The average cost of a wedding in northern New Jersey for 2018 was about $60,000. Keep in mind, that means that half of weddings were below that amount and half were above that amount. A Luxury wedding therefore is above this price point at north of $125,000, highly dependent on guest count and generally means someone is investing more than $1,000 per guest for their wedding. So for a 100 person wedding, your budget is at least $100,000. Many of my New Jersey couples who come to me for wedding planning don’t know where to begin when it comes to planning their wedding. The first step is always to create your budget. At the very least, you should know who is paying for the wedding and what your overall budget is.
Let’s talk about the average cost of some main vendor categories here in northern New Jersey.
Your venue/caterer is likely going to be your largest expense. Your venue should generally account for 50% or less of your total budget (food, cake, alcohol, service). The final amount of the venue/catering costs is heavily dependent on your guest count. So in terms of a per person cost, you’re going to see an average of $150-$500 per person for venues in northern New Jersey. There are tons of influencers here, amount of food, type of open bar, number of hours included, ceremony fees are generally on top of that amount, plus 20% admin fee (which is different than gratuity!)
Catering and Space Rental
Let’s say you rented a venue but need to bring in catering – that comes with it’s own special considerations. (Or you’re having a backyard wedding – there’s so many things to consider if that’s the case that will impact cost!) Catering quotes will likely be on the low end of that per person range but they will need to add on service/waiters/bartenders on top of the initial per person quote. PRO TIP: Caterers also generally do not provide alcohol in New Jersey, they can provide bartenders and mixers, but the alcohol needs to be provided by the couple.
The top three vendors I recommend booking first for your wedding (after venue/caterer) are your photographer, florist, and DJ/band.
For photography, assuming you want at least 8 hours of coverage and two shooters that has an average range of $6k to $8k. Editorial type photography will run you much more, approximately $8k – $12k. Ask your photographer if they also offer video! Luxury photographers will be higher than what is listed here.
For your flowers, this will depend largely on what you’re asking for, which flowers are available in your season etc. For your standard 10 centerpieces, personal flowers (bouquets, bouts etc) 2 ceremony arrangements, sweetheart table feature – $4k – $7k. Tall arrangements, staircase accents, dense coverage, signage swag will run you more. We regularly see couples spend over $10k on flowers. I did an Instagram LIVE recently on the floral crisis which happened to coincide with the pandemic. Not only are flowers scarce because of labor shortages and global weather patterns but florists are being booked way in advance. All of which causes prices to be high.
I love a live band, and a good band can run you from about $10k, which is greatly impacted by the number of singers and instruments. A DJ averages about $3k to $5k and many will offer lighting or photobooth add-ons.
Know your budget! If you’re new here – let me tell you that one of the first steps in the wedding planning process is making a budget. Need a sample budget breakdown? Send us a message and we’ll send you a free guide.
We also offer an a la carte service where we will help you create a realistic budget (outside of any type of wedding planning package). A complete budget plan is provided with our full planning service.
Has this been helpful? What else might you want to know about weddings and wedding planning in New Jersey? Check out our blog for more helpful tips: www.nessmcgovern.com/blog. You can also get more information about us on our website: www.nessmcgovern.com.
Do you have questions about planning your wedding? Are you looking for a Wedding Planner in New Jersey?