What Should a Wedding Cost?
BY CATEY HILL
Almost every future bride has a moment when she wonders: How can my wedding be costing this much?! Don’t worry, that’s totally normal — and it’s true, weddings can be pricey. So what’s “normal” for a wedding to cost?
Estimates on what the average wedding in America costs usually range from about $25,000 – $28,000, not including the honeymoon. Here’s a breakdown of how the average bride likely spends that money (based on a $25,000 wedding):
- $13,250 on the reception.
This may include the venue, catering, bar, cake or dessert, lighting and music.
- $3,000 on photos and video.
This includes not only the photographer and videographers fees but also prints and albums.
- $2,500 on attire.
This may include the dress, alterations, veil, accessories, hair, makeup, and tux.
- $2,000 on flowers.
This includes flowers for both the ceremony and reception.
- $1,500 on the ceremony.
This may include the venue, officiant, marriage license, ring pillow and musician.
- $750 on stationary.
This may include save-the-date cards, invitations, RSVP cards, programs, seating name cards, thank-you notes, postage and menu cards. Definitely check out David’s Bridal’s line of invitations and stationary- they have just about any theme you’re looking for and are reasonably priced!
- $750 on rings.
This includes the wedding bands for the bride and groom.
- $750 on favors and gifts.
This may include favors for wedding guests, welcome bags for guests in their hotel rooms and gifts for the wedding party. If you’re looking for inexpensive but cute favors from photo albums and sweets to note pads and bottle stoppers, be sure to check out the assortment from David’s Bridal- the more you buy the more you save!
- $500 on transportation.
This may include transportation for guests to and from the venue, valet parking, car rental or limo for bride and groom and limo for the wedding party.
Of course, every bride is different, and her wedding could cost far less or more than average. Some of that will depend on where you have the wedding. It tends to be more expensive to get married in the Northeast — New York City is usually the priciest place, but Boston isn’t too far behind — than most other areas of the country. It’s also expensive to get married in California, especially popular spots like Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, as well as in cities like Chicago and Philadelphia. If you’re looking to save money, head to the Midwest or South and to smaller cities or rural areas (doesn’t a quaint country wedding sound nice!).
Surprisingly, it’s often less expensive to do a destination wedding than to get married in or near your hometown. Part of that is that fewer guests tend to come to destination weddings, so you’re paying for a lot less food and alcohol that you might otherwise. Plus, if you go somewhere like the Riviera Maya or Jamaica, you can find great deals on beautiful beachside hotel venues. Grab your flip flops, ladies!
Even if your wedding is going to cost a lot less – or a lot more – than average, don’t worry. As long as you can afford it (no credit card debt, please!), go for it!