Weddings are expensive. In fact, they are one of the biggest single expenditures you are likely to make, second only to buying a house! Until you’ve planned your own wedding, it can be hard to understand why someone would spend so much money “on just one day”. However, we find that couples rarely have regrets about spending a lot on their wedding day because it’s totally worth it! Because, in fact, your wedding is more than “just one day,” it's an investment, the creation of a day that depicts your love and creates a lifetime of memories with the ones you love most.
Any Size Wedding Budget Can Add Up to the Wedding of Your Dreams
It's important to be realistic about your wedding budget and to stay within a number you can afford. As you start planning, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with possibilities and you may even start to feel like your budget is too restricting. However, our expert team at Wedgewood Weddings can work within every budget; we have over 30 years of experience and we know all the tips and tricks to cut wedding costs and make your budget work.
Also, we understand that every couple that sets out to plan a wedding is unique, with their own set of needs, visions, and priorities. What’s important to one couple may not matter to another. So, as you plan your wedding, take advantage of our expertise for creative ways to stretch your budget further and get the most bang for your buck.
Set a Realistic Budget
Let’s be honest, coming up with a realistic number for your budget is usually low on the list of favorite wedding planning activities. But, alas, it must be done. So, go ahead and plan a time to sit down with anyone who is contributing to your wedding fund to find out exactly what everyone’s expectations are. Traditionally, according to TheKnot.com, the bride’s family pays for the bulk of the wedding ceremony and reception festivities, while the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon.
However, very few couples follow that model these days, so it’s important to avoid making any assumptions. Instead, have an honest conversation about where everyone’s priorities lie and what their expectations are. You may find that your future in-laws are willing to contribute a large amount, but only if you agree to their list of guests to invite.
Also, if others are contributing to your wedding, discuss when they will be giving you the funds. Will they be writing you a check today, or would they prefer to pay in smaller amounts as fees are due? At Wedgewood Weddings, we require 25% of your total when you book, 25% is due 180 days before your wedding, and the final 50% is due 10 days before your event. So keep that in mind as you discuss your budget with your loved ones.
Once you come up with a number that everyone is comfortable with, stick to it! Couples often find their budgets bursting right when they’re nearing the finish line, so we encourage planning an extra 5% into their budget to cover any unexpected costs. Also, there are always creative ways to reduce wedding expenses; so we promise that your budget is doable.
Understand Where the Money Goes
The biggest reason for expensive weddings is that there are a lot of moving parts needed to pull off such a big party. Everything from the venue, the caterer, the photographer, the wedding attire, and so much more needs to be paid for and it adds up quickly. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $33,900 and at Wedgewood Weddings, our all-inclusive weddings range from $5,000 to $60,000! We strive to make any budget work; however, the best way to stay within your budget is to have a system to keep close track of where all the money is going.
A typical wedding budget breakdown goes something like this:
- 50% venue, catering, alcohol, and other rental costs
- 12% photography and videography
- 9% attire, hair, and makeup
- 8% décor
- 7% entertainment
- 3% wedding planner
- 2% wedding invitations
- 2% wedding officiant
- 2% wedding day transportation
- 2% wedding bands
- 2% wedding favors
Pretty straightforward, right? It takes some work, but you can potentially find a vendor to check each one of these boxes one by one. However, chances are that it will be difficult to make the numbers match your percentages exactly, and that is when things get a little dicey with your budget. You might fall in love with a venue that is more than you wanted to spend, so you think you’ll make up for it by hiring a cheaper photographer, but then your caterer added an extra cake cutting fee and suddenly you’re trying to decide if you should just skip the wedding favors altogether.
Instead of throwing in the towel or cutting out wedding features that are important to you, consider a better way! When you choose a wedding venue by Wedgewood Weddings, you roll seven of those wedding expenses into one! Our all-inclusive wedding packages cover your venue, catering and alcohol, décor, wedding planner, officiant, invitations, and entertainment! Really, it’s an amazing deal because often, we’re able to do all of this for you for about the same price as you would pay elsewhere for just the use of the venue!
Are you wondering what the catch is? A lot of couples worry that because our venues are all-inclusive that every wedding will end up looking exactly the same – sort of a wedding conveyor belt situation. However, because all our packages are so customizable, you have the freedom to pick and choose which services are right for you. In fact, it is quite rare that a couple chooses to leave a wedding package as-is, and you are never charged for something you aren’t using, so removing a service does lower your total cost. You are more than welcome to use any of your own vendors (with the exception of catering and bar services), but you’ll get peace of mind knowing you don’t have to!
Everything Is Customizable
Did we catch your eye with all that talk of customizing your perfect wedding package? Well, it’s true! Every Wedgewood Weddings venue has its own set of fully customizable wedding packages. We make it easy on you to create an event that is unique to your tastes, and we’re honest and upfront about the pricing. We break down the process into three easy steps:
- Choose your venue: We have everything from rustic barns to a beachside lighthouse!
- Customize your package: Choose from four levels that can be fully customized to fit your vision and budget.
- Select a season and day of the week: Due to the laws of supply and demand, our prices are greatly influenced by season and day of the week.
And because our venues are all-inclusive, most of your big decisions are super easy to make. You can choose from a list of our reliable vendors instead of running around town trying to find ones you can trust.
You can also choose how hands-on or -off you’d like to be. Some couples want to stay in the driver’s seat. They want to make every single decision and approve every last detail to ensure their wedding meets their vision and standards. However, others find they don’t have the time or desire to be that involved and are comfortable with letting someone else handle the details. We have 30 years of experience so you can trust us to make informed and excellent decisions for you.
You could even let some of your vendors take creative liberty based on what is in season or what they are running a special on. For example, you could ask your florist for their advice on in-season flowers and then let that dictate your color scheme. Then follow that scheme through as you choose the rest of your attire and décor.
No matter how involved you want to be in the process, we have the wedding package for you. We will hold your hand every step of the way and answer all of your texts to help you sort out even the smallest of details, or we can hand you the wedding binder and simply check in with you every few months.
Our Favorite Ways to Reduce Wedding Expenses
As we mentioned, the best way we’ve found to save money is by using an all-inclusive wedding venue. But we’ve also got a few more tricks up our sleeves, plus a few borrowed from APracticalWedding.com and TheKnot.com to make your budget stretch even further.
- Consider an off-season or weekday wedding: A few years ago, weekday weddings were practically unheard of. However, nowadays, couples are taking advantage of the countless benefits to getting married off-season and/or on a weekday. Your venue and vendors will have more availability and will often offer additional discounts just for choosing a non-Saturday.
- Hire a professional photographer for a limited amount of time: Most photographers actually have fewer-hour packages that will cost you significantly less. So instead of hiring them for eight to ten hours, see if you can get all the shots you want in five. You may have to rely on friends and family to capture your grand exit at the end of the night, but that may be worth it in order to cut wedding costs.
- Consider a smaller guestlist: Wedding venues charge by the head for food and liquor, so changing the size of the guest list is the fastest way to reduce wedding expenses. And, while it may seem harsh to make those cuts, there is a tactful way to do it. And, in the end, you probably won’t miss your dad’s college roommate’s son.
- Go casual: The fact is, the more formal the affair, the more expensive it will be. You’ll need to make sure the site, food, music, and overall theme of the wedding is upscale – and that can get expensive fast. By making each of these elements slightly more casual, you should be able to reduce wedding expenses while still hosting an awesome event.
- DIY: Enlist the help of your crafty friends and have a DIY night. You’d be surprised at how much wedding décor you can make yourself with a couple glasses of wine and some feel-good movies.
- Bundle wherever possible: When you choose a Wedgewood Weddings venue, you also have access to our invitations and accessories supplier: com. You’ll love the selection, and you’ll save money by bundling this cost into the cost of your wedding venue.
- Take advantage of every special, discount, or free offer: Often, discounts are there, you just have to find them. At Wedgewood Weddings, we offer our Bliss Benefits program for extra discounts on wedding supplies, plus additional discounts to couples willing to get married within four months of booking. We also offer discounts to active-duty couples who choose non-Saturday weddings, and we even have a “refer a friend” discount! As you research potential vendors and venues, call and ask for available discounts to cut wedding costs or search their websites; every little bit helps.
- Make cuts: When wedding planning, it’s fairly common for the plans to snowball out of control. Thanks to Pinterest, it feels really important to pour a lot of money into tiny details. But ask yourself, “does this matter to me?” “Will anyone even notice or remember this detail?” If the answer to either of those questions is “no”, then go ahead and skip it.
- Enlist your friends: The joy of wedding planning is that, often, your friends and family will volunteer to help as soon as they hear you're engaged! So take advantage of their various talents to save yourself some money. Maybe you have an amateur calligrapher or florist in your family!
Our Favorite Ways to Splurge
At Wedgewood Weddings, we mean it when we say that we can work with any budget. So we like to give advice on how to save money, as well as how to spend it! Whether you want an expensive wedding or a more modest one, you’re going to want to spend your hard-earned money wisely and create the best wedding possible. So, for those couples who have a little room to spare in their budgets, here is a list of our favorite ways to splurge.
- Upgraded chairs: No matter how gorgeous your wedding venue is, the chairs you choose will always end up being a bit of a focal point. After all, there are dozens or even hundreds of them, so the wrong chair can easily become an eyesore. Upgraded chairs (such as Chiavari or Tiffany chairs) are a simple change that can make your space feel more elegant and will look better in the background of your photos.
- Premium liquor: Offering a hosted bar is a great way to ensure your guests let loose and have an awesome time at your reception. So, while you’re at it, upgrade to premium liquor so your guests know how much you appreciate them.
- An epic DJ: Sure, you can make a playlist on your iPod and have a friend make the necessary announcements. But if you want your reception to be truly epic, invest in a quality DJ who knows how to hype up a crowd and keep the party going!
- More food options: With all that premium liquor flowing, you’re definitely going to want your guests to eat. If you have room at the end of your budget, add a few more hors d’oeuvres options or other specialty items like a donut wall or an ice cream bar. Guests will always appreciate more food!
- Your wedding attire: You can splurge on couture if you want to, but it’s most important that you make sure you are comfortable in your wedding attire. That might mean you need to spend a little extra on higher quality items or spend a little more money on alterations to make sure your outfits fit correctly. Also, go ahead and splurge on some great, high-quality wedding shoes that you can wear comfortably all night long!
- Extra personal details: We’re seeing more and more couples go the extra mile to make sure their weddings are personal, and they’re willing to pay for it! So sit down with your partner and think of a few personal touches you could splurge on to make the experience more special for your guests. We love expensive wedding favors that point to the couple’s love story, or extra fancy programs.
- Enhancements: Each of our venues are unique, so make sure to ask about their package enhancements on your discovery tour.
Weddings Come in All Shapes and Sizes
The bottom line is that weddings are as expensive as you want them to be! Whether you want a quiet and small garden wedding or an expensive wedding that would give the Kardashians a run for their money, our team of experts can absolutely make it happen. What is most important is that you and your partner end up married at the end of the day.
At Wedgewood Weddings, we want you to have the best, most stress-free planning experience possible. Whether you need advice on how to cut wedding costs or are looking for features to splurge on, we’ll work within your budget to create the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Call or text us today at (855) 877-9726 to set up a free venue tour at your nearest Wedgewood Weddings venue.