Keep Your Destination Wedding Small
When planning a destination wedding on a strict budget, you want to keep your guest list small. You and your partner need to decide who to prioritize. Only invite the people who you absolutely have to share your special day with. Another option is to invite everyone to avoid hurt feelings. Due to high travel costs, only the people who really want to be there will attend. But this is quite a risk. If everyone decides to attend then your costs will inflate considerably. Rather opt for a small and intimate affair that you share with only your closest family and friends.
Check For Hourly Rates
Do you really need a photographer on hand for eight or 10 hours? The same goes for a florist or videographer, as well. Instead, ask wedding service professionals for hourly rates, instead of day rates or flat fees, and don’t stop asking until you find a good one who’ll work with your hourly based budget. This tactic works especially well with off-season weddings, or weddings that aren’t on Saturday, when demand for professional wedding services is much higher.
Make It Easier For Your Customers
I learned early on, one of the best ways we beat the competition was to approach things totally differently. Like, literally, do the exact opposite of what was seen as traditional in our industry.
So, when I see that no one in our industry talks about pricing and budgets, I decide its all Im going to talk about.
I challenged myself to do the courageous thing. What if we took the leadership position and proactively and openly talked about pricing.
The results were amazing. By simply approaching our marketing from a customer-first perspective, we started to win their trust early on in the relationshiplike they fell in love with us before I even knew they existed.
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Be The Courageous Leader
One of the most frustrating parts of trying to plan a wedding is figuring out all the things. The list of to-dos is long. Real long. And most couples will spend hours and hours and hours sorting through the details for the big day.
But when they get to the part of the process where theyre looking to see what is a reasonable price for wedding flowers, they will likely come up empty-handed. Theyll be presented with those blog posts telling them how to save money on their wedding flowers. There is little to no information provided by actual florists, presenting budget and cost options.
The result? Our customers have no idea how much to budget for their wedding flowers and we floral designers are inundated with price shoppers. Its a vicious cycle.
Destination Wedding Budget Vs Local Wedding Budget
If your dream wedding destination involves a beachfront ceremony at sunset or exchanging vows in the lush surroundings of a rainforest, you may think its too pricey. Yes, a destination wedding can be rather expensive but it doesnt have to be. There is this theory, and our team at Wedaways agrees destination weddings are less expensive than local weddings. This is definitely not always the case, but true for certain situations. A study conducted by The Knot in 2017 determined the average cost of weddings. According to the research, the average cost of a domestic destination wedding is $28,372. International destination weddings tend to cost more per guest but usually consists of a much smaller guest list and come up to $27,227. Now, these numbers may leave you thinking that a local wedding will be better, think again. In recent years the total spend on local weddings was as high as $32,641.
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Average Wedding Dress Costs
Most brides dream of finding the perfect gown, but the price of perfection isn’t cheap. When looking at the average cost of a wedding dress in every state, Insider DATA found that most states came in around $1,500.
In addition to the dress itself, brides may need to pay for extras including:
- Accessories such as shoes, veils or tiaras, jewelry, and a clutch purse. Wedding Forward reports these accessories typically cost between $350 and $500.
- Undergarments, which average around $200 in cost.
- Alterations, which can cost between $500 and $600 if they’re not included by your bridal shop.
- Cleaning and preservation, which could come at a combined cost of around $500.
How To Create A Wedding Budget
The first step to crafting your wedding budget is coming up with a number you feel comfortable with spending for the occasion. Starting to plan with an unclear spending limit could lead to overspending since seemingly small expenses can add up quickly.
When making your wedding budget, consider how much you’ve saved up so far, your wedding timeline , and any outside money, such as from one or both families, you plan to have. Be as specific as possible.
Once you have the budget number in mind, write down all of your potential wedding expenses in order of priority. Here are some expenses that may be involved when planning a wedding:
- Ceremony space
Next, allocate funds from your budget to different areas of the wedding. You may want to do some price shopping for flowers, catering and venue space at this stage to figure out a ballpark price for each expense.
If you don’t have the funds to cover every wedding cost on the list, you may have to make a few tough decisions about what’s necessary and what you can sacrifice to stay within budget.
Typically, caterers, photographers and other vendors require a deposit upfront to secure the date, and you pay the balance later. Saving up before the final bill is due can help you avoid relying on credit. To build up your wedding savings, you could consider opening up a and contributing to it every week or biweekly when you get paid.
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Wedding Planner: 3% Of Total Wedding Budget
There are lots of advantages to hiring a wedding plannerperhaps the biggest one is that they can actually help you save money! With their knowledge and connections in the industry, a wedding planner will ensure that you stay within your wedding budget and on schedule, and will keep your planning experience as stress-free as possible. Learn more about wedding planner costs»
Average Cost Of A Wedding Cake
Like your venue, this is another area where it completely depends on your budget and your taste.
There are 4-tier options with intricate handmade sugarpaste flowers or theres a simple 2-tier option with ribbons and a wedding topper. That said, the average cost of a wedding cake is said to be around £300.
However, this is very much an area where you can keep costs down. Opting for a single cake with accompanying cupcakes or seeing what your local supermarket offers is going to cost you far less than the average.
You can also try out making your own one , who can whip you up something spectacular for just the cost of the ingredients.
Real Wedding Budget Breakdowns
The most important thing to remember when youre putting together your budget is that no two weddings are alike. Your budget, and how money is allocated, is fluid and will undoubtedly change and need adjusting throughout the planning process. But what kinds of weddings can you actually throw at various price points? Where can you get creative with the money youve got? To answer those questions, heres broad overview at what some different wedding budget breakdowns might look like in practice. While these are meant to serve as sample wedding budgets, they come from years of seeing real couples plan weddings on similar budgets in similar circumstances. These budgets are not meant to limit you, but instead to help you start brainstorming ideas. Mix and match. Let them inspire you. Forget the hotel wedding wedding ideas come in all shapes and sizes.
The Average Cost Of A Wedding By State
Depending on where you get married, the cost of your wedding can vary significantly. Across the country, the average cost of a wedding was $20,300, but the cost can vary by as much as $18,063 depending on the state in which the ceremony and reception take place.
Graphic shows only the 10 most and least expensive states for weddings, on average, separated by the “Average” bar.
The most expensive state to get married in is Massachusetts, where the average cost of a wedding is $30,489. Along with New Jersey, these two states are the only places where the average cost of a wedding is more than $30,000. Conversely, the cheapest state to get married in is Arkansas, closely followed by West Virginia.
Many of the most expensive states to host a wedding are on the East Coast. Four of the five most expensive states aside from the District of Columbia are in the Northeast. California and Hawaii, the eighth and ninth most expensive states for a wedding, are the only states in the top 10 that are west of the Mississippi River.
Seven of the 10 cheapest places to get married are in the South, while the other three states among the most affordable places to get married are in the West New Mexico, Montana and Nevada.
Ordered by population size
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Favors And Gifts: 2% Of Total Wedding Budget
Providing wedding favors to your guests, whether they are edible or keepsakes, is a nice gesture and dont forget about buying gifts for your wedding party and family members! These favors and gifts are a lovely way to say thank you to those who helped you prepare for your big day, and those who traveled to attend the celebration.
Kim Forrest has been writing about weddings for over a decade, specializing in etiquette and… planning advice. Kim writes and edits much of the content youll read on WeddingWire, and also manages our team of freelance writers. Kims love of the wedding space first blossomed when she was an assistant editor at Washingtonian magazine in the mid-2000s . She became WeddingWires first full-time editor in 2012. Kim is originally from Long Island, New York and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children. She loves baking, yoga, ballet, theater, trying out the latest skincare fads, and listening to podcasts on a variety of random topics.
How Do I Address A Check To The Couple
If you plan on giving a check to the happy couple, make sure you avoid writing their new surname in the “to” field. It may seem counterintuitive after having just watched them tie the knot, but when it comes to cashing checks after the big day, the bank will sometimes not accept checks that dont have the registered account name. To be safe, its best to write the check out to one person and write a happy note in the memo field.
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Should I Ship A Gift Directly Or Bring It To The Wedding
“The preferred method for gifting is to send it to the couples home, versus bringing with you on the wedding day. There are just so many things to keep track of the day of the event, that its appreciated if you can make it a bit easier on the newlyweds. Luckily, its practically a given that youll be able to ship your gift with relative ease thanks to registries,” says Carlson.
Bringing a physical gift to the wedding is typically reserved when someone goes off the registry to purchase a wedding gift. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the registry website and avoid the headache of wrapping the present yourself!
Ask Friends And Family To Exchange Skills For Presents
If you have friends and family members with creative or organizational skill sets, ask them to use their talent at the wedding in lieu of a gift. Would you rather receive a stand mixer or live music, free of charge?
Tap into your network. Is your aunt an amateur florist? Does your friend have an eye for photography? Is your neighbor a restaurant owner who could lend you their space? Even if they cant provide services for free, you could still score a major discount.
Dont overlook your own skills either. Use your talents to barter for wedding services. Exchange your graphic design skills for a free wedding cake, or trade your accounting abilities for free dress alterations. Get creative!
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Due To The Fact That Participants Were Answering Anonymously We Believed This Disincentivized Lying One Way Or The Other As There Was No One To Impress Or Shame Honest Answers
Without compromising the anonymity of our participants, we can tell you that the ages of the people that responded were between the ages of 23 and 40 most of which were in their late 20s and early 30s. We had an equal representation of both brides and grooms responding across the entire survey. We did not count the same wedding twice if both the bride and groom responded for a single wedding.
As you may notice, we use the terms budget and cost interchangeably. While these two numbers are definitely not always the same , because our survey participants were a mixture of past-weddings and future-weddings, and only a small percentage of users indicated a discrepancy between the two terms, we did not feel it important enough to specify only one or the other here.
The few people that reached out to us to elaborate on their responses did so at their own will and without prompt. While this didnt affect their answers directly related to the question of their wedding budget, we found their addendums noteworthy enough to be published above.
Most of the participants 55%) in the survey were or are getting married in the Hamilton area with approximately 20% getting married in the GTA , 15% getting married in the Niagara region , and 10% getting married in the Kitchener-Waterloo or London regions.
Hold The Ceremony At Home Or Outdoors
According to The Knot, the average wedding venue costs $10,500, adding up to around a third of the total cost of the big day. While trimming the guest list can certainly help reduce this cost, another approach is to think outside the box with your venue.
You might consider hosting the wedding at someones home, particularly if they have a nice yard or plenty of space. If your guest list is small, thats much more feasible.
Strategy: Have the wedding and reception at a friend or family members property Savings: $10,500
Another approach is to see if you can use a public park for the wedding and utilize any structures the parks and recreation department may have for a reception. Many such departments have nice older houses near parks that can be used for events like this. Contacting local parks services in my area found that such venues were available with a range of $1,000 to $4,000, though there would be some additional costs to help set up some services. While there will still be a notable cost involved for this, its often significantly lower than paying for a full-service venue.
Strategy: Have the wedding and reception at a park Savings: $6,500
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