Iowanna Marry You: The Doily Budget Breakdown

Mr. D and I knew that we were going to pay for the wedding ourselves. So when we set an initial budget, we were shooting for $10k. So how close did we get? Well, let’s find out!


Mrs. Doily:


Dress (including bustle, undergarments, and tax—no alterations needed): $1,309


Earrings: $54.60

Bracelet: Gifted

Necklace: Borrowed

Veil: Borrowed

Shoes (Both the heels and the Toms): $87.54

Hair Flower: $5.78


Hair and makeup (trial and tip for both included): $180

Manicure: $50

Mr. D:


Tux: Free rental

Shoes: Converse $65

Haircut: $25

ATTIRE TOTAL: $1,732.70



Site rental (including DOC, rehearsal, cleanup, sound technician): $350

Pre-marital counseling: $50 gift given to the couple that counseled us

Ceremony décor (backdrop, reserved signs): $8

Ceremony music: $24

Ribbon wands: $32.40

Flowers (including all bouquets, mother/grandmother pins, boutonnieres, Sign Dude’s sign, and flower girl’s pomander): $43.67




Site rental

This included our catering, sparkly backdrop, cake table backdrop, white linens, and open wine and beer bar: $3,477.35



Milk glass and vintage books: borrowed from Mr. D’s mother’s antique shop

Coffee filter half-pomander “flowers”: $22.73

Doily chargers/place cards: $18.45

Candles (including votive holder and eight-hour long-lasting tea candle): $66.98

Linens (including 110 white chair covers, 110 apple green sashes, 11 navy blue tablecloths, 5 navy satin runners): $426.29

Tablescape Total: $534.45 (Another way of looking at it is $44.54 per table.)

Guest Welcome Table


Seating chart: $5

Welcome sign: $1.60

Tea tin: I had owned it for years.

Card box: $12.43

Green box for guestbook pages: $2.50

Ink to print guestbook pages: $18.99

Markers for guestbook pages: $12.50

Welcome table total: $53.02

Cupcake Table



Cupcake-batter supplies, frosting, and decoration: $28.39

Cupcake liners: $15.79

Cupcake tower: given to us by a friend

Cake topper: $8.45

Pictures: I made the designs and printed them myself, and the frames cost $6.68.

The linens and backdrop were included in site rental, and the candles were included in the price of the tablescapes.

Cupcake Table Total: $58.89

Memory Table (including favors)


Assorted frames: $7.34

Candles: $8.24 (This includes the vellum, but not the ribbon, as that was part of the purchase in flowers.)

Customized rubber bracelets (200 of them): $53.44

Basket for bracelets: $2.63

Runner is included in price of linens above.

Total Memory Table Cost: $71.65

DJ: $850 (This includes the price for seven hours of music, a light show, and our blue uplighting.)



Paper Products:

Invitations (This includes the base invites, the stamps, and the ink for printing them.): $81.55

Save the dates: $18

Thank you cards: $45.56


Miscellaneous Wedding Purchases:

Rehearsal Dinner: $512.84

Rings: $364.29

Wedding-party gifts: $312

Marriage license: $35

Photographer (included engagement sessions, 10 hours on wedding day, wedding album, $500 print credit, DVD of all images) : $2,195

Flip cams: $185.73

Hotel room for wedding night: gifted to us by family

MISC TOTAL: $3,604.86

Which brings us to the final tally”¦drum roll, please (bum bum bum bum bum bum).


We managed to only go over by $1, 036.10. As we got closer, we realized that were going to be able to pay for the wedding with no problem and added things to our budget (like chair covers and the backdrops at the reception site). I am extremely proud that we managed to stick so close to our budget and get everything we wanted out of our day. It really was the perfect day, and I often think back of it in extreme fondness. It’s a day that I will remember forever and always.

I’m a little sad to say it, but also a bit relieved (recaps can take a lot out of you! ;) , but that is it for the Doily wedding. There is only one more thing for me to do, but I will share that for another post. Thank you so much for letting me share this journey with you!

All photos that are watermarked are from An Unforgettable Memory Photography; the rest are guest and personal photos.



Mrs. Doily

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Wedding Date:
March 2012
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
Puppy Love: What's Cake Without Ice Cream?
Add a comment


  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Aly, Guest @ 2:53 pm

    Just curious where this wedding was ? I am planning a wedding in NY and everything is so much more expensive :/

  2. doily Member
    doily 1720 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:02 pm

    @Aly: Hi! We got married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Weddings are pretty affordable here!

  3. Member
    mybelle84 48 posts, Newbee @ 3:12 pm

    Tell me about it!!!! I live in Brooklyn and don’t even want a large, traditional wedding, but we just can’t afford to spend even 10k on it. That can go towards a down payment on a house! I think we are just going to city hall it and have a party at our loft after. Good luck!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    dcgirl655, Guest @ 5:27 pm

    WOW! I am so impressed by how you were able to stay on budget. Everything looked great, and by the way, you were an absolutely stunning bride!

  5. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:41 pm

    Great job keeping so true to your budget and having a great looking wedding while at it!

  6. bat Member
    bat 285 posts, Helper bee @ 5:50 pm

    I think you did amazingly: you stuck to your budget almost perfectly and your wedding looks amazing. I love seeing these breakdowns!!

  7. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing Doily! I wish more bee bloggers did, to really get a good idea for different areas!

  8. funnelcake Member
    funnelcake 1171 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:01 am

    Wow, great budget post Doily! Thank you for writing it. I think it’s so helpful for bees to read when planning. :)

  9. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 5:19 am

    wowsa! congrats!

    @Aly: @mybelle84: i’m in your boats too – city weddings are insanely more expensive.

  10. Member
    carolyn.sp.79 204 posts, Helper bee @ 7:13 am

    Amazing breakdown! I’m in Iowa City :) Perhaps once this semester is over, we can meet up in CR!

  11. Member
    x0jlynn03 2630 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:57 am

    You got an awesome deal on your DJ.. including a light show and up-lighting.. that’s awesome!

  12. doily Member
    doily 1720 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:09 am

    @carolyn.sp.79: We definitely should! I’ve been trying to get an Iowa Meetup planned for over a year now, but unfortunately the Iowa boards are not that active….we shall have to change that! :) Though I feel like I should warn you…I’m a Cyclone fan. Can you forgive that?

  13. doily Member
    doily 1720 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:11 am

    @X0JLYNN03: His prices jumped a ton right after we book him, so I know how blessed we were to get him when we did. If we had booked even two months later, we would have paid at least $300 bucks more, so I’m so glad he fit so perfectly into our budget!

  14. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 9:55 am

    Congrats on staying so close to your budget! That’s super impressive. Your wedding was beautiful, Mrs. D. :)

  15. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:21 am

    Way to go, Doily! You kept close to your budget and created a beautiful wedding!

  16. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:11 pm

    Great job of staying so close to your budget!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Ellen, Guest @ 4:35 pm

    Hello! I am trying to plan a wedding in Cedar Rapids right now and would love to hear more about your venue and vendors (catering company, DJ, photography, etc.). Any extra details would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

add a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors