DIY Wedding Budget

June 27, 2011

Total Budget: $15,500
*This is for my ideal wedding! Use it as a guide for your own.*

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Ceremony @ Five Mile Chapel
Reception @ Moonlight Gardens

  • Ceremony: = $500 Chapel + officiant + DIY isle décor+ licenses
  • DIY Flowers & decor = $800 (White dahlias & olive branch & herb centerpieces)
  • Attire = $500 (Slim dress w/open back and navy pin stripe suit w/hats)
  • Photography = $2000 (with DIY dress-up photo shoot for us and guests)
  • Gifts & DIY Favors: = $500 ($200 [family] $200 [guests] $100 [eachother]) No attendants OR family only (as attendants)
  • Wedding bands = $600
  • Transportation = $500 (limo rental)
  • Reception = $6000 (150 ppl  – includes venue/coordination/service/tips/plated dinner/signature drinks/champagne/beverages)
  • Entertainment = $1500 (Ballroom dancers [1 or 2 couples] and music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s – DIY playlist during dinner; live band after dinner)
  • DIY Desserts = $200 (mini cupcakes and other assorted mini desserts)
  • Wedding night accommodations = $150
  • Honeymoon = $2500 (not included in pie chart below)

*DIY Budget total = $1200 [9%] (flowers, décor, favors, and desserts)


Budget cuts!!! This budget is for an ideal wedding.  In all reality, most DIY brides won’t have $15k to drop on a wedding (nor do we really want to spend that much).  I’d prefer to spend about a third of that, plus the honeymoon.   Some of the items that will likely be down sized are listed below.  These are common areas where you can make cuts to save money.

  • DIY Flowers & Decor – save $400 by using artificial blooms and borrowed vases for centerpieces
  • Photography – save $1000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday
  • Wedding bands – save $600 by financing rings
  • Transportation – save $400 by replacing a a limo with a cool car driven by a friend or family member
  • Reception – save $2000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday, reducing the number of guests, and choosing a buffet instead of plated dinner
  • Entertainment – save $1500 by sacrificing hired entertainment
  • Honeymoon – save $2500 by financing honeymoon

Total savings = $8,400!

New, lower budget = $7,100 (54% less than “dream” budget)

(note – you’ll be paying monthly for wedding rings and honeymoon expenses charged to a credit card)

I can handle a $7,000 wedding budget!!! If you still can’t swallow that much, I would suggest a major downsize of the wedding guests to just close family and friends.  This is what wedding planners call an “intimate” wedding.  If the venue is too big for a small wedding, consider going to a local restaurant with a party room our large outdoor deck/patio.

Key point – the percentages of your wedding budget should stay roughly the same even with budget cuts.  The reception, food, and beverage costs should be roughly 50% of the total budget.  The next largest spending category should be for photography, right around 10%.



One Response to “DIY Wedding Budget”

  1. Amy Says:

    Wedding is stressful enough without budget cuts. If I would marry again, I would go for intimate wedding.

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