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What Does a Wedding Cost?

Your wedding budget is something that is personal and needs to be considered from a variety of angles before you settle on a number. What works for one couple may not even come close to covering everything for another. Not everyone has the same resources at their disposal, the same dreams, the same vision or the same ideals.

That being said, there are still averages when it comes to the overall cost, and costs that need to be allocated to different vendors.

What Does the Average Wedding Cost?

For a wedding that is going to have 200 guests, you can expect to pay between $35,000 and $60,000. Each guest over that 200 magic number will cost roughly $400 more. Some of the individual expenses include:

  • Photographer - $2,000 to $5,000

  • Videographer - $2,000 to $5,000

  • Venue - $15,000 to $50,000

  • Caterer - $12,000 to $18,000 (may be included in the venue)

  • Florist - $3,000 to $7,000

These are most of the major expenses, but there is also the DJ, hair, make-up, and the dress that can all eat into the budget.

Breaking Down the Costs

When you sit down to plan the financial aspects of your wedding, it helps to be able to assign a certain percentage of the budget to different things. No matter if you are on the high end or the low end of the average wedding budget, here is a handy list to go by:

Venue, Catering, Rentals & Cake – These should total around 50 percent of your wedding budget.

Photography & Videography – Allocate about 12 percent of your total budget to the people who will capture the moments that will become your wedding memories.

Wedding Dress, Tuxedo, Hair & Makeup – Aim for roughly 9 percent of the budget.

Flowers, Décor & Lighting – For everything to look beautiful at your wedding, allocate 8 percent of your budget.

Music at the Reception – This should account for around 7 percent of the budget.

Invitations & Stationery – Your printed products should be about 3 percent of the overall budget.

Wedding Planner – The person that helps pull it all together should receive 3 percent of your wedding budget.

Ceremony Music and Officiant – The ceremony is the reason you’re there in the first place and should get about 2 percent of the budget.

Transportation – Making sure everyone gets where they need to go safely should be 2 percent of the total budget.

Wedding Rings – Your bands should be 2 percent of the budget.

Favors & Gifts – Gifts and favors are also a nice gesture. Plan to spend about 2 percent of your total budget.

It’s no secret that the cost of a wedding is front and center in most people’s minds when they get the process started. Just remember why you are doing it in the first place, and stick to a budget that works and won’t cause too much discomfort moving forward.