Average Wedding Cost
Congratulations on your engagement! After you say “YES,” now what? Where do you start? Should I get my dress? Find decor? Or book my venue? You might ask your self how much does a wedding cost? If you’re like me, you might be starting to stress a little. Grab a glass of wine. Go ahead; I’ll wait!
Now that we are a little less stressed (thank you wine); let’s start with where you should focus your time and effort, to make your wedding planning less stressful and more fun while saving a little money for what matters!
And we all know that figuring out how much that wedding cost is….is going to be right in the front of your mind.
Average Wedding Cost in Erie, PA
Many brides first thought is of their wedding theme and their dress. However, there are THREE parts of creating your dream wedding you should begin with before you choose your wedding dress and colors. The reason is…these three things are the wedding cost items you want to make sure you have PLENTY of money in the budget for. These are your: Wedding Venue/Caterer, Wedding Photographer, and Wedding Disc Jockey. These three, more than anything else, will guarantee the success or failure of your wedding day. And because the wedding cost in Erie, PA can be between $20,000-$45,000 it’s important to know where you should spend the bulk of your budget to make your wedding day a roaring success!
These three elements of your wedding (Venue/Catering, Photographer, and Disc Jockey) should be the most expensive and here’s why:
Wedding professionals have many years of experience and training, and the proper licenses and insurance coverage. They’ve also invested in the best equipment and tools to make your wedding a success. A professional Wedding Photographer, Caterer, Venue or Wedding Disc Jockey is also going to have backup plans that protect your event, you and your guest if something went wrong! All of these reasons add up to a higher price tag than an amateur or beginner. So, if you find a price more than reasonable, question it. The ‘professional’ offering service far lower than the average wedding cost does not value their own product. The expert’s estimates are based on the value and quality of their service to you!
Cost of a Wedding Venue in Erie, PA
The price for your Wedding Venue will more than likely take up the bulk of your wedding cost, depending on if catering is included or not. There are several things to consider when selecting which type of venue you want and which additional expenses you’ll have for each wedding venue. (Make a note here: Catering is the LARGEST ticket item for most wedding cost, but we’ll talk about that later.)
Many Erie, PA Wedding Reception Halls are free if owned by a catering company. You’ll be paying just the price of the catering itself. In these cases, the price of the catering is double or triple a traveling caterer. One of the most popular local wedding venues that charges like this is around $75-$100 per plate. These wedding reception locations in Erie, Pa venues typically include your tables, chairs, and basic linens.
Some wedding banquet halls in Erie do not have catering available. You’ll be paying to rent the venue only. The average cost to rent these types of places is around $4,500-$8,000. They usually have tables and chairs available to you, but your catering company will have to supply linens.
Finally, many couples opt to host their wedding at a private residence or an inexpensive park or outdoor area. There are additional costs to consider these choices too. You’ll need to rent tents, tables, chairs, and possibly portable restroom facilities and heating and cooling elements to keep you and your guests comfortable. All of these additional items can add up to be thousands of dollars to your wedding cost. In these cases, it’s best to hire a Professional Wedding Coordinator who regularly plans weddings and can help you decide what you need to create your dream wedding reception. They’ll also be able to suggest the best rental places to meet your needs.
Cost Of a Wedding Photographer in Erie, PA
Professional Wedding Photographers combine years of experience and the best in photography equipment to provide you the highest quality service possible. The average wedding photographer spends about 12 hours with you on your Wedding Day and days afterward sifting through thousands of images captured to select only the perfect shots and edit those for your unique wedding album. They’ll often bring an assistant or second shooter with them to make sure they don’t miss a single moment of your day. After prep time, shoot time, and editing time a Professional can spend upwards of 60 hours of work on one wedding day. And not only do they bring thousands of dollars of camera gear with them, they also have the best in computer hardware and software for editing your images to perfection.
Your Wedding Photographer is a vital element in the overall success of your entire wedding experience. They work closely with your DJ and Venue Manager to capture every moment, so you have treasured memories to look back on.
Because of the cost of professional equipment and the hours they spend focused on your day, the average wedding cost of a Wedding Photographer in Erie is around $4,000. Most packages at the average price include an engagement session, 2 shooters and some type of photo delivery. Be aware that most photographers are not going to give you every photo they took. You’ll have a break down of how many digitals, prints, or other items you’ll receive and it will be up to you to buy any extras. The price of any additional photos or prints you want to purchase after your day should be included in your wedding cost. Ask for a price sheet on prints and digitals to make sure you’re comfortable with their prices after the fact. Each wedding photographer will offer you option unique to their service.
Cost of a Wedding Disc Jockey in Erie, PA
Professional Wedding Disc Jockeys do far more than just playing a few of your favorite songs. They are the cog that your entire wedding reception spins around. They are responsible for controlling the flow of your evening, communicating throughout the night with you, your family, bridal party, and other wedding professionals to keep your wedding on track, for emceeing your announcements and for keeping you and your guests entertained with just the right music to make everyone happy. That’s why a professional DJ with experience serving wedding celebrations is worth the wedding cost to invest in them. Wedding DJ’s invest countless hours before your wedding day was going over your information, checking and testing their equipment and preparing to perform at your event. A typical 5-hour wedding reception is a 10 hour day (or longer) for your DJ. The average wedding cost of a Professional Wedding DJ in Erie, Pa is around $1,600 for a 4 hour reception and will vary depending on what services you want such as Up Lighting, Monogram Lighting, a customized Photo Booth rental, Dancing on the Clouds or specialty lighting shows.
A Wedding DJ spends around 30-40 hours between prep, travel, setup, sound check, tear down, and travel back with Wedding Day Service being at least 10 hours for a 5 hour wedding reception. A Professional DJ will bring upwards of $30,000 in professional grade DJ gear to your wedding day to ensure sound, music, and lighting is exactly perfect. In addition to that, they pay for specially licensed music for your day.
Cost of a Wedding Catering in Erie, PA
Professional Wedding Catering is the LARGEST ticket item in your overall wedding cost AND it is directly effected by your guest count. In Erie Pa, the average wedding guest count is 150 guests plus bridal party.
Catering falls into two distinct categories; on-site and off-site catering. Many reception halls have an on-site caterer as mentioned above. You’re going to find most of these are Country Club and Hotel style banquet halls, but there are a few wineries and barns that also have their own company. With most of these places the venue rental is ‘free’ or at least it appears to be. However, beware of hidden cost. One local venue charges $75-$100 per guest as a way to make up the cost for the venue. Most are in the $45-$60 range per head for food…and that does not include bar cost.
Off-site catering is a bit lower, as they’re not trying to cover the cost of renting out a banquet hall to you. With appetizers, water service and cake cutting service (yes, ask about that) you end up spending about $35.00 per person.
So, you can see how wedding cost with 50 guests will be much lower cost than wedding cost with 150. In addition, most caterers must charge tax per state law which is not included in their fees AND they will also charge you a 20-30% gratuity for their staff.
Check out our Partner Catering Company, Caterie Elegant Cuisine to learn a little more.
Free Wedding Planning Tips
When you’re creating a budget for your wedding cost, you really have to consider that the three major Wedding Vendors that can make or break your wedding plans are:
Your Reception Hall and/or Caterer
Your Disc Jockey and/or Band.
Because each of these Wedding Professionals plays such a pivotal role in the success of your Wedding Celebration, it’s essential to understand their functions and why they charge what they do. Other Wedding Pros you may want to add to your wedding cost are: Wedding Planner/Coordinator, Wedding Videographer, and Wedding Photo Booth.
We hope this helped you get started on the right track budgeting your wedding cost. If you have any questions, please give our In-House Wedding Coordinator a call. She’s more than happy to help you get started on planning your dream wedding.
Lets' Start Planning
At Erie Wedding & Event Services, we understand that your special day is a reflection of your unique story. Our comprehensive planning, exceptional DJ services, gourmet catering, professional photography, cinematic videography, and entertaining photo booth rentals are tailored to bring your vision to life. By filling out our contact form, you’re taking the first step towards a seamless and memorable celebration. Entrust us with your dreams, and let our dedicated team craft an event that echoes your individuality, leaving you with nothing less than perfection. Begin your journey with us; let’s create moments that will resonate for a lifetime. Your story deserves the magic of Erie Services.