The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Wedding in Atlanta, GA
Welcome! If you’re here, that means you must be planning a wedding in Atlanta, Georgia. As a local wedding planner, I’m the most qualified to give you all the best tips and tricks for your big day! In this blog, we’ll be discussing how much a typical Atlanta wedding costs, how to set your budget, which vendors to book first, and my favorite venues in the area. Let’s get started!
How much does it cost to get married in Atlanta, GA?
First things first… how much does it cost to get married in Atlanta, GA? I know that this is one of the primary questions most couples have. And it’s an important one to answer, especially before creating your Atlanta wedding budget. The answer does vary depending on how many guests you expect to have in attendance. Having a wedding at a popular venue with just 50 guests will cost you about $10K-$15K.
On the other hand, most of the weddings you see on Instagram and Pinterest will run you a lot more. The average cost for these highly-detailed events starts at $35K. Which is quite a bit more than the previous $10K-$15K quote!
Setting the budget for your Atlanta wedding
Now that you have a bit of background on how much the typical Atlanta wedding costs, it’s time to think about setting your budget. As a planner, I recommend starting with a maximum comfort zone that you do not want to exceed. This will give you a hard boundary and prevents spending beyond your means as a couple. We don’t want to you have to forego your honeymoon just because you didn’t budget your wedding properly!
At the beginning of this process, start by factoring in the number of guests that can fit into your max comfort zone. Instead of setting a guest count first and then trying to cut costs, let’s reverse-engineer that process. Assume that each guest will cost about $150. Now, take your budget and see how many guests you can afford to invite. If your max is $20K, then you can afford to have around 130 guests for your Atlanta wedding.
Another budgeting factor to consider is the time of year. The spring and fall seasons are the most expensive times to get married in Atlanta. If you’d like to have a more opulent wedding or invite more people but you are conscious of budget, then I recommend pushing your date back to have more time to pay for everything.
What does the guest count look like?
You already know how many people you should invite to stick to your budget… but how do you narrow down the guest list? I know how difficult it can be to trim your list when you don’t want to offend anyone. But, the bottom line is that if they’re not paying for it, they don’t have a say!
That sounds a little harsh, but here are some ways to let them down easy if someone confronts you about not being on your guest list:
“We would still LOVE to celebrate with you, unfortunately, our budget just doesn’t allow a large guest count. Can we plan to go out to dinner together to celebrate?”
“As much as we’d love to invite everyone, we’re budgeting for our honeymoon/first home purchase/emergency savings as well. It’s nothing personal, we’ve just really had to think about our financial priorities!”
“Given that we’re financing this wedding all on our own, we’ve unfortunately had to cut down our guest list to only close friends and family. If you want to celebrate our marriage, let’s plan a double date soon to spend some time together!”
Book your Atlanta wedding vendors
It’s time to get to the fun part! Booking your vendors is no easy task, but when you have a wedding planner, the process is much more enjoyable. Here is the order you should be booking your Atlanta vendor team:
Wedding planner > venue > photographer/videographer > florist > DJ/entertainment > rentals > hair & makeup artist
Seems simple enough, right? In all of our Atlanta wedding planning packages, Miah Luke Co. serves as the point of contact for your vendor team so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.
How much does a wedding planner cost in Atlanta, GA?
This depends on how much planning assistance you want for your wedding day. The range is quite a wide spectrum, being anywhere from $1K to $10K for a full planning package. At Miah Luke Co., our packages start at $1850 and go up to $3150+.
What time of year should you get married in Atlanta?
Great question! If you’re having an indoor wedding, then any time of year is fair game. You won’t have to worry about inclement weather, or your guests being too hot/cold throughout the day. On the other hand, if you envision an outdoor wedding (whether that be your ceremony, reception, or both), then the months of March through June and September/October are your best bet. Those are the months when the weather is the absolute best!
My favorite Atlanta wedding venues
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
This wedding venue is a beautiful, 27,000-square-foot historic mansion that sits on a 12-acre estate in metro Atlanta. Both the interior spaces and exterior gardens are maintained to perfection, creating the perfect setting for your big day. To see photos of Callanwolde, check out their website!
The Westside Warehouse
The Westside Warehouse is perfect for couples who want an industrial-style wedding venue for their big day. This 6,400 square-foot venue is located in one of Atlanta’s most up-and-coming locations; the west-midtown creative district. The renovated warehouse features cathedral ceilings, exposed iron beams, and epoxy concrete floors. I highly recommend checking it out here!
Switching up the style once again, we have Ashton Gardens! This nature-inspired venue feels private and secluded, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the ballroom flood the space with natural light and give views of the gorgeous surrounding greenery. To see what I’m talking about, be sure to check it out!
If you want to be right in the middle of downtown Atlanta, here’s your venue! Ventanas has everything you could ask for, from breathtaking views to executive chefs to an epic rooftop. They’re located right above the Hilton Garden Inn in the Centennial Park District. If you’re having a large wedding and want all of your friends and family members to stay nearby, Hilton offers preferred room rates to couples getting married.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Whether you want an indoor or outdoor setting, Fernbank Museum has several picturesque spaces to choose from. Being one of the more unique wedding venues in Atlanta, you can be sure that your guests will never forget your event here! For details on all of the spaces they offer, visit their website here.
Atlanta History Center
33 acres of historic houses, gardens, and award-winning exhibitions! You and your guests might forget you’re in Atlanta, as the venues at Atlanta History Center are the ultimate European-inspired spaces. If you’re looking for something a little more clean and modern… don’t worry, because they offer that, too! Take a look at all of their beautiful indoor and outdoor location here.
Brick and Ivey
This venue is just 15 minutes away from downtown Atlanta. This 6,000-square-foot space can be completely transformed into whatever your dream wedding vision entails. The white brick walls offer a rustic yet ‘clean slate’ feel to the venue, resulting in endless possibilities for personalization.
Foundry at Puritan Mill
Last, but certainly not least on our list of Atlanta wedding venues is Foundry at Puritan Mill. This venue was originally built as a soap manufacturing company in 1921, but now serves as a dramatic and flexible event space! The original pine beams, expansive skylights, and polished concrete floors are the main highlight of The Foundry. To learn more about them, check out their website.
Things to remember about planning your wedding in Atlanta
Lastly, here are some of my top tips for planning your Atlanta wedding!
Remember to prioritize your desire and vision over everyone else’s
This is your day, sis! Your wedding is the one event where you’re supposed to be selfish. Don’t let well-meaning friends and family deter you from prioritizing what you want. If need be, set boundaries when it comes to others sharing their opinions on what your day should look like.
Don’t feed into comparison
Nowadays with social media as the source of inspiration for wedding planning, it can be easy to try and compare your style with millions of other people’s. Most of the time, unless you have an unlimited budget, your wedding won’t look like the ones you see all over Pinterest and Instagram - and that’s okay! Your vendor team will do their best to bring your vision to life with the resources given to us. Once you communicate your overall vision to your team, I recommend staying off the wedding side of social media, as hard as that might be!
Decisiveness is the key to successful wedding planning
Yes, there will be many decisions to be made in the wedding planning process. My advice is to be as decisive as you can, as taking too much time can bring things to a grinding halt! I’m not saying you should rush any wedding decisions… but instead, get comfortable with being confident in what you want and make your decisions quickly and accordingly.
Remember that this is a celebration!
You’re not getting married just to be overly worried about everything going to plan. That’s what we’re for! Your wedding day is a celebration of you and your love, and this next chapter of your life. Both the planning process and the day-of are supposed to be exciting and fun, not stressful and anxiety-inducing. If you ever start to feel overwhelmed, get in touch with your planner so they can remind you they’re there to handle everything.
Don’t value money over stress
Here’s my general rule of thumb: if it’s going to cost you excessive stress and/or time, consider having someone else do it. Your mental health and well-being are worth more than a few extra coins in your wallet!
Ready to plan your Atlanta wedding with the help of Miah Luke Co.?
We'd love to get in touch with you! To inquire with us about your Atlanta wedding, you can fill out our contact form and we'll get back to you shortly. In the meantime, don't forget to check out one of our most recent weddings here!