J + K: The wedding budget

Wedding budgets can be a very personal topic but I’ve decided to add up the costs of our wedding for you, dear readers, because I KNOW you want to know (I’m curious too!).

Let’s dive right in.

My dress: $140 (on sale from $400) – gifted by my mom
Fascinator hair piece: $70
Mani/Pedi: $100 (for my official unofficial bridesmaid too)
Jeremy’s outfit: $170
Rings: heirloom / gifted

Polaroid Film: $320
Kodak 400 CV 120 (for Holga): $50
Balloons – $10

Materials: $60
Stamps: $25

Paper Lanterns: $100
Lights: $75
Flowers: $100
Music: $25
Misc (vases, cupcake holder, ribbon, plates, silverware, napkins, etc): $290

Food and Drink:
Hors D’ouvres: $220
Iron Starr BBQ: $350
Food Chafers: $55
Liquor (wine, beer, liquor): $230
Cupcakes: Gifted from a dear friend.



Jeremy and I never really set a wedding budget but were both keeping in mind that we would like to try and keep it under $3,000 – so we came in a little bit under – that helps pay for the honeymoon and appendectomymoon!

I think it is important to consider your priorities when making a wedding budget. The items we wanted to splurge on were food and alcohol, while we saved on costs by not having an actual photographer at the wedding and instead have guests take Polaroids and digital snaps.

When throwing a big party or wedding what kinds of things are you willing to splurge on? Where do you save on costs to compromise?

P.S. We’ll be paying on the remodel for the venue location for another 8 months.

  1. This is such a great breakdown – thanks so much for sharing.

    I’m not engaged, but would love to throw something similarly sane/gorgeous as you.

  2. Mountain Bride – I love your post – all of those brides are so gorgeous.

    I know it’s cliche, but just remember exactly what it is that you are celebrating. And don’t be afraid or too stubborn to ask for help from your friends, family and groom.

  3. i just want to say your wedding is so sweet and intimate.thanks for sharing, and being an inspiration for all of us who don’t want to spend our life savings on a wedding.

  4. Jen

    We splurged on photography, but cut corners elsewhere to make our splurge more affordable.

  5. Kathryn

    um, you rock.

    and as a BCBG-addict, i would like to commend you on a gorgeous dress (for a glorious price)

  6. totally off topic. BUT email me thru my blogger profile and I will send you that track 🙂

  7. aura

    I don’t feel like we super splurged on anything, I guess our photographer was the most expensive. I think he cost $1,500, and our entire wedding cost around $7,000 so I think we did pretty well. I made almost everything I could, and everything else like my dress was super cheap. ($300, I didn’t think I did too bad!) I am queasy over people spending loads of money on weddings. My friend’s parents spent over 25k on hers and they’re not even married anymore :/ They didn’t even make it two years.

  8. Kelsey – Thank you. If it had been up to me we would’ve had a sweet civil ceremony at the courthouse and follow with a picnic just for the 2 of us – but I eventually decided that along with our friends and family we deserved a celebration.

    Jen – Photography is definitely worth splurging on. Fortunately, we had a good friend who is also a professional photographer help us out with our pics.

    Kathryn – Thank you! It’s actually my first BCBG purchase ever but I’ll be back for more.

    Panic Room – Thank you. I’ve got the incredibly rad cover of Cuts Like A Knife on repeat.

    Kelly Island Wedding – Thank you! Just proof that style doesn’t always take thousands of dollars, yeah?

    Aura – You had a really fantastic spread of food at your wedding and wine a plenty. And the location was to die for. $7k seems like a steal.

  9. I love that you did it for so little. I almost have stopped enjoying weddings because I know I’m sitting there consuming (along with the other guests) thousands of dollars that oftentimes people don’t have to spend. This looks like an absolutely perfect event that you two very stylish people put together!

  10. wpbnb13

    You so totally need to go to Amazon.com and look for Liquid Chalk.
    You would have the most fun with it on your chalkboard wall!
    It washes off and is in a pen form.

  11. I love to see how you guys did all this. It’s so original, fun, stylish and personal. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. My

    You guys did an AMAZING job!!! It feels like LOVE…

  13. Laura – I totally agree. I feel like it’s one thing to make it fun for your guests (alcohol, for example) and another to just spend all that money because that’s just what you’re supposed to do.

    wpbnb13 – I will definitely check it out! Thanks!

    Joelle – Thank you! I’m glad our little celebration can be inspiring.

    My – Thank you! I’m so glad it feels like love because that’s what it’s really all about.

  14. i love that you did this!!! i think it’s so easy for people to go way over budget on their wedding and simple and fun is definitely the way to go. good job!!! i love the photos.

  15. It looks like you got more out of $2,250 than many brides that spend in the tens of thousands and end up saying, “I’m so glad it’s all over!” Kudos to you for creating such a memorable, beautiful day :).

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