@sherryberry: We are not even remotely finished with everything, but I can say that we have splurged on about 99% of the stuff we’ve taken care of thus far. It’s a little sickening because we started off saying, “We won’t make a definite budget, but we’d like to stay in X range.” Now we’re saying, “Well, we’re only going to do this once … So I guess it’s okay.”
Realistically we could use the money for other things (we’re paying for everything), but we do have it available to us. And, to be fair, we aren’t going completely nuts with spending. We know we can’t afford a $75,000 wedding, so our spending will never even get near that amount. We’re not completely irresponsible! Haha.
That being said, I’d say based on our costs so far …
– My dress. It was $2790 before tax. (Not including alterations.) I love my dress, though, and I don’t regret ordering it.
– My accessories thus far. I’ve only ordered a belt and hairpiece, but the belt was $375 before tax and the hairpiece was $205 before tax. I probably could have gotten cheaper alternatives, but I fell in love with them at the bridal shop. I’d still say they were worth it.
– Our caterer. We don’t have the exact numbers yet, as he just gave a rough estimate … But we’re thinking with the dinner options we’ve selected, “butler style” hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour, and choosing to have a plated dinner, we’ll be paying around $5000 for approximately 180 guests (give or take). Definitely worth it, though, because the food is amazing. (Not to mention the fact that he let us pick hors d’oeuvres that aren’t even on the menu because it was important to us to incorporate some Asian food into the menu since we met in China!)
– Renting chiavari chairs. We’re actually saving some money on this, as we received a discount through our venue … But I still count it as a splurge because they’re completely unnecessary. A chair is a chair. But we really liked the look of them, so we’re getting them. I’d estimate this to be about $540 (give or take). Like I said, not that expensive, but also a random splurge.
– Venue. Our venue has a “minimum amount” you have to meet with them, but they also take care of pretty much everything (minus attire, rings, food, and cake). It’s really easy to meet the minimum when you consider photography, flowers, DJ, decorations, alcohol, etc. Overall, though, I’d say the actual rental cost of the venue was pretty inexpensive compared to the other locations we considered. The cost to rent is $1800 on a Saturday, and that includes tables, chairs (though we’re upgrading those), and basic linens (we’re probably upgrading these as well).
– DJ. As I mentioned, our venue offers a lot of services. We’ll be able to get our DJ for $695 for 6 hours ($100 for each additional hour). It’s not cheap, but it’s certainly much less expensive than some of the other DJ companies were charging!
– Engagement photos. We’re not doing them. We struggled with this for a while, but ultimately decided we didn’t really want or need to do them. Sometimes I wish we would, but we’re really saving quite a bit by cutting them out. Obviously we’re paying $0 for this.
I know we’ll have a lot of additional splurges (and hopefully some additional saves!) as we continue planning. For example, the wedding bands I’m interested in are in the $2500 range, but we’re hoping to save some money on less expensive invitations. It’s all just a big balancing act, really.
I also think some things are kind of “middle of the road” for us. We’re thinking of upgrading our photography package to get some additional albums, etc., but it will still be between $2300-$2800 (depending on which package we choose). I think that’s fairly standard in this area (from what I’ve seen).