Let’s talk about money! You may recall that we mentioned our budget for our 100 guest wedding was “Spend-as-little-as possible-shooting-for-under-$5,000.” My parents gifted us that amount and we decided keep the total wedding budget under that number so that we could use our savings for the honeymoon.
Ceremony – $400
$100 donation to the church
$250 Pre-Cana Retreat
$50 Marriage License
Bride’s Attire – $871
Bride Shoes -$45
Sephora Makeup $126
Groom’s Attire – $300
Kenneth Cole suit – $199
Express shirt and tie $100
Photography – $800
Keli Art Photography—When we booked Keli, she was wrapping up her photography studies and only had a handful of weddings under her belt. We loved her work even though she wasn’t as experienced as some of our other options and we were really excited about giving a beginner a shot. Booking a less experienced photographer meant a smaller bill and even then we went with the less expensive package which included the engagement pictures, two shooters during the whole event and the digital files.
After our wedding she’s done tons of other weddings and her work just keeps getting better! Keli and her husband, Che, were a delight to work with and made us feel so at ease. They captured the essence of our wedding perfectly in their pictures and I wouldn’t hesitate to book them again for another event.
Reception Venue – $1146
The venue charges $9.00/per guest for the standard four hour breakfast buffet which included:
Use of the room for four hours with a menu of fresh fruit platter, cheese platter, ham platter, pastry platter, croissants, bagels, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, french toast, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate in addition to 12 round tables with a white tablecloths, 100 chairs, bone china, silverware and two waiters.
We rented the champagne glasses from them and brought our own champagne (a gift from MIL Boa) and fresh squeezed OJ for the toast.
Cake – $290
Cupcakes and More…Puerto Rico—Sanya, the lovely lady who runs a cupcake shop from her home, is a a total sweetheart. We would drive 40 minutes to pick up an order of cupcakes from her while in college, so it was only fitting to have her do our wedding cake. She did not disappoint on our wedding! Aesthetically she delivered exactly what my wedding cake vision was and totally nailed the yum factor in all four of our cake flavors (Carrot, Nutella, Lemon cake and Red Velvet).
DJ – $250
We used a friendor for our decoration, so this was waaayyy less than if we’ve used a regular vendor. This included:
- 12 flower centerpieces (Vases were re-used from my cousin’s quinceanero a couple of months before)
- 14 table overlays
- Bridal and MOH bouquet
- three Boutonnieres
50 Invitations – $130.93
Table Numbers/ Seating Chart- $34
Printing $7.00 at Walgreens Photo
Frames- $2.00 ea = $24.00
Ribbon – $3.00
Guest Book – $20.00
Jenga $14.00 through Amazon
Favors – $117
50 Moo rectangular stickers – $17
Coffee favors $2 ea x 50 = $100
For a GRAND TOTAL of $5,158!
We spent a tiny bit over what my parents gifted us towards the wedding. Our plan was to pay off the wedding using only would be covered by my parents gift and using our savings for the honeymoon. The honeymoon came to a total of $7,600 ; the 12 day cruise was $1,600 pp, plane tickets were $1,000 pp, we paid $1000 for hotels and the rest of the honeymoon budget was spent in meals, souvenirs and traveling expenses.
My personal money saving tips:
- Time of Day—Consider having the wedding at a time slot other than Saturday or Friday night. The same venue, on the same day but for dinner instead of breakfast would have cost 4x more and would have doubled our total budget.
- No Alcohol—Having a morning wedding allowed us to save on alcohol and shockingly people still had fun! So if your guests aren’t big drinkers (and even if they are), having no alcohol or some alternative beverages might be a huge money saver.
- Transportation—We didn’t rent a limo or any other form of transportation. I asked one of my uncles who has a nice white car (have no idea what make it is) to drive us to the ceremony and to the reception. The limo was not missed AT ALL!
My last piece of advice might be a bit polarizing, but it’s my honest opinion that if you can’t comfortably afford it, Don’t Splurge. If it’s your dream to have a huge lavish wedding and spend all your savings for it, go right ahead and I honestly hope that it is everything you wished for. That wasn’t my dream—I just wanted my closest family and friends to witness as I joined my life to the person I love most in this world and although it might not be what everybody wants, to me, our wedding ROCKED! But the wedding was just a speck in the awesomeness that I aspire my life to be and although it has been the most incredible day of my life so far, it is still only one day (actually the whole event only takes a couple of hours). So as much as you might LOVE that dress or that photographer or whatever else you’re thinking about stretching your hard earned pennies for…at the end it will only be for one day and at the end of that day, with or without that dress, that photographer…you will still be married to a person you love, who you vowed to love forever. It will be a day you will never forget.
* All photos by Keli Art Photography unless otherwise noted
Catch up on the Boa recaps!
- Isabela, Puerto Rico
- Undergraduate Student
- Wedding Date:
- May 2012
- El Faro Convention Center