It depends on how much you are willing to diy and what you consider to be a nice wedding. Our budget was $5000 for 175 guests and we came in well under budget. I think it was $4000. IDK, we broke in down on a thread recently. TBH though, we weren’t looking to have a ‘nice’ wedding. We wanted to celebrate our wedding in a way consistent with how we live, but with some extras. Like we did spring for a caterer, professional photographer, and DJ. But we did set up, tear down, and decor ourselves. My dress was custom made in China for $200 and looked exactly like the pic and was quality material.
Plus our venue was free and included tables, chairs, a sound system, bathrooms, ac, parking. . All of those can be a concern with park or backyard weddings. Trust me, we seriously thought about it, but the costs Vs doing it indoor for free at our church made doing it outside illogical. And that worked out since it rained lol.
I’d focus your money on what’s most important and stick to ypur budget. It’s really easy to get sucked on and add extras that increase the bottom line. For example, we hadn’t planned to do professional hair and makeup, but added it in only after we came in under budget.
We could have afforded a more elegant wedding, but it wouldn’t have reflected us as a couple. We aren’t elegant, we wanted to have fun and eat food and play board games, all of which our guests got to do. Unfortunately , we didn’t have time to play board games lol, but i wouldnt have changed anything.
Make the party about you as a couple and enjoy it.
For the photographer, I’d ask around. If your budget is $5000 for the wedding, it doesn’t make sense to spend $2000 unless it’s your top priority over food and your dress. There are packagea with fewer hours. Also, a less experienced photographer might be less expensive. We spent $600 and she shot for 12 hours with the engagement photos included and bringing a second photographer to assist at the reception.
She was cheaper because she’s still in school. She’s already done 12 weddings on her own, plus a lot of family portraits and reunions. She’s working most weekends and building her portfolio quickly. She’s really talented and I’m so lucky to book her while she’s still a student. I have a feeling she’s going to have a busy business in a few years. We are going to keep using her for family portraits too if she continues doing it.