Weddings cost money. It doesn't matter if you're planning the biggest wedding of the year or if you're doing a courthouse wedding and going out with your closest friends for dinner to celebrate after. It costs roughly $75 to get married at your local courthouse. Add in $15 dollars for your marriage licence, maybe $50 for a simple nice dress, and $100 for dinner and you're looking at a wedding coming under $250.00. Photo by: Michelle Walker Photography If you're looking to spend as little as humanely possible on your wedding, a courthouse wedding is a good place to start. However, everyone's dream wedding is different and come with different budgets.
How Much Do Average Weddings Cost?Average Cost of:
- Wedding Venue: $12,343.00
- Wedding Officiant: $300.00
- Limo Service: $800.00
- Live Wedding Band: $3,500.00
- Wedding Photographer: $2,559.00
- Wedding Dress: $1,357.00
- Groom's Tux: $197.00
- Wedding Cake: $450.00
- Wedding Flowers: $2,141.00
- Hair & Make Up: $300.00
- Wedding Invitations (including all the trimmings): $750.00
- Wedding Caterer: $7,000.00
The Low Budget WeddingLow end cost of:
- Wedding Venue: $640.00
- Wedding Officiant: $100.00
- Limo Service: $220.00
- Live Wedding Band: $450.00
- Wedding Photographer: $323.00
- Wedding Dress: $120.00
- Groom's Tux: $120.00
- Wedding Cake: $125.00
- Wedding Flowers: $189.00
- Hair & Make Up: $60.00
- Wedding Invitations (including all the trimmings): $150.00
- Wedding Caterer: $400.00
The Pull No Punches WeddingHigh end cost of:
- Wedding Venue: $20,000.00
- Wedding Officiant: $650.00
- Limo Service: $1,800.00
- Live Wedding Band: $9,750.00
- Wedding Photographer: $4,500.00
- Wedding Dress: $2,600.00
- Groom's Tux: $2,600.00
- Wedding Cake: $1,000.00
- Wedding Flowers: $4,200.00
- Hair & Make Up: $1,050.00
- Wedding Invitations (including all the trimmings): $1,300.00
- Wedding Caterer: $13,000.00
Plan Within Your BudgetWhile these numbers come from various bride surveys and market trends, remember that they represent the typical and average. You can make more room in your budget by forgoing some of these items or if you have personal connections to vendors, you might find yourself a deal. A lot of couples looking to save may even have an outdoor, backyard reception, forgoing any venue costs. Additionally, keep in mind that there a million little small details to account for. For example, wedding accessories like cake toppers, wedding garters, and table center pieces, while not big purchases will still add to you total costs. Whatever your dream wedding is just remember that a wedding that stays within budget is always going to be less stressful.
If you're asking this question, chances are you're leaning towards not, but are feeling some pressure to do so. A lot of the time deciding not to hire a wedding planner is either because you don't have the budget for one or because you don't want someone else planning a day you've been dreaming about for years. We get it. To answer you're question simply: No, you don't really need a wedding planner. However, wedding planners can be a huge asset, especially if you've planning a large or destination wedding. Plus, wedding planners come in many different shapes and sizes. So you'll likely find a wedding planner that fits your wants and needs, while also fitting a budget.
How to know if you should hire a wedding planner.If you can say yes to the one or more of the following, a wedding planner may be exactly what you need:
- There are too many people providing or insisting upon conflicting input on how the wedding should be.
- You're having a destination wedding.
- You don't have any reliable sources to find quality wedding vendors.
- You don't have any outside help from family or friends to get everything done.
- You and or your future spouse are unable to meet with vendors during the week.
What type of wedding planner should you hire?Whether you are concerned about your budget or about having more control and involvement in the process, the good news is that you have a lot of different options that go beyond the traditional, full-service wedding planner. For example, a budget friendly option is an À La Carte Planner. This would be a planner that works with you part-time and on a need basis. Usually they charge an hourly rate or flat fee for the specific services and projects you want them to help you with. Another budget friendly option that works for brides that want to be in complete control of the wedding planning, but to sit back and enjoy the wedding day is a Day-of Coordinator. This type of wedding planner simply coordinates everything on the day of your wedding. They'll be working with the vendors, keeping everything on schedule, and organizing any post wedding clean ups. Then, if you have no idea what you want your wedding to look like or have a very big and unique vision, you might consider an event designer. This is someone that would work alongside you or a more traditional wedding planner. They don't handle any of the logistics or budget tracking. They are focused on coordinating with vendors only to create the vision and design. A full service wedding planner, of course, does everything. They handle the bringing the vision to life through design and logistics. This doesn't mean they take over and you don't get a say. It simply means that you have an expert to help make what you want happen and that knows what the best options really are. Plus, anything you don't want to deal with can be completely handled by the wedding planner.
But, do you HAVE to hire a wedding planner?? Like, really?Do you have to hire a wedding planner for your big day to be wonderful? Of course not. Can it make it easier to enjoy the process and prevent any hiccups along the way? Definitely. Ultimately, and as always, the decision is yours!
Is there such a thing as Elopement Etiquette?Planning a wedding today takes a lot of time and money. Which tends to equal stress. The average cost of a traditional wedding is upwards of $20,000! This rules out the budget of a lot of newly engaged couples. Pamela Paul, author of The Starter Marriage and Future of Matrimony, says "They're sort of thinking it's either $25,000 on a wedding or $25,000 on a down payment.” So it makes sense that couples are choosing to elope more now than ever before and are asking if there really is an elopement etiquette. Eloping has had a negative connotation in the past. However, it’s not about rebellious teenage courthouse hitchings anymore. Instead, it's couples choosing intimacy and affordability. A typical elopement today is more defined by simplicity, a beautiful destination, and a short guest list. This turn from the rebellious to being a type of wedding means that you have some elopement etiquette that you can use to guide your wedding planning.
Elopement PlanningFirst off, spending a little time planning will make your small wedding personalized, less stressful, and more memorable. Actually, businesses are starting up around the country to help! For example, “Flora Pop” is a traveling pop-up elopement company offering planning services for small ceremonies of 15 people or less.
Elopement EtiquetteWhether you wait until after the deed is done or you’re inviting them to attend, let your family know! A personal invite over the phone or even sending a formal card works fine. Do what makes the most sense for you!
Are you a wanderlust bride?Avoid unpleasant surprises by taking into account questions like these when planning your destination ceremony:
- Is there a waiting period after your marriage license application?
- What documentation is required (drivers license, birth certificate, divorce decree from former marriage, etc.)?
- What is the cost of a marriage license?
- How much does the pastor or judge charge to perform the ceremony?
- How much does it cost to hold the wedding at the venue of your choice?
Next, Consider the No-Brainers of a Traditional Wedding for your Elopement
Send marriage announcements!Let your friends and family celebrate with you even if they couldn't be there on your special day! After some enough time has passed for them to receive the announcement, try sending them an email with photos of your wedding and honeymoon! Why?They’ll get a sense of involvement this way and will enjoy hearing about your adventures. Plus, you may not want a big wedding, but that doesn't mean you don't want to share the best day of your life with all the people you love. This is a great way to do just that.
To register or not to register?Go for it, especially if you are having a small post-marriage reception! Really, it's a good idea to let your loved ones support you. Plus, it's never a bad thing to let them shower you with gifts as you start your life as a married couple. You can always add your registry to your marriage announcement. Although, you don’t want to forget to send thank you cards out as soon as possible!
What other considerations would you recommend taking for a small elopement ceremony?
Share with us in the comments below or comment #wedcollectibles on social media with your ideas.
Photo by Taylor Harding
Old. New. Borrowed. Blue.We’ve learned that the happiest brides are ones that find ways to make conventional wedding traditions represent their personal style, their family, and their personality. One of our favorite traditions that any bride can have fun with is wearing “something borrowed and something blue”. This English tradition has been bringing brides good luck and fortune since the 1800s. The original rhyme is “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe”. However, what began as a way to bless the bride with good luck and fidelity is now also a way to create timeless keepsakes and show some creativity.
How real brides are making traditions their own!In Hawaii, one bride went beach-combing before her sunset wedding. On the beach she found a white rock and decided to use it as her something borrowed. She placed the small rock in her bouquet for the ceremony. Then, before she left she tossed it back to the sea. Jessica Belew of Bremerton, WA, had some precious items as her good luck charms. She wrapped a handkerchief around her bouquet that “had [her] name and wedding date embroidered in blue [and] had the appliques from [her] mom’s veil stitched on.” It is now a treasured family heirloom that she hopes her daughter will use one day. Another more unconventional bride made her family and friends’ smiles widen when she walked down the aisle with a borrowed tennis racket from her new mother-in-law in her bouquet. That’s one way to show a family’s history of sports!
Whatever you do, make wedding traditions you!Culture, family, personality, and religion can all play a big part in the wedding planning process. While juggling it all can be stressful, we hope you’ll remember to have fun and look for unique ideas that make your wedding day memorable. Whether it is a nerdy groom’s cake, a sapphire ribbon sewn into your dress, skydiving in your wedding attire, or memorable thank you cards there is a variety of options to make your special day less conventional.
Check out more Old. New. Borrowed. Blue. Ideas here!
Picking your wedding colors can be a daunting task, so when we find something that might make that a little bit easier for our brides, we want to share it! Wedding Wire ( an Wedding Planning sight with access to vendors, inspiration, and planning tools) has recently come out with a color palette generator. How exciting is that?
How to Use ItThe tool is super easy. You start by clicking on if you want spring, summer, fall or winter colors. They even have cute little icons to go with it. With summer coming up, we chose summer. Step two takes you to four primary color options. This is the base or main color for your wedding. Whether you use this tool or not, we recommend choosing a base color and one or two accent colors. This will help you create a cohesive look. After you select your primary color the tool will then prompt you to create an account in order to see your generated color palettes. This is pretty typical of free tools like this and it 100% doesn't hurt. Your already planning your wedding, might as well get access to other planning tools to help you along the way. Once you make your account, the tool will take you to six color combo options. This is when you pick your favorite to act as the jumping point for your whole wedding look! We selected the navy, mint, and coral combo. And that's it. The generator give you the option to print your color palette, but otherwise you're done! Unless you want to start over and start again!
What We Think About ItThe generator is still in it's beta stage. This is encouraging because while we LOVE the concept and the ease of the tool, but there is something left to be desired in the color options. However, we do believe that even the basic options can be a good launch to hone your vision. Since Wedding Wire also features wedding inspirations, we also think it would be great if they linked in wedding inspirations in your chosen color palette. This way you can see it really come to life. It may be the direction they plan to go, but it does seem like it could be tricky to make a reality. Overall, we think the tool is a fun idea and are hopeful!
Do you think a Color Palette Generator could be helpful for your wedding planning?
5 Hot Wedding Colors for 2018
Pick Your Dream Wedding ColorsOne of the first items on your to do list for wedding planning is picking your wedding colors. You can't buy anything, aside from maybe your white wedding dress, until you know the color scheme! You might discover the perfect wedding invite or flowers, but if the color's don't work for the whole wedding, it just won't work. Here are 5 of the hottest wedding colors for 2018!
OrangeThis is Why We’re Loving Orange for Wedding Colors This Season Hello ORANGE! Now, a lot of brides may be scared to use a color as bold as the color orange. However, when pulling the color statement from natural floral with lighter colors and neutrals as the back drop, you will be pleasantly surprised.
A Dusty Teal BlueAnna Delores Photography These velvet tablecloths show off exactly why a soft teal blue is hitting high notes this wedding season. Combined with a rose gold and you can't lose!
HoneyAiry, Organic Wedding Inspiration with Honey Hues Warm honey hues are perfect for just about any wedding in any season. It is especially nice when paired with a contrasting cool color like the baby blue shown above. It creates a very natural and earthy tone to your wedding even if you are not using natural materials!
Ultra VioletShannon Rosan Violet has been in season in not just wedding, but fashion and home decor. So it is no surprise that it is one of 2018's hottest wedding colors. Vibrant, electric, and easily edgy!
Metallic Burgundy Sweet and Saucy You may be seeing a trend of earthy and jewel like tones in this list. That's because they are wildly popularity and clearly beautiful. This burgundy wedding cake even has a metallic sheen to it, making it even more spectacular. It's such a romantic color for your wedding day!
Molly of Luminaire Images When we say fun - we mean FUN! Bridal showers are a perfect example of how you can either feel more stressed or more like you are enjoying being engaged. SO if you are thinking about trying to have an out of the box bridal shower, take a look at these three tips!
How to Make it FUN
Consider Co-edA great way to inject a more playful vibe is to open up the guest list to both men and women. This is especially nice because it means the groom get's to participate. Plus, it creates opportunities for more game ideas that are bound to get some laughs. There's just something about having both genders in attendance that makes people more competitive come game time! Also, can you imagine the silliness that will ensue when you dad is the one being wrapped in his toilet paper wedding dress?
Think of YOUGreg Obierek Photography If you want to have a fun bridal shower, then make the bridal shower about things you like. If you want a super formal bridal shower, that's great. But if you want people laughing and a little activity running around, infusing your unique interests into the PARTY can make it AMAZING. For example, if you and your fiance are avid football fans, take your bridal shower outdoors and actually play football! Serve burgers and hot dogs, and just enjoy the sweaty fun. Or if you don't have an active group attending, just go all out with a fun theme that inspires everything from decor to games to food. You're a Harry Potter nerd? Why not serve butter beer and have a magical time?
Let it go!Connie Whitlock Photo Weddings and all the surrounding planning and sub events can be so so stressful. So this tip really goes for everything, but can be applied to making your bridal shower more fun. LET GO! You will plan and coordinate and budget, but on the day of any of these wedding events, the moment it starts all those logistics are no longer your problem. If your worried about running out of food ruining your good mood, put someone else in charge of worrying about it for you! Your maid of honor is perfect for this.Or an even planner can take the job on! Either way, on the day of, that stuff just isn't your problem!
The Best Marriage Advice You'll Ever Hear...For today's blog, we decided to ask a question of as many people as we could possible connect with to hopefully give our brides easy access to what real brides, real couples, have found to be the truly best marriage advice they have ever heard. Earlier in the week, we shared on our Facebook page what some of us at Weddingcollectibles.com have found to be the best advice, but we thought our brides and grooms deserved a much larger sample size! The thing is, a lot of relationship and marriage advice will end up contradicting itself. This is because every person and relationship is a little bit different (that and people love to spout cliches for the heck of it as they sign your guest book). So this list represents what we saw popping up the most and we quoted who we think really said it best! The top 10 advice from the thick of it:
- "I just saw a video clip from Will Smith lately. He says that it is not our partners job to make us happy, it is our own responsibility. Once you remove the expectation of your partner to make you happy you can enjoy them for who they are." - Tiffany
- "Listen.. don’t just hear! " - Carin
- "You have to want to be kind more than you want to be right." -Heidi
- "As cliche as it sounds, it is definitely true! “Never go to bed angry”. My husband and I have been together 6 years, married for 2, and have a 9.5 month old. We do disagree sometimes and get in the bed angry, but we always talk it out and work it out right before we fall asleep. Definitely has helped us!" - Maria
- " 'Always fight naked because then your problems just won't seem that important anymore'. I always write this in couple's guest books when they want a little note. Someone wrote it in mind and it just stuck with me. It was kind of a joke, but when you think about it, it's kind of cool. When you are both hands down vulnerable with each other, it's a lot easy to get over being mad." - Kim
- "Don't ever stop dating and getting to know each other. People always talk about growing apart, but if you keep getting to know one another as you go through life, it's a lot easier to still know and love each other." - Debbie
- "Do the opposite of "It's better to ask for forgiveness, than permission". That line just doesn't work in a marriage" - Kevin
- "Limit money talk to small daily check ins. You've got to both know what's up and be on the same page, but leaving it till you've got problems or talking about it for hours is just going to create frustration." -Kayla
- "Play hooky. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day to day things. Be sure to break it up and be spontaneous. Have some silly fun!" -Cheri
- "Say I love you in your spouses love language. Some people just need to hear, other's need gestures, and other's physical contact...whatever it is, figure out your spouses love language and say I love you every day" -Demi
100 Questions to Ask Before You Get MarriedAlex Wong Photography
+Ask About Love and Marriage
- What do you picture our lives to look like in ten years?
- What would you do if we fell out of love?
- Would you feel comfortable going to marriage counseling?
- In what ways do you think our lives will change once we are married?
- How important is sex in marriage?
- What are your sexual expectations?
- What are your views on porn?
- What is your biggest fear about being married?
- What do you think is the best thing about marriage? The worst thing?
- What do wedding rings mean to you?
- If there was one thing you could change about me, what would it be?
- What do you love about me?
- Do you have any doubts about our relationship?
- How do you expect our anniversary to be acknowledged?
- What is the best way for us to keep our love alive?
- What are your views on prenups?
- What are your views about divorce?
- What was/is your parents relationship like?
- How will our past relationships effect our marriage?
- Do you believe that "love is all you need'?
Ask About ChildrenAlicia Lucia Photography
- How many kids do you want?
- When do you see us having kids?
- How far apart do we want their ages?
- If we get pregnant, how long will we wait to announce it to family and friends? Is there anyone that is an exception to waiting to tell?
- Will one of us stop working to take care of our kids?
- If yes, who?
- If no, what kind of childcare do we want?
- Would we want to home school our kids?
- Is private school something we want to pursue? Would we be able to afford it?
- How do you feel about paying for our kids college education?
- Will we give our kids an allowance? Do they have to earn it?
- If we discover we can't get pregnant on our own would we be open to medical treatment? surrogacy? adoption?
- Would we be interested in being foster parents?
- How do we want to handle discipline? For example, one of our kids is bullying at school or is failing classes? What would we do?
- What do you think it means to be a good parent?
- Are the roles of a mom and dad different? If so, what are they?
- Is there anything that worries you about having kids?
Ask About Religion and Personal Values
- What are our religious beliefs?
- If they are different, how can we realistically handle these differences?
- What role do we want these beliefs to play in our lives?
- What religious holidays will we celebrate?
- What are your views on birth control?
- What is more important - financial stability or family relationships?
- What are you religious beliefs about marriage?
- What do you think about infidelity?
- Do you believe an emotional affair is a real thing?
- How would you handle it if someone was talking badly about me?
Ask About Money
- What kind of career do you envision yourself having and what have you done to get there?
- How much money do we each make now and what is a the realistic potential growth?
- What spending lifestyle do we want to have and is it realistic?
- How do you feel about debt?
- What debt do you have now?
- What's your credit score?
- Do you know how to keep a budget?
- What are your views on saving money?
- What would we do if we lost either of our jobs?
- Would we ever move in with either of our parents? For how long?
- When do you think it is important to start saving for retirement?
- Will we invest our money?
- How will we determine what to invest it and how much?
- Would you feel comfortable lending money to a family member or friend?
- Is there a max amount?
- Anyone that would be an exception?
- Who will be in charge of managing our money? For example, ensuring bills are pain on time?
Ask About Family and In-Law RelationshipsPaige Jones
- What is the role of a wife?
- What is the role of a husband?
- Do you get along with and like my family?
- How often do we expect to see our extended families?
- How often will we go to them?
- How often will they come to us?
- What role will our parents play in our children's lives?
- How much about our daily lives will they know?
- Do you feel comfortable discussing the intimacies (money, sex, fights) of our relationship with anyone in your family?
- Would you feel comfortable if I discusses the intimacies of our relationships with someone in my family?
- Does anyone in your family have a history of mental illness? violent or addictive behaviors?
- Do you have a family history of diseases?
- Would we ever let any of our parents live with us?
- Would we ever let any of our siblings live with us?
- How would you handle a member of your family telling you they don't like me?
- Have you ever suffered from depression or any issues involving mental health?
- Would you be willing to seek treatment if you ever became depressed?
- Would you be willing to attend therapy with me if I asked you to?
- If I needed to change my diet for health reasons, would you change yours with me?
- How do you feel about weight gain?
- How important is it for you that I am physically fit? That you are physically fit?
- If one of us gets out of shape, can the other ask us to refocus on our physical health?
- Do you live an active or sedentary lifestyle?
- How important is having good health insurance?
- Do you currently have any medical conditions or take any medication?
EntertainmentLondon Light Photography
- What kind of music and movies do you like?
- Would you rather stay home and watch movies together or go out dancing?
- How do you picture our daily life to go?
- How do you feel about me going out with friends without you?
- Do you need to go out with friends without me?
- How would you feel about me going on a trip with friends without you?
- How do you feel about having close friends of the opposite sex?
- How important is spending time alone to you?
- Will we share access to all of our social accounts?
- Do you enjoy traveling?
- What do you picture the perfect vacation being?
- How much money do we want to dedicate to travel?
- How much work are you able to take off for travel and family vacations?
- How often will we go out on dates as a couple?
- If we have different interests, will we just enjoy them separately or take turns dedicating time and trips to what the other likes?
Who your maid of honor is, is a pretty important decision because the maid of honor can end up playing a big role in how smoothly your wedding goes. Most women simply look at who their BFF is at the time of the wedding, but you might want to be a little more particular when choosing who will play that role.
First stop: How involved do you need the maid of honor to be?This is the first stop because it is probably the most important factor to consider. If your maid of honor will need to take on responsibilities like planning a shower, bachelorette party, attending any and all dress fittings for yourself and your bridesmaids, coordinating the flowers, picking up GiGi from the airport (we could go on and on), then it is really going to narrow down who you should choose as your maid of honor. Once you have determined what you need, consider the following:
- It may not be a good fit if who you want is not yet an adult. One bride said she regretted asking her 16 year old sister to serve as maid of honor. They were close and she didn't think she needed too much help with the wedding, but she ended up needing more than the sister could handle. Turned out that even the smallest tasks were too much for her. The bride either had to do it completely by herself or be dissapointed.
- This one can be hard because the person that you want to be your maid of honor may just live too far away to help. If you choose to have a maid of honor that lives more than 30 minutes away, just be sure that your expectations are consistent with how hard it will be for her to step up. Some brides will even choose to have co-maids of honor to balance it out.
Second Stop: What emotions are going to be involved?What we mean by this is that choosing a maid of honor may involve a bit of drama. For example, we had a bride tell us that she really wanted her best friend to be her maid of honor. However she had a childhood friend who wanted to be it too. So when it came to decide, she chose her current best friend and her other friend refused to attend the wedding. This doesn't mean that you should make your decision around other people's feelings. It is your wedding. However, it may be a good idea to make sure your aware of any complicated reactions to your choice. If you are particularly nervous about this possibility, try reading our blog "How to Tell Someone They Won't be a Bridesmaid" to get some guidance.
With so many pieces and players involved in a wedding, there are bound to be a few mishaps. Never fear! There's a wedding survival kit and plan to prepare for the "oops", "oh no", and "I forgot" wedding emergencies. Here's what you do: