Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wedding Expenses

Here's a rundown of the wedding expenses we incurred for our wedding. Most of these expenses will be reimbursed by my mother, except for the bar bill and personal expenses such as plane tickets, accommodations and car rental.

$9      Mani/pedis for the girls (stepmom paid for most of it)
$309  Cake
$78    Cake delivery fee
$30    Cake pillar and plate fee (will be reimbursed)
$1133 Reception food
$419   Reception bar bill
$395   Dress alterations
$30     Bra to go under dress
$75     Peanut's outfit (jacket and tie -- he had shirt and shoes, and borrowed pants)
$10     Hair doodads (Peanut's sister did my hair)
$37     Shoes
$87     Favors (we made pies-on-a-stick)
$671   Flowers
$872   Honeymoon (full post to come on this!)
$86     Invitations
$49     Postage
$27     Thank you cards
$24     My wedding ring
$59     Peanut's ring
$30     Marriage license
$260   Impressive Clergyperson (bonus points if you get this!)
$375   Accommodations
$200   Attendant gifts
$490   Miscellaneous expenses
$151   Car rental
$448   Flights
$350   Ceremony and reception venue fee
$245   Chair covers
$1600 Photography
$8,548 Total cost

Expenses still to come (estimated)
$200   Another ring for Peanut (this time not from the internet)
$200   Dress cleaning
$300   Photo printing

The biggest unexpected expense was for accommodations -- we were planning to stay with my sister until the night of the wedding, but she has a cat (Peanut is allergic) and my other siblings were also planning to stay there and it quickly became apparent that if we wanted to have a quiet allergen-free hideaway, we were going to need to pay for it. So I contacted the hotel I'd already booked for the night of the wedding and asked if I could extend the reservation backwards by three nights -- and also still get the fabulous Priceline rate I'd gotten ($65 for a $109/night room). And they said yes! Not only that, but when we showed up to check in, they had to double-upgrade us, so we wound up in a huge room with a jacuzzi in it. Unbelievable, and the great sleep we got made it totally worth the expense.

The other expense that I wasn't really expecting were all the miscellaneous things we ended up spending money on. We ate out every meal (I thought we'd do at least some cooking at my sister's). I had to buy hair dye and mousse after finding a bunch of gray hairs the day before the wedding. We bought extra little gifts for some friends who traveled from out of town. I bought cookie sheets in addition to the ingredients for the favors. We had to buy gas for the rental car, and donuts at the apple orchard, and pictures for my new passport, and ice cream to celebrate picking up the marriage license and and and and and...

It's like we forgot who we are and just spent money to fix every problem that existed. I was aware that it was happening, and I didn't much care. It was tremendously freeing to be able to do that for one short period in my life and also a huge relief to not have to do that again, to be able to wait until I get home to fix myself a snack instead of picking something up because I'm not staying anywhere with a kitchen.

I had hoped to spend around $7,000 on my wedding, and I went over that. However, my upper limit was $10,000 and I'm still well below that, even including the honeymoon, so that makes me very happy indeed.

And for all of my ambivalence about having a wedding, I don't regret it. Not for a hot second. I feel so, so, so welcomed into Peanut's family. I was so touched by all the people who traveled and were inconvenienced to come spend an afternoon watching us make a promise to each other. I was so proud to see Peanut dressed up and smiling at me, so glad to have the chance to walk down the aisle on my father's arm, thrilled to see my parents dressing up in front of the photobooth, and bemused now to see all these people befriending each other on Facebook -- all of whom are solely brought together by two people, Peanut and myself. It's powerful and humbling.

Now it's back to reality, time to do all the work it takes to officially change my name and merge all of our finances and find something to do with my dress and order the pictures and write thank you cards. And, of course, finish writing all the recaps and posts that I've been promising!


  1. Very nice! You did a great job staying at least close to your budget! :)

    Congrats again! I'm so happy for you two! (Also, you better share some no-face photos! hehe)

  2. You know, if there's any time in your life that it's OK to spend a little money for convenience, I'd say your wedding is it. You did an amazing job staying under your upper budget (and fighting the WIC), so you still stuck to your guns. And whenever your outside your regular routine, some unexpected expenses are bound to crop up.


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