The Down and Dirty Facts - How much did it all cost??

Things we did ourselves (without professional services)
  • wedding invitations - friends and cousin helped
  • programs
  • ceremony flowers
  • all bouquets
  • hall decorations
  • our vows
  • our nails :-)
  • my veil
Things we got as gifts
  • my hair done (my friend Tina)
  • my makeup done (my cuz, Maria)
  • my sister's hair done (my friend Tina)
  • the ceremony minister (my friend, Anthony)
  • the cake (my brother bought us)
  • my headpiece (Linda's sister, Patty made it for me)
Things we did the less expensive way
  • believe it or not, getting my dress made for me was cheaper and more beautiful than anything I saw in the stores.  And they LAUGH at you when you tell them you need it in 4 months!
  • cocktail reception
  • DJ instead of a band
  • no limo



Custom made dress (I designed it but someone else made it) $195

Pants and sash for Joe $100

Shirt for Joe $60

Boots for Joe (he already had them) 0

Shoes for me $20

Veil, fingerlength, one layer $20

Headpiece (friend's sister made it) 0

Subtotal $395

Food and Drink

Cake (gift from my brother; otherwise, we wouldn't have had one) 0

Caterer (passed and stationary horsdeouvres) $4382

Liquor (due to confusion, price was less than expected) $275

Subtotal $4657


Hairdresser (she was a friend) 0

Makeup artist (she was my cousin) 0

Nails (we did ourselves) 0

Subtotal 0


Rental Charge (not the normal fee-usually $2000) $1500

Membership Fee $47

Clergy (he was a friend) 0

Subtotal $1547


Engagement ring (he won't tell me)
Earrings given to me by mother-in-law 


Bride's $275

Groom's $250

Subtotal $525


For 150 proofs $775

For lots of copies months after the wedding $595

For album (I'm doing it myself) $20

Subtotal $1390

Etc., Etc.

Guest Book $10

Bathroom baskets of toiletries $35

Gifts for Attendants and Groomsmen $210

Tips $160

Wedding night hotel room (not worth it) $250

Subtotal $665


Bride's and Attendants bouquets (we made them ourselves - fun!), 

and centerpiece flowers $115

Boutaneers for Groomsmen, flowers for the mothers $36

Ceremony flowers (from my mother's garden) 0

Centerpiece bowls ("borrowed" from my cousin's wedding) 0

Ribbons and tulle $15

Subtotal $166

Music $575

Transportation (we drove ourselves) 0


To have them done (my cousin and friends helped me) $120

Postage $60

Subtotal $180

TOTAL $10,100

Services used:

The Basil Tree   Somerville, MA 617-776-9100

AMAZING!! Excellent service and excellent food. I worked with Patrick who was very friendly and helpful - super nice guy! Helped bring the price down to our budget, and still had plenty of eclectic food for everyone. Had a tasting for us BEFORE we put any money down. This may sound strange, but many places want you to put down your deposit before you try their food! The Basil Tree gets HIGH recommendations from me.

Mr. Ed DJ     West Roxbury, MA 617-469-2925

Ed was a nice guy and even met us for lunch at my request, even though, apparently, it's usually not done. He had a good price, had worked at our venue, The Habitat, before, and had a good selection. One thing that wasn't perfect for us was that we wanted to have a list of songs for him to play and not take requests. We didn't want any bad music. He said he didn't feel comfortable turning guests away if they asked him to play something, so we gave him a bunch of songs to play instead of the entire play list. Not a huge deal, but something to consider if that's what you really want.

The Habitat    Belmont, MA 617-489-5050

Beautiful old house with a good-sized "getting-ready" room (the kid's room), and a fairly large dance/dining hall with french doors opening to one of the gardens. Very peaceful, lots of flowers, grass, and trees. Great for small to medium ceremonies.

Photographer - Bill McCormack

Very laid back, quiet guy with a dry sense of humor which we loved! He has a great artistic style and will do "typical" wedding poses as well as really unique photos. We let him go loose after the "required" photos, and we got some really great pics!

Clothes - The Fool's Mansion    Salem, MA  978-740-9595

I dealt with a seamstress there named Jackie who was such a doll, and EXTREMELY helpful.  She made Joe's sash the same material as my bodice, and sewed the veil onto my headpiece in minutes.  Hardly asked me anything at all about my scribbly drawing which was my dress idea, but gave great suggestions, then went to it!  They also made Joe's pants, and everything was ready when they said it would be.  They make a lot of gothic clothing (it IS in Salem, Massachusetts!), but they'll make anything you like.