Post # 1
We are paying for everything ourselves, and it’s making it hard to determine a budget amount. If we were handed $5k, we’d say “ok, here’s $5k, here are all the things we need” and math it out. But, having never done this before, we don’t even know a ball park to start with.
So, what did you spend in each area of your wedding? Dinner/meal, alcohol, decorations, photography, etc. I’m hoping I can combine some of these and make an average…then try to shoot WAY under it :-p
Post # 3
today the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $27,000
depending where you live and have your wedding will change the figure.
Post # 4
We spent 55K.
360 guests – here is a general breakdown! doesn’t include everything but it includes a lot of the major parts.
Food/Alcohol per person: $81 – this alone ended up being almost 30K
Dress/alterations/veil/shoes/jewelry for me – $2,800
Flowers (my bouquet, 8 BMs, 8 GMs, moms/dads and centerpieces, flowers for church etc): $5,000
Save the dates/invitations/stamps: $1,800
Gifts for BMs and GMs: $75 each x 16 = $1,200
Wedding Bands (mine and his): $2,000
Limo (dual axle hummer): $1,300
Post # 5
Our total buget is $10k. We will come in at almost that exact number, maybe a couple hundred over. We will have about 160 guests.
Post # 6
Ours is budgeted at $12,000 for all ceremony and reception. This includes all rental fees, gratuities, flowers, decor, food, cake, coffee, and beer and wine. The total also includes DJ, photographer, guest book, and all paper items (place cards, invitations, etc.). Not included are personal items for me and/or FI such as my dress, shoes, and rings. As of right now, we are exactly on target to meet the budget (plus or minus the final guest count). We are also getting married on a Sunday, huge discounts, and I am DIYing all my paper items, place card boards, and a card bird cage.
Setting a budget is huge. My dad told me what ours was, and I have been 100% determined to stay within, else I pay the rest. Keeping to a budget is very doable, but it will depend on your style and what you are looking for, and the little details. As PP mentioned, it also depends on where you live. I think weddings in Georgia would be less expensive than LA or NY, per se.
Post # 7
All in all we spent under $3,300 – attire, rings, photography, dinner, flowers, cake, officiant. This was a destination elopement with two witnesses.
$1250 – 3 hours photography
$701 – all of my attire
$227 – all of H’s attire
$350 – H’s ring (I went with one ring, my e-ring)
$206 – officiant and license paperwork
$550 – lodge’s packaged elopement for 3 course dinner, champagne, bouquet, bountoniere, wedding cake (rough value of package)
Post # 8
Not including engagement ring or wedding dress, we’re looking at around $10,000. We will have between 25-30 guests.
Post # 9
We paid for it ourselves as well and we didn’t really make a budget. We paid for what we could, when we could. Our reception venue was $3200 including food. We used a ballroom at our Holiday Inn Convention Center. It also included set up and tear down.We had a taco buffett.
Photography was free because we have a friend who was just starting her business and needed clients for her portfolio. We got VERY lucky!
Alcohol was $8,000 for an open bar but we really pushed for people to drink. We had to hit the $3200 at the hotel which included food and alcohol or we would have to pay $800 for the room. Food put us at $2400 so we had to spend $800 in booze and we were nervous we wouldn’t. We were very wrong. FIL ended up paying that bill though. Again, super lucky.
Decorations were probably around $700 or $800 altogether but I really didn’t keep track. That was the main thing that I just bought when I could.
Cake was $250 for our wedding cake and grooms cake. We used a grocery store and it turned out awesome!
DJ was $500 for the entire night and he traveled from a state away. He was awesome! I was super impressed.
Invites were designed by me and printed at Office Depot. Not the most amazing quality paper but they got the job done. $150
Our ceremony was held at a local park and was $90 to reserve the park for the entire day.
Chairs for the ceremony were $250.
Guitar player for ceremony was $100.
Gifts for wedding party and parents probably added up to about $300. We didnt do anything extravagant.
Post # 10
about $21,000 not including my ring and honeymoon. $35,000 including my ring and the honeymoon.
Dress – $1921
Shoes – $185
Jewelry – $112
Hair – $60
Makeup – $150
Flowers – $2,000
Photographer – $3,900
Venue (incl. rentals, food, cake, linens) – $9,500
DJ – $450
Ceremony decor – $30 (aisle runner – not including flowers)
Favors – $200
Grooms cake – $100
Tuxedos – $350 (groom and GM)
Groom’s shoes – $100
Groom’s ring – $80
My rings – approx $9,250
Honeymoon – approx $4,500 (groom is paying for it so I’m unsure of the exact amount)
TOTAL = $34,438.00
Post # 11
@badabing88: I would figure out your budget first (I believe a lot of wedding magazines suggest this) and then figure out what stuff you want to do… not backwards or you will get into trouble once you realize you can’t afford what you really want. You must have some idea what the ballpark is. $5K? $15K? $55K? Like if your first priority in life is to buy a home (for example), and you love taking your annual vacations, you might want to ensure that the wedding budget still allows you to do those things comfortably.
The number of guests also greatly impact what your wedding looks like. Do you have big families and foresee having them all present or do you have smaller families and envision an intimate affair? The more guests, obviously the less fancy the venue unless you spend the big bucks.
I would have a chat with your FI about what he thinks is reasonable to spend… what you think is reasonable to spend etc. and go from there. Once you have a dollar amount, as you say, it’s easy to get stuff that matches it. It can be hard work, but it can be done, especially if you DIY on a lot of things. I wouldn’t get hung up on national averages or even averages of where you live. Just because others spend X amount doesn’t mean you have to.
We’re eloping and actual ceremony costs will likely be under $200. I don’t think we’re bothering with a reception either. To us, it’s about being married.. and neither of us want the party. My engagement ring will be the only significant wedding related costs because it’s important to us. A wedding is totally not a priority in the grand scheme of our life together.
Post # 12
[comment moderated for trolling]
Post # 13
We spent about $17k. We had just under 70 people, and did a “cocktail reception”, but we had enough food that it was a meal, just split into stations throughout the evening.
My parents paid for my dress (including alterations), the cake and honeymoon, and DH’s paid for the flowers/decor and the rehearsal dinner. If we counted all that then it would easily be $25k.
The majority of the budget went to food and drinks (we had an open bar), which was just over 50%. Photography was another chunk of the budget, and third biggest expense was a tie between our DOC and the actual venue (which was separate from the food costs).
The biggest piece of advice is to try to think of absolutely everything-there were a lot of little things (like I needed a corset for under my dress, or gifts for the BMs, or hotels for the night before) that you might not think of, but that really add up.
I would also try to decide ahead of time what you feel comfortable spending (or can save), and then try to work backwards…is X amount on food really worth it to you, or should you cut it?
Post # 14
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
I’ve honestly never done the math:
My Ring: 2k
His Ring: 200
My Dress, Alterations, Shoes, Veil, Jewelry: 1200 + 150 + 150 + 25 + 100
His Tux: 100
Venue, Food, Drinks, also the ceremony site: 4500
Honeymoon: Estimate it at around 3500
Card Holder: 25
Night of Hotel: 200
I’m sure I’m missing a lot but that puts me at: $15,800
Post # 15
We are looking at spending 15k for about 150-200 people. This doesn’t include our rings and honeymoon.
Reception site, food, alcohol: approximately 10k
Photography: 1600 (included engagement shoot, wedding day, and wedding shoot afterwards)
Flowers: 800 (centerpieces will be DIY – reception site provided vases)
Dress, shoes, veil: 600
Post # 16
Around $21k for 80-85 people.
Venue rental + alcohol/chairs/tables/linens: $5620 (ceremony included, 6 hour reception, open bar)
Food: about $3,000
Attire (dress, shoes, veil, jewelry, suit): $1900
Limo/Photobooth: $455 + $800
Hair/Makeup: $800 (paying for 5 BM)
Officiant, hotel rooms: $300 + $390
My parents are paying for the reception basically (venue, alcohol, food, cake, DJ, my dress). We’re paying for everything else. His mother is doing the rehearsal dinner. Not included in that total because I have no idea what we’re doing yet.