Your wedding is a big deal. Most girls have dreamed about it since they were little. TV, movies, and magazines have given us this picture in our head that weddings should be extravagant and over the top. But they also aren't paying for our weddings. In reality we have to be smart about spending money for our wedding. You may be one of the lucky ones who has their parents paying for it all. More and more though, we see that couples are doing it on their own.
I had wrote a blog the beginning of March called Forgotten Wedding Expenses. I wrote about the small details that are often forgotten about when budgeting for your wedding or the details that add up in the long run. The Cost of Wedding says “The average cost of a wedding is $25,764. Couples, on average, spend between $19,323 and $32,205, but most couples spend less than $10,000.” The Knot says that in 2016 the average was $35,329. They also stated, "This is actually the first time we've seen a dip in the average cost per wedding compared to the previous year with the cost being $33,391 in 2017.
1. Expensive Floral Arrangements
The cost of floral arrangements will vary based on the type of flower, the number you need, and whether or not they are in season. Caytlyn McCloskey, who ownsSea Lily Malibu in California, presented in an article by Brides the range that couples can expect certain floral arrangements used in a wedding to cost:
2. A Huge Guest List
My previous blog post, Tips On Making Your Wedding Guest List, will help you minimize the number of guests you invite. You have to remember that everyone you invite is also a price tag. While you want to invite everyone, sometimes your budget just won't allow it, your venue also may not allow for it. The average cost of each guest varies state by state. A website called Value Penguin reported in 2017 the state with the lowest average cost per guest was Mississippi at $91 and the state with the highest average cost per guest was New York (Manhattan) at $630 ?, I understand New York is an expensive place but wow! I live in Indiana and the average cost per guest is $137. It's definitely not a crazy stupid high number like New York, but it still is up there for my liking! If you invite 140 (average number of guests nationwide) people and they all come, attend the reception, eat and drink you are looking at $19,129 just for guests! You haven't even seen the cost of a photographer, the dress, or anything else!! You also have to factor in the type of food you will be having and how much the caterer will cost.
3. The Wedding Gown
After you have gotten engaged you start looking at the bridal magazines and there are so many gorgeous dresses, then you look at the price, that slight moment of telling yourself you have to have it suddenly is a thing of the past. Remember that you only wear your wedding gown for a short amount of time. The Knot did a study on wedding costs in 2016. The average price of a wedding gown in the US was $1,564. I'll be honest, I was expecting a higher number, but it's still a pretty high number. We can't forget the accessories either. The average cost for accessories, which include the veil, lingerie, and shoes is $301.
There are so many other routes to go when purchasing your wedding gown. There are consignment shops, consignment bridal stores, and even Facebook where you can find women selling their gowns. Also, bridal stores will have big sales in the winter and summer to make room for the next seasons new wedding gowns.
4. Sub-Par Photographers and Videographers
If you are going to pay a lot of money, this is where you want to spend it. The photographer and videographer are the ones that are going to capture all of the memories from your day. You do not want to hire a photographer or videographer that does not know what they are doing for this very critical task. Being a wedding photographer I hear it all the time, "that is crazy that is costs so much for a photographer". 7 years ago when I hired my photographer for my wedding I was a bit blown away by the price I was quoted for my photographer. After becoming a photographer and doing everything that is involved I now know why wedding photography is priced the way it is.
The average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,814. Unbelievable, right? Actually no. I can speak for all wedding photographers when I say that we do more than just take pictures. There is so much behind the scenes work that no one sees. You are paying for our time for being at the wedding, our editing time, our equipment, the list goes on. But the $2,814 isn't even the highest. In San Francisco the cost is $3,931. And in Salt Lake City the lowest is $2,215. So...all those who think I'm too expensive, maybe you should rethink that...? .
5. An Expensive Wedding Cake
I am actually guilty of this, but I'm also divorced, lol. It looks pretty for maybe a couple of hours and then it's demolished. That or the couple will have a ton of cake to take home. Depending on what you are wanting and how many guests you are looking to feed will determine the cost. So the cost, again, will vary. If you haven't seen the pattern yet, the more guests you have is going to make the cost go up. Bakers determine the cost of a wedding cake by the number of slices. Cost Helper says that the low price for a slice is $1.50, the medium price is $5-$6, and the highest price is $10 and up. According to the Bridal Association of America the average cost for a wedding cake is $543. That doesn't include the cost of delivering the cake. The delivery charges can be between $50 to $100 and up. And that still may not be all of the charges. Some venues charge a cake cutting fee. A cake cutting fee is a fee charged by the reception venue for using an outside establishment and not the reception venues in house pastry chef. The average cost is an additional $1.50 or higher per slice.
6. Programs & Invitations
While it's nice to have a list of order of events for your wedding guests and the names of everyone involved in your wedding, it's simply just not necessary. Think about the last time you went to a wedding. Did you keep the program or throw it away after? You probably didn't save it and most people have no reason to. If you must have them, try going the DIY route.
Invitations are another thing to not waste your money on. When I say this I don't mean you don't need them. I just mean you don't have to purchase the most extravagant looking ones. The Bridal Association of America says that the average cost is $659 for invitations. Because there are so many options when choosing invitations that number can be lowered drastically and it can also jump drastically. Wedding invitations per piece can range between $1 and $10. So if you are sending out a 100 invitations and you are on the low end you will be spending $100. If you are on the high end, you will be spending $1,000. And don't forget about the postage!
With all that being said, you don't have to go without any of these at your wedding, you just need to do your research and take your time when putting money into any of these areas.
How did you save money for your wedding? I would love to hear your tricks and tips on saving money for your wedding!