Photo by Fotos by Fola
Welcome to another Thursday on the BE Blog where I’ll provide you with another dose of practical guidance and actionable wedding tips.
Today, we’re talking about…you guessed it. Money! More specifically your wedding budget and the two more important numbers people seem to disregard when they think about their budget number.
Many couples believe that they can easily adapt the current average U.S. wedding budget (which is just around $30K) easily to their wedding vision. The truth is that this average budget number is missing a couple of additional facts and numbers to put this into perspective.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, although there are so many gorgeous weddings on Pinterest and Instagram, the majority of couples who get married in the U.S. spend $10K or less on their wedding. Yes, it’s completely possible but you wont see those $10K weddings plastered on Pinterest or with hundreds of likes on Instagram. These weddings are very minimal and have far less guests.
What I’ve noticed is that there is somewhat of a disconnect between a couple’s dream wedding day and the true cost of that vision. I’m here to help you with that today.
So, without further adieu, the two key numbers to keep in mind when deciding on your budget number are:
Total Guest Count
I’m sure you already know that your guest count is one of the key variables that affect every aspect of your wedding; especially your overall wedding budget. Currently, the average wedding budget ($30K) is for an average guest count of 135. This means that if your guest count is anything above 135 guests, you should expect to spend more. Furthermore, if you have any elaborate design ideas or venue choices, you should expect to spend more as well.
Simply put, more guests translate into more money and most of the additional costs cannot be avoided (catering, rentals, bar, etc.).
Cost Per Guest
So, if we continue with the example above of the average wedding in the U.S., a $30,000 wedding with 135 guests means that, on average, couples spend $222 per guest. Based on my experience planning and designing weddings for my clients, a simple yet elegant wedding with no frills is about $200 - $250 per guest.
As a side note, industry research shows that about 20% of your guests will decline your invite. Of course, this is not the case with every couple but a good metric to have in mind.
So let’s say you decided to invite 180 guests to your wedding. After sending out your invitations, 80% of your guests accept so you will be expecting a total of 144 guests. This means that at the bear minimum for a simple wedding, you should expect to invest around $32K. You cannot expect to invite more guests and spend the same amount of money.
When I work with my clients their “spend per guest” number is far more important to me than anything else.
Where Are You Getting Married?
One of the reasons why the majority of weddings in America are $10K or less but the average wedding budget is $30K is because there are large metropolitan cities for example New York, Los Angeles, etc. where their local average wedding spend is much higher increases the overall national average So, if you’re getting married in a metropolitan area or even a popular destination location, you will inevitably end up investing more into your wedding.
I hope this article was helpful for you. If you want to stay up to date on all of my tips and tricks, sign up for my VIP Wedding List here.