Our Wedding Budget

This is our final budget. Some things have not been included such as Debbie's rings because they were bought and paid for 2 1/2 years before the wedding (on the occasion of our engagement) and bridesmaid's shoes because they wore any black shoes they wanted and presumably can wear them for other occasions even if they chose to buy new ones. In general, if you don't see it in the budget we didn't have it...no limos or professional photography for example. Ron and the best man wore suits they already owned with matching ties and new white shirts. The "Junior Usher" wore his own dress pants, white shirt and tie. Many of the items listed can be seen in the Pictures of our Wedding section.

We didn't actually pay for everything ourselves (although our original intention was to do so) but we've listed just about everything...and given credit where credit is due...so that anyone studying this budget will have a good idea of total costs involved. At the end we give the Grand Total and also the total that we ended up paying for.

Item Amount Notes
Bride's Dress $89.40 Bought in formal department of a regular department store by Debbie's mom.
Matron Of Honor's Dress $55.00 Bought in formal department of a regular department store by Matron of Honor.
Bridesmaids Dresses $242.95 Four dresses @ $59 each from Frederick's of Hollywood Catalog. Price includes shipping.
Flower Girl Dress $13.79 Bought at Sears, 40% off on sale. Note: the Flower Girl was 3 months old so it's a very small dress!
Groom $11.88 White shirt and socks. Wore a suit he already owns.
Ring Bearer Attire $24.49 Navy blue shorts, white shirt, navy suspenders. Bought at JCPenney, shorts were on sale.
Bride's Accessories $14.70 Borrowing veil, shoes and petticoat (crinoline) from matron of honor. Debbie's mom bought her some nice pearl jewelry for a gift but we don't know the price so we can't add it in. Bought bra, garter and small, white patent leather pocketbook.
Ties for Groom and Best Man $34.00 The Best Man's wife (Debbie's Sister-in-Law) bought really nice matching ties for the guys (on sale of course!).
Clothing Total $493.21 Total of items we purchased is $314.81.

Item Amount Notes
Envelopes (for invitations) $2.99 Bought at Staples.
Tracing Paper $3.79 Bought at Staples.
Ribbon $.88 Two ten-yard spools of 1/8 inch midnight blue ribbon. We actually used less than one of them for the invitations and the rest was used for misc. decorating..
Small Paper Punch $.50 Found at a tag sale.
Ivory Paper $1.98 Discount Store, two packages of 50 sheets each for programs. We also used some of this paper to make tiny envelopes for seating cards.
Almond Card Stock free This was given to us a while ago and was perfect for the job. We also used it for response cards, seating cards, place cards, table tents and rehearsal party invitations.
Postage for Invitations $23.68 We hand delivered some of them to save on postage.
Postage for Shower Thank Yous $4.16 I used note cards that I already had for the notes so postage was the only expense involved.
Thank You Cards $4.00 We found some great note cards with an ivy design for $1.00/box at "The Christmas Tree Shops" (New Englanders take note...this is a great place to find bargains!).
Postage for Wedding Thank Yous $10.24 I used note cards that I already had for the notes so postage was the only expense involved.
Stationery Total $52.22 We also used up some ink jet printer ink but since we were using the printer for other things as well there's no way to calculate this amount.

Item Amount Notes
Flowers $195.00 Includes bride's bouquet, 6 rose bouquet for matron of honor, single roses for 4 bridesmaids, boutinnieres for groom, best man, junior usher, ring bearer and officiant, corsages for two moms, one grandma and one reader, "presentation flowers" for our Moms and a "throwing bouquet".
Unity Candle $1.99 Plain white nine-inch tall pillar candle. Side tapers were a Christmas gift.
Unity Candle Holders $5.27 Two tall ivy candlesticks @ $1.00 each, 2 low ivy candlesticks @ $1.29 each and matching pillar candle holder for $.69
Officiant $25.00 We decided to get a one day permit and have a relative serve as officiant. This involves getting a special dispensation from the governors office but is not difficult to do and only took about 2 weeks. The officiant was so excited about doing it that he wouldn't take the $25.00 from us.
Ron's Ring $58.79 We got lucky on ring shopping day and hit a 60% off sale!
Family Medallions $32.00 These were Celtic knotwork medallions that we presented to our 4 children...Lisa and Tony (Debbie's kids) and Jessica and Kate (Ron's kids).
Blood Tests $0.00 The doctor's office apparently billed the insurance company for this as we never received a bill.
License $10.00 The state (MA) mandates a $4.00 charge and each town can add on whatever they want. Since you can get your license anywhere in the state it might be worth your while to call a couple of towns if they charge a lot where you live.
Ceremony Total $328.05 There is no location fee because the ceremony and reception are in the same place. Amount we paid: $303.05

Item Amount Notes
"Crystal" candlesticks $18.00 18 candlesticks @ $1.00 each for centerpieces.
Candles $4.47 3 packages of six candles @ $1.49/package. Midnight blue, for centerpieces.
Ivy Plants $9.99 For centerpieces.
Ribbon, Silk Roses & Silk Ivy $20.00 My brother's talented girlfriend bought this stuff to jazz up our centerpieces.
Plant Pots $8.70 10 pots @ $.87 each. These are bell-shaped terra cotta pots. I painted a gold border on each one. For centerpieces.
Vases $4.00 4 green budvases @ $1.00 each for the bridesmaids to put their flowers in on the head table.
Ivy Garlands $11.96 Four 9 foot garlands @ $2.99 each. We used these to decorate the cake table and gift table.
"Gold" rings $1.27 Package of 48. We used these to decorate the candlesticks.
Bubbles $14.65 For 48 bottles.
White Satin Ribbon $.88 2 spools @ $.44 each. Misc. decorating.
Tulle $2.00 2 yards. To decorate bubbles.
Small Ribbon Roses $1.98 6 bunches of 12 @ $.33/bunch. Used to decorate bubbles, attendants gift packages and candlesticks.
Decoration & Favors Total $97.90 Amount we paid: $77.90. We were given a beautiful floral centerpiece for the head table as a gift...otherwise we were planning to recycle the unity candles.

Item Amount Notes
Hall Rental $50.00 VFW Hall. Price is $100 for non-members.
DJ $300.00 For as long as we need him!
Single Use Cameras $72.49 For 10 27 exposure cameras, includes shipping.
Developing $45.59 In addition to the pictures taken with the single use cameras several of our relatives took pictures and gave us copies.
Dinners $608.00 64 people @ $9.50/person. Includes fruit cup appetizer, salad, stuffed chicken breast, baked potato, string beans, rolls and butter, ice cream and coffee or tea. Debbie's step-dad gave us a gift of $600 (that we were totally not expecting!) to cover this expense.
Champagne and Gingerale Toasts $43.50 54 champagne and 12 gingerale toasts (gingerale for the children and guests who choose not to drink alcohol).
Cake $70.00 Marble Cake decorated with silk ivy. Ordered from a home baker.
Cake Top $4.00 Bought a small ceramic castle at a fair and painted it.
Cake Cutting Fee $25.00 We weren't crazy about this but were unable to persuade any of our friends or relations to cut it so we ended up paying it.
Cake Knife and Server $4.99 Silver Plated. Bought at a discount store.
Toasting Glasses $.50 Matron Of Honor found these at a tag sale brand new in original box.
Reception Total $1193.47 Amount we Paid: $592.97

Item Amount Notes
Rehearsal Party $120.00 We had pizza, salad, beer, wine and soda at a local restaurant (the same place we met, by the way). Price includes tip.
Jewelry Sets $33.58 Bought 4 sets for this price. They were on sale for $16.79 each and buy one/get one free. Bridesmaids' Gifts.
Grill Pans $19.98 The Best Man and Officiant both enjoy the barbecue experience so we bought them sets with grill pans and barbecue spices at BJ's Warehouse.
Books $15.38 Herb book for the Matron of Honor (who is deeply into herb gardening) and a book for our reader.
Watch $7.00 For the Junior Usher. Purchased on sale.
"Blue's Clues" Stuff $6.99 For the Ring Bearer who is a big "Blues Clues" fan. It included a magic slate a sticker book and several coloring/activity books.
Gold Giftwrap $1.00 To wrap attendants gifts.
Metallic Gold Curling Ribbon $1.00 2 spools @ $.50/spool. Used to decorate bubbles and wrap attendants gifts.
Marriage Certificate $5.00 For a certified copy which was necessary for changing social security card, insurance, etc.
Photo Album $7.50 This is an ordinary photo album (doesn't say wedding on it anywhere!) and has acid free paper and all that important stuff.
Honeymoon $200.00 We drove to Niagara Falls for a couple of days. We didn't stay in any fancy "Honeymoon Suites" or anything and spent our time on the Canadian side where our money was worth more.
Total Misc. $417.43 This is an area where shopping around was very helpful. We were able to get really nice gifts appropriate to each person for good prices.

Grand Total is $2582.32. Amount we paid is: $1758.48