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real budget wedding

Franck & Emily

What was your budget?

Total: $12,540

Budget Breakdown:

Venue: $1,500

Attire: $1,700

Food (linens and service included): $2,500

Open Bar: $1,700

Invitations: $200

Cake: $500

Bridal party and Mother of the bride, and groom gift: $500

Favors: $100

Table Décor: $120

Flowers (brides, bridal party, boutonnieres, and table): $110

Welcome Bags: $200

Morning of the Wedding Breakfast for bridal party: $80

Photographer (including engagement shoot and wedding day): $200

Hair and Makeup: $400

Music: $150

Officiate, license, etc: $500

Wedding Bands: $1000

Place Cards: $200

Menu Cards: $50

Cable Car Rental (for three hours): $900

Videography: $100

How many guests did you have?


What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

We truly brought our personality into everything. Because traveling is one of our biggest passions, we decided instead of numbering our reception tables, we would name them after places we have visited together. Guests would sit at “Paris, Luxembourg,” etc. We placed pictures on each table of us in these different cities and wrote the city name on the picture frames. We had a lot of out-of-town guests, so welcome bags were waiting at their hotels. This included a map with a list of places all over the city that we enjoy as a couple, items we thought were useful to have while visiting SF, and a Ghirardelli chocolate Golden Gate bridge. We are in love with SF, so we also rented a cable car to do a three-hour city tour between the ceremony and the reception. We included lots of blue wedding details as well.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We implemented everyone’s talents! My photographer happens to be a very close friend, so she discounted her rate to a very nominal fee. A friend of the family arranged my flowers, which I bought directly from the grower. My husband’s production company did the videography and he edited it himself. I bargained shopped and did lots of DIY projects. We hired recently graduated students for hair, makeup, and music. It really was a team effort.

What's the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you're on the other side?

Don’t loose sight of why you are really planning your wedding. It is easy to get wrapped up in the details and stress of planning. Take a step back and have fun with it! Also, don’t be afraid to issue out work to your bridesmaids! They are there to help you.

What was your biggest splurge?

The restaurant was expensive for just 50 guests, but the quality and service was impeccable.

What was your favorite detail?

I wore my late grandmother’s pin on the lining of my dress. It allowed me to make her a part of our day in someway other than just our thoughts.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My aunt jokingly told my husband it was a family tradition for the groom to drink from the bride’s shoe. Much to my surprise he proceeded to take off my shoe, pour white wine inside, and drink it! Afterwards, he slipped the shoe back on my foot! Lucky for him, they weren’t designer!


Photography: Tamara Lakeman Photography  //  Videography: FilmTwist Productions  //  Venue: San Francisco City Hall  //  Restaurant: Zingari Restorante  //  Cake: Cake Coquette  //  Music: The Allodola Violin Duet  //  Cable Car: Classic Cable Car Sightseeing  //  Invitations: Ann’s Bridal Bargains  //  Officiate: Golden Gate Weddings  //  Place and Menu Cards: Magic Wand Weddings

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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