Photos by Pink Penguin Studios

Disclaimer: The photo above does not depict the couples mentioned in this article. It is included solely for illustrative purposes, while certain Reddit threads I discovered online have proven useful.

We had our wedding at the beginning of September and I wanted to pull together a little wedding recap, especially because I didn't see a lot of these for destination weddings whilst I was trying to plan ours!

Sadly we haven't received our wedding photos yet, only our sneak peek - so I don't have a lot of photos to share of the wedding itself yet, but I can do so later if there is enough interest!

Our wedding was across three days (Thursday, Friday, & Saturday) on Madeira Island, Portugal, in the capital city Funchal for 78 people.

The total cost of the entire week (ie including accommodation, welcome drinks, farewell party, etc) was £37.5k (roughly $46.1k), with the wedding day itself being £31.5k ($38.8k).

Fantastic Graph

Planner, designer, florist, & DJ - £8.9k / $11k – we used a planner who was also the florist & designer. We picked her middle package which cut out some extra, unnecessary stuff for us (ie a 3-hr yacht ride for husband & me on a day of our choosing). The price also included:

Two wedding planners - the primary planner being focussed on the design/ flowers, and the second one focussing on the logistics of the wedding day.

Floral decorations for dinner (all guest tables, head table, cake table), ceremony flowers, decorations for cocktail hour area including flower arch for photos, miscellaneous flower decor throughout venue.

Bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets (x3), wrist corsages (x2), and boutonnieres (x5)

Signage - welcome sign, table signs, seating chart, bar menu

Volcano fireworks to sit behind us during cake cutting

Violinist for ceremony

Flower petals for guests to celebrate with as we exit ceremony / walk back down the aisle

Venue & catering - £8.4k / $10.4k– our venue was a historic fort, and the wedding itself took place across most of the fort itself. The ceremony was on the highest terrace, cocktail hour on the middle terrace, the dinner was in the interior courtyard, and dancing on the lowest terrace. This also included:

Venue coordinator

Welcome glass & snack of sparkling wine & macaroons

5-course sit-down meal with red & white wine served throughout and after-dinner digestifs (also all associated costs such as tables, chairs, linens)

90-minute cocktail hour with open bar, including saxophonist

Ceremony & ceremony set-up costs such as chairs, aisle runner, microphone, etc.

3 hours of dancing with open bar service

Late night burgers & soup

Wedding dress & accessories - £3.7k / $4.5k – I bought my dress (Watters Laraline) from Angelica Bridal in London for £2.5k, with alterations coming to £500, and £700 remaining for veil, shoes, and jewellery.

Wedding rings - £3k / $3.8k – Shocked that this came up as one of the more expensive items in our budget, but we viewed this as one of the few permanent things we would have to commemorate our marriage to each other so we were happy to spend a bit more than budgeted here.

Grooms suit - £1.9k / $2.3k – Tailor-made from Beggar’s Run in London, plus shoes/socks/tie.

Groomsmen outfits - £1.5k / $1.8k – Covered 4 suits. Weirdly, about 50% of this cost is 2 suits that were delivered in the US whereas the same 2 suits delivered in the UK made up about 30% of this cost. The residual cost (approx. £250) is ties & socks.

Hair & make-up - £1.1k / $1.4k This includes:

  • Bridal hair & make-up trial
  • Wedding day hair & make-up for 8 women (bride costs + bridal party)
  • 5 H&MU artists who travelled to my hotel on the morning of to complete H&MU

Photographer - £1k / $1.3k – Photographer – Includes:

  • Destination engagement shoot (pitched as 1hr, actually lasted 3hrs + drinks afterwards with him, his wife & kids – such a sweet evening) that resulted in 275 photos
  • Wedding day photography through to the very end – we literally said goodbye to him as the venue was shutting down at 2am. Expecting to receive photos by end of this month and we are so excited!

Stationery - £877 / $1k – Including:

  • Save-the-dates - about 25% of the total cost (£220/$250) - included a botched round where I couldn’t find the correctly-sized envelopes, so had to re-order both a new design & new envelopes. For save the dates, I found an Etsy design and printed them myself via Vistaprint.
  • Invitations - about 60% of the total cost (£525 / $600) - I found an Etsy designer and they printed the invitations & the names/addresses on envelopes. Cost also includes: personalised stamp with our names & addresses on it, custom wax seals for envelope, and additional miscellaneous charges like the customs fee on receiving the invitations into the UK, shipped from the US.
  • Thank you cards - about 10% of total cost (£80 / $100) - I found a template on Vistaprint and personalised with photos from our sneak peek.
  • Remaining approx 5% of spend was on stamps.

Bridal party costs & gifts - £805 / $1k  Includes bridesmaids proposal boxes for 5 bridesmaids, gifts on wedding day, etc.

Miscellaneous - £288 / $350 – such as:

  • Guest book (£215 – polaroid photo guest book plus costs such as extra film, pens, tape/photo corners to secure photos in the guest book)
  • Glow sticks for wedding evening
  • Cake topper, ring box, & wedding website personalised domain fee.

Not included above - CAKE! My parents bought our cake for us from one of my mom's local contacts on the island. I'm not sure how much it was, but I was told that €400 was considered to be on the "high end" for wedding cakes on the island.

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If you're in the early and beginning stages of wedding planning, my friend Devon who owns a wedding planning business might be able to help out!