Tips & Tricks


Set a Budget

Don't book anything until you set a budget!


Your engaged! YAY! Sit down with your parents or whomever will be helping you pay for the wedding and create a budget. Although Pinterest has lots of tools for itemizing the numbers, I do not find those are true to today's costs. Set an overall amount to spend and then make a list of what items are most important to you. Then work with a planner or coordinator to set realistic line item costs.  A rough example would be as follows for a $30,000 budget for 150 guests in attendance:

Leen Machine Calligraphy, Jessica Roberts Photgraphy

Leen Machine Calligraphy, Jessica Roberts Photgraphy

  • Venue $4000
  • Photographer $4200
  • Bride's Dress, Veil, Shoes, Alterations $3000
  • Catering  $7100
  • Bar Service (beer & wine) $2000
  • Decor and Flowers $3000
  • Rentals $2200
  • Paper: Invitations/Save the Dates/Programs $1400
  • Bridesmaids Gifts $500
  • Cake $800
  • Hair & Makeup for Bride, Mothers $500
  • Favors $400
  • Other$900

The Bride should personally pay for:

  • The Groom's Ring
  • Gifts for her parents
  • Anything she wants in excess to what her parents set budget allows. 

What does the Groom Pay For?

What's missing? Oh yes the groom...he should pay for:

  • Groom's Attire and Accessories
  • Groomsmen Gifts
  • Honeymoon Expenses
  • Transportation for the Bride and Groom to exit
  • The Bride's Ring
  • The Bride's Bouquet, Mothers & Grandmothers Corsages, and Mens Boutineers
  • The costs for the Officiate
  • The costs for the Marriage License
  • His family should host the Rehearsal Dinner

Optional expenses:

  • Bridal Party Transportation
  • Extra Hotel Expenses
  • Bridal Luncheon if you choose to do so and not hosted by others


Karly Richardson Photo, Glassy Chapel

Choosing A Venue

The venue for your wedding and reception will set the tone for your wedding...and your expenses.  


You may have a certain style in mind for your wedding or you may fall in love with a certain location. Good venues are booked a year or more in advance some times. So be flexible in your date options. If you do not "luck up" on a satisfactory date then see what dates are open. Don't forget about Friday or Sunday being a great wedding option too! Often these dates may be less expensive. 

Choose a venue that has natural appeal so you don't have to do a lot to create your style. A space that includes some tables and chairs in the rental is a great choice to save on rental expenses. Natural gardens mean you spend less on decor. 


Ask Questions! Some venues require you to use only a specific caterer or rentals. Make sure those companies are also in your price range. 

CHECK the contract for details such as...  

Valet service required for over a certain number of guests? Or security required for extra costs?

How many hours you have the facility to set up, host your event, and clean up? Will you able to do your hair and make up there, dress there, or will your vendors have enough time to set up, clean up, and break down with out you paying for extra time?

Is there a sound ordinance or cut off time for music?

Do you need to provide a seperate insurance policy?

There are so many details that you need to think about BEFORE picking a venue. I highly suggest hiring a coordinator or planner to help you through the process. I often get hired after the venue is booked and find clients had no idea they signed up for things they did not budget for.  So choose wisely!



MORE TO COME... check back often. Or follow us on Instagram