The biggest myth about what your wedding should cost

There’s nothing more heartwarming than celebrating the act of two people joining together in holy matrimony. A couple’s wedding day creates memories that last a lifetime for all parties involved. Unfortunately, the average wedding cost has grown significantly in recent years, according to estimates from the wedding industry, making it more difficult to save money to pay for this dream event.

But are the figures inflated to encourage couples and their families to spend more, or do weddings actually have to cost and arm and a leg to be amazing?

Average Wedding Cost Is Estimated at $29,858

If you and your significant other announced your engagement and are now preparing to tally the overall cost of your wedding, you might be shocked by the fact that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is equal to that of a brand new car or a hefty down payment on a home.

According to TheKnot.com, the average wedding cost in America is now about $29,858 — up from $19,581 in 2009.

What could be driving up these figures? Has there been an increase in the cost of typical services like music and catering, as well as other elements like reception facilities, dresses, etc.? Have big dreams upped the standard for what an average wedding entails, or has the wedding industry simply inflated statistics in order to convince excited couples to spend much more than necessary for their big days?

The truth is a wedding doesn’t need to cost anywhere near $29,858 — a couple can cut wedding costs and still celebrate their nuptials in style.

Elements and Costs of a Typical Wedding

With the average cost of a wedding estimated in the thousands, let’s break down the range of costs an average American could pay for a wedding that includes 100 people:

  • Wedding License: $35 (cost varies by state)
  • Wedding DJ: $100 to $300 per hour ($500 – $1,500 for five-hour reception)
  • Photographer: $750 to $10,000
  • Catering: $20 to $350 per person ($2,000 to $35,000)
  • Flowers: $400 to $5,000
  • Reception Venue and Decorations: $300 to $10,000
  • Cake: $1.50 to $12 per slice ($150 to $1,200)
  • Dress: $100 to $5,000
  • Tuxedo: $100 and up
  • Officiant: $200
  • Two Wedding Bands: $200 to $3,000
  • Wedding Invitations: $100 to $5,000

Some people prefer to hire a wedding planner to handle the details of the event. In this case, your cost is going up by another $1,500 to $5,000. And other elements not mentioned in the list (that are not necessarily vital to a wedding) could inflate costs further, including the videographer, rental car or limo, hair and makeup, bridal shower, bachelor party, and wedding favors.

As you can see, a typical wedding encompasses a broad range of costs, depending on preferences. However, just sticking to the low end of expenditures, you can get away with a nice wedding that includes a lot of the major elements — most important being great food and music — for $4,835.

But these figures are based on averages pulled from a number of sources. The cost for each element of a wedding can vary significantly depending on where you live, what time of the year you’re getting married, how far in advance you plan along with other factors.

Even in high-cost cities like New York or Los Angeles, though, it’s likely that you know people who have found ways to have a fantastic, low-cost wedding with absolutely no regrets.

How to Create a Wedding Budget With Low-Cost Wedding Ideas

So, are you someone who wants a lovely affair without having to borrow money or take out a loan to cover the cost? Since the average wedding budget is in the ball park of $28,000, it’s time to learn how to budget a wedding while still putting on a classy event.

The first step when preparing for your wedding is actually setting up a wedding budget based on the number of people you plan to invite and the money you and your partner can easily save. The wedding budget should list “must-haves,” along with a separate section for “would-like-to-haves” — components that can be easily eliminated if they don’t fit within your budget.

Next, call around to price everything from venues for the reception to the cake and flowers. By acquiring estimates, you can quickly determine what’s not necessary for your wedding. If you find some costs are too high, but you don’t want to eliminate certain pieces of the puzzle, consider the following:

  • Wedding in a park. Many city parks allow people to have private gatherings at low costs, and sometimes for free (but scope out the area first to make sure it’s spacious and suitable for well-dressed guests).
  • Use a church basement for the reception. Many church basements are accustomed to holding large parties for dining functions. If you chose a church for your ceremony, you might be able to use the basement afterward to lower your costs.
  • Find a discounted wedding gown. Many wedding shops offer annual sales on gowns that can drop the cost as low as $100. Shop early and find a gown within your price range you’re sure to love.
  • Have friends take pictures. Instead of hiring a professional photographer or videographer, ask a friend to take pictures and video-record the wedding and reception.
  • Rent a sound system. Rather than hire a traditional wedding DJ, rent (or find) a quality sound system and hook up an iPod to play hours of great music.
  • Eliminate the wedding party. While most wedding party members have to pay for their own outfits, many brides and grooms still chip in for accessories and gifts. To cut costs (and headaches) associated with bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, etc., eliminate the cost of a wedding rehearsal and dinner, or skip the wedding party altogether.
  • Buy low-cost invites, table decorations and more. Consider purchasing invitations, table arrangements and more from budget stores.
  • Trade wedding presents for food and cake. Save a large portion of your budget on food by reaching out to close family and friends and requesting they bring food to your affair (home-cooked or store-bought) in lieu of buying wedding gifts. This is an especially great option if you’re close friends with a talented chef or baker.
  • Ask your pastor to officiate. Rather than hire someone to officiate your wedding, consider asking your own church pastor, who will likely be happy to take the job for free. You can thank him or her with a nice gift. You could also ask a friend to be ordained for your wedding and officiate free of charge, in lieu of a physical wedding gift.
  • Strategize your flower placement. Consider purchasing flowers and only placing them in key areas where photos will be taken.

Another option to consider is taking a vacation alone as husband and wife, and having the wedding and honeymoon in one trip. Or, if you really want a low-cost wedding, you can simply opt for a courthouse or home wedding with a few friends and family. The choice is completely up to you!

You should feel free to spend any amount you want for your wedding as long as you have been saving money and can afford it; it’s your big day and it should be as lavish as you desire. However, if you want to cut corners on the cost of marrying the love of your life — or simply aren’t interested in the frills of an extravagant wedding — it’s good to know you can still have a beautiful event within a modest wedding budget.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Happie Home Startup Establishing Headquarters In Las Vegas
Digital companion startup company Happie Home is establishing its headquarters in Las Vegas after receiving tax abatements from the Governor's Office of Economic Development on Nov. 15. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center will showcase 13 small businesses in November and December and seven in January. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
T-Mobile uses ticketing data to plan for event
T-Mobile Executive Director of Arena Operations explains how ticket sales data and demographics help plan staffing, vendors, parking and operations for an event.
Costco opens its doors in southwest Henderson
Costco has opened its fifth Las Vegas-area location near the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Amigo Street. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas strip mall and office park
The Krausz Cos. and WG Group bought a strip mall and an office park in Las Vegas for nearly $80 million total. They acquired a portion of Tropicana Beltway Center in the southwest valley for $59 million. They also acquired the Westbay office complex in the Las Vegas Medical District. The buyers are former owners of The Gramercy, a once-mothballed mixed-use project in the Las Vegas suburbs. They sold The Gramercy in phases for more than $100 million.
Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry
Celebrity tattoo artist and business owner Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry at The World of Tattoo industry trade show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
$7.5M Las Vegas pot dispensary opens near Las Vegas Strip
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. It has entertainment including an interactive floor and floating orbs. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars CEO to step down next year
Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora will leave the casino company in February. Frissora has been CEO since July 2015. He was named CEO right after Caesars' operating company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Caesars Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2017 Before Caesars, Frissora spent seven years as chairman and CEO of Naples, Fla.,-based Hertz He led the consolidation of the rental-car industry through Hertz‘s acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas adds twist to marijuana dispensary look
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. The dispensary is located near the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, near Trump International, in Las Vegas. Planet 13 has plans in the future for a coffee shop, a tasting room for marijuana-infused beer and wine, a lounge for consuming marijuana on site if that is legalized and space for food.
Caesars Entertainment opening 2 resorts in Dubai
Cove Beach will open on Meraas’ Bluewaters Island in Dubai in November and Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will open in December. (Caesars Entertainment)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like