Our Wedding Budget Breakdown

The wedding budget.  Something everyone has to set, but something that everyone hates.  When we were planning our wedding, I couldn’t find anything to let me know how I was doing with our wedding budget.  I didn’t know what the right price for flowers was, if my dress was too expensive, alteration costs, decor.

The wedding budget is one of the most stressful things to talk about and remember during your wedding planning.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  Weddings are expensive, and I want to lay out our wedding budget for you to see and compare to yours.  Your wedding won’t look or feel like ours (and that is a good thing), but it can give you a good idea of what each section included and how much it all cost.

As you are planning your wedding, figure out what is important to both of you as a couple.  Hold on to that and let your wedding reflect that.


Photography and videography were very important to us.  So much so that we paid for that ourselves.  We took it out of the budget and set that money aside.  This allowed us to use our budgeted money on everything else for our wedding.

We also wanted a venue that let people stay there as well as hold the ceremony and reception, but we didn’t want a ballroom.  And we wanted it in the mountains.  Our options were fairly limited, but we still found what we wanted.  All of this to say that you can find things in your budget, you just have to look for them.

Our photographer was $4,000.
Our videographer was $4,300 (this included the travel expenses and rooms).


My father paid for the wedding.  This is fairly customary in the South and it was something I knew he would do many many years ago.

He gave us $25,000 for our wedding budget.

Jason Hales Photography Wedding Collage


Venue (The Majority of the Budget):

This is where the majority of your budget will go, so keep that in mind.

The pier that we got married on had a site fee of $1,500.
The lawn that our reception was on had a site fee of $750.

$105/pp.  This might sound like a lot, but it included almost everything.  Food, alcohol, tables, base chairs, linens, anything for the tables, wedding coordinator, our room for 3 nights, champagne toasts, cake cutting, and small decor items.

For the 85 adults we had, this came to $8,925.  We had 15 kids, and they ranged between $35-$65/pp depending on their age.  For simplicity, I am going to say that all 15 kids were $65.  The total for kids is $975.  You can save money by finding a venue that lets you bring alcohol in yourself, but we couldn’t find that.  This number does not include the taxes and fees attached to our venue.  They took a 21% gratuity which adds up to $2,079.  The 7% tax is $673.

$25,000 – $1,500 – $750 – $8,925 -$975 – $2,079 – $673 = $10,098 left.


Flowers weren’t really important to me.  I didn’t think it necessary to spend a ton on them because we were paying for an incredible view.  But I wanted a bouquet, and we needed flowers for the table decorations, so we had to find a florist who could do it all for us.  And we found her.  She was fantastic.

Wedding Flowers by Moore's Florist in NC.

Wedding Centerpieces

Our floral budget was $1,900.  This included all the bouquets, boutonnieres (groom, officiant, and dad’s along with the mom and grandmother corsages) and table decorations.  We used the bridesmaids bouquets as the head table flowers.

$10,098 – $1,900 = $8,198 left.

Chivari Chairs:

The chairs that came with the venue weren’t pretty.  They wouldn’t have looked right outside, so we chose to pay to upgrade the guest chairs.  Because we got a package with our venue, the cost was only $2/per chair + $300 delivery fee.  We ordered 100 chairs.

$8,970 – $500 (2*100 + $300) = $7,698 left.


We felt like the DJ could either make or break our wedding.  I’m sure you have been to a wedding and the DJ sucked the life out of it.  We didn’t want that and we didn’t want him to play any of the clique songs.  And he didn’t.

We paid $2,200.  This price included uplighting as well as the lighting for the dance floor.

$8,470 – $2,200 = $5,498 left.


I only really cared about what the cake looked like.  Jeremy cared about what it tasted like, so we spent time doing research to make sure that our cake tasted great.  And the baker we chose did just that!  By the way, did you know that 2 of our layers of cake are fake?  Yep!  She created 2 dummy layers and we only had 1 layer of real cake.  Also, those flowers are fake too.

Rustic Wedding Cake

Our cake was $550.

$6,270 – $550 = $4,948 left.

The Farmhouse Tables and Chairs:

These were a sort of last minute addition to our wedding.  I knew I wanted a head table that was in the middle of the other tables and one that let people sit on both sides.  The tables that the venue has couldn’t accommodate us for our requirements, so we rented these.  I loved everything about the look of these tables and chairs.

The price included 4 farmhouse tables and 20 matching chairs.  The total was $1,200 which included delivery.

$4,948 – $1,200 = $3,748 left.


I don’t actually have the breakdown of what we paid for all of our decor.  I am sort of lumping a bunch of the other things in here that we paid for as well.  I am including all of the lanterns for the tables, the bridal party gifts, the wish lanterns, all the printed paper products, the signs, the guestbook and frame, and any other things that were purchased.  I’m lumping all of this stuff together because I don’t remember how much all of it was (we were engaged almost 2 years).  If you want more of a breakdown of this section, let me know.

wedding day decor lanterns

All in all, we spent around $1,648 on decor and miscellaneous items.

$3,748 – $1,648 = $2,100 left.

We had $2,100 left from our final budget.  So we did it and came in under budget!  YAH!

Our Vendors:

Ceremony and Reception Venue – The Ridges Resort and Marina
Photography – Jason Hales Photography
Videography – Kimberly K Cinema
Florist – Moore’s Florist
Cake – Cakelady
DJ – Lethal Rhythms
Farmhouse Tables and Chairs – Classic Party Rentals
Beaded Bridal Belt – Elegance by Kate
Bride and Bridesmaid Robes – Silk and More
Brides Earrings – Sticks and Stones NY

No Bean Veggie Enchiladas

Living with a boy who has colitis flare-ups is really fun.  Who am I joking?  It’s never fun.  When he does have a flare-up, we try to limit certain foods from the menu.  One of the worst offenders for him is beans.

I wanted to make something delicious for dinner but we needed to modify it to help with his flare-up symptoms.  I decided to create an enchiladas recipe that was without beans, but would still be incredibly filling.  To add beans back into this recipe is very simple…just add them near the end.

No Bean Veggie Enchiladas | Packed with veggies including mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and more.  Delicious alternative to a meaty enchilada

I love how customizable this recipe can be.  You really can add or take out anything you want to suit your needs/preferences.

The list of ingredients are fairly inexpensive.  I love when I can buy almost all of the ingredients in the produce section.  That makes my heart and belly happy!

The ingredients for the veggie enchiladas

This recipe is easy once you chop up everything.  I started by chopping the peppers and the zucchini and squash.  I put these aside and then I chopped the onion and got the garlic ready to go.  Lastly, I got the spinach and mushrooms ready to go.

Chopped veggies for the veggie enchiladas.  A red pepper, a green pepper, and a yellow pepper, plus squash and zucchini

Add the chopped onion and the garlic with 1 Tb olive oil.  Cook these until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Cook the onions with the garlic and olive oil.

Once the onions and garlic is cooked, add the peppers and the zucchini and squash.  If aren’t sure, add the things you chopped first.  Cook these until the veggies are soft, about 5-8 minutes.  Stir pretty consistently if you can while the veggies are cooking.

Cook the veggies in the skillet for the veggie enchiladas

After the veggies are soft and cooked, it’s time to add the drained tomatoes.  Cook these for about 2 minutes, then add in the spinach and the mushrooms.  I wait to add the mushrooms because I don’t like them overly mushy.  If you like mushy mushrooms, you can add these with the peppers.  I just personally don’t like mushy mushrooms, so I add them last.

You want to cook the mushrooms and spinach until the spinach is wilted.

Add the spinach and the mushrooms to the veggies.

It’s time to assemble your enchiladas.  Take the tortillas and stuff them with your delicious veggie mixture.  Once they are stuffed, roll them into enchiladas and place them in a sprayed baking dish.

Once you have them all in the baking dish, add the enchilada sauce.  I used 1 1/2 cans of it for ours.  Once you have the enchilada sauce all over your yummy dinner, add the cheese on top.

Next, it’s time to place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese melts.

The end result will be some delicious enchiladas.

No Bean Veggie Enchiladas | Chits & Giggles Blog

Filed Under: Recipes

March 2015 Goals

I was a little nervous about the goals that I set for February.  I thought that they were attainable, but I hadn’t checked these goals until yesterday.  Oops!  Let’s recap the goals I set in February and see how I did.

Personal Goals:

  1. Continue to practice watercoloring.  I haven’t unpacked my watercoloring set since the last time I did it – a month ago.  I obviously failed at this goal.
  2. Cook dinner at least 3 times a week all month long.  I think I did well with this goal.  I believe there was a week that I didn’t do too well, but I still think I cooked dinner 3 times a week.
  3. Finally get our guestbook hung with 2 large pictures.  Once we started looking at our wall and our guestbook, we are changing things up.  I think we will be getting one 30×40 print to hang on our wall instead and we will put the guestbook up some place else.
  4. Keep the 2nd bathroom clean.  Oh man.  We did so well for like a week.  And then slowly, it just started to get cluttered again.

Blog Goals:

  1. Continue with the blog consultations.  These have been going strong and I love it.  I absolutely love the consultations…they are so much fun!
  2. Continue with the Small Blog Mentor Program.  This has also been going strong this past month.  Notice those 2 lovely ladies on my sidebar?  They will be with me another month and I can’t wait to keep working with them to help their blogs grow.
  3. Work on writing posts on the weekends.  I have been surprisingly good about this.  I am ahead on posts and I have been really utilizing my editorial calendar from CoSchedule to help me visualize posts.  I have a bunch of things in drafts right now – some are just ideas and some are finished posts.  I have never been this organized with blogging, but I am loving the freedom it allows me.

Now it’s time for March’s goals:

March 2015 Goals

Personal Goals:

  1. Practice watercolor.  I really need to focus on practicing more this month.  It’s much like photography in that you need to practice it to really get your mind around it.  I plan on really being intentional and painting more this month.
  2. Buy the 30×40 frame and order the print.  We have been chatting with our photographer about getting a print done, so he knows we want one (and it’s not too expensive).  We also know what picture we want – it’s one from our wedding but it’s not of us – which is half the battle.  We also know where we are buying the frame, we just need to go and do it.
  3. Start thinking about getting that gallery wall up on the stairs (finally).  This one is hard because it’s hard to visualize what you want it to look like.  But I want to start getting things together (like my Harry Potter wand) and figuring out what we want to put up there.

Blog Goals:

  1. Yesterday, I launched the Chits & Giggles Monthly Newsletter.  As scary as that was (and it still is), I am so excited for this venture.  I want to make sure that I come up with topics each month to talk about – and that you guys want to hear about.  If there is something blog related that you want covered, please let me know!
  2. Come up with a consistent posting schedule.  I have been writing between 4-5 posts a week.  I am getting a little burnt out (not hugely, but it’s a lot).  I will probably be changing things up in the coming weeks to post less, but to post better content.

What are your goals this month?

Things I’m grateful for right now

I haven’t done a Gratitude post in a few months and I have been having an urge to share these things I’m grateful for.

Gratitude Volume 3

I am grateful that we are almost out of debt.

We have been on a plan to get out of debt since our wedding (no, we did not go in to debt for our wedding).  We accumulated debt together after we got engaged and we are finally almost out of it.  It’s not that we couldn’t have paid it down, we just chose not to until after our wedding so that we could have plenty of money to pay for things wedding related.

I am happy to report that we are almost there.  A few more months and we will be debt free.  Then we can start saving for our house that we have been dreaming about.  It’s exciting to start dreaming and planning for our future.

I am grateful that my husband supports my blog.

So, I was making dinner last night and I had planned on blogging about my recipe.  Jeremy took pictures for me of me while I was cooking.  I loved that he picked up the camera and took the pictures even if they didn’t make the post.  He was really trying to get some good shots of me stirring or chopping.

The fact that he wanted to help me and jumped on in was so endearing.  I love this man!

I am grateful that I get to help plan the birthday party for my grandmother.  She turns 90 this year.

We still have so much to work through, but I am so happy to be planning this birthday party for her.  She deserves it (she lived through the Depression, her husband in 2 wars, and countless other things).  She is such a wonderful person and I am so lucky to call her my grandmother.  She is still a spitfire at almost 90…she read a poem at our wedding for goodness sake!

What are you grateful for?