We know that as you are planning your wedding, one of the biggest questions that comes up is what does everything cost? How am I supposed to know what to invest in this? 

We create investment guides of varying amounts, as each of our clients is different. On average, our clients spend $350 per guest, averaging 175 guests in attendance. If you multiply those numbers, that is $61,250. We have clients who go both below and above that number, which is why it is an average. I actually total up our clients total spending and guest attendance numbers at the end of every year to get this figure. 

In 2020, we saw lower guest attendance numbers. However, this allowed our couples to invest in areas that they may not have been able to before and really focus on their guests’ experience. I feel that this trend will continue in 2021. 

Sometimes, we need visuals. I wanted to share three levels of investment and explain what they mean.

Here are some things to keep in mind when reviewing these three levels:

  • These are overarching general terms & categories. In our investment breakdown for clients, we go much more in-depth with these categories. 
  • These numbers reflect MY market and area. 
  • This is meant to give you a guide and a point of reference. 

FIRST INVESTMENT LEVEL: $40,000

I always try to budget about $5,000 under the number I have been given. This allows for some wiggle room when deciding on priorities or for when the guest list climbs. 

A couple of things to note for this first level:

  • The florals will probably be on the smaller side with very few large installations. There may possibly be one large installation that can be re-purposed. With larger bridal parties, it’s important to reuse personal florals (bridesmaids’ bouquets, etc.) in other places.
  • The key with this budget is to select a venue that comes with the tables and chairs you need to avoid outside rentals. 
  • We always encourage our clients to rent linens. Linens take up the most visual real estate in a space and can make or break the design. Even if you aren’t able to invest a large amount in florals, renting an upgraded linen will give you an elevated look for a minimal investment. 
  • At this investment level with this number of guests, it’s all about priorities. Less guests means you can invest in other elements that are important to you. 
  • This reflects a venue where you could purchase and bring your own alcohol. Also, food is probably either heavy appetizers or stations for small plates.

SECOND INVESTMENT LEVEL: $61,250

For this investment level, I used our exact average client investment to determine the overall budget. 

Some elements here have a higher investment, like catering/beverages, florals, photography, and rentals, which can mean a number of things. This may be a heavier station dinner or buffet dinner or one or two larger floral installations with some large arrangements included. We also may provide transportation in this scenario, either for guests or the wedding party. Photography was also a bigger investment here. This could be for a more experienced photographer, additional hours of coverage, or specific features that are important to the client. Some specialty rentals and lighting are also accounted for in this budget. 

Again, guest count drives this. If less guests are invited, more and different elements can be prioritized.

THIRD INVESTMENT LEVEL: $100,000

In this last scenario, we are looking at a higher investment in all areas. This could look like a seated or buffet dinner with a seat for every guest, so our linen and floral budgets grew as well. There would be two or three large floral installations, including at a Church location, plus various arrangements for all of the guest tables. Here we have also invested in higher-end photography and videography. (Side note: you don’t have to have an overall budget of this size to afford a videographer!)

This client felt that they needed full wedding planning and design, so they are investing further in those services. We also may have some lighting, draping, and various specialty rentals brought in based on this. 

I truly hope this shows you where your money can go and how your guest count will be the driving factor of that final investment!