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The Wedding-Spending Diaries


Illustrations by Omnivore  

MEDIUM–HIGH BUDGET: DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT PARTY FOR 85
After setting a $68,000 budget with her parents, the bride, 34, hired a planner “to cut down on my stress and time constraints,” she says. “The planner was also a buffer between me and my parents. My priorities were décor, music, and photography, but my parents really cared about the food.”

Venue: $0
Battery Gardens Restaurant (no site fee).

Planner: $7,500
In Any Event. “They helped us allocate our budget wisely.”

Wedding correspondence: $3,000
Alpine Creative Group. Included save-the-dates from PhotoCard-Creations.com($250); simple invitations on heavy card stock from Alpine Creative ($2,200); calligraphy by Invitations by Ana ($200), who also did the place cards ($250); programs from Custom-Programs.com ($250); and postage ($100).

Hair: $1,100
Corey Morris. Seven hours before the wedding; touch-ups for the ceremony. “He’s my regular hairdresser who at the time was at Sally Hershberger, and now he’s at Jason Croy Salon.”

Makeup: $1,200
Sandy Linter from the Kenneth Salon at the Waldorf Astoria. Included day of for the bride, as well as the makeup trial.

Officiant: $500
Rabbi Burt Siegel.

Ceremony, cocktail, and reception music: $9,000
Ronnie Gesser. Included a ceremony trio, a cocktail-hour trio, and an eight-piece band for the four-hour reception.

Wedding bands: $5,500
Gold Art LLC.

Bride’s attire: $8,050
Carolina Herrera dress from Saks Fifth Avenue ($6,000) plus alterations ($450), Pedro Garcia shoes from Zappos.com ($400), veil from Saks Fifth Avenue ($400), jewelry from Ten Thousand Things ($800).

Groom’s attire: $500
A previously owned tux; a new vest and tie from Barneys New York ($200), Hugo Boss shoes from Bloomingdale’s ($300).

Transportation: $1,000
Limores.net. Included black sedans to and from the reception for bride, groom, families, and wedding party.

Photography: $7,000
Cappy Hotchkiss. Included nine hours of photography, all proofs, an assistant photographer, and black-and-white and color film, as well as old-fashioned cameras for effect.

Videography: $3,000
Josh Hume. Included twelve hours of filming, plus the raw footage and three DVDs, each comprising a ten-minute short and a 45-minute edit.

Flowers: $6,020
Artfool. Included three bouquets, seven boutonnieres, a birch-branch chuppa with organza overlay, a moss-and-petal-strewn aisle runner for the ceremony; tree branches and candlelit bowls with floating orchids for cocktail hour; nine tall pear-branch and low orchid centerpieces; and a place-card-table centerpiece with cards hanging from the branches.

Catering: $26,000
(In-house.) Included eight passed hors d’oeuvre, six stations (cheese, vegetable, Mediterranean, carving, seviche, and pasta), a four-course dinner, an unlimited bar for cocktail hour and the sit-down dinner reception, a sorbet, a chocolate fountain, and cookies.

Cake: $1,500
April Reed. “I have allergies, so we had to find someone who didn’t use almond flour. We did, but it was pricier.”

Favors: $320
“My dad is famous for his chocolate-chip cookies, so we gave tins of them out to guests.”

Gift bags for out-of-town guests: $160

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