Rapid City, SD
how to combat rising wedding prices

How to Combat Rising Wedding Costs


You’ve dreamed of your wedding day ever since you were little.  You envisioned your perfect venue, attire, food, decorations. Now the day of your dreams is in the not so distant future, but the economy of the past few months may have you fear the cost of your dream wedding. Let’s talk about how to combat rising wedding costs without sacrificing dreams.

To have or not to have

Let’s take a look at the major expenses of a traditional wedding:

  • Venue
  • Food
  • Wedding photography/videography
  • Entertainment
  • Attire
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Decorations/flowers
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Rings

You are probably going to need at least 75% of these on your wedding day. Traditionally, venue and food are your biggest ticket items followed by wedding photography and wedding videography, decorations and entertainment. Some things have fixed cost regardless of the size of your wedding and some can be adjusted depending on how many people RSVP to your invitations. Your venue, photographer, professional DJ and coordinator would cost the same for a party of 50 or 400. However, your food cost can change dramatically based on the number of guests you have invited.

Wedding décor:  go DIY to combat the rising costs

The easiest way to combat the rising wedding costs it to go DIY. This would work great, if you have a solid support system. Organizing and decorating a wedding is A LOT of work. The amount of details one has to pay attention to can be overwhelming. However, investing in a Circut machine and some vinyl can save you a lot of $$$ when it comes to signage, guest book, invitations and placement cards.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Look around, you most likely have a crafty friend, aunt, mom or even grandma who can help you with flower arrangements and table settings. Practice at home first!  You can order live flowers and greenery in bulk from a big box store like Costco or Sam’s Club and put bouquets together every months until you get that perfect combination worked out.

Check out local Facebook groups and wedding consignment stores for table runners, fabric and trinkets for your centerpieces. Often times you can score those at a fraction of the original cost!

Skip the “through away” mementos

Traditionally, bride and groom offer a small gift to their guests. It’s a great way to thank your loved ones for celebrating your special day with you. Average budget for a memento like that is $5-10 per guest. Can you think of anything in that price range that won’t end up in a junk drawer or trash can in a few days after the wedding? So opt out of those cute beer can cozies and personalized candy bags and look into more of an experience for your guests.

An average wedding is 150 people. At $5 per person budget you would have to spend $750! I have a better idea – a photo booth! Not only would each of your guests get a one of a kind personalized gift – their own picture! Our photo booth attendant would also make sure kids are having fun and entertained while parents catch a much needed break and enjoy the party.

What NOT to skimp on.

You can ask for help on many aspects of a wedding day. You can even request your bridal party to pay for their own attire (I did!). A backyard BBQ after rehearsal can replace going to a restaurant. However, there are a few things you don’t want to skimp on when it comes to a wedding day.

Professional wedding DJ/MC.

A professional wedding DJ would also be your professional Master of Ceremonies. Our DJs are continuously trained in wedding etiquette, entertainment, mic work and performance. A wedding day has so many moving parts! Making sure the right music is playing and your guests know when and where to pay attention shouldn’t be your worry.

Professional wedding photographer/videographer.

Wedding photography/videography is expensive. A good photographer can and should cost upwards of $2000. You can find dozens of “just starting out” guys and gals online that would sound like a great deal. But lower price comes with cheaper equipment, less reliability, lack of experience, organization and professional editing skills. On the other hand, their portfolio may seem very impressive on Instagram and price looks right, but it comes without full print release. Which means you don’t own rights to your images and have to buy more from the same photographer at outrageous prices. That’s how that $1200 All Day package can turn into $5000 printing bill and still no full size digital copies to share with friend and family!

I firmly believe in transparency when it comes to wedding photography and videography pricing. Give us a call at 605-348-8869 and we can give you an honest quote.

Professional event catering.

As tempting as cutting wedding costs by serving your own food is – don’t do it. Preparing a meal for 100+ people is not an easy task! Throw wedding dress and tax and the hustle of the wedding day in the mix and you will end up with a hot mess on your hands! (Pun intended) Catering doesn’t have to mean $40 per plate. Check out our list of preferred vendors for catering ideas to fit most budgets.


In conclusion, there are many ways to combat rising wedding costs. The best one is planning ahead! Allow yourself healthy stress free timeline. Choose vendors that allow flexible payments. Budget wisely and don’t rely on “Christmas bonus”. A  large wedding is a once in a life time investment. It may not be re-sold for higher value, but it can also not be re-created. It’s a celebration of YOU and your LOVE for each other. Make it count. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and budget friendly wedding ideas.


Complete Weddings + Events, Rapid City’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, coordination, DJ services & photo booth rental.

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