“My US$3,000 budget wedding” #3: Get help from family, friends and connections

First off, I’d like to apologize for the delay on posting. I’ve been pretty busy with work and some personal stuff—my husband and I need to ready our things before our move. Anyway, let’s get back to business 🙂

I think it’s already quite obvious that you will have to get help from your family, friends and connections whether you like it or not—you just can’t do everything on your own. But sometimes, a bride can’t help but want to do everything, or at least take part on each and every single aspect of her wedding. That’s understandable. After all, it’s your most important day we’re talking about here. Just don’t forget you have to walk down the aisle, and not rolled into the Church in a coffin 😛

Our wedding “coordinators”

Planning a wedding is actually a bit similar to running a business—the lower the expenses and higher the profit, the better. You want to have the best wedding at the lowest cost possible. And just like in business, pulling a few strings can help you do just that.

Marc and I were lucky that we had a lot of friends and relatives who were willing to help us plan and implement our wedding. We’ve been quite active in our college organizations, so we met a lot of people adept at planning and implementing events who became our great friends. Just think of it this way. If you and your friends are able to plan and implement full-scale concerts, food sales, and fund-raising drives, weddings are easy.

Instead of getting a wedding coordinator or planner which could have cost us Php25,000, we asked help from our friends. They were glad to do it—it was like holding another organization event. Before the wedding, we sat down with them tackling the wedding program, the flow, who will be in charge of what, the music the band will play, etc. etc. I’m glad they did, because as I can recall, I wasn’t really thinking properly in the morning before I walked down the aisle. There was excitement, fear, and anticipation—three different feelings that don’t really go well when decision-making was required.

The best thing about your friends being your wedding coordinators is probably the fact that you know they know your best interests, and won’t screw you. But if you really need to get a wedding coordinator for your day (if you don’t have friends who have experiences in events planning), it’s best to just get one for the day. Wedding coordinators also offer On-the-Day (OTD) Coordination, where they’ll basically just oversee the implementation of your wedding plans on your day. However, it’s still best that you have somebody like a friend or relative whom you can trust to see how the coordinator is doing. I don’t know about you, but I really do find it hard to entrust something as important as my wedding day to somebody I don’t really know.

Wedding coordination was not the only aspect we got as a gift (or, in simpler words, free) on our wedding. A lot more have contributed to how we were able to get a US$3,000 wedding budget:

  • Live band at the reception
    Marc and I had friends who performed regularly at bars, and they gladly performed for us during our wedding—as their generous wedding gift. I found out later on when I asked them how they felt about performing at other people’s weddings that they wouldn’t have charged us much if we didn’t really know them personally. So yes, their rates are very affordable, and depends on how many songs they had to perform and how long. If you’re interested, send me a message so I can help you get in touch with them.
  • Photo and Video Coverage
    Now, this is where we lucked out—really lucked out. My dad is a photojournalist, but he used to work in the wedding industry as a photographer when I was still a kid. So yes, he had a lot of connections in the field. Two of his photographer friends gave us photo and video coverage as their gifts. I have to tell you, what they did totally helped our budget—photo and video coverage is actually one of the costliest expenses of wedding planning apart from food for the reception.
  • Souvenirs (200 pieces)
    My cousins offered to provide the souvenirs for our wedding, since they were found of making them anyway. And yep, the souvenirs turned out pretty well! Take a look at this post’s photo and see for yourself.
  • Bridal Car
    My mom’s old friend lent us her silvery white BMW. She was godmother, so she wanted to take part in the wedding other than the entourage. When we asked her if we could borrow her car, she was more than happy to lend us 🙂
  • Audio-Video Presentation (AVP)
    Our primary business offers web and multimedia services, so obviously this one’s free since we made our AVP ourselves 😛
  • Wedding Guestbook (Magnetic Album) and Pre-Nuptial Pictorials
    Another gift from a long-time friend who has his own photo studio.

I can’t remember all the other stuff we got for free, but these were the ones that had quite an impact on wedding budget. Let’s say we had to pay for these, we’d spend:

Live band – Php5,000 up
Photo and Video Coverage – Php60,000 up
200 Souvenirs – Php7,000
Bridal Car – Php6,000 for the first 5 hours
Audio-Video Presentation – Php5,000
Wedding Guestbook – Php10,000
Pre-Nuptial Pictorials – Php5,000
OTD Coordination – Php8,000

So we saved around how much on free stuff? Just about Php106,000 🙂 We saved an estimate of 106k out of the kind generosity of our friends and relatives. That’s quite a lot, considering the fact that it’s not even an exact figure (I’ve forgotten the other stuff we got as gifts from family and friends that helped in the implementation of our wedding).

* * *

Upon the many requests I’ve gotten through email, I am currently trying to get in touch with the suppliers I’ve had for my wedding for their updated rates and information. I’ll be posting the info soon, promise! 🙂 Stay tuned!

Posted in Budget weddings, Planning, Pre-wedding, The US$3,000 wedding budget series


Marie :

wow…you’re lucky to got a lot of gifts from friends and relatives. btw, i’m getting married in August and the only thing left for me that i can really cut down is the couturier..could you please recommend a nice but cheap couturier….they said in divisoria there are a lot of cheap couturier but i don’t where to start looking in divisoria.


Gail :

@Marie: You can try my contact at Divisoria. Click here to see the post. It has their contact info

anthony :

my o my! how lucky couple are you! e pwedeng pwede pala kayo magpakasal kahit taon taon eh!

Michelle :

I am looking for great but affordable live band. Appreciate your referral.

Michelle :

Im looking for a great but affordable live band. Appreciate your referral.


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