How much do these things even cost??

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1190 posts
Bumble bee

@kitkat2014:  a dear friend of mine is a photographer in the Bay area. He told me the average price for wedding photography in the area is $4K


Post # 4
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We have a lot of friend – ors helping us out. We will be paying $5k for catering (food, beer wine and soda and cake), $900 for a DJ for 6 hours, and my photographer is charging us $600.. . I have no idea how much it will cost in your area but shop around and it never hurts to ask for a discount!

Post # 5
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@kitkat2014:  photographers are typically $3000 and up. As for catering, it depends on if you want a plated dinner or buffet or family style dinner. I chose plated and it will cost about $100 per person. 

Post # 6
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@kitkat2014:  Here is our breakdown in a higher cost city (Philadelphia) but OFFSEASON (Setember is PEAK so that may affect pricing) 

Venue: $100 per person Includes food (SO MUCH FOOD LIKE COPIOUS AMOUNTS with a huge cocktail hour with stations and plated dinner and dessert station), colored linens, chivari chairs, and cake and all tips and open bar

Photography: $1200 for 8 hours of coverage, engagement shoot, and all photos with rights on a disc 


Invitations: $250 DIY pocket invites 


STDs: $80 for kickass magnets that totally fit our personality 


Bridal attire: $1400 for dress, veil, preservation kit, and undergarments and shoes (and 200 added for est. alterations)


Grooms attire: $0 (his tux is free because we have so many people renting from them)

Flowers: $2400 incl. flowers for 7 bms and 7 gms, bridal bouquet, grooms bout., seven misc bouts., floral arch, chair bouquets, 5 high and 5 low centerpieces


Videographer: $0 


DJ and uplighting: $1250 for ceremony, cocktail hour, and recpetion coverage


gifts: $350 for bridal party and parents 


Hair and makeup: $150 for travel to venue for hair and mac makeup 


Misc (favors, guestbook, random decorations like making a card box): $500 


Wedding rings: Have not bought yet but expecting $500 to $750


Honeymoon: $2,750 for week long cruise with shore excursions (we can drive to the port) 


Post # 7
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@kitkat2014:  You should run your thoughts through  Ours came out pretty accurate.

Post # 8
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@kitkat2014:  I forgot to mention I am in the Bay Area.  


DJs are about $1500

cakes about $1000

venue varies greatly depending on location. 

Flowers are really pricey unless you DIY – $4000 and up if you hire a florist ($1000 or so DIY)

Post # 10
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@kitkat2014:   too much! ugh! too much, all of it! 

I’m in Chicago and here the average weddnig is about 50K, I wanted a nice one.. 

Post # 11
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Latitude 41

I’m in Connecticut but here are some of our costs (we are expecting about 140 people)

Flowers will be $1500-$2000 (in season flowers, locally grown)

Photographer $4,000

Venue/Food about $25,000 (this includes a $4,000 rental fee)

Save-The-Dates: I got a groupon for vistaprint and ending up spending about $50 total

Honeymoon: $5,000 for 10 days in Antigua in an all-inclusive

DJ: $1500 for ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing music. He will also have an attendant

PhotoBooth: haven’t set this up yet but will be around $800

Day Of Coordinator (for my own personal comfort): $400

Chair Rentals for ceremony and dinner (I hate the chairs at our venue): about $1500!! Insane.

Favors (I am making candles in mason jars): $250 for materials

There are a ton of smaller costs (i.e. the flower girl basket, your shoes, guest book, escort cards, candles, etc.) What we did is start putting money away on a monthly basis and then I started buying small things immediately.  I buy a little something almost every week.  For instance, I have been buying votive candles for the tables at A.C. Moore anytime they have a coupon out for 50% of one item.  I go with my fiance and we each buy one.  I have all the candles I need for my wedding in June already and paid half-price for them.  I figure by the time the wedding rolls around I will have some hefty bills to pay.  I don’t want the small things to make the sting that much worse so I’m buying now…including a new bathing suit for the honeymoon.  The small stuff can add up quick.

Post # 12
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

The above poster from CT was pretty close for the budget of the Bay Area too.  Obviously, items will vary greatly depending on the exact city in the Bay Area and the type of venue.  Some venues can be $3,000-7,000 + just to rent.  Then food can easily be $120 + per person.  You can do less expensive, but you may have to look hard, pick a nearby city or change up some of your ideas.  Photographers can be $3,000-4,000 +.  DJ $1500 +.  Flowers $3500-4,000+, basic cakes can easily start at about $1,000 and go up depending on the details of it and delivery.  I just did a wedding last weekend in San Francisco and they did only heavy appetizers and drinks and that was $8900 just for those two items for 100 people.  Good luck!

Post # 13
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@kitkat2014:  Would you mind sharing a bit more details? There are several of us from the bay area that are already married and could probably help you out.

That being said a few things:

-Photographer-minimum $3,000 to about $4,000 average for a decent package

-DJ-depends on the package and number of hours. I believe ours was around $2,500 or there abouts. We had light packages added. Definitely shop around.

-Venue, decorations and rehearsal dinner there is NO way to estimate without knowing what you are going for.

Venues around here can start at $1,000 just to use the space and go up to $15,000 depending on guest count and location etc.

Decorations are up to you. We spent well over $10K on decor but not everyone goes to that extreme. Pick a theme or overall idea and go from there. Decide how much you want to spend and discuss with a florist and on the bee etc. There are great ideas out there and anything you DIY will be cheaper too.

Rehearsal dinner can be as simple as pizza and salad to complex like renting out a restaurant so again it is hard to estimate.

Post # 14
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@kitkat2014:  I’m getting married at a golf club closer to the coast (Monterey/Carmel/Santa Cruz area), but we looked all around the Bay Area.  Most of the prices I’ve included below are around the lowest that we’ve come across that still fit with our priorities and budget.  We’re expecting to have about 150 guests.  Feel free to PM me if you want any additional details!  

Venue: $3,000 (includes ceremony site, reception and cocktail areas, day of coordinator, etc.) 

Food and alcohol: $11,000 (we’re doing stations, a cocktail hour, and open bar throughout)

Flowers: $2,000 (ceremony and reception, this may change as we get closer and have thought through what we really want for the space)

Photographer: $3,200 (includes having her travel in for the wedding because she’s not a Bay Area photographer but we love her work)

Photobooth: $500 (Living Social deal)

DJ: $1,500 

Save-the-dates and Invites: $450



Post # 15
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I live in Dallas and the cost of weddings here is quite expensive. We actually married in Alabama, where I grew up and where my family lives, and if we had the exact same wedding in Dallas, that we had in Alabama, it would have been at least 3 times the cost. Thankfully our budget went a lot further since we weren’t in a major metropolotan city! I’m not sure what it is like where you live, but here is apx. what we paid in Montgomery:

Ceremony Venue: $500 (we were members of the church – you are not allowed to get married there if you are not a member)

Reception Venue: $30,000 – this included the venue itself, food,  (minus the cakes), beverages including alcohol,  and staffing.

Flowers: $17,000 – I realize this is a bit absurd 🙂 My mother is an interior decorator and only really cared about one aspect of the wedding – the flowers. My parents paid for the wedding so it wasn’t a big deal. 🙂

Photographer – $7,000 – I had my dream photographer. I could certianly have found someone for much less.

Invitations – $3,000 – we had a 220# letterpressed, caligraphied invitation and reply card, inner and outer envelope with custom caligraphied addressing. We also used vintage stamps, this price includes all of that for apx. 650 invitations.

Save the Dates – $800 – my best friend is a paper designer and owns her own shop, so I got the design for free. This price includes the letterpress printing of the card, envelopes and letterpressed return address on the back of the envelope.

Other Paper Items – $800 – this includes a 4 page program, welcome basket tags, a “do not disturb, I’ve been partying with the bride and groom” door hang tag for all of our out of town guests and favor tags and various welcome basket food bags.

Videographer- $2500

Band $2500 – this is where I saw a huge discrepancy in location. The same caliber band would have been about $15,000 in Dallas.

Rentals – $2,700 – this includes colored napkins, chiavari chairs, tent liner, table clothes etc.

Cakes – apx 2500 for both the brides 5 tier cake and grooms peanut butter chocolate cake

Lighting – apx $2000 incuding pin lighting for the various rooms in the reception, lighting, uplighting in the tent and 2 chandeliers for the tent.

Favors – apx $500 – we gave stone ground grits in a mason jar, wrapped with a tag that included my grandmothers grit recipe. (It was Alabama after all :)) 

Gifts for Bridal and Groom Parties – apx $2000 total ( I think ) we chose to really bless our wedding party – I paid for some of their bridesmaid dresses so they would not have to pay an outrageous amount, we gave them monogrammed button ups to wear the day of, hair and makeup and salt water pearl earrings to wear in the wedding. My husband paid for his grooms custom bow ties and ordered custom gifts for each of them.

Hotel Costs $3000 – this covered the most of the wedding party (16 total but some stayed with family they had that lived in town), the out of town officiant, flower girl and family, ring bearer and family, grooms family, house party and ushers. My family paid for my girls and the officiant, and  my husbands family paid for their hotels rooms and his guys. 

Dress: $5500 –  bought my dress from a local bridal salon, it was my dream dress – you can certainly find beautiful ones that don’t cost this much.

Hair/Makeup: $800 – this included travel to my parents house, bride and bridesmaid hair and makeup.

Grooms Attire -$350 per suit (my husband asked his groomsmen if they would rather buy a custom suit at a discounted price or just rent tuxes/suits – they all opted to buy suits. So they when a local suit shop had one of those “buy 1 get 2 free” promo deals going on they took advantage of that) 

As always, there are other details that will come up that you are not expecting. My advice is to set your budget early on and stick to it, even it means going for a less expensive option. Remember, your wedding day is about your marriage, and the wedding is just a celebration of you pledging your love to your husband! We celebrate because there is reason to celebrate! But, as the wedding planning gets crazy or stressful, because it undoubtedly will, remember why you’re doing this in the first place 🙂 It’s not about how much money you spend – but about the love between you and your man and the celebration of your union!


Good luck!

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors