Actual Wedding Expenses

May 25, 2015
We can't ignore the fact that wedding costs are due to family pressure either from the groom or bride, pressure from peers, or even influence from social media such as Facebook or Pinterest, posting nice and magical wedding photos. But as practical as we are, we strive not to keep up with the latest wedding trends. After all,  wedding is not a competition.

A month ago prior to our church wedding ceremony, I shared our estimated wedding budget, detailing all the important things we had to pay and purchase, making certain we wouldn't exceed to our allocated budget. (Note: Some figures reflected there were exact amount we paid especially fees for the church, makeup, Eden resort's accommodation, and the wedding dresses, while the rest mentioned was just a rough estimate.)

Originally, we didn't want to spend more than 60,000 just for a single day. So Ronan and I had a long debate of who to invite, where is the venue, how much is the budget for photography, so on and so forth. Eventually,  we decided to have a smaller and simpler wedding. The simpler, the better.

Before I elaborate everything, let me share you our actual wedding cost, which was slightly higher than our estimated wedding budget. Note. Our wedding budget is neither loaned nor borrowed (We are proud of it!).

Details Pesos (1 dollar=44) 
Eden Accommodation (2 days) + Buffet (32 people) 25,378 $577
Virgin delos Remedios Fee 4,200 $95
St. Michael Chapel Rent 2,000 $45
St. Michael Choir  2,000 $45
Stipend 1,500 $34
Wedding Requirements 500 $11
Wedding Clothes Rent (second use) 8,800 $200
Makeup  7,000 $159
Photography  (shoot only) 6,000 $136
Bouquets and Flowers 3,000 $68
Eden Transportation (back and forth)  2,500 $57
Church Decor  2,581 $59
Shoes (6 people) 4,120 $94
Crucifix and Bible  750 $17
Postnup Suits 2,300 $52
Hair Color (Ronan and Me)  1,510 $34
Others 9,680 $224
Total Cost84, 569 $1922 

First, let's talk about our wedding venue. I genuinely love nature as much as my husband does. I told him if we could just find the right venue - quiet, intimate, and spectacular - then all else would fall into place. So we first agreed to have Eden Garden Resort as our wedding reception.

However, after calling them up, they said that the required minimum guests shouldn't be less than 100 persons. If we had chosen that option, our cost would have reached 100,000. Though that amount already includes foods for 690/pax, St. Michael Chapel fee for 12, 900, and the hall rent for 10,000. Hello, we were only 32 and didn't want to pay the excess amount. After making up our minds, we finally chose, still Eden, but this time, we only availed the accommodation (before and after the wedding) plus buffet during the wedding for 32 pax including the photographers and makeup artists. We had no choice but forget the reception, program, etc.

Second is hire a well-versed photographer. We were so completely happy with the outcome of our pictures. These didn't tell that we only had a low-budget wedding. We owed this from  King Perez, who happened to be Ronan's college friend. In fairness, his talent fee is the cheapest fee I know, considering how creative and professional he was during our wedding. I was unsure if he just gave a discounted price because first of all, he's a friend. But tell you what, photography and video would have cost you as much as 16,000 - 40, 000, depending on how long the shoot will be. We're just so lucky we have King! hehe

Third, take into consideration the wedding dresses. Initially, our budget for wedding dresses is  7,000. We first scouted at Wedding Bells, along Ecoland, to see the dresses and most importantly ask the cost. For the first user, the cost ranges from 25, 000 and beyond  (My eyes bulged a bit because it was outrageously high). While, second user's lowest rate ranges from 13,000, depending on the style. I told my husband, "let's go to some other boutiques to take chances and I believe we can dig a nicer gown there for a reasonable price". So our second route was Teresing boutique along Magallanes Street. Luckily,  we found for only 8,800 worth for the whole package already (bridal gown, groom's suit, entourage dresses, veil, cord, 3 flower girls ' baskets ), all are second used.

Fourth, don't be too thrifty when it comes to makeup. The groom and the bride are the main cast of the event so it's just right that you both look gorgeous. I think, 7,000 was just a fair professional fee asked by our makeup artists because it already included the whole entourage. By the way, don't you ever forget to get into pre-makeup from your preferred artists so they could study further what's the best makeup for you.

Fifth, the "Others" category was our prepared contingency fund, which was gradually spent for fare back and forth (brother and mother-in-law), snacks during errands,  foods the day before the wedding since we cooked our own foods at Eden, and a small "handa" in our house two days after the wedding prepared for friends and neighbors who had not been invited.


We did not pay for the wedding organizer. We did the planning ourselves, though it would entail effort, time and energy.  It took us 3 three months,  ironing out everything - from complying church wedding requirements, from scouting for venues and churches, from looking into the biggest details up to the tiniest. We save 20,000. 

We did not pay for cake. Since we didn't have a formal reception, (buffet is informal..hehe) we opted not to have it. We save 3,000. 

We did not buy wedding rings. We just reused the wedding rings worn during our first wedding (civil ceremony). We save 5,000 (Just an estimate).

We did not hire a florist. Our first preference was to hire someone to decorate the church but she asked 22, 000 for the floral arrangement and bouquets. NO WAY! Too expensive. So we made the ribbons and other decors ourselves for the church by watching the process from YouTube. (You see how useful Youtube is..) For our bouquets, hair dresses, and corsages, my aunt knew a florist from Bankerohan,  so we got a discount and just paid 3,000. We save 19,000. 

bride's maid bouquets

bridal's bouquet

DIY Church Decors

We did not pay for the wedding car. St. Michael chapel is just a few minutes away from the room where we stayed so we just rode in the resort's shuttle. It was incredibly a unique experience. We save 2,000. 

We did not include video shoot.  I'll tell you, the video would easily consume almost 1/4 to 1/2 of your budget so we already settled into a photo shoot. We save 10,000. 

We did not avail the reception for 100 guests.  The ultimate reason was our budget was too limited so it turned out to be a small wedding. We save 56, 920.  

We did not bother for giveaways.  Most of our guests haven't gone to Eden yet, so I guess that was the best giveaway we had given them - plus memories and experience. We save 3,200. (100 pesos/pax)

We did not buy wedding invitation cards.  Personal invitation by mouth just worked really fine. We save 1000. 

By now, you might have known that we are the most frugal couple in the history (haha). But you know what, we have saved P118, 120 (just re-compute na lng if I got it wrong..hehe). If we had chosen a fancier wedding, our wedding cost would have been more or less 200,000, which is usually the cost of modern wedding nowadays.

Let's keep in mind that happiness is not measured by the extravagance of the wedding, but it's how the couple wholeheartedly works out the marriage vow until the end of time. Additionally,  Pope Francis said,  a Christian marriage is not just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers, and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures.  Marriage is an act of faith between a man and woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them. (source)

How about you? How much did you spend on your wedding? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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