We spent most of our wedding budget on the reception. Overall, we spent $8,354.51. It would’ve been nice to have spent less, but it covers a lot of things and we found many ways to save and keep that number from going higher.
Venue fees – $3,579.44
This included the fees associated with renting the venue for both the ceremony and reception, linens and dishes, the staff, gratuities, and taxes. We used the same venue for both the ceremony and reception, so that saved some money. And, since most of our guests were from out of town, it allowed them to only have to worry about getting to one location.
Food – $2,893.18
This covered the food at the reception for 79 guests and the desserts. We made most of our desserts ourselves, only buying two gluten free chocolate cakes from Trader Joe’s (my aunt can’t eat gluten) and two carrot cakes from our local grocery store. (We used one of the carrot cakes as our cake-cutting cake, so that’s the one with the Precious Moments figurine on top.) For the desserts, we made brownies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, and two pound cakes. The figurine was on my parent’s wedding cake, so it meant a lot to be able to use it on our cake.
I think making our own desserts saved us a lot of money. We spent $128.18 on everything we needed for the desserts, including ingredients, a new brownie pan, serving platters, the store-bought desserts, and a stand to hold up a sign with info about the desserts. (I used a piece of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the dessert menu card.) We easily would’ve spent significantly more than that on a traditional cake. And it was a lot of fun making the desserts.
Beverages – $1,155.00
This covered beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for 79 guests.
Centerpieces – $110.04
- $8.55 – Mason jars
- $24.95 – Pinecones
- $4.79 – Tealights
- $66.63 – Silk flowers
- $5.12 – Wire cutter
We didn’t have to buy all the mason jars…my aunt collected many mason jars from friends, so we got a bunch for free. (I can’t remember the exact number of mason jars we had, but it was like 6 or 7 boxes worth.) That really saved some money. I used 40% off coupons at Michaels to buy the tealights, silk flowers, and wire cutter, so that saved a bunch of money too. We used some of the leftover brown and ivory card stock to make the table numbers. My aunts let us borrow the leaf place mats and one of my aunts gave us the twine for free to tie the table numbers to the mason jars.
Guestbook – $28.91
- $21.39 – Signature frame from Michael’s
- $3.41 – Pens ($3.41)
- $3.04 – 8×10 picture to put in the frame
- $1.07 – Stand to hold up the instruction card
I used a piece of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the instruction card. We now have the signature frame hanging in our living room with the handfasting ribbons draped over it. It’s great being able to look up and see that all the time.
This picture shows the guestbook frame lying on the table on the left and the escort board on the right.
Escort Board – $49.28
- $16.05 – 6-pane window
- $21.72 – Two stands to hold up the window
- $11.51 – Paint
We found the window at Habitat for Humanity. The paint was chipping and it wasn’t the right color. So, I bought paint to make it look better. (We’re eventually hoping to re-purpose it somehow when we buy a house.) I used 6 pieces of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the list of everyone’s names.
Card Box – $3.20
I already had a box, so I didn’t have to spend anything on that. I bought some wrapping paper ($3.20) to decorate it. I also used a piece of Brown card stock we had left over from doing the invitations to spell out “Cards” and attached it to the front of the box.
Music – $181.90
A friend of D’s served as the DJ. The friend lives out west, so he couldn’t bring his own equipment with him. So, we rented a microphone, speakers, and speaker stands for him to use.
Gifts – $253.56
This includes gifts for the wedding party, friends and family involved in the ceremony, people who helped set up the venue, and our friendors (officiant, photographer, videographer, and DJ).
Favors – $100.00
We made a donation to a charity in lieu of giving favors.