Average Cost of a Wedding in The US

The numbers are still being crunched for this year, but the average cost of a wedding in the US is $28,000, not including the honeymoon or engagement ring. Here is a breakdown of how that price is divided, and what to expect when you begin to plan your wedding budget.

Average wedding size: 149 guests

Engagement ring: Before you can plan a wedding, you have to get engaged. This customarily involves a serious piece of jewelry. That old “two months’ salary” adage certainly depends on your salary, but the average cost for a diamond engagement ring is $6,000. Wedding bands cost an average of $1,000 each.

Wedding stationery & postage: Save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, return postage for RSVP cards, thank-you notes and wedding programs… Weddings involve a lot of paper. Average cost: $650-850.

C: The average bride spends $1,200 on her wedding gown. This does not include accessories, such as a veil, hair accessories, wedding shoes or jewelry, which can add up to another $500-$600.

Professional bridal hairstyle: This is another budget item that varies greatly by location, as well as depending on the complexity of the hairdo, but a bride can expect to spend between $150-400 on her wedding day hairstyle, not including tip.

Groom’s tux: If you’re just renting your tuxedo for the day, expect to pay around $150. If you want to invest in your own tuxedo, the average cost is $800, not including shirt, cufflinks, etc.

Ceremony venue: A church ceremony carries an average cost of $500. Venues such as outdoor pavilions or parks tend to cost less, while sites like a museum, winery, or hotel may cost upwards of $5,000 So on.

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Small Economies for Your Wedding

By cutting a few corners here and there, you can save extra money while still having the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. A beautiful wedding need not equal “big bucks.” The following text offers suggestions for the budget-friendly wedding!

First of all–get the dress of your dreams. Otherwise, whenever you thumb through your wedding album you’ll be reminded of the dress you wanted instead of the inexpensive one you settled for. But, while you splurge in the dress department, consider ways to lessen that photographer’s bill! For instance, invite your photographer to the church for professional portraits, but ask a talented friend to cover the reception (as your wedding present!). Likewise, ask for disposable cameras for your wedding shower to be used at the reception by your guests. Finally, ask a trusted family member to do the taping of vows and big moments in the wedding.

Make your own invitations! No, nothing tacky with dollar store ribbon. You can actually make a more stunning invitation than those typical embossed bell invites your parents purchased. Buy several sheets of handmade paper for your background and attach some vellum printed with your particulars. Spurge for some silk ribbon in your colors and you have an instant heirloom at half the cost.

When it comes to flowers, you can really sink lots of money. Instead of the traditional florist, visit local nurseries or garden centers. Often they have talented staff who specialize in bouquets and flower arrangements. Or, splurge for the bridal bouquet and give your bridesmaids a single bloom to carry. If you have a few months to spare before the wedding, get together with the girls for evenings of beading flowers–beads are cheap, but beading them into blooms is a labor of love–stunning and original too!

Make your own centerpieces. Shop the flea market for a hodgepodge of vases to suit your style. Then ask your mother or mother-in-law to be to hit the grocery store the night before for a portion of their stock (as cheap as $3.00 per bouquet). Then she can arrange the flowers to her taste in your vases.

When hall shopping, consider alternative settings for your reception. If you can do without the pat crystal chandeliers, consider church halls, town halls, high school gyms, community halls, forest preserves or some other special place that doesn’t specialize in weddings, but may allow you to add your own decorations.

Finally, consider some of the following as well: ask a friend to do your hair and makeup, make your own bridal veil, make your own wedding favors, forget the cliché limo rental, and have a backyard barbecue for your rehearsal dinner.