If you're new to weddings which I assume you are you are feeling a wave of beautiful emotions...and then you see a giant rhino of expense staring you down about to run you over.
I know it sounds scary and might seem overwhelming but I'm going to break everything down for you so you know exactly where to spend the money and where you'll be able to save. I'll show you how to get the most amazing wedding and still have money for the down payment on your house.
Have your parents pay!
Totally kidding. Ok, let's get into it. Here is the average wedding cost in Florida.
The biggest expense you are going to have is the wedding venue.
Average cost between $4,500 - $12,000
You might be wondering why venues are so expensive. After running one for a while ourselves I will show you exactly why they cost so much. The prettier and bigger the venue the more expensive it is to run. Same reason why Disney is so expensive or why some of the more high-end venues around are a lot more expensive.
Maintenance and staff is their main cost. At Andalusian Oaks, just to maintain the property and run weddings costs 5 figures per month, yikes! Weeding is costly, maintaining the pond and fountain with chemicals, spraying for bugs, cleaning crews, leaf blowing, etc...
Here is a vid of our workers just weeding 10% of the property...
For all those reasons venues are going to be your biggest cost.
Why go with a venue if it's so expensive?
That's a great question.
My wife and I got married in a dim chapel on a Tuesday. We had a great party but if we could do it all over we would have chosen a nicer venue. Our pictures were subpar and nothing to really hang in our home.
It's a one-time event that you will never get back.
It's not like a birthday where you can have a do-over next year. Your wedding should be a moment to be memorialized. Trust me, from experience if you can afford a nice venue then do it.
The second biggest cost is going to be food.
$25 - $85/person
If you have 100 people and you are at $35/person which is pretty average your looking at $3,500 for food, servers, cutlery, cups, and plates. For example, our caterers will do an unlimited brick oven pizza dinner with salad and drinks for around $35/person.
Some brides ask if they can bring their own food or have a family member cook but most venues require an official caterer for liability issues if someone gets sick. If you are on a tight budget going with an upscale fast-dining restaurant for catering is a good option. Some start as low as $15/person (think quick dining BBQ restaurants.) You could always get creative and have a food truck cater the event.
The third biggest expense is fresh florals
Average $1,500 - $5,000
Fresh florals are one of the things that really spice up a venue and your wedding. They add a lot of beauty and create a natural feel. This can really turn your wedding into something Instagram-worthy. That being said, if you get a venue that has a lot of natural beauty you won't need to spend a lot on flowers.
If you have the budget then this is a no-brainer. You hire a floral company to design beautiful arrangements and create an artistic look to match your wedding vibe. You don't hire them to just provide the flowers.
One tip from one of our preferred vendors for saving money is to make your own bouquet using flowers from Trader Joes! We had someone do that once and it looked great and was budget friendly.
One of the benefits of our venue is that it has a lot of natural beauty with Oak trees, Italian cypress, lemon grove, and natural stone. You can see a full property tour here.
The fourth biggest expense is photography and videography
Average $2,200 - $5,000 for each
The reason this isn't the number one expense is because it varies widely based on a bride's wants. Some brides want both photo and video while others just want one of those.
Please don't skimp on photography for your own sake. Beautiful pictures are so amazing to look back on. If you go too cheap you're gambling. They could be good or they could be completely terrible. Just FYI whenever I've hired the cheapest I've rarely gotten good pictures and that's a fact!
The fifth biggest expense is a day-of coordinator
Average $1,500 - $3,000
Most venues require a day-of coordinator because if you don't have one your wedding day could get stressful. A day-of coordinator will make sure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day. They fill in all of the gaps that are needed from getting grandma to the ceremony spot to making sure everyone is on time and ready to go. They act as your personal assistant throughout the day.
The sixth biggest expense is a DJ
Average $1,000 - $2,000
Why do DJs cost so much when anyone can just put a Spotify playlist on?
DJs do WAY more than just play the music. They MC the event meaning they announce everything. They announce the cake cutting, speeches, toasts, special dances, introing the family and the bride and groom at the reception. Not to mention they will have expensive equipment like speakers and lighting. You can rely on them to play music that gets people moving and the party going.
For a more budget-friendly option, you can borrow someone's speakers and put on a Spotify playlist although it's not very ideal. Here at our venue, we have top-of-the-line speakers and dance lighting that can be used.
Cake: $500 - $1,500
Alcohol: Up to you
Linens and decoration: $800 - $3,500
We completely understand that weddings are expensive! If you decide to do a full-on wedding you will be spending a minimum of $15k from our experience if you did it at our venue. That would require some DIY and getting creative. That's a tight budget.
The average price for most couples is $20k - $25k which gives them most of what they are wanting.
To have a REALLY nice wedding with amazing vendors where you don't have to do anything and just show up would be around $35k-$40k.
Hopefully, that helps!
To see a full digital tour of Andalusian Oaks or to book an in-person tour you can click here.