(Closed) Brides with $5k-7K Budget…How are you spending it??

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1359 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We have a 5-7k budget, however, we only have about 40 guests coming.

Venue: $1600. This includes chairs, tables, ceremony and reception venue.

Catering: $1500. This will include food, linens, and dessert (we are skipping the traditional wedding cake.)

Decor: I am DIYing everything. I am making paper flower centerpieces and a fabric flower ceremony backdrop. I’m not sure what my actual costs are running since I’ve been buying bits here and there but I’d be surprised if it was over $150 at the very most.

Apparel: I’m also making my dress $150, and my fiancee bought a suit that is also about $150.

Accessories: Both of our shoes, undergarments, hair accessories, etc will be around $200.

Invitations: $100. We designed and printed them ourselves, so that number includes printing on cotton cardstock, envelopes, postage, and ribbon and flower appliques.

Photography: $950. I love our photographer and this includes an engagement session, 6 hours or so of shooting (I don’t remember exactly) and edited images on a cd.

Oficiant: 350

Music: $100. We are making playlists and buying an iPod player.

Hair/Makeup: $0. I’m DIYing it.

Alcohol: $500. Unfortunately our venue requires us to pay $5 per drink and use a bartender, or this number would be wayyy lower. I’m kind of considering skipping it since it’s a morning wedding but I haven’t decided yet.

Rings: $300 for both wedding bands

Honeymoon: ~$1200 for a five day mini-moon in Savannah, GA and Jekyll Island, GA.

So, our actual wedding will cost $5250 to $5700 (depending on if we serve alcohol.) The grand total for all wedding costs will be $6750 – $7250.


Post # 4
5282 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I can give general numbers. We spent right around $7000 (not including rings or honeymoon) for an 80 person wedding.

$2500: venue (included tables, chairs, tableclothes)

I DIY my own invitations, escort cards, table numbers, programs & menus ($100 total)

DJ: $300

Photographer: $1000

Food: $1200 (served cheese board & bruchetta for cocktail hour. Salad. Then choice of two pasta dishes meat lasagna or chicken alfredo w/ garlic bread. This $ amount also included all plate, silverware, napkins, water glasses, and wine glass rentals. As well as staff to serve the food & a bartender.)

Beer & Wine: $600

Centerpeices, Boots & Bouquests (all DIY:) $300  + rose petals for aisle $50

Additional Decor: memory candles ($15,) wine corks (free,) paper lanterns ($60,) candles ($50) Bathroom basket ($10)

Dress: $185, Groom’s vest & tie $40

Cupcakes: $80, Cupcake stand (Free)

Horeshoes & Horseshoe sign (Free)

Favors (Mexican wedding cookies in paper bags) $50 

Getaway car (ours)

Sparkelers ($40)

Officiant $200

Post # 5
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Gorgeous stuff! I love your centerpieces & cake And such great prices!

Venue/Catering/Bar: No idea, my parents are paying for this.

Cake: $100

Flowers: $400

Photography: $500

DJ: $550

Dress: $400

Groom’s Suit: $150

Accessories (clutch, shoes, tiara, veil, & undergarments): $300

Invitations (DIY): $50 but postage came out to $100 and will be more once I send out thank-yous!

Rings: $700

Officiant & Organist: $300

Centerpieces (DIY): $150

Favors: $100

Gifts for Parents & Bridal Party: $550

Unity Candles, Cake Server Set & Toasting Flutes, Disposable Cameras, etc: $100


Hmm..this is all I can think of for now! I have an Excel spreadsheet that I have been using to record every cost.

Post # 6
196 posts
Blushing bee

Ours is about 2 dozen guests on a Tuesday evening in summer.

Venue – $1765 – includes ceremony site, reception site, setup, food, drinks (wine, beer and non alcoholic), desert, tips, wedding night hotel room

Photography – $425 – two hour engagement session, two hour wedding day session, dvd of images with printing rights

Jazz Trio – $435 – two hours after dinner

Bride’s Clothes – $480 – Dress, shoes, fascinator, gloves, jewelry, undergarments, hair, makeup

Groom’s Clothes – $220 – Vest, tie, shirt, pants

Paper – $65 – save the dates, invitations, thank yous, postage

Rings – $630 – bride’s and groom’s

Decor – $200 – flowers, candles, etc.

Other – $715 – license, new wills, premarital counseling, books for ideas, games for reception, gifts for attendants, rehearsal dinner

Total $4935 (which gives us $65 of wiggle room at this point).

We don’t need an officiant, aren’t taking a honeymoon, aren’t having favors, etc., so those aren’t included.

Post # 7
18 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

Private ceremony with just us 2 in Scotland


Tickets to Scotland : $1800

Venue: Free, its a public hiking trail with lots of trees and waterfalls

Officiant : $690 for simple ceremony and handfasting

Photographer : $1100 (One of Scotland’s most decorated)

Dress : $350

Suit : $200

Hair/Makeup : $200

Wedding car hire : $300

Ring : $300 (my grandmothers: had it repaired, resized, and missing stones replaced)

B & B : $300

Flowers: $100



Post # 8
36 posts

Not totally complete yet, but here’s a breakdown of our $5k budget for around 70-80 guests.

Venue: $140 (Includes tables/seating, but nothing else.)

Catering: $1020 (Includes staffing.)

Pies: around $200? (Combo of homemade and purchased.)

Alcohol/other beverages: under $200 (Various punches, microbrew, and non-boozy lemonade!)

Photography: $1500 (Including engagement session + 8 hours. Our biggest splurge, but photos are important to us!)

Videography: $120 (Renting 5 Flip cams, assinging them to our friends who know not to whip the camera back and forth in a shot, and then having a professional editor friend do the editing for us.)

Hair/Makeup: $0 (Doing it myself.)

Dress: $80 (Custom made in the Balkans, where I’m living presently.)

Groom’s clothes: $80 (Also going to get a suit custom made here.)

Invitations: $75 (DIY. Did e-STDs so those were free, and doing e-RSVP so there’s less printing costs and postage.)

Officiant: $26 (For the internet ordination costs for a family member.)

Decor/Flowers: $500ish? (Venue is pretty bare picnic shelter, so we’re going to dress it up!)

Guestbook: $60 (Thumbprint guestbook from Etsy.)

This leaves about $800 for incidentals, and possibly building a photobooth, which I think is a pretty good cushion!

Post # 10
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Guests: 21

Venue/Catering/Bar: $2600 – This included a chair rental, all the alcohol and gratuity

Cake: $80

Flowers: $300. Includes centerpieces, decor, my bouquet (we had no bridal party). Total was around 650, but my mother paid the balance for us.

Photography: $600

DJ: No DJ, we did the iPod hock-up which sadly failed. But we had some nice jazz music in the background from the hotel’s bar. Win!

Dress/Shoes: $60 for my sash and $110 for shoes (FMIL and My mom covered this, cost was $280 for dress and $200 for alterations and undergarments).

Groom’s/Son’s Suit: $350

Invitations (DIY): Designed them myself, printing was free. Paid $32 for calligraphy and then about $25 for vintage postage (we only sent out 11 invitations).

Rings: $290

Officiant/Marriage License: $175 (Paid for by my father)

Favors: $75

Gifts for Parents & Bridal Party: $500

Misc (Table numbers, hanger, perfume, Return address stamp, etc): $350

Total: $5,200 – That’s gives a little wiggle room for things I may have not had on my spreadsheet!


Post # 11
4675 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Not complete yet…  but heres where we are so far:

Venue- $350 (county park building… it’s really nice though!) (Parents Paying)

Caterering- abt $12 per plate- probably abt $1400 (Parents Paying) 

Cake- abt $150 (my caterer offers 25% off on her cakes.. wot!) 

Photographer- $1000

DJ- $500

Dress- $800 (pre alterations) 

Officiant- $200

Invites- DIYing- $150-200

Flowers- ? My mom is growing some of the flowers and we are buying the rest wholesale

Beverages- ? my mom is making our table wine! 

Decor- My aunt found a lady with 30+ blue Mason jars sitting in her garadge taking up room…  other than that I’m bad in this area…  

Post # 12
1446 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Mine looks like it’s coming in right under 7k:

Venue: $500 (normally $1300 but I’m doing it on a Sunday)

Catering: $750 ($10 a head)

Cupcakes: $150 (FI’s family buying this though)

Flowers: $350

Photography: $1300

DJ: no DJ

Decor: under $300

Dress: $1300, +$300 veil, +$50 alterations (Mom’s gift to me), +$10 shoes, + $30 earrings from Etsy

Invitations: $100 (with postage)

Rings: I used my grandma’s e-ring and wedding band; his tungsten ring cost $25

Officiant: $350

Alcohol: $150

Marriage License: $40 (after marriage counseling)

Gifts to bridal party: $200

Programs: $60

Extra food/favors: $100


Post # 13
2 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

Well our Florida Beach Destination wedding Budget is $7,500 Not including our hotel and Flights, Dress, Or Accesories, etc. Just the bulkage of stuff needed book to start!

Both families including us are pitching in mainly for the ceremony costs and reception…as far as my dress, I’ll have 2. My uncles buying me one. others myself, as well as my FI’s suit and so on



70 Guests total (our max)

$1825 Customized Beach Wedding Ceremony. (A lot of Florida beach ceremony companies only do weddings up to 25-30 ppl so I finally found a company with my style of a Morroccan Style that would allow me to customize and hosts my large party!)

4 post Bamboo canaopy covered in Silks of our colors, Fresh flower petals down aisle, fresh florals on chairs, Steel Drum Band, Sand Unity Ceremony, as well as details such as flip flops and shoe backset for guests, water bottles, fans/parasoles, sunglasses

$1717.30 (w/Military Discount) for our Amazing Photographer( 6 hours,2 photographers,Photojournalistic Photos) who is well known and books quick! W/O Military discount, we would have had to sadly pass her up!


$900 Venue including deposit, Outside caterer fee, set-up/clean-up, Tables,Chairs,Rental of Historical bldg all day

Wedding Planner & Services with their Vendors: 70 pp $4,925 (Parents Splitting Costs)

 Cake, Catering with 1 choice salad, 2 hour’devours, 2 dinner buffet selections, bread, water,tea,linen, tablewear, cake cutting supplies, Dj Table (John Micheal Catering Orlando), Hosted Bar BUT Ours includes Bar Tender with all garnishes, juices, sodas, mixers and all we do i supply the alcohol we want to have.We’re again military and plan to buy ours in bulk on base tax free:) Our wedding planners comapny also allows a deal that if you have any extra alcohol left over they will cut you a check for what was not used, or you can take it with you! This saved us money from an Open Bar, and I think Cash Bars are rude esp for all our guests flying into another Timezone and then making them pay for drinks after paying for plane tix, hotels, etc!


DJ $795 ($595 DJ’ng and Dance floor lighting) +$200 for 12 LED Uplighting. Dj was super cool over the phone! I bragged about how his prices were so reasonable compared to other High End DJ’s like him and when he found out we were Military, (He doesn’t have Military Disocunt due to his prices) He said he throw in extra Uplighting lights to add extra ambiance as well as Gobo Monogram Lights for free! Super pleased and he has an online database so we searched our favs!

Dress-FIt N’Flare: Haven’t got yet but plan to get custom made on dressilyme.com ($350 Max)


Rings- Mine  $2000 something with tax and insurance…

His Band-$300

His Suit- Haven’t looked into it  yet…

Bridal Accessories: Kim Khardashian Inspired Headpeice


Videographer: $535 w/Discount for 5hours 2 cameramen…transitions, edited music etc.

Storymix.com-$200 1 camera to catch the non appropriate moments of the day, the mail you a HD camera, you have a guest film it, mail it back after 3 days, the edit it for you! A great alternative for ppl who don’t care to have a formal videographer or money!

Save The Dates & Invites: Doing them myself, at local Walgreens! Found really cute FREE templates that you can customize with your colors! 


Decor: Ceremony-Taken Care of

Decor: Reception: Doing it myself. Won’t need much but centerpieces It will be dark and Uplighted with our wedding colors, also with linen…started 2 mock centerpieces this weekend:

I made the two above but here are photos of inspirations I found on the Web:

 I originally wanted to do the Ostrich Feather Centerpiece but those got very pricey for all the tables, so I found these alternatives and went with my own creativity!

Hope this helps someone, sorry so lengthy! :/


Post # 14
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

125-150 guests

Venue $660 ($360 + Security $300)

Caterer $3700

Dress $700

Photographer $500 (BFF is a photog and is doing them for free, the $500 is costs to print and gift to her)

Flowers $750 (friend is doing them, $500 is cost and $250 is gift)

Other decorations $250

DOC $250

Invites $100

Postage $100

Cake $500

My dad is paying for most of it but we are paying for a lot of it. Right now it is $7,510 and I hope it doesn’t get any higher!

Oh and the DJ but I am not sure how much she was becasue my dad reserved and paid for it. It’s a friend so it could be anywhere from $200-$600. 



Post # 15
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

90 Guests

Venue–$9000 (This includes everything though:  ceremony/reception site, chairs, linens, flowers, centerpeices, plated dinner, wine, beer, champagne, soda, coffee, tea, cake, etc.)

Officiant–$0 (A friend is doing it.)

Photographer–$1100 (Most packages are around $2500-$3000)

DJ/Lighting–$1175 (He’s amazing)

Fiance Suit Rental–$200


Dress/Veil–$1300 (My mom bought it.)

Favors–$40 (DIY)

Jewelry & Hair Accessories–$70

Hair/MakeUp–$275 (includes trials)

Ahhh….don’t let my fiancee see this.  Eeks.Surprised


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