My husband and I knew that we wanted to have a beautiful, vintage wedding. However, we also knew that we didn’t want to spend every cent we had planning it. We wanted to focus on the important things and have money leftover to put into our savings as a newly married couple.
Before I start, let me say that this is based on a 150 people guest list. My husband and I had decided early on that we only wanted family and close friends that actually knew us to be at our special day. With that being said, let me first break down for you our budget and then I’ll go into detail about each item.
Dress (with alterations) $1200
Groom’s Attire $300
Accessories (not including jewelry) $40
Makeup & hair Free
Save the dates $80
Ok, so some of these items you may be wondering, how on earth did she only spend that much?! Well, let me go through and tell you!
Venue. I looked everywhere and everywhere for the perfect venue. I didn’t have many options in Williamsport, PA! But then, we found The Acacia Club. It’s vintage and elegant ambiance was exactly what I was looking for. We saved money by having both the ceremony and reception here.
Catering. I have never been one for wedding meals- I never like them! So I decided I wanted a dessert reception. This item, unexpectedly, ended up being the most expensive. My caterer INSISTED that we needed a certain amount of food. I thought he was overestimating, but went with it anyway. What do you know, we had so much food leftover and it was just dessert/hourderves! If there is one piece of advice I can give on this it would be to really put your foot down and tell your caterer how much food you want so you don’t end up paying more than needed.
Cupcakes. I am also not a cake person. Wedding cakes always taste dry to me. So I found an adorable lady in my hometown that did wedding cupcakes! We had 3 different flavors and let me tell you, they were delicious and much cheaper than a wedding cake!
Wedding Dress. Lace. I knew exactly what I wanted when I headed into the bridal shop: a slender-fitting, lace dress with thicker straps and a v-neck. I actually had to custom order my dress so it was a little more expensive than planned. My dress was another area I chose to spend a little bit more on.
Groom’s Attire. My husband and I are not tux people and since our wedding was going to be a little more casual, we decided on dress pants and a vest. Express, which in my opinion has fabulous fitting clothes for men, was our one stop shop.
Accessories. This category included undergarments and shoes. Vintage looking flats from TJ Maxx were the perfect fit. My jewelry is not included here because it was a wedding gift from my parents!
Makeup & hair. I did my own makeup and my sister did my hair. I never like when hair stylists do my hair so this was the perfect option for me! Plus, I wanted my hairstyle simple but elegant which was easy for my sister to do.
Photographer. I was very prepared to spend $2000 on my photographer. Photography, obviously, is my passion and I wanted this to be perfect! My husband and I were very blessed by one of my good photographer friends (who I loveeee her work, you can check it our here: http://www.floralandarrow.com), who did it for the amount above. We love our photos from our day and I honestly would have paid her the original amount I had planned when we started looking!
Save the Dates. I designed my own save the dates. I created a custom stamp online and had it mailed to me. Then I ordered vintage, paper luggage tags and stamped each one. I LOVE them and they were so easy to do.
Invitations. Again, I designed my own wedding invitations. This time I created a template on the computer that looked like an airline ticket and printed it on brown kraft paper. I cut and stuffed them all with some help from my good friends!
Decorations. A lot of my decorations were DIY or things we already owned. Here is a list of the decorations we used:
-shepherds hooks (bought)
-mason jars (bought)
-spools of thread (bought)
-luggage tag signs (leftover from our save the dates)
-vintage suitcases (already had)
-vintage books (already had)
-chalkboard signs (DIY and bought)
-paper airplanes (DIY to throw on our departure)
Programs. With paper leftover from my invitations, I printed programs. These were also designed by me and folded by my sister and I!
Flowers. I’m not a big flower person. My husband knows the way to my heart is with chocolate not flowers :) I knew I wanted something simple but elegant. As I was on Pinterest one day, I saw a wedding with all Babies Breath. It was breathtaking! So, I ordered 6 bunches of it from Sam’s Club and my cousin made our bouquets and a few vases filled with them!
Favors. Most of the time, favors get left on the reception tables (I’ve shot lots of weddings- every time this happens). So, we decided to go with something edible that people could eat at the wedding: chocolate covered peanuts and coffee beans in small grey bags. Yummy!
Officiant. My pastor married us and didn’t ask for any payment, however we still wanted to pay him!
Gifts. Groomsmen and bridesmaids gifts consisted of darling tea cups and earrings for the girls; pocket knives for the boys!
DJ. Joe and I are BIG music people. We wanted to pick every song from our processional to the dance music. We also aren't huge fans of DJ lighting. So we created our own playlist for the whole day, uploaded it to our ipod, and categorized it. One of your good friends ran the music and made announcements for us!
So, there you have it, my wedding for under $8,000. If there is one piece of advice I could give to you on budgeting your money well for your wedding, it would be this: Pick the top 3 categories you want to spend the most on and save, save, save on the rest of the categories. If flowers aren’t important to you, don’t spend $3000 on them! If your venue is the most important aspect of your wedding, then spend a little more there.
You might think that my husband and I skimped on some things, but honestly we LOVED everything about our wedding and still wouldn’t change a thing about it. When all is said and done, you are spending a joy filled day, marrying your best friend and partying with all the people who make your life special.