Post # 16
~$50k is pretty standard for a wedding where I’m from. Totally average, everyone does it, I’ll do it (begrudgingly). I still think it’s crazy expensive and I don’t like it so that’s my vote.
Although I think the average is way expensive, I think the point I’d start thinking “Wow, that’s a lot for a wedding!” is maybe the $85-100k range?
Post # 17
I voted 40 to 55K. I’m in SoCal and most of the weddings I have attended (before corona) have around 150-ish guests and consists of a church ceremony followed by a generic chain hotel reception with basic stuff (passed appetizers with one hour open bar then the rest of the night, it’s cash with 3 course plated meal… Salad starter, single entree meal and no dessert table just the wedding cake as dessert… no midnight snack either).
This typically costs around $30K. We plan to spend less than that as our guest list is not big, we will not have any wedding entourage, we won’t have any other extra stuff that other couples get such as photo booths, limos, dessert table spread (just wedding cake), upgraded chairs/linens (same folding wooden chair to be used for both ceremony & reception for example), etc. and our wedding will be on a Sunday afternoon…just casual, simple and laid back with the basic stuff. I would imagine it’s more expensive (but you get more food and drinks as well) in the northeast US.
Post # 18
We had a very simple wedding with 50 guests for ~20k in a VHCOL location (Bay Area). While that is a budget wedding for the location, it’s still kind of crazy to me we spent that much. Honestly I’m not a wedding person and I would have been happy eloping and saving the cash. That said, we didn’t go into debt for it and it hasn’t derailed our finances. But I do think spending 20k+ on one day is expensive, and it’s not something I personally find worth the cost.
More generally, when I hear “expensive wedding” I think 50k+. I’ve been to some that seemed very expensive, and were probably 100k+. The very expensive ones I’m thinking of involved country club venues, extravagant apppetizer and dessert stations, and formal plated dinners.
Post # 19
What I consider expensive for a one day party – 40-55k and up (especially considering that with most venues, a wedding isn’t even a day. It’s around 4 to 6 hours).
What I was willing to spend for our one day party – 15k (with no time limit from our venue).
I like getting great deals and would not have felt like our wedding was a success if I hadn’t tried to maximize our bang to buck ratio for our wedding. Throughout the process, whenever I found myself wanting “all the wedding things”, I kept coming back to this question “What amount of money will allow us to throw a great party for X number of guests and not have us wake up tomorrow feeling like it was a waste?” We found our personal sweet spot and stuck to it. We ate and drank well, we danced, we ended the night exhausted and loved up and happy and had no regrets the next day.
Post # 20
I chose numbers on the lower end, but I agree that it varies wildly by location and culture.
I spent around 10k and I thought it was too much. Honestly, I just can’t see spending 20k on a single party. I’ve been to a lot of weddings over the years, and I haven’t been able to tell the difference or cared that much when it was a legitmately ‘expensive’ wedding. When it comes to my own (the guest) experience, I’m happy to celebrate with people I love regardless of how much they spent.
That being said, I’m well aware that I’m thinking of a single day affair, and sometimes weddings are culturally significant and extremely large events that stretch on for days and in those cases it’s quite another thing and I wouldn’t put it under the same umbrella.
I’m bothered by something I see a bit on the bee here when it comes to cost of weddings too. I personally believe people should have the wedding they want to have, and if they can afford it then great! If parents and other family members want to help, then that’s great too. If you choose to go into debt for it…well it’s not ideal, but if it is important and worth it to you, I also support that. But I think it’s not quite…right…to be giving advice and perspective about cost if you were priviledged enough to not have to be impacted by the cost of your own wedding. Again, if you didn’t have to pay for your wedding, I think that’s very lucky and I’m happy for you! If you are also wealthy and had a very expensive wedding, I’m happy for you as well! But it really REALLY bothers me to see bees who are pretty wealthy and bees whose parents covered their entire wedding, which are both priviledged positions, admonishing people about ‘not going into debt’ and ‘having the wedding you can afford’. While literally anyone can hold these views, it’s a bit galling to me to read them coming from people whose weddings made no financial impact on their daily lives, to people who are trying to navigate and budget for an event that unfortunately can be very expensive, who are likely making hard decisions about what to cut and compromise on.
Post # 21
I live in a very HCOL area and chose 70-80k. We spent significantly less, but costs in this area are out of control.
Post # 22
I totally agree. Many couples are pressured into having a wedding they can’t afford in order to socially legitimize their marriage and so they go into debt for it. I know several people in that position. Most people can’t spend 30k+ and not feel it but that’s the average cost of a US wedding.
My husband and I got married on the younger side (I was 24) and we had to pay for our own wedding. For a solid year, we must’ve saved almost 50% of our low salaries (we were grad students). We saved up 10k for the day. We wanted to immediately buy a house so we weren’t going to use all our savings. To me, my wedding was expensive because we were broke grad students lol but I guess now I’d say 30k+ is expensive.
I don’t think it’s wise to go into debt over a wedding…but I think the bigger issue is that many people think it’s a requirement to spend 30k to get married.
Post # 23
- Wedding: May 2022 - Studio City , CA
Inthink this is great advice. You articulated what I was thinking but was not quite sure how to put into words especially as it relates to culture. I e been to weddings that were 5-10k and they were wonderful and I have been to weddings that have cost upward to a 1 million dollars and some were wonderful and some were so filled with theatrics that I was just not moved. We are spending what some would assume an excessive amount on our wedding. But like you said it is lasting over two days and our guest list is enormous. We don’t have a venue fee because it is at my parents home but we are spending money on food and drink which is most important and then decor. However most of our budget was for food, drink, rings, gowns and travel fees/ accommodations for guest coming out of the country not theatrics.
Post # 24
Nobody in my circle has explicitly spoken about how much they spent on their wedding so I’m a little unsure what people are paying. Hubby and I went to one of a very well -off couple we know and it was clearly a very expensive affair but I wouldn’t even know how to guess how much. xo
Post # 25
I’m planning my wedding now and I think 40-50 is standard. We’re having 140 guests and our wedding venue with the ceremony, reception, food, and alcohol with open bar all night included is 30k alone. It does include a huge selection of appetizers and a big dessert buffet so the food is pretty heavy and I think our guests will enjoy this but I’ve seen other places around NJ do the same style as well for around the same price at 140-175 a person. I live in New Jersey and that’s typical pricing for this area and we even chose a Sunday to lower the costs a bit. I think our wedding will cost around 50k and I can’t see how it could be any less, unless we did it in the country or maybe chose an outdoor or rustic venue.