Average Cost of a Wedding

Average Cost of a Wedding

Job security is iffy at best. The cost of gasoline is stranding many wannabe travelers. Food costs are putting the dietary squeeze on many dinner tables. Skyrocketing healthcare and prescription prices are forcing many people to do without.

All in all, the economic outlook for our country seems a little bleak at the moment but you’d never know that if there’s a wedding in your near future. American sweethearts everywhere seem to be oblivious to the financial woes all around them while focusing on the wedding of their dreams.

According to one very popular website that focuses entirely on weddings, a recent survey revealed the average cost of a wedding in the United States today is running about $27,800, when 150 guests are invited to the celebration. The website suggests this is a number lower than should be expected.

As with the cost of anything, the average cost of a wedding is heavily influenced by the location of the wedding. Large cities just cost more, even for weddings held in them. If yours is to be in a city, don’t be broken hearted when the cost of your wedding soars above the average.

Perhaps the reason for the higher average cost of a wedding in large urban areas is the profusion of wedding-related vendors, services, and venues that tempt perspective newlyweds into a lavish display of their love. Many of the amenities that entice in the city are just not available in the countryside and smaller cities and towns.

One way to work through the average cost of a wedding without deciding to save big bucks and elope instead is to determine as far in advance as possible what the wedding budget will be. Tradition has the bride’s family contributing some expense to the festivities and the groom’s family contributing others. These ritualistic lines have become blurred in recent years. Today, 37% of betrothed couples say they, too, will be contributing to the cost of the wedding.

Even when a budgeted bottom line has been targeted, how do you know you are in keeping with the average cost of a wedding on a per-item basis? Consider allocating your wedding money along these guidelines:

  • 48% to 50% of the budget will be needed for the wedding reception
  • 2% to 3% goes to the ceremony itself
  • 8% to 10% goes the brideďż˝s dress, groom’s tuxedo, and any other wardrobe necessities
  • 8% to 10% for flowers
  • 8% to 10% for music and other entertainment
  • 10% to 12% for wedding photography and videography expenses
  • 2% to 3% for stationery such as invitations, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes
  • 2% to 3% for the rings
  • 2% to 3% for parking and transportation for the newlyweds and their guests
  • 2% to 3% for gifts for the wedding party
  • 8% should be left over for unexpected and miscellaneous expenses

Many wedding planners highly recommend adding another 5% to the budget as an emergency fund, allocated to relieve any stress caused by last-minute omissions, errors, or snafus of any kind.


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