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How much is your wedding costing you?

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I think your budget sounds very reasonable. Ours went just a bit above that, but under what we were planning as we had a few expensive items. See our budget and actuals below. A few notes: I opted not to get a wedding band and stuck with my engagement ring only (e ring not part of the budget). I made my bouquets with real touch flowers and brought them. I went a little overboard on guest favors as I made them OOT bags. We did not have a videographer, but did have a pricy photographer (worth it to me!)



(based on 30 guests)
Projected  Actual
(Paid to Date) 
Final (Difference)
MARRIAGE LICENCE  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
BLOOD WORK  $                    140.00  $                      170.00  $                    (30.00)
OFFICIANT FEE  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
CEREMONY LOCATION (EVENING FEE)  $                    400.00  $                      400.00  $                             -  
WEDDING BANDS  $                1,200.00  $                      371.00  $                    829.00
CAKE & CHAMPANGE, DINNER  $                    900.00  $                      750.00  $                    150.00
COCKTAIL HOUR  $                    300.00  $                      250.00  $                      50.00
RECEPTION MUSIC & LIGHTING  $                1,350.00  $                      700.00  $                    650.00
FLOWERS / DÉCOR  $                    130.00  $                      103.27  $                      26.73
BRIDE'S BOUQUET  $                      80.00  $                         42.00  $                      38.00
BRIDESMAIDS' BOUQUETS (3 total)  $                      80.00  $                         60.00  $                      20.00
GROOM'S BOUTONNIERE  $                      20.00  $                           6.00  $                      14.00
GROOMSMEN BOUTONNIERES (3 total)  $                      20.00  $                         12.00  $                        8.00
BOUTONNIERES & CORSAGES FOR OTHERS  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
GUEST FAVORS  $                    150.00  $                      224.00  $                    (74.00)
ATTENDENT GIFTS  $                    180.00  $                         74.85  $                    105.15
BRIDAL GOWN & ALTERATIONS  $                    895.00  $                      915.00  $                    (20.00)
VEIL & HEADPIECE  $                    143.00  $                      189.85  $                    (46.85)
SHOES  $                      15.00  $                           3.71  $                      11.29
GARTER, GLOVES, PURSE, JEWELLERY, ETC (ACCESSORIES)  $                      60.00  $                         47.19  $                      12.81
LINGERIE  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
HAIR & MAKE-UP (AND SPA)  $                    345.00  $                      345.00  $                             -  
GOWN CLEANING & PRESERVATION  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
GROOM'S ATTIRE  $                    100.00  $                         69.95  $                      30.05
BRIDESMAIDS ATTIRE  $                    300.00  $                      176.46  $                    123.54
GROOMSMENS ATTIRE  $                    300.00  $                      424.34  $                 (124.34)
PHOTOGRAPHER & ALBUMS & PRINTS ORDERED  $                5,200.00  $                   4,284.00  $                    916.00
VIDEOGRAPHER - friend (not recommended) vs. professionals and editing  $                             -    $                                -    $                             -  
TABLE THROW-AWAY CAMERAS (5 vs one on each table)  $                      65.00  $                         35.02  $                      29.98
INVITATIONS WITH RSVP CARDS AND ENVELOPES  $                    150.00  $                      179.25  $                    (29.25)
PROGRAMS, PLACECARDS  $                      30.00  $                         10.00  $                      20.00
POSTAGE  $                      44.00  $                         36.08  $                        7.92
THANK YOU CARDS  $                      50.00  $                         38.95  $                      11.05
WEDDING WEBSITE  $                      50.00  $                         50.00  $                             -  
BRIDE AND GROOM HOTEL ROOM  $                3,368.00  $                   3,368.00  $                             -  
AIRFARE (BRIDE AND GROOM)  $                    900.00  $                      500.00  $                    400.00
   $     16,965.00  $       13,835.92  $       3,129.08


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For my sister's wedding we saved as much money as possible!  We had a friend get our invitations for us.  Another friend who was planning on coming to the wedding happens to be a photographer, so he took pictures for us all week for free, and they paid for his trip.  Then, he gave them a cd with the pictures on it, so we could have our own printed!  That way, we could also have them printed on the thank-you notes for the reception.  And, the reception was a small carry-in reception after they got home, where we provided the meat, drinks, and utensils, but everybody carried in a tray per person, AND everybody was satisfied with the food because they brought it!

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It's amazing how quick things add up don't they?! :)

My budget is $15K all in and right now I'm VERY close. However, I do think you can do this for a lot less if you want....we just chose to splurge on a few items. We have approx. 32 ppl coming and everyone is paying their own way. Our view is that since all of our friends and family are spending so much $ to come to our wedding, we wanted to give as much back to them as we could afford.


Here are a few of the key expenses:

7 nights all inclusive for FI and myself $1000

(this would have been free with the travel credits we earned, but we opted to share our credits with some of our bridal party)

Basic wedding package FREE

Reception & upgrades to package $1,600

DJ & dancefloor $1,000

Real Flowers (incl. all bouquets,centerpieces etc.) $1,000

Additional Decor (tiffany chairs, chair bows, tablecloths etc.) $700

Photography & Videography $2,000

Gown & all accessories $2,000

Bridesmaid dresses x 5 & gifts $800

Groomsmen suits x 3 & gifts $600

Surprise excursion for guests $1,800

OOT Bags $400

Stationary (DIY incl. invitations) $300


I also spent a lot of time researching all of these items to ensure I would get the most value for my $. Hope this helps!


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Our budget right now is $40,000 and even though we're early in the planning I think it's going to be really hard to stick to that! We anticipate around 50 people (we really can't go over that!!) but costs still are adding up exponentially. I do have $2,500 budgeted for my dress (I'm going shopping next week!) and we already bought my beautiful Tacori wedding band for around $2,300 and are spending $5,700 on photography (del Sol in RM), so that's a BIG chunk right there. Those things are all important to me, though, so it's worth the investment.


Honestly I'm not thrilled with how much we are spending, but I'd much rather spend that on a week-long trip with my closest friends and family in a beautiful destination than on a traditional one-day wedding back home. We live in Boston, MA where weddings in the city are just crazy! For $40k here, we'd have a very basic, no-frills wedding - just not worth it to us!

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Our budget at the moment is $5000, and its gonna be a tight sqeeze if we dont end up going over. So far our biggest expense is the cost for both of our trips, everything else I'm doing myself so I cut the majority of the cost right out.

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