Overall Net Cost of Our Wedding

by Melissa on March 13, 2012

One of the nice things about wedding expenses is that sometimes you can manage to actually “recoup” some of your costs. After all, you get nice gifts and/or cash, and you can sell many of the items you purchased during the wedding planning process.

So, what was our overall “net cost” of our wedding? Lucky for you, I’ve figured that all out for you!

Wedding Gifts

We already know that our grand total of wedding expenses was $23,598.91, more than $8000 over our intended $15,000 budget. Now, let’s take a look at the money we “made” from our wedding. These figures include the wedding only, and not shower gifts.

Amount of Cash and Gift Cards Received: $2340

Total Value of Goods Received*: $2438.91

Total Amount of Gifts Received: $4678.91

* For gifts we received that were on our registry, we used the price of that good to calculate the price. For gifts that we could not easily determine the value of, we made a best guess estimate.

Selling Used Wedding Items

We’ve been sticking to our strategy for selling used wedding items.  It’s been going well, but we still have a few additional items to sell.  Therefore, in addition to wedding gifts received, we have also managed to recoup some of our wedding expenses by selling lots of items.

Total Amount of Goods Sold: $1684.00

Total Estimated Value of Goods Remaining to be Sold: $500

Total Estimated Value of Recouped Costs: $2184

In the near future, I’ll do a more in-depth post about our experiences with selling our used wedding items. But compared to the total cost paid for the items that we sold, we’ve recouped about 80% of those costs.

Total Net Cost of our Wedding

$23598.91 (-) $4678.91 (-) $2184



This calculation makes me feel a *wee* bit better, knowing that our overall net cost of our wedding is much closer to our original $15,000 budget. That’s not exactly how we intended to get there of course, but it still helps.

But wait! What about repurposed items?

For the purposes of my calculations, I’m not going to delve into the value of the goods that we can reuse in the future. At least not now. Maybe it’s a topic for a future post.

But just to give you an idea, we have a decent number of items that we purchased for the wedding that can be used for future (non-wedding) events, or in some cases, already have been repurposed. For instance, all of my wedding accessories I purchased, including pearl necklaces, shoes, and bracelets, are not very wedding-y looking, so I am able to wear them with regular outfits. Ken can wear his suit, tie, and dress shirt in the future, and our save-the-date prop and sand ceremony kit now serves as art in our home. At future parties, we can reuse the coffee urn and chalkboard A-frame we purchased for the wedding. Heck, there’s even an argument for saying that part of my bouquet has even been repurposed!

Oh, and Frequent Flier Miles Too!

There are other aspects of our wedding expenses that reaped financial benefits that are much more difficult to quantify. For instance, during the course of wedding planning, Chase offered a phenomenal British Airways 100,000 bonus miles promotion. I signed up for the new credit card, and promptly started putting all our wedding-related expenses on it. All told, my current British Airways miles balance stands at 104,352 miles. That’s enough for 4 round trip coach tickets to Maui, or 2 round trip business class tickets to Maui. Or two round trip coach tickets to Maui plus one coach ticket to Europe.

You get the idea. It’s difficult to quantify these rewards because they have so many different redemption values. And before that British Airways card, I was putting our expenses on my normal everyday card, my Southwest Airlines Chase card. When we went on our minimoon to Las Vegas in November, our airfare came to 10 bucks for two tickets. Granted, I also put my everyday expenses on that card, but the increase of expenses thanks to the wedding helped contribute to those free tickets!

So, if you use a credit card strategy wisely for your wedding purchases, you can also reap additional rewards from stuff you’d be buying anyway.


Please remember that I am writing this from a purely financial perspective. I’m not saying that you should plan a wedding just to get gifts or try to keep your wedding expenses low and, in tandem, invite only your wealthiest friends and relatives. But just keep in mind that although your wedding day itself has the potential to be expensive, you can indeed recoup many of your costs!

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