People view budgets in one of two ways. They either think they’re extremely restrictive or extremely freeing. We personally love budgets because they allow us to relax, knowing what funds are available to work with for whatever the budget is for. Here’s how to approach your wedding budget and avoid some major budget blunders!
DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN ONE THING!
The average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2016 was $35,000.00. Regardless of the amount, there is a proper way to approach how to use your wedding funds. Too often, couples forget to consider the big picture before making one or more of their wedding purchases. By the time they figure out that they’ve used too much in one area to have enough for everything, it’s too late and they aren’t left with the ability to really style their celebration and make it a unique affair. Nothing is more sad than when a couple uses half of their budget to book their venue and that particular one is basically 4 walls…no food, beverage, linens, lighting, flowers or anything! This is totally fine IF you’re left with enough funds to book the average 15 remaining wedding vendors needed for your Dream Wedding.
We can’t tell you what your budget should be or what percentage of your overall funds you should allocate for each category. What we CAN do is educate you about the average cost of essential wedding vendors so that you’re not surprised when you begin reaching out for pricing and you are empowered to effectively manage your wedding budget.
WEDDING VENDOR AVERAGE COSTS
There are ranges for everything. It’s just like buying a car: The better the quality and the more accessories, the more that car will cost.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE (Not including catering/beverage): $3,000 – $11,000
CATERING & BEVERAGE: $40 – $300 per person
PLANNER/DESIGNER: $1,500 – $5,000
PHOTOGRAPHER: $4,500 – $9,000
VIDEOGRAPHER: $3,000 – $7,500
DRESS & ACCESSORIES: $1,500 – $5,200
GROOM’S ATTIRE & ACCESSORIES: $350 (Rental) | $1,200 (Custom)
WEDDING RINGS (Bands Only): $400 – $2,500
FLOWERS: $4,500 – $9,000
DESIGN ELEMENTS & RENTALS: $3,000 – $9,000
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT: $1,750 – $3,500
CAKES & DESSERTS: $7 – $17 per person
PAPER SUITE (Invitations, etc.): $400 – $900
HAIR & MAKEUP: $400 – $700
TRANSPORTATION: $250 – $800
OFFICIANT: $250 – $500
FAVORS & GIFTS: $400 – $850
Again, all of these are averages. There will be vendors in each category that fall outside of these ranges, either way.
BRING IT TOGETHER
In summary, follow these 4 simple steps before you use any part of your wedding budget.
1) Get an idea of your total guest count.
2) Decide on your total budget amount, based on the number of people you’ll have attending and what type of venues accommodate parties your size. Also consider that you may have funds coming from different sources: yourselves, parents, grandparents, etc.
3) Decide on which vendors you need to have for your Dream Wedding and prioritize by importance from your own perspective.
4) Lastly, based on your guest count, allocate funds to each vendor or category you need to book. Us the list of average prices per vendor to get a feel for what you can afford.
Then – start calling and meeting with vendors to establish your wedding dream team!
Remember! The more elaborate your theme is, the more expensive it will be to style everything. Be realistic and don’t forget: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!