Budgeting for Wedding Flowers and Desserts

It's a common question I get from couple's. How much should I expect to spend for my flowers and cake? And it's a totally valid question, especially for flowers! It's not common knowledge what the price differences or even the names of common flowers are, but that's why your florist is here to help!

Back in 2016 I did a similar blog post discussing The Knot Real Weddings Survey and I figure it’s about time for an update. Not a ton has changed since that 2016 post, but the average spend has actually gone down a bit!

Knot 2018 Wedding Survey

In the 2018 report, more than 14,000 couples who had planned a wedding and got married in 2018 completed the Knot's survey and they found that the average cost of a wedding is at $33,931, which is down a little from the 2016 number of $35,329 that I reported. Now of course, that's the national average. It may not cost you that much to have an amazing wedding here in Central Illinois. Hello, $52,332 average in Chicago, though! 

The average guest count was 136 and couples spent on average $258 per guest. That just might make you rethink inviting second cousin Bobby, huh?

So, what’s all that money going toward? Couples are investing in super-personalized events infused with meaningful details, and we love that! Your wedding should represent both your personalities!

Here’s the overall wedding spend (excluding honeymoon): $33,931

  • Reception Venue: $15,439

  • Photographer: $2,679

  • Wedding/Event Planner: $2,002

  • Reception Band: $4,247

  • Reception DJ: $1,292

  • Florist/Décor: $2,411

  • Videographer: $2,021

  • Wedding Dress: $1,631

  • Groom Attire: $283

  • Wedding Cake: $528

  • Ceremony Venue: $2,382

  • Ceremony Musicians: $797

  • Officiant: $286

  • Catering (price per person): $70

  • Transportation: $856

  • Favors: $245

  • Rehearsal Dinner: $1,297

  • Engagement Ring: $5,680

  • Invitations: $386

  • Hairstylist: $123

  • Makeup Artist: $102

Photo by Rachael Schirano Photography

Photo by Rachael Schirano Photography

So how much should you budget for flowers?

   10-15% of your overall budget is what I recommend.

When I look back at what my bride's typically end up spending on flowers, it usually is about 10-15% of their overall wedding budget that is necessary to achieve a look that fits the overall feel of their wedding. So if your overall wedding budget is $35,000 then budget at least $3,500 for your flowers. Overall budget of $15,000? Plan for at least $1,500 which would be enough to cover your personal flowers and possibly some small designs for your ceremony or reception.

Photo by Sweet Darlings Photography at Pear Tree Estate

Photo by Sweet Darlings Photography at Pear Tree Estate

What about desserts?

   Average of $4-5 per guest

Desserts are a little different to budget for since they are based more on your guest count. In the Knot's survey they found the average spend to be $528 on wedding cake and the average wedding guest count at 136. That averages out to about $4 per serving. 

Looking to keep the costs lower? Think about cupcakes or other desserts which have a lower price per serving. 

If you really want to find out if your set budget is realistic for your vision, meet with your vendors! We offer a free consultation where we go over the details of your day to be able to offer you a custom price quote. Keep in mind though that comparing vendors solely on price, isn’t the way to go. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Every vendors expertise is different, their style is different, their overhead costs are different, so every vendor needs to charge a price that is right for them. Meet with your vendors and choose who you feel comfortable and who you can trust to achieve your wedding vision. Go with your gut!