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
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, TheKnot.com
Photography: $4,280 for two shooters, over 1,000 prints, an album and an engagement shoot. Chris Mastalia Photography, (973) 729-0926, PhotoCM.com
Videography: $995 for one shooter at two locations and two videos. Halo Productions, (718) 781-9644, HaloVideo.com
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, Bloomingdales.com
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/JCPenney.com/ThingsRemembered.com
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." Michaels.com/ ACMoore.com/TheKnot.com
Sign-in 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
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. Etsy.com
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, SparkPhotography.com
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, Macys.com
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. Macys.com/WhiteAisle.com/OldNavy.com/TheMonogramGiftShop.com/EyesLipsFace.com/ CapCatchers.com/A.C. 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
Sign-in book: $30 for an iPhoto album of engagement pictures. Apple.com
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/PaperMart.com/ Paper-Source.com/Christmas Tree Shops, Cherry Hill, (856) 910-8320/A.C. Moore, Deptford, (856) 845-4957/Instawares.com
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
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. eBay.com/DollarTree.com/Michaels.com
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, LifeMosaicStudios.com
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, Craigslist.com
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!" Piperlime.com
Wedding rings: $5,300 for her rings and $600 for his band. Mark Schneider Design, MarkSchneiderDesign.com, (800) 452-5804/Novell Design Studio, UU14kt.com
Bridal party gifts: $120 for earrings for the bridesmaids and $100 for money clips for the groomsmen. WhiteAisle.com/RedEnvelope.com
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, MensWearhouse.com
Stationery: $473 for invitations and $90 for DIY programs, escort cards and menu cards. JarofIdeasDesign.com/AnchorPaper.com/Costco.com/Michaels.com
Sign-in book: $20 for a guest book. Target.com
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, ColorblindPrd.com, (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