(Closed) Wedding Budget!?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
4350 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@gennalane:  I would go to weddingwire and see how they use your budget. Then adjust as you go. Plan for your reception venue and food to be at least half of your budget. Prices vary a lot by location so keep that in mind when you compare your budget to other people’s budgets. The easiest ways to save money are to get married on and “off peak” day (any day but saturday, monday-thurs are often even cheaper than Sun and Fri), an “off peak” time (any time but evening, think afternoon reception and morning ceremony), and during the “off peak season”. The off season varies by location, but in the northern states its generally late fall through early spring. In the souther states the middle of the summer is sometimes considered “off peak”. In other countries it will be different as well (in the southern hemisphere its generally the opposite of the northern hemisphere). Getting married in off peak times will decrease the price of not just your reception venue and catering, but often your photographer (since they can consider your wedding an extra wedding for the week), DJ ect.

Post # 4
9823 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Where are you looking to have your wedding at?  That probably will determine a lot.

My original budget (what I wanted to spend) before I did any research was around this.  But I’m spending $20,000 now.

If you’re looking to save money your best bet it to find out your guest list # and then start looking at venues.  Find somewhere that will allow you to bring in your own caterer and probably your own alcohol.  This is probably what would save you the most.  In my area, most venue rentals ranged from $1500-$5000+.  Doing a Friday night wedding or off season wedding could save you money too. 

It also depends on what you want.  I wasn’t willing to have anything but a night time weekend wedding reception (I like to dance and party)…but some are fine with having a morning/afternoon wedding with just lunch and cake.  Daytime weddings will be cheaper.  So it depends on what kind of wedding you want.

Other than the venue/food/alcohol my most expensive category is photography.  I’m spending a little over $3000.  I could have gotten the same one for less as well ($2600, with less hours).  It was worth it to me to have someone good, I wasn’t willing to hire someone inexperienced to possibly risk not loving the photos or being disappointed.

Every little thing just adds up.

Post # 5
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My budget is more than what you have posted but yes, it can be done… Even at Disneyland/Disney World. It all depends on your guest numbers, location, food, etc. Set up your non negotiables first- like for us, photography and food serious categories. 

Share some more specifics and I’m sure all the bee’s will gladly help!

Post # 6
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

hey lady – it does get crazy quickly, doesn’t it?!  This thread, with different bees’  budget breakdowns in the 10-15k range, may help you get an idea of what other people with similar budgets are spending.  

Budget Breakdown $10,000 – $15,000 Wedding Range

We started with an ~$8,000 but it’s up to about $13,500 now :/

Here was my response on that thread that I posted.  This also includes costs for our rehearsal dinner (which will be open to the entire guest list).

Location: central Wyoming

When: Saturday August 24, 2013

How Many People: ~150 (inviting ~200)

Venue: $3,000 (outdoor venue – includes tent, tables/chairs, 8 cabins for friends and family) + $100 rehearsal dinner venue (city park)

DJ/Band: $575 (our friends in a band who usually charge $2500, but we’re just getting them rooms and gas)

Dance Floor Rental: $0 (although might look into this?)

Alcohol: $1,700 (BYOB just beer/wine – our friends like to party)

Catering (w/gratuity and taxes): $4,200 – $3200 for wedding reception, including desserts and cleanup, $1000 for BBQ rehearsal dinner

Photographer: $2500 (1 photog, all night, includes flight from OR, rights to all pix)

Flowers: $100 (DIY, flowers from parents’ giant garden)

Misc. Decor: $250 (DIY, paper lanterns, white lights, couple etsy purchases)

Favors: $75 (koozies)

Misc. Rentals (chairs, tables, and platterware): $300 (most included in venue fee)

Wedding Bands: $0 for mine (family heirloom), $50 for FI’s (stainless steel)

Invitiations/Stationary: $140 ($100 save the dates, $40 emailed Paperless Post)

Dress: $200 (dress from Macy’s + small alterations)

Hair/Makeup: $75 (DIY but might get hair highlighted)

Bridal Party Gifts: $100 (only 3 people total)


Total: $13,250 or so.  CRAZY how fast it adds up, since a lot of our costs are fairly low…

Post # 7
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@gennalane:  i think rather than allocating them now (x% for this, x%for that) maybe contact a few vendors- photographers etc and get an idea of prices

things like flowers and decor you can DIY. things like venues…the price is going to be wildly different depending on the places you want

like pp mentioned, for me, the photographer was one of my biggest expenses and before research i thought they were way less money than they were

then things like days of the week, time of day make a HUGE difference

Post # 8
2651 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Catholic Church

We had a $5000-$7000 wedding with about 120 guests. The majority of the money was spent on our attire. My dress and accesories came to about $1000 and the pieces of FI’s outfit that he didn’t already have came to about $800 (he wore full Scottish gear). We spent about $1000 on food and had a semi-potluck barbeque (we supplied the meat, buns, and beverages and guests brought a salad or dessert per household). Our reception hall was only $200 (Score!). We spent about $100 on DIY invitations, $350 on flowers, $15 on thank you cards, $70 on DIY wedding cake, $250 on stamps (I have a lot left but they came in rolls of 100), $180 for the DJ, and $450 for purchased table clothes and pew bows. The rest of the money was spent on miscellaneous decor (most of which was DIY) and bridal party gifts (DIY custom hangers and DIY etched glasses).

Edit: I forgot about our rings. We ordered his tungsten band online for $95 (it was $400 in-store for the same thing!) and we got my white gold band in-store for $300.

Post # 9
2889 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Yes that is a great budget! It really depends on what vibe you are going for and where you live. You are going to get wildly different answers from across the country.

My cousins wedding:

dress with alteration  1500

wedding rings $500

accesories $300

photographer $3200

venue/caterer for 150 $5000

decor/flowers $1000

She had her ceremony in the garden of the reception venue for an all inclusive price. My great aunt did her flower arrangements. I did her cake. Our other cousin did her hair and nails. A third cousin built her a ridiculously cute bench for a guestbook.

Officiant $100

Invitations $400

Total $1200 (NW PA)

The DJ was a gift from  her husband’s side so that would have put her at 12,500.

Friends weddings have been as low as $4000 with a ton of DIY. $8000 is more the norm though as a minimum figure and even then requires extensive DIY.

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