Getting married is a life-changing decision and one of the most important ones that you will ever make in your life. However, it is also an occasion for which you will need a hefty amount of money.
Weddings are an expensive affair by any means. You make a lot of expenses including booking of the venue, placing an order for the wedding cake, and shopping for the bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses, to name a few.
For couples who are tying the knot soon, it would be a good idea to understand how much a wedding is likely to cost them so that they can accordingly arrange their finances. Making a budget plan for the wedding expenses should be the first step of planning a wedding.
However, for setting a budget, you need to have some idea about what is the average price of a wedding so that you can set benchmarks for each aspect of the wedding expenses.
What is the Average Price of a Wedding?
When you are trying to figure out the average price of a wedding, it is essential to take different components involved in planning the wedding into consideration.
For example, if you know the average price of a wedding dress, flowers, catering and decoration, you will be able to allocate your funds to each of these aspects according to your preference.
Some couples would like to spend more on the decoration while others would like to set aside a major portion for the bridal dress shopping. When you set smaller budgets, it becomes easier to club them all for one final budget for the whole wedding with enough room for flexibility within.
The Total Average Price of a Wedding is $30,000
Yes, you read that right! It may sound a lot but this amount is the typical average price of a wedding with about 100 to 200 guests. The average price of a wedding changes according to the number of guests you are inviting. If you want to cut back on the average price of a wedding, make sure that you invite only those friends and relatives who you really want to be present on your grand day.
Now that you know how much a wedding is likely going to cost, it is time to consider the average prices of some other categories of expenses that you will have to incur during the wedding planning phase.
We have simplified it for you by breaking down the average price of a wedding on the basis of different categories or aspects of the wedding. However, you should remember that for each aspect, we are only listing the average price which can be increased or decreased according to your preference.
Apparel & Accessories: $1800
A major chunk of the budget allocated for apparel and accessories is likely to be consumed by the bride’s wedding gown alone which can cost on average anywhere between $1,200 to $ 2,500 depending on the designer label you are going for.
Apart from that, the groom’s tuxedo which can either be rented or purchased and the rest of the dress accessories, such as the veil and the likes, will cost about $700 to $800 in all.
Beauty & Spa: $166
The wedding day is the bride’s day to shine and glow! The necessary beauty treatments, including hair and makeup, apart from pre-wedding spa sessions are an absolute must.
If you are going for a manicure or pedicure spa session, you can expect to spend about $45. On the other hand, makeup service, as well as hair styling on the day of the wedding itself, can cost an average of $45 to $50 each. However, the cost will vary depending on the rates charged by the makeup artist and hair stylist.
A wedding is incomplete without music. Whether you opt for a DJ, a live band or a musical ensemble, you will definitely have to set aside a budget for the entertainment category.
A solo musician or an ensemble will cost an average of $618 while a DJ/MC will charge anywhere between $700 and $800. If you go for a Live Band, you can expect to spend a hefty sum of $1700 on an average. You can also opt for entertainment lighting to go with the band/DJ, which will cost about $336.
Flowers & Decorations: $1900
Flowers decorations and floral arrangements will eat up a major chunk of your flower and decorations budget with an average cost of $613 and $644 respectively. If you are going for floral centerpieces as well, you can expect to shell out an average of $326 on that.
The rest of the budget will be used up by the bridal bouquet, which can cost about $300 to $350, and the boutonnieres and corsages, which will cost about $148 in all.
Gifts & Favors: $900
Another aspect that you will have to set a budget for is gifts for the attendants and parents as well as wedding favors. While the expenses on the gifts depend on how valuable you want the gift to be, on an average, it can cost anywhere between $100 and $150.
Similarly, wedding favors for all the guests will easily cost more than $200. The rate for the tips that the musician, decorator, and caterer will expect are pretty standard and will cost an average of $384 in all.
Invitations are obviously a big part of any wedding and are as important as the main event itself. Typically, couples tend to spend an average of $169 to $281 on invitation cards and reply cards that they send to their guests. The postage costs for sending the invitation can go up to $100.
Apart from this, you may also want to save up for Save the Date cards, Thank You cards and Ceremony Programs, all of which will cost more than $100 individually. The Reception menus, as well as table place cards, will also set you back anywhere between $100 and $125.
The jewelry budget is of course completely dependent on how extravagant you want to be. However, if we look at what an average couple spends on wedding jewelry, we have found that the wedding bands for the groom and bride cost an average of $455 and $782 respectively.
Other jewelry which the bride may choose to wear on the wedding day include a bracelet, earrings, and necklace. This can cost between $150 and $250 depending on how valuable it is. The engagement ring, though not traditionally a part of the wedding ceremony itself, can still be accounted for in the jewelry budget with an average cost of $3,500.
Photography & Videography: $4100
The best way to remember all the fond memories associated with the wedding day even after years of marriage is through good photographs and videos of this celebration of love. It is important to invest some money in a good photographer and videographer which will cost about $1,600 and $1,100 respectively.
You can also go for video photo booths and video engagement sessions at an average cost of $400 each. Also, be ready to pay anything between $200 to $400 for the video prints and video wedding album.
Wedding Planner/Consultant: $1900
A wedding planner or consultant can be engaged for either part of the wedding or for planning the whole event. Obviously, if you engage a full-service planner, it will cost you more as compared to a single day service or a la carte service.
A full-service planner costs almost $2,500 to $3,000. On the other hand, a la carte service, single day service and consultation for getting started will all cost about $1,000 on an average.
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Venue, Catering & Rentals: $14,355
The biggest part of the wedding budget goes into booking the venue itself which can cost you about $3,611 depending on the location. The food service and bar service also cost a hefty sum at an average rate of $ 1,736 and $ 2,374 respectively.
Secondly, you will also need to book hotel rooms for your outstation guests which will cost approximately $4,000 to $5,000 depending on the quality of the hotel. You will have to set aside the remaining budget for smaller expenses such as the wedding cake, paying the ceremony officiator, even accessories, limo rental, rehearsal dinner and so on, all of which will be less than $500 individually.
We are sure that our breakdown of the average price of a wedding will help a lot of couples in making and executing their wedding plans without any major glitches or budget overhauls.
If you have just started planning a wedding, you can also use a wedding cost estimator to know how much money you will probably need. Do let us know what you think of our approximations and whether they helped you with your wedding plans or not.
Very helpful! Now to find some tips on how to save money on your wedding!
This is very enlightening. And relieves some stress, wondering how much it will cost.
Thank you for the breakdown! Very helpful
Do your research! While some of these figures are accurate, you can find quality services for a better price. Also figure out what your venue’s “off season is” We are getting married May 29, 2021 and that is still in our venue’s off season so we are saving a ton of money. The best advice I can give someone is to do your research before you spend twice as much on a service when you can get just as good for way less.
I had no idea decorations could be so expensive. Our budget was originally $10,000 but that was gone after the venue and caterer/liquor were paid for. Now we’re trying to do it for about $16,000 and so far it seems like we’re going to make it! We’re definitely cutting a lot of stuff, like a DJ and wedding planner. This was a super helpful article, thanks!
This is helpful. Thank you!
Super helpful! Thanks!