Often, when planning your wedding you will hear: What is your budget? Do you know?

A wedding costs more than you think. This will give you a sample budget.

What’s in your wedding budget? Should you book your wedding venue first?

At our tastings and consultations, most brides tell me they book their wedding venue first.  Usually because they are the first to be unavailable on your date.  But maybe that shouldn’t be the first item checked off your list.   That decision will dictate everything else that follows.  You might want to do some research for every aspect of your wedding before you spend that first dollar. 

As wedding cake designers we realize that we play a small part in your overall wedding day so we are usually one of the last vendors a couple will choose.  As a result we see and hear a lot from our brides about wedding costs in general.

So we decided to give new brides a little insight as to how much money you might need when planning your dream wedding and choosing your wedding venue.

You might think $25,000.00 is a large budget… but when you start comparing the quotes you are receiving to this sample budget, you might be surprised.  The little things do add up!   So, plunking down $10,000.00 on a wedding venue might seem like a good idea when you have a $25,000.00 budget… but if you want/need these other services, maybe not…. considering the venue in this $26,000.00 breakdown was only $3611.00.

Take a minute to look at this list and you will see what we mean.  We hope this will give you a little more of an idea of how wedding services come together.    Nothing seems out of line here with this budget, but the money goes…. and goes.   And the wedding venue is probably the most expensive.

And, I don’t see wedding insurance, which a lot of venues and planners require you to have,  or liquor licenses listed here… there will be a lot of unexpected expenses… some venues will require you hire a wedding planner from their preferred vendor list.  Some will even insist you pay a 10% vendor fee.  They will require a copy of all of your vendor invoices to make sure they get their 10%.  (note:  this is not paid by the vendor, you sign the contract, you pay the fee! )

So, this is just meant to give you a chance to slow down in the spending until you really decide what is the most important to you.  And how many guests are really important to invite.    And by all means, know why it’s important.    We’ve seen huge weddings that were just finger foods and desserts to smaller intimate weddings that rolled out the red carpet.  It just depends on what is important to you.

I hope this helps,


This report came from “The Wedding Report” First Quarter 2017

Market Totals First Quarter 2017

Market Summary



Attire & Accessories
Dress Accessories $224
Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories $103
Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase $208
Wedding Dress/es $1,220
Beauty & Spa
Hair Service $67
Makeup Service $54
Manicure & Pedicure $45
DJ $735
Live Band $1,698
Musician/s, Soloist, or Ensemble $619
Flowers & Decorations    And these costs go up with the number of attendants and guest tables!
Bouquets $340
Boutonnieres, Corsages $147
Event Decorations $446
Event Flowers & Arrangements $617
Event Table Centerpieces $326
Gifts & Favors
Gift/s for Attendants   $104  
Gift/s for Parents $122
Tips (for all services) $384
Wedding Favors $239
Ceremony Programs   $127
Engagement Announcements $108
Guest Book $61
Invitations & Reply Cards   $226
Postage   $105
Reception Menus   $125
Save the Date Cards   $112
Table Name and Escort/place Cards $85
Thank You Cards   $90
Engagement Ring $3,406
Wedding ring/band for HER $785
Wedding ring/band for HIM $456
Photography & Video
Digital or Photo cd/dvd $293
Engagement Session $397
Prints and/or Enlargements $238
Wedding album/s or photo book/s $420
Wedding Photographer $1,610
Wedding Videographer $1,072
A La Carte Services $943
Day of Coordinator $811
For Getting Started $874
Full Service $2,767
Month of Direction $1,063
Venue, Catering & Rentals
Ceremony Officiator $214
Event Accessories $327
Event Bar Service $2,377
Event Food Service $4,674
Event Location $3,611
Event Rentals $1,737
Hotel Room for After Reception $315
Limo Rental $483
Other Transportation $518
Rehearsal Dinner $572
Wedding Cake/dessert $419
   And I know from my experience that the above price might not include, delivery, setup, boxes for leftovers, or cake cutting fees.