How Much Did We Spend On Our Wedding?

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Our wedding has come and gone. We are now married. (This, in my book, was always the minimum threshold of success.)

In terms of cost, I think we did pretty well. I talked with one of my coworkers before the event, astonishingly telling her “average wedding costs” per women’s magazines and the like ($30k+ in our area). As a part-time wedding hair stylist, she didn’t believe those numbers for a second. “It’s at least $80k out where I live on the Cape!” I think we run in very different circles.

As you can tell from the table above, we got a lot of help with wedding costs. His mother insisted on paying for the catering, which was by far the most expensive line item. It costs a lot to feed 60 people! That said, our caterers were excellent. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food; they did all the set-up, clean-up, and serving labor; plus they provided hot apple cider and coffee for our guests, and welcome end to the event on a cool fall day outdoors. And after the event they packed up all the extra food for us, which meant our diet was nothing but wedding leftovers for an entire week.

There were a couple things here and there that didn’t go quite as planned. Because our original musician ended up moving away for conservatory, we decided to go the “let’s play something on our computer” route. Unfortunately, our speakers just decided not to work? So that was kind of a bust.

But overall the event was fine to good. The weather was perfect and the trees in the park had just started turning their leaves, bits of red and orange flecks amongst the mostly-green topiary. I brought a dozen decks of playing cards for people to use during the reception and I think it really helped in keeping our guests entertained. I got to see some out-of-town friends, which was nice. And our families were on their best behavior– a welcome relief.

I might update this post with some wedding photos once our photographer sends us the final copies. Or I might not. If you can’t tell, I’m mostly just glad our wedding is behind us. I love my husband and enjoy being married. But, big orchestrated events? I can do without another one of those for a good, long time.

Did you enjoy your wedding? How much did you spend on “the big day”?

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6 thoughts on “How Much Did We Spend On Our Wedding?

  1. We prepared for our wedding over the course of two years (we got engaged very early in the relationship, so I mandated a long engagement), so I couldn’t quite say how much we paid. We did a buffet-style food thing using servingware that I picked up at estate sales for $1-3 per piece, so it looked classy without costing much. I found a few decorations at yard sales, the cloth napkins on Craigslist for $25, the tablecloths on sale at Kmart for about $60 for 15 (hooray for Black Friday), for decorations we did cobalt blue vases (thrift store at 50 cents each) with tulle stuffed in them (nicer looking than it sounds, I promise). We used gift cards from rewards programs to pay for the silverware and the food (cold cuts, cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit, veggies,dip). We found glass plates being clearanced for 50 cents each and bought 80 of them. Our officiant was my aunt, so she was free. A friend paid for the wedding cake as his present (he had a friend who made them and she just charged him for the ingredients). And like you we didn’t have a musician/DJ; we just used an MP3 player (this was back in the day before smartphones) but luckily we didn’t have any problems with speakers. My dress was the biggie at $500, but my mom helped defray the cost so it was “only” $250 for us.

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    1. It sounds like you took a really smart and frugal approach to your wedding. The vases with tulle actually sounds quite lovely. We got lazy by the time thinking about decorations rolled around, so we just picked newly fallen leaves from the ground and distributed them among the tables. It was actually a pretty contrast with the white tablecloth.

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  2. Congratulations! It sounds like a lovely day and that it went very well, even with small hiccups.

    And ah, it’s good when family is on their best behavior. (I’m ah, worried about mine. I love both my parents and they’re great, really, but good behavior on the very rare occasions when they’re brought together is not… something that has happened yet. Graduations for my sister and I were… complicated as a result.

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  3. Congrats on being married! It’s much better than planning a wedding, though I did love seeing many out of town friends all at once. We had a ton of family drama leading up to the day, but everyone was great that weekend! Though it turns out our parents were discussing how sad it is we won’t have children, which is obnoxious imo…

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    1. That is obnoxious. My parents asked me when we were planning to have kids during the wedding even though I had explicitly given them date ranges (basically in the next couple years). Like seriously what else could you possibly want from me, fam?

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