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Running the Numbers


THE ORIGINAL BUDGET: $15,000


The Couple: Stefanie Seamens (musical-theater actress) and Daniel Lee Robbins (musical-theater actor and catering captain)
Wedding Date: August 10, 2009
Location: The Foundry, Long Island City

The Goal
Our theme was gourmet picnic; we wanted a casual, comfy, down-home vibe and a giant, kick-ass party.

The Dress
S: I’m from Portland, Oregon, where there’s no sales tax, so I got my dress there: a mermaid style with an antique feel and layers of lace, by Rivini. My original budget was $1,000, but I ended up spending $5,000.
D: I bought my suit at Daffy’s; it was $140. I had set a budget of $1,000.
Some of What They Paid: $5,140


The Venue
D: The Foundry was a great setting because you can make the space into whatever you want (around $4,500, including use of the terrace). The picnic theme ended up saving us a lot; our rental costs were $1,200. Stef’s mom made the table linens, and we had about 300 votives and tons of globe lights that we got on clearance at Target.
Some of What They Paid: $5,700

The Food & Liquor
D: We didn’t want a sit-down dinner. We had comfort food—mac and cheese, ribs—out and available all night. Since I work for a catering company, our food cost only $25 per person. The staff donated their time, so that was a huge savings. We had beer and wine, plus a drink like an Arnold Palmer ($184 for a keg and four cases of beer; $600 for three cases of wine, vodka, and some Champagne).
Some of What They Paid: $2,784

The Flowers
S: Flowers weren’t as important to us. I think we spent about $1,200, and that included labor. We had bouquets for the four bridesmaids and me, boutonnieres for the five groomsmen and Dan, and simple centerpieces in Mason jars, which we bought to go with the picnic theme. ).
Some of What They Paid: $1,200

The Photographer
S: Aaron Almendral was very reasonable—$1,000. He works without an assistant, which meant big savings.
Some of What They Paid: $1,000

Where Else They Saved
S: I did my own hair and makeup; after years of shows, I know how. We saved by having our wedding on a Monday; our friends could attend, since most theaters are dark then. Stationery was another big savings. A family friend has a printing company and gave us all the materials—save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you cards, and programs.


THE ACTUAL COST: $22,000

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