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What Kind Of Lake Tahoe Wedding Budget Should You Expect?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


Divided Line Photography

Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for weddings due to its breathtaking views and scenic landscapes. However, planning a wedding in Lake Tahoe can be a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to budgeting. So, what kind of Lake Tahoe wedding budget should you expect? As a premier Lake Tahoe wedding planning company that has done dozens of weddings in the region, we break down a full wedding budget for you below.


What is a Reasonable Budget for a Lake Tahoe Wedding?

According to The Knot 2023 study, the average cost of a wedding in California was $40,000. But what it doesn’t factor in is the region-specific budget averages. With Lake Tahoe being one of the most popular wedding destinations, the cost does increase. The average cost of a Lake Tahoe wedding ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 and up. However, the actual cost of your wedding will depend on several factors such as the time of year, the size of your guest list, the venue you choose, and the type of services you want to include. The good news is there is a variety of venues ranging from high-end to reasonably priced, so there is something for everyone in Lake Tahoe.


Some of the key expenses to consider when planning your Lake Tahoe wedding include:


Venue

Divided Line Photography

The cost of a Lake Tahoe wedding venue is one of the biggest expenses of your wedding and can range from $6,000 to $15,000. The cost will depend on the type of venue you choose, such as a beach, boat, private estate, or mountaintop venue. This cost does not include food and beverage minimums that some of the venues around the area will include on top of the venue cost itself. When picking a venue there are a few things to put into consideration. For example, is the venue an ala carte space or does it include staffing and in house food and beverage services? Is the venue one that does weddings all the time or is it at a family member's home? It may seem like a more budget friendly option to go with a venue that allows you to bring in your own food and alcohol. However, this cost will quickly add up and usually require extra staffing since the venue doesn't provide any of these services. Especially if you have to hire an outside vendor to set up and tear down all the tables and chairs. A lot of times you don't save much money.



Wedding Planner

When planning your Lake Tahoe wedding budgeting for a Lake Tahoe wedding planner is definitely something to consider. This may sound like a large upfront cost, but it will actually save you a lot of money in the long run. Wedding planners know the best vendors in the area, have industry relationships that can produce discounts, and know tips for making your budget go further. They can even help you create a full wedding budget and help you stick to it. When you book with Reno Tahoe Enchanted Events we give you access to our online planning portal. Within our planning portal, there is a budget tracking tool that makes creating a budget a breeze. Wedding planners range anywhere from $2,000-$12,000 depending on the level of service you want. For couples planning a Lake Tahoe destination wedding, a full service planner is usually the right choice as they have someone local helping them throughout the entire wedding planning process. From booking vendors, designing the whole event, sourcing decor, managing vendor appointments, and making sure no detail is missed from afar.



Catering

Alyssa Lynne Photography

The cost of catering will depend on the number of guests, the type of food you want to serve, and the level of service you require. On average, catering can cost between $50 and $150 per person. Once you add in the cost of drinks you can easily be looking at over $200 per person. When hiring a caterer you want to consider if they are a full service caterer or not. A full service caterer will provide kitchen staff, bartenders, servers, and the front-of-the-house staff to set up tables, replenish food, bus away dirty glasses, and plates, mop, empty trash, and finally pack everything at the end of the party. While the traditional caterers only set up the buffet tables and display the food. While booking a traditional caterer can be a cheaper choice you will have to find someone else to fill in the gaps or you will be stuck with a mess during your event.



Wedding Attire

The cost of wedding attire for the bride, groom, and bridal party can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the type of attire and designer you choose. The average wedding dress alone usually costs between $2,000 and $4,000, whereas the more elaborate dresses can cost $10,000 or more. For wedding dress shopping tips check out our blog post.



Transportation

Kevin Sawyer Photography

Wedding transportation is an important aspect of a couple's big day. Depending on the size of your wedding party and the distance between the ceremony and reception, transportation costs can add up quickly. Consider hiring a shuttle service, limousine, or even a boat to transport your guests. The choice of transportation often depends on the couple's personal style, wedding theme, and budget. Choose a reputable transportation vendor with a good track record and positive reviews. Ask your planner for their opinion the last thing you want is the limo to roll up late or even worse not show up at



Decorations

Decorations can range from simple floral arrangements to elaborate lighting and event design. The cost will depend on your style and the level of detail you want to include. Do you want a photo booth? Do you want vintage china or monogrammed napkins? Do you want a cute lounge area on the lawn for your guest to hang out? And the possibilities are endless. Flowers will be your biggest expense in this category. Expect to pay at least $5,000 or more. But why are flowers so expensive? The short answer to why wedding flowers are so expensive is this: you're paying for quality product, time/labor, and expertise.



Aubrey McCready Photography


Alyssa Lynne Photography

Photography and Videography

Capturing your special day on camera is important, and the cost of photography and videography can range from $5,000 to $10,000 dollars each. It all depends on the photographer's and videographer's experience and the type of package you choose. Ask your planner for recommendations of local photographers and videographers that way you will avoid paying travel fees and paying for hotel accommodations.


So how much does a Lake Tahoe wedding really cost?

The cost of a Lake Tahoe wedding can vary greatly depending on your specific needs and preferences. The fact is, companies are run by humans, and humans have real budgets and real financial needs. No one type of company is better than the other--it really comes down to the overall experience that you're looking for. To help ensure that your wedding stays within budget, it's important to prioritize your expenses and create a detailed budget plan. Talk to a Lake Tahoe wedding planner who will honor your budget and help you make smart final decisions. With the right planning and preparation, you can have the wedding of your dreams in Lake Tahoe without breaking the bank.


Ready to start planning your dream wedding in Lake Tahoe? Reach out to us today for a free consultation and let's make your vision a reality. Let's chat!

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