How to Budget Your Grand Rapids Wedding

Bride and groom at The Glass House Creative Community in Zeeland Michigan

Having a wedding is one of the biggest expenses you will undertake in your lifetime.  The first thing to do is make sure you know what is most important to you on your big day.  Hopefully it is hiring your favorite photographer, Aliscia Marie, but everyone has something that is a must on their wedding day.  From the venue to the food, the dress, the DJ, flowers, etc. things can start to add up fast.  However, there are ways to budget and still have the wedding of your dreams. 

Bride and groom in a Michigan forest.

Grand Rapids Wedding Average Cost

Firstly, let’s talk about the cost of weddings in Grand Rapids. The average cost of a wedding in Grand Rapids is around $23,750, which is slightly lower than the national average. However, this is still a significant amount of money, and it is important to budget accordingly.  Let’s do a full breakdown of the averages:

Cost TypeGrand RapidsNational Average
Wedding Attire$2,000$3,000
Flowers and Decor$2,000$2,500

Keep in mind that these are averages and for a lot of your costs the total number of guests will impact these numbers the most.  Let’s take a look at some ways we can reduce the expenses of your wedding so you can still have the photographer of your dreams!

Grand Rapids Wedding Venues

The cost of a wedding venue is one of the most significant expenses when planning a wedding in Grand Rapids. The average cost of a wedding venue in Grand Rapids is around $6,000. This cost can vary depending on the type of venue, the location, and the time of year.

Grand Rapids is home to many beautiful parks and outdoor areas that can be used for weddings at little to no cost.  Most of these spaces are between $10 and $30 per hour, with a $35 permit cost to be able to serve alcohol.  These spaces obviously do not offer catering or decor, so there would be different costs involved, but this is certainly a budget friendly space.  You can learn more here.

Couple walking through field in wedding dress.

Another option is to consider using a community center or smaller event space as your venue. These types of venues can be more affordable than larger, more traditional wedding venues. They may also be more flexible when it comes to catering, decoration, and other aspects of the wedding.

Eloping in or near Grand Rapids, Michigan can be a beautiful and budget-friendly option for couples who want to have an intimate and memorable wedding experience without breaking the bank. Grand Rapids is a great location for eloping because of its stunning natural landscapes and picturesque surroundings. There are many parks, gardens, and lakeshores that provide a beautiful backdrop for a small wedding ceremony. Some popular spots for eloping in Grand Rapids include Millennium Park, Riverside Park, and John Ball Zoo.

See more Elopement Locations in Michigan here.

If you do decide to use a traditional wedding venue, there are still ways to save money. For example, consider having your wedding during the off-season or on a weekday. Saturdays are the most popular day for weddings, so choosing a different day can often save you money on the venue and other vendors.

To read about my favorite indoor venues in Grand Rapids click here, or click here for my favorite outdoor venues.

Couple posing in Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

Overall, when it comes to the cost of a wedding venue in Grand Rapids, it is essential to do your research, compare prices, and be willing to think outside the box. By being flexible and creative, you can find a beautiful and affordable venue that meets your needs and budget.

Grand Rapids Catering Options

The next big expense is usually the catering. The average cost of catering in Grand Rapids is around $4,000. However, there are ways to save money here as well. For example, consider having a buffet-style meal instead of a sit-down dinner. This can often be less expensive, and it allows guests to choose what they want to eat. Another option is to employ a food truck.  This has become a very popular at weddings in the last couple years as food trucks overall popularity continues to grow.  The menu is usually less extravagant and there is no table service but food trucks can bring a fresh and contemporary feel to your wedding reception.

Table service for a wedding.

Another significant expense is the wedding dress. The average cost of a wedding dress in Grand Rapids is around $1,500. However, there are many affordable options available. You can consider buying a pre-owned wedding dress, renting a dress, or if talent allows even making your own dress.

General Tips

With careful planning and budgeting, you can still have a beautiful wedding in Grand Rapids without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips for budgeting for your wedding:

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Be realistic about what you can afford, and prioritize the most important things to you.  Popular wedding sites like Zola have budgeting tools to help you stay on track.
  2. Consider having your wedding during the off-season.  This can often save you money on the venue and other vendors.
  3. Be flexible with your wedding date. Saturdays are the most popular day for weddings, so consider having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday instead.
  4. DIY as much as possible. This can include making your own decorations, invitations, and even the wedding cake.  Get some inspiration from my Pinterest Boards.
  5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors. Many vendors are willing to work with you on pricing if you ask.
  6. Consider using a credit card that offers cashback or rewards for your wedding purchases. This can help you save money in the long run.

In conclusion, while weddings can be expensive, there are ways to budget and still have the wedding of your dreams. With careful planning, you can have a beautiful and memorable wedding in Grand Rapids without breaking the bank.

April 21, 2023

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