Decades ago, having a wedding celebration didn’t cost a down payment to a house. At least not for the San Francisco, Bay Area. Over the years, with the help of social media platforms and influx of rising costs of living and labor, weddings are easily costing over a $80,000. Does it mean yours have to be? Absolutely not. You must educate yourself before booking your vendors and understanding the strategy in budgeting for your big day!
When meeting with my clients, we always determine what is most important to both counterparts. I usually ask both to weight out the most important to least for the following categories:
- Food/ Alcohol
When you prioritize this list, you will be able to figure out what you are willing to spend on each category. From there you can take away from areas that aren’t as important to you and put it into something that is important.
After you list what is most important to least, you need to pull the average cost of where your expected area of location is. In this case, I am sharing with you the SF Bay Area Averages. This is just an average, but it will help you figure out where you need to be in terms of budget. Of course, we have to take into consideration for tax of 9.25% and service fees ranging from 18%-25%- depending on where you book.
Now let’s just pull my own experience and take a peek at my events www.smittenkiss.com , my clients are spending on average $130K for about 230 guests. But my fine arts clients are spending about an average of $120K for just 75 guests. It really depends on the level of detail and vendor you pick. Every hand-lettered invite suite, every fun station with decadent desserts, every piece of rose petal costs money. I know this sounds overwhelming because this means most people are averaging at least $1K per person, if they want that Pinterest wedding. Does this sound bananas or what? But there is hope! Once we hunker down on what you find as most important, then you can surely choose the lower tier on the ones that aren’t as important. It helps couples steer clear of wedding spend remorse after.
Here is a summary of what to expect for pricing for SF Bay Area Weddings
- Amateurs start at $2K
- Seasoned $4k+
- What most spend in the bay area (affluent demographic) $5-7K
- Amateurs start at $2K
- Seasoned $4K+
- Fine Art ( film and hybrids) are pricey from $6K-10K++
- Seasoned Digital photographers will start at $6k-10K++
- What most spend in the bay area (affluent demographic): $5K++
- 10-12% of the budget is allocated to flowers on average
- Weddings with major decor $15-20K
- Glamorous weddings 25k+
- What most spend in the bay area ( affluent demographic): $5K-10K++
Pipe and Drape/ Rental Decor
- Doesn’t start work unless a minimum of at least 2500K is met ( some are more)
- $6K for a standard sized room up to 300 guests ( might include lighting) with rentals may be more
Event Planning/ Design/ Details
- Anywhere between $1500 up to 20% of budget (10-15k++) depending on packages booked
- Average $30K-35K for hotel ballrooms ( food and beverages included and some rentals)
- Halls / Standard venues : $5K-$8K++
- Average $65-80K for Top Resorts
- $1K-2K ( average) – depends on how many systems or if lighting is needed – could be $2500++
- 3 tier- 5 tier $5 a slice, depending on decor $900-1250
- The more artistic the design, the more expensive it gets up to $3500++ for an artistic cake
- Bay Area venues easily charge $35-$55pp
- Average with caterers for 100 ppl: 6k // Wineries are about 6-7k+ ( tips and service charges not included)
- $2500-7k ( average)
- $8K++ Custom
Hair and Makeup
- $400-650 for bridal average
- Top tier artists can start at $1K
- $100 each for BM’s average
- What most are paying (affluent demographic) $175-200 pp
- start at $650 in upwards of $2K
- What most are paying (affluent demographic) $800-1200
- $300-400 average
- Mid tier caterer around $50-100pp
- Top tier caterer will start at least $150pp ( with rentals and linens etc will be about $400pp++)
The wedding world towers in at $72B industry and so creating a wedding celebration in the SF Bay Area will certainly come with over the top expenses. You may want to consider a different location if there isn’t flexibility in the budget. There is nothing that creativity can’t fix; and along with that is understanding your reality. Simplify your details if needed or choose a more saturated market where vendors offer more competitive pricing. I hope this article was helpful in your wedding planning!
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