While planning my wedding I was bombarded with beautiful pictures, stylish details (oh, hello sequined flower girl basket), and stunning wedding dresses. But, how was I to achieve this look? And how was I to create a budget that would create both the look & feel of the dream wedding that existed in my head?
For me the solution was countless spreadsheets & hours of research. As I sifted through ideas, I created budgets and plans for rustic barn weddings, grand ballroom affairs, and classic garden soiree. What I soon realized was that the style of my wedding was not defined by my budget, but instead by understanding my options and being empowered with the knowledge to create the “feel” I wanted. Budget Breakdowns is a weekly post that will showcase a wedding or wedding budget feature broken down by budget, type, and feel. My hope is that it will prove helpful as you go about creating your own wedding. If there is a particular location or type-of wedding you would like me to feature, please let me know!
A Southern Vintage Affair for $10,000.
In this wedding you balance your desire to feed your guests a full dinner with the practicalities of a $10,000 budget. However, because you realize that the natural ambiance lends itself to a causal southern buffet your catering costs are a reasonable $2500. Likewise, by relying on the beautiful grounds and natural ambiance, you are able to limit your linens, decor & flowers to a reasonable $960. Another bonus: instead of privately owned estate, you opt for a well-maintained state park complete with its own historic house.
These smart options allows for plenty of wiggle room for the rest of your expenses – including a beer & wine bar and a splurge for music! (Note: by cutting back on music – a less expensive DJ or an ipod - you would free up more room for stationary, transportation, etc.)
Here’s the Budget Breakdown:
1. Venue: Mordecai House & Gardens in Raleigh, NC. $740 covers 8 hours, a deposit, application fee, and alcohol permit. The grounds include a small chapel for a ceremony location. By having your ceremony & reception in the same place, you will save on transportation & additional rental fees – win!
Ceremony options in front of the chapel:
2. Caterer: For this outdoor, southern wedding, opt for a BBQ buffet complete with pulled pork, macaroni & cheese, organic collard greens, and mashed sweet potato yams. Local BBQ joints include The Q-shack in Raleigh as well as The Pit. Depending on your exact choices, food complete with beer & wine for a 100 will run you about $2500.
8. Cake: For a treat that is sure to please offer your guest a display of mini cupcakes. Best of all you will save money on rentals – no need for forks or dessert plates! 100 mini cupcakes from Gigi’s in Raleigh will run you about $150.
3. Rentals: To protect from possible bad weather a tent rental is an excellent idea. A tent, chairs, & tables for 100 will run you about $2000. But look how darling the outcome will be:
4. Linens, Decor & Flowers: To continue the rustic vintage theme the tables would be covered in lace & burlap. 12 burlap tablecloths from CE Rentals will run you about $300. Lace is added either by vintage doilies from thrift shops, cut fabric to make a runner, or winning some from Ebay.
I suggest rustic centerpieces: an eclectic mix of vintage jars & milk glass with classic roses & hydrangea. A florist will charge around $40-60/centerpiece. Add $60 for a small bouquet of wildflowers for yourself, and let each bridesmaid carry a single bloom. Budget tip: save money by supplying your own vases to the florist! All together the Linen, Flowers & Decor total will be $925. Here’s an idea of the final outcome: (smaller centerpieces only)
5. Dress & Suit: For this vintage affair think long lace gowns & gray suits. This Justin Alexander will cost about $1000 and you will want to budget another $300 for a gray suit.
6. Photography & Music: You may need to search your area (or negotiate with your favorite photographer for fewer hours) but aim to find great photography for around $1500. (In North Carolina, Krystal Kast is great option!) For music in this outdoors affair I suggest splurging on Joe Bunn’s DJ company – highly qualified and will run you just at $1000. This area of your budget can be thought of as a whole – if photography is the most important aspect to you, then spend all $2500 on your photography and DJ your wedding with an Ipod!
7. Transportation: Unless your family or friends owns a collection of vintage cars use your own sweet ride to provide all the transportation you need for this budget-friendly affair. $0.
Total Cost: $10,115. With a budget this good, you’re soon-to-be husband will be as happy as this guy‘s.