(Closed) How Do You Feel About The Average Wedding Budget?

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 29
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, I would be PSYCHED to spend $26,000 on our wedding, nevermind $10-15k. Maybe it’s the area where I live, maybe it’s just what it costs here? Either way, I’m at $35k right now, not including my e-ring or our honeymoon. But for us it’s worth it. I really wanted my wedding a certain way and while I’m DIY-ing a million things and using “friendors” the biggest cost for us was still our big ticket items venue, photography, ect. Those items alone put us over $20k. 

Post # 30
588 posts
Busy bee

I would start looking at vendors and pricing things out immediately! I did before we were engaged so we didn’t have any shocks to the wallet ! =)

but yeah, we are just above $26k so that seems about right….. its the guest list that kills you !!! we could do half the cost with half the guests !

Post # 31
1746 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

View original reply
@mrs_g.mck:  Agreed. I would be thrilled to get everything for $26,000.00. There was no vendor around here that could seat my amount of guests for less than $20,000.00 in Philadelphia.

Add in my dress, which I got 75% off of because it was a sample, invitations ($900), officiant ($800) and ketubah+marriage certificate ($280), and I’m already way over, and that’s not including flowers, gifts, or photography.

I think you can do a wedding on any budget, you just may have to keep it out of the city and pretty small with lots of DIY.

Post # 32
15196 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It sounds about right.  I think I ended up somewhere around 21 or 22k.  But I could have easily hit 26k if I had spent more “normally” in a few areas like 2k on a dress instead of 250, or 500 on invitations instead of 50, and 200 on shoes instead of 30.  Over half went to my reception to for food and drink for 140 people.  then probably a third on photographer and DJ.  The rest of the stuff was super inexpensive.

Post # 33
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

One thing to keep in mind that averages are skewed by those who spend a *lot* on their wedding.

Personally, the thought of spending that kind of money on one day is painful and insane. We’re both PhD students raising a child, and neither of our families has a lot of money (nor do we want them paying for something like this). We decided it was unrealistic and not acceptable for us to spend that kind of money, so we’re eloping to NYC on a budget of about 1500-2000$, most of which will be accommodation costs. We’ll have parties afterward with family, at home. It’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for us.

Make a list with your SO of your priorities for your wedding and go from there. It was important for us to do something that was personal and would let us be married without a lot of fuss – and we’d wanted to go to NYC with our daughter, anyway!

Just to add though, if someone has the money and wants to spend it that way, it’s none of my business and I don’t judge anyone who choses to spend a lot of money on their wedding. I couldn’t do it, even if I had that kind of money, but it’s totally a matter of preference and what makes the couple happy. I don’t personally think a wedding is worth going into debt though.

Post # 34
1359 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Like others, I wouldn’t spend 26k on a wedding even if I had the money (unless I lived in NY or something, where money doesn’t go very far anyway. Hard to say in that case.)

Our wedding is really our dream wedding, and I wouldn’t change much about it even if I had unlimited funds. What I would do though is pay for everyone’s hotels (about $2500), all meals for the weekend ($1200) and I guess pay for someone to make my dream gown instead of doing it myself ($3k?). So that would add about $7k to our wedding which would more than double it, bringing the total to 13k.

That leaves me another 13k still. I’d probably spend 2k of that on beautiful moissanite wedding bands, 1k on a jazz or bluegrass band to play at the wedding, then drop the final 10k on an AMAZING honeymoon.

: ) Ahh, that would be fun.

Post # 35
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think that’s crazy, crazy high. That’s like a nice new car. But I guess a lot of people make way more than that in a year, and have parents who have been saving for this and contribute. And it’s probably skewed higher by the multi-million dollar weddings that a few people have. Don’t let that number hold you back though! I have seen time and time again on the bee that you can have and absolutely lovely perfect wedding for way less than that. Just figure out what you want your budget to be, and I guarantee there’s a way to make it work (yes, you may have to compromise on some things but it won’t be a bad wedding) 

Post # 36
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I don’t think the stats are reflecting people in school or just got out of college with loans.  Most of my friends are in their late 20s to early 30s when they got married and everyone spend about the avg. amount of 20-30K for a OK-nice wedding, not crazily fancy, without any major compromises.  I guess it also depends on where you live. 

It took us a good few years to save up the money for the wedding as we don’t want to ask any help from parents (and we are still saving right now) so it takes work and dedications.  Fiance and I have dated for a long long time but we both intend to do this once so we rather waited to save enough money to have a nice wedding since we get to do it once only (hopefully!)  🙂

Post # 37
1837 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

View original reply
@abbie017:  yeah, i agree!

Post # 38
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

If I had $26,000 to comfortably spend on a wedding , I’d do it! Whe you spend money, you employ people. Have your dress made in your country, hire reputable people, and you’re giving folks an honest living. 

Not that I have 26k. But if you’ve got it and you want to spend it, don’t feel bad about your extravagance. Yeah, you could give 26k to charity, but charity doesn’t really employ people. The wedding industry does, and thank goodness SOME industry is growing!

Post # 39
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I agree with everyone here. That “average” really depends on a lot of things. As people have already mentioned, spend what you AND YOUR Fiance are comfortable with and nothing more. 

ABOVE ALL if you read nothing else read this: Don’t let people tell you you aren’t spending enough! (or too much for that matter)

My Fiance and I sat down and we decided what WE were comfortable spending. Now I will say we are significantly over the “average” and we’re catching heck for it from other people who don’t think we should spend so much. But like I said, there are many factors that play into this. We are both older (mid 30s) and we are both established in our careers. This was primary and gave us the ability to have a larger budget.

Good Luck!


Post # 40
1713 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Were spending around 15000$ (original goal was 10k but that didnt work). Our venue is making a mandatory 7500$ food and drink to use there venue. We are doing a lot of things ourselves diy all the way which is helping… our centerpieces will be less than 20$ each to make. We plan on selling many of our items afterwards for atleast 2000$ which will be a good chunk of tuition next year. We are having a beautiful wedding that looks like its been taken out of a magazine. Our friends had there wedding for 1500$ yes thats only 2 zeros. It was really simple and not very organized but with someone who was organized and an extra 500$ on a photographer it could have been a great wedding.

Post # 41
672 posts
Busy bee

I was reading online that the average wedding in 2012 costs a whopping $26,000.

There are so many things wrong with what you read online. First, how can there be an average cost for 2012 weddings when we’re only in February? Seriously, let’s say that there’s a sudden plunge in the economy again that’s beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. Suddenly, any numbers generated so far in 2012 would become irrelevant. Second, the reports that are typically out there for past years are based on self-reporting typically only targeting people who read wedding magazines or websites. A couple who makes up their mind to go to the courthouse and has no questions about expectations, traditions, or the like will not be factored into this group and likely won’t be tempted by a survey in the first place.

Really, anything you’ve found is a number based on people who are really into wedding planning and more likely to be planning a large or lavish affair. The numbers are horribly skewed even if there are a fair number of brides looking at the magazines and reading the sites having smaller, cheaper affairs. To the best of my knowledge, there’s not a number out there that represents an honest sample.

If the numbers scare you, why don’t you do some research for the kind of event you’d like to have and get some loose ideas on numbers? I need to weigh what we would spend not only on a Destination Wedding, but allowing for some variations in exact destination locations compared to just having a traditional wedding at home. I made a spreadsheet with multiple columns that put in key expenses with an estimate based on the numbers I saw. Because we’re still looking at a date more than a year out, I rounded up generously on pretty much everything. Do the same thing for the wedding of your dreams versus something a little more budget friendly that makes you happy will at least give you guys some numbers to work around.

Post # 42
3261 posts
Sugar bee

The 26k average is exactly our budget sans the honeymoon/rings/dress so I’d say its understandable. 

Post # 43
2999 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

View original reply
@sweetcrackers:  Word! I told my mom this weekend that I’ll pay the extra cash for a USA made dress!

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