Does this seem like a reasonable budget?

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 2
29 posts

I’m planning a wedding with the same budget. We had to cut out quite a few of those things you listed. No transportation or rooms for guests, favors, programs, welcome bags, or videography.
The DJ is expensive and then we are going to do minimal DIY venue decorating. Maybe things are more affordable in your area? I live in the wine country and everything is expensive!

Post # 3
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

1) We can’t know if your reception budget is reasonable unless we know how many guests you have, and the city would also help.

2) I’d estimate 500$ for a bus rental and tip, 200$ for DIY flowers, 200$ for DIY Invites, 600$ for DJ and tip, 150$ for accomodations for yourself, 150$ for DIY favors, which doesn’t really leave you money for videography or bridal party accomodations.  

I would research the cake, the transportation for your out of town guests, the flowers, the invites, and the DJ.  These can be very big ticket items if your heart is set on something, or they can be very cheap if you score good deals/make compromises/use friendors.  

Post # 5
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think it’s doable. You’ll need to watch what you’re spending, and try not to forget about the little things that add up [like candles, postage, ect].

Post # 6
6786 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

MrsZynxy:  Hm. I’m going to say that you’ll realllly be pushing it. You’ll need to cut back on favors definitely, budget everything decor wise. DJs can run $700 and transportation (limo/party bus) can be $500 (I just saw you said $300 for you, so that’s good). I spent around $50/person for favors for the bridal party and parents. Don’t forget about the postage on invitations and thank you’s, that can add up to around $150 for the 100 people (sending the invites + prepaid RSVP cards + thank you note postage). Some hotels charge a “delivery fee” to put your Welcome Bags inside the guests’ rooms, so definitely check on that. I’ve seen fees as high as $12/bag. 

How many people are in the bridal party? This will help estimate the costs of flowers. 

You’ll need centerpieces for I’m guessing 11 tables (10 tables for your 100 guests plus your bridal party table) and that will cost at least $100 if you DIY everything.

What about the cost of your cake and cake topper?

Then don’t forget about all the little things that add up, like flower girl baskets, the ring bearer pillow, hair and makeup the day of (if your mom isn’t paying).

Tips for vendors and the officiant/minister.

What about wedding rings?

That’s all the stuff that came to the top of my mind… to me it seems like much more than $2k.

If you want to PM me, I can show you the cost break down for my 20 person wedding. I never made a budget and thought I was being relatively frugal with things (no flowers, no DJ, no mailed invites, $275 photographer), and still spent over $5k.

Post # 7
44 posts
  • Wedding: October 2014

^^ Agree. It’s the small stuff I find that adds up quickly. Things not mentioned.. hair, makeup, nails, undergarments, shoes, veil, cardbox, guestbook, ink for diy invitations, wedding bands etc. Also not sure if your venue includes chairs, tables, linens etc but that would cost more as well. These are just things I have come across.

Post # 8
4729 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

The small stuff adds up very quickly, and I think 2k for all of your extras is going to be very hard to do. Even DIY, I think decor would be hard to fit within that budget – but that depends on how much decor you want to have. I don’t know about your church, but 1k seems really high for a church ceremony?

Post # 10
6786 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

MrsZynxy:  Don’t forget to factor in any cake cutting fees at the venue and also plug-in fees for the DJ too. You might want to call ahead and get a cost breakdown of all the features offered there and go through the list with your FI to veto unnecessary expenses before signing the contract. Like mentioned, they will nickel and dime you for renting their silverware, linens, chairs, set up and tear down, DJ plug-in, champagne on tables for toasts, cake cutting, bringing your own caterer… you name it!

Post # 11
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

Yeah my budget was originally $10,000 too and now we are at over $20,000 and that’s only with 50 people, and trying to DIY most of everything we can and keeping it simple. There were a LOT of little things that I did not think of as most mentioned above. Also with 7 bridesmaids and groomsmen, you will need gifts for them, too. One thing that helped get a more realistic budget was looking at the checklist on They have a very itemized list of all the things to consider. 

Post # 12
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I started with 10,000 and am up to 12,000 now which I’m ok with. Get your quotes and look for deals. Be prepared for unexpected costs and making choices.

Post # 13
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

MrsZynxy:  $30 a person?! Oh my god. Oh my god. I cannot even fathom that. Just shows yo uhow geographically different pricing can be. What a great price! Mine was 100 plus tax plus fees per person!!!!

Does that price include alcohol?

Please do not spend more than $10 on a cake topper. Guests don’t see it; invest in more food or alcohol or something.

If a reception is $30pp there’s no way you should be paying 1k for a church ceremony. Even around here it’s only like $250 or so. My ceremony fee (from our caterers) was $250 off-site.

Post # 14
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s totally doable. But I think there are a lot of small things that add up quickly and will eat away at that $2k. I’d cut favors, welcome bags and videography. Do you have a friend or family member that has a camcorder for home movies? I’d ask them to film the important parts. My cousin did that and it’s nice to have it to look back and remember, but we didn’t need a pro videographer. 

Things to think about:

  • Taxes/service fees/tips – this is easy to forget and often a significant cost
  • Does your reception cost include tables/chairs/tableclothes/napkins/silverware/plates/cups? This can add up very quickly. Just plastic plates/cups and paper napkins can add up to several hundred dollars
  • If you’re doing DIY invites/programs/menus/paper products – remember to facor in the cost of printer ink. I didn’t factor that and we went through $75 of ink for our programs and a trifold info card
  • Don’t forget dress alterations when determining the cost. Also foundation wear, jewelry and a veil (if you’re wearing one)
  • DIY supplies add up. Make sure it’s not cheaper to just buy a premade item – especially if you can find it used

Also, the ceremony cost seems a little high. I know most churches give a discount if you’re a member – is this the discounted price?

Post # 15
4583 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Like others have said, it really depends on your region and what you really want to splurge/save on. I am hoping to keep everything between $10-$15K – and so far I think it’ll be around the $10K mark.

Some things that we’re not doing are favors, extravagant center pieces at the reception (using what the hotel has and just adding some small stuff to them), a professional videographer (setting up a tripod at the ceremony), no guest welcome bags – just to name a few.

We splurged on the band, as that was something we thought was important to us. I think after you look at everything, you realize what you really want and what you can live without. I know I always envisioned different things, but will be happy with what we do, do. An awesome wedding can be done at any budget – and traditional is only what you make it to be.

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