There are many tips and tricks to saving major bucks on your wedding. From DIY to cutting the guest list in half, it’s an endless game of number crushing. In today’s society with social media, blogs, and wedding magazines, the total costs have hit an all time high!

Wouldn’t you love to use the \$6,000 budget that your parents did at their wedding? Us too!

But that number is unrealistic and unheard of in 2018. Wedding Wire recently wrote a blog about venue prices and stated that the average price of a wedding venue alone runs \$8,798. Catering comes at the second highest expense to your budget of around 40% of your total. So let’s get down to brass tacks here….

We know it can get confusing as to what it actually costs to have a wedding and we’re here to tell you there’s no simple answer. Asking “how much does it cost to have a wedding?” is like asking “how much is it to go on vacation?”….do you want to camp for a couple nights in the Grand Canyon, or do you want to fly to the Four Seasons Resort in the Maldives? We love camping and the Maldives and can help you get to either destination; as long as you tell us which direction you’re headed.

There are many variables to this question as no wedding is the same. It varies from state to state. There are some couples who spend a great deal less or more than the average. Wedding Wire held a survey with 13,000 couples who got married in 2016 and the average total wedding cost (dress, hair, catering, venue, photography, florals, etc.) came to \$35,329. Now don’t forget to breathe as we discuss dollars!

Let’s talk averages for a minute. In addition to the Wedding Wire survey, the average number of guests at a wedding was 141. Your guest count has a lot to do with the cost. More guests = More money. So lets’s say you have a budget of \$20,000 and your guest count is 200. Put 40% of that budget towards catering and \$8,000 towards the venue. That puts you with \$4,000 for your dress, flowers, photography, etc.

Let’s say you find a heck of a deal and spend 30% of your budget on food and a venue for \$5,000, leaving you with \$9,000 for the additions which sounds like the way to go, right? Wrong! Now what if your discounted venue doesn’t come with basic essentials such as tables, chairs, and set up?Nor does it include the caterer (since they’re giving you a deal) thus your venue isn’t providing service staff, food delivery, or china? You guessed it, more stress (more time planning and researching these items) and more money spent to cover the essentials. Whenever there’s a “discount” on a price, there’s a take away in product or service. The phrase “less is more” is a perfect example of cutting corners where you shouldn’t and could result in spending more for lack of services. Booking a cheaper product at the sacrifice of quality is always remembered (the price in not remembered but the lack of quality is).

📷 Brinkerhoff Photography

These days, more couples are paying for their wedding out of pocket without contributors, like parents. This can result in a lower than average budget which is totally fine! Please don’t ever feel embarrassed to share your budget. We see budgets of all shapes and sizes. No judgement here! We are honored you’re considering us to be apart of the biggest day of your life and have your best interest at heart! However, if you have a lower than average budget, consider these three things:

1. Be reasonable! Saturdays are prime days and the most expensive. If you’re stuck on a Saturday event and have a budget of \$10,000 with the national venue average being \$8,000, adjust your budget or consider another day. Weekday weddings are the new rave and tend to be much less. And trust me when I say people WILL take the day off from work to attend your wedding….they want a reason to play hookie!
2. Be realistic! Putting together your guest list is major and can make or break your budget. My favorite example of this is from the movie Great Gatsby. Those parties were so extravagant and lively with a full house of people drinking, dancing, and swinging from chandeliers. Time seemed of no essence…money too! If you’re planning on 200 guests and have a less than average budget, you need to reevaluate how realistic your numbers are. Unless Chipotle* is catering your wedding, cut that guest to an affordable size! (*we love chipotle, but the extra guac can wait).
3. Be smart! When planning your wedding, think of the top 3 things that are most important to you. Is it your dress? The food? Photos? The venue? Being stress-free? Budget out those item and compare booking al a cart services to all inclusive (we call this Full Service). With a Full Service wedding venue, you’ll end up saving more and worrying less. All of the heavy lifting, paperwork, and strategic planning is taken care of.  Best part is, you get to focus on the fun stuff like choosing your colors, enjoying a cake tasting, and writing your vows!

Stonebridge Manor is a full service venue with customizable options for couples to express their uniqueness. Passion comes first, as we strive to give you the wedding of your dreams. So when it comes to cost or budget, think about this….weddings are not about spending the least amount of money, or the most amount of money. They are about spending good money on the elements that are most important to you and your partner. Lastly, we know there are thousands of venues to scout and you may feel that you need to do an endless search. In researching the venue online beforehand, you already know what you want before touring. So once you find it, book it! Even if it’s the fist place you’ve seen. Why keep looking when your must haves meet your budget? Like falling in love, when you know, you know!

By: Brittany Fitch

Edited By: Christy Wilson