I’ve received this question a lot – “so can you tell me what is the average cost of a wedding in the Washington DC area?” Simple question with a not so simple answer. But here is my answer – it depends! on a number of factors:
location, Location, LOCATION. Typically, a small town wedding carries a lower cost than a big city venue. That difference in cost also varies from city to city. New York, DC and Boston carry the highest costs in the North East corridor. Some additional contributing factors to your total venue price are: service fees, alcohol tax, administrative fee and cake cutting fees.
But before you make a decision on location, It’s also important you consider the included amenities. Be prepared to ask if the venue provides linens, signage, lighting or draping as these could provide value and save you money.
Guest List Size
This one is straight forward, the larger the group the more the cost. Most people, however, forget to add in related costs – what i like to refer to as total cost per plate. By that I mean – the more people you have the more: table linens, tables and chairs, centerpieces, attendants, it may also mean a bigger cake.
Day of The Week
It’s no surprise that both in Maryland and DC – Saturday evening is prime time for weddings, followed closely by Friday evening. The Friday/Saturday demand also affects availability of wedding vendors. If you are looking to save money and get your ideal vendors, look at week days (Mon-Thurs). With advance notice your attendees can accommodate a week day reception. Another idea increasing in popularity, particularly in large cities like DC is Sunday morning – what could be better than a DC Wedding brunch?!
So — day of the week matters, but just as important, the date itself matters. Dates that are rare to come by (and easy to remember) like August 8th 2008 (08/08/08) are highly sought after. This upcoming year, couples are seeking 10/10/2020. Stay away from these popular dates and you’ll have a better chance of finding a great deal.
There is a peak season for engagements and a peak season for weddings and it varies by geographical location. In the DMV area, the peak wedding season goes from May through end of October due to the great weather. You’ll see an influx of engagement photo shoots in March – the Tidal Basin’s Cherry Blossoms have much to do with that! Spring used to be the most popular season but in the recent years, couples are trending towards Fall weddings pushing the wedding season further into the calendar year.