This is part of our ongoing series, Real Wedding Budgets, bringing you actual numbers from actual couples, along with an idea of what you can get for your money. See more Real Wedding Budgets here.
Want to make this series run longer? Submit your real wedding budget (anonymously) here.
Before you read, a note on vendors: We don’t provide vendor information because you never know what kind of discounts they may have given, or if their prices have changed since this wedding. And also because if the couple didn’t love them, we don’t want to be putting a bad review out there. That’s what Yelp and Wedding Wire are for.
However, there is one exception – photography. Because we want you to get a good idea of what the couple was able to do with their budget, we include photos when possible, and credit the photographers. So word of advice – if you like these photos, please do go check out the photographer’s website (linked at the end of the post), and then ask for their current rates. Do not expect that you will necessarily get the same package and pricing you see here.
$8,900: 60 Guests on a Saturday Afternoon in La Grange, Texas in the Spring
|Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.)||$ 2,143.35|
|Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake)||$ 2,298.69|
|Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians)||$ 10.00|
|Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.)||$ 798.00|
|Marriage License||$ 71.00|
|Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator||$ 0|
|Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs||$ 277.22|
|Hair & Makeup||$ 0|
|Rehearsal Dinner||$ 150.00|
|Gifts & Favors||$ 83.62|
What They Got For the Money
Ceremony & Reception Venue ($1,000)
The couple rented the chapel at a church camp. It was a beautiful stone and wood chapel with huge, lovely windows. The fee included all tables and chairs; use of the outside deck; three days of time for rehearsal, wedding, and clean up; and setup by the camp staff.
The couple had two photographers for 7 hours, with web- and print-ready files and all print rights.
The couple served a BBQ buffet with three entrees and three sides. They purchased their own alcohol.
The bride baked cupcakes the week prior to the wedding and froze them. They defrosted and decorated them the night before the wedding.
Flowers were purchased by the bride, her mother, and her matron of honor at a local grocery store the day before the wedding. The bride’s aunt and sister-in-law arranged all of the centerpieces and created the bouquets.
They purchased ribbons, a candle holder, box for cards, and other miscellaneous items. Friends and family lent them beautiful jars which were used for the centerpieces.
Ceremony and reception music was played on an iPod. They paid for Spotify Premium to download the songs they wanted on their playlist.
The bride purchased a pre-owned dress via the internet and wore her own jewelry. She purchased new argyle socks and wore her old, beat-up boots. The groom wore his own suit and shirt and purchased a new tie and dress boots.
The bride wears a simple, mill-grain-edged gold band, purchased on Etsy. The groom wears an heirloom ring from his family.
Marriage License ($71)
A friend of the couple, who got ordained online, officiated the ceremony. The couple composed the ceremony.
Wedding Planner/Coordinator ($0)
The bride’s best friend unofficially filled the role of wedding coordinator.
The bride designed the invitation suite and had them printed online. This cost include pocketfolds, envelopes, postage, and craft supplies (ribbon, lace, etc.) in addition to printing.
Hair and Makeup ($0)
The bride’s hair and makeup were done by friends.
The guests received clear shot glasses filled with blue M&Ms and York candy pieces in tulle, tied with ribbon.
Rehearsal Dinner ($150)
The couple held a casual pizza dinner the night before the wedding.
The couple paid for their family and wedding party’s food and lodgings at the camp.
What was your biggest financial splurge? Why did you choose it? Was it worth it?
Our photographer! The husband was very non-excited about having his picture taken and the cost; we wound up having our largest wedding fight about it, actually. I loved our photographer’s work from the first time I saw it on APW and I was so psyched she was open for our date. In the end, though, the husband loved the photos and I’m so glad we got them done by such a quality photographer.
Was there anything you regret spending your money on or anything you wish you’d spent less on?
Honestly, we came in $1500 under budget and I don’t know what I would’ve spent any more of the money on.