Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breaking it down

I am finally ready! I finally feel not just ready, but impelled to post about our budget.

(Basically, this is what we're working with)

Why? You ask? It is intensely personal and might seem like way TMI to some. If you don't care to or don't want to see how much money this shindig is costing, by all means, please don't be offended (AKA skip this post).

I've recently been having trouble conceptualizing it. I've also been having trouble coming to grips with our "number" AND when I don't have a handle on money, I start freaking out that I owe somebody something and that I'm forgetting someone in some way.

Some have called me a control freak...

But I just need to be on top of things all the time.

Anyway, I also see no need to go into who is contributing what amount, suffice it to say that my parents are generously helping us out and we're all in it together. I will divulge though that of the portion that Kyle and I are paying, he's the one paying it and I'm only very slowly paying him back, like for the rest of my life. I want to make it very clear that I'm the one keeping a spreadsheet of what I owe him and I'm the one who's religiously making sure he gets paid back. I just don't have the money for these big purchases sitting around. You'd think it wouldn't be such a deal, what with deposits and all, but as it turns out, I couldn't even just up and write a check for $1,000 right now. He and my parents been my heroes so far.

These are the thoughts that stress me out. Kyle does a fantastic job trying to get me to not worry about these things by taking care of them when I'm not looking and then saying "Don't worry about it." He's an excellent saver and also very rational/logical/analytical when it comes to finances. Nothing ever really freaks him out, he sees every problem as an obstacle that he has already prepared for and he sees every triumph as the end goal that he had already planned on.

We had an "audit" in our house last night during which we really hammered out our costs, what's been paid, what still needs to be paid, etc... and I compared it today with Sure, there are items listed there that we don't have and there are things we do have that are not listed, but for me, for my peace of mind, this website really helps put things into perspective.

So without further ado:

  • Our original budget: $10,000 (pretty naive as it turned out, $10,000 is nothing in Philadelphia and even in Lancaster, $10,000 was barely going to be enough for some of the venues we looked at!) Cost of Wedding budget: $17,960 to $29,933... Okie dokie, time to re-evaluate!
  • Our venue (catering, rental fee, ceremony fee, alcohol  AND cake): $9,000. Cost of Wedding venue: between $6,298 and $10,496. Whew, it's no mean feat feeding and watering a bunch of people!
  • Our photographer: $2,800 for awesomeness. Cost of Wedding photography: between $1,377 and $2,295... well, we already knew that was going to happen.
  • Our flowers: $1,100. Cost of Wedding flowers: between $990 and $1,650. Very nice! But to be fair, I should add that their number includes decorations and because we're DIY-ing some of those, there is some hidden cost (glue, fabric, balsa wood flowers, a few country novelties), but I've been spreading them out so far that I can't keep track of them. I'm definitely going to keep that number below $500 though.
  • Our invitations (and save the dates): $325 because of DIY, not that cheap, but still cheaper than anything else I saw out there, and, oh yeah, there's the little factor of having complete control of the design! Cost of Wedding invitations: between $357 and $595, Ha! Success!!
  • Our favors: $175 (alcohol, vanilla beans, little amber bottles!) Cost of Wedding favors: between $206 and $344, booyah!!
(just Nick... Julie can come too though ;)
  • Our DJ: while this hasn't been 100% settled yet, we've been generally tossing around the number $800, for the time being, let's just use that value, especially since our DJ is a friendor! Cost of Wedding entertainment: between $876 and $1,476... that's why you want to try and find friendors!
  • Our jewelry: This is a really tough one for me because I really, truly believe that my engagement ring should not be part of the budget breakdown. So by jewelry, I am only including our wedding bands: $1,700. Cost of Wedding jewelry: between $1,351 and $2,251, perfect middle ground.
(Oh no!! the cat's out of the bag!! I hope you guys like my new dress!)
  • Our attire: This is all very tentative... not knowing what either of us is going to wear yet is tough, plus I have no idea how much alterations are going to be, but I'm going to go ahead and make an estimation of $2,500. Cost of Wedding attire: between $980 and $1,633, well, clearly they're not as well-dressed as we are.
  • Planner/consultant: not necessary
  • Transportation: not necessary
There is of course more, there are attendant/parent gifts (~$600) and vendor tips (~$500) and hotel rooms (~$250) and maybe (if I'm not dead broke) spa days and because this is already so long, I'm not going to go into the honeymoon costs; recognizing that while it's not typically something people include in the equation, it is included in our equation because we are all pooling together our resources to make this day happen. But I think for now, this paints a pretty thorough picture, at least for me.

And the magic number is:::::::

That is indeed a hard pill to swallow. What makes it toughest is that I cannot make that number smaller. I mean, short of eloping. The second toughest thing is that even if we were to go back to our original scheme of getting married in Hawaii and having a reception here, it's not like that number would get any smaller because the reception is the most expensive part. I do feel better having it written out, but it will always be mind-boggling how much money we're spending on one day. But I know, I musn't get so depressed; I know it will be worth it.

All I have to say about it is our friends and family better have the best time EVER!

Anyone else having money spaz attacks? 


  1. Thank you for being so candid about is very interesting and educational to read the pricing on things and see that you really are trying to get it down! you friends and family will have the BEST time, and more importantly, so will you and your new husband! In my opinion...every penny we spent in our wedding was worth it!

  2. It is amazing how quickly a budget can spiral out of control. We set ours at 17K to start and we now know its going to be in the 25K - 30K and that wont even include the honeymoon!! It is kinda crazy how much its now "ok" to spend on weddings!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Me and mine are paying for the whole thing ourselves (except his stepdad offered to pay for the catering of our rehearsal dinner- $400). So, without that expense... and including wedding, reception, rings, and honeymoon festivities- we're staying under $10k. We want a debt free wedding and even this will be difficult, but we got extra jobs and are hoping to break even in then end!
    Thanks for sharing your breakdown though!! :)

  4. I absolutely, 100% hear you on this. Our original budget was 10k also, and we quickly realized that wouldn't happen, especially not in the DC area. We'll probably end up around the 17k mark.. which hurts. That's A LOT of money that we will be doling out. Ughh I hate thinking about it.

    That being said.. it's great that you and your family are handling the expenses as a unit.. try and remember that. While you said you will pay Kyle back for certain things, you guys are still a "we/us" and should be figuring it out together, which it sounds like your doing. It will definitely all work out :))