Talk Budget To Me: How Much Does it Cost to Get Married in Lake Tahoe?

Featured Image Credits: Elsa Boscarello Photography // Planner: Marcella Camille Events // Beauty: Luna Belle Beauty

Creating your wedding budget is easily one of the most important steps in your wedding planning process.  This will determine pretty much everything else in your plans.  It will determine what venue you book, how many friends you invite, and what type of catering you can afford.  

But if you’re looking to get married in Lake Tahoe, this begs a question- What does a Lake Tahoe Wedding wedding cost?  

Wedding Wire reports that the average cost of a wedding is $34,000.  But what it doesn’t factor in is the region-specific budget averages.  In Boston, the average cost of a wedding is anywhere from $60-$100k+ .  In Colorado, depending on where you’re getting married, you can easily spend $30-$100k+.  In the Tahoe region, where we’re at, the average cost of a wedding is roughly $60-$80k and up.  

But we didn’t just want to leave it up to google to get this information, so we asked some of the pros here in Tahoe.  

According to Epic Thyme Events,  ‘the average is 75-100K for a wedding of around 100 guests with all the frills.’ 

Marcella Camille Events say their clients usually spend between $80-$100k for a modest but gorgeous wedding. ‘At this budget, our clients have to be very specific on their wedding priorities and what they choose to splurge on but it is very doable.’

Mountain Thyme Events shares that wedding budgets vary greatly. ‘Lake Tahoe is the jewel of the Sierras and can be above average when talking about average budgets. I generally work with couples who have a 90k-150k budget. Does that mean you can’t get married in Tahoe if you have a 30k budget? No! A budget to me either means you have to get creative or you get to be creative. ‘

According to One Fine Day Events, their clients begin at $150k and go up from there.  ‘Our couples desire an exclusive experience for themselves and their loved ones and have a keen eye for design.  Whether getting married at one of our private estates or one of the hotels or estates in the region, they desire to create a custom experience that is rich in bespoke details that creates a weekend to remember.’

So helpful to know the average cost of a Lake Tahoe Wedding.  But you may have guessed it, the average cost of a wedding varies greatly depending on where you’re located and how much you’re willing to spend. 

Vendors: Planning + Design | Mountain Thyme Events //Venue | Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe // Photographer | Kari Henrichsen Photography // Entertainment | Pop Rocks. //Flowers | Fieldhouse Floral Artistry // Rentals| Celebrations Event Rentals | Creative Coverings | Mountain Vibes Rentals // HAMU | La Di Da Beauty

Types of wedding budgets:

Did you know there are different types of wedding budgets?  Yes, there are! 

According to Splendid Insights, budget are broken down into six different categories: 

  1. Intimate ($1000 or less)
  2. Economical ($1,100 – $10,000)
  3. Standard ($11,000 – $30,000)
  4. Premium ($31,000 – $95,000)
  5. Luxury ($96,000 – $500,000)
  6. Ultra Luxury ($500,000 or greater)

If you have been gathering most of your wedding inspiration on Pinterest, do note that most of the wedding budgets you’re admiring fall into the Premium and above category. 

Who pays for the wedding?

According to a recent survey by The Knot, on average, parents contribute to 51% of the wedding budget, while couples cover the remaining 49% percent. Meanwhile, Zola found that one third of couples are covering all of their wedding costs on their own. 

Traditionally, the bride’s parents, and the bride and groom themselves will pay for the wedding.   

In modern times, it is very common for both parents and the bride and groom to split the costs or the bride and groom to cover the costs of the wedding. 

Once you’ve set your budget and allocated the areas together, then you can divide and conquer the areas of the wedding for each grouping to cover.  

What should be allocated in your budget:

Below is a list of what should be included in your wedding budget for your wedding day. They are broken down by percentages and of course, everything can be customized based on your preferences.  Just make sure that the totals equal 100% of your budget. All these items should also include your gratuity. If you don’t need a category, simply assign that allocated money to a different vendor or save that money. 

  • Wedding Planner- 11%
  • Bridal Fashion + Accessories- 5%
  • Groom’s Attire- 1%
  • Beauty- !%
  • Rings- 2%
  • Sationery-2%
  • Venue: Ceremony + Reception- 11%
  • Officiant- !%
  • Catering- 22%
  • Photography- 5%
  • Cinema- 5%
  • Desert- 2%
  • Bar + Beverage- 4%
  • Entertainment- 10%
  • Transportation- 1%
  • Rentals + Decor- 8%
  • Florals- 3%
  • Favors and Gifts- 3%

Vendors: Planning + Design | Marcella Camille Events // Venue | Gar Woods Lake Tahoe // Photographer | Elsa Boscarello // Entertainment | Lucky Devils Band //Flowers | Afloral Affair // Rentals| Celebrations Event Rentals // HAMU | Luna Belle Beauty

Other Areas to Consider Creating a Budget For:

  • Engagement Party- Typically hosted by Parents or Friends
  • Childcare- Recommended if having more than three children
  • Rehearsal Dinner- Traditionally hosted by the Groom’s Parents
  • Bachelorette/Bachelor Weekend- Traditionally paid for by each individual person.  
  • Brunch: Traditionally paid for by the bride, groom, and parents. 
  • Travel + Accommodations- Traditionally paid for by each individual party. Can be paid for by bride and groom
  • Honeymoon: Traditionally paid for by the couple

If you’re in the very beginning of your wedding planning journey, take heart, there’s a lot of information to gather and things to learn about planning a wedding.  Our recommendation is to hire a planner, whether full service, partial, or coordination and lean on them to help guide you through your planning journey and to help guard your budget with you. 

Cheers to wedding planning!