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Real Wedding Budget: La Grange, Texas | 60 Guests | $8,900

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 ratesDo 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


The Numbers

Venue(s) $ 1,000.00
Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.) $ 2,143.35
Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake) $ 2,298.69
Floral/Decor $ 456.90
Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians) $ 10.00
Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.) $ 798.00
Rings $ 157.00
Marriage License $ 71.00
Officiant $ 0
Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator $ 0
Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs $ 277.22
Rentals $ 0
Hair & Makeup $ 0
Transportation $ 0
Rehearsal Dinner $ 150.00
Gifts & Favors $ 83.62
Other $ 1,429.78
TOTAL $ 8,875.56

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.

Photography ($2,143.35)
The couple had two photographers for 7 hours, with web- and print-ready files and all print rights.

Catering ($2,298.69)
The couple served a BBQ buffet with three entrees and three sides. They purchased their own alcohol.

Cake ($65)
The bride baked cupcakes the week prior to the wedding and froze them. They defrosted and decorated them the night before the wedding.

Flowers ($306.90)
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.

Decor ($150)
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.

Entertainment ($10)
Ceremony and reception music was played on an iPod. They paid for Spotify Premium to download the songs they wanted on their playlist.

Attire ($798)
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.

Rings ($157)
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)

Officiant ($0)
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.

Invitations ($277.22)
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.

Favors ($83.62)
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.

Other ($1,429.78)
The couple paid for their family and wedding party’s food and lodgings at the camp.


Reflections

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.

All photos were taken by Elissa R. Photography and are reposted here with permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Real Wedding Budget: Boston | 40 Guests | $16,600

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 ratesDo not expect that you will necessarily get the same package and pricing you see here.

$16,617: 40 Guests on a Saturday Evening in Boston in the Summer


The Numbers

Venue(s) $ 220
Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.) $ 2,500
Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake) $ 9,273
Floral/Decor $ 241
Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians) $ 205
Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.) $ 1,312
Rings $ 607
Marriage License $ 35
Officiant $ 100
Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator $ 0
Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs $ 150
Rentals $ 0
Hair & Makeup $ 150
Transportation $ 875
Rehearsal Dinner $ 0
Gifts & Favors $ 380
Other $ 569
TOTAL $ 16,617

What They Got For the Money

Ceremony & Reception Venue ($220)
The ceremony was held in a chapel at the university where the couple met. They had the space for 3 1/2 hours, and it included chairs. It was large enough to accommodate 200 people.

The reception was held in the private dining room of a restaurant. There was no fee for use of the room beyond the cost of catering.

Photography ($2,500)
The couple had one photographer for an engagement session and full wedding day coverage. The package included high-resolution digital files with personal copyright permission.

Videography ($0)
The couple set up two video cameras to record the ceremony; they asked cousins to turn them on at the start of the ceremony.

Catering ($9,038)
The couple had a cocktail hour with five passed hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner with appetizer, three entree choices, and dessert. They had an open bar throughout the evening, but capped the choice of beverages at $13 per drink. This amount included a $1,200 tip for exceptional service.

Cake ($235)
The couple had a two-tiered cake with different flavors in each layer. Guests consumed just one layer at the reception; the second layer was consumed the day after by guests who came to the couples’ house the day after to hang out and play video games.

Flowers ($191)
One of the bridesmaids made all the bouquets and the bride arranged the centerpieces. This is the cost of the flowers they purchased, including stems for a dry run a few days before the wedding.

Decor ($50)
The venues were already lovely, so the couple only needed to create table numbers and a seating chart.

Entertainment ($205)
The couple hired an undergraduate student at the university where they wed to play Bach pieces on her cello for the ceremony. It was the first wedding she’d played. The couple spent $80 on reception entertainment.

Attire ($1,312)
The bride wore a silk wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline, ball gown skirt, and pockets. She purchased new shoes and borrowed jewelry from her family. She spent $220 on alterations. The groom purchased a suit, tie, and new shoes.

Rings ($607)
The bride and groom each wear plain gold wedding bands.

Marriage License ($35)

Officiant ($100)
The officiant was a mentor of the couple, and they had a close personal relationship with him. The bride created and wrote the entire ceremony.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator ($0)

Invitations ($150)
The couple designed and printed the invitations themselves; this is the cost of paper and postage. The bride notes that they had a lot of fun making them, they turned out really well, and it, along with coding the wedding website, was one of the best parts of wedding planning.

Hair and Makeup ($150)
A friend of the bride’s did her hair and makeup. This is the cost of purchasing new makeup.

Transportation ($875)
The couple rented a shuttle bus to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception, and from the reception to the hotel where most of the guests were staying.

Gifts ($300)
The couple gave gifts to the wedding party and other people who helped out with the wedding.

Favors ($80)
The couple ordered personalized fans from Etsy.

Rehearsal Dinner ($0)
The couples’ parents split the cost of the rehearsal dinner, the only expense not paid by the couple. The rehearsal dinner was fort he two families and wedding party in an upscale restaurant. They believe the cost was approximately $500.

Other ($569)
The couple hosted a brunch on the day after the wedding ($414) and provided gift bags for out-of-town guests ($155).


Reflections

What was your biggest financial splurge? Why did you choose it? Was it worth it?

Our biggest splurge was on food and alcohol at the reception. It was well worth it — all of our guests raved about the food and drinks afterwards! We also splurged on our honeymoon, which ended up costing the same amount as our wedding. It was an unbelievable trip, and it was definitely worth it!

Was there anything you regret spending your money on or anything you wish you’d spent less on?

I wish I didn’t panic and decide to assemble out-of-town bags at the last minute, but it wasn’t that big a deal, and it made me feel a little better.

I also wish the shuttle bus wasn’t quite so expensive, but we were happy to provide transportation for our guests (particularly since a lot of them weren’t used to public transportation).

What was the best thing you spent your money on?

The food and drink at the reception! And the honeymoon!

Anything else you’d like to say?

Our wedding honestly turned out exactly the way we wanted. Even if we had a lot more money, there isn’t anything we would want to spend more on.

Real Wedding Budget: Washington, DC | 35 Guests | $10,000

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 ratesDo not expect that you will necessarily get the same package and pricing you see here.

$10,000: 35 Guests on a Saturday Evening in Washington, DC in the Spring


The Numbers

Venue(s) $ 700
Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.) $ 1,000
Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake) $ 4,000
Floral/Decor $ 65
Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians) $ 160
Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.) $ 750
Rings $ 1,600
Marriage License $ 45
Officiant $ 0
Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator $ 0
Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs $ 210
Rentals $ 0
Hair & Makeup $ 42
Transportation $ 0
Rehearsal Dinner $ 0
Gifts & Favors $ 275
Other $ 815
TOTAL $ 9,662

What They Got For the Money

Ceremony & Reception Venue ($700)
The couple rented two private rooms at a local inn for 6 hours. The rental included chairs (for the ceremony and reception), tables, and linens.

Photography ($1,000)
10 hours of coverage with one photographer; CD of digital images with print rights; engagement session.

Catering ($4,000)
The couple had passed appetizers; a plated three-course dinner of salad, entree, and wedding cake; beer, wine, coffee, and assorted non-alcoholic beverages.

Cake ($0)
The wedding cake was two layers of Espresso Gateau, and was included in the catering package.


Flowers ($65)
Flowers for the table were purchased at Whole Foods and arranged by a friend. The bride bought a boutonniere for her wife from a florist on the day of the wedding.

Decor ($0)
The couple specifically chose a venue that was so lovely it didn’t require additional decoration.

Entertainment ($160)
The couple rented the venue’s iPod speaker; a friend who is a DJ made a playlist for them.

Attire ($750)
The bride wore a short, white bridesmaid dress from J. Crew. This cost includes undergarments and hosiery. Her wife wore a suit and dress shirt from Banana Republic. They both purchased new shoes.

Rings ($1,600)
The couple both wear plain platinum bands.

Marriage License ($45)

Officiant ($0)
The couple were members in an Ethical Society, which provided an officiant at no cost. (They contributed to the Society generally.) They met with the officiant 2-3 times prior to the wedding and had a pretty customized ceremony.

Invitations ($210)
The couple ordered letterpress invitations from Etsy.

Hair and Makeup ($42)
The bride had her stylist wash and blow out her hair. She did her own makeup with products she already owned. Her wife did her own hair and did not wear makeup.

Gifts ($150)
Each of four attendants received a gift chosen for them personally by the couple from Etsy.

Favors ($125)
Birdseed hearts from Etsy in cellophane bags, sealed with personalized stickers, also from Etsy.

Rehearsal Dinner ($0)
The couple did not have a rehearsal dinner, but hosted a happy hour the night before the wedding. Guests purchased their own drinks; snacks were provided by the bride’s mother-in-law for about $250.

Other ($815)
The couple hired a sign language interpreter ($250) since the bride’s sister is deaf. They opted to stay at the inn the night before and the night of the wedding ($465). They purchased a Quaker wedding certificate ($10).


Reflections

What was your biggest financial splurge? Why did you choose it? Was it worth it?
Our photographer – I really wanted excellent photos and we totally lucked out finding such a great photographer in our budget. She was definitely worth much more than we paid her.

Was there anything you regret spending your money on or anything you wish you’d spent less on?
No.

What was the best thing you spent your money on?
The venue – they were so easy to work with, and included so much (chairs, linens, etc). AND they did the catering, including the wedding cake. EASY.

All photos were taken by Eva Russo and are reposted here with permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.