Once I got engaged, I knew that I needed to make a budget for my wedding because I was known to daydream about my wedding sparing no expense. After a quick pep talk with my mom and dad, we discussed my wedding budget. Honestly, I didn't want the whole expense of my wedding to fall on my parents' shoulders, especially since weddings in this day and age are getting more and more expensive. Fortunately, we and our two families all chipped in to give us the wedding of our dreams. Here is a basic breakdown of the major costs of planning a wedding here in the U.S.
Facts and Figures
- Most couples are waiting a bit longer to get married. The average age for a bride now is between 25 and 29 years old. For the groom, it's between 27 and 31.
- The most popular month for someone to pop the question is December. But when it comes to the actual big day, most brides and grooms choose a warmer month. June and October are the most popular months for weddings, while August and September follow closely behind.
- Ninety-nine percent of all newlywed couples take a honeymoon, and close to three-quarters of those couples stay within the U.S. Popular honeymoon destinations within the 50 states include Hawaii, Florida, California, and Nevada. For those who choose to go outside the country, popular destinations include the Bahamas, St. Lucia, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Italy, and France. The average honeymoon lasts between seven and nine days.
- The average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen for weddings nowadays is five of each. There are an average of 23 million bridesmaids and groomsmen in weddings every year.
- The average length of time that a couple is engaged before their wedding day is 14 months.
- One fifth to almost a quarter of all weddings are destination weddings.
- The wedding gown is one of the larger expenses for the wedding day. While the purchase of a wedding gown will cost an average of $1,200 to $1,500, there are also alterations and preservation to think about. Alterations can average the bride around $250, while dress preservation can cost almost $275. About a fifth of all wedding gowns purchased in the U.S. are purchased at David's Bridal.
- On the flip side, the average cost of renting the groom's tuxedo is between $150 and almost $250. Designer tuxes will cost several hundreds of dollars more. When a groom rents his tuxedo, it usually includes his pants, his coat, his shirt, his vest, his tie, and his cufflinks as well.
- The average amount spent on the engagement ring is close to $6,000. The bride's and the groom's wedding bands are usually a purchase that is made together, separate from her engagement ring, although some wedding band styles have a matching engagement ring. The engaged couple spends an average of $1,000 to $1,500 on their wedding bands, an investment that will last a lifetime.
- You'll see flowers and other lovely décor at any wedding. The average spent on flowers for the wedding day, including the ceremony and reception, is between $2,200 and $2,300.
- The average a couple spends on photography for their wedding day is around $2,600.
- There are a few choices the couple needs to make when it comes to reception entertainment. The music for the wedding ceremony is usually a separate cost, but they will also have to pay for either a DJ or a band for their reception. The cheaper route would be to hire a DJ. This option will also give you the ability to choose familiar songs and artists to be played at your party. The average cost for a DJ is close to $1,200. A band will be a bit more costly, close to $4,000 for the entire reception. There are generally more people to pay when it comes to a band, after all.
- The wedding venue can be very costly as well. This expense can average around $14,000 to $15,000.
- The most costly places to get married in the U.S. are New York City and Chicago. Weddings in these areas of the country can cost a couple between $60,000 and $85,000. The most budget-friendly places to say "I do" are Alaska and South Dakota, where you'll pay an average of $17,000 and $19,000 for your special day.