At the beginning of the year I promised to share our broken down wedding budget. As our wedding was almost totally DIY we kept the total budget in 3,500.00 € almost same in U.S$. This task included sewing, baking, crafting, graphic design, borrowing and calling some favours. Our families paid about one third of total budget (drinks and food, part of the flowers, some ceremony expenses) and helped with organizing and crafting. Big thing was that we didn’t need to pay reception site as we had the party at Iida’s family home. You can find more money saving tips for weddings from this post.
The wedding budget
(Both currency units have right now almost similar value, so I didn’t change the sums. The difference is mere cents.)
Invitation and other paper goods
We designed the invitations by ourselves and used our left over printing credits at college to print most of them. The guest book was an old art book from an antiquarian. Envelopes were ordered as a bulk.
Almost all of the candles were from Ikea. There was some left overs.
Tip: If you buy tea lights make sure you have enough holders for them and remember they only burn few hours and don’t do well even in drizzling rain.
including 2 bridal bouquets, 5 floral headbands, 4 boutonnieres and selection of flowers from field
We bought our ceremony and reception site flowers from a flower farm, total sum was one hundred and the car was absolutely full of them. We picked them by ourselves from the field and used some leaves etc. from the reception site’s garden. We picked the flowers two days before and stored them in the big walk in cooler one day and assembled them the evening before the wedding. Flowers held well. Only thing I would do differently is that I would take five hours or more to assemble them and show lot’s of reference pictures to helping hands. For bouquets, boutonnieres and headbands we used local small florist shop my mother recommended. We asked for lots of green and different structures and natural shapes. The end result was beautiful and cheaper than we thought as most of the flowers were natural flowers which tend to be cheaper. Boutonnieres and the other bouquet could have been lot smaller and more frail looking but overall we were happy for them.
Reception site upgrades including hand towels, new curtains and a new lampshade
Iida did some small touching up at her family home before the party, mainly some paint, cleaning and updating the curtains. As the party was meant to happen in the garden and shed, we didn’t put too much effort to the insides. Iida’s dad took care some small items like hand soaps, air fresheners, mosquitoes repellers and hand disinfectants.
Food and drink including baked goods
We baked and cooked everything by ourselves and with the help of some friends and family. The menu was seasonal and vegetarian as Janina doesn’t eat meat. The meal was buffet based with hot soup and big salad table with baked bread. Our dessert buffet was huge! We had coffee and tea with three different kind of cakes, macarons, biscuits and cheese with home made rhubarb jam.
Cake decoration and assembly
Our cakes were so called naked cakes with minimum of frosting and layers of sponge cake, jam and whipped cream clearly visible. We baked them by ourselves and wanted them to suit the garden party and relaxed atmosphere. We used three stumps with round glass sheets as cake stands and the cakes were decorated with flowers from the garden. For cake topper we used two little porcelain figures which were gifts from friends. The main cake was assembled from a bigger bottom and a smaller top tier with the help of plastic tubes or pillars pushed inside the bottom tier to make sure the top tier had a stable place to lie on.
Sturdy paper ones for meal and more delicate ones for dessert and tea bought from the local department store.
Wedding day attires for two including make-up, hair products, perfumes, underwear, gift jewellery etc.
We decided quite early on that the wedding dresses would be self designed and made as we are both clothing designers. We had good stack of white silk already and some we purchased trough from our school.
The lace used in Janina’s dress was a lucky find from the Finnish fabric store chain. Most of Janina’s accessories were vintage pieces bought from Etsy shops.
Iida’s attire was more minimalistic and the few accessories were mainly finds from sales or chain stores.
We did our hair and make-up by ourselves to cut the costs and driving around during the celebration day. That way we also secured that we get what we want as we had very clear ideas about styling and didn’t really trust anyone else to deliver.
Rings including two golden wedding bands, one with small diamonds and other with a quartz, one golden engagement band modification with a saphire
In Finland the traditional way with the rings is to buy two plain golden bands as engagement rings for both spouses. Both of us have had similar looking white gold bands since 2009. For the wedding Janina’s engagement ring was modified according to her wedding band.
Janina’s wedding ring is a yellow gold vintage piece with ten small diamonds, it was quite inexpensive so we could afford to have engagement ring remade with a pale pink saphire. Iida’s wedding ring was purchased via Etsy from Tel Avi baced goldsmith Neta Wolpe. We highly recommend her! Wolpe also remade Janina’s engagement ring. Iida’s ring has a quartz as a stone, we intend to change the stone to diamond as a anniversary gift some day.
Wedding party gifts for five maids
Wedding party were given a white embroidered handkerchief and a small bottle of whiskey per person. All packaged into a brown paper bag sealed with golden sealing wax.
Gift and paid as trading services
It was very important for us to have great photographs of our wedding. We know few people from local top-notch photography studio Alias Studiot and got our wedding portraits as a gift. Our ceremony and reception photography we paid by trading services with amazing Petra Tiihonen from the Alias Studiot. We got great shoots and she gets a made to measure evening gown which is just few weeks to be done!
Total 3,330.0 €/$
and if we are forgetting something lets say 3,500.0 €/$
If you want to have money saving plan it takes about two years if you put away 145 €/$ per month or you can purchase wedding related things with that amount of money per month to keep in budget. I know we have been in an lucky situation to be able to do most of the design related tasks by ourselves. Every choice we made was deliberate right from the style and feeling of the wedding. If you want more tips how you can save money while still having your beautiful and lovely wedding day, check our post How we minimized our wedding budget.
Also if you want to know more about anything wedding related then drop us a line or few in the comments below.