Average Wedding Cost
See how your wedding budget stacks up against the average cost of a wedding
There's no denying that weddings are expensive. The dress, the venue, the wedding cake and the wedding planner to bring it all together costs money. But, at the end of the day, we're all still going to do it! But there are ways you can cut costs, if the expense of your wedding is starting to look a little daunting. Without sacrificing on the style, or feel you've always dreamed of having. One useful tool that should help you bring down the spend on your wedding, is looking at the average cost of weddings, and seeing how yours compares. Especially if you're currently working out your wedding budget breakdown. As national averages should help you see if you're overspending, or underspending in certain areas.
One thing to keep in mind, however, when it comes to average wedding cost, is that these numbers should only be used as a reference. If your budget is significantly higher, or lower than the figures we have shared below, that's ok. Every couples' financial situation is different, and you should not feel any lesser than anyone else, just because you can't, or are not willing to spend as much as 'the average'. Also, these wedding report figures are national averages, and not local. For example, the average cost of a wedding in New York state is $46,000, whereas the average in Iowa is $19,000 — quite a difference!
- What is the Average Wedding Cost in the US?
- How Much Does a Wedding Cost in the UK?
- The Breakdown of Typical Wedding Costs
- Ways to Save Money & Budget for Your Wedding
- Cut Down the Guest List
- Plan Early
- Give Yourself a Contingency Fund
- Always Be Flexible
What is the Average Wedding Cost in the US?
During the pandemic, the average cost of a wedding in the United States obviously took a dip. But in 2023 the numbers came back up, and have continued to rise into 2024. According to data from a real wedding study put together by Zola and shared by CNN in 2023, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S that year was $29,000. With some of the major cities, such as New York, citing much higher wedding expenses in comparison, around $35,000 and above. We can't list every wedding by state, but if you are interested, be sure to check out the Zola report above, as that has the figures for every state.
How Much Does a Wedding Cost in the UK?
Couples in the UK spent an average of £18,400 on their weddings in 2022, a 6% rise on 2021, and up considerably on 2020, for obvious reasons. This national report was carried out by Hitched, and they haven't compiled their 2023 survey yet, but we would expect the 2023 figure to be roughly 6-7% higher than 2022. Again, this is a national average, and if you're living and marrying in London, you know your total wedding cost will be more than if you were getting hitched in the north of England, for example. Something to keep in mind when comparing yourself to others, or deciding where to get married!
The Breakdown of Typical Wedding Costs
Typically, the number of vendors you hire, and their cost, will determine the overall cost of your wedding. Which makes knowing the averages of the major players pretty useful information to have at hand when wedding planning. According to The Knot, couples hired an average of 14 wedding vendors for their big day. And we have outlined the average cost of these suppliers in both US Dollars and Pound Sterling for you below. UK figures are from Hitched, and US figures are from The Knot. Unless the figure is linked to another source.
- Wedding Venue — $11,200 / £8,400 / €10,300
- Wedding Photographer — $2,600 / £1,300 / €2,380
- Wedding Planner — $1,900 / £2,500 / €1,700
- Live Wedding Band — $3,900 / £1,050 / €3,500
- Florist — $2,400 / £1,050 / €2,200
- Wedding Dress — $1,900 / £1,350 / €1,700
- Videographer — $2,100 / £1,150 / €1,900
- Wedding Cake — $510 / £400 / €465
- Wedding Catering per person — $75 / £70 / €70
- Transportation — $980 / £500 / €900
- Wedding Favors — $440 / £350 / €400
- Rehearsal Dinner Cost — $2,400 / £1,900 / €2,100
- Engagement Ring Cost — $5,800 / £2,100 / €4,200
- Wedding Invitations — $510 / £300 / €420
- Wedding Hair & Makeup — $250 / £155 / €220
Ways to Save Money & Budget for Your Wedding
If you're just starting out on the wedding planning journey, these numbers above can sound a little alarming. But as we said, these are averages, and may not accurately reflect the costs you should expect to pay for your wedding. Furthermore, there are so many easy-ish ways you can bring down the price of a wedding, and make it more budget friendly. Without losing any of the bells and whistles.
Cut Down the Guest List
Guest list cutting is the quickest, but not necessarily the easiest way to turn an expensive wedding into something rather more affordable. The number of guests you invite to your wedding will nearly always be reflected in the final price. And once you work out the true cost per head for each guest, the figure can be quite surprising. For example, if you have a table of ten guests, that one table could cost you $1000 or £800 (on average), which when planning on a limited budget, during a cost of living crisis, is a significant amount. Cut that table out and that's ten less plates of food, ten less invitations, ten less favors, and one less centerpiece to pay for.
It's not easy to decrease the numbers, but if you want to plan a wedding that suits you financially, having fewer guests is the best way to do it. As long as the key people in your life are present.
If you can, give yourself at least a year to plan the ceremony and reception. It's important to have as much time as possible to save, work out a budget and research, before any vendor bookings take place. When you are ready to start hiring, it's good to also get in there early, and not feel like you're picking vendors just because they're available. If you end up doing that, you're certainly not going to find people who fit your budget.
Give Yourself a Contingency Fund
All couples overspend, but not many couples plan for it. Set yourself a budget, and portion off a piece of that fund, maybe 5-10% as a contingency. A little wiggle room. Because as you get down to the wedding wire, and the budget starts to run dry, it's much better to be dipping into a pre-prepared emergency fund, rather than your credit card. That should very much be a last resort.
Using an online wedding budget tool such as ours will also help you keep your total costs down and on track.
Always Be Flexible
If you really want to decrease the price tag on your special day, you must remain open to options. The wedding industry is struggling with rising costs as much as you are, which means the average price of some goods can be much higher than you would imagine. Therefore, it's good to enter into any vendor conversation with an open mind. If they suggest a flower, cake style, or food and drink choice, for example, that is similar to the idea you had in mind, but cheaper - go for it! Trust in the experience of your team, and don't get hung up on particular elements that, if different than you previously imagined, won't even matter on the wedding day!
In essence, the concept of the average wedding cost is not merely a statistic but a tool for couples to navigate the exciting, and sometimes complex, landscape of wedding planning. It ensures that the financial aspects of your celebration align harmoniously with the vision you have for your special day, creating a foundation for a joyous and stress-free journey to your dream.
This comprehensive overview unveils the typical expenses associated with creating your dream celebration, offering valuable insights for informed budgeting and planning.
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