Planning a wedding is exciting, and also a little daunting. Once you get started, you will realize quickly why there are professionals that will help you create the perfect day. But there are some preliminary decisions that need to be made even before you hire a planner. These include important decisions like what city you have your wedding in, how many guests you plan to invite, and your overall wedding budget. To be sure, these three things have a direct impact on each other. Each market is different and your overall cost is absolutely affected by the number of guests you are entertaining. With all of these interdependent factors, we want to give you a little advice on where to begin and what an average budget should be for each vendor. Again, remember that these will change based on the factors mentioned above.
We highly recommend sitting down with your betrothed and dream up what you want on your wedding day. Make a list of the things that are most important to you. Take the top 5 most important things on your list and allocate your budget to those items. You can make exceptions for anything else on that list. This will just help you understand where your priorities lie. Then consider the information below. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it will help you understand wedding costs and save you from sticker shock. Again, these numbers will vary based on your priorities, location, and guest count.
Venue(s): $5,000-$12,000. This range allows for variations of time in the venue and the inclusions provided. Many venues have in-house vendors, like caterers, so be sure to account for that amount in your budget. Also, account for your ceremony space if it is different than your reception location.
Bridal Gown: $400-$8,000. This is a very personal preference. Do your research of designers and styles before you set bridal salon appointments.
Catering: $12-$150 per person. This is directly associated with the type of meal you will be serving hence the drastic range. Also, check other inclusions like servers, equipment, flatware, serviceware, dishware, and other catering rentals.
Bar Service: $20-$100 per person. This, too, is directly linked to your guest count and spirit selection. Different vendors offer a variety of packages, so double check their inclusions as well.
Floral Design: $1,500–$10,000. From centerpiece to personal flowers, there is a lot of work to floral design for your wedding.
Wedding Photographer: $1,500-$5,000. Consider the pricing packages available and the style of photography. Always double check the number of hours you are purchasing as well.
Planner/Coordinator: $800 – $10,000. This greatly depends on what services you require and the offerings available. Most planners offer day of, month of, partial or full planning services. Not to mention services such as design, coordination, styling, and cleanup. Decide what work you want to do versus how much you want handled for you.
DJ: $600-$3,000. You get what you pay for when it comes to wedding DJ’s, so ask for reviews – especially if dancing and partying is a priority for your wedding. DJ’s can also offer additional services like lighting packages and photo booth options.
Wedding Band: $3,000 – $12,000. If you want live music for your reception/party, a major factor is the size of the band and what it requires to set them up (ie: stage, power, etc).
Wedding Cake: $300-$3,500. There are several factors in pricing your wedding cake such as guests count, type of cake, type of frosting, and design elements.
Videographer: $800-$4,000. Style comes into play here. We suggest asking the photographer you hire for videographer recommendations – sometimes it will save you money.
Transportation: $100-$1,200. Consider not only your get-away car but also needed services for transporting guests or wedding party.
Specialty Rentals: $800 – $15,000. This can include items such as decor, lounges, ceremony backdrops, linens, specialty tables and chairs.
Paper Goods/Invitations: $300 – $1,800. Do you want custom paper goods with calligraphy or stock invitations? A beautiful paper suite can complete a design and make a statement to guests.
Make-up and Hair (MUAH): $20-120 per person. Know that you can separate the services and only receive hair or makeup, which varies the cost. Count the number of people requiring services before you ask for a quote.
Miscellaneous: $1000-$8,000. This is a wide range, but can include items such as: guest favors, wedding party gifts, wedding rings, hotel accommodations, and more.
Photography Credit: Beatbox Portraits