Wedding Budget: The Dirty Details

13 Jul

Remember how I promised you that I would give you the details on my wedding budget 2 weeks ago?

Well, today I’m going to deliver.

If you forgot all about that post, go check it out over here really quick.

Budget… We’re on a tentative budget of about $15,000.  If we have to throw in a couple extra thousand dollars, that’s okay, but I refuse to pay more than $20,000 for one day.

Dress…  Someone said good luck finding a dress for $500.  I’d love to say I’m getting my dress for free from my good designer friend, but no such luck.  In fact, whoever left that comment was completely correct.  I went dress shopping on Friday and the cheapest dress I found was $1,100.  Epic fail.  I haven’t found a dress YET, but I now know that when I do, I’ll probably pay whatever because I’ll be madly in love with it.  Damn those crafty designers for making their dresses so dang beautiful.  I’m sure “the one” will have me wrapped around it’s little satin train no matter the price tag.  In case you didn’t see on twitter, below is the dress that I loved last week.  I loved it, but it’s not the one.  Close, but no cigar.

P7090251(sorry for the back shot, my photographer friend didn’t get a good front angle that I’m willing to share with you all.)

Save the Dates…  Yes, I’m getting them….found a great deal for business magnets on Vista Print (thanks for the tip, Victoria!).  I know they’re not necessary.  Worse things have happened.

Wedding Party Gifts… Let me emphasize that this is a Catholic wedding.  We give people titles for everything.  We aren’t comfortable leaving anyone out.  It’s just how we roll.  We’ll be getting gifts for 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 3 readers, 1 cantor, 1 priest, 1 flower girl, 2 ring bearers, 3-4 alter boys, among others.  I also would like to note that this doesn’t include the gifts we’ll be getting for our parents which we’re estimating to be about $750 in total.

Flowers…  I might have a good florist contact.  I think she can get me 6 bouquets and 6 boutonnieres at cost or close.  The only other flowers I’m doing are 2 pink Gerber Daisies in each center piece.  I’ve already priced the Gerbers at $90 total.  This is included in the decorating budget.  I refuse to spend a ton on flowers because they’re basically a waste of money in my humble opinion.  EXCEPT when Lloyd is giving them to me.  Then they are worth every penny. 😉

Reception Hall…  Booyah.  We finally tentatively booked one.  Our church is letting us use their hall or gym.  Our church is one year old so everything is super new and fancy and nice.  Score!   And it will be about $1,000 like I said.  (Double score for our church not forcing a caterer and drinks on us.  All the other reception sites I checked out charged ridiculous amounts per head for food and liquor.)

Ring Bearer/Flower Girl Outfits…  We’re doing this as a thank you since the parents are also in the wedding.  I feel bad making them spend so much on all their outfits.

Photographer…  Fail.  I can’t find one.  Wait, I actually found a PERFECT one that we met with last night.  She was sweet and excited about photography.  But…OH MY GOSH, girl talked our ear off for 90 straight minutes and completely overwhelmed us.  We left the meet-and-greet needing a beer and a cigarette and we don’t even smoke.  She was way too intense and if she stressed me out in 90 minutes, who knows how she’ll make me feel on my wedding day.  I am so disappointed because I really liked her other than that.  But, I can’t handle mega-talkers like that.  Especially ones that don’t let you get a word in edgewise.  Anyways, needless to say, I’m still looking for the perfect photog.  Frugal Dreamer, why can’t you live closer?!

Invitations… You guys are right.  I can’t get them for $200.  Probably gonna bump this to $500.  Which I am not so stoked about because I always immediately throw invites away, so they are a total waste of cash in my opinion.  Ah well, I’ll get over it.

Things To Add…  Stamp and alterations for my dress!  Thanks for those tips and GOOD CALL!

16 Responses to “Wedding Budget: The Dirty Details”

  1. Bexi July 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    You could always do what my little brother and his fiancee are doing: formal invites for the ‘rentals and other VIPs, and then Facebook for everyone else.

    Excuse me while I try and release the chokehold that my pearls have around my neck. Oh the horror!

  2. Red July 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    If you’re not crazy about invitations, you should consider doing them yourselves. You can get nice paper in invitation kits from Target, Walmart or Hallmark. Then you can design them yourselves and have them printed at Kinkos. (I’m lucky that my boss offered up his printer at the office so our only cost were the invitation kits.)

    The only way I was able to get my hair done for under $50 was to omit the fact that it was for a wedding, hehe. 🙂 My maid of honor and I got them done for $45 each. Also, I absolutely adore save the date magnets. They’re awesome!

    Good luck finding a photographer that you both enjoy! 🙂

    • Frugal Dreamer July 14, 2010 at 8:47 am #

      You know, I do travel! haha 😉

      I hope you can find someone! Don’t settle, whatever you do, don’t settle! 😉

  3. Anne @ the doctor takes a wife July 14, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    My wedding was done in under $7000

    Dress: $450, Hair was $50. You can totally do it 😉

  4. Stacey July 15, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Here’s a tip for invitations – my aunt works in the printing business, and had a graphic designer friend who did a huge favor by designing our invites. I found this AWESOME website that I adore called where I was able to order invitation enclosures and matching outside and return envelopes in a beautiful pearlescent navy blue…. then assembled everything myself. They were gorgeous. If you order the cardstock linen paper from that website, it is great for the invitations and reply cards. Create your design (or tap into a blogger friend with graphic design tendencies), get the paper printed and cut at a local print shop, then assemble yourself. Voila! I spent $115 on paper, enclosures and envelopes and $135 on stamps for 200 invitations.

  5. Bonnie July 15, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Ugh. Don’t do invites on Facebook as one commenter suggested. Not everyone is on Facebook, and for formal occasions, a paper invite is warranted! I personally love receiving fancy invitations!

  6. Brooke July 16, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Not sure if these are your style…but I got my invitations for a very reasonable price (75 for $125) from an Etsy seller.

    Their website is, and they were easy to work with, fast, accurate, and best of all, cheap! You can customize the font at no additional charge, which is nice as well. Our invites were simple but very well done and I would recommend them to anyone. Congratulations and best of luck!

  7. Chelsa Bea July 16, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Carrie! You may not be able to get your wedding invitations for $200 but you CAN get them for about $300. I ordered everything off, including – save-the-dates, invitations, inserts and response cards – all for around $300. I just waited till they had a promotion and then I ordered everything! Good luck planning!

  8. chieklit July 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    nice, visit for wedding information ^^

  9. Anne July 23, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    We did our own invites. You have had wonderful suggestions above. Also, our photographer was the yearbook and journalism teacher at the local high school. This might be a resource to look into. He offered a certain number of shots for a dollar amount. We used all these for the formal shots of the wedding and participants. My brother is an amateur photog so he did the reception as well as disposables we left on each table.

  10. jennifer@befrugal July 27, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    I did my own invites, programs and save the dates. I lucked out and got my gown for free thanks to a bridal salon giving away select gowns to women marrying people in the military.
    Photographers are uber pricey up here (greater Boston area) and we didn’t have the money to hire most of them without breaking our budget. I contacted a local art college to see if they had any students that were interested in wedding photography. Withing 2 weeks the college refereed us to 8 students! We couldn’t be happier with the quality of our photos. We got 8 hours of coverage with an album for us and 2 parents albums. She charged us what most pro photographers were charging for coverage alone.

  11. elana August 7, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    We did our own invites and it was a really nice experience, we really got into it and made something that was really our own.

  12. Jenn August 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Our invites were about $160 – including the invite, an insert, RSVP card and corresponding envelopes – we ordered from and they turned out great!

  13. Wedding Decoration Cheap February 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However
    I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I
    can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues?
    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?


  1. Have a wonderful weekend! « My Pretty Pennies - July 16, 2010

    […] Carrie details her wedding budget and shows a gorgeous shot of her in a dress. […]

  2. Link Love Round-up: July 16th | Paying Myself - July 19, 2010

    […] At Money Under 30, there is a great round-up of personal finance sites for women and Carrie on the Cheap shares wedding extras you can skip.  Also visit Carrie’s personal site to find out the dirty details of her wedding budget! […]

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