Real Bee Budgets: The High Wire’s Texas Garden Wedding

I thought I would squeeze in a budget post now that we have made our way through a good chunk of my recaps (tear!).

There were four groups that contributed to paying for our wedding. Mr. HW and I, my parents, my grandmother, and Mr. HW’s parents. Originally, I had assumed that each of those four parties would contribute about 1/4 of the total cost. However, my HW’s parents wound up contributing the most, hands down.

When we first started planning, I guessed that our wedding would cost somewhere around $15,000. I was wrong. I’ve had a hard time deciding whether or not to share this post because I’m a little embarrassed, but hopefully some others can relate to the lack of sticking to a budget.

So here’s the breakdown:

Date: September 24, 2011
City, State: Weatherford, Texas
# of Guests: 140

Wedding Day Costs

Ceremony Site Fees: $4,950 + $1,000 refundable security deposit (not included in final total)

Included: Ceremony at Rose Pavillion, reception at West Tent, tables, chairs, white linens, set-up, tear-down of those things (we were responsible for set-up/tear-down of everything else), alcohol service fee, venue coordinator on-site, 5 hour event time

Reception Site Fees: Ceremony/Reception were at the same venue, and included in figure above

Food/Drink: $3,774.36

Included: Dinner buffet, bartenders, serving staff, glassware, cutting/serving of wedding cake, tips

Alcohol: $650

Bridal Gown and Alterations: $324 for the gown, $290 alterations (hem, bustle, taken in, added straps)

Bridal Accessories: $15 veil (not worn), $100 shoes, $60 sash, $70 jewelry

Groom’s Attire: FREE! Deal offered with four groomsmen’s rentals

Stationery/Postage: $672.07 + $80 thank you gift for graphic designer

Included: Save-the-Dates, invitation suite, programs, stationery, thank you cards, logo, unlimited communication and drafts with graphic designer, printing costs, additional craft supplies (ex. golf pencils, wooden sticks), and postage

Photography: $2,850

Included an engagement session, wedding day coverage, photo booth, printing rights, travel fee, and three photographers (one owned the company, one was her assistant for the day, and one ran the photo booth)

Ceremony Music: $728.75

Included in DJ contract: 5 hours, ceremony microphones, speakers, music library, reception set-up, lighting, music, and MC services

Flowers: $1,167.00

Included: Bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere, toss bouquet, 2 junior bridesmaid bouquets, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 groomsmen boutonnieres, 2 mother’s corsages, 2 father boutonnieres, 3 grandmother pin-on’s, 3 grandfather boutonnieres, a minister boutonniere, 2 usher boutonnieres, 2 flower girl baskets with rose petals, 1 ring bearer boutonniere, 2 floral pieces for the Huppah, 20 table centerpieces with 2 sizes of mason jars with flowers

I spy a little bee in the photo above!

Rentals: $140 for delivery and set-up of linens

Cakes: $770.00 for wedding cake and groom’s cake, cake stands, and delivery

Favors: Candy bar, free. It was provided by the venue.

Included candy, jars, scoops, and to-go containers

Officiant: $450

Included: Rehearsal attendance, officiate at ceremony, mailed marriage certificate to city

Wedding Coordinator: $750

Included: Personal consultations leading up to the wedding, prepared wedding day time-line and checklist, confirmed all vendor services and set-up time of arrivals, unlimited e-mails and phone calls, rehearsal coordination, wedding day coordination


Hair: $160 for hair trial, wedding day styling on-site, travel fee

Make-up: $100 on make-up at M.A.C. (I did my own make-up on wedding day.)

Wedding Party Gifts: $750

Included: Monogrammed pocket knives for groomsmen, fathers, and ring bearer, monogrammed robes for bridesmaids, matching dolls for flower girls, sweater for junior bridesmaid, hardcover book for junior bridesmaid, individual personalized small gifts for each bridesmaid, mothers, my aunt, and my grandmother

Accomodations: $1,600, $350 deposit. I have included $300 of the $350 deposit in grand total because we caused some damage to the pool.

Included: 3 night’s stay at The Retreat at Clark Gardens for bride, groom, bridal party, Mr. HW’s parents, and two cousins, set-up and tear down of rehearsal dinner table and chairs

Transportation: Free. We used family members’ and Clark Gardens golf cart to move between guest house and venue.

Huppah: Free to us. It was handmade by FFIL. There were small amount of supplies purchased by in-laws (flower pots, concrete, shellac, fake moss). I’m not sure of the cost on those.

Ketubbah: $285 Ketubah, $66 for matting, $130 framing after the wedding

Miscellaneous: $180 in personal services (hair color, nails, waxing the week of the wedding), $500 decorative elements collected during engagement, $71 marriage license



All Inclusive Costs
Wedding Bands: $1,450

All photos above by Joy Neville Photography

Food and drink for everyone staying at guest house all weekend: $400

Rehearsal Dinner: $200

Honeymoon: ~$3,000 (Gift from Mr. HW’s parents) One week all-inclusive trip to Couples Negril in Negril, Jamaica.

Personal Photo


GRAND TOTAL: $27,033.18

Oh, only almost double when our original “budget” was. This was only possible because we had multiple people contributing and an extremely generous pair of in-laws that must love me a whole lot. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect to me (and Mr. HW was happy too!). My in-laws went way above and beyond, especially considering that the groom’s family traditionally isn’t responsible for paying for the wedding.

Did your wedding cost surprise you? Or were you adamant about sticking to a specific budget?

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