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If you are, then you may be paying over $30,000 for your wedding.
According to The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding hits $35,329.
“We polled nearly 13,000 brides and grooms who married in 2016 for The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study and learned that they’re splurging on total personalization and creating the ultimate guest experience.”
Of course, the costs will vary based on what part of the country you live in.
“But remember, this number is still an average, which means, depending on where you choose to wed, your wedding bill could be higher or lower. Tying the knot in, say, Manhattan could cost an average of $78,464, while an Arkansas wedding will average at $19,522.
So what are factors that have made wedding costs soar?
More attention to the guest experience and reception amenities seem to be the driving forces in the higher cost of weddings. A Real Weddings survey from The Knot revealed the following averages for wedding costs, followed by the same list that we’ve made using creative ideas to lower costs for the budget-savvy bride.
The Knot – Average Wedding Costs:
Budget-Savvy Cost Savings Ideas:
- Venue: Borrow the beautiful backyard of a friend or a local botanical garden. Cost: Free.
- Photographer: Ask local friends about new photographers starting their photo career. As with any creative artist or services provider on this list, you are paying for quality and experience; however, you may just help a new photographer break into the wedding business and in exchange you may find a lower cost option or package.
- Wedding/Event Planner: Check with your wedding venue or reception site and see if they have a coordinator on site. If you are a great organizer, their services may come included for just for the day of the event. If you’re not an organizer, pay for the wedding planner!
- Reception Band: Spotify playlist.
- Reception DJ: Local colleges have students that may be great at providing DJ services. Clearly, check references and be clear about the type of music you want!
- Florist/Decor: Scale your flowers to highlight the ceremony area and bridal party table at the reception. Borrow vases and decor from friends who already have gotten married recently. Watch seasonal sales at local craft stores for great buys on centerpieces that your bridesmaids can help you put together.
- Videographer: We had a photographer and videographer. There was a problem the day of the wedding and the video never made it out of the chapel. After 26 years, we’ve survived just fine with the lovely photo album.
- Wedding Dress: Borrow from your mom or aunt; bag it online on a phenomenal clearance sale, or get it for a steal on your swap marketplace.
- Groom’s Attire: Have the guys get a nice trendy suit that can be worn for other professional events.
- Wedding Cake: So many options here if you have relatives or friends that love to bake! Do fancy cupcakes for the guests and one smaller cake for the bride and groom.
- Ceremony Site: Are you a member of a church or civic organization? Chances are you can get help with the cost or a reduced rate.
- Ceremony Musicians: While a string quartet is beautiful, a decent sound system and a Spotify playlist can do wonders (and modern weddings trend this way more and more).
- Invitations: Vistaprint. Postcards. Online only via a wedding service. So many options!
- Transportation: Ask a friend to borrow their beautiful vehicle for the day.
- Favors: Check your local chocolate maker for great favors that will be tasty and cost less than other pre-made favors. Next best friend? Pinterest.
- Rehearsal Dinner: We’ve been to rehearsal dinners at high-end Japanese restaurants, a spaghetti dinner, or pizza and wings. You can enjoy a dinner that is about the people you love and that won’t burn a bigger hole in your wallet.
- Engagement Ring: Did you know that there are statistics showing that when people spend big bucks on rings, the marriage tends to have more problems? Stay within your budget. There’s always room for simple rings in the budget of mutual love.
- Officiant: This one is not something you want to skimp on, but membership in your local church or place of worship may help lower the cost of the officiant. As with any other professional service listed on this page, their time, expertise and pre-wedding counseling adds up and should be properly compensated.
- Catering (Price per Person): Why not consider a “desserts only” reception? You can drop the cost considerably while still offering decadent food for your guests to enjoy and remember.
- Wedding Day Hair Styling: Depends on the bride – usually, this is a non-negotiable for a smooth day and a confident bride!
- Wedding Day Make-up: Wedding day make-up is one less stress for the bride; we say, “Good investment” of both time and money.
Are you allotting your wedding ceremony and reception resources like the average couple? Or are you being budget-savvy? What are ways you have found to save or splurge on your special day? Tell us below!