Thanks to everyone who voted on how I should tackle the daunting task of recaps. It looks like I’ll be starting with the budget, then what I’d do differently, followed by the week before, and the recaps.
Right. Now to the task at hand: the budget breakdown.
A few months back, when I was a new bee, I shared with everyone our budget. We were hoping to pull off a wedding AND a honeymoon for $15,000. We originally invited 130 guests which eventually ballooned to 162 guests. Oops! In the end, our final count was 116 people. Children under 5 were free, and kids 6-11 were half price. If I had to guess, I’d say we had 130 people including all the kids.
The first number listed is the amount I budgeted as of April 5th (my last budget post). The second number (bold) is amount we spent. If there is only one number listed, then I spent the exact budgeted amount. I’ll try to explain significant over/under-spending below. If anything is unclear, please feel free to ask!
- Food/Venue/Tax/Tip: $6000/$5455.45 – The fact that our numbers dropped really helped us here. We also didn’t have to pay for a second bartender.
- Beverages: $700/$747 – We overspent here because I didn’t want to run out of wine. That said, we had A LOT left over. I could have spent about $600 and still would have had leftovers.
- Cream Puffs & Cupcake Paper: $115/$88 – We found a local Pho Restaurant that sold cream puffs for $0.50 a piece. We had SOO many leftover. I could have also spent $60 and had leftovers.
- Music: $0 – We went the iPod route
- Flowers: $175/$141.78 – a friend had the hook up with a wholesale distributor. We ordered too many flowers and only used about half the order.
- Centerpieces: $197.50
- Wedding Favors: $100/$87.50 – we had enough for 150 guests
- Banquet License : $10
- Reception Parking : $250
- Other decorations: $46
- Church Fee: $250/$150 – The chapel coordinator works at the high school with Mr. Joey and refused to take the money.
- Breakfast Bar: $150/$100 – Fewer people, fewer goodies, though we again had too much. We would have been fine with half the amount of food.
- Ring Bowl: $10/$29.25 – Our bowl will double as a Christmas ornament
- Flower Girl Basket: Not budgeted for/$30 – This will double as a place for us to put our memory corks.
- Bouquets: $30
- Unity Candles: Not budgeted for/$15 – We picked out fun candle holders to reuse in our new house.
- Wedding Dress: $266/$286 – I needed to have it taken in. Apparently I lost some weight. I did find an amazing tailor who has my business for life! She did all the alterations for $20!!
- Accessories: $100/$91.91 – This includes my hairpiece, purse, shoes, eyelashes
- Hair and Make-Up: $115
- MOH Dress & Accessories : $80/$85 – My sister’s dress didn’t fit and we had to but a new one. It actually came to $105 total, but I had a gift card from Nordstrom that we used for the difference.
- Mr. Joey’s suit/tie/shirt/vest: $241.95/$264.95 – We originally budgeted $500, but found a deal at the Brooks Brothers Outlet. We added a grey vest to his look late in the game.
- Ties for Ushers & BM: $60/$57.57
- Boutonnieres/corsages for Mr. Joey, all parents, BM & ushers: $92
- Fabric for ring boy’s tie and flower girl’s sash: $19 – We only used half the fabric.
- Photographer: $300
- Prints: $25
- Photo for Parents: $25/$12
- Photo Book: $20 – We got a gift card to Blurb to supplement the cost of a wedding book
- Save the Dates: $25/$28.54
- Invitations: $500/$233.18 – I had no idea how much this would cost, so I guessed
- Thank Yous: $25/$15.55 – I designed and printed the postcards myself
- Postage for STD, Invitations & Thank Yous : $200/$125 – We did postcards for the STD & Thank Yous to save on postage. We also hand delivered as many invitations as we could.
- Programs: $20/$11 – I had all the paper leftover from other projects
- Reception Signage: $10/$4 – Goodwill for frames
- Gifts for all wedding participants and friendors (16 people total): Not in original budget/$250 – Most people got fun t-shirts. A few got more elaborate gifts.
- Guest Book : $25/$8.75 – We used our poster invite as a guestbook. We bought the perfect size frame at IKEA.
- Premarital Counseling: $250/$0 : We had 2:1 sessions through the Campus Ministry department at Seattle University. After I set up the sessions, I found out they were free to Alums from my high school
Wedding Day Total : $9421.93
Cost per guest (116 people) : $81.22
- Mr. Joey’s Wedding Band: $250/$179.95
- Mrs. Joey’s travel wedding band: $150/$85
- Honeymoon: $5000 + any leftover money/$6000 (includes leftover money plus $400 in gift money and $300 in ebates rewards from online wedding purchases) – This covered our entire 2-week trip. All the international and domestic flights, food, drinks, excursions, AMAZING hotels, overnight trains, souvenirs (including 4 bottles of wine) and birthday gifts for both Dads (they have the same birthday!).
- Rehearsal Dinner with wine & beer for 38 people: $1200 – Mr. Joey’s parents paid for this, but I arranged it and made invites
Grand Total Spent : $15,000 (not including the gift and ebates money we used on the honeymoon)
Looking back, there are actually a lot of places we could have cut. I’d say, we could have saved an additional $300-400 if I had stuck to some of my original estimates on booze, food and flowers. Oh well, you live and learn. We could have went on a shorter honeymoon somewhere else, but it was really important to us to do a big-ish trip.