Total wedding cost?

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MrsNB2B Posts : 13 Registered: 8/18/09
Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:06 PM

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share how much their spending on the entire wedding. Im newly engaged and I'm trying to figure out what's normal. So far me and FH have calculated our costs at about 15 grand. My parents thing thats ridiculous since they only spent 300 on theirs back in 1989. I keep trying to explain that our price is toward the low end of the spectrum but they don't seem to understand.

Thanks girls!

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 Love is permanent its driven way to deep to just pull out like weeds in a garden. 



FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:21 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

I think $15,000 is pretty cheap these days! Your parents spent $300? Where did they get married? IHOP? LOL!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer



TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:25 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

You will find quite a range of answers, although I think a lot of the posters are on looking for ideas because they are trying to save money. Before the recession the national average was close to $25,000. We spent $15,000, however we only had 15 guests. We are in Charleston, his family is in Louisiana and my family is in Canada so it was almost a DW and we made a whole weekend out of it with a catered breakfast, a reception and then a luau the next day. We hardly spent anything at all on the ceremony and put most of our money into everyone's accommodation and food for the whole weekend. I was 38 and my husband was 43 so we were considered to be a 'mature' bride and groom and this was our one chance to get our families together so our wedding weekend was not typical at all. Just tell your parents the part about us spending $15,000 on 15 guests!


kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:27 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

Hi. Well, first off, there really is no "normal" when it comes to wedding budgets. There are so many factors at play including where you live, what kind of wedidng youre having, guestlist, food, style, church or nonchurch, and about a zillion other things. When you get engaged, you and your fiance and anyone else who is involved in paying for the wedding, if there is anyone else, need to sit down and discuss how much you can afford to spend, and what you actually have. That amount determines your budget. Then go from there.

I live in NY and had an elegent Long Island Wedding for just under $17K. It was difficult and we made a lot of cuts, adjustments, and didnt focus on things that didnt matter to us (like limos, expensive flowers, spa, salons, etc.) The key is to know your budget, try to stick to it, and spend your money on things you actually want and that matter to you.

Also, keep in mind that the one thing that will implode your budget immediately is your guestlist. So, keep that under control and know what you are working with before you start deciding who you can and cannot afford to invite.

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MrsNB2B Posts : 13 Registered: 8/18/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:50 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

IHOP! Haha! They got married in a church with about 5 people in attendance. My mom made her own dress and bouquet and bought a cake from the grocery store.

It's kinda hard to figure out exactly what we're going to be able to afford. I'm in school right now so I don't have a job and I don't know if I'll be able to to both so right now we're relying on his income. And who knows how much we'll be able to save in the next two years. Wow this is becoming stressful.


 Love is permanent its driven way to deep to just pull out like weeds in a garden. 


deansbride Posts : 220 Registered: 3/24/08
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 10:00 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

We had about 150 people and spent $13,000-14,000 and that was with a lot of shopping around. How many people are you planning? There are a lot of ways to save a couple thousand here and there! Just check out some of the other threads.

"When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams."

-Dr Seuss


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 19, 2009 10:23 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

As some have already stated, it really depends. I got married in Southern NJ which is still pretty pricey. We had about 150 guests. We were married at a local church and had the reception with a lovely buffet dinner at a local hotel that was great.

We spent about 15-17 K. This was with me doing the invitations and programs myself. Our venue, with tax, was about $100/person BUT it included the flowers at the tables, the cake, a wedding planner/coordinator, a limo (which otherwise I could have done without), the suite for that night in addition to a one hour cocktail hour (with an open bar and with a private cocktail hour for the WP) and a four hour reception (with three hour open bar) that included a lovely buffet dinner.

I spent less than $500 on my dress. I did have a DJ but I know a lot of others have done away with that.

You are absolutely doing the right thing but discussing budget now. Good luck!!

Also there are TONS of ideas on here on how to save money. So, definitely search them out.





SunnySanrio Posts : 70 Registered: 8/6/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 8:51 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Well I'm a thrifty girl I guess. About 6k with 50 people attending!


Stephorse Posts : 138 Registered: 1/31/08
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 10:07 AM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

It just depends on where you're getting married, and how much you want to do yourself. We got married in the Chicago area, in which things are very expensive in the city, but out in the suburbs its not so bad. We had about 100 people at our wedding and it cost us about $15,000. I didn't really do anything myself. I had done a lot of research and made sure I got deals on just about everything, which helped a lot. My cousin also got married this past year and she did a wedding in the same area for only $10,000, but she did a lot of it herself with the help of her WP and Mom. She made her own invitations, used silk flowers for bouquets she made herself and really searched for a reception hall that wasn't so expensive. So it can work it just depends on what you want, where you live, and how much you want to do yourself.


LilTuffGirl Posts : 301 Registered: 11/4/08
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 10:10 AM Go to message in response to: SunnySanrio

In the end I probably spent about $3,500 for about 60 people.

We're having ours at a state park so renting the areas was about $700 (It would be cheaper if I didn't want to get married outside and reception inside)
My cake ended up being cheaper than I expected. $244 and I get $100 back when I return the thing it sits on.
My dress was used and came with veil for $300 shipped.

One thing that is helping me a lot is we are going with fake flowers because my FMIL and FGIL lol both had a flower shop and still have a LOT of fake flowers and everything for a wedding.

Thankfully my venue is very beautiful on it's own. Nice rock and wood type thing that I love. And i'm keeping the food simple and cheap.

It's been on heck of a headache though!!!!

True love never lives happily ever after - true love has no ending


08divabride Posts : 831 Registered: 11/17/07
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 10:46 AM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

Congrats on becoming engaged, how exciting! It really depends on the region you live in for normal costs. My husband and I spent about 12,000 for about 250 people. That's pretty good for the south where I live, but up north that probably won't cover catering for that many people. So check with your area and see what the norm is. Good luck with your planning!!

 Lilypie - (8e8A)


KatyDee Posts : 48 Registered: 7/2/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 2:08 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

I need to get some more tips from you girls I guess!!! We are in the beginning stages of planning too, and all we have locked down at this point is the reception venue. We are having 150 people and right now the budget is at 25K. We really need to get it down to 20K because we're not sure we can afford that last 5. The wedding is in Lawrence, KS which you'd think would be less expensive then other places (i.e. Las Vegas where we live), but its really not!! Good news is, after getting our reception venue, we're 800 dollars under budget on that part. Im hoping that we find more and more things to be under budget, and are able to shave off some of that money! I guess its better to over budget and be on the safe side than under budget!

Oh also, one of the reasons the budget is so high is because we are having two receptions, the one in Kansas after the wedding, then one the following weekend in Phoenix (where I'm from). The one in Phoenix is actually going to be at my mom's house, so its less expensive, but it still will cost us!

Good luck to you!


Ebby102310 Posts : 57 Registered: 2/3/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 2:43 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

We budgeted 15k for ours wedding and currently we spent abt 5k, give or take. We're planning for 50 ppl(my fam is way to big with lots of kids) and we are having it during the day which cut our cost down alot. We are planning to have the ceramony and reception at the Emabassy and they offer a lunch reception menu which is about half per person as a dinner menu ($39/person compared to $89/person) which includes a full menu, so that was great. I lucked out and have friends and family who are very crafty, and one of my friends sold her wedding gown to me for $150, so that cute the cost down there.

We decided to go with Vistaprint for or save-the date cards (I order my business cards from them so it's nice with quick delivery) and pay the money on nice invitations. What helped alot though was signing up for bridal magazines and invitations. Many places give you a discount to order with them or if you say that you saw them advertised on a certain website.

My advice is this, pick what is really important to you to spend the money on, and what is not, and for those things that are not, shop around and see how to make it happen cheaper. Also, look at the sales, they are you friend. A friend of mine for her wedding went to Hobby Lobby and purchased many things for her wedding when they had sales and coupons. Also check out the unusual places, like art supply shops on campus, or art boutiques, they have creative things and paper at great discounts.

Also pay early, you get discounts. Pay a little at a time so you won't have any worries when your wedding day comes.

After the wedding comes the real funSmile


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BrideofFrankens... Posts : 31 Registered: 1/14/09
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 3:17 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

i'm a DIY girl. my budget is $5,000. so far, so good... but it helps having friends in the business! (DJ friends arn't charging anything and my Photographer friend is only charging me $10/hour.) Our venue includes ceremony and reception sites, sound system, table/chairs, dishes/utensils, table cloths, "photobooth", cleanup and honeymoon suite for $1500 (and we get the venue for OUR USE for 5 days!). My centerpieces are done for under $100.


TheNewMrsJ Posts : 754 Registered: 1/6/08
Re: Total wedding cost?
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 3:30 PM Go to message in response to: MrsNB2B

keep in mind, costs will vary depending on where you live as well - big cities, like New York, Chicago and even places in California you will find things to be more expensive.

You can find deals and do DIY stuff to help keep the cost down, but I'd like to think the average for the size we had is around $10k.

I live in Northern Illinois, got married last September, and I'd like to say we spent around $10-15k on ours. We had roughly 140 people.

Here's my rundown:
-Our flowers were DIY, as my mom and aunt have plenty of experience with flower arrangements. We spent maybe $200 at the most on our decorations, bouquets, boutineeres, corsages, and centerpieces. (pictures in my album on here)

-Since I'm a graphic artist, I put together our STDs, programs, placeholder cards and invite inserts myself. I think I spent maybe $50-75 on all that which included printing and materials.

-Our invites we got for pretty cheap through the store that we rented our tuxes from - I met them at a bridal expo and they had a deal where if you put $10 down at the expo and rent like 6 or more tuxes from them, your invites are free (or mostly free, i dont remember which). They had a huge selection to choose from too so it wasn't like these were just cheap generic invites.

-My dress we bought off the rack at a local 1-stop Wedding shop and it was maybe $500-700 at most. (pictures in my album on here)

-My mom's a seamstress so she did all our alterations for free.

-Our cake was under $200 (pictures in my album on here) and everyone complimented it saying it was the best cake they've had. Not sure if that was her normal price or not, but our cake lady's daughter is one of DH's good friends from work.

-Church was maybe $250, since both our families are members.

  • Less than $150 for wedding favors (ie: placecard bells, washaway birdseed, tulle, M&Ms and our mint tins for the M&Ms) (pictures in my album on here)

-$500 for our DJs

I think the most money we spent was on the photography and the reception. The reception costing around $6k for the venue, food, and setup - we had a buffet style dinner and a hor d'oeurves/cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception dinner so we could finish up some photos after the ceremony. Our photography was around $1200 which included about 8-9hrs, our album, and a CD with all the proofs.

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