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I am now considering getting married in 2011, June, July or August, in Maryland, either the Eastern Shore, or Baltimore Inner Harbor.

My daughter and step-daughter will serve as my bridesmaids. I am not sure who will serve on the groom side. But we want a small wedding party.

I would like to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. Either two different rooms or same room with redecoration/re-organization. Also:

Live band for two hours (between cocktail and early reception for my (very) Christian family)
A DJ for the remainder of the reception
Top shelf liquor to be served during the DJ portion of the reception.
I am sure I am missing a lot here. But I'm looking at hotels that offer in-house catering and "preferred" vendors.

I'm a travel agent so I have a handle on the honeymoon. We chose not to do a destination wedding because our parents are aging.

Please much should I expect to spend? I have over a year to plan, I just need to know how much should I expect to pay. We are a 30-something couple with "real-life" financial obligations.Thanks!

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Hi Ty,

You just asked the million dollar question all couples have when planning a wedding. I always asked my clients how much can they afford to spend and still have a life after the wedding. Some only can afford $10k - some can afford $100k. In the state of Maryland the average wedding cost is about $25k and up. Areas like the Eastern Shore and the Inner Harbor are premium locations so you should expect to pay in some cases alittle above average.

In my opinion wedding budgets are personal simply because I can have 2 couples with the same budgeted amount but the allocation of the money is very different based on what items are most important to the couple. So I can have 2 couples spend $25k, but one couple will spend more on food and beverage, while the other will choose to spend more on decor. Either way you should be flexible and understand you may not always get what you want.

To be more specific about your question let take in account some of the things you defined in your inquiry:

Venue Site Fee - average about $1500k - $6000k (3-5% of budget)
Food and beverage Cost - average $25 - $150 per head (30-40% of budget)
Flowers - average $5000-up (10-15% of budget)
Decor - average $5000 - up (12-14% of budget)
Stationery - average $2500 - up (5% of budget)
Photographer/Videographer - average $2500 - up (5% of budget)
Lighting -average $1500 - up (4% of budget) I think lighting is a staple to all wedding and social events
Entertainment - average DJ $2500 - average band depending on number of members $4k-$10 and up (5-8% of budget)

This is just a snap shot of the things you will need to consider when developing your budget. I haven't even mention things like taxes, gratuities and surcharges that are in addition to the above cost listed. If you are also considering a planner you need to add that in as well each planner have their own package service so I can't give you a budget amount for that.

Here some additional tips:

If cost is an issue - then keep the guest list small. The more guests you have the more money you will spend on food and beverage.

Set-up an account strictly for the wedding expenses and if family members are gifting money get that money up front never plan on a promise note.

Finally, put some emergency funds away just in case. I usually recommend putting away $500 - $1000.

Good luck in your planning...

Thank you for your response. Outside of honeymoon/destination wedding travel I am all but clueless when it comes to weddings.
There's a site called Cost of Wedding and you can type in your zip code and they will tell you the average cost of a wedding in your area.

Once you get any idea of what the average is I would start to think about how many people you want to invite and how much you're willing to spend on your wedding. Once you've come up with a budget you can request a customized Budget Breakdown by category here and we'll send you a list similar to what the previous poster listed (percentages & dollar amounts) but customized to your specific budget.

Attached is an example of our customized budget breakdown.

If you need any other tips or help with planning your wedding. Check out our wedding panning blog, Soulful Engagements. It has all sorts of articles, checklists and free downloads to help manage your budget, interview wedding vendors and get inspiration.
I've notice you posted this question on your website. :)
It's a good question :)
Thanks...and good answer! In fact I tweeted a link to your site where the question is posted. If you'd be so kind to follow and retweet @fiancee2be and/or @tylandtravel...I'd appreciate it.

I'm sure you hear that budget question asked all the time. lol
Photographers are one of the most important things to consider when planning for a wedding 

Wedding Photographers Cardiff Offer a wide range of budgets to accommodate all types of budget.

Hello there, if you think you could try finding budget friendly venue, you should visit for biggest choice of venues


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