Can you share your wedding budget/prices breakdown?

posted 1 year ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
994 posts
Busy bee

1. Location: NYC

2. guests number (breakdown adults, kids, vendors): 200 – all adults

3. Wedding date (to see if off seasons make a difference or not) – Early spring – kind of a shoulder season. We got off season pricing

4. Open bar or cash bar – premium open bar

5. ceremony site and reception site cost – $2000 ceremony fee and $4000 venue rental fee

6. catering – $215 per person including cocktail hour (12 passed apps, 2 stations), plated dinner, cake, dessert buffet, and premium open bar. Came out to about $43k. We then extended the bar 3 hours and ordered snacks, which cost an additional $6k or so

7. bar if applicable – see above

8. officiant – we had a friend officiate. We paid her lisence fee ($35), got her a gift (~$100)

9. florals – $6.5k

10. musician/dj – $10K for live music for reception, ceremony musicians, and cocktail hour musicians, $2k for an after party DJ

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards – I’d estimate about $3k though we ordered this all at separate times so didn’t add it up. This includes favors and other miscellany (guest book, card box, etc).

12. Wedding planner/ doc – DOC only – she cost $1500

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals – my venue was all inclusive

14. photo & video – $4k for a photog, no video

15. cake & additional desserts if any – a traditional wedding cake and dessert buffet were included in my catering

16. Transportation – about $3200 – I spent $2k on shuttles for guests and then $1200 on limos for the Bridal Party

Other: I spent about $2k on H&MU for myself and my bridal party. We spent about $500 on lunch for us and the Bridal Party on the day of, and I spent about $4k all in on me and my husband’s attire

Post # 17
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

1. North Carolina

2. 130 invited, 3 children (2 are my siblings that are under 18 one is my 3 year old nephew), I think 4 vendors?

3. 10/31/20

4. Open bar

5. $6,000 for ceremony and reception

6. $80/ plate, sit down, including cocktail hour

7. Unsure right now 

8. Unique situation

9. Just under $5,000

10. $1700 for DJ and assistant, ceremony and reception

11. Not done yet 

12. Month Of, $950

13. Chairs/tables included in venue, flatware included in catering, linens $575

14. $4300 photography only- includes engagement shoot and wedding 

15. Unsure right now 

16. N/A


Dress- $2100, veil $600, alterations $550, custom sleeves $550

Hair- $750 day of minimum ($200 bridal, $90 per bridesmaid) $100 trial 

Shoes- $300

Makeup- $120 trial, $750 day of minimum ($55 eyes, $90 full face) I can’t remember what my bridal makeup will cost- maybe $200? It’s airbrush

Tux-TBD as we’re not sure if we’ll rent or buy it 

Post # 18
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2021

1. Location: Cottage Country, Ontario

2. guests number (breakdown adults, kids, vendors): 22 adults, 4 children, 5 vendors

3. Wedding date (to see if off seasons make a difference or not): August 22

4. Open bar or cash bar: Open bar (We estimate to spend approximately $300 and under)

5. ceremony site and reception site cost: Free

6. catering: $1325

7. bar if applicable: Refer to #4

8. officiant: $350

9. florals: Not confirmed but based on the estimates provided to us we expect to pay under $200

10. musician/dj: Free

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards: $35

12. Wedding planner/ doc: N/A

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals: (I will have to confirm this at a later date and time but I believe under $600, this includes tables, chairs, linens, a dance floor, utencils, cutlery, plates, glasses and knapkins)

14. photo & video: $1750

15. cake & additional desserts if any: Cake is included in catering price

16. Transportation: N/A

Post # 19
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

1. Location- Upstate NY

2. guests number (breakdown adults, kids, vendors) inviting 174

3. Wedding date (to see if off seasons make a difference or not) 9/19/20

4. Open bar or cash bar- open, all alcohol bought and brought in by us ($1500 aprox) bartenders hired for the day & have offered to just work for tips. & one day liquour insurance for $150. 

5. ceremony site and reception site cost- $1500 for fri-sunday

6. catering- trying to keep this under $3,000, still havent hired someone

7. bar if applicable- see above 

8. officiant- Family member, will give a nice gift in the $75-100 range

9. florals- gifted by FH grandmother, i doubt i will ever see the cost but my guess is the $2,000-3,000 range. 

10. musician/dj- gifted by Future Father-In-Law, again doubt i will see the cost, i think he is under the impression he is going to try to reject the payment since its a close friend. I know they are paying for his accomidations  (AKA hes staying in their air bnb house) since he is coming from out of town.

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards- budgeted aobout $500 for this, have spent 130 on Save the dates so far. 

12. Wedding planner/ doc- not having either (pray for me)

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals- chairs included with venue, linens budgeted about $150 for table runners. purchasing plates/cups/napkins/straws from amazon for about $150-200

14. photo & video no video, photo $1900

15. cake & additional desserts if any,- hoping to keep this in the $250 range

16. Transportation- we are hoping the free shuttle (drunk bus) is going to be in town the weekend of our wedding. its a touristy town that runs a free shuttle (you just call and they come get you & take you where you need to go within town limits) on the weekends. its a busy weekend so we are pretty sure it should be running. 

overall the cost is looking to be $17,000 & $8,000ish we are paying ourselves. 

Things forgotten above- hair & makeup $150, wedding bands $150ish from etsy, bridesmaid/groomsmen/parent gifts- $500ish, rehersal dinner food- $500ish. my dress- $1,000, shoes- $30, veil- $50. 

Post # 20
1274 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

We got married in a private ceremony (about 20 guests in attendance) at a little chapel downtown, and then held a reception for our closest friends and family at a rooftop bar on the riverfront a few blocks away. We rented the private event space, which consisted of 3 connected room areas and a large balcony for our guests. Our reception venue had a $2,500 food & beverage minimum, we exceeded that by about $500 after add-ons, gratuity, and taxes.


1. Location: NW Ohio

2. Guests number: 48 adults, 6 children, 1 vendor = 55 total

3. Wedding date: July 2019

4. Open bar or cash bar: Open bar 4 hours, cash bar 1 hour

5. Ceremony site and reception site cost: $3,300 total ($300 for ceremony, $3,000 for reception)

6. Catering: Food provided by reception venue (various hors d’oeuvres, charcuterie, wood-fired pizzas, other finger foods)

7. Bar if applicable: N/A, included in reception package

8. Officiant: N/A, provided by ceremony venue

9. Florals: $150 (faux flowers and supplies from Amazon, vases from dollar store)

10. Musician/DJ: N/A

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards: $100 (Etsy and Vistaprint)

12. Wedding planner/DOC: N/A, provided by reception venue

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals: N/A, provided by reception venue

14. Photo & video: $600 for 4 hours of shooting

15. Cake & additional desserts if any: Free, cake and cupcakes made by my Mother-In-Law

16. Transportation: ~$15 to Uber from ceremony to reception site

Post # 21
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Location – Park City Utah

Guest count – 82 (no kids)

Date – Sept. 28th 2019

Open bar

Ceremony and Reception – Red Pine Ski Lodge

This number do not include welcome party for all the guest with another open bar, as my husbands parent’s were kind enough to pay for it (destination wedding), nor other things like honeymoon, rings and such.

We (and by “we” I mean “I”, because my husband just went with it) went way out of budget, which i don’t recommend, but at least we just pay for everything outright, so no debt.



Items                Estimated Amount              Actual Amount

Venue-                 $3,500.00                       $3,500.00

Decor and Lighting $5,000.00                       $5,000.00

Flowers                $5,000.00                        $6,966.30

Total Venue/Decor/Flowers  $13,500.00           $15,466.30

Hoopes Planning Fee           $4,000.00            $4,000.00

Total Planning Fees             $4,000.00             $4,000.00

Dinner                               $8,900.00              $8,900.00

Cake or other dessert         $1,000.00              $360.00

Bar (Mocktails)/Taxes, Fees, Etc. $8,000.00       $8,000.00

Catering Items

Total Food                            $17,900.00          $17,260.00

Photographer                        $4,000.00           $5,033.70

Videographer                                                  $950.00

Photo Booth                                                    $936.05

Total Photographer                  $4,000.00          $6,919.75

Save the Dates                        $500.00            $109.00

Invites                                    $750.00            $750.00

Postage                                  $318.00            $318.00

Website Domain                      $20.00               $0.00

Total Announcements              $1,588.00           $1,177.00

DJ/Music                                $1,000.00           $650.00

Favors/Welcome bags             $1,000.00          $1,000.00

Misc                                      $1,000.00           $1,000.00

String Quartet                        $500.00              $900.00

Total Music/Favors/Misc           $3,500.00           $2,450.00

Wedding Dress                        $2,000.00           $3,800.00

Shoes                                     $250.00             $250.00

Hair and Makeup                      $350.00             $2,700.00

Total Clothing                           $2,600.00           $6,750.00

Total                                       $47,088.00       $ 55,123.05

Post # 22
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

1. Location – Hudson Valley, NY (about 1-1.5 hours north of NYC)

2. guests number: ~150 people

3. Wedding date: 9/28/19

4. Open bar – included in catering cost

5. Reception site cost – $125/person, which included a cocktail hour with lots of food, open bar, three course meal, and cake. So $18750.

6. Catering – included with reception site cost

8. officiant –  $500 for the church/musicians

9. florals – ~ $2000. I had a bridal bouquet, 5 bridesmaids’ bouquets, 2 corsages for the moms, 5 boutonnieres for dads and groomsmen, 16 floral centerpieces, and flowers for the cake.

10. DJ – $2000

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, table name cards – about $1100 total

12. Wedding planner – did not have one

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals – n/a

14. Photographer – $2300

15. cake & additional desserts if any – Cake was included. My mom insisted on getting pastries, which was ~$600.

16. Transportation – limo was $700, shuttle bus was $750

I don’t remember how much we gave in tips to everyone.

Post # 23
35 posts
  • Wedding: July 2021 - San Diego

1. Location – San Diego

2. guests number – 25 to 30 (all adults)

3. Wedding date – March 20 2021

4. Open bar or cash bar – open bar

5. ceremony site and reception site cost

6. catering – Herb & Wood (includes ceremony and semi private reception) – 4200

7. bar if applicable – we’ll see haha

8. officiant – 150

9. florals – Wildflower bridal bouquet and bout from Communal 

10. musician/dj – Guitarist for 30 minute ceremony – 150

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards – skipping all the paper goods and doing an awesome website instead (fiancé and I are web designers)

12. Wedding planner/ doc – Taken cared of by venue

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals – Restaurant tableware and things (we wanted to prioritize food so we went for a place we loved and just asked them if we could have a dinner in their semi private area)

14. photo & video – 250 (friend)

15. cake & additional desserts if any, – going out for ice cream in Little Italy after

16. Transportation – Dressing up our white Jeep Wrangler 

Post # 24
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2021

1. Location: Central Pennsylvania

2. guests number (breakdown adults, kids, vendors): 140ish – no kids

3. Wedding date (to see if off seasons make a difference or not): Saturday in May 2020

4. Open bar or cash bar: open bar, wine and beer only – $1,000

5. ceremony site and reception site cost: same site for both, barn with lawn and pond – $5000

6. catering: BBQ – $4500

7. bar if applicable: bartender and tip – $300

8. officiant – $0!

9. florals: DIYed, mix of real centerpieces and faux personals – $500

10. musician/dj – $0!

11. Invites, STD’s, program, place cards, menu cards: including stamps – $650

12. Wedding planner/ doc – $0!

13. Chairs, linens, tables and other rentals: dinner chairs and tables included in venue cost, but cost for linens, rented ceremony chairs and games and other items, favors, and other decor – $1350

14. photo & video: photographer only – $1650

15. cake & additional desserts if any: small cake only, dessert bar by caterer – $150

16. Transportation – $40


SUBTOTAL: $15,140


17. Bride and Groom Attire/Accessories: not including the very expensive dress shoes he bought! 😉 – $800

18. MUAH: I spent more than I probably should have one products but I’m DIYing haha – $0

19. Guestbook: got a photo book with our engagement photos – $90

20. Lodging for couple and wedding party: we rented a house – $1600

21. Other Food: catering/groceries for couple and wedding party for weekend (Thursday night, Friday, Saturday breakfast and snacks, Sunday breakfast), and informal afterparty bar snacks estimating – $1000

22. Rehearsal dinner: not totally sure yet, but estimating – $1000



My feelings on budget went through a big transformation. I initially thought we could spend maybe $10k for a wedding, and even that sounded like a lot but was the max I could see us spending. I explored DIYing *everything* and soon realized that 1) this was sounding less fun and 2) even that was expensive! Could we have done something for the initial $10k I thought? Yes. But it wouldn’t have been just what we wanted.

So we looked harder at what we actually wanted and then figured budget from there, instead of starting with an amount of $ in mind. I’m someone who grew up without a lot, and I don’t take what we’re spending lightly. But I’m justifying it to myself that it’s a once in a lifetime party and an “investment” in the rest of our lives!

We wanted what I’d call a mid-range wedding for our area, and we ended up needing to invite more people than we wanted because of parents. (My Mother-In-Law would have had us spend more [and to her credit, probably would have paid for it]! I don’t think she understands how a wedding in a barn could be “nice” for a wedding, but she’s going along with it.)

I’d say our wedding is mid-range for the area I grew up in, which is where we’re having the wedding. It’s probably more lower-mid for our social circle where we live now, about 2 hours away near a major US city. I mean lower-mid in terms of $ spent and level of formality. But from what I hear I think everyone is excited to go to a wedding that is a little different and not as fussy!

We ended up figuring about $20k total could get us what we want, and I think we’ve stuck right around our budget really well!

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