Average Wedding Costs Itemized

The first step to planning a wedding is getting an idea of about how much of a budget you should expect to spend. We’re going to go right down the list of the expenses found at a typical wedding and provide a range of how much you can expect to spend. Please realize that the high-end of the ranges are an estimation what the most money most people will spend is. You can certainly spend way more if you wanted to; someone will always be happy to take even more money from you! Conversely, the bottom end of the ranges are also merely an estimate; you can spend $0 on a lot of these things if you’re okay with having a pretty abnormal wedding!

Costs are also impacted considerably by where you live. Wedding costs tend to be much higher in the northeast than they are in the midwest and other parts of the country. You should be looking at the high end of these ranges if you live in the northeast and the low end if you live in, say, Montana.

One final major factor is number of guests. The number of guests don’t really affect the average cost of a wedding dress, but they do affect the average cost of invitations, catering, party favors, etc. For smaller weddings, you can use the lower-end estimates. For large weddings, look to the high-end estimates, especially on the expenses that tend to correlate tightly with number of guests.

Invitations: $500 to $1,800

How much you spend on invitations depends on if you send out a save the date card, buy a guest book, thank you cards, and how nice your invitations are in the first place. Even if you cut every corner in this department, it will still likely run you a few hundred dollars.

Venue and Food: $5,000 to $20,000

The biggest expense at a wedding is usually the venue and food and drink expenses. This includes renting a place to hold the wedding and the reception, all food and drink expenses (you’ll save a lot by not having an open bar but probably annoy a few of your guests too), the wedding cake, as well as the fee for the ceremony officiator (if applicable). How expensive or inexpensive these costs can be vary considerably between any wedding. You can save a bundle just by choosing a more reasonable venue for your reception than the ritziest 5-star reception room.

Bride and Groom Attire: $1,000 to $3,500

As is the case with basically all wedding expenses, this one can be either relatively cheap or really expensive. Whether you buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo (or suit) and how much you decide to spend on a wedding dress determines most of it.

Transportation: $0 to $500

Transportation is usually a pretty optional expense for weddings. But if you decide to rent a limo for the bride and groom or a party bus for your guests, it can get expensive very quickly.

Wedding Planner: $0 to $4,000

Again, hiring a wedding planner is usually an entirely optional expense. You don’t have to hire a wedding planner to have a wedding. If you do decide to hire one, how much it will cost you is determined mostly by how much you acquire their services. A one-time consultation might only cost you a couple hundred. A full-on wedding planner there with you from start to finish will be several thousand.

Bride and Bridesmaid Spa Services: $200 to $500

An often overlooked wedding expense is spa services for the bride (and sometimes even her bridesmaids) prior to the wedding. This includes the facial, make-up services, a massage, etc. It can cost you very little if you have a friend do it or several hundred if you pay for professional services.

Photographer: $1,200 to $4,500

What this expense amounts to is determined by whether you get just a photographer or a photographer and a videographer and how high price you shop for. Freshman wedding photographers will have much cheaper rates than the most reputable, experienced guy in your area. It’s all a question of how much you want to pay.

Entertainment: $300 to $5,000

A good wedding DJ can be had for just a few hundred dollars. If you want a full band capable of taking requests, expect to spend well into the thousands.

Jewelry: $1,100 to $4,000

A wedding band for the bride and groom will run you at least several hundred usually. But again, this is an optional expense. Some couples choose to save money by not purchasing the highest end jewelry options for their wedding.

Flowers: $600 to $4,300

Flowers are a huge wedding expense, moreso than first-time wedding planners probably realize. You need a bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, ceremony and reception decorations, table centerpieces, flower girl pedals, etc. This all adds up fast and will cost you at least several hundred even if you try to skimp.

Party Favors: $100 to $1,000

Many couples like giving gifts to their attendees. It’s usually something small like a picture frame or a wine stopper, but if you have a large wedding, that’s a lot of money spent on wine stoppers! This expense basically completely correlates with how many people attend your wedding.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings,Wedding Planning — vicky at 4:53 pm on Monday, June 27, 2011