I read a blog post the other day that inspired me to keep track of wedding purchases here, in the spirit of sharing what's realistic and possible in terms of wedding budget. I also think it will be good for me to keep a running list of how much we're actually spending, in order not to let it get too far out of control. I'm notoriously bad at tracking my finances, so it might just be that the only way I'll know how much we've spent is if I vow to blog every penny.
I was just going to include straight wedding costs, but my mom says we have to count rings and honeymoon, too. So far, this is what we've spent and what we've gotten:
8(ish? I'm too lazy to get up and count) strings of white twinkle lights on green cord (wah! haven't found any for cheap with white cords, but we're using the green ones for outside) -- $8.78 thrift store
3 sheets to use for diy photobooth backdrop -- $9.57 thrift store
deposit for church (ceremony and reception will both take place there) -- $150
shirts for the two younger boys -- $24.34 inc. shipping Children's Place
dress for the girl -- $38.65 inc. shipping Gap
shirt for Will -- $20.00 Macy's (sweet sale, 50% off original price + 25% off of that!)
round trip honeymoon plane tickets for BOTH of us (woot!) -- $265.60 Southwest
paying off my rings and Will's wedding band (not sure the exact total for all three rings, will update when I figure it out) -- $396.11
rental of 60 chairs, 50 tidbit plates, 50 dessert plates, 100 forks, 10 dinner plates (not sure of the exact breakdown, will update when I figure it out) -- $298.41
wine and ingredients for sangria tasting -- $40 (approximate, cuz I bought a bunch of other stuff at the same time and can't find the receipt)
dress for me -- $0 borrowing from a friend
jars for candles -- $0 asking everyone I know to save them for me
ring pillow -- $0 borrowing from a friend
invitations -- $0 free wedding website
candles -- $0 so far, I know we'll have to buy a bunch but friends have donated a few to the cause
fabric for napkins -- $5.95 thrift store
giant paper magnolia -- $0 but I will end up spending some $ on paper flowers, I'm sure
So we're at $1,248.63 and counting.
If you take out the rings and plane tickets, it's $586.92 so far for the actual ceremony.
You may have noticed a theme here; I love how saving the earth and saving money so often coincide! Green wedding strategy #2 is to borrow stuff as my first option, buy it used or rent as my second, and buy it new as a last resort.