Highway to Happiness: Final Wedding Budget

Wedding Recaps

We started out with a working budget of $5,800. That number was based on what we expected to save each month for the 2+ years we were actively planning the wedding. I’d set up a spreadsheet to track both the savings as well as any spending and it worked fairly well for 90% of our engagement. I’m sure you can empathize with the mad dash that happens just before the wedding and the habit of throwing cash (and the occasional bit of plastic) at anything that pops up.

Long story short, this post is the first time I’m looking at what out final expenses totaled!

Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Attire $635

My dresses and accessories came to $480 thanks to needing no alterations and shopping smart. Choosing both dresses were simple compared to picking a bracelet–I think I bought a total of five, but only included the once I actually wore in the total.

Roadie’s suit rental and tie came to $155


Rings $276

Roadie’s tungsten carbide ring ($53) came from Amazon because, like many a Bee before me, we saw no reason to spend six times as much to buy it in a jewelry store. My wedding band ($223) didn’t come from the wedding section of Marks & Morgan, but the fashion jewelry cases; it also happens to be sterling silver, which is much more my daily wear speed.


Decorations $609

We diy-ed the vast majority of the decor for our wedding, so this total includes the linens I purchased for the reception ($98–about half of what the rentals would have cost), as well as the craft supplies we combined with the stuff we already had around the house. Hoarding craft supplies has never been so helpful and I wouldn’t have the first clue about how much of “in stock” value all of that came to.

Beverages $612

We brought in our own wines and signature cocktail fixings. It was easier to buy full cases so that total could really be cut in half since we have about half of it left for at-home consumption. The beer service was comped by the venue in light of the mishaps on the day.


Venue & Catering $3297

Venue rental for the ceremony and reception space ran $1545
AV services (iPod dock, outdoor speakers, etc.) ran $289

Cocktail Hour Food & Beverage for 27 $330
Reception Food & Beverage for 25 $625

Lodging $508

Desserts $154

The four dozen cupcakes from Lucy & Leo’s came to $102, the rest is the ingredients for the desserts I made.

Favors $104

Another point for the edible favors–not a single one of our chocolate bundles were left behind!

Photographer $384

This included and engagement session as well as 8 hours of coverage and 2 shooters on the day (including a $25 mileage fee). It resulted in 1400 digital images (including both sessions) with reprint rights.

The Legal Bits $170

Our marriage license was $93.50 and the event insurance was $76.50. The insurance was a condition of our original contract but the new DoC didn’t know anything about it. Still, an ounce of prevention and all that, right?

Rehearsal Dinner $230

Dinner for 12 at a Mexican restaurant was one of our better food-related decisions (right after our cupcakes). Even with a very generous tip it was still less than we’d expected!


Stationery $150

Postage was probably the largest purchase when it came to our paper goods at $80. We spent $20 on our Save the Date cards, and the rest went to envelopes. Everything else I already owned and since I’d replaced my inkjet printer earlier in the year (with an Epson WorkForce 7510) I was able to do everything else purely diy.

Miscellaneous $279

Ceremony glassware for unity ceremony $78
Pre-Wedding Pampering $90
iTunes downloads for ceremony/reception music $44
Emergency Kit supplies $67

Grand Total $6900

So, about $1100 over the planned budget which doesn’t seem so bad (we’re just going to ignore the fact that it’s a 19% increase in reality). The extra grand didn’t cause any undue financial hardships and we have no regrets about where our money went. I suppose that’s all you can hope for when it comes to a wedding budget, so in that respect I think we did quite well.


The Road Trip Wedding Recaps:

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