Stella
Dedicated October 2021

Budget Question

Stella, on May 18, 2021 at 1:43 PM Posted in Planning 1 61
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Hello everyone! This may be an odd question but would anyone mind sharing what their ballpark wedding budget is realistically?

My fiance and I started with a goal to do everything for around $5-6k, but are quickly realizing that is not realistic. We are cutting corners everywhere we can (with the exception of my dress) and are already at almost twice our original budget. We are paying for everything ourselves with the exception of a candy bar and favors that my sister is doing for us. It just keeps adding up and I'm freaking out. Is $10-12k reasonable for a wedding or have I fallen completely off the rails?

61 Comments

Latest activity by Laura, on October 26, 2021 at 4:35 PM
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag

    I think that's reasonable depending on how many people it's for.

    my wedding was $15k for 250 people but there were also a lot of things i didn't pay for, so i saved a lot of money that way.

    weddings cost a lot more than people may expect and things add up, even small things.

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  • Allison
    Devoted April 2021
    Allison ·
    • Flag

    It really depends on where you live and what kind of wedding you're having. My husband and I spent between $35,000-$40,000 for everything - and I think that's fairly reasonable for my area (Philadelphia area). I know people who have a per head charge of $250 so for them, what we spent would be cheap. And obviously, what we spent is radically expensive for you! Weddings are, unfortunately, very expensive. It sounds like you're on the right track with trying to save where you can, but just make sure you don't save and cut corners so much that you end up not having the wedding that you want! Obviously, don't go into debt (it is only one day) but really evaluate what's VERY important and what isn't - and that includes guest list too. The bigger the list, the more expensive it's going to be.

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  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
    • Flag

    It's doable for 10-12k but you'll have to cut a lot of corners

    Mine is at 20k but will probably end up being closer to 25k, it all adds up so quickly.

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  • Stella
    Dedicated October 2021
    Stella ·
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    We are only planning to have about 50 people but are paying for pretty much everything. The venue alone was $2500 and that was one of the cheaper options for what we wanted. It helps to know I'm not completely off the rails.

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  • Stella
    Dedicated October 2021
    Stella ·
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    Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm in Charlotte and originally thought I could find things a bit cheaper but that hasn't always been the case. My sister keeps telling me the same thing, make sure I'm not cutting so many corners that we don't enjoy the day. We are keeping the guest count pretty small but also trying to balance what services we pay for to reduce the stress and running around on the day vs. what we do ourselves. Basically anything we can do in advance we are doing, but anything that needs to be done on the day we are hiring people to do. The last thing we are trying to do is be even more stressed on the day.

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  • Alisha
    Super April 2021
    Alisha ·
    • Flag

    Your budget is based on what you want for your wedding. Just know that your budget is a guideline to planning your wedding. We set a budge for about $15,000 - $20,000 and we were closer to the $20,000. We did set a budget for flowers and certain decor and we ended up spending more in those areas which put us over $20,000. I am pretty sure that we went over that bc I did not put everything in the budget planner, so we probably ended up spending around $22,000. It is normal to go a little over budget for a wedding bc you want certain things for your wedding.

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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I think it is also really natural to go over budget. because once you start planning you dont expect to need or want certain things or for things to cost what they do

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  • Allie
    VIP November 2021
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    It really depends on where you're planning to get married. We live in Connecticut and our wedding is costing about $15k. We found a venue that includes a lot of the things in the cost, such as the cake, the centerpieces, uplighting, and table numbers and placecards, so we saved a lot of money that way. We also used recommended vendors that they work a lot with and received a few discounts/upgrades on things because of it. So I don't think you're off the rails as long as you are completely comfortable with it.

    That being said, my best friend did her wedding for about $5,000. It was a nice wedding, and she had it at a hall where she was required to do everything herself so we all had to pitch in to set up and break down, she got BBQ for food, and had fake flowers that she made herself. So there are pluses to cutting way back, but there's pluses to having a bit more in your budget as well.

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  • Maddie
    Rockstar February 2022
    Maddie ·
    • Flag

    I had wanted to keep it under 10k for 200 ppl - but when it's all said and done it might be closer to 15k total. Which, honestly in Los Angeles, is a hardcore steal. We are getting A LOT of help from our entire family which means I doubt we will have to dip into our savings much - if at all, but it is still important to me to keep costs as low as humanly possible for them. But I'm leaving a lot of things out - no wedding party except for our best men, no bridal shower, family has a catering company, a dessert table instead of a cake, DIY decorations, emailed save the dates, no videographer, friend is doing HMU, venue is very close to my house, etc.

    It honestly has a lot to do with how many people you are inviting. Shopping around is a must when you are on a budget. Also just waiting around for sales when it comes to clothes, decorations, etc.

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  • Angie
    Just Said Yes July 2022
    Angie ·
    • Flag

    Southern California - 125 guests

    Original budget was $20k... We thought a big "party" was doable with that budget but after speaking with vendors and other friends that got married, almost all spent around $30k. This is just for an ordinary wedding for middle class adults in their 30s. Smiley sad

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  • Richaelyn
    Devoted July 2021
    Richaelyn ·
    • Flag
    My budget was around 5-6k as well and we are also now at twice the amount (10-12k). We are having about 100 people. I think doubling the budget was the best thing because, now I get the wedding I want and my fiancé has a better job so we’ll be fine. Thankfully I’m in Houston, so I can find some really good deals out here. For example, I’ve found a good videographer that will work for 5 hours and give a 10 min highlight video for $500, I’ve seen quotes for $1,000+. I also have an all-inclusive venue so, we’ve saved a lot that way as well. We’ve been cutting as many corners as we can but there’s only so much you can do in order to still enjoy the night. Going over budget is normal.
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  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    Depends where you are and how large your guest list is. Some big cities, 10-12k would be totally unreasonable/you would get very little for it.

    Our budget is 40k, and I expect to come in closer to 35k. I know the average wedding in our area is 25k for 100 guests.

    What you experienced is perfectly normal. Most people are simply not aware what weddings tend to cost. I only know because I used to work in the industry in my area. $2500 is actually a very reasonable venue rental where I am - most are $8000+.

    So I did a quick Google to find the average cost of a wedding in Charlotte, NC is $27k. That is very close to my area's average of $25k, and this also said that most couples spend $9k on the venue, also lining up closely with my area's 8k average. Using that as a benchmark, I would say a $10-12k budget for 50 guests is doable. I will say that most photographers in my area are **** and you may find the same, so be ready for that to be another hefty chunk of your budget.

    It's normal to underestimate budget, but what I recommend to keep from blowing it totally out of the water is to sit down now and discuss (with your FH) your priorities, and also discuss areas you are willing to skip, skimp, or compromise. There are a lot of corners to be cut in weddings and a lot of tips out there to cut costs that aren't even necessarily "do it yourself", but just knowing how to shop (such as sticking to "in season" flowers, lots of tips on cutting down on the liquor/alcohol tab, etc.)

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  • April
    Dedicated September 2021
    April ·
    • Flag
    We initially didn’t want to spend more then 15k but being in central NJ everything was more expensive. Most places we looked at required minimum amounts of people and dollar amounts which were way way more then what we were comfortable with. We ended up spending roughly 28k and that’s on the cheaper end where we live if you want something more elegant. It’s totally possible to stick to your budget but may not be the “vision” you wanted.
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  • ScandalousRandallous
    Devoted July 2022
    ScandalousRandallous ·
    • Flag

    We were originally thinking under $5k for a courthouse, party bus, nice lunch, nice attire, and hotel room, but our courthouse isnʻt doing weddings and FH doesnʻt wanna do a beach wedding (itʻs an island) so weʻre renting a $6k party boat and I need extensive work done on my dress so idk where weʻll end up Smiley cry

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  • Kim
    Dedicated April 2021
    Kim ·
    • Flag
    Wedding cost will depend on where you live, how many people are invited/guests and how extravagant or laid back you want it. My husband and I originally only wanted to spend $10k when we got engaged and once we started looking around in Charlotte, NC for 100 guests it was starting to look around 20k-40k and we were NOT okay with spending that kind of price. We looked for a whole year at 50+ venues and the cheapest it looked like we were able to get away with was 25k. Well in January of this year we found this beautiful barn about 1 hr outside the city that was all inclusive. We did our ENTIRE wedding for $15k and had 65 total guests. If you are willing to look outside the city and inquire from numerous vendors it is possible to get marry for 10-15k. Biggest thing I will say is keep your guest list small because edge more people you have then there really is no way to keep cost low. Good luck!!
    • Reply
  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
    • Flag
    We’re about an hour from DC and our budget is $25,000.
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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
    • Flag
    Sorry. To add, our guest list is 100.
    • Reply
  • CountryBride
    VIP April 2022
    CountryBride ·
    • Flag
    I had a budget of 15,000 we are now 30k I am getting married west of Denver colorado
    • Reply
  • S
    Beginner October 2023
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    That's cheap compared to mine. Mine is going to run about 21,000. I've cut corners as much as possible and it just grew and grew.
    • Reply
  • Grace
    Super February 2022
    Grace ·
    • Flag
    I, too, started with a $5k budget. We are only inviting 75 guests. I live in Central Virginia (2hrs from DC) and we were luckily able to find a venue for the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception that was only $1,400 (rental from 10am-11pm, 2 days in a row). We are getting married on a weekday in the off-season which saved us thousands. Most other venues in our area are about $10-20k for a weekend event!



    We may go over budget if we decide to pay for a professional wedding photographer (we know a lot of professional photographers but none specialize in Wedding photography). If we do hire a photographer, I think it will end up being $8k total.
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