We got married on May 16th, 2015 in Orlando, Florida (depending on time of year and location is clearly part of one's budget as well). I figured that I'd break down our budget and share with others who may be feeling that they can't do an awesome wedding within their budget.
I've broken it down in the most logical order for easy reading…
- Budget: $10,000 (originally $5,000)
- Size: 102 guest invited, actual size 39
- Top priorities: cost, location, and atmosphere
We didn't have any savings for a wedding, and my parents each gave us $5,000. The same they gave for my sister's wedding four years ago. Mother-in-law also chipped in $1,000, which was a lot of money for her. We were extremely grateful for all the help and the few strings attached we were able to over-come.
- Reception: $2,125 (We were gifted $125 from the owner)
- Ceremony: $113 for 2 hours ($100 deposit fully returned)
No contracts, restrictions, other permits, or insurance needed. I was able to talk down the price some of the reception space simply by asking if it was okay to pay $2,250 for the weekend. The ceremony had a minimum of time, which is what we did. I wish we could have talked that down more, as we didn't need the space that long because we didn't do any decorating or prep. It was in a park, and lovely on it's own.
Total = $2,363
(Our goal was for the venues to be under half our budget, which it was!)
Rentals and items bought as alternative
- 40 chairs rented: $107 + $23 tip = $130
- Spotify Upgrade: $10 for a month
- DJ app: Free
- Stereo: $210 (instead of renting)
- New power cord for iPad: $10
- Mic: $7 on clearance
- GoPro: $303
- Photo booth and props: Free (Friend's camera, tripod, and props plus some of our own)
We didn't want to rent anything, as it seemed like the most wasteful way to spend money, so getting away with just chairs isn't bad. Although we went with the cheapest place I could find which cause a few headaches, but whatever!
Total = $670
- Photographer: $800 + $100 tip = $900
- Food truck: $500 + $100 tip = $600
Our photographer was with us from a little before the ceremony (4:30pm) to end of reception, when we said she could go at 11pm. That was about seven hours of coverage, at two locations, and she had an assistant helping her manning our instant camera station. We got roughly 300+ edited photos a week later (yay on not waiting for months!) and did an amazing job. Best deal ever!
Our goal was to be under $1,000 for each of these big ticket items. It took a lot of looking and thinking outside-the-box to find our photographer. We already knew the guys who ran the food truck and, after checking with a few trucks, they easily had the best deal and communicated the best.
Total = $1,500
Outfits and beauty
- Bride's outfit: $662 (Dress, custom vest, underwear, heels, boots, necklace, plugs, bag, rings and bracelet already owned)
- Groom's outfit: ~$340 (Shorts, boots, shirt, suspenders, unused pants, bow-tie he already owned)
- Waxing: $60 (tip included)
- Hair: ~$80 day-of + $50 for trial + ~$20 tip = ~$150
- Make-up: ~$50 day-of + $15 trial + ~$10 tip = ~$75
- Mani/pedi: ~$75 (tip included)
- Honeymoon lingerie: ~$175
We didn't really have a budget for any of this, and think we did pretty well considering our lack of budgeting.
Total = ~$1,537
Save the dates, invites, and Thank You cards
- All: ~ $300
I'm going to be honest, I totally lost track on these. It's high because I'm a designer, and went a little overboard. This price includes Save the Dates from Moo.com, DIY invites and Thank You cards, tools used, and some of the ink. Also the paper used, which was also used for other decorations and signage.
Total = ~$300
Decorations and other items
- Decorations: $317
- DIY tools and materials: $384
- Guestbook: $211
- Party Supplies: $158 (Plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, silverware, glow-sticks and glow-necklaces)
- Favors: $73 (Custom guitar picks and pins)
- Film for instant cameras: $121 (cameras already owned)
- Pineapples: $45
- Bubbles and balloons: Free (gifted)
We had no set budget for this, and just played it by ear based off how much the bigger items were. DIY can easily add up though, and lots of time was spent making things.
Total = $1,309
Desserts, appetizers, and drinks
* Mini pies: $94 + $22 tip = $116
* Cupcakes: ~$105
* Gluten-free cookies: $10
* Pupus: $35 + Free fruit and veggies from our friends
* Wine: $126
* Beer: $129
* Soda + water: $32
We had just the right amount of snacks and wine, but we missed estimated how many would drink beer, and the soda was barely touched.
Total = $553
- Bride's custom ring: $600
- Groom's: $575
We planned on spending a lot on our rings, as we felt it was worth the investment to get nice rings and knew I had to get something custom to match my custom made engagement ring.
Total = $1,175
Officiant and marriage license
- Officiant: Free
- License: $98
I found the marriage license to be expensive! We could've gotten it for cheaper if we did pre-marriage counseling, but we weren't about to add that to our list for $30 off. At least we didn't pay anything for the officiant, as we had our friend do it.
Total = $98
Thank You gifts
- Wedding books: $98
- Framed 8×10 pictures: $12
- Framed 4×6 pictures: $8
We kept our Thank You gifts simple. We gave our parents framed pictures of us and a wedding book I made on Shutterfly. The pictures were free with a discount code, and another discount code was used for the books. The frames we just got from Target. We also gave out pictures to friends and family that helped.
Total = $118
Wedding night room and honeymoon
- Wedding night room: $369
- Honeymoon: $7,832 for 12 days
Doing an all-inclusive honeymoon for two weeks is costly! But so worth it. It was absolutely amazing, and we know it'll be the only time we ever get to do something like that.
Total = $8,201
Total spent on the wedding:
- Just the wedding: $9,992
- With the honeymoon: $17,824