Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Budget

Dun dun dun...

I was over perusing The Knot today (something I don't normally do but I read a comment recommending their budget worksheet) and decided to make a go at a budget. Originally I really believed that we could just throw 100 people in my parents backyard and have them sit on what? picnic blankets??? for $3000. I know that this is do-able for some people (how I don't know) but I don't think it's do-able for us. I don't even want anything remotely over the top or wedding-y. It's really just the must-have things like, um, chairs and tables. Oh and food. Maybe a couple of flowers here and there. I never even thought about the bathrooms. I can't ask my parents to let 100 people use their two bathrooms for 8 hours, can I? It all adds up.

$0 CEREMONY LOCATION FEE (if the 'rents say yes)
$0 OFFICIANT FEE/DONATION (our good friend will conduct the ceremony)
$100 CEREMONY ACCESSORIES (I want mini-tambourines for the guests!)
$2500 $2300 RECEPTION VENUE/RENTALS (TENT, TABLES, TOILETS, ETC.) (I'm taking out those pesky porta-potties!)
$1500 FOOD & SERVICE (a little help from our friends??)
$1000 BEVERAGES & BARTENDER (thank you, New Hampshire)
$500 THE DRESS & ALTERATIONS (The Knot budgeted $1800 here and I think that's crazy!)
$40 HEADPIECE/VEIL (all I want is this)
$100 BRIDE'S ACCESSORIES (I'm not really sure about this one. I definitely one some sexy under things)
$100 HAIR & MAKEUP (Make up I can do but hair I'll need to splurge on. My hair is a hot mess)
$0 PRE-WEDDING PAMPERING (there will be no time for this!)
$40 GROOM'S ACCESSORIES (I want to get him this)
$0 BRIDE'S BOUQUET (I'm just going to buy a bunch of flowers for everything and see what I come up with)
$100 RECEPTION DECORATIONS/CENTERPIECES (hopefully Whole Foods won't fail me)
$50 CEREMONY SITE DECORATIONS (twinkly lights and candles are OK with me)
$0 COCKTAIL HOUR MUSICIANS ( many musicians do you need!?)
$1500 $500 PHOTOGRAPHER'S FEE (I have some pretty talented friends so this could be $0 and if not craigslist, baby!)
$0 VIDEOGRAPHER'S FEE (Another uber-talented friend)
$250 INVITATIONS & REPLY CARDS (I will harness all the crafty ability I have to do this myself)
$300 $200 HER RING (I actually think we can do this cheaper thanks to Miss Tiffany's comment)
$300 $200 HIS RING (I'm totally guessing on the rings. ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?)
$100 $400 ATTENDANT GIFTS (We're only having lil' sis and lil' bro in the party but I forgot about all my friends who I will put to work!)
TOTAL = $8180

Any reality checks or ways I could save you want to let me know about would be stellar!

UPDATE: Thank you for all your comments (keep 'em coming!). I just wanted to respond to a few things.

I had always planned on having us cook all the food. We love to cook and we are actually pretty good. But then I realized that if everything else is pretty much DIY when are we going to have time to cook. Plus, someone would need to be around to make sure everything is hot and placed out when it needs to be. I really want everyone who is at the wedding to be AT the wedding and not miss a thing. So this is something that I have battled with and, as of right now, home-cooked meal has lost. And, yes, we are beer snobs and a wedding is always fun when there's at least one drunk person (this time it won't be me) so booze stays in. There's always TJs for that and no sales tax in NH.

As for the photographs, this is REALLY important to me. This is pretty much the only lasting thing from the day besides the memories and I want them to be really nice. Granted I went to art school so I can probably beg a colleague to come do it for travel expenses only so we'll see.

Again, thank you for your comments. MWAH!


AmyJean said...

Wowsers, i'm impressed with how many awesome friends you have... I'm getting a lot of help too but i think your budget takes the cake! Well done! :)

Color Me Green said...

I've been wondering that about bathrooms, my parents house has 3 so i'm hoping it would be ok... Also totally with you on not needing boutenneires and extra bouqets. Isn't it amazing how it still all adds up to SO MUCH $ even after slashing the budget here and there?

Color Me Green said...

ps. tambourines = amazing!

Hannah Noel said...

Okay, this is kinda long-- but you asked!!

$1500 for Food and Service/$1000 for Beverages & Bartender
------- Here is where you have to ask yourself a few questions, like:
Am I willing to forgo a caterer and buy the food myself? There are places like Sam'sClub where you can buy plenty of food for a much lower cost!
I'm sure your friends or your parents' friends would love to help make the food and set it all up.

And how about alcohol? Is that something you HAVE to have at your wedding? If it is, then I have no idea what to tell you b/c I have no experience there lol.

Bouquets/boutonnieres (sp?)-- go fake from hobby lobby! So far that is saving me a TON of money and they still look great!

$1500 photographer fee? I would definitely entrust a couple of friends. That is waay too much to spend when you have a small budget. I would google wedding images, print them out, and show them to your friends (so they have an idea of what you want!).

Tiffany Vasquez said...

I dont know what kind of ring you want for your fiance but i got my fiance's wedding band from its a jeweler in beverly hills and everythings always on sale. I got Fiances wedding band (tungstun carbide) for 89.00 and paid $20 more for engraving and i think it was free shipping. The same ring at other stores was $400! you should check it out. have him go try on rings at other stores just to make sure you know the right size.

Marte said...

The last at home wedding I've been also just used the two toilets available in the house. They had 80 guests. The ground floor toilet was the ladies room, upstairs was the gents. Just make sure you have a "designated cleaner" who takes care of the toilets every hour or so.

heather said...

I got lucky with Byran's ring. He want's one of those black tungston rings and they are like $100! Budget looks good! I also budgeted $500 for my dress and fittings... i ended up buying one for $700 at davids bridal and it cost $200 to alter it. Watch out for lace dresses, apparently they are expensive to alter!!!

desert bride said...

little things add up. super fast. unless you are so insanely killer at keeping to the strictness of your budget, I would just recommend adding in some extra splurge money. [bride's accessories.... shoes, jewelry.... I am pretty thrifty but this one kept creeping up on me.... groom's accessories... his shoes?] [maybe he already has shoes, duh, but just pointing out some of the little things that do add up.] other than that it looks pretty reasonable. I know I had started the same way, but then had a really hard time getting the food to cost what I wanted it to, so it can be hard until you actually start scouting vendors. I am totally with you on the food and photography. I hate to use any kind of word that sounds like "regret" attached to our big day, but if I were doing it all over again I would have found away to be less busy [hence with you about not making your own food] it goes by so flippin fast... also, I would have spent more than the 1500 than we spent on wedding pics. Also, our budget was pretty similar to yours. ok. bye. :)