Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Big Fat Cheap Wedding

So I was a little off on when the photographer's disk would arrive, looks like it'll be another few days. So in the meantime, I figured I'd share my Real Bee Budget! Let's see just how far a teeny tiny budget can get you. I used WeddingWire for my guestlist and budget, so I'll itemize they same way they do (which is alphabetically). Here we go!

The Sand Dollar Wedding Budget

Band - $500
We decided to keep the initial budget, and gave $250 each to my best bud Will and his guitarist. They were great, the music was amazing and we got to play some selections from our ipod playlist. I'm happy with how it all turned out.

Cake and Desserts - $20
The Rice Krispies cake took six batches of treats. That's about 3 giant boxes and six bags of marshmallows (which I bought for a buck each). The groom's cake (which turned out spectacular, let me tell you!) was free. His mom bought all the ingredients and her good friend who's a baker made and delivered the cake. It totally knocked our socks off. I have three life-size candy fish in my freezer. Not quite sure what I plan to do with these, but maybe a fun photo op is in our future!

Catering - $855
This includes all the plates, napkins, cutlery, drinks, and food (including s'mores). The entire, all inclusive cost. We have a ton left over, as we supplied for 200 people and only about 120 showed up. So, if you break it down, that would have been a total cost of roughly $4.25 per person. So suck it, barbecue vendor man who laughed when I said my budget was $4 per person! Though he actually was really nice and gave me the sale price on 20lbs of sausage ;) We've got a ton of brisket, corn, and sausage in our freezer. And about 150 water bottles, which we will drink with abandon. As well as a million plastic cups (beer pong or flip cup, anyone?), paper plates, and cutlery sets. We had more food than we knew what to do with, and it was finger-lickin' good. It may have been favorite thing about the wedding, aside from the photos.

Dress and Attire - $176
My wedding gown was free (a kind of gift/loan from Providence Place). I love these ladies so much, both of the shop owners were at the wedding (Bestie E was my "coordinator"). I'm giving the dress back to the shop to work as one of their sample gowns. I also paid for it probably a million times over by not only volunteering Mr. SD's electrician skills (he installed a chandelier, sconces, and a bunch of new plugs for the outdoor area) but about a hundred hours digging bricks out of their lawn to help them with the landscaping. Plus, I gave them all my string lights when it was done. But it was worth it, the gown was the dress of my dreams!
My reception dress was $70, I paid wholesale cost for the Mori Lee Bridesmaid dress in ivory. This one I plan to keep, and am thinking about dyeing it a fun color. We also paid for some new jeans, a shirt, and a belt for the mister.

Decor - $657
String lights, paper lanterns, butcher paper, and all the trimmings. This all added up so fast, and was the one place where I went over budget. I love how everything turned out, and the best part is that I get to keep most of it! I'll have to find ways to repurpose it in my home.

Stationery - $189
Save the Dates, Invitations, and Programs. Also including postage. I cleaned up on stationery, due to the fact that I did all the printing and design myself. This was the best way I saved.

Jewelry - $76
My two bands were $50, and his ceramic ring was a whopping $26 on Amazon. We have to buy him a new, smaller one, as now that the weather is cooling off the ring is pretty loose. I think we can manage another 20 bucks so he can swap them out each season ;)

Officiant - $59
No, not our stellar friend who performed the ceremony. This covers the cost of our marriage license (with the $60 waived for completing the TwoGether in Texas course) and the JOP when we tied the knot legally in May.

Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts - $120
We got belt buckles for the guys, which of course Mr. SD forgot to hand out. So now we'd like to get them engraved with the guys' names and mail them to 'em. I think it'll be cute! And of course, you've seen the projects I made for my girls. They loved them, thankfully!

Photography - $976
The. Best. Purchase. I love every picture. They're all fantastic! He did such a great job, and I can't wait to get my disk and go crazy printing everything. Our house is entirely devoid of photos of us.

Venue - $375
The park was $275, and we had to pay an officer $100 to come out during the reception since we were serving beer. I loved the park, the pavilion looked fantastic. And the cop was sweet. We had a bit of confusion the week before the wedding regarding all the payment amounts, but it's all clear now.

So what's the damage?
Grand Total: $4,003

I was THREE DOLLARS over budget! Not too shabby I'd say! So for 4 grand, we got the wedding we were hoping for. The decor rocked, the photographer kicked ass, and the food was award-worthy. Though the day wasn't a fantastic experience overall, we're both really happy with how it all turned out. And for 4 grand, you really can't beat it!

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