(Closed) So, how does this whole 'paying for a wedding' thing work?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I wondered the same thing, but after calling around to all of these places, they usually all just need a deposit down then you pay the rest later. All of the photographers and djs I talked to wanted half now and half by the wedding.

Post # 4
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Yeah, they usually want a deposit to secure the date, anywhere from 10-50%. 

Post # 5
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Each venue has their own rules but in my area (DC) it’s common for the venue to ask for half down when you sign the contract, half due on the day of the event.

Caterer– the ones we interviewed all wanted a deposit between $500-1000 to hold the date, 50-75% due one month before the event, and the balance on the day of.

DJ, Makeup, Limo- Half upon signing the contract and the balance due the day of.

Not sure about flowers since we’re having a friend do them for us.

Post # 6
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Start looking now…the venue requires a deposit up front to hold your date for you.  For my venue we made the initial deposit ($1500), the mid-way deposit at the half way point to our venue ($2250) and the rest of the balance will be due two weeks before the wedding.  With DJ, Photographer, Flowers, etc, some will require a partial payment (usually  half) up front and the rest is due after the services are performed.

My Fiance and I are paying for our wedding and the best advice I can give to you, is even though you are shooting for a 2014 date start saving now!  It is all of the little things that you dont think about that will add up.

Post # 7
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

It depends on the venues, some places asked for 20 percent some 50 percent. I would start saving up right now and be ready to have some money to put down to hold your date.

Some vendors want to get paid day off, and my venues wants payment in full two weeks before the wedding.

Post # 8
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

We sat down and discussed what we could reasonably save in time for the wedding (Nov 2013) and then set a budget ($5,000.)  After setting the budget we were able to get an idea of how much money is going to go towards each portion of the budget (i.e. food, venue, flowers, dress, etc….)

Most vendors require a deposit to save the date and then payment of the balance a few weeks before the wedding (some vendors allow payment of the balance on the day of the wedding.)

Start saving now and when you get to 12-18 months before your planned wedding date see how much you have saved up.  You should have a good idea of what to budget at that point.  Once you are 12-18 months out form your wedding date you can start signing contracts and putting down deposits.  Until you have the money for deposits there really is no need to meet with vendors but you can definitely look and plan up until then.  We have 16 months until our wedding and we’ll start putting down deposits this fall; by then we will have saved 3/4 of our budget.

Post # 9
1274 posts
Bumble bee

Generally, yes, venues want you to put down a $ amount for a deposit to secure your date. My venue for example was 20% to secure the date, 20% 6 months before and then the remainder 30 days before the wedding day. 

If you have a date that you’d like to get married, I’d start calling places now, and if you find a few you like, just ask them what their deposit and $$ situation is so you’ll know a budget you’re gonna need to book right away. Smart to start looking now I would say, depending on where you live, near a big city, venues do get booked sometimes a year or more in advance. A few I called were 2 -3 years (who freaking books something THAT far in advance?! lol) 

I would also definitely suggest sketch out a rough guest list with you and Fiance and family if necessary to get a general head count. That will help when talking to venues too.  

But a lot of vendors for weddings, photographers, djs etc will want a deposit right away to secure the date/wedding then the rest pay later or on the day of the wedding. 

Post # 10
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Different vendors might have different requirements. Payments is definitely something you should ask them about when you’re shopping around. But for me:

Venue – Deposit upfront, paid in full 7 days prior to event

Flowers – Half upfront, half 4 weeks before event

Favors – I’m not doing these but this will likely be all upfront.

Band – Deposit upfront, paid in full the day of event

Hair/make-up – Deposit upfront, paid in full the day of the event

Ceremony musicians – Paid the day of the event

Cake – Deposit upfront, paid in full 2 weeks before event

Photographer – Half upfront, half 2 weeks before event

Good luck!

Post # 11
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Most want a deposit (25-50%) when you book with the balance being due anywhere from 2-6 weeks before the date if not on the wedding date.

Post # 12
3770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

My venue (which doubled as caterer) asked for a 25% deposit, everyone else has asked for about 15% – 50% down.  I would say you’ll need around 30% of your budget right away for deposits, and the rest you can save up.  All of our vendors except for one asked for the remainder by 2 weeks before the wedding, and one gave us an installment payment plan finished by 2 weeks after the wedding (very rare I think).

Post # 13
13017 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

The majority of my vendors require half the payment at the contract signing, and the other half somewhere between two weeks prior or the day of the wedding.  It hasn’t been bad, other than the catering deposit, which was a painful one to pay!

My advice to you is to make a wedding savings account and put all you can in there!  Tax refunds, spare change, etc.  My Fiance and I have a jar of change and we roll it once a month…we’ve come up with  over $200 in change over the last year!

Post # 14
1425 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

It all depends on the companies, venues, and if you’re using people you know. You may need a retainer that is some percentage of the final price, security deposits, and payments over a period of time.

For example:

– Our ceremony and reception venue required a security deposit, that was the non-taxed final price of both rooms, three weeks after signing the contract and we’ll get that back a week after the wedding and a historical fee will be pulled from it, as well.

– Our DOC requires a 30% retainer fee of her final price and the remaining money is due 30 days before the wedding.

– Our photographer requires a 15% retainer fee and we can either pay the rest of the final cost monthly or 30 days before the wedding.

– We’re using friends who have their own businesses for the DJ and videographer, so they are allowing us, as of right now, to pay the week of the wedding, when normally they wouldn’t.


Post # 16
3770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

@abbie017:  I totally second opening a wedding account… we also signed up for a United mileage card and pay for everything on the card and pay off the card using the wedding account.. that way you get a mileage point for every $1 your spend (or however that works) that can go towards your honeymoon or any other travels!

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