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Have you ever wondered how to meticulously plan a wedding budget breakdown? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of budgeting for a charming barn wedding at our picturesque venue, The Barn on New River. From venue costs to catering, decor, and beyond, we’ll break down each expense to help you create a detailed budget tailored to your dream day.

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11 Joy and Anthony's Wedding

Starting to Plan: Your Wedding Cost Average

Can’t tear your eyes away from it, can you? That dazzling piece of jewelry now gracing your left ring finger—can you even believe it’s real?! With the excitement of your engagement, you may yourself sprinting to Pinterest to capture every idea swirling in your mind. Now, as you eagerly embark on turning those dreams into reality, one question looms large: what about the price tag? Perhaps you’ve started reaching out to potential vendors and found yourself taken aback by the quotes, including overtime costs. Is this cost standard? Or is it unusually high? It’s only natural to have these questions and concerns when navigating uncharted territory.

Let’s get straight to the point: drawing from our daily interactions with vendors and insights gathered from various wedding resources, the common wedding budget in North Carolina typically falls within the range of $30,000 to $40,000. We’re going to dive into how that’s spent and what you might expect in the NC High Country!

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14 Jillian and Garrett's Wedding

Wedding Budget Breakdown For Your Barn On New River Wedding

Understanding the expense breakdown of costs for your barn wedding is not just about financial prudence; it’s about ensuring that every dollar spent contributes to the realization of your envisioned celebration. In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of budgeting for your barn wedding, offering insights and tips to help you craft a magical day within your means.

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23 Joy and Anthony's Wedding

23 Joy and Anthony’s Wedding

Venue and Catering (50% of Budget)

Venue and Catering will likely make up at least half of your budget- so we’ll start there.

In NC, you can expect average venue prices to fall between $4,000 to $12,000 (with outliers of course). It’s important to keep inclusions in mind when choosing a venue…what’s included in the price? Inclusions to look out for are:

  • Tables + chairs (Renting ceremony chairs separately can range from $2.50-4.50 each for a folding chair, and up to $10 for a Chiavari dinner chair)
  • Trash removal
  • Set up + tear down
  • Rental or decorative inventory
  • Parking attendants
  • Bar space
  • Prep kitchen
  • Overnight accommodations
  • Rehearsal dinner space
  • Rehearsal time allotment 
  • Getting ready spaces

(all included at The Barn On New River)

In the High Country, we see options from $2,500 (conference spaces or parks with less pizazz, elopement, or ceremony-only options) to $17,000+ (high-end Resorts, Clubs, Private Estates)

18 Jillian and Garrett's Wedding

For catering (cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres and dinner) you can expect anything from $35pp to 135pp. For traditional wedding-style food (not BBQ or Food Truck Style) you’re going to be starting closer to the $75 per person range.

Inclusions and Add-ons to Consider:

  • Servers/staffing  
  • Dietary restrictions/flexibility
  • Place settings (Can expect to pay .75 to 1.00 per piece if not included)
  • Servingware
  • Buffet linens
  • Mobile kitchen or truck fees 
  • Service styles (buffet, plated, family style, stations)
  • Table linens (20-50 per linen, most likely in the $30 range)

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Photography and Videography (20% of Budget)

Photography typically costs $500 per hour or $3,500 to $8,000 for packages, going up to $10,000 for luxury providers.

Of course, you have to capture the day! Photography is typically somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 per hour on average, or $3,500 to $8.000 depending on inclusions, reaching upwards from $10,000 for more luxury providers.

Inclusions and Extras:

  • Second shooter
  • Film
  • Sneak peeks
  • Unlimited hours (Most packages come at a standard of 8 hours)
  • Travel fees

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Videography is a popular add-on service that goes hand in hand with Photography. For videography, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 to $7,000, with many landing in the $4,500 range. Luxury providers, like photography, will go upwards from $9-10,000.

Inclusions and Extras:

  • Second shooter
  • Audio recording
  • Drone footage
  • Unlimited hours (Most packages will be 6-8 hours)
  • Travel fees

19 elizabeth and dillan's gorgeous wedding

Entertainment and Additional Services (25% of Budget)

DJ packages range from $1,600 to $3,000+, including equipment and services like lighting. Most weddings in the average range are choosing a DJ for event entertainment!


  • Photo booth (printing, photobook, virtual, props)
  • Lighting
  • Microphones
  • Number of setups (if ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception are in varying locations)
  • Monogram or projection lighting
  • Cold sparks
  • Service hours
  • Ceremony services

Other services like day-of coordination, wedding cakes, ceremony musicians, and transportation can add up to $6,000-$10,000.

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Hair, Makeup, and Officiant Fees (5% of Budget)

Wedding hair and makeup services range from $95 to $250 per service.


  • Lashes
  • Skin prep
  • Luxury brand products for hair and makeup
  • Touch-up kits

45 Chris and Tara

Officiant fees typically fall between $500 and $1,000. To seal the deal, a licensed officiant will conduct your ceremony! (Want to skip this formality? Get married at the courthouse and have anyone you’d like to conduct the “ceremony” on the day of!)


  • Customization of ceremony 
  • Mailing of the marriage license (standard/expected)
  • Premarital counseling 
  • Decorative certificates 
  • Rehearsal attendance 

40 Chris and Tara

Sneaky Costs and Other Services

Aside from the factors that almost everyone considers like the venue space and catering, there are a multitude of other services and costs that can sneak up on couples when they’re planning their special day. These include:

  •  Day of coordination (average of $2500-3500)
  • Full wedding planning services ($6,500-14,000) (Check out our “planning plus” package if you’re looking for a happy medium!)
  • Tiered, decorated wedding cake and desserts $6-9 per serving (of course cupcakes or Publix/Grocery chains can provide this at a lower cost)
  • Ceremony musicians (solos, duets, etc) $450-1500 per hour
  • Wedding transportation/shuttle ($900-2500 per day per vehicle)
  • Flowers and decorations (Cost varies depending on if you DIY, buy, or utilize a florist or rental service)

1 Chris and Tara

Don’t forget about additional sneaky costs like…

  • Postage, rsvp cards, wedding invitations, and stationery
  • Insurance
  • Bachelor and Bachelorette party
  • Wedding party gifts and favors
  • Ice
  • Rehearsal dinners
  • Wedding attire alterations
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding license fees and taxes
  • Venue insurance
  • Vendor meals
  • Gratuities (if any)
  • Emergency fund
  • Late night snacks
  • Honeymoon

83 Clay and Sydney

FAQs: Building Your Barn Wedding Budget

How can I save on costs when planning my barn wedding?

Planning a barn wedding offers a unique opportunity to create a charming and memorable event without breaking the bank. Here are some savvy tips to help you save costs while still achieving the rustic wedding of your dreams:

  1. Choose an Off-Peak Date: Opting for a weekday or off-season date can significantly reduce venue rental and vendor costs.
  2. Consider Cocktail, Brunch, or Afternoon Weddings– Choose alternative time slots for cost savings.
  3. DIY Decor: Get crafty and create your decor elements such as centerpieces, signage, and favors. Utilize natural elements like wildflowers, twine, and reclaimed wood for a rustic touch. This can save you a significant chunk of change.
  4. Venue Flexibility: Some barn venues offer flexibility in terms of vendors, allowing you to bring in your caterer or bartender, which can save on catering and alcohol expenses.
  5. Simplify Catering: Consider a buffet or family-style meal instead of a plated dinner, which can be more cost-effective. You can also explore casual dining options like food trucks or barbecue catering for a laid-back vibe.
  6. Limit Guest Count: Keep your guest list intimate to reduce overall costs for catering, ceremony rentals, and favors. Invite only close friends and family members to share in your special day.
  7. Borrow or Rent Decor: Borrow or rent decor items such as linens, tableware, and furniture to save on purchasing new items that you may not use again.
  8. Prioritize Hiring Key Vendors– Secure essential vendors like a coordinator or planner after booking your venue (or choose a venue like ours that offers these services in-house!)
  9. Harness the Ambiance of Candles and Fabric– Utilize candles and fabric for an affordable yet impactful decor.
  10. Maximize Decor Efficiency– Recycle decor items for both ceremony and reception.
  11. Opt for Digital Invitations: Save on printing and postage costs by sending digital invitations instead of traditional paper ones. There are many stylish and customizable options available online.
  12. Flexible Entertainment: Instead of hiring a live band, consider a DJ or creating your playlist for dancing. You can also incorporate low-cost entertainment options like lawn games or a bonfire for added fun.
  13. Limit Bar Options: Offer a limited selection of beer, wine, and signature cocktails to streamline your bar expenses. Consider serving only beer and wine to further reduce costs.
  14. Stay Organized and Flexible: Keep track of your budget and prioritize your spending on the most important aspects of your wedding. Be willing to be flexible and make adjustments as needed to stay within your financial constraints.
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42 Clay and Sydney

How much should I budget for wedding favors?

Favors for your guests leave a lasting impression and serve as a cherished memento for years to come. Since prices can vary dramatically for this gifts on that you decide on, here is a list of ideas to consider depending on your budget:

  1. Edible Treats: From personalized chocolates and candies to mini jars of honey or jam, edible favors are always a hit with guests.
  2. Customized Keepsakes: Personalized items such as engraved keychains, coasters, or ornaments serve as lasting mementos of your wedding day.
  3. Plants or Seeds: Give the gift of greenery with potted plants, succulents, or packets of flower seeds that guests can plant and enjoy at home.
  4. Practical Items: Practical favors like bottle openers, luggage tags, or hand sanitizers are both useful and appreciated by guests.
  5. DIY Creations: Get creative and crafty with DIY favors such as handmade candles, soaps, or bath salts that add a personal touch to your thank-you gifts.
  6. Charitable Donations: Donate to a meaningful charity in honor of your guests, and provide them with a card or certificate explaining the donation.
  7. Local Souvenirs: Showcase your wedding location by gifting locally sourced items such as artisanal chocolates, candles, or small bottles of wine or spirits.
  8. Interactive Activities: Provide entertainment and engagement with interactive favors like scratch-off cards, photo booth props, or custom crossword puzzles.

Is $30,000 enough for a wedding?

Whether $30,000 is enough for a wedding largely depends on various factors such as your location, guest count, venue choice, and desired level of extravagance. In some regions like ours, $30,000 can cover a lavish affair, while in others, it may require more budget-conscious planning. You might also consider a wedding cost checklist to help manage your expectations and expenses against the average costs for the area you’re in.

To determine if $30,000 fits within your desired wedding budget percentage, consider the following:

  1. Location: The cost of weddings varies significantly by region. Major metropolitan areas and popular wedding destinations tend to have higher prices for venues, vendors, and services. If you’re getting married in a high-cost area, you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.
  2. Guest Count: The number of guests you invite directly impacts your wedding budget, as you’ll need to account for catering, rentals, and other per-person expenses. A smaller guest list can help stretch your budget further.
  3. Venue Choice: Venue rental fees often make up a significant portion of the wedding budget. Choosing a venue that includes essential amenities and services can help you maximize your budget.
  4. Priorities: Determine your top priorities for the wedding and allocate your budget accordingly. If photography or entertainment is essential to you, allocate a larger portion of your budget to those areas.
  5. DIY vs. Professional Services: DIY projects can help save money, but they also require time and effort. Decide which aspects of the wedding you’re comfortable DIY-ing and which are best left to professionals.
  6. Flexibility: Remaining flexible and open to alternatives can help you make the most of your budget. Consider non-traditional wedding venues, off-peak dates, and creative ways to cut costs without sacrificing your vision.

Ultimately, $30,000 can be enough for a beautiful and memorable wedding, especially with careful planning, prioritization, and creativity. However, it’s essential to be realistic about your expectations and to adjust your budget to align with your financial resources and priorities.

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Aspen and Edward 4

Where is your venue located?

We are located in West Jefferson, NC.

We’ve created this helpful map so you can make the most out of your wedding day (or weekend!) at our North Carolina venue rental. Check out a local brewery or restaurant, soak in the sunsets on the scenic hilltop trails around our property, explore the Blue Ridge Parkway, and do some sightseeing. Your dream destination awaits!

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What sorts of packages do you offer?

Experience the magic of the High Country with our engagement package, perfect for popping the question in style. Available from Monday to Thursday, this package includes a two-hour photography session amidst our scenic estate, a journey to the peak for breathtaking panoramas, and a luxurious overnight stay in our exclusive Honeymoon suite, complete with a complimentary bottle of champagne and a delectable charcuterie box for two. For those ready to say “I do” in an intimate setting, our all-inclusive micro-wedding package offers everything you need for a memorable celebration. Accommodating up to 39 guests, this package includes expert planning support, beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres, professional setup and tear-down services, elegant table decor, DJ services, a catered meal, and an overnight stay in our opulent honeymoon suite. Upgrade to our Blue Ridge package for an extended celebration window, or choose our South Fork package for an exclusive summer getaway with additional perks, including a two-night stay in our Cabin and access to the Barn for rehearsals and setup. Whether you’re planning a proposal, a micro-wedding, or a grand celebration, we have the perfect package to suit your needs and create unforgettable memories.

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What makes your all-inclusive package unique?

Our all-inclusive mountain wedding packages in North Carolina offer a unique blend of features that set us apart. From dedicated preparation areas for the bride and groom to stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Southfork River, every aspect is designed to create an unforgettable experience. With contemporary barn facilities, various table selections, and expert assistance in setup and dismantling, we ensure seamless celebrations. Plus, our illuminated pond ceremony site and covered outdoor spaces provide picturesque backdrops for exchanging vows and socializing.

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Navigating wedding budget planning can feel daunting, but it’s essential to remember that averages are just that, an average. While expenses may vary, there are always options available to create a beautiful and memorable wedding day without breaking the bank. For those interested, we can provide a sample wedding budget breakdown to give you a clearer idea of the costs. If you’re feeling discouraged by the numbers, don’t be. At The Barn On New River, we offer an all-inclusive microwedding package for just $12,000. With our stunning venue and comprehensive packages, you can enjoy the wedding of your dreams without the stress of exceeding your budget. So, take heart and consider the possibilities. Your perfect day is within reach!

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