Here’s my budget for an under $10,000 wedding, version 1.0.
I so want to be one of those talented and deal-seeking brides who managed a lovely soirree on $5,000, but that’s just not happening. I’ve taken a stab at putting everything together, and I know some of these expenses might be estimated low – but those that are low are things I really don’t care about. I have gotten pricing for the big items (ceremony venue, catering, photography), so I have an idea of what can be done. This is for a Sunday daytime wedding with a guest list of 40-50.
Ceremony: $500.00 (6%)
- Site rental $250.00 Gorgeous venue. No need for flowers, decorations, or rentals.
- Marriage license $100.00 Unsure. Need to find out the actual cost.
- Officiant $0.00 Former Landlord to the rescue!
- Music $150.00 I’d like to get a harpist or a guitarist to play for an hour.
Reception: $3,500.00 (41%)
- Site rental $400.00 Tables, linens, flatware.
- Food, servers, tips, taxes $2,500.00 I’ve gotten a few pricing quotes and think this is realistic.
- Alcohol $200.00 Morning wedding = less alcohol.
- Cake $250.00 Not a wedding cake.
- Music $150.00 We’d do an iPod reception.. But we need to get an iPod first.
Photography: $1,600.00 (19%)
- Wedding $1,600.00 Day of coverage with 2 photographers. No album, just CD & user rights.
- Engagement $0.00 I think we’ll be skipping this.
Attire, Hair, and Makeup: $900 (11%)
- Bride $400.00 This includes dress, shoes, accessories, etc. 3 words: Used J. Crew dresses.
- Bride hair & makeup $0.00 All me. Plus any bridesmaid who wants to help me.
- Groom $500.00 A good suit that CB can wear long after the wedding.
Stationery: $0.00 (0%)
- Save-the-dates $0.00 Former landlord has offered to do my invitations as his gift to us. He works at a paper company. Yes, in addition to helping me move, feeding me dinner, and inviting me to his backyard barbeques and parties, he will be gifting me all the paper goods I need for the wedding. Greatest Landlord Ever.
- Invitations $0.00 see above
- Programs $0.00 see above
- Seating cards $0.00 No need for a buffet.
Flowers & Decorations: $190.00 (2%)
- Bouquets $120.00 Bride (small) + 3 or 4 bridesmaid (nosegays). DIY. I’ll buy roses from the grocery store.
- Boutonnaire $20.00 For CB. I think I’ll have to get a professional to do this.
- Decorations $50.00 IKEA glass vases with.. Fruit? That people can eat. Not flowers.
Gifts: $375.00 (4%)
- Bridesmaids $200.00 I will pay for their bridesmaid dresses. Incentive for me to keep costs low.
- Groom’s party $75.00 Ties?
- Former Landlord $100.00 Gift card to a nice restaurant?
Wedding Bands: $1,100.00 (13%)
- Bride (incl. resizing) $900.00 I know I said I don’t want a band. But I really like this one from Costco… the milligrain would look very nice with the engagement ring. If I get this, I will wear the band on my left ring finger and move the engagement ring to my middle left finger.
- Groom $200.00 Maybe higher depending on what CB likes.
Other: $300.00 (4%)
- Transportation $0.00 CB’s car. It has a moonroof!
- Pre-wedding hotel $300.00 For myself and bridesmaids.
Grand Total $8,465.00
Before I put everything in Excel, I kept thinking my budget is one number. Then I add up everything and it’s completely NOT THAT NUMBER. This is most distressing. The most logical areas to cut would be (1) the reception, and (2) the wedding bands. I am not sure I want to do either.