How to plan a wedding for $5,000?

My fiancé and I don't want to spend any more than $5,000 on our wedding; not including our rings or the honeymoon, just the ceremony and reception. We have both lived in Connecticut our entire lives, and want our wedding to be there. However, there isn't much of anything in Connecticut that's affordable, and we're really struggling to find a venue. We have just under 150 guests, and can't cut it any more down..we both come from enormous families. both our apartment and our parent's houses aren't big enough to fit a fraction of our guests. Is there anything that's affordable, like a park or something? We don't want churches or beaches, and prefer one with both outdoor and indoor options. If you have any suggestions its much appreciated. Thanks!

pit bulls bite

legion halls are affordable


You're running into trouble because you're making the wrong assumption that having large families means you have to have a large wedding. This has never been true! Like they say, a wedding is not a family reunion. It's easiest to do this by starting with the "inner" circle and moving out. If you include immediate family (sibs, parents, grandparents), their spouses or kids, and then several close friends for each of you, where does this get you? If it's 50, why not stop there? It's far less likely to cause drama if you can tell aunts or cousins that none were invited. And with 50 guests, you can put together a nice wedding for $5000. There's lots you can do to cut costs, but your budget is just not realistic, especially in your high rent district. Also, if you decide to try this anyway, you do not want a park or outdoor facility. You'll need tents along with tables and chairs and this will blow your whole budget. Finally, go register at and look at local forums. Not sure if CT has its own or it's lumped in with greater NYC. Ask about this or read what others are suggesting. The other benefit of doing this is you can download their budgeting lists. As you start allocating costs on a line item basis, you want to make sure you don't forget anything.


You don't say where in CT you are, but have you thought about Wickham Park in Manchester? They offer wedding packages, and you can also rent smaller picnic pavilions. You would need to bring food in, but like someone else suggested, if you have the wedding at a non-meal time, you could serve cake and lemonade.


you can always get married at a church and then, have a party in the yard behind the church.


You need to think a bit outside of the box to pull it off. There are venues you can afford, but they aren't going to be hotels or other nice places. Consider community centers, cultural centers, American Legion Halls. Most rent to non-members, but the trick is finding one large enough to handle your large crowd. And when you do a head count, realize you need to include the service people too, or else you will be breaking the fire code. And understand that conceding on the venue allows you to spend more on the food, drink, cake, decorations, band/dj, flowers and decorations etc. Also remember that space can be utilized to serve both the ceremony and the reception without having two separate spaced for it (just have a few low paid teenagers to switch around the chairs and set up the tables in between) who can serve and clean up afterwards, maybe even serve as valet too.


Your budget is really what determines how many people you can afford to host, while you think you can't cut it further than 150 people, you might need to. The wedding itself isn't the expensive part, the reception is. However, the more people you invite the more it will cost, even if you've already made some cuts consider more. Are there any halls or reception venues available that you can have both your wedding and reception there? That would save a little money not having to pay for them separately. My cousin did that, she's not religious so she wasn't interested in having it at a church and her mom is super crafty she had chairs set up for the wedding then had them moved back to the seating area for the reception/dinner. You will have to do a lot of DIY for your wedding to save some money... Dress - literally any dress can be a wedding dress, try department stores like Macy's, JCPenney, Dillards, etc in their special occasion dresses (even prom ones). Flowers - get flowers from a local greenhouse or even a supermarket with a floral department and do the bouquets and centerpieces yourself. They get their flowers from the same sources a florist does for a fraction of the cost. The florist you're paying for their expertise and the name on the door. You can get flowers at places like Sam's and Costco too. Save the Date's - Unless you're having a destination wedding or the majority of your guests will need to travel for your wedding, save the dates are a total waste of money. People in your inner circle generally already know about when you wedding will be and most people send out invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding and that's plenty of notice. Alcohol - if you're planning to have alcohol you can limit it to beer or beer & wine only or maybe beer and 1-2 signature mixed drinks. If you're having it at a place where you can bring in your own drinks.... if you're planning on keg beer, what's not used is refundable and most places that sell keg beer can also do kegs of mixed drinks (like rum & coke, 7 & 7, etc). If you can do your own mixed drinks, buy 1-2 bottles a week it will add up. If you have a Sam's or a Costco near you, you don't have to have a membership there to buy alcohol. Unopened bottles of alcohol can be returned. Here's a drink calculator for how much you should need.. Your cheapest alcohol option would be beer only or no alcohol. Videographer - that's an absolute waste of money. I've been married almost 16 years and we've viewed the video a grand total of 1 time, when we got it back. Most couples I know have the same number of viewings. Cakes - if you have a local college that might have a culinary program see if they have a student who can do your cake, they will need the experience and you will probably pay a lot less with them than an established bakery. I own a bakery and wedding cakes are charged per slice. A lot of people think they will save money ordering cupcakes instead of a cake, but cupcakes actually cost more. A cake you decorate the whole thing, cupcakes you have to decorate each individual one so it's a lot more time consuming = cost more. Favors - optional, but if you decide to do them... do something edible otherwise they will be discarded, left behind. Catering - this will be your biggest expense. If you're planning to invite kids, ask about kids pricing. Many caterers have pricing for kids, but don't advertise it because they make more charging you the adult price for their food. Some also have a separate menu for kids (foods kids will actually eat). Other alternatives might be a bbq/pig roast. Some local restaurants might be an option for catering too, a lot will cater even if they don't advertise it you just have to ask them. This is generally the time of the year for wedding shows/expos, if you have any near you, you might want to check them out. They're filled with vendors (caterers, bakeries, Dj's, etc) and many of them have promotions at them that they don't any other time. Some even have drawing for deeply discounted and free services. A friend of mine won a honeymoon to hawaii from a travel agency that was at one. My bakery is at them and we give a free wedding cake to someone, but make enough business from the shows to make up for it.

Pearl L

have it outside in the yard, thats what nny brother did


yes you can be married in a park What about a BBQ?

A Hunch

I'm not familiar with places in CT, but I'm sure there are plenty of places to have the wedding for $5K. - parks & rec - art galleries But be mindful, it's the food, drink, and dress that costs the money. - ways to reduce the costs with food/drink - cake only, limit alcohol, food truck style food, etc - buy a used dress or nontraditional dress.