We didn’t have a budget per se, but we have ended up spending about $6k on our wedding.
The venue+caterer was about half of that, but we saved money everywhere else.
-Intimate, exclusive wedding with only close family and friends (about 30 total) kept catering, alcohol, favor, etc. costs down.
-Made my dress, and veil, chose inexpensive shoe and clutch options and embellished them, for a total of about $275.
-Found my FI’s outfit on sale, total with new shoes and tailoring about $250.
-Made paper flower centerpieces with thrift store vases, about $50 for everything.
-Bought linens instead of renting, spent $60 instead of $130.
-Bought an iPod speaker system and some music, spent about $175 instead of $$$ on a DJ or band. (Works because, again, we have a small wedding in a small space.)
-For the honeymoon, decided to take two mini-moons (one right away, one a few months later) instead of a big trip. So we’re going to Savannah, GA and Jekyll Island, GA for about $1200 for 5 days, then taking a cruise to the Bahamas for about $1000 for 4 days. Now we get two fun trips away, and it’s still cheaper than most places for 9 days. Priceline was our friend. We will take a big extravagant trip later when we didn’t just spend thousands on a wedding. : )
-Photographer – we found a person who is starting out in photography, and also gave us a discount since we had a small wedding. I am a little nervous since she hasn’t done many weddings, but I love her work and I’m hoping for the best.
-No wedding cake (variety of desserts, instead)
-No bridal party
Where we didn’t save money:
-Designing our own invitations and having them printed. It was cheaper than, say, getting them printed by a print shop or someone on Etsy, but it would have been even cheaper to get a boxed set from Target or something, and in retrospect probably would have been a smarter option. But, we did have very cute invitations that we love.
-Officiant. Since the ceremony is so important to us, we went with a woman we love rather than the cheapest option we could find.
-Hotel. Even though we’re getting married two blocks from our apartment, we are still opting to stay in a hotel for two nights surrounding the wedding, because we just want to be somewhere nice and different.
-Makeup. I am DIYing my own makeup, but I ended up buying tonsss of new, expensive makeup, and so it’s costing about the same as if I had it professionally done. However, I do get to keep that makeup and continue using it afterwards, so in a way it is cheaper I suppose.
-Venue and caterer + alcohol, obviously. This is the biggest expense, but I am okay with it. We are spending about …. $110 per person between these three things. Gulp. Haha. So this is definitely an area where you could cut back.
That’s all I can think of. Hope that helps!