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

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 89
Member
898 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Ours is now over the 40k mark….which I know sounds extravagant.  But it really isn’t.  We both have HUGE familes (120 people on our guest list are close family), and the kicker is that we’re having 2 nights of weddings. We’re two different religions–he’s hindu and I’m christian–and it was important to both of us that we have the kind of wedding we grew up with and that our family/friends identify with, so we decided to do both.  

We’re paying for everything ourselves (although both my mom and his parents have offered to each pay for 1 small thing, which is sweet). But, as is the case with some other bees, our weekend wedding is still only costing us 1/4 of our annual salaries together, so in that context, I don’t think it’s extravagant at all.  There are several things I could have done without, that his culture/family considers a *must have*.  Hindu weddings are typically huge affairs, so ours is relatively modest.  I’m DIYing my centerpieces and bouquets, scouring the internet for the best deals on buying linens that we can resell rather than renting, and bought my gown used online (score!).  We’re ordering invitations from india, so they are cheaper, and we’re going with a budget photographer and DJ.  Even our food is pretty cheap and casual–we’re having indian food the first night and Tex-Mex the second night.

It’s just that have 2 weddings in a big city is going to be pricey. We have to pay for 2 nights in a venue, 2 dinners, 2 of some decorations (like the hindu Mandap, which is WAY more expensive than we thought it would be), 2 days for a photographer, etc. etc.  We both had a moment where we freaked our about the cost…well honestly, I still freak out about the cost.  But when we sat down and looked at our expenses, there was nothing we could cut back on more than we already have.  In their culture, it’s considered rude if you DON’T serve food at a wedding, and give a favor (they have a traditional cake in a box they give out), and hire the hindu musicians for the ceremony, so we really couldn’t cut those things.  And then we both agreed it would be strange to have a dinner after the hindu ceremony, but not have a dinner after the american ceremony, which will be on a Saturday evening.  So, it’s too late for us to back out now!

I’m not even counting the honeymoon or our rings….OMG…honestly, I don’t even want to thing about the cost.  Luckily, we’re able to pay cash!  Even if it’s by me scrimping and saving and buying used.  =)  Also, we’re both 32 and well established in our careers.  FI was able to buy my ring with his yearly bonus and still have $$ left over, and he’s in line for another big promotion soon, so I don’t feel *too* guilty about it.

But definitely before meeting him, I also thought I would be one of those brides spending $5,000 on a small wedding in my parent’s back yard.  I’m one of 6 kids and I’m the ONLY kid to not have a cheap, backyard or church wedding.  But with my Fiance, that just wouldn’t have worked.  But I have him, so I don’t regret it for a minute.

Post # 90
Member
1235 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

The average wedding in my area is 33k. 33k!!! Our budget is 15k.

Post # 91
Member
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I looked up the avg cost of weddings in my area (where the wedding is, my hometown)….and it’s wayyyyyy higher than that average.  It is hugely dependent on area.  So yeah, I’m spending more than the national average, but I’m under the local average…which means that my wedding is extravagant and fancy to some, and low-key, laidback to my neighbors!  I think personally that a lot of us get reallllly caught up in the comparisons though.  I am doing things purely based on what I/FI/parents (since they’re paying) want, and it has nothing to do with trying to keep up with the Joneses or show-off wealth or show-off that we saved a lot by marrying on a Sunday.  In the end, as long as no one is spending more than is comfortable, then I see no reason to judge anyone’s spending for the wedding, whether the budget is $1000 or $100,000

ETA: also, the reason people spend so much in my town is not because we’re all rich. We’re middle to upper-middle class, but everything costs so damn much in NJ! Incomes are higher but so are all the living expenses lol

Post # 92
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee

@sunnylove I totally agree. I have a hard time justifying to myself the cost of my future wedding/elopement, which I predict would come in at around 3,000 (dinner for 30, court house area rental for an hour, etc.). My partner and I could easily afford much more, but it seems somewhat silly to us; we want to be surrounded by very close friends and family and be ourselves, not playing pretty princess and worrying about feeding second-degree cousins (but, if that’s your thing, there’s nothing wrong with that!!).  That said, I have seen some pics on here of weddings that are *much* more than 3k that are tasteful and beautiful, so I don’t want to categorically bash expensive weddings… they’re just not for me.

Post # 93
Member
1936 posts
Buzzing bee

key word – average… its the middle point… some people pay more and some people pay less!

It all depends on the kind of wedding you want! I wanted a typical wedding in a unique location and paid $15,000. My friend, whom I’m Maid/Matron of Honor for wants a very laid back kind of wedding at her cottage with a BBQ and it paying maybe $5,000 tops! I’ve seen posts where people pay $2,000! No matter what your budget is, you can create a beautiful day to celebrate your vows to each other… Also, when you get engaged its surprizing sometimes how much money parents, grandparents etc.. will give you towards teh wedding expenses…

Post # 94
Member
2965 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

All Fiance and I can afford to spend on our wedding is between 5-6K considering that Im going to school and he’s the only one working and we have 3 children. My parents decided they much rather buy us a house than help pay for a one day event which is fine with me because if my mother controlled all the financial aspects of the wedding, it would not at all be my vision. Jus remember average means adding the total of each wedding and dividing that number to make each an even amount. Our weddings around here are an average of 20K but that doesnt mean everyone is spending that much.

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@Mrs.Sunflower:  By The Way, I really wanted that chocolate fountain!!!

Post # 95
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

In my area that is the average amount and we are just around that point.  We initlally wanted to spend no more than $15,000 but we have gone up to $22,000. In NY/NJ, most places are very expensive and for what we want, we have to pay. I am proud to say that we have sunk our feet in will be paying for all in cash. No credit here. We have been saving hard, sacrificing, and found vendors that do payment plans. I am just grateful to be able to have the wedding that I want, how I want and to the man of my dreams.

Post # 96
Member
572 posts
Busy bee

It’s a scary number, especially for those us that are doing it on our own and don’t have jobs that allow us to save that much money. We are trying to stay close to $10K, but I work in PR and have a part time job at a bridal shop, so I’m lucky to know a great deal of vendors and will be shopping around and doing a lot of DIY touches.

Our parents (both sides) don’t have the money to help with much more than $1K each, so the rest will be up to us. It will be tight, but we will make it work. Our goal is to pay everything outright and not charge anything, we will see how that works out.

My Fiance is a teacher at a private school and makes just over poverty level, very sad considering he is educating our future. We both paid for college ourselves and have a large amount on student loans. We both work an extra part time job on top of our full-time jobs.

Post # 97
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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@sunnylove:  I could not agree with you more!! My sister (whose husband is very wealthy) spent over $200,000 on their wedding (mostly the cost of the venue) and guess what they are now separted. She has not divorced yet becuase she has no job or money on her own and is stuck.

My budget is 10K but now I am trying to cut back in order for us to have some savings for a future house, kids, etc. I do not get it.You are right about it being only one day 5 hours. ug

Post # 98
Member
7769 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Thign really add up.  That number does not surprise me.  Also, what does that number include?  Some people say they have $10,000, but that doesn’t include the honeymoon, or the wedding band, or the live band their Dad paid for.  You know?

Post # 99
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We spent about the “average” on our wedding. It worked for us because it was split 3 ways — my parents, his parents, us, but we included the honeymoon in our budget (about $3,500).

We had a very nice wedding — open bar, plated dinner, but we had a “destination” wedding in a small town in Wisconsin with the reception in an outdoor tent, about 115 guests. Not black-tie formal in a fancy venue or in a big city. It was a small wedding and it was what we wanted. Our only real extravagance was buying a new custom-tailored suit for him ($400) and our photographers ($4,500 all in). It was a reality check once we started planning. Do I sometimes think we could have spent that money on a down payment? Yes. (still not 20% for where we live though!) Do I regret our decision? Not for a minute. It was the best day ever and we still tear up any time we watch the slide show our photographers put together. It was truly magical.

Post # 100
Member
1105 posts
Bumble bee

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@Mrs.Lonestar:  Wow, I was considering a 1k budget but I guess I need to go a little bit higher?

 

I just looked it up….. in the area that I would like, it’s about 24K!!!!! So I guess I do need a higher budget.

Post # 101
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Really, that much as average? Well, my wedding budget is going to be well below average, and I’ll still have the best day of my life 😉

Post # 102
Member
10451 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Yah that seems right based on what I know my friends spend. We could spend that much, but a lot of thsuture they paid for seems pointless to me. I am aiming for 15k. A friend spent over 30k a year ago and another one coming up is probably over 20k. 

Probabky the main thing I’m thinking I’d cut is open bar… Between my friends and family friends and my fiance’s friends, they could drink an Olympic size pool of liquor so no way will I open myself up to that haha!

Post # 106
Member
15 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Like most people have said: The money adds up QUICK! I swore I’d never spend over $10K on my wedding and here I am at $20K! That’s not even including my E ring or the honeymoon. (GULP!)

But it really depends on where you live. My best friend got married at a golf resort in Orlando with 75 guests for about $8K. One of my sisters had a pretty fancy wedding in Jacksonville, FL with about 150 guests for $15K…including the honeymoon to Jamaica! My other sister had a nice backyard wedding in Jacksonville with about 60 guests for $4K!!! So why with 100 guests in Atlanta am I paying $20K?!?! 

And BEWARE…people hear “wedding” and automatically think you are willing to spend your life savings and pawn your 1st born child! I am hiring a babysitter for my wedding party and one girl wanted to charge me $500 for 3 hours and 3 kids!!! That’s almost the cost of my dress! Girl stop…!

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