Wedding Sticker Shock

The Date: July 10, 2010
The Colors: Black & PASTEL PINK
Guest Count:  75
Location:  Hotel

Wedding Event-Day Of
Food & Beverage pkg w/Cocktail Hour: $5,338.00
Hosted Beverages: $888.00
DJ & Up lighting: $700.00
Photographer: $1,625.00

Officiant: $0 [ordain a friend]
Ceremony Venue Fee: $1,190.00
Cake: $421.25
Flowers: $447.73
Chair Covers: $233.70
DIY Centerpieces: $80.00
Guest Favors: $80.00
Place Cards: $57.00
Ceremony Arch Dressing: $100.00
Guest Parking: $115.00
Total: $11,275.68

Accessories/Extra Items
Invitations/RSVP: $189.60
Bridal Party Gifts: $90.00
Rehearsal Dinner: ($438.00) [gift from 'rents]
Mani/Pedi: $50.00
Hair: $85.00
Bridal Party Make Up Artist: ($350.00)[Gift from mom]
Total: Actual-$1202.60,  Our cost- $414.60 

Wedding Dress:$491.00
Dress Alterations: $224.00
Bride Shoes:$32.00
Jewelry:  $0 [passed down from grandma]
Groom Tuxedo:$0 [free w/5 paid rentals]
Total: $747.00

We got generous cash wedding gifts from Mj's mom, grandma, and aunt which we deposited into our joint savings.  Budget wise I think I did well keeping things in check so my sticker shock is not all that shocking which is a very good thing.  I shopped around and said no to things that didn't fit the budget.  Tax of 8.75 and gratuity at a whopping 19 percent cut into the budget big time so i had to consider that as well.  Looking at my list of expenses I can definitely see areas where I could have cut costs.  We didn't have to spend $800 on hosted beverages.  We could have got cheaper invitations or settled for the slightly less tasty but probably just as beautiful [and ideally the right color] $325 cake.  The guest list could have been cut in half.  I could have settled for a much cheaper dress.  We could have had a wedding luncheon with no DJ or hors dourves only and no sit down dinner.  We could have had it at a park and hired a local restaurant to cater the food.  Heck, we could've just had a BBQ right?  There are all kinds of things we could have done differently but to do so would have compromised what we wanted way too much.  I also see tons of areas where we could have indulged and added on thousands easy but didn't.  

That being said, our my goal was a nice neat $10,000 not including wardrobe, grooming, honeymoon, rings etc. for day of items central to carrying out the wedding on the day itself.  That was what I shot for but all the while I knew that it would still be OK if we finished somewhere in the $11's.  I may have had doubts before but AFTER wedding I can honestly say without question it was worth every penny.  I am so glad that I didn't over obsess on or spend extra money on budget busting items that I really wanted but could live without because when it came down to it none of that really mattered.  Did my vows mean any less or did I have less fun because I didn't have fresh flower centerpieces?  Nope!  It's more about the vows, the people, and the energy of the event then anything else.  The rest really is "just details."  Even having the wrong cake didn't spoil the magic of my day and that is a really important element.  Would I have preferred to have the cake I ordered that matched my colors?  Yes, but the show must and did go on.  Thank goodness I didn't feel compelled to spend 20K or even 15K! If we had of course it would have been more grand and extravagant but once you get to a certain threshold I don't think that extra expenditure of money is going to enhance your core wedding experience that much more.  I had an AMAZING wedding on 11K.  It's definitely possible!

All of those things that many brides obsess over don't matter as much as you think they will.  I do believe that it is important to get most of what you want though-whatever that is.  It's still your party and there is no point in doing it at all if it isn't going to be something you want.  You just have to find a balance.


Steph said...

And your wedding was gorgeous, as were you.

JEM - Aqua Bride said...

So true.

Nadia said...

You did great with the budget... where are you located? Because hotel in NYC is super expansive..

Frugalista said...

i'm in so cal. Im scared of what NYC prices would have been. some of the ones out here were much much higher then what we got though AND they raised prices after we signed our contract.

Faith said...

great job on the budget! very impressed! gorgeous wedding too and i can't believe you are in So Cal! great finds!

Brown Girl said...

Congrats on your wedding, you looked beautiful. So glad everything turned out so well, except for the cake, that stinks! You really did look stunning, your arms are amazing! ;)

Silly Girl said...

You did an amazing job! Such a beautiful wedding.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome, our wedding was just under $11k as well. We had about 140 guests and I think they all had a fabulous time and didn't miss anything.