My Wedding Budget


My fiancé and I got together on February 1st, 2013. We both moved to Pittsburgh for college in October 2012. We had all our first quarter classes together, and he was glued to me. At first, he was the most annoying thing ever, and it’s funny how glue works.

When he got kicked out of college a few months later, he moved back with his parents in Philadelphia. It was tough to say the least. Long distance relationships always are. During quarter breaks at school, I would spend the week with him and his family.

I watched as my annoying boyfriend become such a good person with a heart and good morals that you just don’t see anymore. He helped out his parents, his grandmother and anyone else who was in need. He didn’t smoke or do drugs. He is a good person, loves animals and accepts homosexuality despite his strict, catholic mother’s ordeal. Soon, his silliness became another positive trait. He brought my serious levels down to a point where I could relax more in life.

So, when July 23rd, 2013 rolled around, I couldn’t have said yes fast enough. I just had to worn him that the wedding would have to be put off. Like, for years. I had to finish college, we both had to get stable jobs (I wasn’t allowing any of our parents to pay for our wedding), we would have to be financially independent and then, we would have to save up for it.

Well here we are. We both live in Pittsburgh, are financially independent (we just moved back in with my mom to save even more money) and are in the middle of wedding planning. Our wedding is on Valentine’s Day 2016 which is 104 days away!  It is approaching so quickly, and things are coming together.

I knew right away that weddings are expensive. But, I was determined to make my wedding less expensive than the average wedding. Last time I checked, wedding averages were $28,000. For one day. I cannot fathom spending that much money on one day. I feel that it’s irresponsible and unnecessary. I actually would rather spend that much on the honeymoon doing a lot of traveling and a lot of cool things instead of on venues, food and liquor. I was feeling determined, so I sat down and made a budget.

My Wedding Budget

I already had a figure in mine when I sat down and started on a spreadsheet. $5,000. My wedding would be less than 5,000 dollars. This would include everything. The ceremony, reception and the honeymoon. Since, I have a minimalist mindset, I figured a lot of “necessary” wedding items weren’t really necessary. I also figured that I can make a lot of things myself, or enlist my family to help in the areas I couldn’t do.

I made a big list in my spreadsheet, and plugged in the numbers that I thought were reasonable prices. I knew that I was in a good place to have an inexpensive wedding. We wanted a small wedding with our closest family (turns out that the venue we ended up going with only allows for 50 people MAX, so that helped us too). I knew, growing up, that I would wear my mother’s wedding dress (I just need to have the sleeves cut off). My uncle happens to be a DJ. I’m having my mom’s boyfriend be the officiant. I have design skills, so I made our own save-the-dates and invitations. We’re not the ones that care about fancy decorations. And, we’re making our food, so no catering! Oh, and no alcohol. I had someone tell me that they spent $5,000 just on alcohol. That’s insane.

So, the big money pits are out of the way. At first we weren’t even going to have a venue. We were going to have it at my aunt and uncle’s house in Gettysburg. We were going to have it outdoors in their yard in April. But, I found this beautiful room at our local conservatory. I fell in love with the pictures online, and had to see it. It was only $600. Score. Compromise for the things that bring you joy. And, since it’s a greenhouse, we could have the wedding in February without our guests freezing to death.

So, on the the fun stuff. As of right now, here is our wedding budget so far.

Wedding Budget Wedding Budget 4261 Wedding Actual 3061.78
What Budget Actual Note
Cake 80
Food 300
Beverages 100
Fun! 100
Venue 0
Venue 400 400
Deposit 200 200
Dress Alterations 400
Dress cleaning 150 146.06
Bridemaids Dresses 100 50.81
Flower Girl dresses 100
Groom’s tux 150
bride’s shoes 5
Hair & Nails day of 0 0 I’m going to do my own nails and mom will give me a French braid.
Flowers & Decorations
bride’s bouquet 15 33.42
bridemaids bouquet 30
flower girls flowers 100
groom thingy 10
best man thingy 10
Ceremony decorations 10
reception decorations and centerpieces 50
Uncle Al. 0
Photographer 260 Tia. 8 hours + $100
Digital copies
Save-the-Date 70 53.49
Invitations 100 20 thanks to moms printer all I need was a paper cutter
Thank-you cards 0 take blue pad for thank you notes
programs/menus 10
food labels 10
other 0
Resize engagment 50 53
reshape other 50 0
wedding rings 400 2000
Transportation + Lodging
hotel rooms
View venue with Mom, Mamie and Sonia 56
Stamps 49
Lodging 401
Gas 100
Food 250
Activities 250

So, this is it. Every thing we need, and a little bit of joyous extras that will make our big day special. I’ll be doing more future posts on how I did some things, like finding a cozy cabin rental for only $400 for a whole week!

I’ll also update the budget closer to the wedding.

How was your wedding budget? Was it close to the average?

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