Wedding Budget - How we did ours for less than €15,000!

Our wedding budget. Or, how to plan a wedding for under €15,000.

I’ll start off by saying this wedding budget and our wedding day is very niche and may only interest you if you’re open to going completely non-traditional and have a very relaxed attitude to the “most important day of your life”. Sure, it’s up there, but it’s only one day lads Controversial? Maybe. ;)

I will also say, that yes, I am in the wedding business so of course I will have built-up relationships with suppliers. Suppliers who were very generous with their time and offerings for our day (this would be the case in most work environments I would hope!) However, if I were not in this industry, I still would have done things a certain way, so I will share the alternatives we would have chosen within our wedding budget.

Wedding Day dreams...

I have never been one of those people who dreams of their wedding day. Obviously, marriage passed through my mind from time to time but not the “big day”. Certainly not of a wedding budget!

I‘m not a fan of being the centre of attention, I’m also not into big crowds and on top of all that, I’m a massive introvert... so, it just wasn’t a thing for me!

Then... I met Tom. Seven months later we were engaged and thirteen after that, married! It really was that quick!

As someone who’s been involved in almost 300 weddings of all sizes and types, when we did sit down to plan our wedding budget out, I still had a very good idea of what I wanted and, more importantly, what I definitely didn’t want!

So the following is a rough breakdown of what we did. The when, the how, the why - everything.

Our day, a timeline:

Monday 2nd October 2017

1:00pm: Spiritualist ceremony in Peruke & Periwig - 23 people (inc. Myself, Tom and our photographers, Emma & Pete)
2:30pm: Speeches
3:00pm: Dinner
5:30pm: Party in Fallon & Byrne - 85 guests
6:00pm: Mock ceremony and speeches
Party the rest of the evening!

Let's start off with the most expensive part of our *budget and work down shall we?
(*these prices are not to the penny but are super close!)

Fallon & Byrne:
Total cost- Approx : €3,360

We catered for 100 people and around 85 showed up. We had plattered food and prosecco with lots of mini burgers, mini pizzas, etc etc. I heard there was plenty of food ;) I had one mini pizza that evening! What was great as well was, that because we got married on a Monday, this meant that at the time, room hire was free.

This was FANTASTIC. They were amazing on the day, Ciara and her team were on the ball and looked after us really well.

Total cost - Approx : €3,000 (Covered - Photography/flights/accommodation for two people)

This was the first priority on our list, we had it booked the week after our engagement. Photography is all we have left after weddings so why wouldn’t we spend a fair chunk on it?! Emma & Pete did an amazing job and we will forever be grateful to them for giving us back our memories of the day. And that's what it's all about at the end of the day.

Peruke & Periwig:
Total cost - Approx: €1120

Now, as anyone who follows me on Instagram can attest, know how much we love this place. I’d been going there a couple of years before I introduced Tom to a "Back in Black" ;) When playing with ideas for venues, we thought, why not ask them if we can just get married there? The food is great, their cocktails are AMAZING and the place has beautiful decor already and didn’t need to be kitted out.

Luckily for us, they said yes. We’d known most of the staff well enough at that point so we felt comfortable there, which was a huge factor for the day. Knowing all the vendors made it feel like all the better. The lads did an amazing job. Again, as it was a Monday, there was no room charge at the time.

My Dress:
Total cost - Approx: €1040

I stumbled across my dress in Town Bride, in the Powerscourt shopping centre. I had initially bought a white dress online for €100 and was convinced I’d wear it.

When I walked into Town Bride with some friends, we were all drawn to a blush coloured dress in the sample sale. I tried it on, and a few days later went back and bought it. It was €900 and I then had it tailored for €140. I still like my dress, I know I could have spent less on one but I felt like splurging a little. :)

Rings by Chupi:
Total cost - Approx: €1000

This, I left to Tom, and trusted he'd organise something nice for our wedding bands and he did not disappoint! I've been a fan of Chupi's for several years, even having some of her other signature rings in my collection already. So, to have her rings as our wedding bands was a nice touch from Tom.

Hotel Accommodation:
Total cost - Approx: €950

We chose to stay in The Central Hotel, beside Fallon & Byrne. Mostly for convenience, but the rooms were comfy and a welcome place to rest our heads after dancing all night!

Celebrant - Tom Farrell:
Total cost - Approx: €465

Tom was such a calming influence on the day. Having worked with him several times at weddings myself and seeing him with couples first-hand, I knew he would be the right one for us. His gentle nature and guiding hand was very helpful in both the run up to the wedding and on the day itself. We had several people come to us after saying how much they enjoyed his ceremony! I cannot recommend him highly enough.

DJ - Emmett Baldwin:
Total cost - Approx: €450

Emmett was brilliant! He played from 5:30-1am, getting everyone on the dancefloor from first to last song. Great music was playing all night, covering every kind of genre. Walking into the room to Star Wars and having our first dance (Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship for those who're wondering!) were just some of the highlights to the party in Fallon & Byrne.

Tom’s suit:
Total cost - Approx: €290

Don't discount TK MAXX! Tom found his gorgeous, grey Herby Frog, 3-piece suit valued at €350 for €140 in the TK MAXX in Killarney. He only needed minor tailoring on his jacket & vest, but it ended up costing more than the suit itself at €150!

Shoes/head piece:
Total cost - Approx: €135

Jenny Packham - Debenhams.

A helping hand from industry friends...

Without going into in-depth detail of who provided what and for how much. I want to give a shout out to people who were so generous with their time and energy and thank them for helping add to our day!

In no order of preference, we had:

Video: 2 hours coverage of ceremony and speeches from Cathal Farrelly Video.

Cake: The Cake Cuppery

Hair: Joanne Kelly

Makeup: Elaine’s Beauty

Decor: Moss Cottage & Miscellaneous (Ikea)

Favours: Dublin Doughnut Company - They are no more! :(

Print suites: Self-designed and printing was gifted.

Flowers: Dasha Caffrey

For all of the above, we spent approx €2,500. But, what if I didn’t have these special friends in these places? I probably would have done a lot more diy, and scaled back on some things, such as with the flowers for Fallon & Byrne (not having a bridal party helped a lot with this), cake and decor.

I also have to give a special thank you to my friends Naomi & Jay from Dublin City Comics for organising the Darth Vader & Stormtrooper surprise for Tom at Fallon & Byrne! His face was priceless!

What did we do to save for our wedding budget?

We married on a Monday in October
We had no Bridal Party - this saved an absolute tonne! suits, dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, gifts, stress etc.
We only had dinner for 23 people
No Band, just a dj. (The dance floor was hopping all night)
No favours (for guests in Fallon & Byrne)
A lot of DIY - I made our sign designs and spray-painting the bottles ourselves.

How we could have saved more?

Not stayed in a hotel.
Not had the evening party (and by extension, not had the DJ etc) and just celebrated with the 23 people in Peruke & Periwig. These things alone would have saved us about €5,000 in total to bring our wedding budget to under €10,000! It can be done guys!

A do over? What would I change?

I would have definitely taken more time to celebrate the run up to the day and maybe have gone on a 10 day honeymoon to somewhere warm with cocktails ;)

Some final words...

I will end by saying that there are no hard and fast rules to what you do or do not want to do for your wedding. Guys, don't do something you feel uncomfortable doing. PLEASE! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do or make you feel bad about your choices. At the end of the day, it's your day and you deserve to enjoy it to the fullest! Stick to your own wedding budget, however that works out and you'll be happier for it!