Wedding budget for $10k? Fingers crossed!

Okay, so we *thought* we were budgeting $10k for our wedding! haha….since i started writing this i realized our total costs are actually gonna be around $16k! i guess it’s good some of you prompted me to post about it :) Still though, our new budget is about half the national average for weddings.

According to

U.S. couples spend (on average) $28,800 for their wedding. This does not include cost for a honeymoon, engagement ring, bridal consultant or wedding planner.”

AND, it’s even higher in the county i live in, coming in @ $39,000!!! How INSANE is that? While our $16k will be pretty tight, we have to at least shoot for it (esp. now that it’s 6k higher than the initially planned $10k!). There’s no way in hell we’re blowing $30k for one night. And to be honest, i don’t see that big of a difference of those i attended where even $45k & $60k were spent. Sure the flowers and locations may be a bit fancier, but the food and drinks were plentiful at both, and everyone had a fabulous time!

In any case, you’re probably wondering where on earth this money goes to. So, in an attempt to keep things clear and concise (there are entire websites pages dedicated to this stuff, w/ pages and pages of info.) here is a breakdown of the “average” American wedding costs, side by side w/ the money we’ve spent, or are about to spend, on each category:

* According to Bridal Association of America
wedding breakdown mainwedding breakdown otherI’ll post more later on HOW exactly we went around a lot of these costs, but as you can see it CAN be done for lower.

So far we (aka Mrs Budgetsaresexy’s mom and us) have spent a total of $4,963.77, with the MAJOR category still left – the reception.

We booked it at a restaurant, and at the end of the night we get a bill totaling up the number of plates served, and alcohol drank. BUT, at least we don’t have to worry about any cleaning up afterwards :) Not to mention the set up, caterers, staff, etc, it’s all included since it’s a restaurant! woohoo.

That pretty much covers it, in a nutshell. There are a slew of potential things to think about, but Mrs. Budgetsaresexy and I are not one to complicate things. I mean, you could spend HOURS on just picking invitations, or merely choosing flower arrangements. The possibilities are endless. Unless you’ve been planning your wedding since you were a little girl, be prepared to spend some hefty prep time :)

Before i go, let me just recommend the following three things if you’re starting the process yourself. I promise you they will help:

1) Book the location of the ceremony (for us, it’s a church), AND the reception ASAP. These dates fill up faster than Warren Bufffet on a hot business venture! wow, okay so that was the dorkiest coment i’ve ever made…but you get the point. Some places book 1-2 years in advance.
2) Do one thing a month! If you get in the habit of doing this, esp. if your engagement period is 10+ months long, you will find yourself very productive. Not to mention as stress-free as possible.
3) Be patient and work as a team….even if you don’t want to :)

The first, and second one, are super easy to follow. It’s the third that gets tougher as the time goes on! You leave one person alone to do it, and you can kiss that honeymoon goodbye :( But if you’re truly getting married for the right reasons, it should be all good :) Plus, things like picking the music to play at the reception, or choosing the food is pretty easy and fun!

I think that covers most of the stuff we’ve been getting into. I’ll be posting more updates as we get closer to the big day as well. For those of you starting out, I hope this stuff helps! (and Congratulations!)

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  1. Paula @ Afford Anything December 19, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    “work as a team….even if you don’t want to” — great marriage advice, J Money!

  2. J. Money December 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Hehe, thx! it’s too bad the rest of my comments here got cleared away when I did my WordPress move cuz there was a lot of advice/info left here too!

    Hope all is well, my friend :)