Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wedding on a Budget (Part 2)

So, $9000.
How far does that go? And what the heck costs so much?
I haven't found very many people willing to be frank about what they are actually spending on their weddings. Maybe it seems rude. But to me, it's practical. How else can you decide what is even possible?

The first challenge for us was finding a site. This was also our biggest budget item.
Our site criteria were pretty simple:
* Easy location for all out-of-town guests to get to
* Ceremony and reception could both be held there
* Could accomodate 150 people for a dinner

Our Ceremony and Reception Site:
490 Summit- a mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul that could host both ceremony and reception dinner. They take care of all the decoration and centerpieces, run the ceremony, and provide all the catering staff, etc. We estimated 130 guests for our costs.
$200/ hr for site rental (6 hours)
$24.95 per person for buffet dinner
$1.00 per person for serving a champagne toast

Grand total estimate with 7% tax and 17% gratuity: $ 5700

The Photography:
We looked at several photographers and compared prices. We wanted someone who considered themselves an artist and photojournalist. We didn't care about having a ton of fancy albums done for us... we just wanted really quality photos that we could then do with what we wanted (ie own the rights to the pictures).
Our price on photography: $1600

The Officiant:
I knew of a great officiant that did a friend's wedding. We both really liked her.
Her fee: $400

Ceremony Music:
We wanted live music, and I preferred strings. I found the DesCordes String Trio on The Knot.
Their fee for the ceremony: $350.

The Dress:
David's Bridal: $350.

The Veil:
Ebay: $12
Shoes, jewelry, and undergarments are things I already own or will borrow.

The Invitations, Reply Cards, and Envelopes:
Michael's, on sale. $40.

The Cake:
A local bakery, with a small display cake and sheetcakes. $250.

The Flowers:
Home-grown sunflowers.
Seeds: $24. Floral materials: $40. Help growing and arranging from friends and family: Priceless.

The Videographer:
A friend of the family who does videography. $100.

The Favors:
CD's we make ourselves: $40

What we aren't doing:
* Alcohol at the reception (except champagne toast- there will be an "after-party" at a local pub)
* A DJ (We are making a playlist and hooking it up to their sound system, with a friend as the "Emcee)
* A limo/ fancy transportation (not necessary, since everything is in the same place)
* Bridesmaid dresses (Girls are wearing black dresses they pick out themselves)

Grand total : $8906, with a little wiggle room for things like small gifts for parents and attendants, and other incidentals like getting my hair done the day of.


Anonymous said...

Hi..just wondering what you thought of the quality of service and the decorations provided by the 490 summit group. We are thinking of reserving them just for the reasons you mentioned but we do not know of anyone who has used them to tell us what they thought about the service.

Anonymous said...

Who did you go with for a photographer. We are struggling to find a good photographer at a good price.

Nadja and Sean said...

We went with Katrina Nesse. We loved her. Although she may be more expensive now than when we booked her. Don't book anybody through a wedding fair. They are crazy!
Two other great suggestions:
Briana Kopka:
and Melissa Cartier: