$20,000 Real Wedding Budgets

Today’s Real Wedding Budgets all fall around $22,000.

– VC had 155 guests at her Los Angeles wedding.  She DIY’ed flowers, her father acted as videographer, and she spent a mere $70 on makeup.  Having budgeted in these areas, she was able to splurge on a $4k+ dress, and also spend a generous amount on gifts for her wedding party.

– BS is planning a wedding of 100-125 guests in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.  She’s saving money by skipping favors and having family and friends act as officiant, musicians, and day-of coordinator.

– NC’s wedding of 72 guests in LA was set in a beautiful gothic Catholic church.  She and her husband budgeted fair amounts of money for their flowers, stationery, and photography/videography.  In turn, they saved on music expenses by having their restaurant reception site play classical music through their satellite system!  You can see photos of her wedding below.

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Submitted By: VC
City: Los Angeles
Budget: $20-30,000
# of Guests: 155

Wedding Day Expenses:

Ceremony/Reception Site Fees: $0
Caterer/Food/Drink: $5950 or $40/pp
Service Charge/Gratuities: $0 (included)
Bridal Gown/Alterations: $4995
Bridal Accessories: $100 (veil included; all family jewelry)
Groom’s Attire: $350
Stationery/Postage: $875
Photography: $1300
Videography: $0 (best friend and dad are cameramen)
Ceremony Music: $0 (included in DJ package)
Reception Music: $900 (DJ)
Flowers: $625, DIY’ed
Favors: $1600 (placeholders and photobooth as entertainment/favors)
Cake: $575
Officiant: $250 donation
Coordinator: $400
Hair/Makeup: $70 (in supplies)
Wedding Party Gifts: $840
Transportation: $140
Hotels: $250
Misc: $2750 (including rentals of dance floor, tables, chairs, and linens, as well as additional decorations)

Nonwedding Day Expenses:

Wedding bands: $1215
Rehearsal dinner: $1500
Honeymoon: $12,000

WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $21,970
COST PER PERSON: $142
NONWEDDING DAY TOTAL: $14,715
GRAND TOTAL: $36,685

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Submitted By: BS
City: Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Budget: $10,000
# of Guests: 100-125

Wedding Day Expenses:

Ceremony/Reception Site Fees: $2650
Caterer/Food/Drink: $10,625 or $85/pp
Service Charge/Gratuities: $2000
Bridal Gown/Alterations: $650 (sale on David’s designer gown off the rack)
Bridal Accessories: $400
Groom’s Attire: $0 (free at After Hours Formal Wear with purchase of groomsmen’s tuxes)
Stationery/Postage: $250
Photography: $1200 (Gene Ho Photography: four hours of coverage with two photographers, 120 proofs, and 5×7 album with photos)
Videography: $0 (family member)
Ceremony Music: $0 (DJ from reception and two friends playing violin and guitar)
Reception Music: $995
Flowers: $500 (planning to spend this much by DIY’ing through Sam’s Club)
Favors: $0 (none)
Cake: $450 (four and a half tiers)
Officiant: n/a (family member officiating; travel expenses to be covered)
Coordinator: $0 (sister-in-law will coordinate day-of)
Hair/Makeup: $190
Wedding Party Gifts: $500
Transportation: $0
Hotels: $1450
Misc: $330

Nonwedding Day Expenses:

Wedding bands: $150
Rehearsal dinner: n/a
Honeymoon: $2800

WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $22,190
COST PER PERSON: $178
NONWEDDING DAY TOTAL: $2950
GRAND TOTAL: $25,140

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Submitted By: NC
City: Los Angeles, CA
Budget: $30,000
# of Guests: 72

Wedding Day Expenses:

Ceremony/Reception Site Fees: $2500. A beautiful gothic catholic church that charged us $2000 extra because we weren’t parishoners.  Worth every penny.

gothicchurch1.jpg

ceremony2.jpg

Caterer/Food/Drink: $4800 or $67/pp, including three passed hors d’oeuvres, three courses, and wine and beverage service (no hard liquor).

Service Charge/Gratuities:
$0 (included)

Bridal Gown/Alterations:
$1000.  Maggie Sottero Channing dress.

channing.jpg

Bridal Accessories: $600.  I got 10% off my veil and undergarments by purchasing them together with my dress, and for my shoes, I wore a pair of Puma running shoes in white, with a touch of sage!

accessories.jpg

dress2.jpg

Groom’s Attire: $3000.  His parents custom ordered a suit for him and his brother (the best man); each suit was $1500.

suits.jpg

Stationery/Postage: $1400.  Stationery was my big splurge.  I knew I wanted beautiful letterpress invitations and that it was something I would be able to keep to remember the day.

food1.jpg

Photography: $2000.  I hired a friend of mine who does beautiful photos and was willing to provide us unlimited coverage, at three separate locations (ceremony, reception, and a post-reception shoot at the beach) and all the digital files.

channing2.jpg

channing3.jpg

Videography:
$1300

Ceremony Music:
$300.  The church organist and a parishoner who served as our cantor.

Reception Music:
$0.  I had the restaurant use their satellite system and just had classical music playing in the background.  I would have loved a string quartet, but it wasn’t worth the $3000+ it would have cost for the five hours of coverage we would have needed.  It would have been a nice extra, but it wasn’t necessary.

Flowers:
$3200.  We had 12 centerpieces (8 tall, showy ones and 4 smaller, compact ones).  I booked my florist one year in advance, no questions asked, because she came highly recommended and she does beautiful work.  On our way to our honeymoon, my husband said, “If I were getting married again, I would hire Debbie to do the flowers!”

flowers31.jpg

flowers4.jpg

flowers21.jpg

Favors: $310.  We had custom laser-imprinted chopsticks made as favors for our guests.  Everyone loved them and it brought just enough “Chinese” flair to our otherwise completely western ceremony and reception.

Cake:
$600

Officiant:
$0, included in church fee.

Coordinator:
$150.  In addition to the church fee, we paid $150 for a church wedding coordinator who took care of all the paperwork and made sure everything ran smoothly the day of.

Hair/Makeup:
$700 ($350 for my hair and makeup, and $140 each for my MOH’s hair and makeup; $70 for hair for one of the grandmas).

makeup.jpg

Wedding Party Gifts: $300.

Transportation:
$200.  We rented an Audi A4 to zip around town in after the wedding and to take us to the airport the next day.

Hotels:
$0.  Groom’s family took care of our hotel costs.

Misc:
$400

Nonwedding Day Expenses:

Wedding bands: $2000. Half circle of prong-set diamonds for me, and plain platinum for my husband.
Rehearsal dinner: $1500

WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $22,760
COST PER PERSON: $316
NONWEDDING DAY TOTAL: $3500
GRAND TOTAL: $26,260

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Thanks to everyone who submitted their budgets!  If you’d like to see your budget featured on Weddingbee, see here for details.

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