Our Wedding Costs
Our vision for our wedding (ok, my vision) was to have a unique, fun and laidback outdoor wedding. We didn’t want anything over the top nor did we want to break the bank. We also didn’t want a plain and boring event. We splurged on some areas while saving on others. In order to cut costs I DIY’ed as much as I could and learned all the cost saving tricks that I could. Here is a basic breakdown and explination of out wedding costs.
The Wedding Costs:
A. Site Rental: $1784
B. Food Total: $7240
C. Clothes Total: $508
D. Decorations: $320
E. Flowers/Arrangements: $158
F. Stationary: $123
G. Photographer: $1600
H. Our Rings:$795
I. Music: Free
J. Officiant: $325
GRAND TOTAL $12,853
Number of guests: 83
Our Wedding Budget Breakdown:
Site Rental: $1,784
Our ceremony and reception were both held in the same location; a beautiful botanical garden. It was a bit pricey but this was actually the cheapest outdoor venue we could find. We also knew we wanted to have our wedding in this location because we had visited it while we were dating and it had become a special place for us.
Food Total: $7,240
I know,the food was definetly the budget buster, but we had our reasons. First, what is the number one thing guests comment on(or even complain) after the wedding… THE FOOD. Since our wedding was smack dab in the middle of lunch time (12-4pm), we couldn’t just have h’ordeouvres or a wine and dessert bar. We didn’t want people toppeling over from hunger. We wanted to have a full meal and not skimp on quality so we went for the best and decided to save money elsewhere. Let me just say that it was well worth it, the food was amazing.
We opted for an open bar, since the reception was only going to last for 3 hours and didn’t want to limit how much our guests could drink. Initially we spent about $700. We bought 1.5 liter bottles (much cheaper than the 750ml ones) of pretty good but inexpensive red and white wines. We did calculate exact amount we would be needing but were so afraid to run out that we grossly over-bought. We bought them from a wholesale club (much cheaper) that we joined with a free trial. Knowing that we could return any unopened bottles we asked the caterers to hold on to them until we came back from the honeymoon (which was very nice of them). We decided against champagne; a. beacuse it was going to get too expensive, b. it’s also an extra cost for the rentals (you have to provide champagne flutes) and c. neither of us really like the taste.
Cupcakes & Desserts $405
This was for a ton of amazing cupcakes (darn I wan’t one now) and a table full of desserts (that of course we also bought at the wholesale club).
Clothes Total: $508
I don’t think we spent too much considering the amount of clothes we purchased.
My Gown $134
This was a little insane, but in the end it worked out great. I was having trouble finding an inexpensive (under $150) simple white dress, that I liked. Never noticed this before, but apparantly department stores don’t sell any at that price (not that I could find anyway), smart of them. I can sew myself a mean pillow so I decided that to save money I would make the dress myself. Well its suffice to say that that idea didn’t pan out. It was exactly two weeks before the wedding and I didn’t have a dress. I had been trolling Davidsbridal.com for month’s but the only dresses at that price were just not my taste. But I decided to check again and one of the dresses I liked was on sale!!! It wasn’t available in the stores so I had to order it online. Since It was strapless I measured my bustline like five times cause I didn’t want to get it too big or too small and save on tailoring. It fit perfectly except for the length – I’m 5’2, even though I bought peteite I still had to have the bottom taken up slightly.
My Shoes $40
This was one of the best deals I got. I wanted green sandals and could not find any anywhere that were inexpensive and pretty. Luckily, Payless has a line of dress shoes called Unforgettable Moments that has some pretty nice styles. They’ll dye the shoe pretty much to any color you like. I’m not really into the shoe dying thing (reminds me of my horrible diyed prom shoes), but since they were spaghetti straps I thought I wouldn;t look so bad. When I picked them up I was amazed, they were beautiful. The stiching in the front was a bit noticable so I added an embelishement that I DIY’ed thank you very much.
I only had a few accessories; a pin for my dress, the decoration on my shoes and a flower that I made for my hair. Simple and inexpensive.
My Husband’s Attire $239
That includes; the suit, shirt, socks and tailoring. He got an amazing deal on a really nice suit at Macy’s for $150. It was on sale plus we had a 20% of coupon. Of course when you get a great deal like that sometimes you have to be a little flexible. It was a size too big so he had to have the pants taken in slightly. The tailor did a wonderful job.
Ok, here is where it gets a little cazy. I was a DIY feind, I did all the decorations myself with a little help from friends and family. It wasn’t easy but it was well worth it in the end. I’ll just list it all cause it’s too much to explain:
- Paper Lanterns $20 (bought at a chinesse import store)
- Mr & Mrs Sign $13
- Pinwheels $5
- Flag banner $2
- Cupcake Display $71
- Escort Card Display $32
- Bubble Tubes $20 (Tubes $14, Glass vases $4, Ribbon $2)
- Favors $26 (Baby Palms- Free, Burlap $6,
Ribbon $3, Dollies $3,Tissue paper $4, Favor Cookies $10)
- Sign in Photo-book & pen $47
- Pom-poms $12
- Card Box $4 (Boxes Free, Paper $2, Bow $2)
- Aisle Decoration $44 (Stand $34, flower pomanders $10)
- Monogramed Aisle Runner $24 (Runner $19, Paint/brushes $5)
Includes my Bouquet, the Buttonier, all flower arangements for the ceremony and reception.
Envelopes/Invites/Save the dates/Escort Cards/Favor Tags/Table Numbers, etc./Postage
Definitley a splurge, but well worth it. We got the beautiful and proffessional photos we wanted.
My ring (white gold with diamonds) was bought at Macy’s, during a huge sale and it includes the protection plan. My hubby’s ring (white gold with diamonds – just kidding no diamonds) we got at BJ’s wholesale club, it was way cheaper than anywhere else we looked.
My husband plays in a band for fun, and one of his band mates/ guest provided mellow background music.
Since neither of us is religious we opted for and officiant.
GRAND TOTAL $12,853
Overall, I think we did pretty well for the money we spent. We had a beautiful unique wedding that was so us!!!
Photo credit: All photos are from our wedding, taken by Chelsey Boatwright