My fiance and I have now been engaged for just over 3 weeks and we’ve just begun to inch our way into preparing for the wedding. We are such noobs at this and have very little idea as to what we want to do. But the budget remains same. There’s nothing we can do about it since we can’t magically have more money available all of a sudden. Nothing is set in stone but this is how we figure it.

Ceremony ($1,000)

There are many options for this. We both are church goers and our church offers a flat $500 charge to use their chapel. We can also choose to use the fellowship hall for reception afterwards for no additional charge. But most likely, we’ll opt out of that. We’ve contacted other venues and they have ceremony and reception package available. Typically, they off about $800-$1200 additional to have the ceremony at the same location.

Reception ($15,000)

We are thinking about capping our guest list to 175 people. We visited one venue so far and they gave us the best pricing thus far. We looked at other venues but haven’t visited them as of yet. But they had pricing listed on their website. The place we visited offered a 10% discount and the total came out to a bottom line cost of $65/person, which includes 4-hr open bar. Other places has prices ranging from $75-$125 per person, not including tax and service charges.

Photography ($4,000)

I didn’t realize photography was so expensive. We received quotes from amateurs looking to build their portfolio and also from seasoned professionals. When comparing their work, the difference is night and day between amateurs and professionals, I guess for obvious reasons. Their package starts at around $3,000 and does not include albums and engagement sessions. This is something we really need to dig deeper into. $4,000 for photography seems a little too much for me.

Wedding Dress and Tux ($1,500)

She went shopping as soon as she had the opportunity. She found one dress for $450 but was told by others that it was too cheap. So she went to a another parlor and found one for $750. She hasn’t bought anything yet but I don’t anticipate her buying a dress that’s more than $1,000. Add all the accessories and my tuxedo rental, I think $1,500 is a reasonable budget.

Flowers ($2,500)

I have no idea how much flowers costs. We haven’t even looked into any of it yet. But from research, it appears that $2,000 – 2,500 is what we can expect to spend. Perhaps, my readers can provide some ideas or input and suggestions on this topic.

Invitations ($600)

We looked at a couple stationary invitation cards and they were not cheap. Each card, with provided envelope along with return card and envelope ran somewhere between $2-5 a piece. If we go with the cheapest variety, along with thank you cards, I think we can expect to spend somewhere around $600.

Jewelry ($1,200)

Each wedding band at around $600 each seems OK to me. When shopping for the engagement setting band, the price for the matching wedding band for her was at around $700. For me, I can definitely go lower as I don’t need an expensive ring on my finger.

Gifts ($1,000)

She wants to have 6 bridesmaids. This means I need to have 6 groomsmen. We need to provide a gift for each of these people. We also need to give gifts to other people in the wedding party, such as ushers, flower girl, ring bearer, etc. $1,000 may seem a little steep for this purpose but it’s not anything they won’t deserve.

Rehearsal Dinner ($1,200)

The rehearsal party will consist of nearly 40 people, if not more. Each of the wedding party, along with their significant others will account for the majority of the group. Assuming about $30 per person for dinner will equate to $1,200 dinner tab.

Miscellaneous ($2,500)

This category includes all of the miscellaneous decorations, cost of the officiant, cost of limo, hotel reservations, and other unexpected costs. I figure 10% of the total budget would be more than enough to cover unexpected expenses.

Total ($30,500)

I’m hoping this number holds true because all of my calculations and assumptions are all off, then we’ll be in big trouble. But if we end up going much below this cost, then we can add it to the honeymoon fund.