Hivemember ejs4y8 threw a festive and fun shindig for 120 of their closest friends and family on their own dime and lived to tell the tale! Here’s how it all went down:
Date: June 20, 2009
City, State: Saint Louis, MO
# of Guests: 120
Wedding Day Costs
I came across the Larimore House Plantation about a year before I got engaged. I fell in love with it and showed it to my now-husband and he loved it, too. It was a little Southern and a nod to his Kappa Alpha fraternity. Plus, it was just gorgeous and close to home.
We could have an outdoor ceremony and have the reception at the same place. We felt this was the most convenient for all our guests and we simply didn’t want the hassle of transporting between a church and a venue or an all-day affair. Being new to the area, we didn’t really have a church, either. This venue would do our event from 6PM-11PM and that was great! We loved that it was an all-inclusive venue—with him being deployed, I really didn’t want to deal with finding caterers, linens, chairs, all those little details. It would have been really overwhelming. This venue made planning hassle-free! And did I mention it was gorgeous? I really wanted beautiful outdoor pictures and the garden just made me swoon. I would have loved an uber modern location, but St. Louis doesn’t have anything like that. I used Excel to track EVERY single penny and was really careful about the budget. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!
Ceremony Site Fees/Type of Venue and Reception Site Fee: Historic Plantation Home, $4600
- $4300 for a plantation house. Includes use of historic home, all the rooms, the whole property (including a garden with fountain), a coordinator, sound systems, and all that good stuff. That cost included $500 for the DJ (All About Music-highly recommended)
- $220 for minister
- $40: Tea set for Korean ceremony
- $35: CD by Hiroshi Masuda (he does fingerstyle guitar songs—we picked Beatles music and other oldies but goodies!)
Caterer/Food/Drink. Total $5,500
- About $30 per person with a military discount. We had 155 plated minimum, though, and that includes the cake cutting charge.
- We provided our own beverages and 2 bartenders (we had one keg of Bud Light, a flat of Sprite, a flat of Coke Zero, 3 gallons of peach nectar, two bottles each of black raspberry schnapps and blueberry passion fruit schnapps, 3 large 1.5 L handles of vodka from Sam’s Club and 1 same sized bottle of gin. We also had 24 bottles of white wine and 3 double barrels of red for a handful of elderly guests who like red. We ran out of hard liquor and beer with 1 hour to go. We had 12 bottles of white wine leftover but we love this wine!)
- Cost per person was about $40/head for food/drink
- Service Charge/Gratuities: $883.50
Bridal Gown & Alterations: $406 with tax. Alterations were not an issue because I’m tall and it had a corset back! My mom added a one-point bustle with a silver hook and eye, then used nail polish to make it white . 🙂
Bridal Accessories (Veil, Undergarments, Shoes, Jewelry):
- Veil: $35 (eBay)
- Undergarments: $0 (already had them!)
- Shoes: $90 Anne Klein sandals from Neiman Marcus. Simple t-strap sandals, very comfy.
- Jewelry: $85 bracelet from Belle Nouelle on Etsy, everything else is mom’s.
- Tiara/feathery hairpieces about $50 in supplies and I DIYed it!
Groom’s Attire: Tux: $150. Shoes: $100 (he bought his own since he’s in a lot of weddings and doesn’t like how flat regular tux shoes are)
Stationery/Postage: Approximately $200 for everything. I DIYed them and used scraps and leftover paper to do my programs, escort cards, and everything else!
Photography: $3,000 for 12 hours of pictures, engagement session, bridal portrait, 3 photographers on the day of, album, and a DVD with all our pictures in high-resolution and the rights to them. If you want to know who our photographer was, contact me. I don’t recommend her for various reasons, although I am pleased with the photos. I edited this one
Videography: $0… One of my bridesmaids’ husband videotaped our wedding and did a stellar job for us. Love it.
Flowers: $200 for all the boutonnieres, bouquets, etc, and $140 for the fresh flower petals. All the flowers were silks from Michaels, bought in January during their “all flowers 50% off sale”
Favors: $170 for heart-shaped measuring spoon sets and bells
- $75 from La Bonne Bouchee. It was the best cake my parents and I have ever had. DH didn’t care for it.
- We also had $60 in Costco sheet cakes-chocolate, white/strawberry, and carrot/apricot.
- $25 for cake topper
Hair/Makeup: About $200 total. FSIL is a stylist. I got her a GC and paid her stylist friend who helped. We got makeup done at the Clinique counter at Nordstrom, which was free technically, but everybody bought makeup and I tipped. Katie, of Naturally Pretty, now has her own company. She made us look stellar!
Wedding Party Gifts: $1500 for ties, gift cards, fabric for the dresses, earrings and bracelets, and goodie baskets with food and water. We had 6 people on either side of us, including our friendors, and my mom made the BM dresses. C’mon they’re sweet, you know it.
Hotels: $120 for 2 nights (nice hotel Thursday for “us time”, cheap hotel Saturday)
Misc: $100 in food… I provided sandwiches, fruit, chips, etc for everyone staying at my house. Bridesmaids need fuel! We had water bottles and whatnot, too, and served everything again at our present-opening brunch on Sunday.
Wedding Bands: $1250 (an 8mm custom designed white gold one for him, two 0.7 carat bands for me)
Rehearsal Dinner: $1000 (thanks FMIL! It was at Talayna’s in Chesterfield. YUM)
Honeymoon: $4000 (thanks Mom and Dad! We went to the DR)
WEDDING DAY TOTAL: About $18,500 (incurred by us)
TOTAL COST PER PERSON: About $150
ALL INCLUSIVE TOTAL: $6,250
GRAND TOTAL: about $25,000
(wedding day total + all inclusive total)
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