Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Budget


These days, every bride has a budget. With the venue booked and the date set, it is time to reevaluate our wedding budget. As y’all have probably figured out, I love to play with numbers and get a good deal. Frivolous spending is just NOT my thing.

With that being said, it comes to no surprise that we picked a venue (the Elkridge Furnace Inn) that includes the day-of coordinator, reception site, ceremony location, food, beverages and cake. My parents are graciously picking up all the costs involved with the Elkridge Furnace Inn plus contributing about $5,000 towards our remaining expenses. When we moved to DC, Jay and I each set aside $2,500 to save for our wedding. That brings us to a total budget of $10,000 for everything else. While I plan to go into further detail down the road, for the simplicity of this post let’s assume Jay and I each have three attendants and a total of 160ish guests. has been a great resource, but as I evaluate their suggested budget for us, I know that we could spend less and still have a wedding that we love. Right after Jay and I got engaged, I solicited wedding advice from other bloggers. Thankfully the healthy living blogger community is very supportive and Anna left me some great advice.


Per her advice, Jay and I sat down and really figured out what was important to us. As avid travelers, we realized that our wedding will only last a few hours. While we want to throw a great party, we also want to travel far.

Therefore we decided not to go crazy. We also realized that one of the few things we will have left are our pictures, so photography came to the top of our list of importance and where we plan to spend more money. The other area of importance to us was the entertainment. We would like to have a great DJ and provide our guests with other activities like Bocce Ball, Ladders and Corn-hole. More on our theme later.


Below is a break-down of where we plan to spend our money and my current thoughts regarding each category. These numbers are based off my personal online research:

Brides Attire: I fully intend to buy my wedding dress from David’s Bridal. From online shopping I do not see myself spending more than $750 on my dress and I am anticipating about $250 in alterations, taxes and fees. For my veil/headpiece I hope to spend no more than $125. I already know that one of my bridesmaids will be helping me with my make-up, but I am undecided about my hair. Therefore I will budget about $75. Lastly, I am not sure if I will partake in pre-wedding pampering. If I do, you better bet I will be watching deal sites like Groupon as the day approaches. To keep my options open and to give myself wiggle room, I am budgeting the $150 that suggested.



Grooms Attire: Jay has already decided he will be wearing a navy suit while his attendants wear khakis with blue blazers. We hope to spend no more than $350 on his entire ensemble.  Easy-Peasy.



Ceremony: We plan to have a low-key ceremony. While we are unsure of the details concerning our Officiant, we do know we would like to keep it around $350. For accessories and decorations we don’t not want to spend more than $200 (if that). And if we have music at our ceremony we would also like to keep it under $200.



Flowers & Décor: This is the one area that I am truly at a loss. I have no idea how much flowers cost. After looking at what estimated and realizing that I do not want flowers on every table, I believe we can easily meet a $1,500 budget, if not less.



Photographer & Videographer: The photos are the one thing you will have that will outlast your day. We are hoping to spend closer to $2,000 for our photographer for both day of and engagement. For video we plan to ask my brother, Jim, to record the ceremony. I honestly could care less about videography, but I know other people who said they enjoyed theirs later.



Music: The music is very important to us, but we also do not want to fork out a lot of money for a band. That being said, we plan to go with a DJ and hope to spend no more than $750.


Rings: This budget includes both wedding rings as well as all the fun stuff you have to do with your engagement ring when you get engaged ($125). Jay plans to wear his grandfather’s wedding band, so for him all we need to do is get it resized and maybe engraved for $100. My engagement ring needs to be widened (aka a shank) $125 and I want a simple gold (white or yellow?) wedding band $150.



Stationary: In the end, no one really remembers the invitation. Therefore we plan to keep it simple and buy everything from one vendor. After some online shopping, I am confident that we can get our invitations, programs, thank you cards and postage well under our projected budget of $500.



Gifts: Both Jay and I realize that being in a wedding can be expensive. Therefore we plan to treat our parents and attendants well.



Grand Total:


If I did my math correctly, That leaves us with $1,200 for wiggle room. From what I have heard, you should always leave room in your wedding budget for those unexpected expenses.

I am pretty happy with our budget as-is and am very excited to out-save myself. Yes, I am a big budget dork!! 

What was important to you in your wedding? What aspects of your wedding represented the largest part of your wedding budget?