(Closed) Bridal Association estimated that an average wedding costs $38,500

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 32
Member
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Articles like this are the reason I prefer to get my wedding advice from my 1923 Vogue’s Book of Etiquette – it underlines the essentials, stresses the beauty of simplicity, and mentions that it is the height of bad taste to pretend to be something you’re not! 

Post # 33
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I believe it.  It all depends on LOCATION.

In my area, the average reception plate is $100 per person, so say you have a 200 person wedding, that’s $20,000 JUST for reception.  Factor in decor, dresses, $6000 photographer (pretty normal here), and it adds up!!!  Most people in my area are spending way more than that.

Post # 34
Member
1882 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Mine is running about $35,000 not including honeymoon/dress/shoes/hair/rings. Vera and Manolo are nowhere in sight. I don’t even know what I’m spending anymore.

Post # 35
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m in Los Angeles and with 175 people, rings, the honeymoon to Maui, and a groom suit that cost more than my dress (He shops more than me) we are just about there. And tax is so more than 9%

Post # 36
Member
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

I agree location is everything. I live in DC and we immediately eliminated the area as a location. I make a civil servant salary, so I can’t pay DC prices 🙂 Indiana prices were much more in line with my income.

Post # 37
Member
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

That # actually sounds A LOT more reasonable to me than the $20k I’ve heard touted over the last yr.  We’re having a $20k wedding and let me tell you – we’ve had a HELL of a time staying under that.  We’re going without a lot of the “extras” some people do (favors, Out of Town bags, champagne, pro hair or makeup, a cake…).  Of course you need to keep things in perspective – a 50 person wedding and a 200 person wedding are 2 totally different things, and location can play a role, sure.  

As far as skewing the numbers, I think if anything  it’s eloping couples that bring the average DOWN more than platinum weddings bring the # up.  I feel a lot more people elope (subsequently incurring minimal expense) than drop $200k+ on a wedding.  Everyone I know either in my NYC life now or from my hometown of Pittsburgh had weddings between $60-$80k.  Nothing was dripping diamonds or top-end designers.  There were nice weddings, not lavish or “burget”.  A $40k national average seems totally feasible. 

Post # 38
Member
5150 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@ribbons

very very good point!

Post # 39
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Yeah DC area wedding – when I told my friend who’s an amateur planner our total budget for 150 ppl (excluding honeymoon) was under $40,000 she was like “well we’ll have to DIY everything but we can make it work!!”

Our catering alone is $15k and that was the cheapest offer I could get! (our venue only allows a few caterers on premise)

Post # 40
Member
2194 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Agree with twalila–we are spending around $35k on 75 people and, while we’re picking nice stuff for the most part, we are definitely skimping in a lot of areas where we could have spent A LOT more and missing out on things I wanted.  NYC is very, very expensive. Sigh.  I can believe this is the national average even with outrageous $800k platinum wedding outliers removed.

Post # 41
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

There is nooo way this is the average.. i would agree that the average is $15,000.. sure i can see that happeneing.. but not more than that. We are having a nice wedding and its coming out to be $16,000 Not bad at all..

Post # 42
Member
476 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We’re trying to cut costs as much as we can, but if we count it all up–$8000 for reception, $1000 for church, $1000 for dress, $4000 for rings, $2000 for photographer, $2000 for honeymoon, $1500 for cake and DJ, plus everything else–we’re spending around $20,000 and I know we could easily spend more, so $40,000 doesn’t seem too rediculous.  I think it just depends on what all you’re counting in wedding expenses.

Post # 43
Member
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Yup, sounds about right. In NYC, try and find a place for under 100pp. In CT, i’m quickly approaching 30K for 80 guests. Sigh. There were some splurges in there (3K dress, for example) but nothing extravagant. It seems that the real cost savings come from DIY–but at the expense of time, which I have even less of than money.

 

Post # 44
Member
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Yup, sounds about right for a small to med-sized wedding in DC area.  I have friends who spent $40-50K for 250ppl wedding, so that makes sense. It all depends on the venue, too.

My Fiance and I gave up on finding a really nice venue in the DC area and decided to venture out for other options, we found a great venue (that would prob cost us arms and legs if it was in DC) in Baltimore that fit our budget. We’re having it on a Sunday, so that gave us tons of deals as well. Still, we’re at about $26K for our 120ppl wedding.  This only includes ceremony fee/reception (food & drinks)/DJ/trio/Photography/Videography/DIY flower centerpieces.  Doesn’t include our wedding bands, honeymoon, my dress or his tux, nor stationary. I’m going all DIY with std, invitations, programs and the menu and also doing my own hair and makeup.  I’m buying Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses as gifts and my Fiance is buying the shoes and another gift for his friends. If I factored in all that, it’ll prob be around $33K…dang.

Post # 45
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Ditto for a San Francisco wedding (in fact, low for that!) Like someone said, these are averages—so the low-cost areas in the country are balanced out by the much higher costs. We are cutting corners every which way and will still come in at $13K—and that’s in a local park with no wedding cake, no honeymoon, no dress, no bridal party, no church, no hard alcohol….practically no wedidng, and I don’t think we could have done it for much less short of just doing a bbq, which we considered. I can easily see how it would be $40K+ to do a “real” wedding in this neck of the woods.

Post # 46
Member
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Ribbons has a very good point. I do think the industry tries to jack up the averages so we will spend more. I’m from the Bay Area and I believe the average for this area is close to $45k.

Like other SF brides, I am DIYing a ton including flowers and we will still be spending close to $30k without honeymoon or rings. When we started looking around we definately had some sticker shock. We were able to really cut costs and keep to our budget but still for 100+ people we couldn’t get past catering and venue costs. WHich is a huge part of our budget. Its so insane!!

 

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