What should your budget be? A look at average local prices for wedding vendors

October 23, 2020

One of the most common questions we’re asked by our newly engaged clients (and rightfully so!) is about budgeting and where they should spend their money. More commonly, we’re asked how much they should spend on each vendor. Today, we wanted to provide some insight on average prices for wedding vendors local to the NE Wisconsin area. Please keep in mind that pricing ranges and can vary even more if you’re planning your wedding in a larger metropolitan area.

DJ versus band
Entertainment is definitely an important part of your wedding day, so it’s a good thing to talk about when discussing budget. Are you going to hire a DJ or live band? If you’re thinking about a DJ, this is the most cost effective route. A DJ in this area will cost on average $1,500 to $2,500. If you are thinking you’d prefer live music, you can expect to pay about $400 per person per hour.

Another important vendor, as this person will be capturing your memories for you to look back on in the decades to come. You want to make sure to hire someone whose style resonates with you. Photography in this area ranges from $2,500 to about $5,500.

If you’re getting married at a venue that doesn’t have connected lodging, you should look into transportation so that your guests don’t have to worry about driving late at night. Average prices for a looping shuttle range from $600 to $1,000.

If you’re getting married outside of a church and want to hire a professional to marry you, you can expect to spend about $600 on a wedding officiant.

Catering + Dessert
This ranges greatly in price depending on what type of service you’d like to have (plated, family style or buffet), so it’s a great idea to talk to your fiance about what kind of meal you envision on your big day. An average plated meal will cost about $35/pp, while a budget buffet would be around $18/pp. If you’re considering wedding cake, you can expect to pay around $4/per wedding guest.

Other wedding vendors like florists, decor and invitations vary greatly depending on the scope of your wedding, so we didn’t include them in our average numbers round up. It’s best to go and talk with these vendors to get a better idea of what your specific wedding vision will cost you. Remember that you can always pair down proposals to fit into your targeted budget, but you may have to make some concessions along the way.