“My US$3,000 budget wedding” series overview

I honestly don’t know how much a wedding is going to cost in other countries, I’m only telling you this in context of the Filipino culture. And when you talk of Filipino weddings, you would know that weddings here in this country is not just a family affair—it’s a celebration that involves, most often than not, the entire clans of the bride and groom.

Filipino weddings

I don’t understand it much either, to tell you the truth. Weddings here are such huge events that even if a family isn’t well-off (like us!), they’d want an extravagant wedding (or “bongga,” in colloquial terms). A “simple” wedding here in the Philippines can mean a lot of things—having 50 guests instead of 100, or having a judge perform the rite and treat just about a dozen people to dinner for a reception. With all these different perceptions of what a “simple” wedding here means, allow me to just describe to you our wedding so you’ll have a pretty good idea of what came about with that Php155,000 (approximately US$3,000) budget.

My husband, Marc and I, had a church wedding in an air-conditioned parish. Our reception was held at a nearby clubhouse, with a band performing amidst bubbles and mood lighting while 200 guests were provided with full-course dinner and a chocolate fountain. We also paid for the gowns and Barong Tagalogs of our entourage including our own, and had 5 photographers and a videographer documenting the event every step of the way.

Our wedding was not as simple as going to the city hall to get hitched, but it wasn’t as extravagant as having fireworks or holding the reception at a hotel. BUT, we got some pretty good feedback from our guests. They actually thought we spent a lot for it, since that kind of wedding would usually cost around twice as much as our actual budget.

Although most of the entries I’ve written here in this blog are specific to having a great wedding without ludicrous expenses, I noticed that I haven’t really written anything that talked about how I was able to keep our wedding budget at around Php155,000 specifically. Thanks to this comment on my personal blog by Janet, I decided to come up with this blog series on how I did just that.

The thing is, there are a lot of factors to be discussed. Marc and I planned our wedding within the span of 10 months, so we picked up quite a lot of tips along the way. I initially intended for this to be just one long entry, but it’s difficult to squeeze everything in that I’d like to say. So there. I’ll just make it into a series of blog posts.

Before I get into the specifics, there are some important things that you need to take note of. Marc and I got married almost a year ago, and a lot can change from then till today—especially when it comes to cost. You really need to consider inflation. What cost us Php5,000 two years ago may cost more today. I won’t be able to guarantee that you’ll have your wedding at US$3,000 as well—it will also depend on you and the people you know.

What I will discuss in this series are mostly principles. I’ll probably put in some info on my suppliers too, but just don’t forget that we got their services almost two years ago. I’m no longer sure if they’re still the cheapest in the market—you’ll have to find that out on your own.

So… watch out for this series in the coming days. Subscribe to my feed if you have to, because I’ll be telling you how exactly we got our elegant wedding for only US$3,000.

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Posted in Budget weddings, Planning, Pre-wedding, The US$3,000 wedding budget series


danniel :

I wanted to cry “hallelujiah!” when I chanced upon your blog. You see, bf wants a sep. 2008 wedding and up until now, we have zero budget. He wants a simple “going to chuch and having it blessed then let’s go home” ceremony with just closest family (we both belong to huge clans and I am particularly close to every one of mine)…I want a simple wedding with even just the essentials…a wedding gown, an entourage, videographer, and some dinner. he comes from the province, and is not well-to-do, while I am middle-class and earning well for myself…he doesnt want me to spend so much for the wedding since he cant contribute much and his pride wont allow it…so my dilema…is whether to get married at all or find myself a new guy…hopefully, your blog would enlighten us both on how we can compromise. hope to read it soon.

dang :

im getting married as well but thats gonna be 2 years from now coz we still dont have enough budget. our last resort is a simple civil wedding if we cant make our reach 200k by 2009 . thanks to you, we had a spark of hope for our church wedding..you are the only person we heard that spent 155k for a wedding 🙂 and it was sooooo inspiring..

jane magno :

hello gail im getting marry next yr but until now i cant decide if i will get a wedding planner cause me and my fiancee is working outside.tnaks

Jhune :


Me and my gf are planning to get married later next year.

We are so excited that we can’t think straight on what to do first, next and so on…

Please help us what is the first BIG step to take.

Thanks a lot, Jhune

[…] and I might eventually find some use for it. I was buying silver ribbons at that time for the home-made invitations my sister and I were making for my wedding, but the gold one just looked so […]

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