woodend sanctuary wedding cost

Woodend Sanctuary Wedding Cost: How Much Should I Budget?

woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
Michelle Lindsay Photography

How much will my Woodend Sanctuary wedding cost? This is the question at the top of your mind, right? Well, I hope I can help. I’ve been working Woodend weddings since 2004; I’ve probably been there over 30 times. I think I’ve seen every possible configuration of the space for weddings. I’ve experienced all kinds of weather at Woodend. So here we go, into a deep dive of Woodend Sanctuary wedding costs.

First, know that this Woodend wedding budget does not include any wedding attire, alterations or accessories. There is simply no way for me to predict how much you will spend on those items. And I would never presume to tell you how much to spend on those items. I do try to think of and include the costs of all other items you might have at your Woodend wedding. As a wedding planner, it is my job to show you all the things, but I don’t expect you to do all the things.

Second, this budget is going to be based on 150 wedding guests. Woodend maxes out at 170 guests from April to November; when the Terrace tent is installed. Without the tent, you are looking at a max wedding guest list of 120. But it is always better to stay under the max capacities. Keep reading for a sample floor plan.

Woodend wedding budget breakdown

Now let’s talk about some of these line items. First, Woodend charges lower rates for non-Saturday and off-season rentals. This will bring your rental fee down. Second, you can also book a longer block of time at a higher rate. This would bring your rental fee up. Adding time to the standard 8 hour rental block would be necessary if you want to have your wedding ceremony start before 6:30 pm on a Saturday, or if you have a lot of decor to set up and will need more than the typical 2 hours.

Oh, you don’t know what I am talking about? Sorry! Here is the explainer: when you book a wedding venue from 4 pm – 1 am, your team of wedding pros will need exclusive access to the venue for the first 2 hours, and your guests need to depart at least 1 hour before the end of the contract so that your team can clean up and load out. With an 8 hour block, your guests should be on site for 5 of those hours.

Here is where it gets tricky: the start time of your wedding ceremony. If you put 6 pm on your wedding invitation, your guests will start arriving at 5:30 pm. We want to avoid them arriving in the middle of set up, and seeing the sausage getting made. So it would technically be better to do a 6:30 pm ceremony with a 4 pm load in. This way, the set u p can be completed by 6, when your guests start arriving, and we can provide them with excellent hospitality from that moment on.

Even more details on the sample wedding budget…

I estimated $130 per person for catering. This is a healthy budget for most of the caterers on the list, and it would include two sets of chairs, all your other rentals, as well as your labor and delivery. Certainly, you could spend more. I’ve personally not seen anything below $100 per person at Woodend.

It is a huge perk to be able to bring your own alcohol to a wedding venue. It can save you thousands of dollars. Wholesalers will often let you return unopened and un-chilled items after the wedding too. Woodend is one of the few venues that very kindly allows you to deliver the alcohol before your wedding day.

You could do ceremony music for less with a solo harpist or guitarist. Some strings groups will also book out a duo or trio. If you want a band for your reception, you are looking at $4000 – $15,000 in costs.

For the flowers line item, I assumed $1000 for personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages,) $1000 for your ceremony decor, $500 for “something else” and 15 centerpieces at $200 a piece. Plus 20% labor and delivery. You could spend less. You could definitely do more. Woodend has a lot of guidelines about decor, please make sure you and your team are aware of them.

These stationery budget numbers are a fair estimate for a semi-custom, digitally-printed invitation suite. If you want letterpress or double thick paper, or really any type of enhancement, these costs will go up. Alternatively, DIYing your wedding stationery could bring these costs down.

Maryland (and DC) are jurisdictions that are very friendly to “non professional” wedding officiants. You can bring this line item down to about $50 plus a gift to your friend or family member who can lead your wedding ceremony. Need to know how to write your own ceremony script? I have you covered.

Woodend doesn’t allow coach buses, be advised. Mini buses that seat 36 or less are the only buses permitted. I did have a client give their guests an Uber Events code for wedding day transportation. This worked great at the start of the day. Unfortunately at the end of the night, it took quite a long time to get all the needed drivers out to suburban Maryland at midnight. Just food for thought.

Photography (and Videography, which I did not include here) are wildcards. You can spend less, you can spend a lot more.

With this hair and make up (often referred to as ‘MUAH’) budget, you should be able to cover a handful of women for both services. Do not forget to tip 18-20% of the total bill, just as you would in a regular salon.

Woodend wedding floor plan

Woodend Sanctuary wedding cost - floor plan
~a blank version from the venue~
woodend sanctuary wedding cost - sample floor plan

I put 17 tables in the tent in this sample floor plan. You can see that it completely fills up the tent. I noted a few other things on the floor plan, like the ideal spot for your wedding entertainment, and the location where almost everyone places the bar. I usually see the wedding cake in the Great Hall, either near the staircase or by the fireplace. The conference room can be used for escort cards or seating chart, stationery hors d’oeuvres, dinner buffets, dessert stations or just casual seating. Don’t forget to make a plan for the two fireplace mantles!

Woodend wedding ceremony

wedding ceremony in the Hemlock Grove at Woodend - woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
A June wedding in the Grove facing the steps Jay Premack
woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs - south lawn ceremony
An August wedding on the South Lawn in a light mist Michelle Lindsay
woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
A September wedding in the Grove facing the meadow Erin Kelleher
woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
An October wedding in the Grove facing the steps  Stephen Voss

Woodend wedding reception tent

woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
Michelle Lindsay Photography

One of the nicest things about Woodend is that there aren’t any hidden fees with regards to the tent. You get heaters and fans, sidewalls and chandeliers all included in the rental. If you want to add the string lights, you have to contact Elegance & Simplicity.

woodend sanctuary wedding photo - sample wedding budget - floor plan - costs
Michelle Lindsay Photography

Did you like this information about Woodend Sanctuary wedding costs? Great! You can also check out my earlier posts on DAR wedding costs and a wedding budget for Meridian House.