I live in Dallas and the cost of weddings here is quite expensive. We actually married in Alabama, where I grew up and where my family lives, and if we had the exact same wedding in Dallas, that we had in Alabama, it would have been at least 3 times the cost. Thankfully our budget went a lot further since we weren’t in a major metropolotan city! I’m not sure what it is like where you live, but here is apx. what we paid in Montgomery:
Ceremony Venue: $500 (we were members of the church – you are not allowed to get married there if you are not a member)
Reception Venue: $30,000 – this included the venue itself, food, (minus the cakes), beverages including alcohol, and staffing.
Flowers: $17,000 – I realize this is a bit absurd 🙂 My mother is an interior decorator and only really cared about one aspect of the wedding – the flowers. My parents paid for the wedding so it wasn’t a big deal. 🙂
Photographer – $7,000 – I had my dream photographer. I could certianly have found someone for much less.
Invitations – $3,000 – we had a 220# letterpressed, caligraphied invitation and reply card, inner and outer envelope with custom caligraphied addressing. We also used vintage stamps, this price includes all of that for apx. 650 invitations.
Save the Dates – $800 – my best friend is a paper designer and owns her own shop, so I got the design for free. This price includes the letterpress printing of the card, envelopes and letterpressed return address on the back of the envelope.
Other Paper Items – $800 – this includes a 4 page program, welcome basket tags, a “do not disturb, I’ve been partying with the bride and groom” door hang tag for all of our out of town guests and favor tags and various welcome basket food bags.
Band $2500 – this is where I saw a huge discrepancy in location. The same caliber band would have been about $15,000 in Dallas.
Rentals – $2,700 – this includes colored napkins, chiavari chairs, tent liner, table clothes etc.
Cakes – apx 2500 for both the brides 5 tier cake and grooms peanut butter chocolate cake
Lighting – apx $2000 incuding pin lighting for the various rooms in the reception, lighting, uplighting in the tent and 2 chandeliers for the tent.
Favors – apx $500 – we gave stone ground grits in a mason jar, wrapped with a tag that included my grandmothers grit recipe. (It was Alabama after all :))
Gifts for Bridal and Groom Parties – apx $2000 total ( I think ) we chose to really bless our wedding party – I paid for some of their bridesmaid dresses so they would not have to pay an outrageous amount, we gave them monogrammed button ups to wear the day of, hair and makeup and salt water pearl earrings to wear in the wedding. My husband paid for his grooms custom bow ties and ordered custom gifts for each of them.
Hotel Costs $3000 – this covered the most of the wedding party (16 total but some stayed with family they had that lived in town), the out of town officiant, flower girl and family, ring bearer and family, grooms family, house party and ushers. My family paid for my girls and the officiant, and my husbands family paid for their hotels rooms and his guys.
Dress: $5500 – bought my dress from a local bridal salon, it was my dream dress – you can certainly find beautiful ones that don’t cost this much.
Hair/Makeup: $800 – this included travel to my parents house, bride and bridesmaid hair and makeup.
Grooms Attire -$350 per suit (my husband asked his groomsmen if they would rather buy a custom suit at a discounted price or just rent tuxes/suits – they all opted to buy suits. So they when a local suit shop had one of those “buy 1 get 2 free” promo deals going on they took advantage of that)
As always, there are other details that will come up that you are not expecting. My advice is to set your budget early on and stick to it, even it means going for a less expensive option. Remember, your wedding day is about your marriage, and the wedding is just a celebration of you pledging your love to your husband! We celebrate because there is reason to celebrate! But, as the wedding planning gets crazy or stressful, because it undoubtedly will, remember why you’re doing this in the first place 🙂 It’s not about how much money you spend – but about the love between you and your man and the celebration of your union!