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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: Galveston, Texas | 13 Guests | $15,000

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.

$15,000: 13 Guests on a Saturday Afternoon in Galveston, Texas in the Spring


The Numbers

Venue(s) $ 2,100
Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.) $ 1,000
Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake) $ 1,045
Floral/Decor $ 65
Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians) $ 0
Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.) $ 2,000
Rings $ 4,650
Marriage License $ 40
Officiant $ 300
Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator $ 0
Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs $ 0
Rentals $ 390
Hair & Makeup $ 325
Transportation $ 1,484
Rehearsal Dinner $ 750
Gifts & Favors $ 500
Other $ 320
TOTAL $ 14,969

What They Got For the Money

Photo courtesy of the Bay Front Escape http://www.bayfrontescape.com/

Ceremony & Reception Venue ($2,100)
The couple rented a beachfront home, which accommodated all of their overnight guests for the nights before and of the wedding. They planned to marry outside on the bay, but strong winds forced them to rearrange furniture and hold the ceremony indoors.

Photography ($1,000)
All day coverage by one photographer, engagement session and rehearsal dinner; high-res files and print rights. This was her first wedding.

Videography ($0)
A friend operated a rented video camera.

Catering ($1,000)
A friend of the groom who had recently graduated from culinary school and is a level 2 sommelier prepared a 6-course meal for the couple and their guests, including wine pairings.

Cake ($45)
The bride made the cake from a funfetti box mix and ready-made frosting. The groom’s cake was a custom cookie cake from the mall.

Flowers ($15)
A bunch of babies’ breath ($5) was the bride’s bouquet; white roses and assorted other flowers ($10) decorated the table; flowers were purchased at the local grocery store.

Decor ($50)
A banner purchased online read, “Love, Sweet Love” (pictured at the top of this post) and was accompanied by white balloons.

Attire ($2,000)
The bride wore a flowing, sleeveless wedding dress, with a Gap body strapless bra and earrings from J.Crew. Her mother contributed $500 towards the cost of the dress. The groom donned a Hugo Boss suit, white button-down shirt, and black skinny tie.

Rings ($4,650)
The bride’s engagement ring is a custom 5-carat green tourmaline stone with 4 pave diamonds in an 18k yellow gold setting. Her wedding ring is a 10mm 18k yellow gold traditional band. The groom’s wedding ring is a 6mm 14k yellow gold traditional band.

Marriage License ($40)
The couple was legally married in Chicago, Illinois before the ceremony in Texas.

Officiant ($300)
The officiant did not charge; the couple gave him $300 as a gift. They met once prior to the wedding to get to know each other, and then talked through the ceremony the night before the wedding. The couple wrote their own vows.

Invitations ($0)
The couple sent free invitations online using Paperless Post.

Rentals ($390)
Rental of an HD video camera and microphone to record the ceremony.

Hair and Makeup ($325)
Full airbrush makeup and up-do for the bride and her sister/maid-of-honor.

Transportation ($1,484)
Flights from the couple’s home city of Chicago to Houston; rental car for three days.

Gifts ($500)
The couple purchased a skydiving excursion for the bride’s family, as a thank you for helping out with some of the costs.

Rehearsal Dinner ($750)
Italian dinner and wine for 13 people; paid for by the groom’s mother.

Other ($320)
Fancy hotel room downtown for the couple on their wedding night.


Reflections

What was your biggest financial splurge? Why did you choose it? Was it worth it?
The biggest line item would be rings…which I love and would definitely say they were worth it. For the wedding itself it looks like the biggest cost was the venue which doubled as accommodation for everyone, so I would also say that it was worth it!

Was there anything you regret spending your money on or anything you wish you’d spent less on?
Our wedding worked because it was all friends. We chose Texas because it was where the majority of people who we wanted to be at the wedding were located. I think we saved a lot of expense for everyone else by doing the travelling ourselves. We chose the photographer, chef, etc. because they were friends. It was perfect for what it was….which was not a huge styled event.

What was the best thing you spent your money on?
Food!!!! And the venue for everyone to stay at/hang out/get married in.

Anything else you’d like to say?
It’s really interesting looking back at this 14 months later. We spent all of our savings and extra money at the time on the wedding and I thought we had set ourselves up for this year….but we didn’t. I wish we had done a MUCH better job planning our financial future instead of focusing so much on a wedding. But it was perfect for us and a beautiful celebration.

All photos were taken by Arlina Rose Photography 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.

Real Wedding Budget: Austin, Texas | 110 Guests | $5,000

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

$5,000: 110 Guests on a Saturday Evening in Austin, Texas in Autumn


The Numbers

Venue(s) $ 0
Photography/Video (including albums, prints, etc.) $ 1,000
Food/Beverage (catering, alcohol, and cake) $ 1,745
Floral/Decor $ 100
Entertainment (Band, DJ, Ceremony Musicians) $ 0
Attire (including shoes, jewelry, etc.) $ 717
Rings $ 65
Marriage License $ 71
Officiant $ 0
Wedding Planner/Day-of-Coordinator $ 0
Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Programs $ 303
Rentals $ 527
Hair & Makeup $ 0
Transportation $ 0
Rehearsal Dinner $ 0
Gifts & Favors $ 100
Other $ 378
TOTAL $ 5,006

What They Got For the Money

Ceremony & Reception Venue ($0)
The groom’s parents hosted the wedding in their backyard, and even fixed it up before the wedding.

Photography ($1,000)
Hiring an up-and-coming photographer got them a “crazy good deal” since she was building her portfolio at the time. They had 6 hours of coverage, an engagement session, and high-res files with printing rights. 

Videography ($0)
A friend of the couple took video at the wedding.

Catering ($1,420)
The couple scored a good deal from a local restaurant that was just beginning to venture into catering. They served a buffet of Italian food (chicken, focaccia bread, pasta, salad, and fruit). The restaurant provided “nicer-than-Chinet” disposable dishes and included delivery at no extra charge ($1,020). The couple purchased their own alcohol ($400) – A friend of the family is a wine distributor, which enabled them to purchase it at cost; they also had two kegs of good beer, one of which was given to them for free.

Cake ($325)
They purchased cupcakes from an up-and-coming vegan bakery.

Decor ($100)
The bride made organza flowers which she hung from ribbons to create a backdrop for their ceremony. Centerpieces were mini pumpkins and gourds with tea light candles. They did not care for flowers, so they didn’t have any.

Entertainment ($0)
Music was played on an iPod.

Attire ($717)
The bride purchased her ceremony dress from Unique Vintage ($160) and her reception dress ($120, used) from a bride selling it in the Offbeat Bride Tribe forum; both required alterations ($157). Jewelry ($66) from Etsy; shoes ($54), makeup ($100). The groom purchased a new shirt and tie ($60) to wear with clothes he already owned.

Rings ($65)
Thin silver band ($20) for the bride and thick titanium band ($45) for the groom were purchased on Etsy.

Marriage License ($71)

Officiant ($0)
A friend of the couple officiated the ceremony, which was written by the bride.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator ($0)

Invitations ($303)
The bride’s mother, a graphic designer, created their invitations; printing cost was waived since the shop they chose got behind; they paid for the paper ($70). The couple used Vistaprint for postcard save-the-dates ($29). Postage ($170) and envelopes ($34) are included.

Hair and Makeup ($0)
The bride did her own hair and makeup with assistance from her sister.

Gifts ($100)
The bridesmaids received necklaces purchased on Etsy; the groomsmen were given custom bottle openers.

Rehearsal Dinner ($0)
The rehearsal dinner was held in the same backyard as the wedding, and the groom’s father made a big pot of gumbo to serve. Cost of the dinner was covered by the groom’s parents.


Reflections

What was your biggest financial splurge? Why did you choose it? Was it worth it?
Photography. In hindsight, it wasn’t actually very much money for what we received, but at the time it was 1/5 of our budget so it felt like a ton. It was totally worth it though.

Was there anything you regret spending your money on or anything you wish you’d spent lesson?
Just a few stupid things, like decorations that didn’t get put up in the end…

What was the best thing you spent your money on?
Photography.

All photos were taken by Nessa K 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.