Real Wedding Budgets of New Jersey Brides

Three New Jersey 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 New Jersey brides spent on their weddings and which pros they used to stick to their budgets.

Stacey Oakley & Sinclair Davis

May 9 | Clifton | 146 guests

Their Budget: $34,004

Their Breakdown

Site: $15,330, including catering and cake. "We had a daytime wedding to cut costs." Valley Regency, Clifton, (973) 744-4510

Ceremony accessories: $142 for a ring pillow, flower girl baskets, pew decorations and a veil. Trash to Treasure board,

Photography: $4,280 for two shooters, over 1,000 prints, an album and an engagement shoot. Chris Mastalia Photography, (973) 729-0926,

Videography: $995 for one shooter at two locations and two videos. Halo Productions, (718) 781-9644,

Officiant: $0 for Stacey's cousin to officiate.

Gown and alterations: $4,500 for an Anne Barge Couture dress. Kleinfield, New York, NY, (646) 633-4300

Hair: $65. Beverly's Styling Salon, Elmwood Park, (201) 398-1728

Makeup: $300 for the bride, the maid of honor and the bride's grandma. MAC, Bloomingdale's,

Hair accessories: $90 for a Swarovski crystal headband. Swarovski Boutique, Paramus, (201) 265-4888

Shoes: $35 for champagne-colored Caparros for pictures and $102 for gold Via Spigas for the ceremony and reception. DSW, Paramus, (201) 291-0505/Macy's, New York, NY, (212) 695-4400

Wedding rings: $1,900 for their bands. La Mirage Jewelers, Paramus, (201) 489-3984

Other jewelry: $250 for earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. Precious Stone, Paramus, (201) 226-0220

Bridal party gifts: $550 for Coach makeup bags and necklaces for the bridesmaids and $175 for personalized flasks, a business cardholder and a mug for the groomsmen. Coach, Woodbury, NY, (516) 367-1772/

Formalwear: $0 for the tux with the groomsmen's rentals and $130 for Burberry cuff links. Biltmore Tuxedos, Ridgewood, (201) 444-2722/Bloomingdale's, Hackensack, (201) 457-2000

Stationery: $115 for DIY invitations, programs and menu cards. "I didn't want to spend $1,000-plus on paper products only to have people throw them in the garbage."

book: $18. Michaels, Paramus, (201) 599-0151

Flowers: $1,354 for 12 bouquets, 14 centerpieces, seven boutonnieres, five corsages, one memory flower and petals. Avenue Flowers & Gifts, Elizabeth, (908) 354-7101

Ceremony, cocktail hour and reception music: $2,100 for six hours for a DJ and an emcee, a photo montage, a photographer taking candids, a plasma screen, lighting and a CD of all candids. Elite Sound Entertainment, Saddle Brook, (201) 843-8003

Favors: $60 for a label-making kit. "I designed labels and added them to the CDs so they could double as escort cards." A.C. Moore, Paramus, (201) 291-0793

Transportation: $1,050 for a party bus. Route 22 Limousine, Hillside, (908) 354-5400

Accommodations: $463 for a standard room and two suites. "The hotel gave us a free Jacuzzi suite for the night of the wedding with the other bookings." Hampton Inn & Suites Fairfield, (973) 575-5777

Toni Bellocchio & Ryan Kessler

May 31 | Pine Hill | 175 guests

Their Budget: $31,520

Their Breakdown

Ceremony site and officiant: $350. "I liked how it was an older church with traditional décor." St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Swedesboro, (856) 467-0037

Ceremony accessories: $30 for a ring pillow.

Reception site: $18,700. "The reception was one of the most important things to me, so I spent the most on it." Pine Hill Golf Club, Pine Hill, (877) 450-8866

Photography: $3,260 for two photographers for 10 hours, a CD, an online gallery and two prints. Spark Photography, Philadelphia, PA,

Videography: $950 for one shooter for eight hours and one video. Martin's…Accent Wedding Videos, Mays Landing, (609) 625-6633

Gown: $1,100 for an A-line, taffeta dress. 2be Bride, Jay West, Haddonfield, (856) 795-0424

Alterations: $90 to take it in and add a bustle. Rose Lafferty, Williamstown, (856) 728-7514

Hair: $75 for a friend to do it, including a trial.

Makeup: $0 for a friend to do it.

Veil: $0 because it was borrowed from a friend.

Shoes: $50 for silver peep-toe flats. Jessica Simpson,

Wedding rings: $650 for hers and $200 for his. Steven Singer Jewelers, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 627-3242

Bridal party gifts: $480 for martini glasses, jewelry, flip-flops, monogrammed totes and makeup for the bridesmaids and $400 for personalized bottle-openers and tubs of beer for the groomsmen. Moore, Deptford, (856) 845-4957

Formalwear: $0 for the groom's tux with the groomsmen's rentals. Kenneth Cole, Men's Wearhouse, Deptford, (856) 228-8005

Stationery: $530 for invitations and programs designed by a Knottie and $150 for escort cards. Sealed with a Kiss, Haddonfield, (856) 795-9570

book: $30 for an iPhoto album of engagement pictures.

Flowers: $1,600 for 10 bouquets, 11 boutonnieres, three corsages, 19 centerpieces and two ceremony arrangements. Jennifer Designs, Cherry Hill, (856) 857-1212

Ceremony music: $200 for a pianist and a violinist/vocalist recommended by a friend.

Reception music: $950 for a DJ. Steve & Company, Berlin, (800) 513-2590

Wedding Cake: $0. "My friend made the cake as a wedding gift."

Favors: $200 for candy, Chinese takeout boxes, monogrammed labels, glass containers and scoops for a candy buffet. BJ's Wholesale Club, Deptford, (856) 232-8880/ Tree Shops, Cherry Hill, (856) 910-8320/A.C. Moore, Deptford, (856) 845-4957/

Transportation: $1,300 for a trolley and $225 for a bus. "We rented a yellow school bus instead of a limo bus to save." American Trolley Tours, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 333-0320/Hillman's Bus Service, Inc., West Berlin, (856) 753-1123

Hotel room: $0 for a suite. "Since we had at least 20 bookings, we got our suite for free." Wingate by Wyndham, Voorhees, (856) 627-1000

Yeimy Garcia & Ronald Li

August 24 | North Haledon | 70 guests

Their Budget: $25,368

Their Breakdown

Site: $8,500. "We got sushi and chair covers at no additional cost." The Tides Estate, North Haledon, (973) 423-2282

Ceremony accessories: $20 for faux flower petals and $25 for supplies to make pomanders.

Photography and videography: $4,000 for two photographers for eight hours, three albums, unlimited images, a CD, web hosting, a slideshow, an engagement shoot, a framed photo, one videographer for six hours and four videos. Eric Joseph, Life Mosaic Studio, (888) 564-1081,

Ceremony Officiant: $0. "If you choose to do a non-religious wedding, having a friend perform your ceremony is amazing."

Wedding Gown: $400. "I searched online for a designer I fell in love with and found one of their gowns on Craigslist!" Pronovias,

Alterations: $160 by a Knottie who's a former seamstress.

Hair: $600 for the bride and five bridesmaids. Michelle Lo Conte, I Do Hair & Make-Up Artistry, (973) 975-7070

Makeup: $185 for the bride, including lipstick to take with her. Jillyan Scarpa, Skin Bar and Paint, Little Falls, (973) 785-0500

Shoes: $60. "These were a compromise between fashion and comfort -- and the website had free shipping!"

Wedding rings: $5,300 for her rings and $600 for his band. Mark Schneider Design,, (800) 452-5804/Novell Design Studio,

Bridal party gifts: $120 for earrings for the bridesmaids and $100 for money clips for the groomsmen.

Formalwear: $150 for the groom's tux, cuff links and shoes and $800 for tuxes for the fathers and the groomsmen. Ralph Lauren/Calvin Klein,

Stationery: $473 for invitations and $90 for DIY programs, escort cards and menu cards.

book: $20 for a guest book.

Flowers: $1,300 for six bouquets, seven boutonnieres, two corsages, seven centerpieces and ceremony arrangements. Avenue Flowers & Gifts, Elizabeth, (908) 354-7101

Ceremony and cocktail hour music: $700 for a violinist and a cellist for two hours. Sue Chuang, Salut D'Amour, New York and New Jersey area, (917) 319-2377

Reception music: $995 for a DJ, an emcee, a projector and a screen. Rob and Dianne Velez, Colorblind Productions,, (908) 355-9411

Dance lessons: $400 for foxtrot lessons. L.A. Dance Experience, Los Angeles, CA, (310) 475-1878

Favors: $70 for chopsticks. Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

Accommodations and transportation: $300 for a suite. "The hotel provided a free shuttle." Hampton Inn & Suites Fairfield, (973) 575-5777

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