$20k DC area wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Washington, D.C.
Post # 2
Member
1653 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

cbj9:  totally possible!  I had 100 guests at my wedding in Haymarket, va.  Outside of DC.  Feel free to msg me if you want my vendors, I think I paid ballpark $18k, about $10k of that was venue and food.  

Post # 3
Member
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

It depends on what you want. All out luxury for 100 on that budget? No, that is not possible. All out luxury for 40? That’s totally possible. Moderate for 75-100, possible if you are thrifty and willing to look outside of DC proper. What are you hopong for? What are your restrictions? What are you willing to do yourself? Like if you skip pro hair and make-up, that’s an easy $400-500 savings. Are you okay with vistaprint invitations, or are you a letterpress girl? The difference between the two is easily $1k. Do you want the low stress convenience of an all-in-one venue, or are you okay with traveling between sites and/or sourcing your own catering/tables/chairs/linens/etc.? Do you demand filet, or are you happy with roast beef? It’s all in what sort of tradeoffs you are willing to make.

Post # 4
Member
11734 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You can do it if you leave the city (like a PP said – Haymarket – i.e, 40 miles away), or if you have a small wedding. 

I had a 130 person wedding in Dupont Circle… so, we ended up significantly higher than your budget.  However, most of my guests traveled in, and to me, it was important to have the wedding in the city.

Post # 5
Member
239 posts
Helper bee

I think I agree with lovekiss: the budget can work if you decide which parts of the wedding are most important to you, and splurge there, then choose to go simple with the other parts.

We are having 130 guests in Laurel, MD at Patuxent Greens Golf Club. Our budget for everything (including rehearsal dinner, hotel stay for pre-wedding and wedding night, dress, food, band, DJ, photog, uplighting, etc.) is coming to about $20K. $11K of which is venue, food, open bar, dessert buffet, and cupcake cake. 

We scaled down on a few areas that weren’t as important, like flowers (our centerpieces will be candle gardens, and my mom is making the bouquets and bouts with fresh flowers from Costco). And our venue gave us the “party” package instead of the “wedding” package, which is basically the same, but ~$15/pp cheaper.

And also I have definitely noticed the closer you get to downtown DC, the more that $20K will turn into $40, $50, $60. So if you’re willing to choose a venue in MD (the PG Parks are great!) or VA, like LavenderBride24:  then that could make your dream wedding AND $20K budget both possible.

Post # 6
Member
1028 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

cbj9:  Our wedding will be under $10k right in the heart of DC with about 70 guests. I really think it depends on the amount of work you’re willing to put into it but it definitely can be done.

Post # 7
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

cbj9:  It is hard in our area, but possible to do.  Like PPs have mentioned, it depends on your style of wedding, number of guests, how far away from the city you’re willing to be at, and how much DIY you can do.  $20k is the budget we’re trying to stick to for 100 people, but we’re going to be over that.

The majority of our guests will be from out of town, so we ended up going with the Gaithersburg Marriott (~20 miles north of the city) because it was logistically the best choice, and the package included all the food, alcohol, complimentary suite for 2 nights, wedding cake, etc… However we did spend a huge chunk of the budget on that, so we’re trying to even out by scaling down on flowers, dj, decor, etc…

The Holiday Inn in Germantown, MD just opened their new banquet facility called The Highlands and I thought their packages were very reasonably priced.  The platinum package for plated meals (including hors d’oeuvres and salad) range from $122-$135 per person, but they throw in 5 hours of photography, 5 hours of DJ service, 4 hours of open bar, champagne, a wedding cake, floral centerpieces, uplighting, linens, chair covers, 6 bouquets and boutonnieres, an overnight stay, and discounted room rates.  

Post # 8
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2014

cbj9:  Our wedding will be in Old Town Alexandria this fall and our budget is 20k.  We’re having a fairly small number of guests (65) and our reception will be at a restaurant.  These two factors have contributed the most to keeping costs down.  With the restaurant reception there is no site fee, only a food and beverage minimum and we don’t have to spend a lot on rentals.  In fact the only thing I’m bringining in for decorations are flowers.  Hope this helps you in your planning!  

Post # 9
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We spent $20k on our wedding for 84 guests at a hotel in Old Town Alexandria back in November.  It’s possible, it just took a lot of searching. 

We had a 4 hour lunch reception.  That was the only way I could find to keep costs down without significantly cutting the guest list or having the wedding way outside of the city – which was inconvenient for our guests since most were from out of town.  Once I started asking vendors about the prices for lunch/brunch receptions instead of dinner, a whole lot more places fell within our budget.

Having a shorter reception saved on the prices of a photog and DJ over the traditional 5 hour package…plus our DJ was able to work an event that evening after our wedding, so we got a good deal.

 

 

Post # 10
Member
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We spent just under $20k for 70 in somewhat rural Montgomery County MD. We had an evening wedding, complete with cocktail hour, full dinner, cake + extra sweets, open bar (beer/wine only, though), etc. I do not feel like we skimped at all, but we did luck out with some fabulous and affordable vendors. I didn’t even have to DIY anything in order to cut costs, which was nice because I was an out-of-town bride. 

Let me know if you want any vendor recommendations! We were super happy with everyone we used.

Post # 11
Member
6273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

it was definately doable for a baltimore wedding. 

i picked the top of the line food.

but if i picked bottom tier at the hotel i chose, then i would have come in under $20k for 120 guests.

Post # 12
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I don’t have any personal experience with trying to make it affordable in DC (we gave up almost immediately on the idea of getting married here and are instead going the destination route) but all of the weddings I’ve been to in this area have been out past Woodbridge or near Charlottesville (and they’ve been AMAZING!).

Post # 13
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 1998

I had a bride do a wedding that was very nice actually for around $10k.  She got married at the historic Zion Church off of rt. 50 in Aldie and think that was $500 and then the rest was spent using the Pavillion at Brambleton Park which they did the catering right there.  It was surprisingly really lovely and well attended.

Post # 14
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 1998

You might also want to consider using a restuarant as the reception venue.  That can save a ton of money because you get the reception space and the food is all in house.  Pazo in Baltimore is one that is great for this!

Post # 15
Member
5 posts
Newbee

cbj9:  It all depends on the number of guests you’ll be expecting and the type of venue you’re desiring.  But a wedding under $20,000 is definitely doable without taking place in a backyard.  

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