Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scary, Scary Budgeting*

Happy Halloween!

And in honor of the day, we will move on from the happy time of picking a venue and into the scary stuff.

The Budget.


No seriously.  As soon as we worked out how much Catalina would cost, we completed the first draft of our budget.

It ain't pretty, but I'm going to share the run down with you because frankly there is just not enough budget-friendly information out there.

Ceremony site fee:  $700
Reception site fee:  $500
Food:  $2,600
Alcohol:  $1,000
Splitting the cost of getting to the island with our guests:  $2,250
Our hotel room:  $500
Tax and tip:  $1,080
Cake:  $420
My dress w/ alterations:  $1,400
My shoes:  $40
Undergarments (including slip):  $200
My hair:  $60
Make-up:  $0
Wax/manicure/pedicure (perhaps not all):  $100
Tuxedo (buying):  $300
Daniel's shoes:  $50
Rentals:  $660
Flowers (DIY):  $500
Music (DIY):  $200
Photography/Videography:  $1,060
Invitations:  $300
STDs:  $0
Rings:  $600
Attendant gifts (i.e. hotel room during wedding):  $700
Decorations/miscellaneous (including marriage license):  $800

Total:  $15,840

This puts us slightly over budget just for our estimate.  Obviously, this is not good though I do think I over-estimated some things and that we'll be able to get them cheaper.  So hopefully it will even out, but even so, we're going to end up paying for some things out of pocket.

For instance, notice anything missing?  Like the rehearsal dinner?  And any sort of pre-partying (bachelor/bachelorette parties, etc.)?  And, oh, I don't know, our honeymoon?  The first one we don't mind skipping, especially since logistics for that were going to be ridiculously difficult anyway.  And the second one won't be hard to do out of pocket, especially if we do small things.  But then there's number 3.  We were always going to do a honeymoon registry, but our dreams of Sandals are so, so gone.  At this point, we'll be lucky if we can leave the West Coast.  But I'm hoping that we will have been working long enough to save up some money at that point and that we'll be able to do something cheapish, maybe a cruise.  And I'm putting a lot of hope into our honeymoon registry.

How fucked am I?  People who have gone through this, is there anything I'm underestimating to an impossible degree?  Or forgetting altogether?  Please let me know, we haven't actually booked yet.  What budgeting tips can you share?

*I will give you a dollar if you get this literary reference.  Hint:  it's holiday appropriate.


  1. Hmmmm. As a chick who has been through it, keep in mind that you will receive lots of cash after the wedding so you'll be making some money back. And that people don't drink or eat nearly as much as you plan for, so it's ok to be a little stingy. I noticed you don't have anything budgeted for decor which was a big cost in our wedding!

  2. I second what Kristin said: make bank on a wedding, so don't stress too much. Also, all of my guests loved the honeymoon registry and contributed generously. Of course, the only problem is that you can't get that money until after the wedding, so it's hard to plan. Our budget was about $7,000, most of which came out-of-pocket. Andrew's dad paid $1000 for the booze, my grandmother paid $300 for the cake, and my parents paid $300 for food. Still, I'm pretty sure we ended up with $3000 in credit card debt, but we received over $2000 in cash at the wedding, plus another $2500 on our honeymoon registry. Now keep in mind that we only invited 100 people, most of them poor college students like us. I would say over-invite; lots won't come just because of the sheer hassle of getting to the island for the wedding, but if they're invited they'll feel obligated to send a gift. Sounds really crass, I know, but it's true.

    Also, Emma recently found her photographers on Craigslist. Maybe you can go cheaper by finding an amateur? Casey did our photos and I loved them, though we didn't get as many poses as we wanted.

    Still working on that wedding post...

  3. i would try to do a lot of things yourself, like the invitations. for christmas last year i bought a box of plain cards, a rubber stamp, some bows, and then did it all myself, and it was under 20. is the food price included with the island and unchangeable?

    the bachelor(ette) parties shouldn't be paid by you anyway! and the rehearsal dinner is sometimes paid by family, so maybe you can get that?

    let me know if you ever need my help! though we live far away from each other now. :(


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