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Before all the fun stuff can begin, you’ll first need to break down a wedding budget. Your San Diego wedding venue, officiant, day-of coordinator, hair and makeup, and florals are some of the big pieces of the puzzle, as well as all of those special little add-ons you want to incorporate to make for a truly personal experience. Your San Diego wedding cost will be a direct reflection of the kind of celebration you want to have.

The Average Cost Of A San Diego Wedding

You can have a small and intimate wedding in San Diego, you can have a San Diego wedding bash, and you can have anything in between. The truth of the matter is that your San Diego wedding total cost will depend heavily on the type of celebration you’re having and just how big you want it to be. The average cost of a San Diego wedding is around $38,000, which is about $5,000 more than the national average. For a bigger and bolder wedding with a large guest list at a swanky venue, you can expect to pay a bit more than the average. For a smaller and more intimate ceremony, that figure can be considerably less.

Marriage License

There is no wedding in San Diego without a marriage license. In San Diego couples to marry can choose between a traditional and a confidential marriage license with a small cost difference. A traditional marriage license costs $70, while a confidential license is $89. A confidential license is not part of the public record. Credit cards are not accepted to pay for a San Diego marriage license, and couples must pay via cash, check, money order, or debit card.

Venue Costs/Permits

Your wedding venue is where you’re going to have huge variations in cost depending on what you’re looking for. Some venues can begin with base prices of $11,000 or more for a 50-person guest list and little else. Depending on your chosen location or venue, you’ll also need to consider permits. Cabrillo National Monument, for instance, is a popular wedding venue destination that does require a permit to hold a ceremony within the park. For our San Diego wedding venues, we take care of all permitting for our couples. Our San Diego wedding venue packages keep your experience inclusive and affordable for intimate elopements, micro weddings, and celebrations of up to 50 guests. Packages between $2,200 and $5,800 include the $100-350 to hire a select San Diego wedding venue as well as officiants, photography, on-site hosts, witnesses, hair and makeup, and more.

Officiant

The cost of a wedding officiant in San Diego can range from around $250 to $950. The cost a couple may incur hiring an officiant depends on a few factors. Naturally, those who are well known in the wedding community and have a solid background of experience will typically have fees a bit higher than those just starting out. A wedding officiant spends time getting to know the couple and writing the ceremony, not to mention travel to and from any venues or in-person meetings. Time is valuable, and any officiant fee is to ensure the couple has the perfect experience they’re looking for.

Day Of Coordinator

A day of coordinator is a must if a couple wishes to have a smooth, seamless, and stress-free wedding experience. It’s the job of the coordinator to distribute timelines to vendors, coordinate vendors, conduct the rehearsal, check the details and even assist the bride and attendants in getting dressed and ready for the ceremony. In San Diego, one can expect to pay around $800-$1,000 for day-of coordination as well as hourly rates for month-of coordination or additional hours.

Accommodation

Your accommodation prices will vary greatly depending on just where you wish to stay. For instance, the price for a room at the Hotel del Coronado,  Curio Collection by Hilton near Coronado Beach will run about $500 per night, while the close by Coronado Beach Resort is around $250. For couples looking for luxury accommodations, San Diego has no shortage of luxury hotels, but they can expect to pay more than couples who prefer to prioritize simple charm.

Wedding Photography

As of the year 2020, a couple in San Diego could expect to pay an average cost of around $724 for a small one-hour wedding shoot. Photography is included in our San Diego packages for your ceremony, and optional photography add-ons can be included to capture more of the fun. Beyond the included ceremony, photography with Cactus Collective Weddings is $500 per hour – more than $200 less than the San Diego average.

Hair And Makeup

A simple hair and makeup look can be expected to be somewhat less than intricate or extravagant styles, but the range falls between $300-600 on average in San Diego. If the entire bridal party is getting their hair and makeup done together as part of a wedding package, this will be in the upper range and even over the $600 average high. If the bride wishes to have an optional makeup and hair trial before the ceremony, this will often run an additional $150-300.

Wedding Florals

The cost for florals for a large wedding will be quite different from the cost for florals for a smaller ceremony or celebration. The best way to price out the average cost of florals for a wedding in San Diego is to break it down piece by piece:
  • a bridal bouquet has an average cost of around $250
  • a bridesmaid bouquet has an average cost of around $80
  • a boutonniere will have an average cost of around $20
  • bags of flower girl petals have an average cost of around $25
  • flower crowns come with a cost of around $100 per crown
  • reception centerpieces may cost between $120-600 on average
  • ceremony structure costs may range between $1,500-4,000 on average

Reception/Post-Ceremony

The reception or post-ceremony celebration can be one of the costliest wedding features in San Diego. Following the national average, the cost of a reception venue and catering is around $13,300 for a celebration of around 60 guests. Of course, going lower than the national average is more than possible and can be done by choosing non-traditional venues as well as catering that utilizes local fares. After you’ve settled on your budget it’s time to find that perfect romantic venue space. Take a peek at our list of favorite San Diego wedding venues for that bit of inspiration to make your micro wedding dreams come true!
McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to micro-wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. An experienced wedding photographer, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s helped well over 700 couples elope in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.