@otto2008: Our wedding will cost us $25,000, not including any rings or honeymoon.
Our venue takes the biggest chunk out of that budget. It’s a really unique place that I fell in love with so the price tag is a reflection of the food and the use of the venue itself. It’s not a typical venue place and it is costing us $12,000 for 100 guests. My parents really wanted to invite 60 of their closest friends but we legit could not afford them so they are happily willing to pay for their guests. If we could afford to without going into debt (we are trying our best to pay everything cash for the entire wedding), we would have paid for them.
Photographer is $3,500 (originally $4,700 but our wedding is off season and he agreed to give us an amazing deal for that, couldn’t believe it), that includes 2 photographers and a CD of all the edited pictures with printing rights. We are going to look into getting an album after the wedding as they cost too damn much right now (^$2,000).
Videographer is $2,000
My dress was $2,050 (got it for a discount at the bridal shop) Alterations and extra lace ordered is costing us another $500-$600. Boo.
Transportation is still in the air.
Flowers I am trying to keep at $1,500, but if I can work my magic, it will be $1,000. Was able to get $450 worth of bird cages, lanterns, and 3 tier length tea light goblets for center pieces from Michael’s Craft Store. Along with bud vases and a ton of mercury votive candle holders. Basically, all of our centerpieces. We just need to incorporate flowers now.
Need to find a violinist or two for ceremony. Hoping that is no more than $300-$400.
Hair, makeup, shoes, accessories will be around $800.
I was able to get our invitations, rsvp cards, and menu cards for 75%(!) off so all three together only cost $250, which was great considering our budget for that was $600. Believe me, when the time comes, you’ll notice that every little dollar counts.
DJ is $1,000.
Best advice I can give you is to nail down your budget. Ask yourselves what can we spend on this wedding where afterwards, we will not be in any debt at all. Then discuss the most important things to you guys and go from there. For us, it was the venue(including food) and photographer. I feel like it sets the ambiance for the wedding and when the venue is different and unique, people remember it years from now. So we splurged on the venue with the understanding that we needed to be careful with everything else. Another piece of advice is to shop around. Don’t take the first offer from any vendor that comes your way. Also, LOOK FOR DEALS! Especially around this time of the year, next year. I couldn’t believe that I was able to get beautiful invitations for 75% off because of Christmas time sales. Also, the birdcages I found at Michael’s were on clearance. I probably bought like 15 for a total of 70 bucks. Don’t spend full price on everything, because you won’t need to if you really look for deals and try to save.
Also, I think it is very sweet of you to be asking questions about budget and things like that before your propose. My fiancé and I did the same. One has to know what they are getting into financially before just saying ,”Hey, let’s get married!”. It’s not that simple if you actually want a full blown wedding. I also don’t think you are being selfish about your wedding ideas. You stated how your gf loves the outdoors and will more than likely want an outdoor wedding even though you’re not a fan of the outdoors. Seems sweet to me. You know your gf best and I’m sure your ideas are a reflection of what you think hers would be, too.