How to Plan a Wedding for $10,000 or Less

 

When you start planning your wedding, it’s tempting to dive right into the most creative aspect—the details! But, before you begin exploring color palettes, styles, flowers, and more, press pause and decide on the budget, you (and everyone contributing financially toward your wedding day) are comfortable spending. Keep in mind: you can plan a wedding on any budget!—just use our 1-Page Wedding Plan! So far in our series, we’ve shared how to plan a wedding for up to $500, $1,000, and $5,000. Today, we’re breaking down how to plan a wedding with our most indulgent budget yet. From a traditional soiree at a venue to a destination fête, we’re including six ways you can celebrate with a $10,000 wedding budget.

How to host a wedding at a venue for $10,000

 

One of the bright spots of the pandemic has been the influx of intimate and micro weddings. The wonderful thing about them is smaller guest lists genuinely allow you to bond with everyone in attendance while still providing plenty of time to enjoy dinner and dancing. We’re expecting micro and intimate weddings to continue for years to come, and one of the easiest locations to host is a wedding venue. Here’s how you can gather with up to 25 of your closest friends and family for around $10,000.

Example Venue Wedding Budget: $9,705 for 25 guests

  • Invitations: $250
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $30 when the ceremony is officiated by a family member or friend ordained via Universal Life Church
  • Photographer: $1,500
  • Flowers: $1,500 for a bouquet, boutonniere, and centerpieces
  • Attire: $1,500
  • Food & Alcohol: $3,125 including tax and gratuity, at $125/person
  • Dessert: $200
  • Music: $1,500 – Hire a DJ!

How to host a destination wedding for $10,000

Because you’re planning to debut your Honeyfund to your wedding guests, we can guess how much you love to travel! After spending so many months at home, we’re all eager to spend time in a place that’s a bit further away from home. We imagine your guests feel the same way! So, plan a destination wedding with a big emphasis placed on adventure and time together for up to 6 guests.

Example Asheville Destination Wedding Budget: $9,530 for 6 guests

  • Home Rental: $500/night for 4 nights – $2,000
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $30 when the ceremony is officiated by a family member or friend ordained via Universal Life Church
  • Photographer: $1,500 – Consider specifically searching for an elopement photographer! Elopement photographers in Asheville, specifically, like to capture the moment you get married. Then they like to explore with you while continuing to capture additional photos.
  • Flowers: $250 for a bouquet and boutonniere
  • Attire: $2,500 – Splurge on the dress of your dreams. But don’t be afraid to get it dirty, especially if you decide to say “We do” with mountain views!
  • Cake and Champagne: $100 – Purchase a cake from a local bakery and toast with champagne post-vows!
  • Food & Drinks – $1,250 – Plan to budget at least $250/day to enjoy meals at your rental home and out around town.
  • Excursions – $1,800 – Find adventure! Hiking the trails is free along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but you can also kayak, tour breweries, bike around town, visit the Biltmore Estate, and even take a hot air balloon ride. We imagine your crew experiencing at least one experience each day for three days.

How to host a wedding in a parking lot for $10,000

When you’re deciding where to host your wedding, a parking lot may not be top of mind. However, to us, they are similar to industrial spaces—they’re vast, open-air, and waiting to be transformed! Plus, you can also invite guests outside of your immediate family and friends to drive by. You can even project a video from your wedding ceremony onto a screen! If you add a tent, tables and chairs, and a DJ, you will have a complete venue. Here’s how to host 25 guests in a parking lot.

Example Parking Lot Wedding Budget: $9,975 for 25 guests

  • Invitations: $200
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $150
  • Photographer: $1,500
  • Flowers: $1,000 for a bouquet, boutonniere, and centerpieces
  • Attire: $1,500
  • Parking Lot Rental: $200
  • Tent + Installation: $1,500
  • Chair, Table, and Linen Rentals: $300
  • Food + Alcohol: $1,875 at $75/person
  • Dessert: $150
  • Projector + Screen: $250
  • Music: $1,250 – Hire a DJ!

How to host a wedding at a winery or brewery for $10,000

If hosting a traditional wedding at a venue doesn’t quite sound like you, but you still want to make sure your wedding day is 100% memorable, create an experience instead! Consider hosting your closest family and friends at a winery or brewery. Enjoy a customized tasting together, and then stay for dinner under the stars. Your day will still feel entirely celebratory, plus you will all be enjoying a unique experience together.

Example Winery or Brewery Tasting Wedding Budget: $8,000 for 10 guests

  • Invitations: $100
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $150
  • Photographer: $1,500
  • Flowers: $1,500 for a bouquet, boutonniere, lush altar arrangements, and centerpieces
  • Attire: $2,000 – Enjoy your day in your dream dress!
  • Food & Alcohol: $2,500 including tax and gratuity, at $250/person for 10 people
  • Dessert: $150
  • Music: $0 – Plan to cue up a Spotify playlist so you can enjoy background music and your first and parent dances.

How to host a pop-up wedding for $10,000

As we’ve mentioned before, pop-up weddings tend to be a surprise for your wedding guests—they typically think they’re attending a birthday or engagement party, not a wedding. And that’s part of the fun! In addition to reciting your vows in front of a limited number of guests (think: no more than 25 people), keep the excitement going by adding a dance floor.

Example Pop-up Wedding at a B&B Budget: $9,650 for 25 guests

  • Invitations: $200 – To keep your cover, make sure to send an invitation to your engagement or birthday party!
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $150
  • Photographer: $1,500
  • Flowers: $1,500 for a bouquet, boutonniere, altar arrangements, and centerpieces
  • Attire: $2,000 – Splurge on your dream dress and source a custom (budget-friendly!) suit for the groom from SuitShop
  • Food & Alcohol: $2,500 including tax and gratuity, at $100/person
  • Dessert: $200
  • Music: $1,500 – Plan to hire a DJ!

How to host a wedding at a private home for $10,000

Did you know you can rent an Airbnb or other private home for your wedding? It’s a wonderful way to create the feeling of celebrating at a private home without the hefty price tag or a family member who would like to loan you their residence for the day. One idea is to plan a staycation and choose a rental home close to where you reside. Another idea is to plan to travel to a destination and ask up to 25 family and friends to join you (they’ll stay nearby!).

Example Airbnb Wedding Budget: $9,250-$9,950 for 25 guests

  • Home Rental: $400-$750/night for 2 nights (depending on how many guests are staying the weekend)
  • Marriage License: $100
  • Officiant: $150
  • Photographer: $1,500
  • Flowers: $1,000 for a bouquet, boutonniere, and centerpieces
  • Attire: $1,500
  • Chair, Table, and Linen Rentals: $300
  • Food + Alcohol: $2,500 at $100/person
  • Dessert: $150
  • Music: $1,250 – Hire a DJ!

Researching weddings on a variety of budgets? Read our other “Weddings For Any Budget” articles.

 

About the author:

Carly Totten is a wedding planner and sometimes florist for couples and a copywriter for creatives, primarily serving the wedding industry. She is based outside of Philadelphia, but she often travels, especially to Charleston, South Carolina. Her work has been featured online with Brides, Every Last Detail, The Huffington Post, The Spruce, and more and in print with Philadelphia Weddings Magazine and Modern Luxury Weddings Philadelphia.

Carly Totten

Carly Totten is a wedding planner and sometimes florist for couples and a copywriter for creatives primarily serving the wedding industry. She is based outside of Philadelphia, but she travels often, especially to Charleston, South Carolina. Her work has been featured online with Brides, Every Last Detail, The Huffington Post, The Spruce, and more and in print with Philadelphia Weddings Magazine and Modern Luxury Weddings Philadelphia.

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