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  • Writer's pictureMelissa

Planning a Realistic Wedding Budget: Pt 2

It's February you guys, the month that hosts Valentines Day, the month that wraps up the winter engagement season! One of my jobs as an Event Consultant is to educate my clients on the reality behind event and wedding planning. Because we're in primetime, I wanted to post about the reality of wedding budgets.

More often than not, clients want everything for under $1000. Typically, that's not doable. I had someone ask for a venue AND food for a little less than 100 people for under $3000. If you want an actual wedding venue and an actual caterer, you're not really going to find that. You could maybe find a venue outside the city that fits that bill and get takeout catering from Chipotle or something similar - if your venue allows outside catering and a service like this.

Side note: Catering services like these are typically a drop-off service so you or someone you know has to set it up.

Anyways, last month I launched Part 1 of this blog series so I'm here today launching Part 2 on a few more essential wedding vendors - All of which are always misconstrued as being super cheap. So let's jump in:

1 - Videographers are totally underrated

You always think of having a photographer at your wedding, which of course, we need that vendor. However, if I'm hired as someone's wedding planner I always say to REALLY consider hiring a videographer. Why? Because yes, you get photos of the expressions on people's faces throughout the wedding, but do you remember what they said? Do you remember the speeches given by your bridal party, parents, or even your grandparents...that maybe aren't here anymore?! 😭

Again, on average, people want a videographer for under the magical number of $1000. You have to take into consideration (including when it comes to photographers) that they aren't just there the day of; They're prepping prior to, they have expensive equipment which they have to upkeep, and most importantly and really a BIG part of their job, is editing! So when it comes to wedding videography here in the Twin Cities plan on spending about $3000+. This comes down to, just like photography, how many hours you want them there for, what you want coverage of, what type of video you want, etc.

Side note: Whether you have a photographer and/or videographer, I highly suggest hiring them to stay an hour into your dance party - The photos/videos are priceless!!

2 - Closer to the cities you are, the more expensive the venue will be

A lot of couples understand that wedding venues are expensive so when they look for a cheaper option, they suddenly realize they have to go outside the cities. This can be a good option for most couples, but if you have a lot of people traveling in that may be a problem; they have to pay for a flight, rent a car to get to the wedding location and then what is there to do around there if they decided to stay there for a few days to make up for the flight cost? But also take in mind that they can always travel back to the cities after the wedding in case there isn't much to do near your wedding site.

On the other hand, don't think you CAN'T find a venue. You can in fact find a venue here in the cities around $3000.One space that's within this range is Union Depot in St. Paul. Some venues include food and beverage within their venue fee, Union Depot does not so please take that in mind and adjust your budget accordingly.

3 - DIY flowers vs. a florist

This is a very common vendor that couples tend to debate on; should I do it myself and save money or should I hire an actual florist? Yes, flowers can cost a lot. It comes down to the time of season, what kind of flowers do you want, etc. etc. etc. Just like photographers, every florist is different when it comes to their style, too. On average, florists that have more of an artistic look (like myself and my in-house florist) compared to the traditional style will probably cost more because they're using flowers that are unique and different.

On another note (and something that I point out to all my planning and consulting clients), when you DIY it there are several things you want to take in mind: Do you have a fridge to store them in? If you have a lot of dinner tables, do you have a BIG ENOUGH fridge? Who is going to bring them the day of? Will they be able to get there early enough so you have the bouquets for you and your bridal party for photos? What is the risk of transporting them yourself? Who is going to put them on the table and set up? And most importantly, will you have time to do it before the wedding? And more importantly on top of that, what are you going to do if the flowers come and they don't survive as long as you think they are? They could get ruined during the transport from the vendor to you.

Don't get me wrong, I know A LOT of people that have done their own flowers and they looked great!! However, not everyone is crafty. Now if you go with a florist, you don't have to worry about any of these things! Even when it comes to the table decor some florists have items in-house for you to rent or that they just include. This means you don't have to worry about transporting MORE stuff on your own. Overall, I always tell my clients if you do DIY it, know what you're getting into. It's essentially a trade off: Cheaper route = more responsibility on your end. More money = convenience.

Here in the Twin Cities (on average) you can expect to pay about $100+, if not $150+ for a bridal bouquet. Most of the time, the bridesmaids bouquets are a little cheaper since they're not as big. For example, Kari with KMB Floral told me she's done a simple bridesmaids bouquet for $40+. However, and again, it all depends on the flowers, what season we're in, where the flowers are coming from, etc. Kari and I also casually talked about greenery, "Garland is actually super expensive". Most couples think it's affordable because, well, it's just greenery but they're typically in sticker shock after seeing how much it really is.

So there you have it everyone; now you have a running start on how much things cost. Again if you didn't read Planning a Realistic Wedding Budget Part 1, please do! As I wrap up this blog series, I hope this helps you gauge how much things actually cost. Obviously there are a lot of things you have to take into account price-wise as well as logistic-wise. If you need help, you know where to find an Event Consultant 😉 As always, don't forget to follow me and to subscribe so you don't miss anything:




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Til next time,


Photo credit: Spicy Meatball Photography

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