The Budget: How Much Did We Really Spend?

Neither R nor I ever wanted an extravagant day. While I completely appreciate those weddings, and love attending them, we knew that it was most important for us to have our wedding, and have it paid off on the day it occured.

We didn’t want to incur or carry any debt from the wedding, just as we didn’t carry any debt for my gorgeous engagement ring – see below (which is a testament to the awesome saving-skills of my husband).


Well — the wedding is over, and we can proudly say that we do not owe a dime – to a single vendor or a credit card or anyone. This wedding is PAID FOR!

We initially budgeted around $16,000 for our wedding. This still equates to an “inexpensive” wedding by many standards, but it was something that we felt we could afford through saving and smart spending.

Then, in October, we bought a house, and sold a house. R bought the “old” house while the market was high. And we sold while the housing market was low. We ended up having to pay to clear that old mortgage (mortgage value was higher than the home) – and that was a painful payment to make.

Then, the new house — we found a great house in a fabulous neighborhood — needed some updating. We figured that we wouldn’t have another opportunity to own a home in this area. Even with the down housing market and the fact that it needed updates, the home value was about double that of the old S. Minneapolis home.

Add to that a big remodel to the main floor (tearing out the 1958 decor, moving a few walls, extending the kitchen 2 feet out in front of the house) — and the need to purchase appliances (Electrolux — love them!). Plus, we added several things not included in the remodel budget, such as new lighting and paint in all the bedrooms/bathrooms, plus custom window treatments in a few rooms, new trim/casing in the hallway and bedrooms and more.

Suddenly, with our priorities shifted, it felt a little ridiculous for us to spend even $16,000 on a wedding, when we had so many things that needed updating in our home. So we slashed the budget.

We were unable to cut the budget to less than $10k, but we were able to have everything we really wanted:
an amazing photographer, ample beer and wine (no cash bar!!!) and tasty cupcakes. We even trimmed enough to hire our DJ, DOC and a few extra support staff people. The unexpected cost of tables, chairs and a tent didn’t even push us beyond our limits, thank goodness.

And, we did it without debt, so now we can enjoy married life in our home, without an extra bill hovering over our head, or inhibiting us from improving our home or preparing for our future family!

(note: I did not including the cost of the Vera Wang gown destroyed by the seamstress/drycleaner — that was traumatic enough to avoid adding to the cost breakdown).

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christy
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 08:34:25

    That’s incredible! It inspired me that my $8K budget might truly be realistic!


  2. A
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 10:15:51

    That Vera Wang story made me so sad for you. 😦 It’s actually one of the reasons I am determined to go to a full service salon that won’t have me send my dress out for cleaning–if they damage it, they’d better make it right!!!

    It’s amazing you were able to pull together something so beautiful for $10K!


  3. Heidi
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 11:35:46

    Great job! Thanks for sharing!


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