What Are Your Wedding’s Baseline Costs?

If you have more to spend or if you’re having a harder time letting go of the traditional trappings of the average American wedding, we offer our case studies — scenarios to help you think through different options for larger, more formal events. We’ve hand-picked our favorite Bay Area spots where you can throw a fantastic yet sane party.

By focusing your energies on the wedding reception, you’ll see how fast costs add up and how quickly you can reduce them by carefully considering your choices. While we have included below traditional base prices, the list does not by any stretch cover all expenses. It excludes invitations, dress, suits, rings, rehearsal dinner or other planned activities. All numbers listed are ballpark figures.

Traditional Plan & Costs:

Facility rental: $3,500 
Food: 180 people @ $75: $13,500
Champagne & Wine Bar: $3,500
Flowers: $3,750
Photography and Video: $4,500
Music: $1,500
Favors and Gifts: $1,800
Cake: $1,000
Tax (7.5%): $1,200
Gratuity (20% on food and drink): $4,200

Total Estimated Base Cost: $38,450

* Base costs for the San Francisco Bay Area according to The Wedding Report. Total does not include dress, invitations, suits, rings, rehearsal dinner or other planned activities.

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