Weddings are magical events that can transform fantasies into realities. We all dream of the “Best Wedding Ever.” But, it could come with a cost.
What does the average wedding cost?
Are you wondering about the average cost of a wedding is?
The median cost of weddings in 2021 averaged $28,000 (including the reception and ceremony) as per the Knot’s Real Weddings Study.
This is what you need to be aware of regarding wedding costs and how to calculate the amount you’ll need for your wedding accurately. Embark on the journey.
Let me clarify that this figure is the cost for the reception and ceremony. This figure doesn’t comprise the honeymoon or engagement rings or wedding rings. Those additional costs average $10,000. Wow.
In the end, I am a huge fan of weddings. I enjoy organizing my wedding and enjoy going to wedding receptions. If you’re engaged, congrats! It’s not easy to be the witness of an intimate love story. It’s also possible to have the most memorable wedding for a reasonable price.
Why does the average wedding cost so much?
Weddings are an exciting opportunity to celebrate your love and mark the beginning of the journey to your wedding. It’s most likely one of the largest celebrations you can throw. Invite your family and friends to join you in celebrating your wedding.
The cost of a wedding is contingent on numerous variables. However, even the most straightforward wedding can cost a lot quickly.
There’s music, food, the location, and even outfits to consider. Also, the more guests, the more the cost. Another reason prices may rise for a wedding is the day of the week and what season the wedding will be held in. With that mentioned, let’s look at the typical wedding costs.
The most common wedding expenses that determine the average wedding cost
Let’s look at the elements that make the typical wedding cost. There are various features to think about; however, we’ll address what it will cost to have a wedding by examining some of the most common cost-of-living expenses.
1. Average wedding cost for food
Food is among the most expensive expenses associated with weddings. It all depends on the catering you select. The average cost for catering is approximately $4,000! The typical price for a dinner served on plates is $40 per head, and buffets are $27 per head.
There are methods to reduce food expenses with just a bit of effort drastically. Couples may opt for buffet-style meals because it is cheaper when you plan them correctly. In particular, you can opt-out of expensive food items for seafood, such as crab and shrimp.
2. Wedding cake
Ah, the best part of the wedding- the cake. But what is the price of this luxurious treat? Well, the
Thus, an estimate for each cake slice would be between $4-and $5 per guest. However, these figures could be higher than those in major cities like Manhattan and San Francisco.
3. Wedding dress
A bride’s amount on her wedding dress could depend on her location. According to the Knot, brides, on average, spend $1,631 on their wedding gowns.
Of course, you don’t need to shell out that much for the dress you want when you don’t think it’s within your budget or you are most beneficial financially. You can buy a beautiful dress from a second-hand store or rent it to wear for the occasion!
4. Wedding photographer/videographer
Everyone would like to document the perfect day. However, this can come at a high price. The average national cost for wedding photographers is $2,000. Alongside photographers, some opt to engage videographers as well.
If you’re feeling at ease, you may cut costs by hiring someone in your family who is a photographer instead. They will have a professional-looking video of their whole day to keep forever. This can cost you an additional $1,800 on the wedding budget.
The average cost for the wedding venue is contingent upon the location and destination. The average wedding venue is between $12,000 to $14,000. The cost of the platform also varies according to the day of the week and time of the year you are getting married.
A different thing you should consider is if you’re planning to have your wedding in the exact location as your reception since you’ll need to plan for both if it is not.
6. Wedding planner
Another typical expense is the wedding coordinator. Although it can be expensive, it is believed by some that the need for someone to make sure the event runs smoothly is worth the price. Expect to spend approximately $1,800 for wedding planners, depending on the package or service you choose.
In the end, it’s clear why these average wedding expenses can mount up fast.
The average cost of a wedding breakdown
Here are the typical prices for wedding costs, as per The Knot’s study for 2021 along with WeddingWire’s Wedding Cost Guide :
At a minimum, you’ll require at the very least a marriage license. The application fees vary by city, state, county, or other terms. The minimum price for a permit will be $27.50 for New Orleans, $50 in Boston, and $100 in Santa Barbara, California.
- Fifty percent of your wedding budget could be allotted to the reception.
- The 10% discount applies to the off dress code, which comprises the gown, veil, alteration of wedding accessories, and wedding attire such as the groom’s suit or the tux.
- Ten percent of the budget could cover decor and flowers, such as arrangements of flowers for the reception and ceremony wedding bouquet and lighting.
- Photography and video could add another 10% of your budget.
- Wedding rings and transportation, officiant fees, wedding ceremony fees, favors, gifts, wedding stationery, and entertainment and music are expected to consume 20 percent of the wedding budget.
Hidden costs of a wedding
We discussed the average cost of a wedding; however, there are always extra wedding expenses. Hidden charges can appear to be unintentional. It would be best to plan for these in your wedding budgeting breakdown. The shadiest fees include:
- Additional postage costs for wedding invitations and thank-you notes.
- Tax and gratuities to your suppliers.
- Printing wedding pictures and making album albums for weddings.
- The difficult corkage and cake cutting costs.
It’s unnecessary to go into debt to have the most beautiful wedding. (Please don’t). However, even the cost of a simple wedding can quickly add up, considering an additional table, lighting, and chairs.
A plan of all miscellaneous expenses can save you from stress over your wedding finances.
Don’t allow the numbers to fool you.
The average of $28,000 is a bit steep. However, remember that standards do not reveal the whole story. Experts warn that they could easily be biased.
“One one million dollars wedding can result in an average of a thousand weddings that cost $10,000,” says Jessica Bishop, wedding expert and founder of the budget-friendly bride.
This data should be considered the basis for comparison, not as an expectation. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on all the items listed. You could, for instance, choose not to bother with favors and hook your phone to a sound and not hire a DJ or band.
What is the average price cost of a wedding for different locations?
Different states might have extra costs for wedding costs. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to have a wedding in a different location than the one in your home state.
As per Andrew Hurst of Value Penguin, Massachusetts is the most expensive state to be married in, with an average of over $30,000 in wedding costs. The cheapest form is Arkansas, with about $12,500 on average.
Five ways you can reduce the cost of your wedding
Even if you’re planning an event complete with wedding bells and whistles could nonetheless reduce costs by being flexible with certain aspects:
1. Consider replacing pros
A talented friend can cut your hair. Making decorations at home is less expensive than hiring professional services or premium packages. (And you don’t need to fret about the gratuity between your people, but you’d prefer to pay a hairdresser. )
2. Look into suburban venues
The location you choose to get married is necessary, not only for the site. If you plan to marry in a metropolis, be prepared for increased prices and competition for venues and services.
3. Remove your guest’s guest list.
Some venues have minimum or maximum requirements for guests and are priced accordingly. In addition, vendors may charge per person for food and beverages. According to Deborah Moody, executive director of the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, headcount is a factor that affects costs throughout the entire event. If you had ten fewer guests on the list, Moody notes, you’d have to cut out one table. Ten chairs, 10 table settings, ten favors, and a centerpiece that will not cost you anything. “By cutting down your number of guests by 10, or even 20 guests, you could save yourself $1000,” Moody says.
4. Find a time when the season isn’t at its peak.
A summer-like wedding has a cost in terms of price. Locations for ceremonies and reception halls, photographers, and venues can often offer discounts during the off-peak months, including January and February.
5. Change the day of the special event.
Saturday day is the most sought-after day for weddings, but the high demand usually means the cost of a marriage. You may be able to save money by scheduling your wedding on a weekday or Sunday (unless it falls on a popular holiday.
6. Compare the prices of services and products.
After selecting the services you’d like to use, you are ready to determine fair rates and estimate the total cost to inquire around. Find quotes from a variety of vendors. Select the ones that you believe offer the most incredible price. Speak to family and friends who’ve been through this process, or talk to an expert wedding planner.
When shopping for a place to stay, be aware of what’s included in the prices. Compare apples and apples as you consider the price. Some businesses offer linens, tables, chairs, and audio equipment without cost. Some additional charge fees will require you to rent this equipment from external sources.
7. Negotiate if necessary
If you are forced to negotiate, do so respectfully and professionally. “You do not want to rip off an experienced professional who has set their rates in the way they’ve chosen to do so for a reason,” Bishop says. She also says that those new to the industry typically charge less than those who have more years of experience.
Suppose you’re working with an organizer for your wedding and coordinator. In that case, they must know what is reasonable and where to find some wiggle space, Moody says. “If you can locate an option to organize the wedding and the reception, they’re likely to offer a discount on the cost,” she says.
You may also reduce prices by yourself. Think about asking suppliers to reduce the items they include in their packages. For instance, you could request the photographer to take a short break instead of a full day or ask whether the caterer can restrict guests to just 2 or 3 drinks rather than providing the option of an open bar.
8. Anticipate extra costs
Even with the best of preparation, there are always surprises to occur. Bishop recommends allowing 10% of the budget to cover unexpected costs such as overages, add-ons, and other expenses like cake cutting fees, delivery fees, tax, and gratuities.
9. Combine it all
Don’t be influenced by friends, relatives, or social media reports. The wedding budget should align with your regular income, expenses, and other financial objectives.
After you’ve set an amount of money, chosen the type of wedding you’d like, and began to evaluate costs, enter the figures. Utilize our calculator to calculate the amount you’ll need in total.
How do you achieve your financial goals when spending money on the wedding
Everyone at Clever Girls knows that having an established budget is essential to achieving the financial targets you have set. Before you start to subscribe to magazines for brides, plan tour tours of the venue, or make an appointment to shop for dresses, Know what you can pay before spending it. The fact that the median price of weddings is $28,000 does not mean that you must pay that much.
Here are some ways to stay focused on your goals when planning a wedding
1. Share your thoughts with your friend.
Do not leave your spouse out of the wedding planning discussion. It is possible that they don’t care about flowers. Still, both of you must be transparent and upfront regarding expected contributions. Communication is essential.
2. Determine who is responsible for what
Suppose the marriage is more significant than two of you contributing to the wedding. In that case, you should know precisely the amount and the date you will receive the money. Will the wedding be covered jointly by yourself and your spouse?
It isn’t easy to budget appropriately for a wedding if you aren’t aware of the total amount coming into. Don’t be swayed by assumptions regarding whether parents or other family members will be contributing to wedding costs.
Beware of any conditions attached to wedding donations that you can accept. Do your parents wish to add 20 more guests to the guest list because they’re helping with wedding expenses?
3. Avoid wedding debt
The average time a couple lives in the U.S. is dynamic ranges from 12-18 months. The idea of getting married with debt isn’t advised, and it’s not necessary. Instead, it would help create a plan to ensure your finances can support those wedding ideas.
Use this time to create a strategy to pay off debt and save for your wedding. Take a look at the debt that you and your spouse are owed.
Do you have any student loans, car notes, or even an engagement ring you bought? Make an account for debt repayment along with an investment plan to begin!
4. Find the minor aspects using the help of a budget.
What kind of wedding do you envision? What number of guests? A full meal or just appetizers and desserts? Apart from the wedding budget, does a honeymoon account and a regular emergency fund exist?
Do not be disappointed if you haven’t saved money to pay for wedding expenses. Look over your spending plan and the cost of a wedding and figure out how much you and your spouse can keep in the next few months. What is the minimum amount you can afford? $500 per month or $1,000 per month? Each dollar is a step towards achieving your goals!
Remember that putting together a budget with your family and discussing it throughout the process can help. Determine the amount you’re comfortable with and what you’ll need for each celebration aspect.
It may be helpful to gather at least every month to discuss budgeting. Make an effort to discuss the costs and discuss who pays for what. This way, you’ll be able to be sure that you’re adhering to your budget.
A wedding is relatively high; however, it’s only one goal in terms of the financial cost. Make a list of the things you’d love to spend money on and determine where you can cut costs. Select the wedding costs that you value the most and eliminate the rest.