Weddings are magical events that can make your dreams come true. We hope for the “Best Day Ever.” But, as the average wedding cost shows, this dream can be very expensive.
You might be wondering how much a wedding costs. About $27,000 is the average cost of a wedding.
That’s a lot of money for most of us. But don’t worry, you can still have a great wedding even if you don’t have a lot of money.
Why does the average cost of a wedding cost so much?
A wedding is a fun way to show how much you love each other and start your marriage. It’s probably one of the most complicated parties you’ll ever invite your friends and family to.
Of course, there are many things that affect how much a wedding costs on average and in the middle.
For your big day, you need to think about food, music, location, and what to wear. Also, the price goes up with the number of guests. The day of the week and the time of year can also make a wedding more expensive.
So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about what the most common wedding costs are. Then you can decide how much money you want to spend on your big day.
How much does getting married cost? How much the average wedding costs
It might help to look at how much of the budget each part of a wedding takes up. There are also costs that you might not have thought about yet.
Budget and how much
The Knot has put together a list of wedding costs based on how much of your budget they take up:
The venue can cost up to 30% of your whole wedding budget.
6% to the groom’s suit or tux and the bride’s dress and accessories.
Flowers would cost 7% of the budget.
Another 13% of the budget can be used for photography and/or video.
About 5% of the budget goes to decorations and lights.
The last 39% of the wedding budget will be spent on things like wedding rings, transportation, officiant fees, wedding stationery, music, entertainment, and other random things.
Hidden costs of a wedding day
We talked about how much a wedding usually costs, but there are always extra costs. There’s a lot more to think about than just how much the ceremony and some food at the reception will cost.
In your wedding budget breakdown, you should be sure to plan for extra costs. Some of these hidden fees are:
Wedding invitations and thank-you notes will need more postage.
Tax and tips for the people who helped you.
Making copies of wedding photos and placing orders for wedding albums.
Those annoying corkage and cake-cutting fees.
All of these things can add up to make you spend more than you had planned. To avoid this, make a budget for all of the wedding’s costs, big and small.
Most common wedding costs that make up the average cost of a wedding
We’ve looked at how much of your budget you’re likely to spend on different things, but what are the real numbers? Here are some of the most common costs and how much they cost.
$75 per person for food service
$350 for a wedding cake
Wedding dress: $1800
$2,000 for a photographer.
$1800 for a videographer
Wedding planner: $1,700
How much does a wedding cost on average in each state?
Costs for weddings may be different in different states. If you want to have a wedding somewhere other than where you live, remember this.
But how much does getting married cost in different states? Insider says that the average prices for getting married in the six states where it costs the most are:
$53,400 for New Jersey
$49,800 for Rhode Island
$48,600 in New York
$40,600 in Washington, D.C.
But they are both among the cheapest states:
Wyoming: tied at $19,800
Montana: $19,800 -tied
Idaho: $19,800 -tied
As you can see, the location makes a big difference in how much a wedding costs. Along with other things, this is something to think about when making plans.
But if your guests or where you live limit you to a certain state, there are other ways to save money, as we’ll see in the next section.
How to bring down the average cost of your wedding
From all the costs you’ve heard about so far, you may have figured out that weddings can cost a lot. And of course, you want your big day to be amazing, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend all of your money on it.
So how can you have the wedding of your dreams without spending a lot of money? Try these tips to help with the average cost of a wedding!
Smaller guest list
If there are fewer people, you may have to pay for less food and cake, fewer seats, and a smaller venue. Even though not everyone can or wants to cut the guest list, if you want to save a lot of money, send out less invitations.
Several ways to eat
When people come to your wedding, they will expect to eat something, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive thing. Instead of dinner, you can serve appetizers and desserts to change things up.
You could also have a buffet instead of a sit-down dinner. Most of the time, the cost of a buffet is less than that of catering, so you can save some money.
Time and day of the week
People often think that you can only get married on Friday or Saturday nights. But there are lots of other times, and most of them are cheaper!
Even if your guests can only come on the weekend, you don’t have to have your wedding in the evening. You can have it in the morning or afternoon instead. Or, if you can, have your wedding during the week, which will probably save you money.
READ ALSO: 5 Ways To Make Realistic Financial Plan
More inexpensive venue
Before you decide where to have the wedding, you should look into less expensive options. For example, there are country clubs and 5-star hotels, but there are also a lot of less expensive options, like beaches, churches, and less traditional buildings like community centers or even Airbnbs.
If you’re crafty, you can make some decorations yourself that are easy and look just as nice. For example, you can make the centerpiece for your table instead of buying one, or you can get creative with the bridesmaids’ bouquets or your own.
Of course, keep costs in mind. It’s easy to spend so much on supplies that you don’t actually save money, so do the math first.
Don’t give out drinks.
An added cost for weddings is alcohol. You can skip this if you don’t serve beer or mixed drinks at your reception. You can drink coffee, tea, or even non-alcoholic cocktails instead.
Rent a wedding gown
Even though a wedding dress is a beautiful treasure, you only wear it once. And they cost a lot! You can rent your wedding dress instead of buying it if you don’t care about how it makes you feel.
You can also buy one and sell it after the wedding to get some of your money back.
Pick another time of year.
Usually, the best time for weddings is at the end of spring, during the summer, and at the start of fall. Most of the time, the weather is nice, which is good for outdoor weddings. But there are other ways to do things.
You could get married in November, January, March, or April, which are less popular times. You might be able to get a lot of the things you want for less money.
Before making a choice, compare the prices of the venues, caterers, etc. you’re thinking about. Check to see what time of year is the cheapest.
You might need to plan for your wedding to be inside, and depending on the season, you should be ready for things like snow or rain.
How to pay for a wedding and reach your financial goals at the same time
A budget is important if you want to reach your financial goals. Know how much you can spend before you sign up for wedding magazines, book tours of venues, or make an appointment to shop for a dress.
If the average cost of a wedding seems too high to you, that doesn’t mean you have to spend that much.
Here are some ways to stay on track with your goals while paying for a wedding:
Talk to the other person.
Don’t forget to talk to your partner about wedding plans. Don’t forget that communication is key. Even if they don’t care about flowers, you and your partner should be clear and honest about what you expect from each other.
Find out who will pay for what.
Will you and your partner pay for the whole wedding? If you aren’t the only ones paying for the wedding, make sure you know how much each person is giving and when you will get it.
READ ALSO: Clever Ways You Can Save Money From Salary
You can’t make a good wedding budget if you don’t know how much money is coming in. Don’t just assume that your parents or other relatives will help pay for your wedding.
If someone gives you money for your wedding, watch out for any strings that might come with it. For example, if your parents are helping you pay for your wedding, will they want to add 20 more guests to the list?
Avoid wedding debt
It’s not a good idea to start a marriage with wedding debt, and it’s not necessary. Instead, make a plan so that your wedding plans can work with your money. In the U.S., the average length of an engagement is between 12 and 18 months.
So use that time to figure out how you will pay off your debt and start saving for your wedding. Think about how much you and your partner still owe.
Do you owe money for school, a car, or a ring for an engagement? Start by making a plan to pay off your debts and save money.
Plan the little things with a budget.
What kind of wedding do you want to have? How many are coming? Full meal or just starters and desserts?
Do you have an emergency fund and a honeymoon fund in addition to the wedding fund?
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t been saving money for your wedding. Look at your budget and the average cost of a wedding to figure out how much you and your partner can save up in the next few months.
$500 per month? Perhaps $1,000 a month? Every dollar helps you get closer to your goal.
And remember that it will help to make a budget together and talk about it as you go. Find out how much you are willing to spend and how much each part of the event will cost.
Try to talk about how much things will cost and who will pay for what. It might be helpful to talk about money once a week or once a month. So, you can make sure you don’t go over your budget.
You now know how to plan for the average costs of a wedding.
You might think that the average cost of a wedding is pretty high, but a wedding is only one way to save money.
Choose the wedding costs that are most important to you and cut the rest. Think about what you really want to spend money on and where you can save money.
I’m sure that no one but you should be able to tell you how to spend your money. If you make a plan and stick to it, you won’t have to feel bad about what you buy or don’t buy.
How much you should spend is not written down anywhere. You can get a marriage license in most states for less than $100.
Be smart and careful, and you’ll be able to have the wedding you want. A wedding with no debt will give you and your partner the freedom to work toward other financial goals and keep you from having to pay off credit cards.