Our Wedding Expense Analysis: A Prologue

by Melissa on March 5, 2012

wmw-2012This year, I’m participating in Women’s Money Week, all about encouraging women to speak up about money, take control of their finances, and reshape their financial futures. I definitely recommend checking out all the amazing bloggers participating and topics that are being discussed.

This week, all of my posts will be about our wedding expenses and budget. How much we spent. How much we’ve made back by selling items we used at the wedding. What expenses we regret. And what expenses were well worth it!

Ummm, you’ve been married for almost four months now … what took you so long?

I’ve been putting off my wedding budget posts for a while now. There’s a few reasons.

1) We’re still in the process of selling items from our wedding. We started posting our wedding items for sale at the end of December. We’ve sold more than $1600 worth of stuff ($1664 to be exact), and still have about another $500+ worth of items to sell. Since that will factor in to the overall net cost of the wedding, I didn’t want to call any of the figures “final” until we had unloaded ALL of our wedding stuff.  But, the figures will be close enough, and I can always come back and update the final figures when we’re done selling all the items.

2) This whole wedding expense tracking thing is complicated shit. Ken and I tracked every.penny of wedding-related expenses. $1.25 parking fee during our engagement session? Accounted for. Cardstock purchases at Michael’s? Yep, it’s on the spreadsheet. But there are additional complications though.  Exactly what expense category do “patio heaters” go into? Or what about the foam core I purchased to make our escort card display? Or the royal blue totes I purchased as our wedding welcome bags? Or the buckets I purchased to hold our s’mores supplies next to the fireplace? Somehow, WeddingWire and The Knot do not have categories for these types of purchases!

So, here’s the deal. A lot of the categories are simple judgment calls. Should the s’mores buckets go into the food expenses or the supplies expense category? Well, I put it in the “supplies” category, but it just have easily could have gone in the food expenses bucket since, after all, it was holding food items. Does the liquor license go into the venue expense category (since our venue required it) or does it go in the “food and beverage” expense category? Well, I put it in the “food and beverage” expense category. Do tablecloths go in the decor budget or the supplies budget? Well, I put them in the decor budget.  Judgement calls. That’s it.

Other folks may have categorized these items as something totally different, and that’s fine.

3) There are just so many budget and cost-related things to discuss, I had no idea how to organize it. So, I’ve done my best to organize it in the clearest way possible, but, since I don’t have the skills to do a pretty infographic, I will write about a bunch of topics, all in separate posts.

Post Schedule for this Week

    • Monday: Projected Budget Breakdown according to WeddingWire vs. Actual Budget Breakdown (still using WeddingWire’s categories)
    • Tuesday: Distribution of Expenses (i.e., how many expenses were less than $100, $101-$500, etc. and how our expenses were distributed during our 13 month engagement)
    • Wednesday: Comprehensive listing of all expenses and pretty charts to go along with it.
    • Thursday: Wedding Day costs vs. The Cost of Getting Married (and what the heck the difference is)
    • Friday: Avoidable expenses vs. Regretable expenses (again, a lot of judgment calls in this post. Realistically, all wedding expenses are “avoidable” except a marriage license fee. So, this will just be my own judgment).
    • Saturday Tuesday: True Wedding net cost: Total cost of getting married (minus) wedding items sold (minus) wedding and shower gift values
    • Sunday Friday: A few wedding budget lessons learned

So, check back later today for the first post in the series! I hope that this series will be the most comprehensive analysis of wedding expenses that you have ever seen and that it will be helpful to couples trying to budget accordingly for their wedding!

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