I know that the big budget weddings are usually more interesting to read, but if you're a bride planning a wedding with less cash on hand, I hope this is helpful to you. We did what we could to keep the costs down and still have a beautiful, special wedding. I have zero regrets when it comes to what we spent on the wedding.
Catering & Venue
Food & Drink: $1347.50
This included all the food from our brunch buffet and sweet tea, juice, and water at our drink stations. It also includes the hot tea and coffee that was served before and after the ceremony. It ended up being $12.25 a person and was more than enough simple, yet filling food.
This was fourteen cakes—one on each table—at about $20 a cake. The greatest investment of the wedding, in my opinion! It made a great impression on the guests and was a fun conversation piece.
We rented out the entire room for six hours, including tables, chairs, linens, place settings, sound system, and some decor. The staff also set up all of the tables, chairs, and place settings, and tore down everything but our personal decor. The venue was not in any way a traditional wedding venue, but the staff was extremely accommodating and kind.
Engagement Pictures: $100
We did an engagement session with Niki Marie Photography late fall of last year that included two hours of photography in downtown Detroit and a portfolio of 70 images.
Wedding Travel: $150
We paid for Niki to travel from Florida to Greenville and then arranged travel for her back to Michigan with a friend. I put this in the wedding budget since it was directly related to wedding expenses.
Wedding Photography: $700
Niki's normal rate is $1000, which is well below most photographer's, but still out of budget for us. We were able to negotiate it down in return for paid travel and a shorter than normal shoot time—a morning wedding with a 3:00 finish time allowed her to shoot an afternoon/evening session as well.
The dress and veil were off eBay and the shoes were from Payless. I wore my grandmother's necklace and Mr. Lemur's grandmother's earrings, so no expenses there—but plenty of history. The cardigan I bought on sale at Old Navy. It was half off because it had a small rip in the shoulder. I've worn both the shoes and the cardigan to work on multiple occasions, so they pulled double duty.
Hair & Makeup: $20 Starbucks Gift Card
I used all my own makeup and gave a friend a Starbucks gift card to do my hair. And if I could, I swear I'd pay her to live in my house and do my hair everyday because I had the best hair day of my life. My hair has never stayed curled that well in the past and probably never will again.
Invitations & Envelopes: $60
Table Cards & Seating Chart: $30
Moo Cards: $20
Ugh, this is where it gets blurry. I had to print invitations and buy envelopes twice. I also went to the store multiple times for stamps. I know we didn't spend over $200—our original budget—but I do think we got close, especially when I started adding up numbers for the above best guess.
Tissue Paper: $30
Scrabble Letters: $30
We ended up buying less books than we thought because a man from my home church gifted us a large number as a wedding present and we borrowed the leftover few that we needed from family members. Everything else is fairly self explanatory! All the vases at the wedding were borrowed, the bunting was made by a family friend for my wedding shower, and all the wood was from my dad.
Wedding License: $35
I guess we got lucky, because I've heard some counties charge a lot more. All we had to do was fill out a form and pay the fee and then wait the 24 hour period before picking up our license.
Wedding Bands: $25
I bought Mr. Lemur's band on Amazon for $25, which I am perfectly happy with. In the future if he decides he wants a more expensive band, we'll hunt for one together. My band was a gift from our wedding officiant. Our wedding officiant also insisted on doing the ceremony for free—despite attempting to pay him for both the ceremony and the band multiple times.
I know I'm missing things. I also chose to exclude some items, such as gifts, my engagement ring, and our honeymoon. If you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me a message.
I'll be back later this week to cover our vendors and a few final reflections from the wedding!
What did I forget in my budget breakdown? What did you spend the most on?