When I started planning our wedding, there is one thing that I kept looking for and had a hard time finding: the budget breakdown of a real wedding. Of course, the budget depends on a lot of factors. Location, date, and amount of guests, but still I wanted to have some sort of idea. Who wouldn’t?
What was particularly difficult with our situation was the Mr. Flamingo was in school the whole time we were engaged, and even after the wedding. So, planning a wedding on one salary wasn’t the easiest thing to do… but doable, nonetheless. We simply needed to have an extra long engagement in return (2 and a half years) but it was worth it.
Here is the breakdown to our glamnuptials (budget in Canadian dollars, check here for exchange rates):
Date: June 21, 2008
City: In the suburbs, approximately 30 minutes from Montreal
# of Guests: 145 (including children, vendors, & excluding guests (30-40) who came in the evening)
Wedding Day Costs
Ceremony Site: $475
This included the officiant and helpers for no extra cost. We basically had a mini church coordinator, so everything ran quite smoothly.
Reception Site: N/A
There were no fee associated with the Hotel we used for our wedding reception. Basically, the cost was absorbed in the food and drinks. We had a beautiful hall with the capacity for 300 guests, therefore, enough room to move and dance. We had a beautiful terrace with a waterfall and fireplace at night where guests could enjoy themselves.
Food & Drink: $13,010
The reception started off with cocktails and some hors d’oeuvres. This was followed by a 5 course meal with wine, included during the meal and open bar after 10:30 for a time slot of 4 hours, and a sweets table at the stroke of midnight. This included 4 vendor meals ($35.00 per vendor). Here is the breakdown of the food and drinks:
Service Charge/Gratuities: $1950.00
A 15% gratuity and all service charges for 1 event manager, 6 servers, 1 kitchen staff, and 3 bartenders was added to the total amount.
A 3-tier, chocolate, marble, and vanilla cake. Also, there was a small cake (75 large portions) to serve at the sweets table, since we already had a dessert included in the main meal.
Bridal Gown & Alterations: $690 (dress) $125 (alterations)
My wedding dress was a gift from my mother, but it cost $690. This included dress, veil, shawl, sash, and extra straps. Even thought I barely had any alterations to get done, I needed to make my dress shorter. The alterations cost $125.
Bridal Accessories: $320
I had lots of accessories, some purchased, and some DIY projects. Here’s the breakdown:
Groom’s Attire: N/A
There was a great promotion which allowed the groom to rent his attire for free with the rental of groomsmen’s attire!
Manicure/Pedicure : $0
Offered as a gift by my sister (aka bridesmaid)
My hair was done by my awesome hairdresser. My step-mother was the sweetest, and paid for all the girls and myself. As for my makeup, it was done by my awesome friend, also a gift.
Other stationery items: $60
All wedding flowers included:
Various decor elements included:
Being a graphic designer and familiar with Photoshop, I wanted my pictures to be RAW (unedited) on a DVD. That way, it was good for both parties, less work for them, and a cheaper price for me. Plus, I got to do all the editing I wanted, and felt free to use any picture I wanted
Having our videographer come from NYC to our wedding obviously raised the cost, and we definitely busted our budget on this one. That’s why we opted for less coverage (6 hours only). But to be honest, I’m extremely happy we decided to splurge on the Super 8… without it, our wedding wouldn’t have been the same.
Ceremony/Reception Music: $700
Our DJ was awesome. Not only was the find a great deal, but the guests did not stop dancing for one bit. The price included 10 hours and all the props; glow sticks, hats, Hawaiian necklaces, etc.
Bottles of water combined with a donation to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of my grandmother and in honor mommy flamingo, survivor.
Wedding Party Gifts: $300
The bridesmaids (x3) got a $50 gift, which included a Flash Drive, a journal, and an embroidered silk jewelry roll. I gave the same to my MOH, but added a $50 gift certificate to a local spa. The best man got Superman cuff links and a $50 gift certificate.
Rental of our beautiful vintage 1957 Bentley. This amount was for 6 hours and included the champagne, red carpet, and all. Tip was also included.
Night Accommodations: $0
Honeymoon suite was offered as a gift by the hotel for having our wedding reception take place there. It was a very very nice honeymoon suite.
Flower girl attire: $60
Ring bearer attire: $125
Parents’ gifts: $200
Wedding Day Total: $ 24,840
Total Cost per person: $ 171.31
All inclusive costs:
Wedding rings: $1800 (both)
Having my ring made by a jeweler boosted the price of my ring over what I originally wanted to pay for it. Regardless, it’s a good investment, (my fingers would say so).
Rehearsal Dinner/Day After Brunch: N/A
Because of budget restraints, we decided on a minimoon in New York City. It was a 4 day, 3 night trip filled with shopping, museums, dining out, and of course, a Broadway show.
All inclusive total: $3050
For a grand total of…. drum roll, please: $27,890
I was afraid adding up all the totals, but honestly… it’s not as bad as I thought. It’s approximately $5500 over our initial budget. I must say that being prepared and having every little detail in a budget Excel sheet made it so much easier to see how much I spent when planning our wedding. For those interested, you can download my budget form here.
I hope this has helped in some way…
Images taken by Ipi-events, Anne-Emilie Photo, and guests