Get The Latest Updates On New Arrivals, Sales + Promotions
2023 Average Wedding Costs [And 42 Tips On How To Reduce Them]
Wedding planning can be an exciting but expensive experience. From venue rental to catering, there are many expenses to consider. The good news is that there are ways to save money on each aspect of the wedding without sacrificing quality or style. By following tips and being creative, couples can have their dream wedding while still staying within budget.
The average cost of a wedding in 2023 can vary greatly depending on various factors such as location, number of guests, vendor quality, type of venue, and extent of services included. On average, a wedding in the US can cost anywhere between $25,000 and $75,000.
Here are some very rough 2023 wedding cost estimates based on national US averages in 14 of the biggest wedding categories:
- Venue rental: $5,000 to $20,000
- Catering and bar service: $70 to $150 per person
- Wedding attire: $1,500 to $3,000
- Flowers and decorations: $2,500 to $7,500
- Photography and videography: $2,500 to $5,000
- Music and entertainment: $1,500 to $5,000
- Wedding planner or coordinator: $2,500 to $5,000
- Stationery (invitations, programs, signage): $500 to $2,000
- Transportation and parking: $500 to $1,500
- Wedding favors and gifts: $500 to $1,500
- Cake: $500 to $1,500
- Hair and makeup: $500 to $1,500
- Rings: $1,000 to $5,000
- Miscellaneous expenses (lighting, rentals, insurance, etc.): $1,000 to $3,000
Note: These are rough estimates and the actual costs may vary based on the specific wedding, location, and demand for specific vendor services.
How do I reduce my wedding costs but not sacrifice too much?
THe biggest way to save money on wedding costs is to prioritize your spending. Focus on the aspects that are most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly. Be open to unconventional options and think outside the box to find cost-saving solutions. By being mindful of your spending and utilizing the money saving tips above, you can have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
Here are money saving tips for each of the biggest 14 wedding cost categories above:
- Consider an off-peak season or weekday wedding
- Look for a venue that includes setup and cleanup services
- Consider an outdoor venue that doesn't require as much decoration.
Catering and bar service:
- Choose a venue that allows you to bring in your own catering
- Offer a limited bar selection
- Have a brunch or lunch reception instead of a dinner reception.
- Rent the groom's suit and bridesmaid dresses
- Look for sales and discounts at bridal shops
- Consider buying a preowned wedding dress.
Flowers and decorations:
- Use in-season, locally grown flowers
- Make your own centerpieces and other decorations
- Use simple, elegant decor instead of elaborate arrangements.
Photography and videography:
- Hire a photographer or videographer who is just starting out
- Consider having a friend or family member take the photos
- Limit the number of hours of coverage you need.
Music and entertainment:
- Have a DJ instead of a live band
- Use a digital playlist for music
- Have a friend or family member perform.
Wedding planner or coordinator:
- Plan the wedding yourself
- Hire a day-of coordinator
- Use a wedding planning app or website.
Stationery (invitations, programs, signage):
- Use an online invitation service
- Make your own invitations
- Keep the design simple and elegant.
Transportation and parking:
- Have the ceremony and reception at the same venue
- Use public transportation
- Provide shuttle service from a central location.
Wedding favors and gifts:
- Make your own favors
- Choose useful or consumable favors
- Consider giving a donation to a favorite charity in lieu of favors.
- Choose a simple design
- Have a smaller cake for cutting and serve cupcakes or a dessert buffet
- Make the cake yourself or have a family member do it.
Hair and makeup:
- Have hair and makeup done professionally, but at a salon instead of a bridal boutique
- Have a friend or family member do the hair and makeup
- Consider having a trial run a few months before the wedding.
- Choose a simple, classic design
- Consider alternative metals or gemstones
- Buy the rings online or from a discount jeweler.
Miscellaneous expenses (lighting, rentals, insurance, etc.):
- Rent decorations and equipment instead of buying
- Use natural lighting instead of expensive lighting rentals
- Purchase wedding insurance to protect against unforeseen events.
Note: These are general tips and the best approach for saving money will depend on the specific wedding and budget.
The amount a couple can save on their wedding by following the tips above can vary greatly depending on the specific wedding and their budget. However, as a rough estimate, following these tips could potentially save a couple several thousands of dollars. On average, a wedding in the US costs around $30,000, so by following these tips, a couple could potentially save anywhere from 10-50% of their total wedding budget. The exact amount will depend on their choices and the extent to which they are able to follow these tips, but the potential for significant savings is there.
A wedding is a special occasion that deserves to be celebrated, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By being mindful of costs, making smart choices, and utilizing some cost-saving tips, couples can have the wedding of their dreams while still sticking to their budget. Whether it's by choosing an off-peak season, limiting the number of hours of coverage needed, or making your own decorations, there are many ways to save money on a wedding. With careful planning and consideration, couples can have a beautiful, memorable wedding without breaking the bank.