Music City is a popular destination for bachelorette parties, but did you know it’s also an amazing place to tie the knot? With over 150 wedding venues in and around Nashville, the beautiful scenery, and amazing vendors, it makes for the perfect perfect place to say “I do." So what is the average cost of a wedding in Nashville?
In 2020, the average cost of a wedding in Tennessee was $26,00, according to The Knot. But this number can vary greatly depending on how big your wedding is in terms of guests, what type of venue you rent, your accommodations, and so many other factors.
When planning a wedding, it's best to set your budget right away so you can find a venue and vendors that fit within that range. It will be very helpful to hire a wedding planner once your budget is set so they can work with you and plan the wedding of your dreams without going over. They may even be able to negotiate on your behalf! And while many brides think it may be cheaper to plan a wedding themselves, and while it might be the case sometimes, it is often not true! A planner will know all the local vendors and have the best knowledge to keep things in line and at the price point you need. (A little side note: here are 5 reasons to hire a planner from Infinity Hospitality.)
Read on for more information about the average cost of weddings in Nashville!
The average cost of a wedding venue in Tennessee is $11,277, according to The Knot, and that number is slowly on the rise. And being in Nashville, you can expect it to be a little higher than the state average. Ultimately, the cost of your venue will depend on what type of venue you want. Nashville and its surrounding area has plenty of options to choose from. We made a list of our top 25 venues to help get you started with your search!
As with most things on this list, wedding gown prices can differ greatly depending on what you are looking for and where. In 2016, the average cost of a wedding dress in Tennessee was $1,402, according to The Knot. And in 2018, PR Newswire had that cost higher at $1,631. Luckily in Nashville, there are so many shops to find the perfect gown—from designer boutiques who create custom gowns, to shops aimed at helping brides on a stricter budget. Click here to see 14 of the best bridal dress shops in the city.
According to The Knot, the average cost of an event planner in Tennessee in 2016 was $1,570; PR Newswire says the national average in 2018 was $2,002. While you can expect those costs to have risen a bit since then, it can vary greatly! The biggest factor is whether you get a full time planner, part time planner, or just a day-of coordinator. And while we're at it, it is important to note that some venues may require a full time planner, so be sure to ask the right questions while venue shopping!
Some wedding planners also have a base price, some have a one-time fixed price, but some charge a percentage of the entire wedding cost, and some charge for every phone call or meeting after a certain amount. So when you're hiring a planner, it's important to get all those details up front!
The price of a photographer usually depends on how long they will be at the event. Many photographers charge hourly, while some have a set price for a set number of hours, and some even charge per photo! Once you decide how long you want them there and how it fits into your budget, you can begin your search with those things in mind. The average for a photographer in Tennessee in 2016 was $2,328, according to the Knot, while the national average was $2,679 in 2018, according to PR Newswire.
The national average for a wedding videographer is $2,021, according to PR Newswire. Some photographers work with videographers or even have one on their team, so it's possible to find a package deal or a company that can do both! Videographers all have different styles as well, so be sure to do your research and find one that fits your vibe.
Florals & Decor
The national average for flowers and decor in 2018 was $2,411, according to PR Newswire. Prices for flowers and decor depend on what type of wedding you want to have and how extravagant you want things to look. The more you have, the more it will cost—and if something is hard to find or procure, that might raise the price as well (such as rare flowers, for example). Florals alone can be very expensive, but this is one area you could save some of your budget with DIY decor, if your venue allows it.
The cost of your wedding cake or dessert can also vary greatly. For a traditional cake, the average cost in Tennessee in 2016 was $696, according to the Knot. If you are wanting to use a boutique bakery in Nashville, you can expect the cost to rise a bit more. And if you're looking to save, both Publix and Whole Foods are known for their delicious cake, with three-tiered cakes at Publix starting at around $300 and sheet pan wedding cakes at Whole Foods starting at $90 per sheet.
Alternatives to the traditional tiered wedding cake are very in right now, too, such as a donut wall or dessert table laid out with various sweets. Those alternatives will likely be less expensive than a traditional cake if dessert is somewhere you'd like to spend less!
The cost of music at a wedding greatly depends on whether or not you want a live band or DJ. In 2018, the national average cost of a band was $4,247 and the average cost of a DJ was $1,292, according to PR Newswire. Being in Nashville, you will have a lot of different options for both live bands and DJs on each end of the price spectrum. We recommend you do your research on what bands you like and then reach out to them!
And be sure not to forget about your ceremony, especially if you've always wanted a musician or singer to serenade you as you walk down the aisle. PR Newswire says the average cost was $797 for a ceremony musician in 2018.
Invitations & Paper Goods
The national average for a wedding invitation suite in 2018 was $386, according to PR Newswire. However, this yet again can vary greatly! If you're looking for entirely custom-made invitations with handwritten calligraphy and personalized elements, you're looking at a higher cost. Expect to pay around that average when using a website like Minted, depending on how many invitations you need.
Photo by Some Place Wild
The average cost of reception dinner catering is $70 per person, according to PR Newswire in 2018. But again, this can also vary widely depending on the type of service you choose. There are so many options, from traditional buffets to various food stations, from the types of meat you choose to how many people you're feeding. One way some brides cut costs is to get catering from their favorite local restaurant, especially here in Nashville where the Southern fare is everywhere—and we've got some of the best barbecue restaurants the South has to offer!
The average cost of an officiant is $286, according to PR Newswire in 2018. However, this may differ in Tennessee because we have a law that you cannot perform a wedding if you've been ordained online. It has to be a religious-affiliated person or government official, and many officiants from churches in the area will actually officiate a wedding for little to no cost!
Hair & Makeup
This is something else that can vary greatly depending on where you go and what you want, but the average cost is typically between $80 and $130. If you are getting your hair and makeup done, it is important to find a place who will do a trial run with you so you know that you like your wedding look! And if you have any family or friends that are particularly good at hairstyling or makeup, or maybe even do it for a living, this is an area you can definitely save.
In 2018, the national average cost of a rehearsal dinner was $1,297, according to PR Newswire. The biggest variable is how many guests there are going to be. From private catering to holding your dinner at an amazing local restaurant, Nashville has so many options to ensure you find something that fits your budget perfectly.
At the end of the day, your entire wedding can be customized to fit your budget. These averages could be much more or much less than you ultimately spend, but they're a good framework to understand the general cost of most wedding services! If you're just about to begin your wedding planning journey, be sure to reach out to us here at The Estate of Cherokee Dock to hear what we can do for you with our multiple event spaces, in-house planning services, and in-house catering. Contact us today.