Priceless Weddings for under $5,000

Priceless Weddings for under $5,000

3.4 10
by Kathleen Kennedy

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A priceless wedding is one that emphasizes the unique personalities of the couple getting married. Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 proves that you can celebrate the spirit of love, hope, joy, and community -- without spending a fortune.

Caterer and event planner Kathleen Kennedy offers insights on how to personalize a wedding inexpensively. She shares her


A priceless wedding is one that emphasizes the unique personalities of the couple getting married. Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 proves that you can celebrate the spirit of love, hope, joy, and community -- without spending a fortune.

Caterer and event planner Kathleen Kennedy offers insights on how to personalize a wedding inexpensively. She shares her savvy, insider techniques and tips to help couples save money on the many high-ticket items on their to-do list, showing where to cut corners and where to go all out. Included are:

* A questionnaire to help the bride and groom decide on their top priorities Tips on how to find and book a great low-cost wedding site Guidelines on how to determine a budget, and stick to it

* Negotiation tactics for dealing with caterers, florists, musicians, and photographers.

Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 covers every single aspect of your special day, including strategies for finding the perfect dress, great ideas for what to serve for the reception, sample wedding vows and readings, innovative decorations and invitations, and ways to incorporate children into the ceremony for second marriages. Throughout the book, inspiring stories of real-life priceless weddings, with complete budget breakdowns, show how resourceful couples around the country created their own unique celebrations.

Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000  is the ultimate guide for couples who want their special day to live on in memory, not through bills.

Product Details

Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.70(d)

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Read an Excerpt


The day after my husband and I got engaged, I went to the local bookstore and spent $100 on wedding books, a wedding planner, and a few bridal magazines. I got home and anxiously started pouring through them only to become depressed. From what I read it seemed that you couldn't have a decent wedding without spending a small fortune.

One of the bridal books I bought stated that the cost of an average wedding was $15,000, while another claimed $19,000 was the norm. The "bargain" wedding book that I picked up shared all kinds of great tips designed to help you have an affordable wedding for about $10,000. If this was average, then what was extravagant? I didn't want to know.

Now, I had already been working as a caterer and event planner for many brides and grooms who threw lavish weddings. I had witnessed firsthand the stresses of the big day, the unrealistic expectations, and the inevitable letdown. As one bride I know said, "My wedding day was a blur of chaos and details. With the whole day so tightly planned out, I didn't even get a chance to say hello to a few of my close friends." I vowed this would not happen to me.

I planned a day of celebration, relaxation, great food, and good friends that was affordable, enjoyable, and memorable. Many of our guests remarked that our wedding was one of the best weddings they ever attended. And it cost less than $3,500.

How did we do it? Easy! Our wedding represented who we are individually and who we are as a couple. Location, food, and self-written vows were our top priorities. We asked for and received help from friends and family so that they felt really involved in our ceremony and reception. We kept the guest list under control. We invited eighty guests, fifty-five attended, and we sent out announcements to another fifty friends and relatives. Our wedding was intimate and personal—several of our guests said that they felt they knew us better when they left our wedding than they did before.

Believe it or not, low-budget weddings are on the rise. Or perhaps they never really went away, but they just don't get the media attention that six-figure celebrity weddings receive. After we got married, other engaged couples began to call and ask me for advice. They wanted to learn how to plan a wedding on a shoestring budget. I decided that the time had come to write a book that would help get out the message: You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a great wedding!

When I mention to people that I am writing a book called Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000, I get one of three responses:

"Can you really have a wedding for under $5,000?" or

"No way! That's not possible!" or

"I was at a great low-budget wedding recently . . ." and then the individual precedes to tell me all of the fabulous details of the day's celebration.

After interviewing dozens of other couples like us, who, for whatever reason didn't have or didn't want to spend over $5,000 on their nuptials, I realized that while each wedding was unique, something occurred in all of them that was missing in more elaborate weddings. I heard tales of people pitching in to help in any way they could and how good it felt to these participants to play an active role in the union of their loved ones. The common thread I felt when brides, grooms, family, and friends described the day's events, was the overwhelming feelings of love, joy, and community.

At the end of each chapter and interspersed throughout the book, you will find wedding scenarios that highlight how a specific couple designed their wedding. None were about money or showing off or keeping up with the Joneses. Instead, the stories recounted are about working together to plan, prepare, and partake in the events of a wedding celebration. Whether the couple is tying the knot barefoot on a Manhattan beach or wearing designer clothes in the chic setting of Martha's Vineyard, the weddings profiled are full of self-expression, originality, and stylishness.

Our wedding was a success beyond my wildest dreams and quite definitely the best day of my life. This book is designed to help make your dreams come true, too. Whether you envision a dress like Princess Di's or a simple country ceremony, this book will help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy these narratives. You will soon be joining the ranks of these couples with your own wedding story to tell.

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN KENNEDY is a caterer, chef, and stylist with more than eighteen years of experience in the hospitality industry. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kathleen worked as a chef/instructor at the California Culinary Academy and was the executive chef at a San Francisco-based catering company. Kathleen has planned and catered weddings ranging in size from 10 to 600 guests.

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Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the wedding planning books and magazines that brides-to-be stockpile, my friends and I all have shared a copy of this book and found it to be the most helpful. It has tips for getting vendors to lower prices, creative suggestions for decorating, and many other things. The best part is the real budget-breakdowns of actual weddings. The bottom line? If you're getting married, it's a lot easier to do so with this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with modern solutions to all of the traditional concerns of wedding planning. From location and flowers, to music and food, Priceless Weddings offers inventive money-saving suggestions that only an experienced caterer (and bride!) could provide.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My wedding planning experience is a grand total of zero. I've never helped anyone plan their wedding, and I've only been to a few weddings in my adult life. Becoming engaged was thrilling, exciting - and terrifyingly overwhelming. There is so much information to sift through just on the internet alone. Where is a newly engaged individual supposed to even begin? Kathleen Kennedy's book Priceless Weddings For Under $5000 may not have all the answers, but her text is a really great starting point. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the entire process, from getting engaged to sending out your thank you notes and wedding announcements weeks after the ceremony. Each chapter is a reservoir of great ideas to get your thinking started, brainstorming and problem-solving as you try to piece together your vision of a affordable, beautiful wedding. She consistently reminds the reader that while yes, there are lots of ways to save money while planning a wedding, the most important aspect of the entire process is will you be happy with it in the end? Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to other newly engaged couples; it's a quick, easy read, highly organized, and written with just the right touch of humor.
MistyRae More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to gain some ideas on how to have a wedding for a very low budget. This book hasn't helped me with my goal. I enjoyed reading the wedding stories and expierences, but the information on cost savings I found on most wedding websites I visited. The author does a good job of painting a picture of a fabulous day for the specific couple. It is fun to read and it made me want my wedding day to arrive faster. I didn't find it very helpful in the saving me money department.
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Kelara More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for those looking to keep their wedding under $5000. It has great ideas on how to accomplish this goal. After reading this, this is for those who are very creative for looking at different ways to do things. I used it for some of the great ideas, but our wedding went a different direction than this book. Again, I would recommend this book for those looking for a less expensive way to plan a wedding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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