The Cost of a 287-Person Wedding in Austin, Texas

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Giddy up!  This submission came from the planner of a 287-person wedding in Austin, Texas that took place on a Saturday in the fall of 2021.

Estimated Budget: $200,000
Venue $34,000
Planning $120,000
Photography $20,000
Videography $20,000
Food & Beverage $165,000
Styling $13,575
Wedding Fashion (dresses, veil, shoes & jewelry) $72,000
Floral & Design $95,000
Hair & Makeup (services for 21 people) $5,000
Tent & Flooring $69,000
Custom Furniture $60,000
Lighting $28,000
Tabletop Rentals $22,000
Draping $16,000
Other Rentals $28,000
Dance Floor $7,000
Entertainment (band, ceremony strings, photo booth) $30,000
Cake $4,500
Stationery $30,000
Transportation $2,700
Tips $8,025
Travel for Family & Vendors $50,000
Welcome Bags $8,000
Exit Items $3,000
Total Wedding Cost: $910,800

To clarify some of the numbers, we asked the planner a few follow-up questions. Get the details below!

1. Can you explain their 5x budget jump?

“This couple came to me with 200K, but during our consultation I educated them on what things actually cost and we adjusted that budget to 400k based on their expectations at that point in time. Their expectations continued to grow exponentially throughout the planning process which is what got us to 900K.

Additionally, the initial budget was put together in January of 2021 prior to events fully coming back. Once events came back, prices escalated making some things higher than initially expected - primarily decor items that were decided on closer to the wedding. A 50K floral budget turned into 75K with the prices of flowers skyrocketing, and then 75K turned into 95K when the bride and mother’s expectations of the flowers changed. Installations got larger, centerpieces got fuller, etc.

We also started with a smaller tent with no draping, no flooring and no lighting that would accommodate the ceremony only, but after doing a site visit with the father-of-the-bride, expectations changed into a larger tent with flooring and we had to add various lighting elements. The couple wanted all of the furnishings to be cohesive, which required us to go with a custom build to tie the furniture in the tent in with the furniture in the reception space. Rented bars were not going to work anymore once we added the dinner tent. Almost every design expectation went up on this event which resulted in the budget increasing over time.”

2. Can you share your biggest wedding budget for newly engaged couples?

“The number you come up with prior to planning is based on nothing and completely arbitrary. Try to work with a planner who can be incredibly up front and transparent about the budget prior to moving forward. Know if your expectations change, so will the investment level.”

3️. Were there other events for this wedding weekend?

“Yes! The rehearsal dinner + brunch both cost around $50,000 each.”

Maroo Budget Talks are designed to encourage couples and wedding pros to share REAL wedding budgets from across the country–all types of events from elopements to weeklong events and everything in between! Why? Because the “average costs” in the press are not realistic numbers for most couples and wedding pros (especially those events couples see on social media). Maroo is on the mission to showcase all types of real budgets and costs because we’re on a mission of transparency in the wedding industry.

Have a wedding budget to share? Click here to submit your real budgets to us!

Team Maroo
September 7, 2023
2 min read
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