Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Wedding-Spending Diaries

Illustrations by Omnivore  

The couple, both 29, wanted a high-end hotel wedding—but the bride’s parents wouldn’t allow for indulgences. “They wouldn’t pay for a chocolate fountain,” says the bride. “We saved money on transportation since everything was held in one spot.” Still, in the end, they underestimated how much their wedding would cost by a whopping $50,000.

Venue: $61,667
The Mandarin Oriental. Included eight passed hors d’oeuvre, two buffet stations during cocktail hour, and a three-course meal; top-shelf open bar, and a day-of wedding coordinator. “The Mandarin has a preferred list of vendors, but we didn’t use them.”

Wedding correspondence: $3,416.42
Full suite from Blue Tulip, including save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you cards; calligraphy by Esta Cohen ($348); and postage ($329.75).

Hair: $1,070
Devon Ross, a freelance stylist formerly of Avon, styled ten women. “Hiring a freelancer who doesn’t work for a salon was cheaper, because she charged per person rather than hourly and she came to our hotel suite.”

Makeup: $730
Damali, for five women. “They do lash extensions and are all Bobbi Brown–trained.”

Officiant: $400
(Name withheld.) “We’re interfaith, and it was hard to find someone who would do a Reform ceremony.”

Yarmulkes: $224.04
“My mom ordered them online from J. Levine. They had our names on them.”

Wedding bands: $4,300
The groom wore his grandfather’s ring, but “we engraved it and dipped it in platinum. I got mine from Gem World.”

Bride’s attire: $5,767.12
By Vera Wang ($4,867.12), with alterations ($300): “I got the veil for free and gave us a 10 percent discount on the bridesmaids dresses.” Shoes by Christian Louboutin ($600).

Groom’s attire: $300
Tie and vest from Saks Fifth Avenue ($300).

Photography and videography: $6,556.82
Brett Matthews. Included two photographers—one photojournalistic and the other for portraits—for ten hours, shooting in color and black-and-white; proofs; an album; and four copies of the DVD.

Flowers: $17,308.02
Atlas Florist. Mini calla lilies for the cocktail hour; twenty centerpieces of dogwood branches, bidium orchids, hydrangeas, and roses for the reception; bouquets; chuppa; and boutonnieres.

Music: $13,000
New York City Swing. Twelve-piece band for four and a half hours, including ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception music.

Wedding cake: $2,167.50
From Gail Watson.

Gift bags: $500

Wedding-party gifts: $4,000

*The itemized statements above do not necessarily add up to the total amount spent, and displayed, since these diaries largely reflect the cost of big-ticket expenses (venue, caterer, band, etc.) and do not always include smaller miscellaneous details.


Spot an error in a listing or want to suggest an update? Contact us.

New York Weddings issue app ad
Order the Weddings Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Spring 2017 Wedding issue

Order This Issue