You may remember that we extended our engagement into a 25 month period in order to save up enough money for the wedding that we wanted to have. We were fortunate to receive some financial help from my parents, Mr. E and I paid the other 65%. I'm going to be very honest with you all, we ended up spending a pretty penny on the wedding. There were splurges that were not needed, but totally wanted. We ended up going over budget, (but I'm throwing in everything I can possibly think of) so here's how it breaks down. It's a little long, but I added pictures to help :)
Original Budget: $35,000
Venue: The Tribute Golf Club, The Colony TX
Cost: $15,926.51 (38.7%). Obviously the biggest ticket item in our budget. This included the ceremony space and chairs, rooms for the bridal party to get ready in, ballroom for the 5 hour reception, all of the chairs & tables, dance floor, service staff, food & alcohol for 120 people, the Crowne suite for our wedding night and breakfast the next morning. We added onto our package with a 3rd entree and the mac & cheese bar.
Planner, Flowers, Decor: Kathie Seeley with Grand Events
Cost: $4,330.33 (10.5%). Kathie was truly amazing! She was one of the first vendors that we booked and was with us every step of the way, even through staff turn over at our venue. She did an amazing job keeping me calm during the planning period and setting up every single one of my DIY projects on the day of. She did all of our flowers, which included 2 arrangements for the ceremony space, 13 centerpieces, 4 bouquets plus a toss bouquet, 12 corsages for the moms and aunts, 11 bouts for all of the guys, flowers for the cake stands & napkin wraps, and arrangements for the cocktail tables and guest book table. She dealt with ordering the linens (napkins, table cloths, chair sashes, chiavari chairs for the bride and groom) from BBJ linens, so that's all rolled up into this cost. Other items in this amount include all of the candles on the tables, the fabric for the gazebo and an extra team member to insure all of the DIY projects were set up right (it took some time for someone to stuff each and every one of the take out boxes with our chocolates). I know that wedding set up would not have looked as perfect as it did without Kathie.
Photographer: Lynn Michelle Photography
Cost: $6,495 (15.8%). Pictures were my number one priority when it came to the wedding. These were going to be the lasting memories for such a fantastic day and we went for the one of the largest packages available. Lynn was simply amazing. We booked her in 2009, yep nearly 2 years before our 2011 wedding. Lynn and her team captured every single one of our DIY projects as well as all of the love and laughter that was a part of our big day. This amount included engagement pictures, a canvas wrap, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner coverage, 3 photographers on the wedding day for 10 hours (although they were there early and stayed late), guest cards that we included in our thank you cards to let guest know about the online gallery, an album for us and 2 parent albums. If I had to do it again, I would book Lynn in a heart beat! LOVE her!
DJ & Lighting: Blair Sparkman with Party All The Time Productions
Cost: $2,400 (5.8%). Blair was a vendor suggestion from our planner Kathie, and he was a fantastic deal! This cost included the DJ service, microphones for the ceremony, uplighting and pinspotting all around the reception room. As our final guest count came in, we decided to add in the custom gobo of our wedding logo.
Videography: Austin Walton Productions
Cost: $2,056.75 (5.0%). Videography was one of those splurges that we didn't factor into our original budget. As the planning period progressed and I saw so many beautiful videos online, I really wanted to squeeze it in. Austin did an amazing job of coordinating with the photographers to ensure that he wasn't getting into their shot, and he is really such a nice person! We haven't seen our video yet because it's a 4-5 month turn around, but I'll come back and share it with you all if you still want to see it.
Ceremony Music: Steve McDonald, Steel drums booked through Islands in the Sun Productions
Cost: $475 (1.2%). The steel drums may have caused me a little stress, but it meant the world to surprise Daddy E with them.
Photo Booth: Premiere Booth
Cost: $1,040 (2.5%). I loved the pictures that we received from the photo booth. Our guests had a blast and I can't wait to put all of the extra strips in a scrapbook. The cost included 5 hours of use, set up and break down as well as a staff member to run it, and a CD of all images which had the strips as well as individual shots.
Cake: Candy Haven
Cost: $715 (1.7%). We ordered 2 delicious cakes with some custom work as well as 40 double dipped strawberries.
Attire: Bride & Groom
Cost: $1,936.50 (4.7%). Mr. E's rental suit was free since we had 5 other guys renting theirs, so this amount includes my dress (621.67), alterations (120) my hair pin (37.89), our custom chucks (140), Mr. E's tie (15), cufflinks (32.05) my heels (25.40), garter set (29.49) and hair and makeup for myself, 4 bridesmaids and my mom (915). Mama E gifted me my veil and my beautiful necklace.
DIY: Paper products and wedding decor
Cost: appx $1,750 (4.3%). This is approximate because I didn't keep track of each and every trip to Michael's. This includes all of our various paper products and postage (invites, save the dates, rehearsal dinner invites, programs, menus, etc) as well as other decor items like our cake toppers, props for the photo booth, napkins, matches, sparklers, serving set, flip flops, baskets, bubbles, OOT boxes & snacks, wood signs, guestbook set up, take out boxes, chocolate ingredients and more.
Rings, Party Gifts & Miscellaneous
Cost: $2,460.35 (6.0%) This included: our two bands and engraving, gifts for the bridal party (necklaces, earrings, coach bags, ties, custom converse shoes, gift cards), our parents (ties, hankies, gift cards), a donation for our officiant, our marriage license, tips for vendors, 1 hotel room for Mr. E and another for my girls and me on Friday night.
Send Off Brunch: Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Cost: $1,565.67 (3.8%). An Easter Sunday brunch for 50 of our guests.
Whew! That covers just about everything except for the rehearsal dinner which my parents paid for, our minimoon in San Antonio and our honeymoon in Mexico.
The grand total is $41,151.11. That looks so crazy because we were over by $6K. In our defense, when we first came up with our original estimate there were numerous items that we did not include in it like our attire, bridal party gifts, DIY projects, send off brunch, our rings, and splurges like the photo booth, videography and lighting. Also the price per person at our venue went up from the time we booked to the time we paid (package prices are not in the contract, only the amount for the spaces as well as a food and beverage minimum).
When we first started planning, I didn't think that we would spend nearly this much money, but as we saved more and more we decided to give into more of our splurges. There are so many little things that you don't think about that pop up close to the wedding (like hotel rooms, marriage licenses, tips for vendors, extra materials for DIY projects), so my advice would be to have some extra in the budget as the wedding day gets closer. The best part about this final amount is that we did not have one single bill to pay after the wedding, and the entire weekend was totally worth it!
With that, I would say the Elephant "Passport To Love" recaps are now officially complete. Hopefully the percentage breakdown will help another bride out there!
Did you add things to your original budget as you progressed in your planning?
All photos from Lynn Michelle unless otherwise noted.