(Closed) Break down your $15k or less wedding! (SPINOFF: How much did your wedding cost?)

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 2
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Location: Madison, wi

when: July 24, 2015

# of people: 150

ceremony: same location $500

venue: Wisconsin memorial Union $6500 included service fees alcohol(free beer and wine all night) and dinner, linens, tables and chairs (broken down: dinner $3100, appetizers $900 alcohol: $2000 service fee $500)

DJ: $975 all day and rehearsal–family referral

photography: $950–friend of ours 

flowers: $325–we made the bouquets ourselves with flowers from fifty flowers

hair and makeup: $120

stationary: $400

dress/veil/shoes/alterations: $850–final sale Dress since engagement was only 6 months

grooms suit: bought on super sale $180

we hired Bucky badger: $375

no cake but an ice cream sundae bar: $1200

late night pizza: $325

Wedding bands: mine $475 his $275

hotel shuttle: $100

decor: strictly candles and mercury glass vases all bought used from Craigslist or wedding Facebook groups $1200

bridal party gifts: $300

Post # 3
1582 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I love budget posts; commenting to follow.

Post # 5
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
gbee:  we had a sit down dinner with the options of pork tenderloin, sake salmon, or a pasta duo (ricotta stuffed shell and a vodka cream linguini) each dinner included bread, a starch and veggie. Appetizers we had a fruit display, meatballs, Mediterranean spread which was humus veggies pita bread, and potstickers. Our dinners on average were $18.95 a person and people raves about the food and portions were huge!

Post # 6
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

View original reply
FutureMrsBonavia:  I’m curious what kind of catering you found that was only $26 pp.  We’re having a lot of trouble keeping food costs below $50 pp.  

Post # 7
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
loveisbrewing:  it was all provided by our venue. The staff is students and the venue is part of the university. Not sure if that matters in their pricing

Post # 8
1354 posts
Bumble bee

$20,000 in 1998

North America

Post # 9
471 posts
Helper bee

Our wedding cost roughly $6,000 (including the honeymoon, everything!)

where: the hacienda, Santa Ana ca 

when: September 27, 2015

# of people: 55

ceremony: same place! Included in price 

venue: the hacienda. Was $4,000 and included an unlimited brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas. Also included the ceremony site, a pianist for the ceremony, potted orchids for each table, my choice of a bunch of linens for tables, the cake, set up and tear down, all taxes tips and fees, and 2 day if coordinators.

dj: $400 for 4 hours

photography: $500 for 5 hours and a disc of our choice of 200 images (found on thumbtack.com, you put your budget and photographers reach out to you) 

flowers: the grocery store $300 for my bouquet, toss bouquet, 4 bridesmaids bouquets, 4 corsages, and 6 boutonnières. 

Hair and makeup: $120, jewelry $0 all heirloom

stationary: $120

Dress: $1,000 (my splurge!) shoes were $7 sandals from target that no one noticed or cared about lol

grooms outfit: $120 (dress shirt, pants, jacket, all from target men’s slim fit collection) price included tailoring 

Cake: included

wedding bands: his $35, mine $130 (plain platinum band from antique store that we got professionally polished to look brand new)

Decor: included with venue 

favors: $1 each, hand stamped name wine charms, doubled as seat holder

bridal party gifts: nothing. They know I’m poor and they did not care (I did everything mostly anyways lol) I got the girl who did some stuff for me a card and a Starbucks card

honeymoon: $650, right after the wedding ended at 2:30 we drive right down to the pier and hopped on the cruise ship On our way to Catalina island and Ensenada Mexico for 4 days. 

I only had to meet with the venue once to hammer out what linens, cake, food and ceremony music I wanted.  It was so so easy. They literally did everything. I just showed up. This place functions as a restaurant during the week But is also a wedding venue. the restaurant part was not a problem at all.  Forgot it was there.  sorry for the picture overload. 





Post # 10
285 posts
Helper bee

Location: Eastern Canada

When: Saturday in mid-July

How Many People: 90 adults, 5 kids, and 5 “staff/friendors”

Ceremony: $150 same as venue, just had to paid to mow the huge lawn

Venue: $3500 (includes accomodation for 40ppl)

DJ: $800

Dance Floor Rental: N/A

Alcohol: $800 for wine and hard liquor, plus 100 liters of homebrewed beer provided as a gift

Catering: $3650 (buffet, provided by a community caterer and includes tips)

Cake: N/A we didn’t have a main cake. Instead we did a potluck style dessert and asked about 5-6 friends bring a dessert. Worked out splendidly.

Photographer: $1350

Flowers: $450 (most of them came from a wholesale peony farmer)

Misc. Decor: $300

Favors: N/A as we skipped on favours

Misc. Rentals (chairs, tables, and platterware): $750

Wedding Bands: $500 we got vintage 22k gold bands from a pawn shop and resized them.

Invitiations/Stationary: $120 Designed by a friend and printed them for  0.15 each. Also did an e-vite for a few people who I know didn’t care about recieving a paper invitation. Paid for a nice wedding website and online RSVP.

Dress: $750 second hand designer dress. No veil and $80 shoes. He wore a suit he already owned but paid $150 to get it altered to fit extra nice. 

Hair/Makeup: $450 for 4 ppl

Bridal Party Gifts: no bridal party



  • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  charlie486.
Post # 11
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Location: Dallas, Texas

When: In aeason – Saturday in June 

How Many People: 45 Guests

Ceremony: $900 

Venue: Historic Chapel with a restaurant reception in a private room at Del Frisco’s. Choice of salad and side – three entree choices (chicken, salmon, filet mignon). Also, choice of dessert included. 

DOC: $500

Ceremony Music: String Duo $250

Jazz Band: $550 for keyboard and guitar players along with singer

Food/Alcohol: $110 PP ($4950 total)

Cake (for show)/Boxed cake favors: $650

Photographer: $1800 (she was a steal – featured in Style Me Pretty, Ruffled Blog, Brides of North Texas, and Wedding Chicks). We had her for seven hours and included a second shooter. 

Flowers: $650 (succulents, peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, roses). Three bouquets, lose peonies, as well as two centerpieces for sweetheart table and nine table centerpieces). We supplied the birdcages and vases to our florist. 

Misc.: $1500

Linens: $200 Bought champagne colored table cloths, white napkins, and cream lace overlays

Wedding Bands: DH was $90

Invitiations/Stationary: $175

Dress: $2300

Hair/Makeup: $500 (hair for 3, make-up bride only)

Bridal Party Gifts: $200 (MOH, Flower Girl, Reader, and parent gifts)

Videographer: $800 (new in the business). Included short video and all raw footage. Had him and two assistants for nine hours. 

I only DIY’ed table numbers, escort cards, and programs which doubled as a fan. 

Post # 12
96 posts
Worker bee

We originally budgeted $15,000, but between my parents’ contribution and what we spent, our total was about $13,000 for our wedding and back-home reception.

Location: Coastal Oregon (wedding)/Minnesota (reception)

When: Saturday in May/Saturday in July

How Many People: 17/120

Ceremony: Free (on the beach at our rental house; my aunt officiated)

License: $60

Venue: $3100 (we rented a beach house for our entire group for 4 days)/Free (my aunt’s backyard)

DJ: Free (we made playlists for both events on Spotify)

Alcohol: $250 (wine & beer from Costco)/$250 (1/2 keg of root beer, cases of beer, soda & water)

Catering: $1000 (personal chef who came to the house and made a four-course meal) + $400 for food over the 4 days/$300 (we made all the food)

Dessert: $100 (pies delivered by a local bakery)/$50 (we made bars and bought ice cream for root beer floats)

Photographer: $1200/Free (a friend took pictures at our backyard reception)

Flowers: $250 (ordered growers’ bunches from a florist and made everything)/$75 (Costco)

Misc. Decor: $100 (shipped home and reused)

Favors: $50 (welcome bags)/None

Wedding Bands: $300

Invitiations/Stationary: $125 (Invites for both events and thank you cards)

Dress: $800 incl. alterations. Shoes were on sale for $30. I wore jewelry that had been gifts from my godmother, grandmother, etc. over the years.

Suit: $150 (huge Nordie’s sale + free alterations)

My sister (moh)’s dress: $120 incl. alterations

Hair/Makeup: $250 for me, my mom and my sister + $25 for the reception (I got my hair done that day and my hairdresser just charged me a little extra for an updo)

Airfare: (My parents paid for theirs and my sister & brother-in-law; we paid for ours) $2700

Car Rentals: $450

Hotels for the wedding night (we stayed at the rental until then) and two day “mini-moon”: $350

We were super lucky to have lots of help from friends and family to make bouquets, set up and decorate, pitch tents and set up chairs and tables for our reception, bake bars, etc. We spent about $200 on thank you gifts for many of the people who helped.

Post # 13
43 posts
  • Wedding: September 2015

Location: Chicago

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How Many People: 7 guests

Ceremony: $10 day of, plus $60 for marriage license

Venue: We went to the courthouse – see above for costs

Alcohol: Included in costs for dinner

Photographer: $1500 (my parents paid this expense)

Wedding Bands: $923.16 for both his and mine – around $2200 total if you count the ering as well

Dress: $576 total (base price + alterations)

Jewelry/Accessories/Shoes: ~$240

Suit Rental: ~$125

Hair/Makeup: $85

Dinner: Not sure – his parents paid for it – but I’d estimate $450-500

* Note: I deleted any categories that didn’t apply to us and also added a couple of my own

Total: ~$5k, give or take

Post # 15
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Location: So Cal

When: Sunday in October

How Many People: 45

Ceremony: $225 for officiant.  Free ceremony space.

Venue: Free. Our backyard.

DJ: Free. Used an ipod and speakers. 

Dance Floor Rental: N/A

Alcohol: $500. Beer and wine from costco.

Catering: $2850. Our biggest expense and worth every penny. 

Cake: Free. Got lucky here cause I’m a cake decorator, so the bakery I work  at made it for me. For what I ended up with it would have been about $800.

Photographer: $900

Flowers: $400 ordered white hydrangeas and green filler from costco and used succulents. 

Misc. Decor: $1000 don’t have an exact number but this is probably pretty accurate. We DIYed everything so who even knows what my final cost was ;p

Favors: $150

Misc. Rentals (chairs, tables, and platterware): N/A

Wedding Bands: $200

Invitiations/Stationary: $70 we used vistaprint for std and invites. 

Dress: $135 with alterations and $100 for shoes. 

Hair/Makeup: Free. Did my own makeup and friend did my hair.

Bridal Party Gifts: no bridal party but spent $40 on a cute necklace for my friend that did my hair. Will also do a few more small thank yous to my friendors :p

Total: $6570 only 1.5k over my budget 🙂

Don’t have my pictures back yet but here a few from my guests.

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