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Wedding Cost Breakdown-Breaking Down the Big Day, Dollar by Dollar

Picture this: You've just popped the bubbly, your ring finger sparkles like a disco ball, and you're floating on a cloud of happily-ever-after bliss. But as the champagne fizz fades and reality sets in, one question inevitably pops into your head: "How much is this fairytale going to cost?"

Wedding planning can be a whirlwind of emotions, and finances can often be at the forefront of your planning, and decisions. Between the venue, the dress, the catering, and the Pinterest-worthy details, it's easy to get swept away in a tidal wave of spending!

We'll dive into the typical elements that are included when planning a wedding, as well an average expected cost for each element.

Here are some key elements that you may include in your wedding day:

Catering, average cost range, $5,000-$15,000:

  • Various factors such as the type of menu, whether or not you're going to offer a buffet-style or plated style dinner, as well as the amount of guests you're feeding directly impacts the cost.

Wedding Planner, average cost range, $2,000-$8,000 :

  • The type of planning, such as full-service, partial planning, or day of coordination will factor into the cost you pay for a wedding planner. A larger wedding, or a destination wedding will also add additional costs.

Photographer, average cost range, $2,000-$6,000:

  • The number of hours you need the photographer present significantly impacts the cost, as well as whether or not the photographer has as assistant contributes to the overall cost.

Videographer, average cost range, $1,000-$6,000:

  • Like photographers, videographers can offer a price based on the amount of hours you need them for. The level of editing, color correction, special effects, and the final video format (short highlight reel, full ceremony, cinematic film) also play into the cost.

Flowers, average cost range, $1,000-$12,000:

  • Whichever your style, fake or fresh flowers, as well as the type of flowers, season and quantity, will contribute to the overall cost.

Live Band, average cost range, $3,000-$6,000:

  • The more musicians in the band, the higher the cost. Larger bands will require more equipment, transportation, and personnel, leading to a higher price tag. The duration of time the band plays for, also plays into factors of cost.

DJ, average cost range, $1,000-$3,000:

  • DJs with professional-grade equipment and lighting systems will charge more to reflect their investment. Additional add ons, like fog machines, lasers, and LED screens may or may not be an additional cost of service.

Cake, average cost range, $800-$1,500:

  • The type of cake you have, whether it's tiered, modern, or a cutting cake, as well as the size of the cake, are factors that will influence the price.

Officiant, average cost range, $100-$400:

  • Most officiants offer tiered packages with set services and fees, providing clear cost options for couples, however, some officiants charge an hourly rate, which can be unpredictable depending on the ceremony length and complexity.

Venue, average cost range, $1,000-$15,000:

  • Depending on the time of year, or the type of venue, will influence the cost you pay. Peak wedding seasons and holidays will see higher fees due to increased demand and limited availability.

Wedding Dress, average cost range, $600-$4,000:

  • The type of dress, as well as the type of designer are some factors that can influence the cost. Don't forget to factor in additional costs, such as alterations, accessories, as well as cleaning and preservation of your wedding dress!

Wedding Suit, average cost range, $300-$1,500:

  • Like a wedding dress, the type of style as well as the type of designer can contribute to the overall cost of how much you'll pay for a wedding suit. Suits with intricate details like pick stitching, contrasting buttons, or unique patterns may be more expensive.

Transportation, average cost range, $500-$3,000:

  • Transportation costs may be higher during peak wedding months due to increased demand and limited availability.The more guests you have, the more transportation you'll need, which naturally increases the cost.

Wedding Bands, average cost range, $1,000-$2,000:

  • The type of metal as well as the quality, and style will influence the cost of the wedding bands. Additional costs to factor in include sizing the wedding bands, or adding a personal touch like engraving the wedding bands!

Decor, average cost range, $1,000-$4,000:

  • Are you a DIY decor guru, or do you prefer to purchase decor already made? Depending on the type of materials, personal style, and wedding theme will all be determining factors of cost.

Hair/Makeup, average cost range, $300-$1,000:

  • Just like wedding decor, some brides chose to do their own hair and makeup in comparison to having it done formally. If you are planning on having hair and makeup done for your bridal party, or additional family members, that will influence the cost as well.

Stationary, average cost range, $400-$2,000:

  • The type of paper, as well the total number of invitations, RSVP cards, save-the-dates, and other items ordered directly impacts the cost.

Bar, average cost range, $1,500-$5,000:

  • Whether you choose to have an open bar, limited bar, signature cocktails or cash bar, these factors can impact the total price you'll pay.

Remember, your wedding should be a celebration of love, not a test of your bank account's endurance. By planning smart and prioritizing what truly matters, you can create a day that's as unforgettable as it is affordable.

Download our FREE general wedding cost breakdown below!

Happy Planning!

The Wedding Talk Team

Average Wedding Costs
Download PDF • 6.89MB



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I'm Lynea, founder of The Wedding Talk. Our mission is to inspire, education, and simplify the wedding industry for those of you getting married and wedding vendors in the industry. Pop over to my socials to get all the tips and tricks you'll need.

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