I’ve been married for almost a month now, and it’s safe to say things are still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase. I get the ‘how’s married life?’ question a lot these days and honestly, I don’t have a fun answer because nothing much has changed. I’m actually pretty grateful things are still mellow and normal because so far, that lets me rest assured knowing I didn’t marry a crazy man with a split personality or something
Even though the actual day went by so fast, the part I don’t miss is the planning from a financial aspect. To stay organized, we started a spreadsheet on Google Drive to keep track of all our expenses so we didn’t miss anything. I also set expectations for expenses early on. For example, I knew I didn’t want to spend $1000 on my wedding dress.
I lucked out and found a beautiful new dress at David’s Bridal for $500 which was still a bit high to spend on something I’d only wear for one night, but it was doable.
How Much We Spent
All in all out total cost for our wedding came out to…(***Drumroll***)….
Oh, and this total includes our honeymoon in the Caribbean as well. Mind you, this is the total my husband and I spent. The total spent on the wedding in full is a bit higher at $9,270.85+. Each of our parents didn’t have any fancy wedding account with money saved up for us, but they still wanted to contribute somehow so we let them pay half of the price of the venue between the four of them while my husband and I each paid one fourth of the price of the venue on our own which was $1,417 each. My uncle also gifted us a DJ for the night and I’m not sure how much that was but we had to pay him $50 ourselves to show up an hour early. The officiant was a family friend who would not let us charge him a penny to marry us at the ceremony but we did try to show our gratitude by paying for his hotel stay.
Outside of our parent’s contributions and my uncle’s gift, we paid for the rest of the expenses ourselves. It felt so good to come in under our self-imposed budget of spending no more than $7,000 on the wedding between the two of us and no more than $10,000 total when the average American couple spends double or three times that.
However, our victory did come at a small price.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to deal with a few people passing judgement about me and my situation because I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on certain things for my wedding. My wedding band was about $130 and my husband’s was $150 and I was so happy those prices and the quality of our rings despite our sales rep at the jewelry store acting pretty bummed.
I had to talk my mom and good friend out of tying to pressure my to purchase these pricey additions to my wedding dress because quite frankly, I liked the simplicity of it already and it was just me.
Some major steals included finding my wedding shoes for only $4 at a store called Clothes Mentor, winning my husband’s tux rental and a discount for all the men in the wedding party plus 50% off our invitations from a contest, and finding one of the best and most affordable bakeries in the area to make our cupcakes thanks to a bridal show I attended among other things.
For my bridesmaids, they ordered their dresses off Amazon for $40 and I purchased $10 necklaces for each of them from Charming Charlie as my gift. None of them complained either because as you may or may not know, being in a wedding is not that cheap. My wedding though, was an exception as I didn’t expect anyone to jump through hoops for me. The girls did their own hair and makeup too and looked fabulous.
In other frugal wedding news, I had some choice words for my florist who claimed she couldn’t deliver ‘filet mignon on a hamburger budget’. Little did she know…I wanted the hamburger, lol. Flowers are not that important to me and while she still did an amazing job, I was glad I stood up for myself and asked her to respect my budget.
All in all, we saved at least $2,000 on the price of the venue – the biggest expense – by having our wedding on a Sunday instead of a Saturday and doing a cash bar instead of an open bar. It’s probably the best decision we ever made especially since the venue was all-inclusive and included a 6-hour rental with dinner, snacks, and soda.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, when you set out to achieve something and stay true to yourself and your budget, you can’t go wrong. I wasn’t interested in impressing people, or placing a super high value in material items. I was more focused on having an affordable dream wedding that didn’t cause us start our new lives together with wedding-related debt.
Getting married on our actual anniversary was near perfect and all the hard work, planning, and budgeting paid off.
Now I’ll stop yapping and leave you with some photos of the special day.
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