I want to have a normal semi small wedding in a church, then a small reception. Id say MAX of like 60 people. how would I figure what the average cost would be?

If a true "Average" were made of all the weddings conducted in a given year, it would be a great deal less than what is published in wedding-industry statistics, since the majority of real-life weddings are just such modest affairs as you are describing, without any of the over-the-top bells and whistles that veneer the fancier affairs that attract so much attention. Those ordinary people, who marry wearing a nice dress from an ordinary shop and have a simple gathering of friends and family afterward don’t get factored into the statistics.

So: couturier dress or off-the-rack? Your decision whether this will cost you $50 (sweet little dress from JC Penny) or $800 (off-the-rack white wedding dress that will look perfectly fine to everyone) or $10,000 (top-of-the-line designer dress for your "one special day" that you will "fall in love with" and not a soul will really care about but you).

Fancy boutique venue or your own home church or family home or garden? Your decision whether this will cost you nothing (your home) or $100 (member-use fee in a typical church) or $1000 (site rental for privately-operated event venue).

Catered formal dinner or simple refreshments? Think at least $50 per plate for a sit-down-dinner so a total $3000 for 60 guests and double that for an open host bar; or $700 for hors d’ouvres and non-alcoholic drinks; or $200 for incidentals if you serve tea, coffee, punch and potluck.

Dancing? — that’s an option, not a necessity. But you’ll need a venue with a dance floor and a band or DJ, so add a couple thousand more unless you’re thinking in terms of English country dancing in the garden to the accompaniment of your iPod and some speakers (or friends with lutes and harps and fiddles).

Oh: and invitations. You can hand-write them on your good social stationery for about $150, or have them professionally printed for about $400, or laser-print them yourself for about $20, or email them for free.

============================

Now as to what would be most gracious, oddly enough it isn’t the choice that costs the most money: most of those affairs are grandiose and ostentatious, and often more money is spent on bad taste than good hospitality.

Best choice for old-world graciousness would be:
hand-written invitations on good stationery ($150)
to a wedding in your own home church and reception there or at your home ($100)
with hors d’ouvres, tea and punch ($700)
and musicians playing in the garden for a couple of hours($800)
with you wearing a good-quality afternoon dress ($200)
and your groom in his own best daytime suit ($1000)
and you’ll want a simple bouquet and a couple boutonni√®res and some corsages ($200)

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8 Responses

  1. Momof4

    2009 Nov 04 1

    It depends on what all you want but you can have a wedding for under 5,000 its hard you have to do alot of researching but you can find things check your area for reception places find out what the church charges…sometimes if you are a member it will be less.
    References :

  2. Chanda

    2009 Nov 04 2

    probably around 5 thousand, maybe 7 thousand, you can really find good deals out there, I did a potluck reception, it was delicious and inexpensive! Try to get your family/friends help make centerpeices, etc. Anything you can do yourself do it! I think just renting a place for the reception, the dress, tux, DJ, photographer, open bar/closed bar, is what costs the most.
    References :

  3. fizzygurrl1980

    2009 Nov 04 3

    For a wedding that size, I would say it’s probably in the ballpark of $10,000-12,000, if you’re planning on a traditional wedding and reception. If you tweak a few variables, however, such as having an iPod instead of a DJ or band, or maybe having a dessert or appetizer-only reception instead of a full meal, you can probably swing it for about $5-6K.

    My fiance and I are having a wedding about the same size as yours for about $4800, and that includes the price of the rings, passports for the honeymoon, etc. AND we’re doing a full dinner, but that’s because we know a lot of people who are going to donate their services pro-bono (my brother is a professional DJ, and our friend is a photographer, and we got my mom’s BF ordained online so no minister fee, LOL) If you don’t mind deviating a bit from what you consider "traditional," you can still have a lovely, meaningful wedding on a tight budget.
    References :

  4. miss_nikki

    2009 Nov 04 4

    Venues and the type of reception/dinner you’re looking to have can play a large part in cost. I would say on the low end (incredibly thrifty, barely possible) you’re looking at $1,500 and on high end probably about $10,000. Realistically, you’re probably going to spend about $5,000.

    References :

  5. Andi J

    2009 Nov 04 5

    As an event coordinator, I love answering this question!

    Well, the average cost of a wedding in America is $27,000. The average number of people at a wedding is around 150. Because you are talking small, this does not mean cheaper. Here are some big budget busters that I’ve found:

    Getting married in a peak month (summer is the most expensive time)
    Having a wedding on a Saturday (Fridays and Sundays are cheaper)
    Having an evening reception (cocktail or brunch receptions are cheaper)
    Outdoor weddings (these sound less expensive, but you usually have to rent almost all of your equipment and that adds up)

    The best way to figure out the average cost would be to talk to a wedding planner and see what he/she budgeted for the same type/size wedding. They should be able to provide you with that information.
    References :

  6. Vita Bodine

    2009 Nov 04 6

    No more than 5000.I’m having 50 and its costing us 3700
    References :

  7. Ragdoll

    2009 Nov 04 7

    My wedding will also be that size. However , the price is not just based on size. Season , the venue , type of food , your dress , etc all influence the price. For example , our wedding cake is being made by Charm City Cakes in Maryland , so that took almost $2,000 , My fiance wants an open bar $1,600. All together our budget $10,000. We decided that some things you just can’t get at budget prices. You need to examine what your main priorities are and plan accordingly. Some weddings do just fine on a budget of $3000 to $6000. A very nice way to make things less expensive is to use your local Technical Education center. They have baking classes , floral design classes and photography classes. USE THEM!! Call them up , and ask to speak to each teacher, They will only let their best students work. And because most technical centers require students to pass the exact exams and licensing courses that professionals take , you can be sure that you are getting professional quality for little money. Bottom line is this , your budget depends on your priorites!
    References :

  8. aspasia

    2009 Nov 04 8

    If a true "Average" were made of all the weddings conducted in a given year, it would be a great deal less than what is published in wedding-industry statistics, since the majority of real-life weddings are just such modest affairs as you are describing, without any of the over-the-top bells and whistles that veneer the fancier affairs that attract so much attention. Those ordinary people, who marry wearing a nice dress from an ordinary shop and have a simple gathering of friends and family afterward don’t get factored into the statistics.

    So: couturier dress or off-the-rack? Your decision whether this will cost you $50 (sweet little dress from JC Penny) or $800 (off-the-rack white wedding dress that will look perfectly fine to everyone) or $10,000 (top-of-the-line designer dress for your "one special day" that you will "fall in love with" and not a soul will really care about but you).

    Fancy boutique venue or your own home church or family home or garden? Your decision whether this will cost you nothing (your home) or $100 (member-use fee in a typical church) or $1000 (site rental for privately-operated event venue).

    Catered formal dinner or simple refreshments? Think at least $50 per plate for a sit-down-dinner so a total $3000 for 60 guests and double that for an open host bar; or $700 for hors d’ouvres and non-alcoholic drinks; or $200 for incidentals if you serve tea, coffee, punch and potluck.

    Dancing? — that’s an option, not a necessity. But you’ll need a venue with a dance floor and a band or DJ, so add a couple thousand more unless you’re thinking in terms of English country dancing in the garden to the accompaniment of your iPod and some speakers (or friends with lutes and harps and fiddles).

    Oh: and invitations. You can hand-write them on your good social stationery for about $150, or have them professionally printed for about $400, or laser-print them yourself for about $20, or email them for free.

    ============================

    Now as to what would be most gracious, oddly enough it isn’t the choice that costs the most money: most of those affairs are grandiose and ostentatious, and often more money is spent on bad taste than good hospitality.

    Best choice for old-world graciousness would be:
    hand-written invitations on good stationery ($150)
    to a wedding in your own home church and reception there or at your home ($100)
    with hors d’ouvres, tea and punch ($700)
    and musicians playing in the garden for a couple of hours($800)
    with you wearing a good-quality afternoon dress ($200)
    and your groom in his own best daytime suit ($1000)
    and you’ll want a simple bouquet and a couple boutonni√®res and some corsages ($200)
    References :


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