Home Wedding Planning Budget Talk Budget Breakdown: Michelle’s $15,000 Wedding

Hello, fellow DIY Brides! My name is Michelle and I’m planning a late-summer 2014 wedding. A few months ago I wrote asked DIY Bride a Wedding 911 question about having a 2+ hour break between the ceremony and reception. From that conversation Khris asked me if I would be willing to share details about my planning process and budget to help other couples. (This is my first time blogging! I’m nervous!)

Today I’m starting off with our budget. We live on the outskirts of a large Midwestern city and I’d say that the “average” wedding here costs about $20,000. My fiance and I have a budget of $15,000 due to a large gift from our both of our parents. We don’t want to take on any new long term debt (our student loans are enough, thank you very much) so we’re trying to keep costs down as much as we can.

On our DIY list: invitations, thank you cards, centerpieces, favors, boutonnieres, some decorations, and flower girl’s flowers.


Couple: Michelle + Fiance
Date: Late Summer 2014
Number of Guests: 120
Budget: $15,000
% of Budget From Personal Savings: 25% (Roughly $3,750)
% of Budget From Gifts: 67% ($10,000 from our parents)
% of Budget From Loans/Long-Term Credit Card: <10% ($1,250 at 0% interest for 24 months)


(Items with a * have been paid for or are under contract)

[twocol_one_first] *Ceremony Venue
Officiant Fee
Ceremony Accessories

*Reception Venue
*Food & Beverage
*Wedding Cake
Linens, dinnerware, decorations
*Wedding Gown & Alterations
Headpiece & Veil
Lingerie & Accessories
Hair & Makeup
*Groom’s Attire
Groom’s Accessories

*Bride’s Bouquet
Bridesmaid Bouquets
Groom & Groomsmen Boutonnieres
Flower Girl’s Flowers
Additional Boutonnieres & Corsages
Reception Centerpieces
Ceremony Flowers



Other (thank you notes)


*Bride/Groom Guestroom accommodations
Limousine Rental


Wedding Coordinator

SUBTOTAL     $14,910 budgeted   //  $15,000 available



$5,915 ($49.29 per person)
$1,450 ($1,100 for the gown; $350 for alterations)

$150 (3 x $50)









2 replies to this post
  1. Michelle, I noticed that you didn’t account for tips/gratuities in your budget (or were they built into your pricing?). Limo drivers, catering staff, hair dressers, makeup artists, officiants, DJs, musicians, and wedding coordinators are all vendors that usually receive tips for their services.

  2. Hi Michelle, thanks so much for posting this! It’s so helpful to see someone else trying to break down the same budget we have. I may have missed something in the description (apologies if I did!), but it looks like the budget actually adds up to $17,055 as it is described above. Not sure if there is a typo somewhere in the list of expenses, but thought I’d note it for others who are using this as a reference!

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