wedding cost
photo credit: Dave Dugdale via photopin cc
wedding cost
photo credit: Dave Dugdale via photopin cc

The Cost of a Wedding

Before you start planning your wedding, you should know how much money you are willing to spend and the total cost of a wedding after everything is paid for and finalized. Statistics show that the average wedding in the U.S. costs between $19,000.00 and $32,000.00, but the majority of couples report actually spending just $10,000.00 or less.

Going All Out

How much the wedding will cost will depend on the services you purchase and how far in advance you purchase them. If you want to “go all out” for your wedding, purchasing designer name brand dresses and tuxedoes for your large bridal party (plus paying hairstylists, makeup artists, nail technicians, etc.), going with the most exclusive venue, inviting a large amount of people, and sending out pricy save-the-dates and invitations, your wedding costs can quickly add up to more than $45,000.00, especially in a high-profile city like San Francisco, CA, where everything already costs more. Your vision of “the perfect wedding” might include all the ingredients of a perfect movie—dazzling dresses, a live music ensemble, gourmet food—but this will all come with a hefty price tag.

Keeping it Simple

Those who want to keep it simple and stick to a modest budget can keep their wedding costs down to $10,000.00 or less, even in a city like San Francisco. This could mean keeping the guest list modest, going with an affordable venue, bride and bridesmaids doing their own hair and makeup instead of hiring professionals, keeping the flowers to a minimum, sending out handmade invitations and making handmade decorations and wedding favors, recruiting a friend to work a rented sound system with the wedding playlist on shuffle instead of hiring a DJ, and other choices that could save big bucks. Every woman wants to have a beautiful wedding, but beautiful doesn’t have to be expensive.

It’s Your Choice

Ultimately, how much your wedding will cost is up to you. There’s no one saying you absolutely need to spend hundreds of dollars on dresses, hair and makeup. You can have the wedding in a fancy hotel, which could cost thousands of dollars, or in a friend’s nice back yard, which would be free. Decide what you are willing to spend money on and where you can save, and soon you will be on your way to a happy wedding that is perfect for you.