Here’s How Much Your Favorite Wedding Trends Cost

From sailcloth tents to buttercream cake slices, we've got the inside scoop.

All illustrations by Alli Arnold

Trying to figure out what some of your favorite wedding trends actually cost? National averages and online calculators offer only a blurry idea of wedding-day costs. To sharpen the picture for the Washington region, we added our pricing research to feedback from local vendors for a sampling of line items. We even featured our findings in our last issue, which you can purchase here. While many factors affect precise costs, the figures below give you a budgeting baseline.

Follow Washingtonian Weddings on Instagram | Like Washingtonian Weddings on Facebook 

Average Wedding Cost for Event Management: $1,800–$3,500

Also known as “day-of” coordination and “month-of coordination,” this service generally starts four to eight weeks before the wedding (see more details in our vendors guide on page 133). Price varies according to event complexity, experience of planner, and other factors.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Wedding Cost for Calligraphy: $6

Calligraphy for each invitation set (inner and outer envelopes). Pricing structures vary, and minimums typically apply.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Cost for a Floral Arbor: $1,800

A typical starting rate for a floral arbor in the DMV is almost two grand.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Wedding Cost for a Sailcloth Tent: $8,000–$12,000

This amount for a sailcloth tent—a premium choice—reflects a rental that accommodates 120 guests for a seated dinner and includes siding, string lighting, and a dance floor. This also covers installation and breakdown but does not account for upgrades, seasonal factors, or installation challenges such as a sloped venue.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Wedding Cost for Late-Night-Snacks: $5–$10

The average costs for adding this trendy idea to the catering contract is around five to ten dollars per-person.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Wedding Cost for Buttercream Cake Per Slice: $5–$7

The typical minimum for cake delivery in the DC area is $500. Decoration, cake size, specialty flavors and fillings, and location of delivery will affect cost.

Illustration by Alli Arnold

Average Cost for a Band: $3,500 to $6,000 and up, to over $10,000.

Cost variables include lighting and equipment, celebrity, and experience (individually and as a group), among others. To learn more about researching this choice, see our sidebar in the vendors guide, which starts on page 133.

Prefer a DJ over a band?

Average Wedding Cost for a DJ: $800 to $2,000

Anywhere from $800-2,000 is a typical starting price for four to six hours of service. Cost variables include talent, experience, and celebrity, among others. Additional hourly charges may apply; basic equipment is typically included.



Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.

Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.