- 3 years ago
- Wedding: The Retreat at Bradley\'s Pond
OK- so far it looks like I’m the odd man out. We live in Tallahassee, FL which I know to be a lower cost of living than most. Still considered southern as far as Charleston is concerned (versus NY)- but still smaller and less popular now.
Our total budget was around $20k- broken down that was supposed to be around $2k for the honeymoon, $18k for the wedding.
We had invited ~120 guests and had ~95 attend (including a handful of children). Ceremony and venue were at the same facility outside of “downtown” Tallahassee- about 20 minutes down beautiful winding canopy roads.
Venue: ~$3,500 for all day Friday & Saturday. This allowed us to decorate all day Friday and host our rehearsal dinner there as well. Also allowed me to get there first thing Saturday morning to have our hair/MUA person there to assist.
Food/drink/cake: $9k Determine what is a priority! Not everything is. For us, cake wasn’t important. We got a nice 2 tier cake from Publix and their service with everything was phenomenal!!! I think you have them up there still? They did 2 tiers of different flavors with an assortment of cupments and delivered and set-up everything. I want to say $250? For drinks- we got our own beer/wine from CostCo the day before (groomsmen handled) and our caterer gave us a way to determine how much to buy. Also- we guestimated which friends drank what. I think we paid $600-$700 in alcohol and Costo will let you return anything unused. We did however have to pay for the caterer to include bartending services but I think it was ~$200? I don’t remember. Food… ha! This sucks. Our caterer handled our rehearsal and wedding events so that helped bring down the total cost (combining events). Also, with our rehearsal they did a groom’s cake of sorts. Looks like it was around $5,550 for that. The total reception cost looks like $9k for setting & linen rentals, food, rehearsal, booze/bartenders, transport fees, etc.
Dress/alterations/accessories: $1,435 I was REALLY lucky. Dream dress from local upscale salon was $440 (sample model that was being discontinued). $325 for my belt and $350 for my veil (custom). $80 earrings and $30 shoes. Alterations/cleaning (before the wedding since it was floor model) and bustles came out to around $320.
DJ/Band: $600 + tip Was an old friend of my husband who gave us a family discount. I don’t remember what we tipped but he did fabulous. Since he couldn’t attend the rehearsal (originally he said he would help since we were outdoors with a long aisle and wanted help with timing) he gave us his ipod of our music to help us practice with her personal amp. Very blessed for this extra help.
Ceremony music: We wanted a trio but just didn’t have the ~$1k I saw it usually was. Just had our DJ play appropriate music (Vitamin String Quartet) before and similar music during/after our ceremony.
Hair/makeup: $300 plus tip Got lucky with a great girl who did this on the side- former pageant girl. With being in the south I’d think you should be able to find a handful of these. $150 for the trial for hair and make-up, plus another $150 for day of hair and make-up. It was the same price for my bridesmaid with a weave, and my mom who has short hair. Otherwise closer to $200 was normal for onsite wedding fees per person. Plus the mani/pedi you get the week of. Make sure if you’re doing a different color than normal you may want to get a trial run of it- I got it for my shower and loved the color so I used it again.
Decor/floral: $600?? We bought hydrangeas in bulk from Publix (again they’re amazing) for maybe $250 to fill reception/ceremony/cocktail spaces. Otherwise I bought signs/created my own, painted what I could. Put family wedding photos in matching frames on gift table. Got tons of stuff from Hobby Lobby on weeks they had sales. Did my centerpieces for maybe $18 per table or less. Ikea lanterns with candles on half ($15 a table)- tripod of hobknob Mason jars with flowers and candles on half ($20). Table names were Dollar Store frames that were nice silver looking and I created the signage as I have some graphic art talent.
Photography/videography: $2,400 No videographer but we got 2 photographers for 7 hours on our wedding day but both of them for a 1 hour engagement session with CDs of every single photo (over 2000 photos on wedding day that are all quality).
Rentals: $325 Depends on what you include. We had to rent outdoor chairs/some hightops for cocktail hour and a chandelier for the ceremony. Otherwise- reception rentals like for food/linen etc were included in above section.
Groom’s attire: $200ish Full tux rental from Men’s Warehouse.
Bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts: $1,275?Wanted to kill my husband but he spent like $900 to pay for all 3 groomsmen’s suits plus my fathers. He also bought them custom card/wallet billfold (maybe $25 a piece?). I wanted to say I spent about $150ish per bridesmaid for 2 girls plus different gifts for a bridesmaid that couldn’t attend day of (pregnant).
Officiant: $300ish? He was a childhood friend of the groom and an ordained minister. We covered his hotel for 1 night and gave him maybe $250 towards his church?
Rehearsal dinner: See catering above. Otherwise I maybe spent $100 or so on a few additional decorations/centerpieces for the tables we were sitting at and signage for the area. Maybe it was like $500?
Stationary: $700? The biggest advice is factor in postage! Everyone knows what the cards cost but they forget the $250 in postage for the STD, invite, reply card…PLUS thank you notes! 🙂 We got the STD via Shutterfly with envelopes. Just wait until they go on sale- with the discount we splurged on foil prints. I custom designed out invite suite and got them printed locally through a business connection ($300 maybe ?). We ordered our thank you notes in bulk via Vista Print for showers/parties/wedding.
Wedding bands: $1500. Yeah- you think plain bands are cheap but they aren’t! I think my pave band was about $1100ish (white gold) that he got when he got the Ering. We got his very plain 4mm band for roughly $400 I think (white gold).
Honeymoon: The best advice on this is the more you can plan out the better off – or wait until the last minute. We planned our 1 week cruise abotu 14 months before and paid about $1,300 for a balcony suite with ~$200 on board credit through Royal Caribbean. I hear other friends hate other cruise lines. We really enjoyed our experience and are doign the same cruise for our anniversary in March and are spending more for a window room wit no credits because we booked ~7 months out.
I help with planning meetings for my job and our rule of thumb is only ever budget for 90% of what you can spend. That 10% can cover last minute changes like needing heaters/covering travel costs for vendors, changes in any plans- without making you go over budget. We stuck to this and only spent ~$17,500 of the $18,500 for the wedding. That being said we went over board on the honeymoon with drinks/excursions/hotels, etc. But it all worked out.