How much is the avg cost of a wedding?

I'm in finance and my FI profession is nothing to do with numbers. We have a tight budget for our wedding. Every day I open and take a look at my wedding budget spreadsheet and figure out ways I can do some cost savings while my FI doesn't really care about the cost and cost savings. We are both paying for the wedding ourselves since my dad has offerred to pay a portion of it (it's not right to take his money cause both of us are currently working and my dad is retired).

What is the average cost of a wedding these days?
Fill free to chime in.
According to my spreadsheet - Ours is an avg between high 30K to low 40K ~ for a party size of 250.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:30 am
cin803
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cin803

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(36) Comments

iklein
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07/26/2008
iklein

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iklein

we have about 200 and we are spendin between 40 and 50k

p.s. we are planning on the cheap side. ( nothing extravagant)
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:31 am
TheChicBride
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TheChicBride

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I think it depends on where you live. For example I live in Central California and prices are a bit cheaper than say the Bay Area.

I think 40k to 50k sounds right for a wedding of 250.

You can also save a lot if you are crafty. You can do a lot od DIY projects
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:34 am
iklein
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07/26/2008
iklein

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i shouls have mentioned my wedding is in s.f.
plus my cousin is in this business and she has all the vendor discounts. if you want to cut downt he cost, cut down the invite list. thats what i noticed.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:35 am
married2mrwright
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09/29/2007
married2mrwright

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married2mrwright

The average American wedding around $30K, and of course, in major metropolitan areas is probably closer to $50K. That said, you can definitely do it for a lot cheaper...in fact I am building a business on planning events (including weddings) in the SF Bay Area for people who want a fantastic party but don't want to break the bank.

It's called La Divina Events and I am in the process of launching my website this month, but for now, you can check out my blog: http://ladivinaevents.blogspot.com/

I am currently working with a Spring 2008 bride who will be married in San Jose and has a budget of $10K. In 2007 I planned my own DW in Hawaii for about $13K which included 12 days in Hawaii (airfare, accomodations, car rental, etc.) as well as assisted another bride with her $6K DW in Montana for 300 guests. None of these events looked or felt low budget.

The three biggest factors in cost...the number of guests, the size of the bridal party and the time of year/date. If you can negotiate on any or all of those areas you can save thousands of dollars.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:36 am
redluv
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05/08/2008
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Mine is probably no more than 15K, and I live in the OC! (approx. 160 guests) We just cut costs where we could, but still whave a beautiful ceremony and reception.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:38 am
pinkgerbers
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07/26/2008
pinkgerbers

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Mine is 25K for 125 guests in the south bay. I have done a lot of DIY and am cutting costs whenever possible without compromising style.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:41 am
cin803
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05/17/2008
cin803

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My wedding will be in the East Bay (San Ramon). Within my budget I have already incorporated some DIY projects. =( As for the guestlist, it will be tough to cut it down because of the family and friends size that FI and I have.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:42 am
champagnecholly
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09/19/2008
champagnecholly

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Lori - you are such an inspiration! That's a great idea, I thought about doing something like that on the East coast- if you want a bi-coastal biz, you let me know!! I used to be on Wall Street, we could make this happen!

I think people read magazines that tell them how much to spend and go from there. In reality if you shop around there are a lot of talented vendors who could do things for a LOT less. Make them fight for your business! I'm doing a DW for 60 for $14k. We are splurging quite a bit with events all weekend which is what brought to total up. For the one evening alone it would be around $10k.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:52 am
ShopGirl
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04/26/2008
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I know how you feel, FI and I are pretty much paying our own wedding as well and it's even tougher since we just bought a new house.

We originally had a guest count of 260 for our wedding in LA now it's increasing to about 280 and our budget is no more than $45K. At this rate i'm pretty sure in the end we'll be spending closer to $50K a little more than planned with all the tips and extras that will add up.

I'm sure some of the money will be replenished from the monetary wedding gifts :)
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 8:57 am
moemarsita
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07/06/2008
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Ours is in the East Bay (Pleasanton) and we're trying to keep it at $25K for 150. So far we're under budget! The bulk of the budget is going towards food/venue. I read a great book about negotiating for what you want, instead of settling for a lesser version. Also, I try to keep a level head about it all -- the wedding industry is exactly that, an industry. Behind those beautiful photos and glossy magazines are people wanting your money, not your best wishes for a happy future together.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 9:04 am
TheChicBride
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Mine is costing 10k for 16 people. I know 10k sounds extreme for only 16 people, but we want this vow renewal to be beautiful and memorable. :0)
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 9:07 am
kittnmouse
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08/29/2007
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30-40 is about right...

my wedding is about 150 and it'll end up costing about 28k. That's including a full bar though. we're supposedly on a budget, however could've had a much cheaper wedding had my FI's side been more flexible with the time of year we got married. that's really key - picking a date that's off peak season.

i'm doing quite a bit of DIY. the biggest cost cutter will be doing my own invitations and centerpieces. LA has a wholesale flower district, so the cost will be a difference of $300 (that includes vases) to do it myself or $800-$1000 for a florist to do it (and that's on the cheap end).

oh well. like partygirl says, i'm hoping to get monetary wedding gifts to help ease the blow.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 10:18 am
smilkova
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05/31/2008
smilkova

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To answer the original question, our wedding is for 120 in the East Bay (Berkeley-Oakland) and our budget is around $25-$30K. The items that cost the most for us are food, photographer, flowers.

Lori and Champagne - you guys are an inspiration! I admire your resourcefulness, creativity, and drive! You've given me many ideas on Project Wedding! Lori, I might need a Day Of Coordinator/Planner for my wedding on May 31 in Berkeley :) :)
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 10:20 am
its.nicsknack
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08/31/2008
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I'm really big on DIY. Especially becasue we're trying to keep things below 20k. Really the goal is $15k but the guest list has expanded a bit. We're in the just north of San Francisco with about 150-170 guests. Just as PP's mentioned, your area, time of day, time of year, and guest count are big factors in the cost.

Loridecter: I'm so glad to see that you're putting your talents to such great use. Great blog...thanks for sharing. I wish you the best of luck with your new business!
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 10:53 am
caribear
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05/18/2008
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Our guest list is at 110 and our budget is $22k-$25k in the San Fernando Valley (LA area). We are having an open bar as that was the only big requirement of FI. I am also doing some DIY projects, such as invites and table runners, to try to help alleviate costs. We picked a venue that is beautiful and recently renovated, so we don't need alot of extras, which has been a big help!
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 1:03 pm
cin803
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cin803

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cin803

Me too - I'm hoping that the monetary gifts will cover some of my cost. 6 months ago, FI and I bought our new home. So we are totally juggling between cost for the wedding and a new mortgage payment.

Within my budget - I factored in my honeymoon budget at $3K. I gave this to my FI to plan this category. Even though I set a budget aside, I told him to keep the honeymoon under $1K. =) So we are doing a 4 day relaxing trip to Cambria. I know it's not the ideal honeymoon but FI and I are going on a lot of mini trips this year.
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm
married2mrwright
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09/29/2007
married2mrwright

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Thanks ChampagnechollY! And congrats on your plans...we also splurge on some things, our BIG DAY (the wedding itself) cost us about $6K.

And if I ever get the nerve to try to go bi-coastal with the biz, I will definitely keep you in mind! LOL

I agree...the bridal business, in general, if very predatory and very good and preying on people's emotions to the tune of billions of dollars. For many years I have planned wonderful events and helped friends and family do the same, that have always been chic and classy, but definitely budget friendly. Honestly, I don't think I'd know what to do with an unlimited budget because part of the thrill for me is making something fabulous with little money! And that's what I offer my clients...my fees are priced MUCH lower than most because I want to work with brides and grooms on a tight budget. So mine will be a volume game...more events for a little less money, rather than one, huge, mega money event every so often.

Anyway, for any of you SF Bay Brides looking for a planner or partial planning services or even DOC, send me an email. I would love to work with you! ladivinaevents [at] yahoo [dot] com
Website is to launch very soon!
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 3:34 pm
Ms.Sumomo
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06/24/2007
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I think your budget is about right.

A friend of mine got married last July 2007. Her wedding was about 250 people and the total cost of her wedding... about $40K. Total monetary gifts she received...$15K.

She didn't really do any DIY but received a lot of presents such as wedding cake, wedding gown, tux and they didn't pay for the wedding party outfits so that kept her total cost down a little bit.

The things that made her her total cost on the high sides are 5 piece band and she used calla lilies for her flowers that affected her budget, since there were 12BMs, 12GMs, 3 junior BMs, 3 junior GMs, 2 flower girls, 14 godmothers, 14 godfathers, 1 ring bearer, 1 bible and 1 coin..so her flowers cost was on the high side.

Ours is about 50-60 people. Our budget is $15K, right now we're at $12K. Hopefully, no more than $13K. We kept our guests list small so we can splurge on other areas but that didn't stop me from bargaining with all my vendors:-)

HTH
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 4:33 pm
catandmark
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08/15/2008
catandmark

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I was convinced I'd be able to pull off a wedding for 150 for less than 20K. That was about 5 months ago and now we've reached the 40K point! AAAaaahhh! It's all based on what you're willing to sacrifice...

In the end I guess I really DIDN'T need a photobooth...
I DIDN'T need to upgrade the linen...
I DIDN'T need that extra tier or rolled fondant on the cake...

Yes, I didn't really NEED all that crap, but it sure as hell is NICE to have =)
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 5:35 pm
MrsGG
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08/02/2008
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LOL! This post cracks me up! I can so relate!

We originally wanted a small wedding of up to 50-75 guests and a small wedding party of just 2 BMs (my sisters). Our original budget was $12k.

3 weeks later our guest list is at 120 people. I'm hoping the distant relatives that I've never met from out of town won't be able to make it so I can keep the guest list down. I know that's terrible but the truth is I'm paying for the wedding. My FI is in law school full time AKA not working and I'm one of three girls. Very little help from my parents and some help from FIs parents (which is awesome!). And just like Ms. Sumomo I tried bargaining like crazy but I usually just caved. hahah! Ah well!

I'm trying DIY projects like the invites and all the paper but frankly I'm not a crafty girl. We'll see what kind of disaster I come up with!
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 6:02 pm
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