Updated: Dec 29, 2021
At Glamour N'Glitz Events LLC, weddings are kind of our thing. It is no secret, that your parent's wedding looked, and cost way different than what they are now. This is why, since 2005 The Wedding Report has conducted an annual study to examine the state of weddings in real-time. Then COVID-19 hit and everyone plus The Wedding Report numbers blew up into smoke. COVID - 19 threw the entire wedding industry into a spin. Many of us were out of work, and weddings drastically changed from the previous year because of closures, reduced guest count, and limitations. Now that we are almost back into the full swing of things the average cost of weddings has increased. To save you time and money understanding how much a wedding can cost now is very important to help you reduce the price while still planning a memorable day!
What couples end up spending varies a lot! Generally, our couples spend about $40,000 - $65,000 depending on their location, formality level, and guest count. If you are planning to host a wedding in Maryland, DC, or Virginia your average wedding cost according to The Wedding Report in 2021 will be at least 5% more than what it was in 2019. Bringing it to a total of $35,000 (please keep in mind: this number reflects different guest counts). Our average couple has about 120 - 150 guests.
As you can see to the left I have listed what I take into account when planning and estimating budgets for our couples.
These are the top 6 things to consider when planning your wedding budget
Foodservice/Type of food
Type of venue
Number of additional vendors
All 6 of these categories also include subcategories to consider when planning your wedding
What state/city is your wedding venue located in?
How many adults & kids do you have?
What type of food service are you looking for? Plated, buffet, family-style, stations, or cocktail reception? What type of cuisine would you like served at your wedding?
Does your venue include furniture, lighting, and restrooms? Does it have rules against bringing your own vendors, and alcohol? Are they hidden fees?
Are you planning on booking a full-service caterer, food truck, or just a caterer, and you will hire separate staff to handle bussing and waitressing? Are you tipping your vendors? What is the cost to feed your vendors? Are you purchasing your own alcohol? Are you hiring a DJ or a Band? How extravagant is your decor/florals? and much more...
As you can see the list goes on and on. But, I hope that this summarized list that I have provided you will at least give you a headstart to create your very own wedding budget.
Wedding Dreams V.S. Wedding Reality
When you were a child, what did you think getting married would be like? When I got engaged and began planning my own wedding, my mother handed me over a binder that I had created. Frontpage cover read "My Wedding". As I flipped through the binder I realized my wedding dreams resembled my favorite movie Aladdin. I would wear a beautiful white gown with gemstones, and we would get married under a large lavish tent with Moroccan hanging lanterns, and Middle Eastern rugs would adorn the ground, guests would be seated at low tables with cushions and pillows! The centerpiece would be a bowl of apples (because for some reason even when I was younger I thought that could be a dual utilized option) that guests could snack on before food was served. Outside the tent, we would have peacocks strolling the grounds, and men in Aladdin's outfits guarding the entrance to greet guests as they arrived. Invitations were scrolls and the guests were required to bring them in order to enter the reception. Our entrance would be a grand affair like when Aladdin first met Jasmine.
None of these things came to pass (sorry, past self!). In 2019, our wedding looked more like this.
It's funny to see how what I dreamt of as a child, still had a footnote to what I wanted as an adult. I took my Moroccan vibe wedding and turned it into something more affordable and within our budget. My wedding budget in my dream world would have cost upwards of 100k and in reality our wedding in 2019 cost closer to 40k. If we had to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat!
Now it's your turn: Tell me what your dream wedding looked like as a child!
List Of Wedding Vendors Needed
I'm sure you've seen plenty of "wedding planning checklists" that include about a million different vendors to book. Some of the vendors may be relevant to you, others may not. So how do you know which ones you need for your wedding?
Wedding Vendor Hiring Plan
After you've set your budget, it's time to plan what you absolutely care about and absolutely need someone to take care of on the day of your wedding. These are things you and your family can't do on the day of your wedding and it needs to be done by a professional.
These were the top things important to us on our wedding day
1. Food (No buffet)
2. No formal dinner time, dancing, and eating happening simultaneously
3. Photos and Video (to capture every moment)
This vendor list is what I use when planning my couple's weddings
Wedding Planner/ Wedding Coordinator
Invitations/Save the Dates (Optional)
Seating Chart/Escort Cards
Some things are more important than others, especially when you are trying to stay within a wedding budget. So make sure to create your list and a wedding budget worksheet to keep yourself on track. Or, better yet, click here to download your budget worksheet to get a more detailed list with the estimated cost of vendors - and I will help you decide which ones to hire.
Once you know your budget, what is important to you, and have filled out your budget worksheet above. It is time to hire them - you now have a solid game plan! Refer to your game plan so that you never feel overwhelmed or lost and you always know what your next steps are.