If you remember from my first post, my initial target budget was $10,000 for 200 people. It seemed like an impossible task, but I thought “Hey, I’m up for the challenge!” Deep down, I think I knew I would need to re-assess the budget and increase it. And, I was right. As I was assessing wedding costs and budgeting, I too often felt like Leslie Knope from this scene of “Parks and Rec.”
So, a chat with Mr. M and a generous offer from my parents, and we decided to up our budget to $11,000. Mr. M and I are fortunate enough to have our parents helping us with the wedding, a gift we’re quite thankful for.
How is our budget shaping-up? Here’s the official update with rough estimates.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of where the money is going:
- Venue: We’re getting married at a local college near my home. Because it’s my dad’s alma mater, we received a 20% discount.
- Appetizers, Dinner + Tips: Mr. M and I wanted to feed our guests a plated meal, and we cut the cost by having a single option (with requests for vegetarian meals if desired). The catering deal was a package, which included a salad, entree and dessert. Since a cake wasn’t important to Mr. M and I, the caterer let us have cupcake for our dessert, another cost-saving measure! Note: Don’t forget about tips for the catering staff, and make sure you find out the best way to distribute the tips.
- Favors: Although Mr. M and I had originally decided not to do favors, but since we were able to save some money with cake, we decided to have custom cookies made to give our guests.
- Stationery: We’re having invitations made from a template printed at a local printer. Also, we’re having people reply via email versus traditional RSVP cards.
- Photography: This is a big splurge for us, but we are so happy that we chose the photographer we did and have no regrets!
- Bride’s Attire: I got a steal on my dress ($700ish marked down to $250; just need alterations!), a friend of the family who is in beauty school is doing my hair, and I’m having a make-over done by a friend who’s a Mary Kay consultant. All of this should come to $500.
- Groom’s Attire: We’re still in the process of selecting Mr. M’s suit, but I expect that it will come in under $500.
- Church Decor: We’re keeping it simple and sweet– tulle bows at the end of the aisles, some candles and few flowers. This is a big advantage of getting married in a pretty location.
- Flowers: Sam’s Club and Blooms by the Box are going to be my best friends! This includes flowers for the reception tables, attendants, greeters, ushers, the church, etc…
- Reception Decor: What do Goodwill, a special collection of mine and gray fabric have in common? You’ll have to tune in later for a tutorial to see how I’m keeping my reception decor down.
- People: This includes the fee for our pastor and his airfare, a friend who’s is helping with sound, and a gentleman from church who is doing our videography.
We’re still a bit over budget, but I’m not concerned. I think it will be easy to shave off some of the expenses as we incur them. Mr. M and I are less than 4 months out from our wedding, and it’s a great feeling to know that we’re not that far off of our new budget!