One of the most important wedding-planning steps is budgeting for your wedding, especially if you’re planning a destination wedding to Lake Tahoe. Whether your dream is an intimate lakeside gathering with cake and champagne or an extravagant Lake Tahoe wedding with a sit-down dinner, knowing what your expenses will be ahead of time helps you plan – and eases stress. So, what’s the best way to budget for your wedding? Take it step by step.

wedding ceremony site

Ceremony fees

If you have it in Tahoe South, the heart of your wedding – the actual ceremony – may take place in a church, chapel, golf resort, hotel, restaurant, or in any number of beautiful outdoor lakeside or mountain settings. There may be a set fee for the physical location of your ceremony, or it may be included as part of a package. Also expect fees for the marriage license and notary. The minister or other person licensed to perform your ceremony may also charge a fee for services. However, many destination wedding locations offer wedding packages that include the ceremony location and the fees for the minister, which can really help a ton with budgeting for your wedding.

female photographer

Worth a thousand words

What better way to capture your special day than with beautiful photographs, especially when your backdrop is South Lake Tahoe? One of the most significant expenses when it comes to budgeting for your wedding is the fee for the photographer and wedding album. Your photography budget can be simple or extravagant, and depends on several factors. Some people hire the photographer for the ceremony only, while others have pictures taken before the wedding, during the ceremony and after at the reception. How many pictures will you purchase, and will you order an album or make your own? Spend some time thinking about what you’re comfortable spending on the photography for your wedding to avoid any surprises later. If you’re planning a destination wedding in beautiful South Lake Tahoe, many of our partner resorts have wedding specialists who can recommend a great local photographer.

food and drink at a wedding reception

Food and drink

What type of wedding reception are you planning for your Tahoe South wedding? Anything goes – from a champagne toast and light hors d’oeuvres to a full sit-down meal. Depending on the amount of food you plan to serve and the number of guests, this is one part of your wedding budget that can quickly add up. Most reception venues provide a variety of menus and options on a per-person cost basis, which is helpful if you know how many guests you plan to host. Spend some time playing with the number of guests and the per-person options to help you choose what works best for your budget. For the same amount of money you might be able to entertain a huge crowd with cake and champagne or an intimate group of friends with an amazing five-course meal. Keeping your mind open to such alternatives as you’re budgeting for your wedding can make a huge difference in the final bill.

Outlining a budget ahead of time can make your Lake Tahoe wedding planning go smoothly. And remember, when you plan your wedding in South Lake Tahoe, you may have more “yes” reply cards than you anticipate, so base your budget accordingly.

Visit our home page to get started planning with one of our venues today!