such a gift, but no need to brag that they are “saving” on the cost!
6) I think it is tacky to serve wedding guests at a formal wedding in paper plates and glasses. It also adds to our Ecological footprint by wasting a lot of paper and plastic when we could have used reusable dishes and the only “waste” would be some soap and water to wash them.
7) Finally, the place you get married can determine the costs a lot. What you pay in a small town might be different from what you’d pay in a big city like NYC or D.C. Plus, each state has its own tax which can add a few $100 when you are talking in 1000s.


Library Diva November 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

A lot of these ideas won’t work if you’re not crafty, too. Even the ones that aren’t taking advantage of others require a ton of time in going to every Goodwill store in your area, tying 245 little bows, etc. I wonder, at what point did she write this article? If it were me, I’d be having a nervous breakdown trying to bake 1000 cupcakes in my kitchen two days before the wedding and wouldn’t sound nearly this breezy.


whatever November 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

@Mer: When my fiance and I picked out the outfits for him and groomsmen at Men’s Wearhouse, we were told at checkout that one of the 6 outfits (his, 4 groomsmen, the ring bearer) would be free, and he could designate which person would get the free suit. It wasn’t cash-back or a discount or anything that would be easily spread over 6 people. I guess we could have calculated the price and given everyone cash, but that seemed more complicated that it was worth, especially because these groomsmen where distributed geographically across the country.

All the suits were about the same price, so what we ended up doing was designating the ring bearer’s suit as the free one. The ring bearer is the son of a groomsman, so it meant that family would only have to rent one suit instead of two for the wedding.

If we didn’t have a ring bearer who needed a suit (and the blog poster didn’t- the kid already had a suit), the only way to treat the groomsmen equally would have been for my fiance to take the free suit. None of the groomsmen were more in need of a free suit than any other.


Mer November 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

I think your choice was quite fair, especially because ring bearer cannot really be expected to pay for his own attire. 🙂

I think there is also some cultural differences here, I don’t know where you live but it being me and my friends, there would be few easy solutions. If the attire would be picked from the same location, for example from the area the wedding would be held, attendants would transfer the money to one person (this would be few clicks on the computer so not really time consuming) who then would pick all of the suits. This way everyone could get some part of the discount/benefit from the free suit.

Or if the attendants would pick suits from company branches near them, I could actually choose the option of giving them back some of the money. Again, from my point of view, it’s just few minutes on your computer (probably less than I used for this post :D). I mean, if we take group taxi amounting for example around 20 euros, usually one will pay and give bank account number to others so they can transfer the few euros to cover their part. But I’m now assuming that similar easy solutions regarding money transfers are not available perhaps for you, if you feel that the cash option would be very tedious. So I understand if that was not an option, and as I said, I think it was very fair in your situation to cover the ring bearer’s suit to reduce cost from that family to same level with the others.


DowagerDutchess November 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

Yeah transferring money to bank accounts just really isn’t done in the US unfortunately. Its a big hassle.


whatever November 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Everyone was going to pick up their suits from their local branches, the farthest of which were approximately 3000 miles apart. Also, person-to-person electronic money transfers in the US are surprisingly hard- the only option that people routinely use is PayPal, and PayPal has a lot of issues. That’s why people still use paper checks here. But paper checks are annoying enough that no one wants to use them for small amounts. For the taxi example in your post, for instance, the friends sharing the taxi would just contribute cash- people generally try to carry a lot of small bills for exactly that reason- and if you didn’t have the right amount, you’d try to remember to contribute more next time.


Ally November 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm

wow, is it really that difficult?? In Australia I can transfer money to 3 different freinds accounts all at the same time using the banks app on my phone and be done in a minute (and they would have the money within a day) if i wanted to. Its strange the things that work so simply in one place and not so in another.


postalslave November 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Agreed! I live in Canada and it’s incredibly simple to transfer money to others bank accounts. I had no idea that it would be so different in America and that people still use cheques. Wow, you learn something new everyday I suppose.

Mer November 16, 2012 at 1:56 am

Okay, based on that I understand that in your (referring now also to some other posters mentioning the same thing) case the possibility to even out the bill would be a lot more difficult than in my situation.

It’s also funny how different things are (that is one reason I love this kind of sites, you learn new things!). I’ve never seen anyone to pay with checks, only time I’ve seen them have been weddings/graduation parties where they are given as gifts. And basically they are more like gift cards to bank than something you can pay with in a shop. To obtain one, you need to go to bank and ask them to print you a check with wanted amount. I even think that it will take that amount off the account immediately, not after the receiver has cashed it. Then the receiver needs to take the check and go to bank to have it on their own account or as a cash. And usually, people giving gifts request the check from their own bank so the happy couple/graduated one needs to make a bank tour to cash all the checks. But people like to give these rather than just plain bills, they are regarded as fancier options. Asking for a bank account number has increased, as I said transferring money is a lot easier for us. And you can also leave a little note (like 100 marks) which will be visible on the receivers account statement and the name of the giver will of course be visible too. I know that some couples set up separate accounts for receiving monetary gifts. As this is also very easy and can be done from home, it’s handy to have all gifts on same account, so that none of them gets missed between grocery entries (thinking of thank you notes/pictures here).


JediKaiti November 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I’d be of the same mind with the cakes and pies, but I have been informed that my STB BIL & SIL WANT to help DF and myself with getting the food set up & out on the buffet at our wedding. I think some of it is a cultural thing – there is a wedding or a funeral or what have you, and they expect to be helping out in such a way.


Bint November 13, 2012 at 4:00 am

Different – they offered in your case. In this post, the B&G are *asking* guests to cater their wedding and have the nerve to portray this as somehow ‘honouring’ the guests! Maybe they’d like to honour the guests by having them clean up too.


kiki November 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I had the pleasure of being a bride’s maid, emphasis on MAID, in a wedding like this. The bride wanted to invite about 250 people, but couldn’t afford to feed them a sit down dinner. Instead she decided to cater the wedding herself, which meant us the bride’s maids. We had to set up deli plates, cut cheese and veggies, etc all the day before the wedding, then on the day of the wedding, set up the buffet and the tables and chairs in our dresses, carry home made wine up and down the stairs to put on the tables and then, of course ,we got the honour of cleaning it all up afterwards. It was a disaster because not being professional caterers, our platters didn’t look very appetizing (not on purpose). She also made all the desserts herself, but she isn’t a good cook and they also looked terrible. She may have thought she was saving money but a lot of food was thrown out afterwards because no one wanted it. Her mother also made our dresses, but that is a whole other story! LOL!


Kate November 13, 2012 at 4:00 am

Kiki, you are a better woman than I. I’d have run away screaming.


Sarah Jane November 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I pretty much agree with everyone else, but I want to add one point. In my SIL’s family, it is a tradition for many of the women in the family to provide desserts baked from various treasured family recipes for family wedding receptions. However, it has become a tradition for them to OFFER, not a tradition for the bride and groom to ask or to expect this generosity.


Wolfgirl November 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

Yeah my first reaction was that the tone of the whole post was along the lines of ‘what’s the least hospitaility that I can feasibily get away with providing for my guests’. I TOTALLY get that couples want to save money, but I don’t agree it should be done with this attitude. Even down to the advice to not only not feed guess any dinner/savoury food, but to cut the desserts up into teeny slices so they go further! I would be slightly unimpressed if I was expected to drive miles to a scenic lakehouse in the middle of nowhere at 6.0opm, only to be provided with a glass of lemonade and a miniscule slice of dessert, baked by some harrassed relative.

I don’t see why the concept in general couldn’t be a good model for a budget-savvy wedding, but with key alterations, including actually feeding your guests if you plan to hold them captive by a lake all night, providing enough drinking water, not taking advantage of an old man’s generous hospitaility and relative’s baking skills, and not forcing attendants to end up substantially out of pocket. The DIY invites and decorations; great.


Tiffany November 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

I am very much of the opinion that if you’re doing a reception where guests are supposed to stay until the end, as opposed to some kind of open house/drop-in thing, and you expect your reception to last more than, say, three hours, you NEED to feed your guests a proper meal. Because you are pretty much always going to be close enough to a typical meal time. Extra-especially if you’re expecting guests to drive to an out-of-the-way location, because with travel time factored in, they DEFINITELY will not have eaten before arriving, and they’ll have to wait for a long time after they leave.

When my in-laws got married, I’m told that they just went to the courthouse, and then had an informal drop-in thing at a restaurant nearby, and just told their friends when they would be there if they wanted to come and offer congratulations. So people just showed up for an hour or so, had a few bites of appetizers/dessert, and then went about their day. That completely makes sense to me, though it may be too casual for a lot of people’s tastes.

When I see an article like this, I mostly balk at the guest list, though I do recognize that family pressures/expectations could play a big role here. But if you have that small a budget and no one else contributing financially, is 245 people really necessary? My fiance and I had a smaller-than-average-if-you-believe-Yahoo-Shine budget so we had…fewer guests. Fifty-four in the end, including us, but that way we knew we could afford full meals, alcohol, and open non-alcoholic drinks for everyone without selling our hair and blood. That said, I do realize that in some cultures the unreasonable expectation for massive weddings from parents and other relatives can be very high, and, even more unreasonably, they might not come with offers for financial assistance to have such a big do. So it’s possible I should cut her a bit of slack there.

Rambling over.


Angel November 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Tiffany, I totally agree with you. If I had a small budget I sure as heck wouldn’t be inviting 250 people. You can do a fairly nice, smallish wedding (and by small I mean 100 ppl or less) on maybe $4-$5,000, but you would need to compromise on the venue and probably on the catering too. When having a big wedding essentially involves begging people to do you favors, really it has disaster written all over it. Suppose nobody wanted to bake anything? Suppose the groomsmen staged a revolt and wanted the groom to pass on the savings to him. That probably wouldn’t happen, but you never know. You can’t always depend on the kindness of others is really my point here. You could wind up with resentment or a lot of hurt feelings here. On both sides.


Shoegal November 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’m not cutting the bride and groom any slack – the more comments I read the less slack I want to cut.

1. I agree with the comments about the wedding time – at 6 or so I would have expected dinner. I would not have already eaten and would have been starving and upset that now all I was getting was cake!!!
2. Getting your parents to anti up for the flowers , asking some sweet old man into donating his house/Yark for your reception and “honoring” the women by asking them to bake . . . is not saving money – you weaseled the costs from your guest. So the lesson here is – to save money on your wedding – see how many people you can take advantage of.
3. Entertainment? Was there any??? Any music?? Something?? Dancing?? Sounds dull. As another posted stated – this sounds like a drop in – open house affair – have a teeny piece of cake then leave. If it was hot that evening – it is less likely that anybody stayed longer than an hour or two.
4. Who set up – took down – cleaned??? Was there really enough water??? Did the insects attack the sugary display?? Did the out of town guests go hungry??

I just have to wonder how everything turned out.


Bint November 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

That’s a point. I’ve just been to a wedding that started at 6.30pm and they didn’t have dinner. They had the snack buffet at nearly 10pm, by which point loads of people were completely smashed, people were starving, people with young children had left hours before and most people were wondering where the food was!

Then Susan Boyle turned up by surprise and distracted us, but that’s another story. 6pm wedding, I would always assume there’d be more than some cake!


--Lia November 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

The big thing I noticed about these ideas for a wedding is that it’s in the future tense. This about plans for what they hope to do, not about what they did and how it turned out. For all we know, the “honored” women did laugh in their faces when asked to bake, or bailed at the last minute. For all we know, the attendants backed out when they realized they were only wanted for because they were paying for their own attire. The nice guy who was donating his home might have decided he’d prefer not to. It’s not like these folks had him sign a contract, I’m sure.


Hanna November 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I have seen some of the most wonderful weddings that cost very little.

I recently went to an outdoor wedding (venue free at a nature preserve) where the bride wore her mother’s dress (free). The attendant (1) wore a gorgeous dress that she already owned (free) and an aunt had gathered up flowers from her garden for their bouquets (free) The guys wore jeans with nice jackets of their own (free).

The only real cost was the reception food. It wasn’t a traditional reception, because when everyone got to the park, the food and drinks were already set up and people were eating. The bride and groom were already mingling as well. At a given time, the preacher called everyone together in a clear spot at the park, married the couple, and everyone went back to eating and talking and dancing to cds (free). (for a cost of around $245, the couple had also reserved the gorgeous rental lodge in case of rain, of which in the end they got a portion back because they didn’t use it at all).

It had to be one of the most enjoyable weddings I ever went to, and the only cost (that I could see) was the food and drinks,paid preacher and paid cd changer, rental charge–I asked and found out it was all for around $2,000 or so. I realize not everyone wants this sort of wedding, but some ideas can be modified to fit other types of weddings, or perhaps modifying our ideas of what weddings should be like can be a bonus.

In our church, there is a committee in charge of weddings. We go to the bride (members only), and ask what her thoughts are. If we know it’s a family of limited means, we all pitch in and do potluck, or sign up for specific food items (of our choosing to stay within our own budgets) at no cost to them–we consider it a gift from all of us to them. We have a room that is filled with silk arrangements, candles and candlebra/arches etc that we decorate with for the couple at no cost to them, if that’s what they want and it’s to their liking.(If a bride is looking for something different, or has tastes outside our budget and doesnt want to use our items, then she goes about making all the arrangements on her own and as our gift to them, we help with set up, tear down, and clean up.) So there is almost no cost to a bride in this scenario.


ali November 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I attended a wedding where there was an idea for the brides family to make white desserts and the grooms family to make chocolate ones. It was a good friend of my Mom’s. I can’t remember how it was requested – but not by the bride and groom. I don’t think they knew exactly what was going on. No one had to contribute, it wasn’t a requirement. I contributed and it was fun. There were little cards with the person’s name and their relationship to the bride/groom.

They had wedding cake and buffet and plenty of food. I was a vegetarian at the time and there were plenty of options including a mashed potato bar.

Then after the reception the families had to break down everything (it was an agreement with their church) and everyone was tired, so Mom and I pitched in and helped and even ferried stuff back to the MOB’s house.


Mer November 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

This being totally off topic, apologies for that but oh boy wedding photographs cost a lot there. I had to check prices around here, and the most expensive one (all day documentary thing) I was able to find was at the price of theirs (which they said was a great deal), most documentary packets costing 300-400$ less than that.

I’m on two minds about this. I admit that photos are very important part for the couple, and also many guests, as they are reminders to look at later on. Wedding and reception is one day thing. On the other hand it takes almost half of their budget and based on the post they are extending their budget to transferring costs to others, and not being very hospitable to their guests. On the other hand, I do not know even if there is real possibility to cut down the photography cost without it resulting to taking advantage of some amateur photographer in the family.

Well, hoping anyway they got eventually married and are happy.


postalslave November 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Truly the most disturbing part of that article were the 51 comments all praising this “ingenious bride” on her wedding plans.


Angel November 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

LOL! Yes it’s amazing how many etiquette-challenged people there are in the world.


RS January 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Er…I’m agnostic and have never attended church. I think what Hanna says about her church is lovely, and very kind for them to do. However, I really have to wonder about the bride using the church’s chairs and cotton candy machine, and SOUND EQUIPMENT? And for free? Am I overreacting, or is this really weird behavior to expect from a church? And who knows who is hauling all of that, I suspect not the bride…


Teapot August 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

The wedding is at 6:30 so everyone will have already had dinner? Um, unless they live next door to *the old man* (that was totally offensive considering what he’s going to do for her), they will still need to get dressed, drive to the site and find a place to park. Then there’s the wedding itself. Not sure where she figures they’re going to fit in a meal. And all she plans to feed them is a mini cupcake and a streeeeeeeeeeched sliver of cake?

I also really laughed at the picture of how her dessert table is going to look. Obviously the picture was for a catered event with extremely expensive looking cakes. Her table is more than likely going to be a mass of Tupperware cake carriers and disposable aluminum pans. She’ll be lucky that Aunt Betty Lou doesn’t burn the brownies and Cousin Sadie doesn’t drop her world famous bundt cake getting out of the car!


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