How much money did we spend on our wedding?

by Melissa on March 5, 2012

This post is part of a series that analyzes our wedding expenses. See also our Distribution of Wedding Expenses, Our Comprehensive List of All Wedding Expenses, The Cost of Getting Married vs. the Cost of our Wedding, Our Avoidable and Regretable Wedding Expenses, The Overall Net Cost of Our Wedding, and Some Wedding Budget Lessons Learned

One of my earliest blog posts here at SuperNoVABride was about our $15,000 wedding budget, according to Wedding Wire. I lamented why nearly HALF of our budget would have to go towards food, and I freaked at the prospect of what a shitty photographer I would have to settle for if I could only spend $1200. 

As a reminder, here was our $15,000 budget breakdown, according to WeddingWire:

Wedding Wire Budget Screenshot

All in all, this was a very humbling exercise. To see how LITTLE a $15,000 budget would actually get you.

Here’s what we actually spent (using Wedding Wire’s Categories)

Wedding Wire estimate

What we actually spent






Beauty and Health



(This included my hair and makeup trials, hair for our engagement photoshooot, and Ken’s shave for the photoshoot)









Ceremony Music







(for self deejay equipment we purchased)


Dress and Attire








Flowers and Decor



(only $355 of that went to flowers. The rest went to décor)





(I’m including cost of Save-the-Dates in here too. Includes all envelopes, stamps, labels, etc.)


Wedding Rings








Other (according to WW, this includes accommodations, gifts, etc.)



(This also included the hotel room for our out-of-town officiant, a family friend)





















(This included venue rental for THREE DAYS, required insurance, and application fee) 






Hidden Expenses

So, is that it? No.

As they say, the devil is in the details.

As you can see, we went over budget in 14 out of the 19 categories.  All told, from the way that our expenses, based on these categories, cost us $19442.54.  Significantly over budget, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Because, after all, we were on a budget by choice, not by circumstance.

So, was that what we actually spent? Nope, we spent $3704.88 more than that. Our grand total wedding expenses were $23,147.42 (more detailed analysis coming in future posts)

That remaining amount, 3704.88 came from categories not included in any “normal” wedding budget breakdown, or, what would be included in the “miscellaneous” category. 

I’ll talk more about those “hidden” expenses over the next few days!


How about you all? How did your estimated budget breakdowns vary from your actual?

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