This is a post I really debated about writing but I figure if I'm going to talk about the wedding, I should talk about ALL of the wedding. And I'm stalling again because I keep forgetting pictures!
So today you get kind of a budget breakdown. I should point out that going into this, C & I didn't sit down and say, "We can only spend X amount of dollars total" and then break it down even further. We did talk about each and every purchase before we made it though and talked about if it was worth it.
Also, C's dad helped us out immensely with expenses. Our budget probably would have been 1/4 of what it ended up being if it hadn't been for him...
All that said, going into our wedding we set a figure of $20K for the whole shebang. We did not, however, talk about if that would include our rings, traveling expenses, etc. Some things are kind of fringe expenses. I didn't bother to worry about things like haircuts & facials (I had one) to prep or all the money I spent on acne meds or shoes or clothes I bought for showers, bach. parties, etc.
The biggie: The reception was $13,600. This covered: dinner for 99 people, bar service for 80, late night snacks, all linens and china and any other service items, our cake (big one!), our honeymoon suite, 2 rooms for our parents for the night, an upgrade to chair covers, and setting up the cookie buffet. Oh, and brunch tickets for our entire wedding party the next morning.
The ceremony ended up costing us approximately $1K. Between the rental for the pavilion, the chair rental, the parking fees, the fees to clear out the tables and decorations this made up about $1K.
Side note: you may notice that I'm a wee bit fuzzy on some details. I didn't keep track of every single thing so there will be estimates here and there (or all of them).
Paper goods were about $700. Invitations, STDs, menus, programs, table numbers (vellum paper), our banner, bags for hotel guests, the seating chart are all included in that figure.
OOT Bags: $75 for all the goodies our guests received (water, aspirin, granola bars, chips, gum, etc.)
Other decorations probably cost us $300 for wooden signs, the guest book/photo book, beads & masks, and I'm including favors.
DJ: $1350 well spent. Zero regrets.
Photographer: $1650 includes all rights to all photos, second shooter for the entire day, 9 hours of shooting, the backdrop for the photo booth and a good time.
Wedding coordinator: $675 that I would spend again in a heartbeat. One of the single best expenses we had. This included travel fees, rehearsal coordination, decorating the entire ceremony (chairs, banners, signs, etc.), making sure everything was in place for the reception, and packing up everything at the end of the night. They stayed until 11:30pm to make sure everything was taken care of.
Florist(s): $760 between the florist for the bouquets & corsages ($530) and the centerpieces ($230). Loved my bouquet.
Magician for cocktail hour: $250. This is one expense we definitely didn't need and I feel like we may have paid a little much for that. It was only one hour but everyone loved it as far as I can tell. Meh.
Bridal attire: $1165 includes dress, alterations, undergarments, jewelry, and shoes. Considering I originally tried to limit myself to $1000 for dress alone I feel pretty good about this one! Dress was $700 used, $200 for alterations and $15 for the new sash. I got SO MANY compliments on my dress and I absolutely loved it. I wouldn't have changed a single thing about my bridal look.
Beauty: Hair & Make Up were $140 + tip. Worth it to have someone come to me so I wasn't running around. Plus, have you seen me? Awesome!
Groom's attire: $0. Tux rental was free w/ groomsmen including shoes and the tie tack (I'll get to that) was a gift.
Gifts: A fuzzy $600. We tried to spend approx. $60/person. Not sure how well we did with that.
Rehearsal Dinner: Um, $400-ish. I honestly do not remember that total.
Rental cars for transportation: $200 for both of them.
Optional expenses: Rings were $1600, Hotels were $300, Gas & travel would probably be $150, Getting dress pressed was $77, etc. I'm not including these OR any other wedding related trips we made (there were 3 before the actual wedding).
That seems like everything...
The Grand Total is...
$24, 465 including rings.
Hm, $4,500 over our original guesstimate (is that a word?). I'd say that's not too shabby considering we had no idea what things would cost when we first started planning. I could definitely drive that number up if we added in more things but those are the biggies. If you're using this for a guide, you wouldn't have things like trip expenses included anyway.
I feel our costs are reasonable for our time of year, day of week, region, and headcount. I'm actually ok with that number up there because most things were necessities. The only things I would consider trimming were the magician and some of our venue costs. We ended up going over our minimum slightly and we could have kept better track of that.
According to surveys, the average wedding costs $22-27K. I'd say we're pretty good then.