Post # 1
I was at the bookstore yesterday flipping through Bridal Bargains and saw something interesting that I hadn’t thought of previously. The book explains that since “average” wedding costs are determined by calculating the mean, a few million dollar weddings can skew a lot of $5,000 and $10,000 budgets to looking higher. They claimed the median wedding cost was around $15,000, meaning more real weddings are closer to that in cost.
Based on your own experience, do you think the “average” costs (I’ve usually seen them listed somewhere between $24,000-$30,000) represent real brides? Or, do you think the wedding industry uses the inflated numbers to get brides to spend more by convincing them it’s a norm?
Just thought this was interesting and would like to see what you Bees think!
Post # 4
My wedding budget for almost 100 people is 1k, and all of my friends had really low budgets and what I consider to be realistic ideas for their wedding up until they started looking at magazines, and going to the shops and watching shows, and starting piecing together these really elaborate affairs. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a really fancy wedding, but in my experience and what my friends had wanted before reading the magazines and watching all the shows, was that none of them really wanted all the frills or expensive decorations and things beforehand.
I think for the brides and newlyweds I know in person that they wouldn’t have set such high budgets or got all of the frills and fancy stuff if they hadn’t seen it portrayed as what weddings were expected to be like through the media.
One of my best friends had started out wanting a really intimate small no frills wedding for all her family and friends, for just about 2k, but after she started planning and reading wedding magazines, she bumped her budget to 15k, and decided on fancy dishes and flatware and a caterer, and a limo, and a special order dress.
Post # 5
I think it depends on your area/circle, but I don’t think that what’s in the mags is ‘real life average.’ It’s something to strive for, and usually, those are more expensive because they’re the ‘goal’ and not the norm or what you settle for to stay w/in budget.
I’m from a small town, where simple weddings at your home church and then a reception at the community center are the norm. An old classmate of mine is getting married in the ‘city’ near our hometown and people think it’s CRAZY that she’s spending almost $20/plate and having a hotel reception. I don’t even talk about my wedding at home, b/c living in a large city away from my homestate can really reduce your low-price options, but I don’t think that the mags/industry help anyone get a realistic view of what the ‘average’ wedding is like. If you make the shnazzy wedding the “average,” you pull everyone’s standards up and they spend more money = the goal of the industry.
Post # 6
I think the average wedding is between 15 to 20k. Uhh, I didn’t have that much so I couldn’t spend that much. Certain things were expensive but there were definitely ways to cut cost by doing DIY projects or negotiating or asking friends or family.
I looked for a recent WB poll of budgets and found this one. http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/what-is-your-wedding-budget-3 It looks like more people are in the 15-25K. I think it would be interesting to see where those budgets lie, if it’s more towards the 15 or more towards 25k. Just from the responses, it sounds like the majority of people are in 15-20K area. Yeah, there was some bees like myself that had lower budgets and then there were some bees that had a budget of more than 25k.
My budget was 10k but my sister’s was 3k.
Post # 7
It all depends on where you live. Here in NYC, I’m having what I would consider a smaller-than-average wedding with no frills but no sacrifices, and I’m spending the avg amount for NYC ($45k?). You really have to make some sacrifices, etc. to have a $10k wedding here. And of course, you can probably go as high as you want. But I was even surprised that I hit up against the NYC average considering mine has no real bells & whistles!
Post # 8
I have no idea how I could have a full wedding, rings, honeymoon- everything included for under 25,000 doller. I try to find bargins and alot of stuff is incuded in my package without many extras Im going to be at at least 25,000. If I could do it cheeper I would.
Post # 8
Sorry again… stupid work computer!
Post # 9
I think that probably is the average cost. But that takes into account all of the 50K+ weddings and all of the 1K weddings. I think a median cost would be a much better indicator of what the “average” wedding costs.
Post # 10
it totally varies by region. there was some site that i found when i first started planning that broke it down by region, and i remember the average in the dc area was around 40k, but nationally it’s much lower, closer to the number you found.
Post # 11
While I don’t have any way of knowing what other people spend on their weddings, I’d be very surprised if I’ve been to more a few weddings that cost more than $15,000.
Most weddings I have been to have receptions in the church hall or at someone’s home, or a park, or a VFW/fire hall, etc. Usually the food is made by the families or catered by a local restaurant — at like $10-$15 per person. Most of the brides do their own hair and makeup, use their own car (not a limo), flowers and cake from Sam’s Club or a grocery store, invitations from Michaels, etc.
Of course, I’ve been to weddings where it is obvious that someone spent a lot of money — a beautiful reception venue with a plated dinner and passed hors d’œuvres, full open bar, limo, professional photographer, band, lighting, etc….but those (at least in my area) are the exception, not the rule.
Post # 12
I do not think it is even remotely possibly to state an “average” unless it is localized to a small region. From being on these boards I have learned how dramatically the cost of a similar wedding can vary from region to region!
For the area where I live, the $24-$30k number sounds quite believable as an average.
Post # 13
I think where your wedding is taking place is a big factor. I’m in Nashville and we have a budget of $7.500. It’s going to be tight but doable. In my research I learned that the “average” wedding here costs around $20,000 and it’s because people will pay thousands just for a location. I was floored when I saw that some venues charged $5,000 just to use their property, nothing else. But as long as people continue to pay it, vendors will continue to charge it.
Post # 14
I think the blanket statement of “the average/ median wedding is between 15K-25K” is right on. I do think this represents the majority.
My wedding, however was 7K (so I am less) but after doing wedding research/ reading blogs I would say 15-25 is a pretty fair median taken into account ALL weddings across ALL of the US.