Wedding Thoughts On: Budget


I am a thrifty gal by nature. I never buy anything unless it's on sale or second hand, I try homemade alternatives to everything when I can, and I never make purchases I that can't be paid in full... To say I am fiscally responsible is an understatement. This is why parting with so much money at once is absolutely terrifying! Scared as I am, I also understand the fun and importance of sharing and hosting a celebration with family and friends. Enter the Wedding Budget.

I am a list person. I have about 10 going at all times. I like to be hyper organized and Google Drive is my best friend. I am working on my budget spreadsheet more then anything at the moment. I searched around on the internet for a good wedding budget spreadsheet to start from but they were all much too complicated for my simple wedding ideas so I made my own. You can grab it here if you want. I started by entering in researched rough numbers and then tweaked them based on what was more important and less important. I continue to replace my estimated numbers with real ones as I go along. I find laying out the whole budget made it easier to realize a hierarchy of items and set budget goals for individual items. Surprisingly some things that (at first) I thought were very important slowly made their way down the list once I started working out costs.

My goal budget: $3000.00.

Or as close as I can get. This doesn't include plane tickets but our accommodation will be free as we will be staying with relatives. Now to get into the nitty gritty...

The Top Items

Church: $150
Reception/catering: $800
Wedding Party Gifts: $400
Rings: $200
Invites/Programs: $200
Rehearsal Dinner: $300
Marriage Prep Course: $150
Dress/Tux: $500 - DIY dress (possible one from etsy if my mom has her way)

Total: $2700

These are rough estimates done with research. I know these aren't the hard numbers but they are a starting point and being painfully over-prepared we are shooting to save $5000 to cover plane tickets and any fluctuations or additional costs that may crop up.

The Bottom Items

Flowers - Bulk of one flower and DIY bouquets/bountineers
Hair/Make up - DIY
Decor - DIY using nature: boughs, wildflowers, pine cones, logs (all easily accessible in Newfoundland)
Photography - Sadly, I could not make this fit in the budget. Hello, random relative?
Cake - DIY
Music - My ipod?
Favours - haven't decided yet!

As I went through my hierarchy of items, I challenged myself to find cheaper alternatives for the less important things. I will talk more about how I plan to keep these costs down as I go along. I didn't include any costs in the bottom section as I am going to try and work it into my leftover $300. It looks impossible I know! Anyone have any tips?


  1. No photographer?! Oh that makes me so sad. However, I understand the needs to save all those pennies.

    I wish I could help out! If only I was in NL haha. However, with your natural backgrounds, it'll be hard NOT to get good photos ;).

    1. I know! So sad but I couldn't justify paying 41% of the budget on one thing. I was crunching numbers ;) are you suuuuure you wont be passing through NL next summer? haha

    2. haha, well i'll definitely be back in canada! (more on that to come soon). i'll definitely let you know if i have any plans to visit in and around that time - wouldn't that be something? lol

      in the mean time, if you find yourself near toronto, holllerrrrr :) x

  2. I admire the way you are so organised, Shy! I bet it is going to be a beautiful wedding!

    1. I have a bit of an organized obsession!

  3. I hope one of your friends or family members is a good photographer so you can still have some lovely pictures of your wedding :) I haven't looked into photography yet, but I know that'll be the biggest expense!

    1. It was so discouraging to see how expensive it is but I have to keep reminding myself the day isn't about hoe many gorgeous photos I can get, it's about love!

    2. Being thrifty and organised are very admirable traits!
      And I can't agree with you more... it's not about the decor and how pretty it looks in the pictures. It's about you, your partner.. love <3

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  5. wow you are so organised. i never thought wedding could be possible in $3000? Just curious; how many people do you plan to invite?
    {i guess you already heard about big fat indian weddings; i have seen many. but even small weddings have 200-300 close people from both sides}.
    i am looking forward to more of your wedding budget posts.
    PS - congratulations. ❤❤❤

    1. oh my! I don't even know 200 people! ha! It will be mini by Indian wedding standards with only 60-80 people!

  6. All the power to you to do a very inexpensive wedding! As it truly is about the love and the people you are sharing the celebration with!

    My wedding was just under $3000! (With the biggest expense being the venue @ $1000)
    My family did the catering (gift), cake was a gift, didn't have a photographer (I got my Dad to take most of the photos - he's not a bad photographer), minister told me his services were a gift from God, rings weren't that expensive and decorations were mostly from the dollar store (scored on finding some floating diamond shaped candles), flowers were DIY as well. I wouldn't have done it any different!

    Good luck with everything! :)

  7. I think it is a good thing you are so well organized! a wedding under $3000 sounds like really difficult! I know some people who have spent almost 20,000€! crazy right??

  8. Hey there! I'm new to your blog (wow - gorgeous photos!) and I was instantly drawn into this "wedding thoughts" tag, so I poked around. We just got married on October 4th. You have such a lovely plan here! Don't change it :) I love the fact that you are making your own dress (just read that one).
    We kept our budget really low (shot for 3,000 - but knew that we would end up somewhere around 4,000 just due to mishaps and gratuity for the caterer) We got married at a state park so the venue was inexpensive, but gorgeous because it was peak foliage season in the Northeast US. We aren't big on all the little knick-knacks, flowers, etc. we wanted our friends and family (about 74 of them) to just enjoy each others company instead of focusing on things like decorations, which really weren't important to us. We put out a sign saying that in lieu of traditional decorations, flowers, and favors we would be making our first donations as a married couple to the American Heart Association and the Humane Society shelter where we adopted our dog. I was a little nervous going into to the day because of nay-sayers thinking we couldn't pull off such a casual event for our wedding, but it was a huge hit and lots of people told us it was the best wedding they had been to in years! Turns out all you really need to give people is good music, good beer (and wine), and some BBQ in order to throw a really great party!

    One tip on the photographer: search around for an up and coming photographer, maybe someone who has never even shot a wedding. Photos weren't too important to us, but we at least wanted an 'outsider' there to be able to take large family photos. She was great and a heck of a lot cheaper than others. At one point we just felt like we couldn't have any more pictures taken of ourselves, so we offered up some family shots to our guests. They will make for great Christmas gifts!

    Good luck to you :) Remember to enjoy it and keep everything in line with your values because it can spin rapidly out of control with the advice of others.


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