- 8 years ago
- Wedding: December 1969
I thought it might be helpful if I shared our black-tie elopement budget. Elopement, for us, wasn’t the ‘cheap’ options and our four guest wedding was more expensive than a lot of big weddings.
Bespoke Tuxedo: $2000 – Made by Joe Hemrajani who makes a lot of my husband’s clothing.
Tuxedo Shoes: $350 – Dolce and Gabbana ordered on sale, originally $500.
White Braces (Suspenders): $70 Ordered from London
Bride’s Dress: $2300 – A Peter Langner dress which retails for $5600, purchased as a sample from San Francisco’s Glamour Closet.
Bride’s Shoes: $100, I already purchased before getting engaged from zappos. They were a pair of gold and beige sandals. My MOH taped the sixpence on them 🙂
Bride’s Jewelry: $0 – I already owned all of it and it was my husband’s wedding present to me was a surprise pair of pearl and diamond earrings.
Bride’s Veil: $120 pearl and swarovski crystal veil made by Goff Couture on Etsy as a copy of a Sarah Gabriel veil.
Bride’s Clutch: $60 from Regenerate on Etsy.
Wedding Dress Alterations: $65 – including hemming, taking in the waist along two princess seams, adding breast cups and a french bustle. Her name is Ellie and she owns Uni Custom Tailor on University Ave in Berkeley.
Custom Letterpress 3 Piece Announcement Suite: $1000 – beautiful work done by MaJoie Press on Etsy. Yes, the price is unbelievably good.
Calligraphy: $200 – done by Eleanor Abril, 2inspire, on Etsy. Perfectly accurate and beautiful work.
Save-the-Dates: $87 – from PaperSource, something we bought before we decided to elope. I wouldn’t use PaperSource again, given that they completely confused our order with someone else’s and it’s more expensive than I could have gotten through, say, etsy.
LOCATION and ADMINISTRATIVE
Marriage License: $87
Marriage Ceremony at City Hall: $92 – Really a steal, when you consider City Hall is rented out for weddings starting at $5000 for just the site fee!
Limo: ? – A gift from our friend. A very nice gift!
Getting Ready Hotel: $134 – At the beautiful, gorgeous, completely renovated Hotel Shattuck Plaza in downtown Berkeley. The rate was a steal at 50% off a promotional rate because they’ve just reopened after a very extensive renovation.
First Hair & Makeup Trial: $40 – thank god it wasn’t more because it was a total waste.
Second Hair Trial: $75 – a success! Kiki at Ketér Salon on fourth street in Berkeley.
Day-Of Wedding Hair: $100 – my hair stayed put all day, even in the San Francisco wind and I felt so beautiful.
Day-Of Makeup: $0 – I made friends with a MUA who offered to do my makeup the day of!
Groom’s Haircut and Style: $85 – the amazing Rebecca of Ketér Salon on 4th Street in Berkeley.
Pre-wedding Facials for both bride & groom: $400
Erica Berger – $2750 ericaberger.com. I spent about 100 hours looking for a photographer. I’m very visually picky and towards the end of my search, I only had a list of about five photographers that I didn’t actively dislike. Once I found Erica, I knew she was the one!
FOOD & DINING
Sushi Trays: $85 – We purchased two large party platters for getting ready food at the Hotel and it was a great idea. Sushi is easy to eat without getting it all over yourself, no salt to cause bloating (don’t add the soy sauce!), protein for long-run energy, and rice for a quick glucose boost.
Dinner: $1300 – The Private dining room at Boulevard for six people and four bottles of wine.
Cake: $30 – A Mango Mousse cake from Masse’s Bakery on Shattuck in Berkeley. Surprising how cheap cake is for just a few people! The cakage the restaurant charged, dwarfed the cost of the cake. Boulevard charged us $10.50/pp to plate the cake, but in all fairness they plated it beautifully, with ice cream and drizzled raspberry syrup.
Half-Eternity Diamond Platinum Band: $1350 – Appraised at $4400, purchased from estate jeweler Mark Watson located on the 5th floor of the Shreve Building in San Francisco
Platinum and Rose Gold Ring: $1300 – Purchased the floor sample instead of ordering the ring new from Germany for $2000 from Amir H. Mozaffarian on Post St. who also made my engagement ring custom for us.
We spent more than the usual amounts on gifts for our wedding party because we valued them so much and were so grateful that they would celebrate our marriage with us and keep our elopement a secret. I’d rather not list the exact amounts in case any of them ever stumble across this.
FLOWERS – all by H Julien Designs in Berkeley
Bride’s Bouquet $185
Four Boutonnieres $15 each – hand finished in white satin
Bridesmaid Bouquet: ? – A friend actually paid for all of the flowers, so I’m not sure on this one.
So yeah, our wedding didn’t win us any frugality awards, but it was luxurious to us and that is something we wouldn’t have been able to afford if we’d had a bunch of guests. It was right for us, but we faced a lot of assumptions that we were getting married in jeans, that it wasn’t as serious because it was a city hall, and we wouldn’t bother with frills like a photographer.