My Real Wedding Budget Part 2

We had another snow storm early this week.  What a way to start March.  I always knew the weather can change its mind quickly, which is why I don’t trust the weather forecast that much.  But the one day I wanted the forecast to be wrong, it was right on the money.  It was supposed to rain all day on my wedding day and indeed it rained all day.  The day before and the day after had perfectly gorgeous Spring weather.  I know I need to get over that instead of keep coming back to it since it’s been almost 3 years.  Anyway~ this is the second part of my wedding expenses post.  There are so many little categories that I had to lump some of them together to not make the list super long.  As usual, let’s jump right into it.

13. Bridesmaid dresses $156.97 –  I went online for months to search for bridesmaid dresses that looked cute and were reasonably priced.  This was perfect.  It’s deep purple knee length dress with one asymmetrical shoulder strap.  It has draping layers on the bust part of it.  It’s not a dressy fancy outfit.  It’s perfect for my laid back lunch wedding.  I bought 3 to give to each of my bridesmaid.

14. My dress, hair, makeup, tuxedos $2,060.00 –  This price included rental for 1 ceremony dress and 1 reception dress along with a veil and accessories.  It also included hair and make up for myself, 3 bridesmaids, 2 moms, and a test makeup.  Also included are 4 tuxedos for my hubby and the 3 groomsmen.

15. Misc decorations and stationaries $443.03 –  This included stamps, birdcage veil, hair fascinator, thank you cards, pens, program papers, aisle runners, and etc. I didn’t get to use the birdcage veil though.  I’m thinking of coloring the veil and wearing it to somebody else’s wedding or something.

16. Studio photo shoot in Korea $2,100.00 –  This included 3 dresses, hair, make up, hubby’s 2 tuxedos, and the photo shoot session with an album.  I loved everything about it.  The quality was top notch and everyone treated me like a princess.  I want to experience it again.  I felt so beautiful~

17. Honeymoon $4,500.00 –  I’m not going to include all the costs to Korea.  I’m only including the cost to Thailand from Korea.  The actual honeymoon was in Thailand and Korea trip included the family visits and studio photo shoot.  Even if I wanted to include all the money we spent in Korea, I wouldn’t be able to do it since I didn’t keep track of it.  The $4,500.00 included the round trip flight from Korea to Thailand Phuket with all the food, excursions, sightseeing, and accommodations.  The resort we stayed for couple of nights called Trisara was the most luxurious and gorgeous private pool villa I’ve ever been in.  It was truly once in a life time experience.

18. Round trip flight to and from Korea $2,790.00 – Although I said I’m not going to include costs in Korea, I needed to get to Korea to get my studio pictures done and the price to Thailand would have been way more if we were to get there from the US.  So I thought the flight cost to Korea fit in this wedding expenses total.

19. Wedding night hotel $292.31 – We booked a suite at a hotel for the wedding night.  We had a post reception gathering with just our close friends here.  The price was really great for the square footage and the set up.  It had a bedroom with an attached bathroom and a whole separate living and dining area with a sink and a refrigerator.  Another bathroom next to the living area so the people didn’t have to go into the bedroom at all.  This is the same suite we got for my bridal shower.  They don’t even offer this suite anymore when we checked recently.  After people left, my new hubby and I got to spend the first night together there.

20. Dinner for wedding party $365.78 – My hubby and I took our bridal party, day of coordinator, ushers, and emcee out for dinner.  We took them out separately before the wedding to thank them for helping out at the wedding, but some people couldn’t make it.

21. Gifts for bridal and groomsmen party $351.35 – We got great deals for all the gifts.  I’ve been searching for gifts online for months and collected what I wanted and put them in separate Jcrew canvas bag for each girl.  I changed up some of the items to customize it for each girl’s taste.  I put stuff like L’occitane body scrub, Sephora nail polish, Swarovski earrings, and etc.   For groomsmen, they were all different gifts to fit their needs.  Since hubby bought them, I don’t exactly remember what they were.

22. Out of town guest bags $92.98 –  We only had a few out of town guests and I wanted to welcome them, so I bought little knick knacks and snacks to put them in a cute bag and gave them out on the rehearsal dinner night.  I bought goofy stuff like cartoon tees and socks from target, hand lotion from Bath and Body Works, and bottled water.

23. Mani and pedi with the Maiden of honor $140.00 – The day before the wedding, I met up with my maiden of honor to have lunch and get our nails done before we headed to the rehearsal.  It was a relaxing day after all the craziness of preparing for the wedding just to chat with my best friend one on one.  I really needed it.  It’s really important to have a good support system.  She was living in California at that time, so she didn’t get to be involved in the planning process of my wedding much.  It would’ve been so much easier and fun if she were here with me.  I was going to pay for her lunch, but she insisted on treating me.

24. Limousine $300.00 – I hired a limo to pick up mom in the morning to the hair and make-up place since I didn’t have time to pick her up.  My brother took her to the venue after she got her hair and make-up done.  Aside from practical reason I had the limo pick my mom up, I had another reason to schedule a limo to pick her up.  She never rode in a limo in her life and what other chances is she going to get other than her own daughter’s wedding?  After that, the limo took the groom, bridesmaids and me to the ceremony venue.  I didn’t extend the limo service to take us back after the reception since it’s not really necessary especially for the price it was going to increase.

25. Tips and gifts for wedding helpers $650.89 – This included tips for vendors and gift cards for everyone that helped out at our wedding.  I got Nordstrom gift cards for regular helpers and got VISA gifts cards for the day of coordinator and the emcee.

26. Post reception party food, drink, and supplies $556.38 – We had about 15 people gather at the hotel suite we booked.  We catered Korean food to pick on, bought liquors from ABC, and all other supplies from the dollar store.  We brought left over flowers from the reception to the hotel to decorate a little.

27. Family thank you gift $600.00 – We didn’t have enough money in our budget to buy new suits for my brother and my brother in law.  So we decided to give $150.00 each to them and also to my mom and my mother in law.  I know it’s not much, but they understood and they made wise choices with the money to come up with nice wedding outfits.

28. Misc $400 – There were small expenses that I didn’t keep track or couldn’t categorize it elsewhere.

Part I total was $12,822.08 and Part II total is $15,799.69The grand total for my 100 people wedding is $28,621.77.  I’m aware that my engagement ring and our wedding bands are not included here.  But I decided not to include that here.  Keep in mind that I’m in Northern Virginia area and it’s quite pricy here.

How does your wedding cost compare to mine?  I hope this is helpful to people who are planning their wedding.


7 thoughts on “My Real Wedding Budget Part 2

  1. Whew…I’m only just starting to plan, and I’m wanting to do something simple and under $5k since we’re thinking of next April. By then I should *only* have $48k of loans left if I stick to the plan. I’ve kicked around thoughts of getting out of debt first, but no one wants a 3 or 5-year engagement! Not me anyway!

    • Good luck with planning and let me know if you need help. I definitely think you should get married first. You’ll be able to get out of debt faster working together.

    • Haha, I guess it depends on what you expect out of your engagement! We were engaged two years and I planned our small $5k wedding in the last approx 6-8 months.

  2. Wow, that’s really kind of you to pay for the bridal party outfits – we offset those costs to them. 🙂 Great job itemizing so the reader knows where it all goes!

    • I decided to pay for my bridesmaids dresses, hair, and makeup to not put financial pressure on them. It’s a lot of pressure and I know because I was bridesmaid 5times. Among people i know, it’s not uncommon for bride to pay for the dresses.

  3. You are so kind. When I got married my bridesmaids paid for their own dresses. I suggest you have the bridal party to at least pay for half the cost of their outfits to offset cost. When planning a wedding every cent counts. Good luck.

    Remember to enjoy the moment on your day.

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