Understanding the costs in the wedding industry!


A Wedding Costs How Much?!

If you have started planning your wedding, you have probably already had a few instances of sticker shock. While I can totally relate to the feeling of having your eyes bulge out initially when seeing the costs of wedding services + items, I also encourage you to consider the reasons why things cost what they do. Ultimately, it’s up to you to create a wedding budget that matches your vision, and you get to decide what is worth it to you to spend your hard earned cash on. But before you start researching and reaching out to vendors, it will likely be helpful to take a crash course in wedding costs. Once you understand more about why certain goods or services cost what they do, you can decide what you splurge on and where to save!

Small Business Owners Need to Charge Fair Rates to Stay Afloat

Most of the vendors I work with are small business owners, and they have to have a sound business that pays the bills in order to continue doing the work they love. The alternate of a working with a vendor charging a fair rate is to contract with some one who charges less than the industry standard, likely undercutting other professionals in the process. A vendor who is charging too little is often creating an unsustainable situation where they can’t fully meet the stipulations of their contracts because they aren’t earning enough to keep the business running.

What Should I Expect to Pay?

I always tell my couples to expect a wide range of price points for each category in the wedding world. Why? Just like in almost every sector of our economy, you can purchase similar(ish) items or service at vastly different price tags, and (usually!) those price tags reflect the overall quality of the product or service. You can buy a plain white t-shirt for $5, or $50 or even $500, and generally you can tell the difference in quality. Sometimes the cheaper option is just that, but sometimes It’s up to you to decide which option you want/need/can afford.

For some aspects of your wedding, the least expensive option might be just fine. You may want simple florals, or cupcakes over a tiered cake, or maybe simple dress over a wedding gown will do the trick. But for some aspects of your wedding you might know that you want the best option available, like amazing photos that will last forever. So don’t skim on the photographer! Decides what matters to you the most(ideally pick the top 3-5 items) and spend your money there!

Online Resources

There are some helpful (and some not so helpful!) resources online to help you figure out your wedding budget. Here are some that I find actually helpful:

Here Come the Guide

A Practical Wedding

Offbeat Bride

Match your Wedding Vision Match Your Budget

My biggest piece of advice: Be willing to adjust your budget somewhat as you learn how much things cost, and adjust your budget accordingly. Spend where you want to, save where you want to and don’t stress it too much!