Total Re-Collie: The Budget

I LOVE reading what amazing, beautiful weddings cost.  The budget post is one of my favorites (How much does all that gorgeousness cost???), so here you go… the Border Collie budget.

Our budget evolved a lot over the two years we were engaged.  We went from a $10k Hawaii wedding to a (hopefully less than) $20k Dominican Republic wedding.  Honestly, I wasn’t super strict with the budget.  Especially toward the end.   I knew we were okay financially, so I was fine splurging on the decor.  We were very lucky that Mr. BC and I were both able to save a lot of money when he lived in Hawaii.  His cost of living was super cheap, and I saved money because it was just me at home.   Also, I took on a roommate a couple of months after Mr. BC moved to Hawaii.  A friend was looking for a place, and we had a second bedroom. I put all of the rent money into the wedding account.

I kept our budget kind of loose, and we paid cash.

Our breakdown is weird since it was a resort, with an all-inclusive wedding package, so I will do my best to organize it in a way that hopefully makes sense.

All photos by Phil Steingard Studios



  • All-Inclusive Gold Wedding Package for 20 people: $2400. (This included basically the entire wedding: wedding coordinator, hair/make up for bride, bride bouquet, 4 corsages or boutonnieres, ceremony space, officiant, photographer, 24 pictures, video of the ceremony, cocktail hour with hot and cold appetizers & open bar, music trio which played at cocktail hour, 4-course dinner and open bar, wedding cake, etc.  Basically… everything.  It also included a couples massage, honeymoon package, etc.)
  • Additional Headcount: $300.  (The wedding package covered 20 people.  Since we had 24 people, we had to pay an extra $75 per person)
  • Officiant: $400. (The wedding package included a ceremony in Spanish <that the wedding coordinator translates into English>.  I don’t speak Spanish, nor do most of our family & friends, so I hired an outside officiant)

Flowers & Decorations:

  • Bridesmaid Bouquets: $180.
  • Ceremony/Reception Flowers: $335. (Two half heart flower stands, plus chair bows)
  • Reception Decor: $125. (This was everything I brought: candles, red jewels, escort cards, toasting flutes, napkins, straws, corks, etc.)



  • Mrs. BC’s ring: $0.  (This was a gift from Mr. BC, that he surprised me with.  He bought it very early on in our engagement, so I don’t count it into the budget.)
  • Mr. BC’s Ring: $281.


Favors & Gifts:




  • Airfare: $1100.
  • Two weeks stay at the Excellence: $5400 (we upgraded to the Excellence Club)


  • Dress:  A gift from my mother
  • Alterations: $450
  • Accessories: $150 (shoes, belt, jewelry)
  • Grooms Outfit: $90



  • Cake Topper: $200  (A total unnecessary splurge that I LOVED.)


  • Welcome Reception:  $0.  (Because we did a room block)
  • Day After Brunch: $600.
  • Save the Dates: $104.
  • Invitations:  $0.  (We suck and sent an email.)

Grand Total: $16,254.00

So, all in all we were under budget.  Although, let’s be real… I’m sure there is stuff I forgot to add into the wedding wire budget tool: stuff from vistaprint, random amazon purchases, one of the many trips to Michaels.

You can definitely do a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic for a lot less.  We splurged a lot.  A bulk of our money (half!) went toward staying at the Excellence for two weeks, and the photographer.  But, we both have decent jobs, and we’re older and more established in our careers.  We also purposefully planned a two year engagement to save up for the wedding. I purchased the wedding “stuff” bit by bit, over the course of the two years.

I absolutely loved our wedding, and we put our money in places that mattered to us.  If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  It was perfect for us.  And, I know that our guests had a blast!


I’m not quite done with my recaps.  We had a lot of fun days in the Dominican Republic after the wedding.  Up next, the last few days with our loved ones in paradise.
bordercollie wedding graphic

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