Our $40K Colorful Nigerian-American Carnival-Themed Wedding Dance Party

christine, data analyst & john, systems engineer

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Big interracial, intercultural colorful DIY carnival themed dance party with fusion food, fun games, fantastic people and a parachute exit.

Planned budget: $30,000
Actual budget: $40,000
Number of guests: 173
LOCATION: Baltimore, MD

Where we allocated the most funds:

The food! It made up almost half of our budget at approximately $18,000 (alcohol was an additional $1,100). Food was really important because I am Nigerian and we had a fun theme so I wanted to make sure they could incorporate both those concepts! We also splurged on photography with 2 photographers for a total of $2,515 (including a friend’s discount). The photos were incredible and worth every penny.

Where we allocated the least funds:

I don’t really care for flowers so we opted for paper & cloth decor which I like to believe saved us some money. The venue was also much cheaper than many others in the area, since they had done very few weddings. It only cost us $3500 for the ceremony & reception. I also bought my wedding dress right off the rack from a second-hand store for $800 & John’s mother did all the alterations (including adding colored tulle under!). My best friend (and maid of honor) is a graphic designer and I’m a web developer so the website, invitations and guest book were all professionally designed for free! We also went to a local craft brewery and got beer directly from them that was overstock. They gave it all to us for free!

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