Why are US weddings usually more expensive?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
6638 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

socalgirl1689 :  Your prices look pretty typical to me. I had a cheap wedding so maybe that’s why I don’t see the difference. For example nothing would’ve induced me to spend more than $1000 on a photographer.

At any rate as long as people are willing to pay for this stuff they can jack up the prices as much as they want to and there’s nothing you can do about it until you finally say that’s enough and stop paying for these things. Until then wedding prices are going to skyrocket. Any savvy business is going to raise prices until they Reach a tipping point

Post # 3
5732 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Weddings in the US are more expensive compare to where though?

You mention Europe but the individual counties in the EU differ substantially, for example in the UK the average wedding is around £27k which is over $36k. 

Every country has a sliding scale, there are lots of weddings which cost less than the average and many that cost more. 

Which country are you from?  If it has a lower cost of living in general then obviously the cost of a wedding will be less. There are many European countries I can go to on holiday and live like a king compared to the costs I am used to in the UK. 

Post # 5
1514 posts
Bumble bee

Two words – conspicuous consumption

Post # 6
9211 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

cost of living.

even in the us, a wedding is going to be significantly different in cost in NYC vs Kansas CIty, even if they did the exact same thing.

Post # 7
4587 posts
Honey bee

Also, different areas have different cost of living, inflation and other economic factors, etc.  You have to make sure you are comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges.  A loaf of bread is 3 times the cost in the U.S. than it is in the Czech Republic.  Rent for 900 sq. ft. apartment is twice the cost as there and nearly three times the cost as in Costa Rica and nearly four times the cost as the same thing in Romania.  You really can’t make assumptions about peoples motivations based on dollar cost comparison – it is a lot more complicated than that.  Conspicuous consumption is not unique to the U.S. – lots of cultures like to show off.

Post # 8
8760 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

I am a UK bee and as PP has said the average is £27k here, which to me is mind boggling but whatever. 

Post # 9
1293 posts
Bumble bee

I think it comes down to how much valued weddings are in that culture. I’ve noticed that in a lot of places in Europe wedding are not such a big deal anymore and people don’t get married too much. In the USA weddings are still massive and traditional family values are stronger and more old fashioned which could translate into spending more money on weddings.

Another thing is that Americans make a lot more money than a lot of Europeans (yeah, there are other benefits) so $30k wedding is “only” a few months salary copared to an annual income of Europeans. So people can make the money back quicker and vendors can ask  for more. but this is just a feeling and I might be making it up and Europe is very diverse that there are different values.

Post # 10
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I live in Arkansas, in the richest area of one of the poorest states.  Cost of living is low here.  I had a very nice wedding for 80 for around $5000, and a very nice wedding for 23 for $2300.  I find it utterly ridiculous what people spend on weddings these days. 


BUT, I also think it has to do with WHERE in the US you are.

Post # 11
1743 posts
Bumble bee

Have you factored in VAT and the exchange rate?

Post # 12
374 posts
Helper bee

Labor cost is much higher here due to proliferation of unions and cost of living. Other fees add up here too – mandatory service charged, included 20% gratuity, sales tax, travel feels…not sure how many of these extra fees are common in other countries. 

Post # 13
7438 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m curious where you’re getting your stats from. I googled “average wedding cost by county” and this was the first link to pop up: http://www.harlequinband.ie/average-worldwide-wedding-budgets-statistics-2016/

I didn’t really look into it or read other articles but from being on the bee for awhile I’ve never gotten the feeling that the United States has a higher average wedding cost than other countries.

ETA: CA is also one of the most expensive areas in the US, not only for weddings but just general living expenses. So if you looked for a similar wedding in Wisconsin for example, you would find lower prices than what you were quoted in CA.

Post # 15
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

<u>rez123 :</u>  I’m sorry, but $30,00 is almost my whole year’s salary. Not everyone makes tons of money in the US.

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