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Average Cost of a Wedding 2008-04-02 06:49:14

How Much the Average Couple Spends on Their Big Day

The average price tag on weddings in the US is around $30,000 — yikes! Because the cost of living varies greatly from place to place, the cost of the average wedding in San Francisco varies from the average cost of a wedding in Charlotte, and everywhere in between. The one thing you can count on is that most venues and vendors make sticking to a budget very difficult — wedding bells are followed by dollar signs, but if you know what to expect it can make setting up a budget less of a frustrating process. If you won't be eloping to Vegas then you need to be able to grasp all of the price information that's thrown at you, so you don't end up choosing the most expensive everything out of a lack of patience and preparation. Find out how much the average couple in your city spends on one of the most important days of their lives when you

  • Enter the zip code of the city where you plan on getting married in the widget below, and it generates an average cost based on a laundry list of expenses and breaks down the overall cost into smaller categories. It lets you see the average price paid for photographer, honeymoon, decorations, rehearsal dinner, etc. The site makes a great point: "Understanding average wedding costs now can help you with your wedding budget later."
  • If all of the zeros behind the average cost are making you nervous, stay tuned for some tips on how to budget for your big day!

To see all of our wedding coverage, check out IDoSugar.com.

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newschus newschus 7 years
Yeah I got a cheap price for very expensive places in California. For sure I know firsthand that it costs much more than 50k to get married there.
sundrops sundrops 8 years
Wow in Austin Texas for our zip code it gave me $60K!! A little more central to town it was $20K less at $40K, but still $10K more than Santa Cruz, CA at $31K!! I put in different zip codes and it varied on the area in town. Overall it's cheaper to get married in one of the nicest places in California than Austin...
GeneParmesan GeneParmesan 8 years
I've seen this calculator before, but usually with the caveat that it's completely flawed. SO flawed, in fact, that you are better off just guessing on your own. For example, there's a $40,000 difference in the supposed average cost of a wedding in my home zip code versus my work zip code (both in San Francisco.)
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 8 years
We spent $6,000 - elopement (in Europe), cocktail party reception (in Florida), rings, outfits, etc. I have no idea what the average is, and I don't particularly care. Lots of people will spend crazy amounts of money, but we did what was exactly perfect for us. And guess what - we're still getting compliments on the whole thing a year later too!
kathrynliz kathrynliz 8 years
oh- it includes the rings? well, that certainly changes things! we had a small ceremony for 6 (parents only) and a backyard bbq later for friends and family. sometimes it's tough for me to maintain credibility with my wedding clients! :-)
lawchick lawchick 8 years
$15,000 did NOT include our honeymoon or rings
lawchick lawchick 8 years
More power to you if you can afford a blowout, and it's what you want! We spent about $15,000, mostly contributed by my mom. We had a very fabulous reception. Great band. Saved money by just having beer and wine (no liquor). Also we had great food but NOT a sit-down dinner. I bought a J Crew wedding dress on clearance, paid like $100 for it. It did not look like a $5000 dress, but it didn't look like a $100 dress either. It was a good compromise for our situation -- our priority was a good party, especially for out-of-town guests.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
oh im so excited for the big day i have two sponsored honeymoons one to vegas yay and one to cabo, i guess i really care more for the honeymoon than the wedding its more for the family that is coming from everywhere
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
wow, $28,000 in my area(just outside Orlando). It figures though. With Disney nearby I am sure there are lots of Disney weddings and they are EXPENSIVE!!! Unfortunately, my daughter wants to get married there too. I am gonna be broke!! I offered to give her a lump sum to use for a downpayment on a house or something like that but she refused! She wants her dream day. My first wedding (I was 18) cost about $3000 total, including my dress. I was young, pregnant, and in love. I didn't really care. My second wedding we paid for ourselves. Total cost was around $12,000. That included our honeymoon. We had a beautiful country club wedding with a gazebo and horse drawn carriage, great photographer, a videographer, and all the frills. But that was also 13 years ago. A wedding is such a special day for so many. I know my second one was by far more important than the first. I realized just how much I missed planning my first because of the way it all happened so fast. We took 18 months to plan the 2nd and I am so glad we did it. I have beautiful pictures and video and wonderful memories. I wouldn't trade for anything.
amers230 amers230 8 years
almostfamous - nah, i've actually thought about this quite a bit and while i'd really prefer just to elope, i know what it means to my family to be a part of that kind of stuff, so i think a nice catered picnic/bbq is the way to go for me. in all honesty, the only thing i'd really care about in a big wedding is the dress, and wanting a big wedding dress just doesn't justify buying everything else that goes into a huge wedding. i'd rather go on an awesome honeymoon and put a nice down payment on a house than have a big blowout wedding :) the funny thing is i'd like to go into event planning, namely weddings!!! to each their own
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My zip code, said 18,400, i spent only $3000 and my whole family said it was the best wedding they have ever been too...food, music, decorations, atmosphere.......So Boo-ya.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
If you read the "about" on the site, you'll see that they are including the following into the cost: --Wedding Rings --Dress and Tuxedo --Church (the priest) --Hall --Food --Flowers --DJ/Band --Honeymoon
DCStar DCStar 8 years
These "averages" seem really off. What are they based on, one wedding in each city?
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
wow kitson that is awesome, i want a wedding planner but my fiance says he has 4 sisters and they can help plan, but i dont like their tast, so some of my friends are really stepping up, they say im a bridezella, but i just want it my way its my big day, ive never been married by the church and a big reception
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
my wedding is already at 30,000.00 and thats just the photographer the church the reception the dress and thats it, i think thats alot of money but hey my fiance and i are both the babies and we have alot of family so really we have only forked out 7,000.00, and thats all thats coming out of our pocket
kitson1 kitson1 8 years
WHY? I was a Bridezilla during the engagement process, wanting thousands and thousands to spend. But when it got down to the actual wedding part, we hadn't set a date and it was a tuesday when we were talking about what to do. We said "how about this Saturday?" and we did it! And on less than $1000 for 80 GUESTS! And it was not some tacky redneck wedding, we just used our resources wisely and I did A LOT of the work myself. It can be done!
ashleybear ashleybear 8 years
My area said $41,000! I got married 1 month ago and our total was about $12,00o. which I still thought was a lot of $$ on one day. We were really careful with picking our vendors and shopped around alot. The biggest way we saved $ in our area was to chose a reception venue that was about 1/2 the price as the others in town (Orlando) Most are like $60/plate ours was $30 which really cut the costs down. :) Happy Planning Everyone!
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 8 years
That amount is staggering! Our zip-code average is $27,000. (Although I cannot recount anyone from around here that has spent so much, in my limited circle. It's a fairly small town with (ostensibly) few wealthy residents.) We spent less than one hundred dollars for our wedding, but we desired the barest simplicity. It was modest, natural, free-spirited, romantic, and memorable -- the ceremony suited our union perfectly. Ten years have passed and neither of us would change any element of that day, were the opportunity offered.
kathrynliz kathrynliz 8 years
And hey- people are going to spend/go into debt/avoid debt according to what's important to them. What's the big deal? We all have a friend driving a car they can't afford/house that's too big/gosh why don't they get a bigger house/OMG, why is she still driving that awful car?? It's all about what flaps your flag!
kathrynliz kathrynliz 8 years
Keep in mind that major cities or "downtown" areas probably have more vendors competing for the same wedding business. This can work out well for you if you work it! (As can peak season v. off season) If you're getting quotes from multiple hotels, multiple photogs, etc, you're likely to get a better deal. Smaller areas are different... I am a hotelier in Atlanta, and the avg cost of a wedding came up as $20,000ish, which I thought to be a bit low for the area. I'd be curious to see how that breaks down per person, which is probably a better indicator. Is $20,000 for 100 guests or 400 guests, or everything in between? I didn't check the next step of the tool, maybe it offers up that information...
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
Almost $50,000 for me. Puh-leaze. Knock a zero off and we still didn't spend that much.
sashak sashak 8 years
I'd love to be able to fly my both our families across the country & put them up in a swank hotel, but I'm a receptionist & Mick is a carpender. There is just no way in hell we could ever afford something like that. And yeah my folks are supposed to shell out a bunch, but my mom is a librarian & my dad is a book editor so they are broke as a joke too
tiff58 tiff58 8 years
I defintely don't see my wedding as "my day" only....I think of it as my chance to both share my special day with people that I care about, and as a way to show them my appreciation for them by giving them a wonderful day/evening. If I could, I would spend more money on doing that. But, no, I'm not going to go into debt for my wedding.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
This is BS
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I'm in the minority here. I made the decision not to have a wedding. Having been a bridesmaid (and maid of honor) several, several times, I decided a wedding was not for me when it was my turn to marry. Besides, I haaaaaaate wearing all-white. Ewwwww. It was the right decision for me. I think I dodged a bullet. :)
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