Sylvana
Dedicated August 2020

Wedding/honeymoon budget - whaaaaaatttt?

Sylvana, on February 6, 2020 at 10:27 AM Posted in Planning 3 35
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Hello everyone!

When my fiance and I first got engaged and started planning, the first thing we did was set a budget. We started at not wanting to go over 5000. Soon thereafter we realized 5k would not cover everything we wanted especially in NJ. We increased to 10k and started our venue search. I fell in love with what I think was the 5th venue we toured. It was a little over budget but he saw how much I loved it and we increased our budget to 13k.

Here we are now. With 180 days left. We looked over our budget and finalized all the numbers. We've come in at 18k 馃く Same with the honeymoon. We started at 2k. Then we saw Belize and wanted to go there which is a little over so we settled on 3k. After looking and finding the best Airbnb and looking at all the tours/activities we wanted to do while there and we have ended at around 4700.
We are not over extending ourselves, we just had NO idea how expensive everything gets! I always thought I'd be able to pull off the wedding I dreamed of for super cheap. I could not have been more wrong lol! Please tell me I'm not alone here! Has anyone else gone through the same thing?

35 Comments

  • Emily
    Devoted September 2020
    Emily
    • Flag
    I am right with you. We set a 3k budget for our wedding. We鈥檙e from MO so everything is cheaper. Once I started looking at venues, I bumped it to 5k. Didn鈥檛 realize how much they would be! Then he wanted to go to Italy for honeymoon so we are at 8k!


    Still not as much as 18k but I totally get it! I didn鈥檛 realize how expensive everything was!!!
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah
    • Flag
    Oh yeah, we had major sticker shock. I'm also an NJ bride. We originally set the budget at $15K (split 3 ways between us and our parents). We thought that was reasonable for a 100-person wedding. Nope. At the end our wedding came out to about $23K, and the bulk was the venue (which included all food and open bar and wedding cake).
    • Reply
  • Kendra
    Devoted August 2020
    Kendra
    • Flag

    I'm in this right now. Our original budget was $10k. Baring no unforeseen circumstance in the next 107 days, we will come in at $32k.


    I thought $10k was nuts. But then we decided to get married in a State Park in NY instead of in Illinois in my parents town. It would have been loads cheaper in IL. Married in my parents church, flip the room to the reception...$100 to rent. But then most of both of our extended families wouldn't have made it. The place in NY is what we wanted, it's closer to family, in nature, I get the outside wedding I dreamed of...but it's also a lot more.


    The other big thing was not wanting to DIY a lot of things. My brother got married last year and the amount of work the families had to put in the few days before was insane. I swore I wouldn't do it. It wasn't fun to be working for 12 hours the day before and then have to feel like I had it all together the day of. So we opted to spend more money so our families could relax and I wouldn't stress as much.


    We also opted for all-inclusive in Jamaica fore the honeymoon. After the insanity leading up to the wedding, FH said he wanted to lay on a beach and not worry about anything.


    So, that's how our budget increased. Again, it's really fine. The budget includes the honeymoon, my engagment ring, wedding rings, everything including tips for the wedding, and dog sitting while we are gone. Weddings cost so much money. It's really crazy.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle
    • Flag
    I wanted my budget to be 10k but then we realized for the things we wanted that wasn't gonna be so possible. So we increased it to 15k then we ended up spending 16.2k overall
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    VIP October 2020
    Taylor
    • Flag

    You are not alone at all. We started at $12k for 200 guests. When I started looking at venues, food, and alcohol prices, I quickly figured out that I shot WAY low. I thought we could definitely make $16k-$18k work but the little things have added up quickly and it's looking to be closer to $23k. We gave our vendors a guest number of 200 but sent out invites for 248 guests. A lot of the people that we invited as a courtesy and we said "for sure won't come" have made it known that they're coming SO if we go over 200, it will be closer to $25k. This is excluding the honeymoon and rehearsal dinner. Please pray for my sanity.

    • Reply
  • Private User
    Dedicated September 2020
    Private User
    • Flag
    You're not alone!!! I wanted a wedding no more than 10k. Venues are ridiculously expensive but we wanted something really nice. Our venue alone is 5k and we have about 170 guests so the caterer is around 3k. We're now looking at 12k-13k not including the honeymoon. It's stressful.
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen
    • Flag
    Literally could鈥檝e written this post myself, down to the fact that we also live in NJ 馃槀 the only difference is our budget started at 10k. Quickly realized that wasn鈥檛 possible with what we wanted, increased to 15k. Then we decided we were ok with 16k. Then I recalculated our total budget around 5 months before the wedding and it came out to 21k 馃槺 I had a panic attack and legit considered cancelling our wedding 5 months out and just eloping. Called my MOH and she talked me out of it. Cut out literally EVERYTHING that wasn鈥檛 a 鈥渘eed.鈥 We鈥檇 DIY flowers, got rid of all decor including centerpieces. Got it down to about 19k.


    Then we 鈥渓ucked鈥 out and had WAY more declines than expected. 98 out of 148 attended. Brought our expected spend down to 16k! (Some of the declines were people who were also invited to the rehearsal dinner so it saved even more.) Then I realized I really wanted a videographer and we were down way lower than we expected so I added a videographer and brought our total budget to around 17k, and that鈥檚 what we ended up spending.

    We spent about 4k on our honeymoon but that was expected. We also got about $1500 from our honeyfund and my FIL just gave us $500 to spend on the honeymoon, so we really only had to pay 2k out of pocket for that 馃槃

    Truth be told... the wedding budget was way more than I anticipated spending. And over the course of our engagement I couldn鈥檛 even tell you how many times I flipped out and considered cancelling because it was too much money. I鈥檝e never even come close to spending that amount of money. The largest amount of money I鈥檝e dropped all at once (other than like, rent and stuff) was buying my phone for 1k lol, and even THAT stressed me out. Our entire engagement I just kept thinking 鈥渋t can鈥檛 possibly be worth this amount of money.鈥 Let me tell you.... IT WAS. I don鈥檛 regret a single penny we spent. I鈥檓 relieved we were able to bring it down to 17k, but honestly if we had more people attend and ended up spending closer to 20k, I still would鈥檝e felt it was worth that. It was the most amazing, most magical, truly PRICELESS experience of my entire life. I鈥檇 do it all over again if I could.

    I get a paycheck every other week lol. I only had one wedding day. Money can always be made again. You can鈥檛 鈥渞edo鈥 your wedding (well, a vow renewal, but it鈥檚 not the same). I鈥檓 not saying be extravagant and spent 5k on flowers or something lmao. Be frugal where you can. But don鈥檛 be afraid to spend on the things that matter! You won鈥檛 regret it.
    • Reply
  • Kayla
    Devoted November 2020
    Kayla
    • Flag

    FH and I were in the same boat. When we got engaged, we both said $15k was what we wanted to spend. Then we started looking at costs and realized that wasn't going to work and bumped it to $20k. Then again to $25k. And we're currently still over that and I am looking to figure where else we can cut expenses. Not that we can't afford what we're spending, but I really would have rather been able to put that towards home renovations or our retirement accounts. But FH insists that I should have everything I want for our day. The honeymoon on top of that is looking to be between $10k and $11k. Luckily FH is a savings machine and we will have everything we need saved up by April for our November wedding!

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Super August 2020
    Nicole
    • Flag
    Our original budget was $20k plus an additional $5k gifted from my mom. But with me being 鈥渆xtra鈥 and our guest list being more than we planned, we鈥檙e at around $30k without my moms gift. It鈥檚 a lot of money, but we want our day to be what we imagined so it鈥檚 worth it.
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride
    • Flag
    Yuuuup! We started at $18,500 and think we ended up over $25K! 馃槺馃槼馃槶


    Could you do a mini-moon then Belize on a wedding anniversary? We did that. We ran way over-budget and used up all our PTO on our wedding.
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Master September 2018
    Jennifer
    • Flag

    NJ bride here too! We started at 12k ended at 16k plus 5k for the honeymoon. But honestly I wouldn't have changed one single thing.

    • Reply
  • Nikki
    Devoted August 2020
    Nikki
    • Flag

    Same girl, same! I naively thought I could get a Chicago wedding at $20K and the answer to that was a big fat NOPE! It's probably doable, but there would have been so many sacrifices made (small guest list, Friday or Sunday off season, no booze, etc.), and we just couldn't do it to ourselves, our friends, and our family since a lot are traveling in. We then bumped up to $25K and still it was tight. Realistically it's looking closer to $30K, but I'm trying to cut everywhere I can. We even DIYed a lot, so I'm just hoping to sell some of it off and get a little money back. None of this is including honeymoon, which we will probably postpone 6+ months

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2020
    Samantha
    • Flag
    Same thing happened to us! We set a budget of $5000 and then we realized that it wasn鈥檛 realistic for the wedding we wanted. It鈥檚 amazing how expensive everything is!
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Dedicated January 2021
    Brittany
    • Flag
    The only thing I've officially signed paperwork on is venue and I'm already seeing estimates go over what I was hoping to spend... my parents said they could do about $7000 and I wanted that to cover everything wedding so FH and I could cover everything honeymoon (similar budget since we're looking at 2ish weeks in Africa). But ~3k for venue (before some of their rentals like dance floor and A/V equipment), $2k for food, and $2k for photography blows that before any sort of decor, photo booth (dual purpose entertainment and favors), our cupcakes (rather than a cake)... so it will probably end up closer to $10k-$12k for wedding. Hopefully I can save a bit on Africa by managing to pay for the flights with points! Or if we get a lot through our Honeyfund. We'll be going 3 months after the wedding for better weather conditions.
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy
    • Flag
    Literally the same with my FH and I. We started our budget at $5k, then $10k, and now we're up to $15k, not including little things like decorations or some big things like his suit rental and rings. We haven't even looked at the cost of a honeymoon yet 馃槵馃槵馃槵
    • Reply
  • Cristina
    Devoted October 2020
    Cristina
    • Flag

    Girl PREACH! lol We had set our budget at 15k and now after looking at everything we're looking more like 20k. It's amazing how quickly everything adds up. I think in order to really stay within budget a lot of things need to be DIY but honestly I just didn't want the stress of DIY so I feel like now we are just paying more for the convenience if anything. Kudos to the brides that can DIY because that would have saved us a lot of money.

    • Reply
  • Sally
    Just Said Yes September 2020
    Sally
    • Flag
    I literally just looked at my budget today and it just keeps rising. I thought the same thing on being able to stay at $5,000. Uhhh, nope. Not sure where we鈥檒l end up. Wedding is in 7 months.
    • Reply
  • Tiffany
    Expert March 2020
    Tiffany
    • Flag
    This sounds exactly like us. I was horrified when I heard my cousin spent about $15k on her wedding. I vowed to never spend that much. Said $5k would do just fine. And it might have if we stuck with our original idea of a ceremony at our church and a reception at the USO. I had over $5k set aside already so I felt good. Then we realized our church was small and poorly set up for what we wanted. So we had to look at other venues. We fell in love with a ceremony/reception venue for $4k. Welp.
    Shortly after my parents offered us 3k and his parents offered 3k to us. So then we were up to 11k. I think we will stay close to 11k. Maybe go over to 12k, but we will not be going into debt so that's what matters to us!

    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Devoted November 2020
    Danielle
    • Flag
    Right there with you. Didn鈥檛 realize how expensive everything has become ugh. Makes me nervous.
    • Reply
  • D
    Savvy February 2020
    • Flag
    Hi. My wedding venue was decently cheap, $3000 and $500 ceremony at the same venue on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. It is in a restaurant right on the beach. We originally almost went with a venue in Miami that was going to be about $10k for 50 people once you would include the food and drinks as you had to use their "preferred " vendors only. The place we chose is a more upscale Restaurant and we will be feeding the guests filet mignon and lobster for $79 a plate vs $100 for microwaved chicken and rice from the other place. About the honeymoon, we have been to Belize which we loved. Everything is cheap there so the dollar goes a long way. The ruins were great, the Atm caves, rented a car from Crystal's and drove to Tikal in Guatemala. We plan to go back to see Placencia which we didn't see. Also I speak Spanish but if you don't, most people speak English, you can also pay with U.S. dollars 2 to 1 or the belizean $. Hope this helps and hope you have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon.
    • Reply

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