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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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« What My Money Bought, Part II | Main | You Are A Baby Gazelle. »

What My Money Bought, Part I

So after I posted my budget recap yesterday I started thinking about what the recap might mean to someone who is just getting started in their budgeting and planning process. Not much, right? I got several emails requesting the Mother of All Spreadsheets and a few brides who mentioned pricing differences in certain locations as well as not understanding how much to pay for what. It can be super-confusing, I know. 

So I thought, why not show you what my money got me? It will help those new brides put a dollar value on some things and allow me to show off my wedding some more. That's right, ten months later. Because y'all know how fucking narcissistic I am about my wedding by now, right? I mean, how long has it been since I've shown pictures from my wedding? Like a month? Maybe two. Maybe even longer? *GASP* *SWOON* Say it isn't so. 

There are a ton of budget wedding features out there that note certain things brides got for free. Um, OK. So if your FMIL paid for your alcohol, your wedding DID NOT cost $5000. You wedding cost $5000 PLUS THE COST OF LIQUOR. Five thousand dollars is what it cost YOU. I hate that. I mean, it simply doesn't give a very accurate cost/value of a wedding. Now, I'm all for freebies, don't get me wrong. But just to let you know, we didn't get anything for free, EXCEPT for my chargers, my purse and $500 cash. Other than that, we paid for every single thing on our own. So no hidden costs, this is the real deal.

OK, so here we go. Here's the monetary/goodies recap. I'll go in the same order as yesterday. 

Ceremony (church & officiant)  $480


Small Southern, all-denomination-accepting church and super-cool officiant. You get the keys to the church a week before the wedding.


Attire (dress, shoes, jewelry, hair toy, veil, boob insert thingies, lace thong, shrug, alterations)  $2,222.01

Yesterday the total was $2132.01. I realized I forgot to add in the cost of my shrug.  

The gown is Mikaella and the shrug was from Etsy. Jewelry I had specially made overseas for cheap (except the ring, it used to by my mother's), shoes I got in Hong Kong and changed the bling on. The purse was a gift and I made my veil and hair toys. 


Reception $7,222.42

Cost got us an all-house access on a Sunday (HALF the cost of the same on a Friday or Saturday), a cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvre, sit-down dinner and open bar for 77 people. Because I had under-estimated the total cost and actually would not have met the house minimum, the manager opened the bar for us. He did NOT have to do that as I had provided the wine for the beer/wine only bar and had signed a contract stating so. Not everyone realized the bar was open, but lots did and I think everyone enjoyed themselves regardless of the beverages they chose! The cost also included my DIY favors.


Photography $2,100

The most awesome Nashville Photographers ever, Jonathon Campbell Photography.

This shot of this great couple is by another awesome Nashville team, Phiny Studios. 

Cost was inclusive of an all-day presence at the wedding, copies of all pictures on CDs and an engagement shoot. It also includes their wonderful, attentive style and long-standing friendship. Please note that I did have a 25% off coupon from them and their prices have definitely gone up. 'Cuz they're good, yo.


Music & Entertainment $910

Please don't hire her. You get what you pay for. And a little bit more would have been FINE. This cost also included our wedding guitarist. He was a solo dude, showed up on time, played exactly what we wanted and how we wanted and that was it. 'Nuff said.He rocked - Rob Higginbotham. Hire him. But dont' hire HER.


Invites and Paper Goods $295.74

This cost included the invites (which I couldn't find a picture of, but they are a Bride's brand pocket fold style from Michael's). I bought the matching ceremony programs, menu cards and place cards. I did all my own printing. I bought almost everything at once and used a 25% off coupon. FYI - you can find the 25% off your TOTAL purchase coupons in every issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. I think they last like 3 months. Check your back issues!


Rehearsal Dinner $150

The Park Cafe is a really nice, small and quiet restaurant that was romantic and PERFECT for us. The Candyman and I had been running around separately for days before the weddings and this chance to be quiet and alone together was outstanding.It was super-yummy too.

There you have it so far! I'll finish up the rest of the details tomorrow. So, does this help? Does it give you a perspective on anything? Give me your feedback!

All wedding and engagment photos taken by Jonathon Campbell Photography!



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Reader Comments (7)

Great post, L! Um, I think you have one too many "2's" in your reception cost ;)

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Spoon

@LIttleSpoon! Bahaha! What a reception that would have been, huh?? Thanks for the heads up. It's fixed.

August 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Immensely useful, thanks for this post!

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTran

Wow. I am kicking myself for having been so low cost because we seriously rocked it : ) Our starting package is now $2200 for coverage only. Prices will be going up again very soon.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Yeah, that's helpful. After your post yesterday, I ended up going through some of your recaps looking for what you had done. :)

On a related note, could you make a category or tag for your recaps? They were a bit hard to find because they were interspersed with other posts.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

@Elaine - I'll try to go back and tag recaps. I had no idea people actually used them!

@Sharon - hell yeah you rocked it.

August 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Soooo helpful. Loving all your budget recaps.

August 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

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