The Average Wedding Cost: What You Need To Know

Female Wedding Photographer at Work.
CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception can range from a joyful experience to a stressful endeavor. You can hire a professional to manage every detail of your nuptials, or you can opt to go it alone. Either way, the overall cost and wedding expenses tend to creep into every facet of your decision-making process when it comes to the special day. 

Read: How To Save $200 on Your Grocery Bill Every Month

Whether you want to take the DIY approach or get some professional help, continue reading for tips on keeping your wedding budget on track for one of the most memorable days of your life.

Average Wedding Costs: Quick Take

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding can range anywhere between about $30,000 to $50,000. These are some pretty hefty price tags and can include everything from wedding party gifts to food and drink.

If you and your beloved are among the wedding hopefuls this year or next year, the following are some important things to consider as you plan your big day:

  • What do typical wedding services cost where you live?
  • How will hidden costs affect your wedding budget?
  • What do you need to include in your wedding budget?

Average Wedding Cost: By State

State Average Cost
Alabama $22,000
Arizona $23,000
Arkansas $21,000
California $37,000
Colorado $30,000
Connecticut $39,000
Delaware $39,000
Florida $30,000
Georgia $26,000
Idaho $19,000
Illinois $37,000
Indiana $23,000
Iowa $19,000
Kansas $16,000
Kentucky $20,000
Louisiana $31,000
Maine $31,000
Maryland $39,000
Massachusetts $46,000
Michigan $27,000
Minnesota $25,000
Mississippi $28,000
Missouri $23,000
Montana $18,000
Nebraska $21,000
Nevada $21,000
New Hampshire $30,000
New Jersey $51,000
New Mexico $18,000
New York $46,000
North Carolina $29,000
North Dakota and South Dakota $20,000
Ohio $26,000
Oklahoma $16,000
Oregon $19,000
Pennsylvania $33,000
Rhode Island $43,000
South Carolina $32,000
Tennessee $22,000
Texas $27,000
Utah $16,000
Vermont $43,000
Virginia $31,000
Washington $23,000
Washington, D.C. $40,000
West Virginia $31,000
West Virginia $16,000
Wisconsin $16,000
Wyoming $16,000
Make Your Money Work for You

What Contributes To the Overall Wedding Cost?

To ensure that you get exactly what you want within your wedding budget, we took a look at wedding services and their costs based on the national average. Planning carefully can decrease your chances of having unwanted surprises along the way. After the initial ding of the engagement ring, costs of weddings include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Wedding planner
  2. Flowers
  3. Wedding cake
  4. Officiant
  5. Photographer
  6. Videographer
  7. Catering
  8. Wedding venue
  9. Reception DJ
  10. Live band
  11. Ceremony music
  12. Bridal gown
  13. Groom’s tuxedo
  14. Transportation
  15. Hair and makeup

1. Wedding Planner

  • Average Cost: $1,700 (varies by state)
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Wedding day tasks, such as timeline, setup, managing seating chart
    • Venue selection
    • Communication and correspondence
    • Post-wedding cleanup and breakdown.

2. Flowers

  • Average Cost: $2,300 (bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, mothers of the bride and groom flowers)
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Florist consultation
    • Floral samples
    • Floral storage
    • Delivery and setup
    • Cleanup.

3. Wedding Cake

  • Average Cost: $500 depending on how many attendees you have
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Cake(s)
      •  Guest cake, Bride’s cake, Groom’s cake
    • Consultation and tasting
    • Stands, toppers, utensils
    • Extra top tier for the first anniversary.

4. Officiant

  • Average Cost: $500-$800 with a $50-$100 tip
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Premarital counseling
    • Travel expenses
    • Performing ceremony
    • Fill out, sign and submit marriage license to the state.

5. Photographer

  • Average Cost: $2,500
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Number of hours
    • Travel expenses
    • Additional staff
    • Digital images and editing
    • Copyrighting.

6. Videographer

  • Average Cost: $1,900
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Number of hours
    • Travel expenses
    • Video editing and highlight reel.
Make Your Money Work for You

7. Catering

  • Average Cost: $75 per person
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages
    • Additional staff, such as chefs and servers
    • Equipment rentals, such as tables, chairs
    • Additional fees, such as corkage, cake cutting.

8. Wedding Venue

  • Average Cost: $10,700
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Location fee, such as church, banquet hall, hotel
    • Parking.

9. Reception DJ

  • Average Cost: $1,400
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Playing recorded music
    • Emceeing
    • Making toasts and announcements
    • Audio equipment.

10. Live Band

  • Average Cost: $4,300
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Emcee
    • Audio equipment
    • Microphones, sound system, speakers
    • Performers
    • Travel expenses.

11. Ceremony Music

  • Average Cost: $200-$500
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Soloist, duo or group
    • Live or recorded
    • Processional and recessional.

12. Bridal Gown

  • Average Cost: $1,800

13. Groom’s Tuxedo

  • Average Cost: $300-$1,000, rental or purchase
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Shirt and slacks
    • Tailoring
    • Accessories.

14. Transportation

  • Average Cost: $900
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Car, van, bus, limousine, SUV
    • Insurance
    • Chauffeurs, drivers.

15. Hair and Makeup

  • Average Cost: $115 for makeup, $130 for hair
  • What’s Commonly Included:
    • Hairstylist, makeup artist
    • Products
    • Extras, such as eyelashes, waxing
    • Additional staff.

Wedding Planning Tips

If you want to save some money by planning your own wedding, here are three tips to help keep your costs down:

  • Stick to your budget. Your budget is the foundation of any decisions you make about your wedding. Make sure that your personal finances are in order before diving into wedding planning.
  • Get and stay organized. Keep all of your wedding business intact and in the same place. Use apps and online tools to organize all of your plans and documents.
  • Consult your partner. You’re not in this alone. Your partner’s opinion matters. Make the decisions together to avoid any conflicts on your wedding day.

Final Take To GO

Don’t forget to build in a cushion for emergencies, miscellaneous expenses and unplanned expenses such as child care services, event liability insurance and postage for sending save-the-date announcements and wedding invitations.

If the average wedding cost is out of your budget range, consider cutting some corners to start your happily ever after off right. Sticking to your wedding budget could mean doing something as simple as trimming the guest list or having a weekday ceremony instead of one on the weekend. The choice is yours.

Kathy Evans contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.


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