Real Wedding Budgets of Minnesota Brides

Three Minnesota brides dish on every single wedding expense.
by Katerina Gkionis

It sounds easy -- 10 percent to flowers, 50 percent to catering -- but let's be real: There's no way you can plan each purchase down to the last cent! Here's what three Minnesota brides spent on their weddings and which pros they used to stick to their budgets.

Meagan Bottensek & Jeremiah Maanum

November 8 | Roseville | 225 guests

Their Budget: $29,593

Their Breakdown

Site $15,461, including catering and one night in the honeymoon suite. Radisson Hotel Roseville, Roseville, (651) 636-4567

Ceremony Accessories $38 for a ring pillow and $25 for champagne flutes. IDoandBabyToo.com/ThingsRemembered.com

Photography $2,150 for a photographer and an assistant for nine hours, an album and all images on disc. Agape Moments Photography, Oak Grove, AgapeMoments.net

Consultant $500 day-of coordination. Kirsten Fischer, Fab.You.Lous Event Design, FabYouLousEvents.com

Officiant $250. Judge Thomas G. Armstrong, TGArmstrong.com

Gown, alterations and accessories $1,585 for an Oleg Cassini dress, alterations, shoes, a garter and undergarments. David's Bridal, Roseville, (651) 697-1590

Hair and makeup $250 with trials. Amber Brenke, Smart & Chic Bride, Minneapolis, (612) 871-4482

Hair accessories $15 for a veil and $24 for a pair of shoe clips that Meagan made into a hair clip. Michaels.com/IDoandBabyToo!, Wayzata, (952) 476-0046

Jewelry $1,300 for the wedding rings and $35 for a necklace and earrings. Helzberg.com/GoodmanJeweler.com/Charter Club, Macys.com

Bridal party gifts $485 for jewelry, tote bags, sweets and reception shoes for the maids, personalized gifts for the groomsmen and three dresses for the flower girls. Target.com/Macys.com/NNichols.com/ FlowerGirlDressforLess.com/ThingsRemembered.com

Formalwear $149 for his tux and accessories. Men's Wearhouse, Coon Rapids, (763) 323-3335

Stationery $558 for invitations, programs and escort cards. Michaels.com/Target.com

Flowers $2,400 for 14 corsages, six bouquets, 17 boutonnieres, 14 centerpieces, three other arrangements and an aisle runner. Molly's Flower Studio, Minneapolis, (612) 770-0322

Rental equipment $1,350 for drapery, chair covers, table sashes and lighting. Jill Johnson, Wedding Day Designs, WedDayDesigns.com

Ceremony music $440 for two flautists and a cellist. Monarch Trio, MonarchTrio.com Reception music $685 for a DJ. Instant Request DJ, Bloomington, (952) 934-6110

Cake $898 for a five-tiered cake and $25 for a server. Queen of Cakes, Edina, (952) 942-7628/ ThingsRemembered.com

Favors $340 for a candy bar. TheKnot.com/Target.com/Amy's Classic Confections, Minneapolis, (612) 436-0016

Transportation $600 for a limo for two hours. Renee's Royal Valet, ReneesLimousines.com

Felicia Garney & Michael Orenstein

June 13 | Medina | 185 guests

Their Budget: $21,182

Their Breakdown

Site $11,800, including a catered brunch with beer, wine, juice and mimosas. Medina Golf and Country Club, Medina, (763) 478-4790

Photography and videograp hy $1,900 for two shooters for ten hours and five CDs/$0 for a relative to shoot and make videos. Barclay Horner, St. Paul, BarclayHorner.com

Officiant $0 for a friend to officiate.

Gown and Alterations $810 for a corset-top gown with beading and ruching and $50 for a friend to add a French bustle. Essence of Australia, Bridal Center, Plymouth, (651) 738-7488

Hair and makeup $160. Amber Brenke, Smart & Chic Bride, Minneapolis, (612) 871-4482

Hair accessories $15 for a DIY hair flower. Etsy.com/JoAnn.com

Shoes $65. David's Bridal, Maple Grove, (763) 494-3347

Wedding rings $752 for their white-gold bands. Bergstrom Jewelers, Minneapolis, (612) 332-0552

Bridal party gifts $600 for hair flowers and jewelry for the bridesmaids, bracelets and gift cards for the readers, ties and gift cards for the ushers and picture frames and gift cards for the groomsmen. Michaels.com/FusionBeads.com/Macys.com/WhiteAisle.com/TJMaxx.com/REI.com/ Borders.com/NYandCompany.com/BestBuy.com

Formalwear $30 for shoes and accessories. Savvi Formalwear, Minnetonka, (952) 546-0773

Stationery $215 for DIY invitations, programs, escort cards and a sign-in book. Paper Depot, Minneapolis, (612) 333-0512

Flowers $530 for four bouquets, four corsages, 11 boutonnieres and one arrangement, $25 for DIY arrangements and $80 for DIY centerpieces. "We borrowed the vases, candleholders and silver chargers, and a relative gave us four flowering plants." Molly's Flower Studio, Minnetonka, (612) 770-0322/Costco.com/Michaels.com

Rental equipment $400 for chair covers and sashes, a 20% discount for being referred by another bride and for putting the covers and sashes on themselves. Prestige Linens and Events, Vadnais Heights, (651) 395-1389

Ceremony music $75 for gifts for a friend to play guitar. TJMaxx.com/GanderMountain.com

Reception music $3,200 for a seven-piece band. George Faber & The Icons, St. Paul, (612) 927-4265

Dance lessons $90 to learn five different dances. Robbinsdale Community Education, New Hope, (763) 504-6999

Flowers $530 for four bouquets, four corsages, 11 boutonnieres and one arrangement, $25 for DIY arrangements and $80 for DIY centerpieces. "We borrowed the vases, candleholders and silver chargers, and a relative gave us four flowering plants." Molly's Flower Studio, Minnetonka, (612) 770-0322/Costco.com/Michaels.com

Rental equipment $400 for chair covers and sashes, a 20% discount for being referred by another bride and for putting the covers and sashes on themselves. Prestige Linens and Events, Vadnais Heights, (651) 395-1389

Ceremony music $75 for gifts for a friend to play guitar. TJMaxx.com/GanderMountain.com

Reception music $3,200 for a seven-piece band. George Faber & The Icons, St. Paul, (612) 927-4265

Dance lessons $90 to learn five different dances. Robbinsdale Community Education, New Hope, (763) 504-6999

Katie Van Thomme & Mike Wiegert

November 28 | Ramsey | 170 guests

Their Budget: $10,777

Their Breakdown

Ceremony site $600, including donation. Church of St. Stephen, Anoka, (763) 421-2471

Reception site $500. "They worked with our budget to give us a beautiful reception at a most reasonable price." The Links at Northfork, Ramsey, (763) 241-0506

Photography $500 for one shooter for four hours and four CDs. "We received a family discount." Cathy Brehm, Concept Photography, Ramsey, ConceptPhotoDesign.com

Gown $365 for a satin, A-line gown with a chapel-length train, beading and embroidery. David's Bridal, Maple Grove, (763) 494-3347

Alterations $120 to shorten it and alter the straps. Sew & Press, Anoka, (763) 323-3203

Hair and makeup $115. Simonson's Salon and Spa, Anoka, (763) 427-0761

Veil $14. Wilton, JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store, Maple Grove, (763) 416-0030

Hair accessories $3. "My mom found a silver hair clip at a garage sale!"

Shoes $45. David's Bridal, DavidsBridal.com

Wedding rings $1,200. Wedding Day Diamonds, Maple Grove, (763) 416-0245

Other jewelry $20 for a necklace and earrings set. Macy's, Bloomington, (952) 888-3333

Bridal party gifts $500 for personalized tote bags/emergency kits for the bridesmaids and personalized valet boxes for the groomsmen. LandsEnd.com/Target, Champlin, (763) 354-1006/ TheKnot.com

Formalwear $0 with the groomsmen's rentals. Savvi Formalwear, Maple Grove, (763) 493-0032

Stationery $120 for invitations and $15 for DIY escort cards and programs. Presto Graphics, Anoka, (763) 421-3422/JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store, Maple Grove, (763) 416-0030

Sign-in book $35. Shutterfly.com

Flowers $600 for bouquets, corsages and bouts/$200 for DIY centerpieces. Main Floral, Anoka, (763) 421-7411/JoAnn.com/Michaels.com

Catering $5,000 for plated meals, a late-night platter, one keg and wine service. Wells Catering, Ramsey, (763) 712-0987

Cocktail hour and ceremony music $600 for a DJ, a discount for booking at a bridal show. The DJ Pro, Champlin, (763) 422-4028

Cake $0 for a small cake and sheet cakes, gifts from guests. Byerly's, Maple Grove, (763) 416-1611/ Costco, Maple Grove, (763) 494-8050

Favors $125 for monogrammed labels on small boxes filled with chocolate. eFavorMart.com

Accommodations $100 for a standard room. Holiday Inn, Maple Grove, (763) 425-3800

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