How much is the average wedding?

Jennifer's Terrace


June 9, 2018

Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable days of your life. Unfortunately, paying for the wedding can be a cause of financial strain or stress thanks to the high price tag that often comes along with it. Although the average cost of a wedding is still high, couples are focusing more on having personalized weddings rather than formal black tie affairs.

Average Wedding Cost: $33,391.

As you are planning your wedding and getting that budget prepared, you might be shocked by the fact that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is equal to a brand-new car or a substantial down payment on a house.

According to a recent study conducted by, the average wedding cost in 2017 was $33,391, which is down from 2016's average cost of $35,329, and an increase from $32,641 in 2015 and $29,858 in 2013. These costs don't include honeymoon expenses, which could add several thousand dollars to the final price. Despite the high cost for weddings, however, couples are inviting fewer guests. This seems to be a matter of providing guests with a better experience, rather than a way to cut costs. The average guest head count has decreased from previous years, but the average cost per guest has reached an all-time high at $268, up from $194 in 2009.

In all actuality a wedding doesn't need to cost anywhere near $33,391. A couple can cut wedding costs and still celebrate their happy day with flair. You can have a low-cost wedding and get married in a courthouse. You might be able to have one for as low as around $30 or upwards of $100 depending on which courthouse you go to (it's OK to shop around).

How much does a typical wedding cost?

The average cost of a wedding is estimated in the tens of thousands. Here's a look at the standard costs that couples incur, according to The Knot.

Wedding Costs Breakdown

• Wedding invitations – $408

• Photographer – $2,630

• Wedding dress – $1,509

• Groom's attire – $286

• Flowers and decor – $2,379

• Venue – $15,163

• DJ – $1,231

• Catering – $70 per person

• Favors – $252

• Wedding cake – $540

Source: The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study.

Other Wedding Costs to Consider

Other items mentioned in the list, but not required for a wedding, include: transportation, a videographer, hair and makeup artist, rehearsal dinner, a reception band and ceremony musicians. Some people prefer to hire a professional wedding planner to handle the details of the event. When you factor in a wedding planner, your total will go up by another $1,988 on average.

A typical wedding incorporates an extensive range of costs, depending on your preferences. Just sticking to the low end of expenses, however, can get you a nice wedding that includes a lot of the major elements that are most important to you. And that's what it comes down to when you're budgeting: What is most important to you on your wedding day? Cut what is less important and stick to the few things that you'll want to remember forever, whether it's the music, the photos or the food.

The first step in preparing for your wedding is actually setting up a wedding budget based on the number of people you plan to invite and the money you and your partner can save. The wedding budget should list must-haves along with a separate section for nice-to-have options - components that can be easily eliminated if they don't fit within your budget.

Next, call around to price everything from venues for the reception to the cake and flowers. By acquiring estimates, you can quickly determine what's not necessary for your wedding.

Use a DJ instead of a live band. To cut costs more, use an iPod or laptop with your favorite music loaded on to it and plug into the venue's speaker system or rent the equipment.

Have your bridesmaids do each other's hair and makeup. It would be so fun to have a makeup party!

Call Jennifer's Terrace to speak with their event coordinator at (661) 822-5808 to set up a tour and receive some extra tips on how to reduce your event budget.


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