I wrote last week about our overall budget for the wedding and where the money will be coming from.
This week, I thought I'd break it down a little further. I have to admit that when I began planning this wedding, I really had no idea how expensive weddings were. I mean I had a vague idea, given that Im nearly 30 and had started to plan a wedding for The Ex and I years ago, but didn't quite grasp it all. So hopefully, this post will help someone else who's trying to put together a similar sized wedding.
So we'll start with the basics:
Geo Centre: $800, plus whatever beverages we will be covering
Our church doesn't actually charge anything for weddings so that price includes the sound tech, an honorarium for the pastor and our workbooks for our pre-marital counselling. This would normally come with a pastor from the church, but as I mentioned, we picked a difficult week and may need to find one elsewhere.
The Geo Centre includes the use of the space from 5pm to 1am, set-up and take-down, a bartender, a greeter, the construction of a dance floor, tables and chairs and a backdrop behind the head table.
Late Night Snack: $125
The price per person for the caterer will be around the $50 mark. This includes their three courses, tablecloths, stemware, china, waiters, taxes and tip. Most vendors we've dealt with include a 15% gratuity in the quote.
The cake will consist of a single cutting cake and 150 cupcakes with a little something extra to jazz them up. We didn't want to pay the cutting fee so the cupcakes won out. Once we have our final numbers, we may reduce the number of cupcakes.
The late night snack is one of those silly extras that Jason and I have decided to add. A number of his friends are the drinking type and would appreciate a late night snack after drinking and dancing for a few hours. We considered everything from cookies and milk shooters to donuts to McDonalds burgers. I wont tell you just yet what we finally decided on but it wont be any of those. ;)
Seems way off, doesn't it? Im going with a dress that will be less than $400 with alterations. The rest is for my accessories. Jason will have a free suit to keep with the deal we are getting for renting five suits. This amount is for his shoes and the little extras.
The kids amount is just a shot in the dark. On a recent date night Jason and I happened upon a clearance rack that contained one of the flower girl dresses and a suit that will fit Noah perfectly. We also picked up the other flower girl dress at the same store and came out having only spent $80. The other three boys will be wearing suits that I have priced at around $60-70 each. We haven't decided on their shoes yet, but I do anticipate that being a large cost.
And the other category is Im sure what surprises most people. We are paying for the suit rentals for Jason's three male attendants and both of our dads. My dad didn't need one, but if we rented one more Jason got the free suit, so it made the most sense. Another option is for Micah to wear one of the rental suits. Jason will also have a female attendant so we will be purchasing her attire as well. My bridesmaids will be wearing dresses that I will be buying for them as part of their gifts. The rest of the cost will come from that pesky theme I keep mentioning. Most people wouldn't have this expense.
Hair & Makeup: $500
Ceremony Musicians: $325
Reception DJ: $500
Our photographer was our second vendor (after the church) that we booked. She is a friend of mine that is just starting out. I had her come take pictures of the boys last fall at a near by park and I think she really understood the type of pictures I was looking for. So we'll be blessed to have a photographer that we are comfortable with and who also takes beautiful pictures for a great price!
The transportation is a huge expense that we'd really rather not pay but can't figure out the logistics otherwise. Not only do we have to transport ourselves to the photo locations, church, reception and hotel, we also have to transport our kids. We also haven't decided who will be looking after them through-out the day, so it's best to keep them close. This price includes the cost of a 26 person party bus for five hours and three bottles of champagne. Those bottles are standard or we would have skipped them to lower the cost. The bonus is that we get to keep our bridal party as well as our parents and photographer with us as well. No chances of anyone getting lost!
We'll be doing our own decorating, so this cost is for the purchase of all the decorations. Ill be putting everything together in the months beforehand and hope to sell most of what we have to buy afterwards.
The hair and makeup is another extravagance. Ill be covering the cost of the hair appointments for the bridesmaids, flower girls, moms and myself. The makeup will only be for me but anyone else that wants a professional look can get theirs done at their own expense at the same time.
The ceremony musicians were an expense that we recently added. We were just going to use recorded music but we heard this duo at a wedding show and were hooked. It didn't hurt that they happened to be playing the song Ive chosen to walk down the aisle to, either. the DJ is new to weddings but has been dj-ing for 20 years. We were impressed by him more than any other dj we met in his professionalism and flexibility. His price is similar to other djs in the area, though there are some that are much more expensive.
Everything else falls under the miscellaneous expenses category and we're hoping to keep those costs low, but they tend to creep up. We're going with mostly fake flowers and I've already purchased most of them on sale.
Anything seem way off? Are you surprised at some of these costs, like I was?