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The Average Budget for a Wedding in North Carolina: What You Need to Know

Updated: Feb 7

Ok my friends - this is probably the most common question I get as a planner - What's a realistic budget!? And to that I say... it depends. There are many factors that go into the cost of a North Carolina wedding including the style, the location, number of guests, etc. So today, I will break things down for you in terms of what to expect for your budget based on your wedding's vision.


Before we get into the nitty gritty - I have a couple notes. These numbers are not applicable if you are doing a DIY wedding or really trying to budget. This is an estimate for an event with professional wedding vendors and services. If you plan to use faux florals, unofficial venues, or other budget items, you may be able to cut your expenses a bit more. However, I recommend at least using a professional vendor for all the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you.


Note: all of these budgets are based on a wedding of 150 guests. To adjust to your guest count, adjust based on the the average $ per guest for rentals, food & alcohol, cake, and stationary.


The Budget for a North Carolina luxury wedding

Estimated Budget: $100,000

If you are ready to splurge on the budget for your North Carolina wedding with a designer wedding dress, plated diners, abundant florals, eccentric tablescapes, and the best photographer you can find - prepare to hand over a pretty penny. Everyone has different priorities, and if this is your priority, I say go for it! It is your special day and you deserve it to be all that you want it to be.


Luxury Wedding Raleigh NC

To get started on your luxury budget - here's and estimate what to expect for each category:

  • Venue: $12,000

  • Officiant: $1,000

  • Linens, Furniture Rentals, and Decor: $3,000

  • Food & Alcohol: $20,000

  • Photography: $10,000

  • Videography: $7,000

  • Wedding Dress: $5,000

  • Tuxedo: $1,500

  • Hair/Makeup (Bride): $600

  • Day/Month-of Coordinator: $3,500 or Planner: $15,000

  • Florals: $6,000

  • Cake: $1,000

  • DJ: $4,000 or Band: $8,000

  • Custom Stationary: $4,000

  • Transportation: $1,000

  • Other Details/Signage: $3,000


If you are willing to give or take on some items...

Estimated Budget: $60,000

If you are willing to flex for your budget a bit, I'd say realistically expect a budget of $60,000. Of course, all of this will depend on what is most important to you for your wedding day. I recommend considering this budget if you are looking at your typical wedding with all the necessities, but without going too overboard, or too cheap.


Raleigh NC Wedding

Here's what the breakdown for a mid-tier wedding would look like:

  • Venue: $7,000

  • Officiant: $750

  • Linens, Furniture Rentals, and Decor: $2,000

  • Food & Alcohol: $12,000

  • Photography: $6,000

  • Videography: $5,000

  • Wedding Dress: $2,500

  • Tuxedo: $750

  • Hair/Makeup (Bride): $400

  • Day/Month-of Coordinator: $2,000 or Planner: $6,000

  • Florals: $4,000

  • Cake: $800

  • DJ: $2,000 or Band: $6,000

  • Custom Stationary: $3,000

  • Transportation: $500

  • Other Details/Signage: $2,000


If you want to tighten up your budget more

Estimated Budget: $35,000

If you purchase lower-end services and vendors, you may be able to control your expenses a bit more. This could be through finding discounts, finding new talent in the area, or simply price shopping for the lowest rates you can find. And, keep in mind, when you are price shopping it is important to remember that if the price is lower, you are likely sacrificing quality. That's not to say you won't find a hidden gem, but it is just something to think about.


Raleigh NC Minimalist Wedding

Here's what the breakdown for a lower-budget wedding could be:

  • Venue: $4,000

  • Officiant: $500

  • Linens, Furniture Rentals, and Décor: $1,500

  • Food & Alcohol: $10,000

  • Photography: $4,000

  • Videography: $3,000

  • Wedding Dress: $1,500

  • Tuxedo: $500

  • Hair/Makeup (Bride): $300

  • Day/Month-of Coordinator: $1,5000 or Planner: $3,500

  • Florals: $3,000

  • Cake: $600

  • DJ: $1,500 or Band: $4,000

  • Custom Stationary: $2,000

  • Transportation: $400

  • Other Details/Signage: $1,000


I know I know, your jaw may have just dropped with the numbers you see. But please remember - this is the ONE day of your life (hopefully) that you celebrate finding your soulmate with all of your closest friends and family. And, ya know, the economy isn't helping us much.


If you want additional support when it comes to price shopping, I'd recommend seeking a wedding planner's services. Wedding planners do a great job at helping you make decisions on what you should splurge on, and what things you could skip. They also may have some partnerships to get you better rates on some wedding items. Nevertheless, it's important to focus your money in the areas that are most important to you. Invest in the memories that you want to last a lifetime, and don't invest as much in the things that no one will remember.


Happy planning, friends!


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