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Your wedding day - You may have been dreaming about this day for years and it’s finally happening. You’ve saved pictures from magazines, have thousand of pins saved to your Pinterest board, and can’t wait to start the planning process. You’ve thought about the music, the food, your attire, the decor, and so much more. If you haven’t already, you will likely soon have a conversation with your partner and maybe even family and friends about the B word …. BUDGET. Your wedding day is probably the largest and most elaborate event you have planned to date. There can be a tremendous amount of details and vendors to put together to make this one day happen, and the reality is, it all has to cost something and can add up very quickly. It’s important to set a realistic budget before you start committing to the details to ensure you are comfortable later down the line and don’t end up “wedding broke”.

We’ve broken down what you can expect your main wedding expenses to cost in Memphis,Tennessee as well as some unexpected costs that you may not realize factor into your overall wedding budget.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty and break down these expenses, I want you to have these conversations with your partner and anyone else financially contributing to your big day :

  1. What are your top 3 priorities for the wedding day (consider any non-negotiables)

  2. Knowing your priorities and any non-negotiables can help you better distribute your budget knowing you may want to spend a little more in specific areas.

  3. Who is contributing financially and what are they covering?

  4. As tradition has it, typically one partner /family is “responsible” for paying a majority of the wedding expenses, while the other partner/family may pay for things like the bouquet, the officiant, the rehearsal dinner, and the marriage license. Discuss with all parties financially involved what this looks like and what you are including in your overall wedding budget.

Alright, now let’s get to the breakdown:

Based on our experience and resources, the average wedding budget in Memphis,TN costs around $50,000 for a 100-person wedding. Of course weddings are not one size fit all and there are ways to maximize your budget if $50,000 is not feasible for you. Keep reading to learn how you can cut costs.

Please note : This blog is to be used as a guide to help you develop a realistic budget for a wedding in Memphis,Tennessee. Please consult with a wedding planner to discuss your vision and determine a budget that you are comfortable with.

What does that actually mean when it comes to what that covers?




Venue/Food and Beverage


The average venue rental in Memphis costs : $8,000 on a Saturday. The average plated meal is $60 per person.The average buffet style meal is $30-$40 per person.





Average hair and makeup services - $80-$150 per service

Favor Gifts


A lot of couples are choosing to put the cost of guest favors towards cocktail hour or entertainment.



Most bakers start at a base cost of $7/slice



Average bouquet cost - $150

Average centerpiece cost -

Low & Lush: $250

Tall: $450

Average large installation (floral chandelier, floral wall, etc.) - $1,000-1500



Many of our couples cut back on this cost by going digital.



Average cost of DJ services - $200 per hour

Average cost of Band - $3500

Photo /Video




Wedding Planner


3-5% for Event Management Package

10-15% for Full-Service Package

Wedding Rings




I’ve broken down some of the most common and larger expenses to consider when organizing your wedding budget, but what items are you not thinking about? Don’t worry, I’ve been doing this for a while and am going to share additional items most couples forget to include in their budget:

  • Getting ready space; you may need to pay for your room the night before to have access early the next morning or add extra hours onto your venue rental so you have space to do hair and makeup and get ready

  • Some bakers/caterers charge a $2 per slice cake cutting fee, be sure to ask when ordering your cake so that you can plan accordingly.

  • Additional beauty needs prior to the wedding day: hair and makeup trials, waxing, tanning, skin treatment, etc.

  • Ceremony sound equipment

  • Shipping + postage for stationery; oversized envelopes, different shaped invitations, vintage stamps all play a part in adding to cost

  • Welcome bag fees; some hotels charge an average of $5 per bag to hand out or deliver welcome gifts to your hotel guests

  • Late night/after hour charges for rental companies (and sometimes florists) to pick up and breakdown any items.

While this post breaks down the average costs, of course there are ways to maximize your budget and cut costs for items not as important to you. Tips to maximize your budget:

  1. One of the main factors driving the cost of a wedding is the guest count. Minimizing your guest count will significantly lower your cost.

  2. Consider a weekday or a Sunday wedding. There are several venues in Memphis that offer discounted rates for weekdays or Sunday weddings due to the low volume of requests for weekday weddings.

  3. Digital invites and having a wedding website may cut down on the number of printed invitations and save the dates.

  4. Some couples also choose to skip the traditional wedding cake and offer other alternatives that align with personal preferences (donuts, cupcakes and other treats).

I hope this information helps you when planning your wedding. We know it can be overwhelming and heavily detailed oriented. If you need a planner to help you calculate a realistic budget and bring in creative vendor partners to bring your wedding day vision to life, we would LOVE to assist you ! Please complete our quick contact form and we will be in touch within 48 hours.

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