Anyways, happy Monday everyone. I thought I’d mix it up this week and post about our wedding and our wedding budget. I made a post a couple of weeks ago about some of our (ok they’re all my ideas, he doesn’t care about anything) wedding ideas.
I’m not going to lie, I am so excited to plan an awesome wedding. I am excited for the food, the dress, the venue, the pictures, EVERYTHING! And of course, since I am a personal finance blogger, I have also been thinking about the costs and adding everything up over and over again.
As most of you can guess, we don’t have anyone helping us with the wedding. My mother doesn’t care and my dad passed away almost 5 years ago. However, I also wouldn’t expect anyone to help us pay since we have been together for almost 7 years, and moved out of our respective homes 6 years ago. The average wedding cost over $25,000, which is a scary number.
EDIT: Now that the wedding is close, I have an updated post with our actual expenses. Check it out here.
Money, Money, Money
Paying for our own wedding is definitely possible, but I would prefer to spend less than $20,000 since we do want to buy a new house next year. Now, $20,000 is a lot, but we do plan on having probably 200 to 300 people at the wedding. The number was going to be higher but we decided that there’s a lot of people that we could cut and make it more of a family and close friends event.
Yes, I know most think this is an insane amount to spend (especially in the personal finance world), but I do think it’s worth it. I have almost no family. I love W’s family, and having a big wedding to celebrate everything is very important to me. I never once had a family gathering in my family, so this means a lot. It’ll be fun and if we can afford it, then I see no harm in it.
Around 150 people will be W’s family (all of them are close family members) and there will be some of my family, and the rest will be friends. I have 8 bridesmaids and W has 9 groomsmen (possibly 10 if we have my brother be a groomsman). So we will definitely be having quite a large bridal party.
Also, how many of you invited coworkers to your wedding? Where do you draw the line? I just don’t want to upset anyone by not inviting them. It’s not like I can say it’s only close family, since we will have hundreds of people.
So, since we do want so many people at our wedding, and have a budget of less than $20,000, we do need to find ways to save. I will be listing our budget categories below. And within the next couple of weeks I will be making a post on how we plan on saving money in different categories. Around 50 people will be under the age of 18 also, so we will be saving money with the fact that they will not need to drink alcohol or eat tons of food (just thought I should throw this out there).
This is the outdoor venue look that we are going for.
Our wedding budget categories:
Wedding Venue – $4,000
This is something that I’ve of course been putting a lot of thought into. When I say $4,000, I mean just for the actual rental of the venue, with nothing else included such as food, etc. I loved the the wedding venue that we looked at yesterday, but I’m just not super positive that it’s the one for us. I did send my friend all of the pictures that I took because I knew she would love it for her wedding. She is in love with it so now I’m positive that my trip to the venue was not a waste.
We both really want to get married at W’s grandmas. The property is beautiful and is over 200 acres with a lot of flat land (perfect for the wedding), cliffs, creeks and everything else. The property is perfect for an outdoor wedding venue, as there is a lot of room for parking and the actual wedding. The scenery is beautiful and just the thought makes me so excited. Even though it is technically “at his grandma’s house,” I would still expect it to be a semi-formal event, and I would have to make sure that guests know this (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my Twitter from yesterday afternoon).
If we get married there, it would be slightly more expensive than $4,000 for the venue. This is because I had to price out how much it would cost to rent everything. The clear tent that I want is $3,500, restrooms for the wedding (these would be portable FLUSHABLE toilets – they are called luxury toilets for outdoor venues) and this is $1,500, tables and chairs would be $1,000, and I’m sure there are lots of other little things that we would need to rent such as a heater or air conditioner (depending on weather of course), table cloths, etc.
The place that we end up choosing will be for both the ceremony and the reception. This sounds bad to some (some have told me that it’s weird to have the ceremony and reception at the same location, however, I don’t care), but I want an outdoor wedding so it’ll all work!
I have already called some caterers. Since I do want an outdoor wedding, most venues are okay with me using my own caterer. Now, don’t make fun, but for food I want really tasty comfort food. Preferably catered BBQ. I have seen some really awesome pictures on Pinterest, and I feel like BBQ will make the wedding a lot of fun and more intimate even though there will be a lot of people there.
And I definitely want an open bar also. The caterer said she could supply the bartenders as well. She said if I wanted to save money, then I could buy all the alcohol (or at least most of it) and then I would save a lot of money. She also said she would give me a checklist of what to get for the amount of people we will be having.
I then also want a dessert table. I would be going to a local bakery for this. I want a table full of cakes, apple pies, sweets and everything.
I can never turn down good BBQ! What do you all think of this idea? Am I being stupid/crazy? Please let me know what you think of this idea. I want all opinions! W and I really love this idea, so I’m pretty positive this is what we will do.
Wedding Attire - $3,000
Wedding attire includes our outfits, makeup, hair, etc.
I don’t want to spend too too much on my wedding dress. My limit will be $2,000 (unless of course I see something super awesome) but I would prefer to spend less than $1,000. I am really excited for once it’s time to start looking. I am waiting on this until the actual venue is chosen and booked though.
For his suit, I do like the look of the suits that are on the JCrew wedding section on their website. I’m in love with it all and since W’s favorite store is JCrew, I’m sure he will love it all also. I would prefer to spend less than $1,000 on his suit.
Photography – $2,500
We want a good photographer for our wedding. I have been pricing this out and expect to spend around $2,000 to $3,000 for this. I’m in love with a photographer and have been in contact with her. She charges $2,000 and has the exact type of pictures that I want.
We will be taking our engagement photos soon and that will be around $500 with the same girl. I’m looking forward to those! We are waiting until the spring time when everything is pretty outside to do this though.
Also, do we want a videographer? I don’t really know of anyone who has done this so I am unsure about it and whether it’s worth it to hire one.
Music – $500
W really wants a band, but I would like a DJ so that I can listen to all types of music. DJs around here are around $500 with everything included (setup, etc.). What did you choose? How much did you spend on music?
Miscellaneous - $4,000
I do realize that there are a lot of little things that I did not list above. Save the dates, invitations, stamps, thank you cards, marriage license, bridal party gifts, flowers, etc. If there’s anything BIG that you think I’ve forgotten, please tell me in the comments! I definitely would want to know.
We also plan on providing transportation to our guests who are staying at local hotels. Our friend recently started his own limo party bus company, and we definitely plan on using him for this. It’ll make it a lot easier on everyone.
How much did you spend on your wedding?
If you have any wedding posts on your blog, please leave the link below! I will read every last word. And if you’ve ever negotiated on anything in your wedding, please tell me all about that also.