If you are planning on having a small wedding, you’re probably wondering how much does a 100-person wedding costs? Unsurprisingly, the smaller the wedding, the less expensive it will be. Today, we’ll take a look at the average cost of a wedding with 100 guests, as well as the different expenses you can expect.
We’ll take a close look at budgeting, cost-saving options, and other tips that can help bring down the overall price tag. You’ll be surprised at just how beautiful a special day you can put together with a wedding budget suited for 100 guests.
How to Plan an Inexpensive Wedding for 100 Guests?
The average cost of a wedding hovers just above $30,000 according to industry experts. Of course the bigger the wedding, the more expensive you can expect it to be. If you’re planning on having a guest list of no more than 100 friends and family members, then you can expect to have an average wedding cost of roughly $20,000.
Even at this price tag, there’s plenty of room to stretch out your budget in order to maximize the experience of wedding expenses such as the music, bridal and groom party expenses, flowers and decor, favors, and more.
Average Wedding Cost for 100 Guests
So where exactly does the money go with this $20,000 wedding budget? Well, there are certain vendors that every wedding has to have in order for it to be, well a wedding. Let’s take a look at some of the common wedding vendor expenses you can expect to pay and different ways to maximize your experience with these vendors.
Food & Drink
Food and drink are a staple of every wedding reception. But just because you have to include it doesn’t mean it has to be costly. You’ll have a couple of options to choose from that will impact the price.
The average cost for a wedding food vendor can be upwards of $800 – $1300. It depends on the type of food you have, how it is served, and who the vendor is. Average costs include the following:
- Plated meals – $40 a person
- Buffet meals – $27 a person
- Open bar– $1000 – $1,500
You also have to consider whether you’re getting services from a third-party food and beverage caterer or if your food and beverage will be catered by your wedding venue itself. Typically, it will be more affordable if you work with the venue, however, there are some third-party vendors that may be more flexible with price, the type of food you want served, and any other special requests.
A wedding photographer is another critical element of any wedding ceremony or reception. The size of your wedding does not necessarily impact the photographer’s price tag, but it can have an influence. The average cost for a wedding photographer can range anywhere from $1,500 – $3,000. If you request any additional services that include photographing a large number of guests, this might also drive the price up.
The Wedding Dress
For many brides, the wedding gown will be the most special, and perhaps the most expensive gown they will ever purchase. Brides typically prioritize purchasing the perfect gown as opposed to purchasing a budget-friendly one.
But regardless of the wedding size you’re having, it’s easy to do both. The average cost of a wedding gown in America hovers just under $2,500 according to popular outlet, Brides. If you’re having a 100-person wedding, a $2,000 range can be a great budget to allocate for the wedding gown. Of course the higher you go, the more money you’ll have to take away from other expenses on your wedding day if you want to avoid going over your budget, that is.
Wedding invitations can get costly, especially if you’re opting for an invitation suite that includes digitally printed cars, RSVP cards, embossing, envelope liners, stamping, wax seals, and other accessories.
Going all out for a wedding invitation for guests can easily cost roughly $800 to $1,200 for an invitation bundle. If you’re looking at saving but not sacrificing quality, it’s best to shop for wedding bundles that average roughly around $1.00 – $2.00 per invitation. You’ll have a range of invitation options to choose from with this price point including cardstock material, texture, colors, and more. Additionally, digitally printed invitations are the most cost-effective wedding invitations out there as opposed to higher expense services.
When you’re budgeting for watching DJ, you should expect to allocate anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. As with other wedding vendors, wedding DJs offer a lot of flexibility as far as price and the services they offer.
Opting for a DJ that offers the full experience including added lighting effects, karaoke machines, photo booths, and MC services will undoubtedly cost more. However, opting for a quality DJ that can stick to a provided playlist is the best way to cut down on cost.
Hair and Make-up
Hair and makeup are undoubtedly important factors of any wedding ceremony and reception. On average, industry experts suggest budgeting around $125 to $225 per person for hair and makeup. Of course, the type of services you have, who you work with, how many individuals will need hair and make-up, and other add-on services will all factor into the final costs.
The venue remains to be one of the biggest costs associated with any wedding planning. When shopping for a venue, it can help to save by opting for a venue that can double up as both your ceremony and reception location.
On average, venues for a 100-person wedding can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000. However, because of their smaller size, you should expect to spend on the lower end of that spectrum when it comes to venue costs.
Other great ways to save on the price of a wedding venue are by opting for outdoor locations, local state and national parks, and hotel conference rooms or event centers. Of course, when you need the venue will also impact the price. For example, you’ll find that the price of a venue will be substantially more during peak wedding season spring and summer months as opposed to the slower off months.
The officiant fee is often a necessary but thankfully affordable fee. The typical officiant fee can range anywhere from $300 to $500. For smaller size intimate weddings, the fee tends to be on the lower end of the pricing scale. There are many ways to save on this fee including:
- Working with a local officiant
- Working with an officiant through your church or place of worship
- Asking a qualified friend or family member to serve as your wedding officiant
The cost of your wedding license is another necessary but thankfully minuscule expense. The cost of your marriage license depends on where you live because each state has different pricing guidelines. The average cost is anywhere from $40 to $80, with some states offering the license for as little as $30.
It’s important to know that different states may also charge additional fees related to your marriage license. For example, there could be a fee for requesting a certified copy of your license or a waiver if you don’t have all the documents ready. Check with your local marriage licensing office to learn more about associated license fees and add-ons in your locality.
Following the wedding venue, wedding decorations can be one of those costly expenses that you need to consider carefully. Luckily, there are many ways to tailor this expense so that it is affordable for your wedding budget.
The average cost of wedding decorations ranges anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000. This huge price gap largely depends on the type of decorations you have and additional expenses such as setup and cleanup fees.
You should also expect the following when it comes to wedding decor:
- Using real flowers for your wedding can cost upwards of $2,000 for a 100-guest wedding
- Working with a wedding decor company will be cheaper at roughly $1,000 – $1,500 or a 100-guest wedding.
- Outdoor weddings are more affordable to decorate than indoor weddings.
- Industry experts suggest allocating 10% to 50% of your wedding budget to floral wedding decor.
How Have Wedding Prices Changed Over Time?
According to industry experts, the cost of wedding ceremonies in America has steadily gone up over the past couple of years. Ten years ago, the average cost of a 110-guest wedding ceremony was $16,000. That cost has gone up drastically to $28,000 for a 128-guest wedding ceremony.
The increased costs are due to a variety of factors with the cost of venues, wedding DJs, florists, and photographers charging more for their services than ever before thanks to inflation. Of course with inflation comes increased cost, but as weddings become more elaborate, couples are asking more from vendors which in turn is raising costs.
Where you get married also factors into the final price tag too. According to the latest data, some states are incredibly costly while others are more affordable. Here’s a breakdown of the top five most expensive and least expensive states to get married.
Most expensive states to get married:
- Massachusetts – $30,489
- New Jersey – $30,357
- Connecticut – $29,499
- Washington DC – $27,965
- New York – $27,533
Least expensive states to get married:
- Arkansas – 12,426
- West Virginia – 12,498
- Mississippi – $13,399
- Kentucky – $13,537
Oklahoma – $13,881
Despite the cost of weddings slowly ticking up over the years, having a beautiful 100-guest wedding does not have to break the budget. Knowing how much does a 100-person wedding costs, and how to plan for it can better equip you during the process. There are plenty of ways to save on costs by making simple alternative changes to your wedding vendor and wedding planning decisions.
We hope our article has helped you put together an affordable wedding budget. Be sure to let us know in the comment section below some of your favorite ways to save on wedding costs.