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Average Austin Wedding Vendor Cost - 2022

Getting engaged is one of the most sought after life goals, but for a lot of couples to be, the overwhelming and somewhat frustrating parts of wedding planning is the endless research resulting in stick shock on pricing. In 2021, we polled vetted, experienced, insured, notorious, and of course our favorite Austin wedding vendors to come up with the average cost of what a client would expect to spend for their products and services in 2022. Back by popular demand, we did a lot of research and are happy to share the results! We hope to put everything into perspective for those planning a wedding, as well as continuing to be a sounding board for our fellow vendors. From the local Austin wedding vendor community, we continue to strive and exceed our client's expectations and want to start by explaining the value in our products and services.


BAND

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$8,000 for 8-10 piece band, sound, lights, travel, emcee and DJ for 4 hour reception

OPTIONAL $25-50 per band member


Bands provide the best live music, but most people don't know what all goes into running a professional musical ensemble. Factors you probably don't consider include, but are not limited to insurance, gas, tour bus or trailer storage and upkeep, marketing and advertising, website management, promotional photoshoots, performance videos, etc. They likely attend weekly rehearsals, monthly meetings, spend hours learning and memorizing new songs, and need to pay their agent fees. In order to stay up to date with the latest looks and sounds, bands must regularly update their audio and electrical equipment. Food, lodging, outfits, hair, makeup, the list goes on. There’s no doubt that musicians love their job - it shows, and you can feel the passion when they get on stage.


$7,500 in 2021... Why the price increase?

The overall cost of travel and price increase of Austin living justifies the price increase.

 

CAKE

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$1,750 to have enough cake to serve 80-100 guests, or $8 per person

OPTIONAL $25 delivery tip


It goes without saying that bakers are incredibly talented, patient, and artistic. Bakers spend a lot of time and consideration seeing that the client's vision is something they can make a reality. When it comes to the cake itself, they must plan, shop, prep, bake, design, decorate, deliver, set up, and clean up. And when it comes to running their business, they must perform admin duties such as communication, emailing, overseeing contracts, bookkeeping, managing inventory, etc. Wedding cakes are typically done by one person or a very small team. And just like anything else, the quality can vary depending on ingredients used and tools and machinery acquired. Kitchen equipment, prep space, refrigeration, ovens, and storage containers, all of these things can easily alter the price.


$1,500 or $7 per person in 2021... Why the price increase?

The overall increased price of products, such as butter, eggs, flavors have been the biggest factor to wedding cake price increases as well as packaging and paper products. Additionally, the inconsistency of suppliers and products as well as gas prices have forced up to raise delivery fees as well.

 

CATERING

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$100-120 per person for hors d'oeuvres, dinner, cake cutting, setup/breakdown, corkage fee, N/A beverage station, standard glassware, silverware, chinaware

​OPTIONAL 15-20% on food & beverage cost


Food is one of the most significant expenses at every wedding. If you decide to go with a full-service caterer, not only will you be in great hands knowing you’ve selected excellent food, but you can breathe easier knowing that the logistics will be taken care of for you. Catering sales managers and the talented culinary team spend a lot of time researching, strategizing, cooking, tasting, selecting ingredients, and writing menus. Because of the variety of food services to choose from, there are usually multiple menus that must be written. A culinary team includes chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, pastry chefs, dishwashers, and everyone in between. They often work 6 or 7 days a week, all hours of the day, prepping and preparing hundreds of dishes for events. Once the event arrives, transporting food for hundreds of people is quite the task. Besides the food, they must transport plates, utensils, serving utensils, serving trays, linens, heaters, platters, hot boxes, glassware, coolers, ice, trash cans, etc. Truckload after truckload, unloading, and reloading, the work never stops. Full-service catering teams provide all of the food, chinaware, glassware, etc. but also often set up the tables, chairs, and table settings. They set up the bar, the hors d’oeuvres, the beverage stations, dessert stations, the tables for the gifts, party favors, in addition to ceremony chairs. And with weddings, sticking to the timeline is everything. Once the event is over, the team must pack their supplies, tear down the setup, and take everything back to the base so all of the dishes can be cleaned and put away for the next event. Avoid additional rentals by having a full-service catering team who will provide everything you need.


$75-100 per person... Why the price increase?

Staffing shortages across the board (in both the kitchen and on the serving side) due to cost of living in Austin. The overall cost of food and products, as well as relying on suppliers and delivery of products on a weekly basis.

 

DESSERTS

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$6-7 per piece

OPTIONAL $25 delivery tip


A lot of labor and material costs go into individual gourmet desserts. One popular wedding dessert is the decorated sugar cookie. Did you know that one cookie can take between ten and fifteen minutes to decorate? Just ONE cookie! That’s only 4-6 cookies per hour, and most cookie orders are multiple dozens. That is a whole lot of time and labor that is put into meticulously decorating your wedding cookies. Whether or not you want to choose between a dessert station, just a cake, or both is definitely something to think about. Either way, don’t forget to thank your bakery for all the hard work and talent they put into creating your tasty desserts!



$5 per person in 2021... Why the price increase?

Product and packaging increases in the last two years have forced to raise prices on desserts, in addition to finding and affording pastries chef's in the Austin area due to cost of living.

 

DJ

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$2,000 for ceremony & reception setup, uplights & dance lights

OPTIONAL $100-150


The DJ does more than just play music. They are the emcee at your reception. They set the mood for every special moment, get people up on the dance floor, and keep the crowd entertained. They are responsible for making special announcements and keeping the party on a scheduled timeline. They also set up, test, and tear down their equipment, all while maintaining a level of professionalism that allows you to ease your mind so you can actually enjoy your reception. DJ’s invest several hours into the months, weeks, and days leading up to your wedding, customizing playlists to your requests and creating fun mixes. Behind the scenes, they are advertising, marketing, responding to leads, setting up appointments, contracts, deposits, bookkeeping, adding any final music requests, and updating a loosely scripted time-sheet for announcements.




$1,500 in 2021... Why the price increase?

The overall cost of travel to and from wedding venues and the cost of living in Austin.



 

FLORIST

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$7,000 for bride bouquet, 5 bouquets, 5 bouts, 12 centerpieces, ceremony florals & install

OPTIONAL $100-200 gratuity



Florals play a considerable part in your wedding day and should be one of the first things you factor into your budget. Because flowers are living plants with a timeline, there can be a lot of pressure to create the perfect design and get the timing just right so they will look their best. Florists spend hours designing looks, ordering flowers, processing flowers, assembling arrangements, transporting arrangements, and setting up and breaking down at each wedding. They make your vision a reality by creating the recipe for your dream design, calling wholesalers to check the availability of the flowers you are hoping for, and sourcing and securing additional decor. On many occasions, florists find themselves working 20+ hours leading up to your wedding day. There are also various supplies and to-do’s needed that add to the business costs like vases, refrigeration, advertising, marketing, responding to inquiries, and setting up design appointments. Florals include everything from bouquets, corsages, boutonnières, centerpieces, greenery, flowers for the ceremony site, additional flowers for the reception site, ice sculptures, buffet, bar, welcome tables, bouquet toss, and more.


$5,000 in 2021... Why the price increase?

Floral shortages is one of the biggest shortages in the wedding industry right now. The flower cost per stem has increased significantly due to high demand of weddings. Additionally wholesalers shipping costs have also increased as well as gas prices to deliver florals on wedding day.


 

HAIR + MU

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$275 for the bride + $220 per bridesmaid

RECOMMENDED $20-25 per person, per service


It’s no secret that makeup and hair products and tools are expensive. Every item, every color, every brush, every spray, it all adds up quicker than imaginable. Now, imagine how many colors and tools you would need to accommodate multiple bridesmaids, mothers, and flower girls. A professional makeup kit is around $3,000, and a hair kit is $1,000. There are also business expenses just like every other business listed above. Insurance, gas, travel, licensing, continued education, general business expenses, etc. If you’ve ever gotten your hair and makeup professionally done, you know how much time goes into the look. Hours are spent blending the perfect colors, styling, applying lashes, clip-in hair extensions, veils, headpieces, all to create that picture-perfect wedding look, not just for your bride but the entire bridal party. Most brides want to see their wedding look before their big day, and a bridal trial is a request that can also add to the cost. But it is worth it to ensure that the perfect look will be created on the day of the wedding.


$250 for the bride + $175 per bridesmaid in 2021... Why the price increase?

Product costs in the hair and makeup industry has increased as well as maintaining on-going eduction and licensing for stylists have increased. Additionally, the overall cost of living in Austin and cost of gas.


 

MUSICIANS

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$1,200 for 2-3 hours (or $600 per hour)

OPTIONAL $20-50 per person


Live music is a romantic and elegant touch to any wedding day. Whether it be for the ceremony, cocktail hour, or both, they know how to set a mood. Of course, there is the talent you are paying for, and more often than not, you want someone with a remarkable following. They have equipment considered the best of the best, take time to travel, time to set up, tear down, and put a lot of time into honing their skill and personalizing the songs that are important to the couple.


$500 an hour in 2021... Why the price increase?

The overall cost of living in Austin and increased gas prices to get musicians to and from wedding venue.

 

OFFICIANT

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$530 for pre-marital meeting, wedding ceremony & submitting marriage license

OPTIONAL $50-100


The cost of an officiant depends a lot on location and day. Mainly because they are just one person and there are only so many weddings an officiant can do in a day or on a weekend. Besides time spent doing administrative tasks, hours are spent investing entirely into the couple, learning about them, their story, their love, dreams of the future, traditions, vows, and any other extra customs specific to their ceremony. Officiants typically participate in the ceremony rehearsal the day before the wedding and act as the ringleader on the actual wedding day. Time, mileage, knowledge, research, and experience all play a part in the cost of an officiant.


$500 in 2021... Why the price increase?

Inflation and the increased cost of gas


 

PHOTOGRAPHY

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$6,000 for 8 hours, 2 photographers, online gallery, rights + downloads

OPTIONAL $100-200 per photographer



Running a photography business is more than just an expensive hobby. Purchasing the newest gear and editing software is a high ticket price, but it’s one that a high-quality photographer isn’t going to go cheap with. The cost of the photographer is not just for the wedding day, it’s all of the hours of work that goes into before and after the “I Do’s.” Administrative labor, continued education, location scouting at the venue for those picture-perfect locations, all tasks that take time and effort. Photographers don’t just arrive with one camera; they have several. Not to mention a variety of lenses, lights, flashes, battery packs, and probably even a step-stool. They may even come with a second photographer. There is a lot of action on a wedding day and oftentimes, assistance is needed to set up lights between scenes, capture a wide range of reactions, and because one person can’t be two places at once, two photographers can. It can often take a photographer over 40 hours to edit the photos from your wedding. That’s an entire week of full time hours just to produce your final product. Photographers purchase high-end hard drives to back up their work because of the importance of your photos. Find a photographer who you like to be around and are comfortable with. Look at the work of multiple photographers to make sure you find the right one who fits your style.


$5,000 in 2021... Why the price increase?

The high demand of weddings and limited date availability as well as cost of supplies (album's, prints, USB's, galleries, etc) as well as gas prices and overall cost of living in Austin.


 

PLANNING

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$3,000 for month of planning/coordination on wedding day + rehearsal

OPTIONAL $150-300 for lead, $50-100 for assistant


Most first-time brides can have a tendency to underestimate the value of a planner. There is a lot of time, passion, and behind-the-scenes work that takes place so miracles can happen. The relationship between you must be a trusting, cohesive one because they will be your right-hand man throughout the entire process. A planner spends countless hours answering emails, taking and making phone calls, conducting meetings, site visits, tastings, connecting with your vendors, putting together paperwork, navigating timelines, floor plans, and acting as a liaison between your family, friends, and guests. They will coordinate your rehearsal, assist the officiant with their speech, bustle your dress, plate up your dinner, keep you on your timeline, conduct your grand exit, pack up your belongings, and ensure your gifts make it home safely. After the end of your wedding, they have spent close to 100 hours just on your wedding alone!


$2,500 in 2021... Why the price increase?

Increased gas prices as planners are driving and attending several planning meetings, additional the rehearsal and wedding day. There's also an increased cost of living in Austin and most planners now. have limited date availability based on the high demand of weddings.

 

PHOTO BOOTH

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$1,100 for 4 hours (prints or downloads available)

OPTIONAL $25-50 for photo booth attendant

Photo booths have become more and more popular. And because of the demand for the latest technology, it can be costly, but totally worth it. It’s all about creating a premium client experience beforehand and during the reception. There is a lot of high-end equipment that has to be purchased, taken care of, transported to and from reception venues, and let’s not forget the backup equipment just in case an accident strikes. There are also regular software updates and backups performed to protect files. A good quality photo booth company has dedicated staff on standby to set up, tear down, and troubleshoot as necessary. They can either set up your customized background in real life or as a backdrop on the camera. One of the fun things about photo booths is the pictures at the end. Whether they get printed right there for you or sent to your phone or email in moments, the delivery is almost instant, and it is something you and your guests can forever treasure.


$1,000 in 2021... Why the price increase?

Increase in labor costs, software and media shortages

 

VENUE

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$8,275 for a Saturday to include 10-12 hours, tables & chairs, bridal & groom suite, on-site venue manager

OPTIONAL $100-200 for venue manager and security



It’s no surprise that a weekend wedding is going to be more expensive than a weekday wedding. The season plays a significant role as well. A Saturday evening wedding is prime real estate. Most venues can only accommodate one wedding per day and time frame. So for the best experience possible for the happy couple, some must-haves include a good venue. These encompass maximum venue usage time, rental items such as tables and chairs, rental space for both ceremony and reception, cleanliness, and adequate amenities. Every venue is so different. Some include everything from bridal and groom suites, ceremony and reception spaces, and a venue manager. On the flip side, some venues don’t include anything; they strictly unlock and open doors. There is a large amount of overhead that goes into running and maintaining a venue. There are property taxes, rent, utilities, internet, landscaping, maintenance, insurance premiums, administrative duties, all of which must be paid regardless of if there are six weddings in a weekend or none at all. When there are events, there are additional costs such as venue cleaning, staff to set up and tear down tables, chairs, linens, and an on-site venue manager for the duration of the wedding. A venue isn’t just a building, it’s an experience.


$7,250 in 2021... Why the price increase?

Overall staffing shortages across the board, constant maintenance and updates to venue to keep up with all of the wear and tear due to high demand of weddings


 

VIDEOGRAPHY

AVERAGE SPEND

GRATUITY

$5,000 for 8 hours, 2 videographers, highlight video

OPTIONAL $100-200 per videographer


Videographers will capture your wedding day in a big way - with real life action shots that include voices, sounds, music, laughter, cries, and cheers. Here are some of the items wrapped into a videographer's costs - insurance, music licensing, gear, computer systems, payment processors, software updates, data storage, travel costs, editing assistants, web designers, graphic designers, and shipping and packaging. Most will want to pay for a second videographer to help capture every moment you will want to remember. Not only will a videographer follow you and your guests around on your big day, but there are many hours spent afterward creating the film with the perfect soundtrack. Gear, cameras, tripods, lights, audio gear, microphones, audio recorders, even a drone are all packed up and brought with them to the event. Videographers approach their films with the same care and customization as a documentary film. They strategically piece together precious moments and memories that are personal, emotional, and raw to create a tailored film that is uniquely yours.


$4,000 in 2021... Why the price increase?

The high demand of weddings and limited date availability as well as cost of supplies (USB's, galleries, etc) as well as gas prices and overall cost of living in Austin.

 



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