How much wedding planning you can afford is now a question many couples will be asking, and it will come down to the number of guests you have and how much they want to spend.
For many people, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.”
So how much will your big day cost?
In the meantime, here are some key points to keep in mind.
How much does a wedding look like for a family of four?
The average cost of a wedding at a house in the U.S. is about $2,000 per person.
That means for a group of four, that could easily be the most you spend for a single-day wedding, said Amanda Miller, a wedding planner with Cincy & White in San Francisco.
That’s on top of the cost of the wedding venue and the costs of the officiants and catering, as well as any food or drinks you will bring, Miller said.
The number of people involved is a factor, too.
Miller said the main thing to remember is that a wedding is about the wedding and its participants.
How many guests will it take to get the wedding party to the venue?
Depending on the size of the party and the size and shape of the venue, the number you will need to bring is determined by the number and style of guests and their ages.
For a big-budget, high-end wedding, a party of three to five people could easily put on an event that could cost as much as $10,000, Miller explained.
A smaller party would need about $3,000 to $4,000 for a traditional, one-day party, while a more intimate one would need $3 to $5,000.
In other words, the more people that attend, the bigger the event becomes, Miller added.
How will I get my guests to the event?
When choosing the venue and time, Miller suggested you make sure you consider whether you can host an outdoor or indoor wedding.
If you’re looking for a small gathering space with some privacy, Miller advised you look for smaller, more intimate venues.
If the wedding is at a more traditional venue, Miller suggests you consider renting out a smaller, intimate space.
If your venue is larger, she said you might consider renting a larger venue.
What kind of decorations will I want to decorate my space with?
Some of the more traditional wedding venues don’t have much to offer a wedding, so Miller said it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you can decorate your space with enough natural light, reflectors and other decorations that can help to make your guests feel more comfortable and feel like they’re part of a big party.
You can also consider getting creative and creating unique pieces of art, such as tributes to specific people, Miller noted.
What kinds of drinks and snacks will be served at the wedding?
While most weddings have a cocktail menu, the menu can vary.
A large, formal, traditional wedding, for example, might have a menu featuring cocktails with alcohol from all over the world, she explained.
But if your wedding is smaller and you’re planning a more casual event, Miller recommends bringing along some snacks and water, and if you’re bringing along a small party, Miller recommended bringing along water and a small amount of snacks.
“If you want to make it more casual, make sure the menu is smaller,” she said.
How do I prepare for the event when I’m not in the kitchen?
When you’re not in your kitchen, prepare your space for a more informal setting with plenty of tables and chairs.
For smaller events, Miller advises using a kitchenette to keep the guests together and create a sense of community.
If this isn’t possible, she suggested putting your guests in a group and letting them share a space with one another.
For larger events, she recommends using an outdoor space with plenty to share.
What if I can’t afford to hire a professional to help me plan?
Miller said if you can’t budget to hire an independent wedding planner, the most important thing to consider is what you can do to help yourself financially when you’re trying to make a decision about how much to spend on the wedding.
“I do have a couple of wedding planners that I hire to help with planning and getting a budget,” Miller said, but “I’m not going to make money out of it because I’m just going to be doing it myself.”
“I’d much rather have someone else do it for me,” she added.
“So I try to hire people that are just as good, or better, or just more experienced than me.
That way, I don’t end up with a couple people that I can just say, ‘Oh, this is not going well.'”
If you can, Miller also suggests having a friend or family member help you out.
If they’re not available