When it comes to wedding planning, we are not bound by percentages but rather, our decisions are made based on our priorities. Recently, we’ve been seeing more of how much should be spent on various aspects of your wedding day as percentages of your overall budget. Let’s dive deeper into the reality of wedding budgets.
Maintaining your priorities will help you decide what to splurge on and where to save. One of the first things I do with my couples is ask them for their top 3 priorities, whether it’s food, venue, photos etc. From there, I tailor a budget to reflect those priorities, provide suggestions on vendors that deliver high-quality work and professionalism that fit into their budget, and update and adjust as we book vendors.
1. Photography – This was one of the priorities for my own wedding because photos preserve those cherished memories that we can relive time and time again. That’s the power of hiring a high-quality wedding photographer – they know the perfect angles, lighting, poses, will make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and take the best candid shots to capture all the emotions that you can just feel through the photo.
Photographers have collections that include a printed photo album – I highly recommend it even if it costs a little more. It’s great to have an online gallery but even better when you have printed photos to share and pass down!
When I was planning my own wedding, I read many horror stories about couples not receiving their photos. When you invest more in a photographer you trust, you’ll never have to worry whether you’ll get your images or question the quality. The average starting price to consider for Houston wedding photographers is $5000.
The beauty of it all is that you make a friend that will be there to capture each stage of your life!
2. Flowers – This is the area that is not governed by percentages of your overall budget and based heavily on design, quality, and quantity. Flowers really elevate the elegance of and bring coherence to a space.
Oftentimes, our perception is impacted by what we see on social media – elaborate floral installations and premium flowers. To achieve those elements, your floral budget will need to reflect that.
For reference, the starting cost of a bridal bouquet and centerpiece averages around $300-$400 each depending on the volume and type of blooms. Larger installations can start at $1500 depending on size, location, and type. Bespoke designs will cost more.
Here’s an example of the starting budget for a guest count of 200:
Estimated total: $8200 (does not account for other personal flowers like boutonnieres, bridesmaid bouquets, corsages etc.)
3. Custom Paper Goods/Signs/Calligraphy – These are often overlooked when they shouldn’t be! Your invitations are your guests’ first impression of your day – colors, overall ambiance, style. Hiring a calligrapher to create a custom suite that reflects your personality will give receiving your invitation a more personalized touch.
Anything from invitations, place cards, menus, seating chart, to hand-painted bottles and candles are all details that will tie everything together elegantly. Best of all, no one else in the world will have a wedding that looks like yours because it’s all custom-created for you!
4. Wedding Planner – Planners can invest anywhere between 30-150+ hours into planning your day (depending on which wedding planning option you choose) – researching vendors and putting together the best team for you, designing each aspect of your day, attending vendor meetings, taking care of emails, using market knowledge on pricing to aid in budgeting, all with your best interest in mind. They start setting up hours before the ceremony to make sure everything is a reflection of your vision and stay hours after the reception to clean up; wedding day alone can be 12-14 hours.
When you hire an experienced, organized, creative, and passionate wedding planner, a lot is taken off of your plate because they know how to anticipate and take care of all your needs. High-quality service and intentionality mean a higher price point but is worth it so the planning process and wedding day itself are stress- and worry-free.
Even if you don’t need a wedding planner, having an experienced coordinator that will check in regularly and answer any questions can save a lot of time.
Wedding planners and coordinators focus solely on you on your day, taking care of all the details, any last minute changes, and anything behind the scenes in a calm manner and so seamlessly that you won’t even know about it. This will ensure you are fully present to enjoy one of the biggest days in your life!
5. Venue – The wedding venue you choose sets the tone and will be the canvas for your day. There will be no other place as special that marks the start of your life as one, so it’s important to choose a place that you absolutely love. Make sure you visit the venue in person, and start with a space, with its natural design and without any decor, that you’re mesmerized with. If you can’t envision yourself saying “I do” in the space, keep looking! Click here for tips on how to choose your venue.
There are so many different aspects of your wedding day that can be beautifully personalized. When assembling the details, it’s most important to prioritize things that most uniquely reflect you two as a couple!
Planning & Design: LoveLee Experiences
Lead Photographer: Marni Wishart Photography
Floral: Moonstruck Florals
Videography: Angela Lauren Co.
Hair & Makeup: Beloved Makeup and Hair
Invitations & Candle Painting: Nib and Pixel
Suit: Jos A. Bank
Ivory Wedding Dress: Belle Ame Bridal Houston
Beige Gown: Lillie Mae Collection
Rings: Emily Sole Jewelry
Hair Adornments: Erin Rhyne
Cake: Becca Cakes
Rentals: Decor by Dulce
Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes
Models: Estelle, Melissa, Eastin
Live Painter: Rendered Moments
Venue: River Oaks Garden Club