Wedding consultants all seem to get the same call over and over
“Can I have a nice wedding for $ XXXXXXX?”



My answer is usually the same – “You can with realistic expectations”



That’s not intended to be a rude or stock answer – but it’s really the only answer I can offer brides-to-be at that point.

NICE is a relative term…

Here are some of the details which actually fuel that answer:

The average wedding budget in the US is just about $28,000.00

The average Philadelphia wedding is just slightly higher at $32 -34,000.

And generally has 180-200 guests…

Take whatever number you have budgeted and chop it in half!

Approximately 48-52% of the average wedding budget goes to the reception- the food, beverage and service – a little higher if you’re really into great food and wine.


Taking the national average of $28,000 – you’re looking at roughly $14,000 –

Divide that number by the number of guest on your initial guest list – at the national average of 200 that gives us a per guest cost of $70.



Can you find a reception venue in your area that matches your style, and offers you reception selections for the cost?

If yes, you’re half way there – if not you have several options –

a)      Come up with more money – by either raising your budget or looking to the other half of the budget and seeing if there are some things you are willing to sacrifice on in order to have more options for food and beverage….. Neither is easy.

b)      Is to look to your guest list and see if you can realistically lower that number to where you have more options- again mot an easy choice.

The other half of the equation is to look at the other 50% of the budget –

The part that has the flowers, videography, photography, gown and a dozen other possibilities of things that are of varying degrees of importance to each couple…

Prioritize each expenditure and see what things you will splurge on and what things you might be willing to sacrifice on…

I tell tons of brides- if your gown is a high priority – fine!

There are lots of beautify gowns in may price ranges – if you need that $8000.00 designer label and you are working on that same $14,000 budget we looked at before….

Chances are you will not fit the photography, video, transportation, favors, décor into the remaining $6000 and have it meet your expectations…

It’s all in the numbers…and having realistic expectations!