Budget Weddings Forum

Budget question & statistics


Re: Budget question & statistics

  • I'm keeping my budget in check by starting early, doing lots of research and looking for deals. 

    I looked around for a photographer and found one who had a style that I liked but was just starting out. He is still a professional-quality photographer with beautiful photos. We booked him for under $2k and it includes an engagement session, album, 2 day-of photographers, wedding album, full digital rights to all of the final photos and several other things. Most of the other photographers I saw STARTED above $2k. We booked him early and he just raised his prices by $600 for our package. This is $600 I now can put somewhere else since I booked early. 

    I am a creepy wedding stalker and I have been amazed what other folks I know have spent on photography. It can also really help to ask for a deal. Many photographers I spoke with were willing to give me a bit of a discount when I asked. We are paying our photographer $2k for engagement photos (came out really well), 7 hours of coverage on the wedding day with her, 4 hours of coverage with a second shooter (for pre-ceremony, ceremony and family shots), and unlimited printing rights. This would usually be $2,400 but she gave us a deal when I told her that was over our budget and we really wanted a second shooter. I know someone else who is getting less coverage, who is less than thrilled with their engagement shots, and is paying over $3,600. I am biased but I think our photographer is better...
  • Another awesome thing to help with the budget is come into a vendor meeting with a solid figure. Do some research and then try your best to develop a budget that works for you. A lot of vendors will try to accommodate your budget. I got a $3,500 lighting/DJ package for $2K just by sticking to my budget at the meeting. The vendor was willing to modify the packages so that I could get what I wanted for the price I was willing to pay. If one vendor is not willing to work with you, check out others, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

  • FI and I are having a very small, intimate wedding (68 guests tops). Our initial budget was $15K, but we quickly upped it to $25K because we decided to get married on a plantation in Charleston which is pretty pricey. Our budget doesn't include our rings or the honeymoon. We'll probably wind up closer to $26K before gratuity.

    The biggest pieces of advice I can offer you are 1.) book your vendors early and 2.) question everything. We're doing a bunch of lighting, and our lighting company tried to tell us we needed a 6000 watt generator (our venue is old, so it doesn't have much power). A 6000 watt generator is more than what my parents use to power their entire house when they lose power. All we needed was something that could power 1800 watts. So I did my research and I questioned the lighting company. Our generator bill went from $600 to $55.

    Sidenote: are you and your FI paying for the wedding on your own? I dealt with family expectations early on (my dad wanted me to invite cousins I'm not close with), and after quite a bit of drama, I finally had to tell him that no contribution = no say. Screw expectations. As long as everyone is well hosted, do what you want. It's your day afterall.
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