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VIP October 2020

Actual Cost of a Wedding

Taylor, on August 9, 2019 at 12:08 PM

Posted in Planning 104

Okay ladies! How much are you budgeting and how much are you expecting to ACTUALLY spend on your entire wedding? I always hear that you go over what you expect to spend. What are the hidden expenses that randomly come up that you don't even think about? I have a pretty good idea of what will be...

Okay ladies! How much are you budgeting and how much are you expecting to ACTUALLY spend on your entire wedding? I always hear that you go over what you expect to spend. What are the hidden expenses that randomly come up that you don't even think about? I have a pretty good idea of what will be spent on each item and altogether it totals up to be within my desired budget but I know the reality of it all and I can't afford to be too much over that. My parents have made their contribution and would like to help as we get closer but I don't want to ask for anymore money! It's my wedding, not theirsSmiley smile Any input would be very appreciated!


  • Ivy ORP
    VIP October 2019
    Ivy ORP ·
    • Flag

    I'm finding the little extras in preparation are costing me. I am doing my own make-up so I've been trying out different products. It's still not as much as a professional but it's racking up. I have also been trying different strapless bras because I haven't found the right one yet. We have yet to buy all the wine too. I think that's going to gobble up what we saved by getting an incredible price from our caterer. So far we are under budget though.

    • Reply
    Devoted October 2020
    ARIEL ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Oct 2020 here also!! This was my same problem! Budget was 15 k and once we booked our venue we realized 15k wasn't happening so bumped it to 20k. Even after the bump I know we are looking more towards 25k. I can't bring myself to say that out loud yet tho haha

    • Reply
  • Nemo
    Master August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag

    Here is a link to my BAM where I did a full breakdown of our budget (I forgot to add in tips to that budget, so keep that in mind):

    The small stuff ate our budget alive.

    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Expert March 2019
    Danielle ·
    • Flag

    We budgeted $25K and hubby was insistent we stick to it (originally he thought $10K was enough for what we wanted, but we live in NY metro area, so that wasn't realistic). I scrimped and cut to keep us close to that number...we actually ended up about $2K over, but with stuff our parents helped pay for, so in my mind we were at the budget, he says we were over. At one point I was so stressed about keeping to the budget and just wishing I legitimately had the extra $2K to play with...but if I did, I'll bet I would have used it all, and then still found a way to go over again.

    • Reply
  • Jill
    Expert April 2020
    Jill ·
    • Flag

    Our budget is 10k with max being 15k. We are having a DW with only 70 people invited (realistically not that many will come). So far with what we have spent, we are on track for the 10k budget.

    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    Our budget was $10,000, and we came in just a little under that. However, it really was critical to us that we stay under budget. So if something cost more than anticipated, I'd cut something else (or eliminate it entirely) to make up.

    • Reply
  • Madison
    Devoted August 2019
    Madison ·
    • Flag

    Our original budget was $25K. We are 7 days away and we are at a little over $28K, including the rehearsal dinner, taxes, etc. More than we wanted to spend but we got everything we wanted and I think $25K was a bit unrealistic given the season and location of our wedding anyways.

    • Reply
  • Andrea
    Super October 2019
    Andrea ·
    • Flag
    We are spending about $12k on our 50-60 person wedding. We are about $2k over budget. Weddings are so expensive!
    • Reply
  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    I think things that add up that we don’t think is the simple daily stuff. You have a million things to do towards the end, most likely still be working the week before or even the week off so cooking after working is the last thing in your mind. Buying food out every night can add to the cost.
    Maybe needing a massage or date night or relax day out toward the end because of stress is something you don’t plan but adds on costs.
    Some people don’t add costs of nail, make up and hair for prior events. I went to the salon to die my hair for bachelorette trip then bridal shower and then wedding. That’s much more that I do normally. Also nails, eyebrows, make up for the bridal shower. New clothes, shoes, accessories you buy for honeymoon. That goes without counting the multiple trips you take to stores, malls when running errands months and months before.
    Of course there’s last minute things you add for the wedding when the DJ says you might need more lighting or a church asks for a last minute mandatory donation and things like that but the “little” stuff add up!
    • Reply
  • Sierra
    Dedicated December 2019
    Sierra ·
    • Flag

    We didn't have a budget until we looked at prices, I'm using the weddingwire budget tool, and right now I estimated about $10k, we have about $6k paid for or narrowed down. So I have NO doubt that we'll be able to stay under $10k.

    • Reply
  • SraDeCarrillo
    Super August 2019
    SraDeCarrillo ·
    • Flag

    I knew I didn’t want a big or expensive wedding. I set the budget at 2-3k FH talked me into a small wedding. Under 60 guests. He bumped the budget to 5k. The wedding is at the end of the month and if you don’t count our rings, we are currently at $3,600. We still have a few more wedding related expenses but we will likely land right at 5k or below. I DIY’ed a lot and it has helped tremendously in cutting costs.

    • Reply
  • Clara
    Dedicated August 2019
    Clara ·
    • Flag
    My wedding is in one week and we are all in at $5400. Our budget was a Max of 6k, so I am pleased. This does not include the rings or honeymoon, but everything else .
    • Reply
  • Lynne
    Super August 2022
    Lynne ·
    • Flag

    Our budget is $8,000 but I haven't even hit $1,000. I have already ordered my dress, ring pillows, flower girl tote bags (instead of baskets), have a photographer and a cake baker (both family). I am quite happy that we are well below budget.

    • Reply
  • C
    Super December 2021
    Casey ·
    • Flag
    This varies largely by area but we expected 10k. This was the cost of our venue, almost. Which means that things like clothing, alterations, hair, makeup, rings, etc. Won't be covered. We'll be going closer to 15k.
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Master October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag
    We budgeted $20k & will probably come in around $23k. That is not including my dress or alterations. The extra expenses are due to my FMIL repeatedly adding to our guest list. As well as us adding a few things to the reception.
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Master October 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    I have a tiny budget. Just 1,500. So far most is spent. For many years i've been doing online surveys for gift cards and it's really helped pad the budget. I cashed in for 200 for Amazon and I got a ton of stuff on Prime day. Stuff that crept on me is I had no idea what the cost of a DJ was WHOA

    • Reply
  • Emly
    Expert June 2020
    Emly ·
    • Flag

    Im seeing some of these budgets and nearly having a heart attack Smiley xd We wanted to stay at or under $5,000 for 250 guests. So far with everything booked, my dress bought, decorations taken care off, tips planned out, and an extra $150 buffer in each category we are coming in right around $4,700. Obviously we have time between now and then but having a degree in accounting and being borderline crazy at budgeting I'm confident that not much will change and we have THOROUGHLY thought every aspect through.

    • Reply
  • H
    Super September 2019
    H ·
    • Flag
    We are planning a "destination" elopement (only about 4-5 hours away in a different state). We are estimating around $2000. Ceremony site was $100 for a permit, our officiant is $150. I bought my dress last year when we were originally planning a wedding. We still need to book an airbnb and since we are driving, gas is included in the budget, as well as food. We won't really know much we stuck to or went over budget till all is said and done.
    • Reply
  • Kaitlyn
    Savvy October 2021
    Kaitlyn ·
    • Flag
    Our budget was $20k but I didn’t realize how much would come after the venue, which is $15k. After all is said and done, our budgeter on here says $30k 😰
    • Reply
  • Fany
    Devoted October 2021
    Fany ·
    • Flag
    My goal was to spend $800 on our elopement, but we’ll probably end up spending $1,500.
    • Reply

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