What was your wedding budget?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Technically ours is $15,000 but I am determined to keep mine at $10,000 for 100-120 guests. It can get really tricky with the costs because you don’t always consider sales tax and service fees, but make sure you take that into account when working with venues and vendors because that in itself is anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. 

Our priority was a good photographer, and a venue that would accomodate our out of state guests, and of course the location. We got our photographer for a steal because he was doing a one time offer he does for one couple each year for only $1800, when he typically charges $3,000-$5,000!! Look for deals, ask lots of questions, set a budget, and price out everything before you sign the dotted line. 

And btw Congrats!!!!!!!!

Post # 3
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Hey girl congrats! We kind of did our budget backwards in that we estimated what we thought everything we wanted would cost and then came up with our general “budget” from there. We also knew how much we roughly wanted to spend and what we thought was worth it. We are paying for most of the wedding ourselves as well, if your parents are helping make sure you talk to them about what they will be contributing. We came up with (keep in mind where you live plays a huge role) needing about 40k for our wedding, including honeymoon, so that’s what we saved up towards that number over the last year. Now that we are booking things we are finding something’s cost more, some less but are fine with that as we have the cash to cover it all. I suggest buying the knot wedding planner binder or checking out the website there is a super handy budget tool on there that is helpful if you want to start out with a set number. 

Post # 4
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My original wedding budget was 30K (minus the e-ring and wedding bands) but… as time fly by, it seems to be closer to 35-36K …. 

Post # 5
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

This is a highly variable question. Location makes a huge difference, right off the bat. Season can, as well. So just take everything with a grain of salt.

Our ideal budget was $15k, our maximum budget was $25k and our actual budget (after all was said and done) was $17.5k. That included everything except my dress, which was a gift from my grandmother.

We invited 230 guests and had 160 RSVP yes for the wedding, and 150 actually showed up.

We hosted a Welcome Dinner at a cheap hotel meeting room the night before the wedding. My dad cooked barbeque, we got beer and box wine and hired a bluegrass band. Super low key, but a great way to add in some additional time with our guests, especially those who traveled long distances. 

For the wedding we used my dad’s backyard, which meant renting a large tent, a dance floor, port-a-pots, a generator, tables and chairs. We hired caterers for a yummy 2 meat, 3 veg, salad, bread buffet and 2 hot apps during cocktail hour. We had an open bar that included beer, wine and 3 signature cocktails – we bought all the alcohol and hired private bartenders. We had  DJ who did sound amplification for the ceremony and played music/emceed the reception. We had a single pro photog all day, wedding day, who was fairly new to the business, so we got her for a good deal. We asked several family members to make different desserts – so no wedding cake costs. The best money we spent was on our day of coordinator, who helped organize the set up of all the decor and kept everything running on schedule – she allowed me to hand everything over and just focus on enjoying my wedding day and not worry about anything.

The next day we hosted a simple brunch. The food was all pre-prepared (pastries, whole fruit, cereal boxes, juice) or cooked by my dad (big tray of biscuits and a big pot of gravy). There were supposed to be mimosas, but the champagne accidently got opened the night before, so that didn’t happen. Life went on. 

I would recommend that you and your fiance sit down and talk about priorities. What is most important, in a wedding day, for each of you and for you both together? Are there special things you would like to incorporate into the day? Do you want a big or small wedding? Daytime or evening? What sort of budget are you comofortable with? Write this all down. You don’t have to stick to it, but it’s useful to look back on your priorities when you’re freaking out that the chairs are the wrong color (or anything else that isn’t really that important). 

ETA: Everything was in a small town in central KY – we decided on this location after seeing how much cheaper everything was there, vs in the larger city where we currently live.

Post # 6
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Congrats 🙂 Our budget was $25,000 plus $8,000 for the honeymoon. I originally thought a budget of $20,000 but it quickly became clear 25 was more realistic! I prioritised a good venue ($3000 hire), and a photographer ($6000) that will take beautiful pictures. More than dress or flowers etc I wanted to make sure I could invite the people I wanted and have a great day.

Post # 7
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

missmacaylah:  like other posters have pointed out, it definitely depends on location. We got married in SC and spent a grand total including dress, honeymoon…really everything except my e-ring which was an heirloom – for $13,000 for 130 guests. This included a photographer who happens to be a friend for a steal of $1000, our venue was $1700 for the day, and our buffet catering was around $2700. 

The best advice I could give is not to skimp on the photographer!! We almost decided to just use our friends and family as photographers and not have anyone designated but now that we have our beautiful pics, we are so glad we did it!!!

Congrats to you!!! 

Post # 8
795 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We were married in Dallas and spent $15,000 for our wedding with 42 guests. Honeymoon next year is $6,000. Food and photographer were the two biggest things for us. We spent $5,000 alone on feeding our guests (this included an open bar). 

Post # 9
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I like nice things, but I am cheap, so our total budget for all of it was $6,000. We had a 100 guest and we got married on a Saturday Morning and had a Jazz Champagne Brunch which cut the cost down tremendously. It was $30.00 per person with ulimited Champagne, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. Not to mention was had passed appetizers while we were taking our pictures.

Our invitations cost little to nothing because I already had the invitations from a prior engagement which didnt work out (it was such pretty paper)

We found really cool wedding band’s on Etsy that were estate finds and got them dirt cheap…. both bands together cost under $700 and my husbands is 1/2 carat.

Our venue had decorations which they allowed us to use, so i only had to buy a few table runners to add our colors and they were dirt cheap on ebay.

We had a dessert bar along with our wedding cake and it was $500 bucks.

I am a amateur photographer so I set up on my own photo booth which ran itself.

I say to each his own, I had no desire to break the bank on a wedding which is over before you know it…it was beautifuly budgeted.

Post # 10
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Our budget was 15k, but we are right around the 17k mark, but this includes everything wedding related [even things that weren’t paid by us].

Also, we spent more money than most on things because we bought everything instead of renting.

Our budget includes all of the following :

hair & makeup for the bride, 2 bridesmaids & mother of the groom

all decor for reception & ceremony

bridesmaid, groomsmen, bride & groom attire [including shoes, undergarments, alterations, ect]

all bar items [alcohol, beer, wine coolers, ice buckets, juice, wines]

bathroom baskets for mens & womens

flip flop basket

bridal shower

rehearsal dinner / welcome party

buffet items [including food, crock pots, drink dispensers, plates, paper straws, drinks, water, coffee, sugar, creamer, salt, papper]

cake table [8 tier cake, cake stand, punch fountains, plates, cake cutter/server]

all candy buffet items [candy, containers, scoops, spoons, bags, chocolate fountain, ect]

ceiling decor [drapery, chandeliers, twinkle lights, extension cords, uplighting, ect]

all ceremony items [rice, shepherd hooks, pomanders, sand ceremony, love letter box ceremony, ect]

all cigar bar items [containers, cigars, lighters, matches, ash trays, ect]

cocktail hour [drinks, food]

firepit area [firepit, haybales & fabric, marshmallows, sticks, wood, ect]

flowers [all bouquets & centerpieces]

all gifts for bridal party & parents

guest books [2 of them]

12 day honeymoon

late night snack nacho bar

all linens [tablecloths, table skirts, chair covers, sashes, napkins]

photo booth [including photos, camera, backdrops, props & attendant to run it]

all rentals including ceremony space, reception hall, photographer, dj, bartender, officiant

all stationary including stds, invites, advice cards, menus, programs, escort cards, seating cards, postage, printer & ink

all table decor including candles, candle holders, ect


Post # 11
769 posts
Busy bee

Hi there, congrats!!

We prioritized on open bar, great photographer, and great food. We are in the DMV area and we have 185 guests so without honeymoon or rings, our budget is at around $60k now. However, this also includes a welcome dinner for everyone the day before and a brunch the following day. 90% of our guests are coming from 6hrs+ away and some are actually coming from overseas.  

It really depends on what you would like, where you are getting married and when, your vision..etc.

Good luck with planning!

Post # 12
380 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Historic house and gardens

Our budget is $15000, not including my gown or his suit (add another $4000 for that). We will have 30 guests.

Our biggest cost was the venue, which includes food/drinks, and comes in at $7200, and our wedding rings which will cost about $3500. The ceremony, same location as the reception, was another $1200, plus $650 for the celebrant. The photographer we managed to get for $1000 for 4 hours. All the other incidentals like wedding night accomodation, invitations, etc add up quickly.

We are not doing cake, cars, flowers, bridal party. I’m in Australia.

Our Honeymoon will be another 20-25K

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  LonnyLee.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  LonnyLee.
Post # 13
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

My budget was about $8000 for everything, including the honeymoon, rings, and the whole shebang.

We came in at about $6000 for the wedding and $1500 for the honeymoon.

It can be done! And I live in CT, which is a high cost area. We had to prioritize. No regrets here!

Post # 14
584 posts
Busy bee

Our budget was $30k (minus honeymoon and rings) and it came in at just over $28k so wooohoooo! 

Post # 15
1049 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

missmacaylah:  how exciting!! Congrats!! 


My my budget from my parents is about 10,000. Not including my dress, our daughters things, and Fi’s things. not including my e-ring and bands. 


So far our highest cost is the venue for the ceremony/reception. It’s about 6100. This includes some centerpiece items (vases, mirros, votives), honey moon suite for Fi and I the night of, ceremony, reception (between 4 ballrooms), hordourves, champaign toast, meal, open bar, all service fees, and gratuity. 

our second highest is the dj/photobooth/up lighting. He is doing the ceremony and the reception. The photobooth will serve as our favors and guest book as well. the total there is about 1900 (a little less)

Our photographer is a friend of mine, and with e-pics it’s costing 1300

i got all my candles already from yummi candles. I think I spent about $80 with shipping..?

i also ordered manzanita branches which I got on sale. As well as my hanging votive Holders. 

Im designing my own invitations. Just have to buy the paper my old teacher is printing them at school 🙂 

i plan on ordering flowers from wedideas.com the total there is about 6-800. 

The cake won’t be much as I’ll be getting sheet cakes for the guests. 


Hope this helps! I’m in the Midwest!

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