At-Home Maryland wedding ceremony recessional confetti




What should I budget for my at-home wedding? That is the question on everyone’s mind once they get engaged and start planning an at-home wedding. And that is a really hard question to answer because it depends on so many things. Location. Preferences. Guest list. At-home weddings are typically not the most cost-effective. You may initially think that you are getting a venue for free. But once you rent a tent, lighting, generator, bathroom trailer, dance floor, and more, you could have rented a wedding venue for less.

Washington DC is typically the 4th most expensive place to get married in the country, behind New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. I’ve even found that spreading out to Baltimore, Annapolis, Richmond or Charlottesville will not drastically change the cost of weddings. 

A good wedding planner will help an engaged couple identify the parts of the wedding that matter the most to them (a band or their invitations or the bar) and allocate the wedding budget accordingly. There is no one-size-fits-all budget break down, but I hope this can be useful to you. 

The most expensive item at your wedding is a guest. A guest will get a save the date and an invitation, plus paper goods on the wedding day. They need a seat at the ceremony and the reception. Their table at the reception needs a linen and a table setting and you will probably also a centerpiece. They will be eating and drinking on your dime for 4-6 hours. These are your variable costs. Every ten guests will cost you $1000-$2000 in variable costs. 

The wedding budget below based on Washington DC area weddings. 

    • Food & Beverage items (31%)
    • Tent Items (22%)
    • Service Providers (12%)
    • Decor & Stationery (15%)
    • Transportation (4%)
    • Miscellaneous (2%)

at home wedding budget infographic sample

Now that your at-home wedding budget is all set, it’s time to move on to the planning! Check out our Wedding Planning Timeline infographic!

You can check out our daily blog if you would like even more information about weddings in the DC area.