Specializing in Mountain views for elopements + micro weddings | Booking 2024 Couples

The Cost of Weddings | Cheat Sheet for Modern Budgeting

Hello Human!

I recently posted on our instagram the average cost for a Bride’s real flower arrangement and was shocked to find out most of our followers had no clue what to expect to pay for professional work..

That’s when I’m like, let me make a cheat sheet to help you budget!

Now – please note these are the prices of professionals that have been in the wedding world for years and have earned their wage because of their amazing work! This is an average cost so you know what to expect, of course different people can charge different amounts!

We know everyone has different budgets, and different priorities for their big day! For us, Being professional photographers, our biggest concern was having an amazing photo + video team to capture our wedding come June!

We have seen the articles that say the average cost of an American wedding is $30-45K … and if you want it all, they’re not wrong on the price tag.

Professional Photography:
We have been working weddings for just about 8 years, we know our cost of doing business, taxes, and how weddings run.

Our 8 hour wedding days start at $3700 + sales tax
Professional work tends to range from $3-10,000+ depending on style, work to be performed, prints + digital media, and demand of that photographer!

Photographers + Videographers also may charge for travel, permits, and necessary arrangements to make wedding photos for you!

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Professional Videography:
There is a difference in styles!

Documentary- capturing the day from a “behind the scenes” view, like they were there, but never directing.
Cinematography– Multiple angles, directing of clients, making a real “movie” and visually appealing + color + sound + the whole works.

We find the documentary styles of video to range $2-4500
We find the cinema style of video to range $3500-10,000

Music:
Dj: $800-1500
Band: $1000-2000
Equipment DIY: $3-700

Catering:
To feed 50= $300-800
To feed 100 = $700 to 1800
To feed 200= $1200 to 2000
To feed 300= $1700 to 3500

Alcohol:
Open bar $3500-6000
Cash bar: Guest’s pay typically $4-7 per drink


Tips for Vendors:
Please note these are not always expected by every vendor but we know some people include them!


Cake / Desserts:
Sheet cakes range from $50-200 per cake
Couple’s cake $50-400 depending on tiers / craftsmanship / kind of cake
Pies $30-200
Cookies $50-200

Rentals / Decor:
Archways: $30-200 / item
Couches: $50-300 / item
Chairs: $7-15 / chair
Basic Tables: $7-30 / table
Farm house tables: $50-150 / table
Linens: $7-15
Plates / Forks: $7-20 / seating
Tablescapes: $50-150 per table
Candles: $50 / pack

Flowers Per Person:
Real:

1: Bride $175-200
2: Groom $10-20
3: Bridesmaids $30-60
4: Groomsmen $10-20
5: Family corsages $20-40
6: Table / Alter arrangements $40-75

Silk
1: Bride $100-175
2: Groom $10-20
3: Bridesmaids $30-60
4: Groomsmen $10-20
5: Family corsages $20-40
6: Table / Alter arrangements $40-75

Wood
1: Bride $125-200
2: Groom $10-20
3: Bridesmaids $30-60
4: Groomsmen $10-20
5: Family corsages $20-40
6: Table / Alter arrangements $40-75

Foam
1: Bride $50-100
2: Groom $10-20
3: Bridesmaids $20-50
4: Groomsmen $10-20
5: Family corsages $20-40
6: Table / Alter arrangements $40-75

Hair / Make up per person:
Bride: $50-100
Bridesmaid: $50-75

Traditional: $50-70
Air Brush $60-100

Spray tan: $50-150
Hair: $40-75

Wedding Dress / Suit:
Designer Dress / Made to Order: $1100-7000
Please note – if your going to a couture bridal shop, your starting cost should be $7000

SAMPLE sales: $99-1100
Alterations: $200-900
(Again based on how much work to be done / skill of the seamstress)

Veil: $100-500
Accessories / shoes: $20-100 per item

Suit rental: $200-400 per suit
Suit Buying: $200-700 per suit
Dress Shirt: $30-60

Engagement Rings:
Etsy: $200-1000
Jeweler: $800-3500
Man’s ring: $500-3500

Church Weddings:
Donation/Rental of building $500-1500

Venue:
Winery- $4000 to 8000
Hall- $1500 to 3000
Event Center- $5,000 to 10,000
Hotel- $2,500 to $6,500

Hotel rooms / block: $100-250 per room

Party Bus / Transportation:
$100-400 per hour

Wedding Planners / Coordinator:
Day of $700-1000
Whole process of planning $3-7000

Bartenders / Security:
$100-200 per person per hour

Paper:
$300 to $1000 depending on guest list

Save the Dates
Detail Card
Invites
Design fee
Postage
Ceremony Program
Reception Board

Marriage license:
$35 application
$200 person who marries you
Free sometimes at the courthouse depending on location

Dance Lessons:
$50-100 per lesson / package

Bridal Party Gifts:
$25-50 per person

It truly does add up – and it can be totally worth it! I know not everything I listed is on everyones list, but it’s an overall idea of what things cost when planning a wedding!

You can easily pick + choose and create a smaller wedding on a smaller budget! We would never recommend going cheap on photo / video because it’s the photos you will cherish for a lifetime!

Love, Jamie + Mark


WELCOME, FELLOW HUMAN!

we're jamie and mark!

We help quirky and untraditional couples find joy and adventure on their special days by providing passionate and wild photography that captures the big moments of loveā€¦ and all the little candid ones in between.

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IOWA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER | Iowa Microwedding photographer