Wedding expenses | charlottesville wedding photographer | sarah houston photography


I knew weddings were expensive...I just didn't realize HOW expensive they were until I met with my dear friends Isadora & Ben of Rixey Manor. We had gotten on the subject of how much everything cost vendor wise for a bride and the numbers were mind blowing! I really never thought about how much the other vendors cost on a wedding day...I kind of had the wedding photographer blinders up. Each vendor works really hard creating something for the day itself and each of us deserve compensation for our many talents. So when I sat down and really LOOKED at the figures-I realized how hard planning the perfect soiree can be.

Brides first choice most of the time is the venue which can take a HUGE chunk of the money your striving to save while going to college or working your full time job, every dollar counts and you want to stretch them as far as you can! There really isnt a money saving tip for venue's except try booking during non-peak times so this means a weekday wedding or off season.


Flowers can be super expensive and there seems to be hidden costs sometimes that sneak out of no-where, if your like want to know upfront how much something is going to cost. So that's why asking for a pricing list or making sure that your getting exactly what your asking for is key-communicate and make sure the florist is aware of the budget and you are sticking with it.

Catering...well there's no way around this one. People gotta eat, especially when your wedding is 8-10 hours long! If you have a family member who likes to cook and can freeze meals for reheating on the day....go for it! It may not be a fancy plated lobster but Lasagna is pretty amazing too!! Also lowering the number of guests to close friends and family who truly want to celebrate with you helps cut the cost of mouths to feed;)

The dress....we all want a Lazaro or Vera Wang gown, but the price tag can send you into a panic attack quicker than scuffing your Kate Spade heels. Well let me tell you a little secret- Church Street Bridal is your answer for those designer dress blues. Plus the proceeds go to help women and children in the area! Also another thrifty way? Try Borrowing Magnolia, you can RENT designer gowns and not have the HUGE price tag!

I know that if you have a $20,000.00 budget it has to stay in that $20k range not anymore...because you want to have a really nice honeymoon, or put a downpayment on your first home together.Trust me if I were to have a ceremony our budget would most likely be $1,000 because I can't save money to save my life!! (Kate spade addiction). So paying attention to starting prices on Photographer's websites definitely help with the process of figuring out who can cover your ceremony. I honestly wish I could photograph all the wonderful brides who email me, but there's so much that goes into photographing weddings that it's just not possible. (you can read more on that here.) Just know that every vendor works really hard to ensure your day is magical and memorable, each price tag has all the rolled into it.