What is the Average Cost of a Wedding?
Written by Sayan Banik
7 min Read
All the things you need to know about the wedding costs
“You are the poem I never knew how to write, and this life is the story I’ve always wanted to tell.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Isn’t it beautiful, how as a kid you would dream of walking down the aisle with your beloved and take those marriage vows to get bonded for the rest of your life?
That feeling is scintillating!
But if we take a sneak peek into the practical life, we will understand that cherishing one’s wedding dream comes at a cost.
According to wedding research, the average cost of arranging a wedding in the United States was around $34,000 in 2019. That surely is not a small amount. It includes the expenses of the wedding ring, ceremony, rehearsal dinner, and much more.
To clarify all your confusions and doubts about the wedding costs, we have put together our detailed estimates of how much you need to spend on a wedding.
Average Wedding Cost Estimate of all the Categories
Well, to plan a wedding, one of the first things you have to do is book a venue for the reception. Do you want to stage it in the posh areas or, do you want to arrange it someplace out-of-town? In recent years, an average American couple spends between $12,000 to $15,000 for their wedding reception.
Our take: Look for any venue less than $13,000.
After the Reception venue, the ceremony site comes next. Here the couple takes the vows and declares their marriage. A beach, or a Church, or a park; a ceremony site can be anyplace. It costs around $2,000 to $2,500 to book a ceremony site.
Our take: Opt for a site under $2,300.
For the wedding to be flawless, all the rentals need to be arranged well before the wedding events. The transportation process needs to be hackle-free, and all the staff has to operate in harmony. In general, wedding rentals cost around $700 to $1,000 in the United States.
Our take: Anything less than $800.
If you are a bit confused about carrying out all the wedding activities alone, then you can always turn to the option of booking a wedding planner/organizer to help you out. A wedding planner can charge you based on a fixed rate or a percentage of the total wedding budget.
Our take: Finalize on anything under $2,000.
Photographers and Videographers
You have to agree that these professionals are important for your wedding plans. Every moment will be captured and shot, to be cherished in the years later. But since editing images, dividing them into categories, and printing them requires hours of labor, hiring them comes at a price.
Our take: Hire both of them for under $4,500 in total.
Now, you need to contact a priest, a rabbi, a minister, a justice of the peace, or a clergy member to perform your wedding. Make sure that you and your family are acquainted with your officiant so that you may end up saving a bit on the officiant fee. According to reports, an officiant can charge well up to $800 fee, depending on whether the charges add-ons like custom ceremony scripts, premarital counseling, etc., or not.
Our take: Settle for an officiant under $500.
Photo Booth sounds like the fun part! If somehow the guests feel bored to hit the dance floor and want some memories of their own, a photo booth can always be a great option. You can also opt for a video-maker photo booth if you are short on budget and want to substitute a conventional videographer.
Our take: Look for a photo booth priced under $500.
It’s time for you to do some shopping! Selecting a wedding dress can affect your budget in various ways. Quality of the material used, the tailor fees, and the brand are some of the factors determining the cost of the dress. According to research, we found that the average money spent on a wedding dress in the United States costs around $1,600.
Our take: Choose a wedding dress of less than $1,000.
Band & DJ
What better way to cheer up your guests than some good music? So, make sure that you contacted a reputed acoustic band that has previously performed in wedding ceremonies. For the DJ, it will be beneficial for you if you have any friend who’s friends with DJs.
Our take: Both the band and DJ combined, try to wrap it up under $5,000.
Flowers and Decorations
Your wedding planner may make all the arrangements for the flowers and decoration, provided all the costs are inclusive of his fees, or you make to contact the floral designers and exterior designers yourself, depending on your contract. We advise you to select your floral designers and decorators, as it will reduce the add-on charges.
Our take: Keep the budget for flowers and decorations under $2,500.
Don’t worry. Most couples don’t have to pay for the rehearsal dinner arrangements. It’s mostly the groom’s family that organizes the rehearsal dinner, but nowadays friends, relatives also contribute to host the event. Studies found that United States citizens spend anywhere between $30 to $70 per person for a rehearsal dinner.
Our take: Make sure the costs amount under $1,300.
Making your budget for the wedding invitations can be a tricky thing. It may appear to you that the cost will be minimal ($1-$2 per person for an invitation card), but there are add-ons that you have to take into account. Save-the-dates, RSVP cards, menu cards, program cards, etc. are some of the added expenses.
Our take: If you’re inviting 200 guests, settle for anything under $1,000.
It’s totally up to you what kind of wedding cake you want to have at your wedding. Do you want your cake to be hazelnut praline or just chocolate? According to research, the average wedding cost of a wedding cake in the United States is $528.
Our take: Book a wedding cake for less than $500.
You don’t want your guests to leave the wedding getting grumpy. Make sure the wedding dinner is spotless! Arrange for the best caterers in town. Most couples in the United States spend around $2,000 to $7,000 on wedding catering.
Our take: Book your caterers for under $60 per person.
Favors are the most fashionable way to greet guests. Maybe the last thing you want to tick off from your budget list. Arranging favors for the guests generally cost around $1 to $2 in the United States.
Our take: Try to keep it under $200.
We hope our recommendations helped you plan your wedding budget. We wish you all the best!