• 01/31/2024

The Average Cost of a Wedding

A bride and groom stand in a field - average cost of a wedding

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Many people dream about their wedding day from a young age, but they might not be expecting the hefty price tag that comes with an extravagant affair. If you’re starting the planning process, it’s important to be aware of the average cost of a wedding, as the costs can add up quickly. 

Once you have a budget in mind, you can begin to discuss where you want to splurge and what might need to get cut. Here is a breakdown of the average cost of a wedding to help guide you through those decisions.  

Common Wedding Expenses

Weddings consist of many expenses from wedding rings to venue decorations that add up fairly quickly. A budget is vital to track your spending and allocate funds where you want them the most. The average estimated cost of weddings in 2024 is about $34,000, which is $4,000 higher than last year. 

People pay for the costs of their wedding in different ways. About 57% of people pay through their checking account, but some also choose to use hard cash or credit cards. Others may also request cash on their wedding registry or start a honeymoon fund. 

Creating a Wedding Budget Breakdown

There are two ways to approach your wedding budget. First, hire a planner who will do the heavy work for you. Let them know your allocation and they will prepare for your wedding based on it. Although you’ll have to pay for their services, the best advantage of collaborating with a professional is you can offload stressful tasks, like finding and negotiating with vendors and handling guests. You can relax and focus on the ceremony.

The second way is to manage the budget by yourself, which can be stressful. But if you’re up for the challenge, you can save on the cost of a coordinator. Tap friends and family members to see if they can assist you or know someone in their networks who can help you prepare for the ceremony.

Average Cost of Wedding Vendors

Some common expenses you’ll encounter during wedding planning include venue, food and drinks, photography, wedding attire, decor, flowers, cake and your officiant. Costs can vary based on many factors, such as the venue you choose and the number of guests you invite. There are numerous ways to save money during the planning process if you invest enough time and research to minimize your spending. 

Vendors play a vital role in a wedding’s success. They ensure your big day goes off without a hitch and include planners, caterers and DJs. On average, in 2023, couples used 14 vendors for their weddings. Here are some average costs of vendors that you can expect when planning your wedding budget breakdown.

Pre-Wedding Expenses

Wedding Style and Beauty Expenses

Ceremony and Reception Expenses

Type of Wedding

Your final total will also depend on how and where you get married. Here are the costs you need to factor in for different types of ceremony venues:

Preparing for Wedding Expenses

When it comes to how much you should spend on a wedding, the answer is truly up to you. There are couples that may spend as little as $5,000 to $10,000 by having a more intimate setup and using fewer vendors. Others may prefer going above and beyond the average cost for a more lavish wedding.

You can use these averages to compare costs and get a general idea of what you’ll need to plan your wedding. You’ll also need to factor in how much you will tip your vendors. For instance, it’s recommended to set aside a $100 tip for your wedding officiant.

Remember that these are average expenses, and you can reduce them by getting creative and choosing what works best for you. This list can help you decide which elements you want to splurge on and which you can cut from your budget.

The Rising Costs of Weddings 

The cost of weddings has significantly increased due to inflation, as almost everything has gone up in price, causing vendors to charge more for their services. They charge more when they have to pay higher fees for their products. About 24% of wedding professionals also cite personal expenses and cost of living as a key factor in rising prices.

Budgets are doubling, causing couples to cut expenses significantly and limit guests to compensate for increased costs. It’s understandable, yet it can put a damper on your budget. Ensure you maximize your spending by orchestrating ways to cut costs in every area you can.

Some couples may shoulder the costs together, but there are also others who do an even split. Others also receive funding from the families of the engaged couple, which can help with paying for the expenses.

Plan Your Budget by Knowing the Average Cost of a Wedding

Marriage ceremonies are one of the most important occasions of your life and many couples happily splurge for the big day to make it memorable. Expect to pay thousands of dollars on wedding essentials, but there are also other means to drive down the cost if you have a tight budget. You can opt for digital invitations, have a potluck, or elope and throw an after-party to cut the cost of your wedding. Your dream day should be about sharing your love, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

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