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What Do You Consider a Reasonable Wedding Cost?

What Do You Consider a Reasonable Wedding Cost?

As we judge the cost of everything from jeans and shoes to jewelry and cars, we make judgments on what is a reasonable wedding price tag and what is expensive. This appraisal not only depends on how much we can afford to spend on a wedding but how much we are willing to spend. With the average wedding in the US costing almost $30,000, it would seem that all of our opinions on what we consider to be reasonable should together fall closely to that number. Let's find out, shall we?

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Rachel-LZ Rachel-LZ 8 years
my wedding is in nov and the budget is driving me crazy. we're trying to keep the costs down (hopefully under 20k) but the flowers the venue is providing are... disappointing. we went for a floral consultation and the man is asking for 6k! for flowers! i think that's just ridiculous especially in this economy. it's now a toss up between disappointing flowers and exquisite floral arrangements.
ahles ahles 8 years
What kills me is the "it's my ONE day" logic in a country where 50% of the marriages end in divorce. This whole big white dress princess for a day concept didn't even exist before the turn of last century robber barons started marrying their daughters off to european nobility. It wasn't that long ago you just put on your best sunday dress and got on with it. I used to sell wedding cakes, and I can't tell you the number of girls who'd come in living in tiny rental apartments or in TRAILERS or who had young children and were spending $25k+ on a wedding and going in to debt to do it, or mom and dad going into debt. But perhaps they were a side effect of the other conspicuous consumption of the last decade... where the kid has no college fund but $100+ jeans. My first wedding was under $10k and fully catered with all alcohol included for somewhere north of 120 people. My second wedding we actually did twice, once legally and once for his kids to see. The show was under $5k if you include the cost of all rings, under $1500 if you don't, and that one I even wore the big white silly dress and we brought in indian food for the bulk of the food (I cooked the rest). The legal wedding was in some ways my favorite because it was just the vow between us without anyone else's expectations on it, and that was under $100. Money that wasn't spent on the wedding went to buy a house in both cases.
navjoit navjoit 8 years
Thats really cool that you guys can have a wedding for under 10K. I am helping my sister plan a wedding, and we are Indian. For a person who has over 45 FIRST cousins... and having Indian food and what have you... we are struggling to stay under 60K. But I dont think its wasteful, its the most important day of your life, you shouldnt assume that people dont care about their money, and that they want a dress new (I wouldnt want a used dress). They have the money to do and want it write- Esp with Photography which for a good one is 5k alone.
loveyoulots loveyoulots 9 years
I think whatever you have to spend to make you both happy on the big day is okay, but even though I love to watch platinum weddings think it's overboard. I don't think I could spend $80,000 just on the material to drape the inside of the reception area like I saw on one episode. I think a big charitable donation would have been better. `What do they do with that fabric afterward anyway? Just charge the next bride the same price and hang it back up?` We are just graduating college and will foot the bill for almost everything so around $3000 is our budget. I can't believe how much I don't have to compromise on taste while using cheaper items. I also think the more intimate the better most people don't care it's just another party or free food. Have people and family around you that really are happy for you.
aylee aylee 9 years
I think more than $15k is expensive. So I started the budget at $10k. But as I scour for prices for everything, the estimated cost seem to reach a little more than $20k (and that includes an evening gown for a wedding dress, DIY invitations and decor and favors). It definitely doesn't help that I live in an expensive city :(. I looked into going out of the city to save, but I only saved so little because of the added travel expenses.
cdelaney cdelaney 9 years
My husband and I got married last September and paid only $2,500. The budget was due largely to necessity and partly to preference. We just graduated college and weren't receiving any financial assistance from family for the wedding. Additionally, we just wanted something low-key and meaningful that accurately represented us both collectively and individually. It took a lot of hunting around, hard work, and many, many late nights of DIY tasks, but for us it was truly worth it. Luckily, we utilized our personal connections to defray some of the costs. For example: A family friend performed the ceremony, a close friend just so happens to be a professional photographer, etc. We invited about 60 guests and had light h'ordouerves, champagne and a dessert reception. We worked with what we could afford at the time, and guests have said that our wedding was more meaningful and intimate than other high-budget wedding extravaganzas. Money does not make a marriage. Besides, I don't see the point in spending exorbitant amounts of money on one day when it truly isn't necessary. With some of the money we saved, we ended up taking a killer honeymoon to New Zealand. That was money well spent!
LoveSarah LoveSarah 9 years
If you give yourself enough time to plan, shop smart and have less than 150 people you should be able to do it under $10,000. I think anymore is ridiculous. Why put yourself into debt for one day? Now, if you have the money then go for it. I just know I couldn't see myself spend more than that!
Bettyjane Bettyjane 9 years
There is no "right price". It depends, like others have said, on your financial situation. How many people are coming? What state are getting married in? There are so many factors. As far as my own wedding, my fiance and I have so far spent upwards of $200,000. But again it depends on your situation.
leastofthese leastofthese 9 years
My first was going to run 200 gs, BUT i had 15 attendants on each side, two ring bearers and 4 flower girls.....my last one was under 3000 and was more beautiful and meaningful then the first one was so money isnt what makes a marriage, you do what you can with what you have and decide if you want a day or a life....
VastAspiration VastAspiration 9 years
It depends on who is paying for it. If the parents are paying for most then that's a different story.
nals33 nals33 9 years
To me, $1-$5k is alot. But, then again, I'm not the type of person to invite everyone to my wedding. It'll be a personal event..with close family & friends because I'm that type of person. I can't see myself spending more than $3k on my wedding..I do not want to start out my new life with my husband in debt..that's for sure.
shopgirl123 shopgirl123 9 years
i agree lexichloe... good point! whoah i went to the website with the areacode thing n my area is in the 89K price range... wholy smokes!!
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
I would have never had an expensive wedding. By expensive, I mean 10,000 and up. Save the money and go on a fabulous honeymoon. Either that, or feed a bunch of relative strangers filet mignon...the choice is yours. :)
workin9to5 workin9to5 9 years
It's so funny, many people would consider 30-40k to be frugal for a wedding. It just depends on your perspective. You can be a very non-frills person and still spend more than 30k. If you, your fiance, and your families want to have a celebration with the people you love, and you have large families and groups of close friends (I'm not talking every acquaintance or coworker, I mean real close people in your lives), then you want to spend more money to make them all a part of your day. It doesn't mean you are a wasteful person. I can understand some people don't want to spend that much. But I also understand why people do, and it's not about designer gowns and over-the-top events.
jennythereader jennythereader 9 years
I think my husband and I spent about $1000 on our not-a-wedding. It might have been a little higher, but definitely no more than $2000.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I am *so* glad I'm not getting married these days. We had the ceremony in a nice venue--the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA--but had the reception at a mid-sized, established neighborhood restaurant closer to home. Guests had about a 30-minute drive between places, but I don't think that's too unreasonable. We attended two "budget" weddings in May. One was at a local facility similar to a VFW hall, owned by friends of the bride. It was a first wedding for both, who are in their 40s. Both the ceremony and reception were in the same location. There was a (very reasonable) cash bar during the reception and food was tasty and generous Mexican food catered and served out of the hall's kitchen serving window. My friend, the bride, is a physician's assistant in OB-GYN and the officiating clergy was a patient. There were two photographers, avid amateurs but not professional, both family friends (including my husband) and therefore services were free. DH is giving them one DVD of photos in RAW format, and two in JPG and TIFF, so they can print whatever they want. The DJ was a gift from another friend. IIRC her dress was around $200-$300. I think there were 60 - 75 attending, I'm sure their final cost was under $5,000, and the casualness made it all that much more fun. Everyone seemed to have a good time, even the bride's mother and stepmother (the divorce was decades ago) were dancing together. All in all, a textbook budget wedding with enough happy tears for everyone! The other was a friend of my husband's. He was the designated photographer for them, too, and gifted them his services. It was at a ranch owned by the groom's family. It was a bit "country" but not quite a "redneck wedding" (as seen in frightening detail on CMT). There was a rifle range on the grounds, adjacent to where the reception was held! The ceremony was outdoors, and the reception was in an open but covered pavilion. Food was buffet-style barbecue with soft drinks and champagne for toasting. (Although, after the drive in--the last 20 miles were a two-lane mountain "highway" near Lake Elsinore, California, and the final 2.5 or 3 miles were twisting dirt roads, marked only by the signs the groom posted that morning--I could have used a good stiff drink!) I don't know prices, but it was certainly reasonable. And it was lovely and romantic, very individual, and the minister was a hoot. Sorry to ramble on, just wanted to prove that you don't have to have a "platinum" wedding!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
bellaressa so true. I couldn't fathom spending that kind of money for one day. But then again I like simple things and I'm not a frills sort of girl.
emalove emalove 9 years
I guess it depends on what you can afford and what you want for your day...every couple is in a different financial situation too. I really have no idea how much mine cost all together, but it was definitely somewhere in the $20,000-$30,000 range. My parents paid for our wedding and they had the means to give us a really nice day. Everything is so expensive! I don't think a lot of people realize how much things cost until you're actually planning the wedding and seeing that EVERY little detail has a price. It's craziness! The photography costs were what really blew me away...well worth it, but I definitely wasn't expecting it.
Jesi_Oh Jesi_Oh 9 years
ARE YOU SERIOUS! Sorry, I just reaslied you mean tens of thousands of US DOLLARS is averahe and reasonable! Good for you if you can afford it etc but the wedding is just the start of the marriage and I think that's where the money should go. If you want a cookie cutter wedding with all the cliche's I can see how you would spend that much but I really can't understand it. I'm well under budget for my 8K (Aust $'s) wedding including a Loooong honeymoon and I thought I was splurging. Can't wait to tell my husband what a frugal fiancee I am :-)
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I think it all depends on what you want and what you can afford. i do think there is a point where no matter how much you can afford it's just too much. I also think it's sad that people feel that they have to do more to impress others or to compete. Weddings are not a market they are supposed to be a celebration of love and a new beginning together. I just got married and we saved up for a year for our wedding. It was the most beautiful day and we didn't spend ourselves into oblivion. Everyone had a blast and it was totally our own.
michlny michlny 9 years
not that it's reasonable - but clearly you all don't live in NYC - where weddings top $100K :O
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
a wedding certainly shouldn't be more than a standard down payment on a house. but honestly, spending more than a normal family vacation is going overboard to me. you can guess my wedding will be simple and small.
cat1121 cat1121 9 years
Whatever you spend should be exactly what you can afford. No going into debt for a wedding. EVER. That being said, it costs more to get married in NYC than Athol Idaho. I think more than 30K (maybe I picked that number because its the average) is a waste. There are people starving around the world. Make a donation to Heifer.org or something. Its kind of nauseating. My wedding is not about a show. Its about my commitment to another human being. It might be 10K.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
It's such an industry! I've cut so many things in the budget and we're looking at 30K! Ugh! The sites that we like don't allow non-catered foods, family contributions or even costco are out of the question. Any advice? No favors at our wedding, cutting the flower budget, cutting the booze budget,... And I hate Wedding Mags. All they do is tell you to spend more money! I have two that someone gave me and I'm not purchasing any!
brandiboop brandiboop 9 years
I agree with GinaSnyder. It depends on what your goals and expectations are. I would rather get a house and have a great honeymoon over a grand wedding. It also depends on your financial situation. Weddings are big business, and sometimes I think what they 'say' is average cost is outrageous! Many times couples aren't getting any help from their families. You know? That effects the cost as well. (I can definately relate with that!)I think is best to be realistic.
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