Avoid Overspending: Know The Top 10 Wedding Costs to Consider in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland

Wedding planning is an exciting process that involves making many decisions about your big day. To keep the planning moving in a positive direction, make sure you take into account the wedding costs associated with the various vendors and services you’ll need to make your ceremony and reception perfect. Set a time with your fiancé to go over the wedding budget before you get into the advanced stages of wedding planning and use these top 10 wedding costs to consider to get you started!

Wedding Dress and Tuxedo

A bride’s wedding dress is often one of the most dream-worthy parts of a wedding and can definitely have the price tag to go with it. Though a groom’s tuxedo or suit of choice may not be nearly as expensive, decisions must be made regarding whether his wedding day clothes will be rented or purchased. During the planning stages of your wedding, discuss the budget with your fiancé to determine how much money will be allotted to the wedding attire. This will help you know how much you have left to spend on the other aspects of your big day.

Wedding Reception Venue

Your wedding venue will not only provide the backdrop for a lifetime of memories but will also be an expression of who you and your fiancé are as a couple. Since the venue has the potential to be one of the most expensive parts of your wedding, you may want to give it the largest budget. Prices for venues in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas will vary depending on the time of year, whether you want it for day or evening use, whether it’s inside or outside, and a variety of other factors. Make sure to shop different dates for your selected venues to see which offer you the best value.

Wedding Officiant

Whether you’ve opted to be married in a religious or civil ceremony, there are fees associated with the actual marriage itself. Once you and your fiancé have decided what type of marriage ceremony you’d like to have, begin looking for an officiant who will be available on your wedding date and find out how much they charge for their services. You should also see if any other amenities are offered by your officiant such as the use of their chapel, gardens, or activity hall.

Wedding Invitations

Once you’ve selected your wedding venue and officiant, it’s time to send out wedding invitations! But be aware, this can be another expensive part of your wedding depending on how elaborate you choose to make them. Factors that affect cost include the quality of paper the invites are printed on; the color and quality of ink used; whether or not you want to include printed images; the use of special decals, details, or decorations; the quantity being printed; lined or unlined envelopes; and invitation size. Be sure to price several different options so you can choose the one that best fits with your budget.

Wedding Photographers

Your wedding photographer is the one thing you do not want to skimp on! Your photographer will record each moment of your special day from getting dressed to the last dance at the reception. When reviewing wedding photographers, be sure to visit their websites to see samples of their work. Wedding photographers that are familiar with the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC areas will be especially helpful as they will know of any special locations for intimate pictures.  You’ll want your wedding photos to show not just the events of your big day, but the tone and feel of it as well.

Wedding Flowers

Nothing says ‘wedding’ like beautiful bridal bouquets and table-top flower arrangements. To make sure you get the flowers you want on your budget, ask friends and family if they have any recommendations. Have you been to a friend’s wedding recently and loved their flowers?  When meeting potential florists for your wedding, make sure you bring them examples of flower arrangements and bouquets you love along with a list of flowers you want to see on your big day and a list of the ones you don’t!

Wedding Reception Menu

Your menu is one of the stand-out aspects of your big day and one that guests are sure to remember. The type of food you serve at your wedding will depend on your personal dietary preferences, the time of day you’ll be holding your reception, how formal your wedding will be, and how many guests you’re serving. Be prepared to provide potential caterers with a list of any known food allergies along with your thoughts on your menu selection. In addition to learning their costs, you should also set up a tasting so you can preview the menu potential caterers would serve to your guests.

Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is one of the best parts of a wedding! It’s also one of the best parts of wedding planning since you get to taste cake samples from each baker you’re considering. The cost of your wedding cake will depend on how many people it needs to feed, how intricate it is, how many tiers there are, and what special features or flavors you want to add. Make sure you see pictures of finished wedding cakes from each of your potential bakers and read reviews on their service before making a commitment.

Wedding Reception Music

The music you play at your wedding ceremony will set the romance between you and your fiancé, but the music at your reception will set the mood of your party! Decide what types of music you’d like at each part of your wedding and how you’d like it played. Do you want a string quartet during your ceremony but a DJ during the reception? Do you and your fiancé prefer a recorded playlist or a live band? Such decisions will help you create the feel you want on your big day and will also determine the ultimate cost of music services.

Guest favors

Once the ceremony and reception are over, you can provide your guests with a small memento of the occasion to thank them for their love and support. Guest wedding favors can include things such as specialized candies or chocolates, personalized ornaments, bottle-toppers, or scented lotions and soaps. The cost of wedding guest favors doesn’t need to be exorbitant; you can find—or make—simple items that still reflect your appreciation of their attendance.

Regardless of how big or small, extravagant or simple, your wedding is, make sure you stay mindful of your budget and keep track of your wedding expenses. This will help you and your fiancé start off without wedding debt or the added stress it can bring!


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