What is the #1 Wedding Budget Killer?
Commonly, most people who aren't in the wedding industry, don't really know what weddings cost which can make determining your wedding budget a bit tricky. That said, the one thing that has the biggest impact on a wedding budget is your guest list.
Of course, there are various additional elements of a wedding that contribute to your budget such as your food, decor, venue and rentals...not to mention service vendors such as a band or DJ, wedding planners, etc. However, if you list out all of the basic items for a wedding...the cost of your Food, Venue, Decor, Cake, Rentals are entirely based on the number of guests you have attending. That’s 80% of all your wedding costs being determined by the number of guests!
Too often we hear that someone wants to invite 300 guests but they also want to limit their budget to $20,000. This leaves you with $66 per person to provide a chair, table, linens, silverware, plates, cake, food, table centerpiece and favor just to name a few items. Let's be realistic, you can hardly get food for $66 per person and now we need to squeeze everything else that you need for a wedding to happen into that $66 budget. Yikes!
If you only had 50 guests with a $20,000 budget you can really go all out! This changes your budget to $400 per guest, and this can certainly cover all elements that brings a wedding together.
Your guest count will also determine everything else, and therefore, have the biggest impact on your wedding budget. It doesn't matter if you DIY or not, whether you have a buffet or plated dinner, or what overall style your wedding is...your guest count is absolutely what matters most when it comes to the cost of your wedding.
Do not select your venue without knowing how many guests you will be having. Some venues can only accommodate 100 people, and others can fit 500. There is a big difference between those two venues, too, so it’s vital that you to have a clear idea of your guest count prior to visiting venues. However, if you find a venue that you love with a lower capacity this could further influence your total guest count and overall budget.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Catering, cake and/or desserts, alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages...all of these will be consumed by your guests. The more guests you have, the more you will have to spend because you will need more food, desserts and drinks. Unfortunately, there is really no way around this.
The more guests you have, the more tables you have. And the more tables you have, the more centerpieces you will need. See where we are going with this?
Just as with your decor, the more guests you have, the more tables you will need. This also means that you'll also need more linens, chairs, china, glassware, flatware and on occasion catering equipment such as trays and stands, breadbaskets, butter plates, etc.
Let's face it, weddings cost are expensive, but it’s not because weddings are overpriced or you’re being “scammed” by the wedding industry. Weddings are expensive simply because there is mass consumption and usage of materials. In the end, if you want a more "Pinterest perfect" wedding while staying on budget, YOU CAN! You just need to invite fewer guests.
Please note: We do not recommend looking at your wedding budget as “per person”. This was purely meant as an example as was the $20K wedding for 300 guests. While it may be possible, we have not yet attempted this ourselves.