Bullshit-free bride: Budget breakdown

bullshit free bride nzmuse

I’m not going to have a final total for a few more days (heck, probably not until the day itself), but now is probably as good a time as any to check in.

Here’s what has been spent/is projected to be spent. As a refresher, this is for a casual 40-person BYO bash.

  • Dress – $300 (made by T’s mother)
  • Shoes – $30 (which I will probably get tomorrow)
  • Makeup – $0 (used a gift card to buy new eyeliner + lippy)
  • Flower girls’ dresses – $175 (this actually includes a few table covers, which were bought in the same transaction)
  • Suits for groom and his entourage – $725
  • Rings – $365 (though I didn’t actually end up liking mine, so will be just using my engagement ring)
  • Marriage licence – $123
  • Celebrant – $300
  • Venue -$322
  • Flowers – $135 (I’ve given in and ordered some bouquets online, so I have the option on the day. I think this is one of those battles where principle < hassle)
  • Photography – $1000
  • Catering (Malaysian food) – $775
  • Catering (Euro side, homemade) – estimating about $300
  • Cake (3x cheesecakes – sadly the Cheesecake Shop does not do giant cheesecakes) – $100
  • Miscellany such as napkins, disposable plates, cups, juice, etc – $100? Not sure… T’s mother is, thankfully, overseeing operations for us
  • Hotel – $185

So with any luck, we’ll squeak in at just under $5000.

Budget aside, I’m starting to freak out. While I really love all the choices made so far (except, maybe, the table covers we got, which are a bit rubbery and weird feeling – I wonder if I can find some nicer fabric coverings for cheap?) I’m starting to worry that I’m going to get judged for them.

I didn’t want a tall, elaborate cake – I wanted the kind of cake that I would fight you to the death over for the last piece.

I wanted to feel like myself on the day, so I’m literally doing my own makeup and not doing anything special with my hair.

I wanted a mix of cuisines, from my favourite dishes from my birth country to T’s mother’s potato salad, even if the end result may be a little wacky and incoherent.

I wanted a venue with character in spades, and I love the raw, grungy former wine cellar that’ll house our reception lunch (it even has GATES!) though I know most people probably won’t get it and may well think it’s less grotto, more grotty.

If I really dig into all this, I think what it comes down to is the fact that this event is ALL ME. I’ve picked out things I like and eliminated things I don’t. In many ways, it’s going to be a a bit of an anti-wedding (a lazy girl wedding?) and I’m just not sure everyone is going to appreciate that. And if they don’t, well, then they’re basically passing judgement on me by default.

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14 thoughts on “Bullshit-free bride: Budget breakdown

  • Reply anna May 2, 2013 at 09:16

    I love your catering selections! I don’t think loved ones would pass judgment (at least I hope they wouldn’t), but it’s YOUR wedding, and it sounds like you’ve created the perfect ambiance that’s all you. So as long as you’re enjoying yourself with your husband, that’s all that should matter. 🙂

  • Reply Michelle May 2, 2013 at 09:28

    Your food sounds yummy! My wedding will be all about food. I want EVERYTHING! 🙂 Cakes, pies, cupcakes, ice cream and of course meals too.

  • Reply Morgaine May 2, 2013 at 09:42

    Its normal to start to worry about what people will think about this or that. But in the end the only people’s opinions that matter are your own 🙂

    Sounds like it’ll be great to me!

  • Reply Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies May 2, 2013 at 09:43

    And that is precisely why we eloped. I didn’t trust my ability to say “I don’t care what you think this is my party” and not feel bad about it.
    If it’s any help, know that there are those of us who think your choices are great because they reflect you guys as a couple and wish you nothing but the best on the actual day (and beyond!)

  • Reply Charlie May 2, 2013 at 10:26

    I think your choices are great! Sounds like it’ll be a lovely, intimate affair. If I were to get married, that’s what I’d go for. Plus cheesecake over the usual wedding cake any day!

  • Reply Mo' Money Mo' Houses May 2, 2013 at 10:30

    Nice job! $5,000 is an awesome wedding budget! I’m so excited for you!!!

  • Reply Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce May 2, 2013 at 16:35

    A dress made by T’s mother sounds wonderful, and very meaningful. Congratulations, again!

  • Reply American Debt Project May 3, 2013 at 02:41

    It sounds beautiful 🙂 !! And it should be all about you and your groom, congrats to you guys and go have a blast that day!

  • Reply Tina @ My Shiny Pennies May 3, 2013 at 02:58

    We’re getting married in my future in laws’ backyard. Since we live 2000 miles away, I’m letting the mother-in-law take care of all the details. If people don’t appreciate it and judge me, oh well. The thing I’m most looking forward to is just being married, and there’s nothing that can take that excitement away.

  • Reply Stephanie May 3, 2013 at 07:07

    I’m guessing that with some creativity, it’s possible to not spend a lot of money and look awesome at your wedding and make people think that you spent a lot of money.

    Perhaps I am an oddball, but I judge people who spend a gazillion dollars on their wedding. It’s one day of your life and even though it’s special, it’s not worth the gazillion dollars that could make your future less uncertain. So no matter what you do, you will probably be judged, either by someone like me or by someone who is expecting extravagance. But the most important thing is that you and T are happy with it.

  • Reply Hayley May 4, 2013 at 00:57

    People will totally have opinions – but as long as it’s the perfect wedding for you and T, they don’t matter at all. Seriously. I think it’s normal to second guess your choices, but just keep in mind why you made them!

  • Reply Deia September 19, 2013 at 10:21

    Out of curiosity, are you of Chinese-Malaysian descent? If so, how traditional is your family? I’m asking because we spent 2-3 times your budget on our wedding, but made the amount all back (and more!) in those glorious, wonderful red envelopes full of money. (Before you ask, I’m Chinese-Indonesian.) 😀

    • Reply eemusings September 19, 2013 at 10:29

      Ethnically Chinese, born in Malaysia. Hubs is white. I am not sure how to rate our family on the traditional scale, but probably low. Small wedding – immediate family and close friends (40 people). We paid for the wedding ourselves. (Almost all my relatives live abroad outside of NZ.) It was exactly the kind of wedding I wanted!

      Love your story!

      • Reply Deia September 19, 2013 at 12:27

        We paid for the wedding ourselves too and didn’t expect to make a profit out of it (lol), but glad that we did, of course. We had about 60 people at ours. Small weddings are awesome. Hope all goes well with your wedding planning!

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