Sunday, November 1, 2009

And then reality sets in

... and you have to face the fact that you're planning your wedding within a budget.

I haven't blogged yet about our budget, and that's mostly because I've been trying to avoid thinking about it. Mike and I will be funding our wedding. All by ourselves. In cash. People that have asked about how we're paying for everthing have basically given the same response: "that sucks." While at first sight it does "suck" I think it's not so unusual. I'm an accountant, Mike is in sales, we're both college graduates. There's no reason that we can balance a budget and negotiate the items that we want to fit within our budget, furthermore, we make enough money and have enough in savings to pay for this wedding and our honeymoon in cash. I think the reason that people are surprised that we're paying for our own wedding is because we're still fairly young, I'm 24 and Mike is 28, but again, we can afford to do it ourselves.

In the beginning, I set our budget at $20,000, then $25,000 until people kept telling me that $30,000 was the national average spent on weddings so I thought that $30,000 was reasonable for our wedding. Then I slowly realized that the $30,000 budget didn't include our rehearsal dinner, the day after brunch, or our honeymoon. Now our budget is slowly going back down to $20,000 and considering items that have already been contracted...I'm not doing such a good job. Here's where I am so far (on a $20,000 budget using's wedding budgeter tool):

Guest list count: 75; I bumped it up to 100 but seeing as how we haven't sent out our STDs yet (doh!) I can still trim it back to 75.

Reception Venue & Rental: Budgeted: $1,600, Actual: $1,900

Ceremony location fee: Budgeted: $200, Actual: $1,800

Photographer: Budgeted: $1,200, Actual: $3,200

Invitations: Budgeted: $500, Actual: FREE!!! Thank you WeddingBee!!

Wedding Coordinator: Budgeted: $0, Actual: $1,500 (I only booked her this weekend, post to come!)

The remaining large budget items are flowers, music and attire. Catering, alcohol and the cake are all being coordinated through our reception venue, so we can keep those costs within our budget. Everything else I plan to do via DIY and try to make up for the overspending that we have already committed to.

Looking at our budget has been a sobering (read: frustrating) experience this morning that makes me want to run away and elope even more (I would rather spend $20,000 on a incredible European honeymoon!) than I did before.

How well have you done staying within your budget? How much funding are you receiving from your families?


New Mexican Bride said...

Budgets can get out of control in no time! I think it's great you guys are so young and able to pay for it all yourselves.

We are paying for 1/3 of our $10K wedding and the rest is divided up between our parents. So it won't be too bad for us. After all you don't want to spend all your money and savings on a wedding and have nothing left over. We are lucky to be a in position where our parents can help with the expenses.

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

So funny...I will be posting soon similar to this post. But did you see my recent blog?

It's all about the budget and has a few comments from fellow bloggers about their budget amounts. The way your budget started off is similar to mine...though mine escalated and will not be coming back down. But we are also paying for ours on our own (mostly me)...I will post about this soon. :) Love followin' along with you.

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