I might not be the biggest fan of Wedding Bee but I do tend to enjoy their belief in over sharing in every detail of their wedding. Why? Because when they share their wedding budgets with you, they really share it with you.
When my fiancee and I were thinking about our budget, we had a number that we didn’t want to go over. We wanted everything, including honeymoon, rings, ceremony, and reception, to be under $10K. I have no real idea if that will happen or not (but if I don’t get a job soon, there’s a good chance that will definitely happen) but we’re trying to stick to it. Since we had an idea of the max we wanted to spend, we then tried to partion out how much money goes where and…well…we got stuck. There are formulas, of course, and the one at The Knot is the one we ended up doing but I always wondered if those formulas were realistic or not. With our budgets, they claimed that we could only spend $600 on photography. Please. There is no way to hire a professional wedding photographer in New York CIty who is not a friend or a friend of a friend and only pay $600. That barely covers the cost of a wedding album. So if the formulas got the photography wrong, did they get everything else wrong too? How can I come up with an accurate wedding budget when I’ve never had to plan a wedding before? The only way is to get real data from other brides and that’s where Wedding Bee steps in.
Mary Jane paid $10600 for her wedding – $1k on the actual day, 9k for the rings and the honeymoon.
The Penguins spent $42k – $31k on the day, $11k for the rings and honeymoon.
The Flamingos spent $28K – $25k on the day, $3k on the rings and honeymoon.
Here are some cheaper budgets from Bee brides – $12k and $17k.
What’s good about seeing all this data upfront is that it helps you gauge where you can save, what costs a lot, and also shows you that when you’re planning your budget, you really need to focus on what’s important to you and splurge there while cutting back elsewhere. The #1 way to keep costs low, I’ve found, is to keep your guests lists small. Also, get your friends to do photography, cake baking, etc etc. That’s also an effective way to save money. That’s probably #2 tip that I don’t hear about enough – it’s mostly assumed and written in a one sentence throwaway statement. But I don’t thing wedding bloggers or writers really understand how crucial it is to have friends who are willing to help – not everyone has that.
I have decided if I’ll break out my budget for you after my big day or not. I probably will. It’ll hopefully help destroy the myth that you can’t have a fun wedding in New York City for less than a bazillon dollars.