The Costs Of Planning A Wedding Reception

8 February 2018
 Categories: , Blog


Planning a wedding is something that many couples find themselves doing after becoming engaged. Whether it's a small and intimate wedding or a large affair, wedding planning can be stressful and expensive. The average wedding costs $31,213 with the reception alone accounting for at least half of the budget. In fact, the wedding ceremony itself usually only accounts for two to three percent of the total wedding budget. Here are some of the costs associated with planning a wedding reception.

Wedding Rentals

When it comes to wedding receptions, much of what is used is rented. Often the chairs, tables, silverware, and other items used during a wedding reception are included with the rental of a venue. However, in some cases, these items must be rented separately. The average cost of a wedding venue that includes these incidentals and food is between $12,343 and $14,006. The costs to rent tables and chairs can vary greatly. Tables along with chairs can cost as little as $13.50 per arrangement to upwards of $75 along with setup fees. Table settings can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per guest to rent.


Catering is often one of the biggest expenses when it comes to wedding receptions. The average cost per guest for wedding catering is $71. Adding alcohol can make things even more expensive. A full open bar will add between $10 and $17 per wedding guest while beer and wine will add between $8 and $10. Other costs that can add to the total include serving hors-d'oeuvres and offering carving stations for certain types of meat. It's also important to note that buffets can cost as much as plated dinners. For couples who prioritize food and alcohol, it's a good idea to devote a large portion of the reception budget to catering.


Dancing and music are also a big part of most wedding receptions. Having a big enough dance floor and either a DJ or a band is something that couples should consider when it comes to wedding receptions. It costs on average $748 to hire a DJ. However, additional lighting can add to the total. The cost of a live band is $1,751 while a solo musician costs $559. The cost of entertainment should also be considered when planning a wedding reception.

With the average wedding costing tens of thousands of dollars, it's easy to go over budget. In most cases, half of the budget goes toward the wedding reception. When planning a wedding reception, it's important to take the cost of wedding rentals, food, and entertainment into account when making a budget.