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Average Cost of a Wedding

Average Cost of a Wedding

Having at least a vague idea of what the average cost of a wedding can go up to is one of the best ideas that you as a bride or groom to be can do to make sure you neither squander nor compromise on quality. This article will help you with a rough wedding budget plan and also give you tips on where and how you can save some big bucks!
Sujata Iyer
Your wedding! Ah! The most important day in your life! Everything has to be perfect and elegant. Nothing can go wrong. After all, you get married just once! So, you have a plan about what your wedding will look like. From the venue to the flowers to the food and the cake and, of course, the dress! But more often than not, brides and grooms-to-be end up going overboard with the wedding expenses. Though it is not a crime to indulge yourself to a lavish wedding, wouldn't you feel much better if it just cost a bit less? So, to help you plan a cost-effective wedding, here's some information on much a wedding can cost - on an average. Use the tips in this article and you'll definitely realize how you overestimated the wedding cost.

A wedding is made up of many small and big things, like the venue, flowers, invitations, the wedding dress, wedding decorations, food, etc. Club them all together and you have a hefty bill waiting to be paid. But don't worry. Given below are average costs of each of these ingredients for that perfect wedding. A few bonus tips on how to reduce the wedding costs have also been thrown in. So, read on and be surprised!
Wedding Venue
The venue is one of the most important decisions that the engaged couple has to make. Renting a perfect site for your wedding could cost you somewhere between $1500-$2500 depending on the area you want the wedding you live in, the kind of facilities you opt for and other things. Wow! Imagine that. Not to mention, the heavy bill for drinks and waitering services that they'll be giving you. Given below are some tips for reducing the cost of your wedding by using a cost-effective wedding venue.
  • Have the wedding in your hometown, if you're a small towner. You can save loads on the venue this way. Goodwill does count for a lot.
  • If you happen to know someone who works for or has contacts at places that you would like to consider as your wedding venue, don't be shy to ask for discounts and deals. Use your contacts as well as you can.
  • Have an outdoor day wedding. This can help reduce electricity charges quite a lot!
Wedding Flowers
Wedding flowers include the bride's bouquet, corsages and flowers of the flower girls, the wedding decoration flowers, the bridesmaids' bouquets, the groom's boutonnières and also the boutonnières of the groomsmen. The average cost of wedding flowers, taking everything into account can be around $600-$700. This includes everything except the decoration flowers. Those may cost you another couple $100. The bride's bouquet alone can cost about $100-$120. Finally realizing the true 'value' of flowers, are we? Don't worry. There are some tips to help you reduce this cost of wedding flowers.
  • First of all, if you absolutely must have real flowers, use flowers that are cheaper but elegant too. For instance, use tulips or carnations instead of orchids, which are quite expensive.
  • A good idea would be to get your own florist to help you out with the flowers rather than going for a designer decorator. A florist you know will charge you moderately, plus you'll have that added faith in him.
  • Alternatively, you can opt for artificial flowers, except the bridal bouquet. You can have flowers made from paper or even fabric. If you have the hands, the time and the determination, you can gather your friends and family and make them yourselves too!
Wedding Decorations
Wedding decorations are probably the best option to save big bucks. Depending on the type of decoration, the average can range from $1500-$5000. Yes, that's a vast range! But that's because the decoration is probably the most flexible element of a wedding. And hence, you can or rather cannot do a lot to balance out the cost of the different elements.
  • If you've already overdone your wedding budget with the venue, you can go easy on the decoration. I'm assuming the venue that you spent a bomb on, is so stunning that it does not need much decoration.
  • Or you can select a wedding theme that will not really require very ornate and intricate detaining as far as the decoration is concerned. This can bring your wedding cost really down and you'll have that money for any emergencies (oh yes, there will be emergencies). For instance, you can go for an eco-friendly theme. This way, you can get different decorations made from recycled stuff.
  • Another idea is if your venue is small and you got a good deal on it, you can have one main attraction of decoration like a single ice sculpture and simple silver ribbons all around the venue.
Wedding Food
The one thing that people remember about weddings is the food. The food is like the final call on whether the wedding reception was a grand success or not. But that does not mean you over spend on so much food that no one is going to eat. The amount spent on food is directly proportional to the number of people attending the wedding. The estimated average number of guests at a wedding does not generally exceed 150. Keeping this as a base, the average amount being spent on food at weddings, per plate/head, is between $50-$90. Plus the wedding cake. The average cost of a wedding cake is somewhere between $500-$600. Again, this cost depends on the type of food, number of courses and the caterers. If you want to reduce the per plate cost, you can use the following tips.
  • Reduce the number of desserts.
  • Make a 3 tier wedding cake, but only the layer that you cut can be actual cake. You can have an extra (same flavor) cake in the kitchen and just serve the guests that.
  • Don't keep too much variety at a buffet. People will want to taste everything and it'll only result in the food being wasted.
  • If 150 people are expected, place an order for 135 plates (if it's a buffet). No, you don't need to worry. The food won't fall short.
Wedding Dress
Yes, you'll definitely want the most stunning wedding gown for your wedding. You might want it made-to-order for yourself. But did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is around $1500??? Plus further fitting and other service charges. Yes. So, do you still want to have a one of a kind wedding dress, specially designed for you? Why not? Confused? Don't be. The tips and tricks given below will help you.
  • What you can do is visit wedding shops and boutiques when they have their sales. Even if it is months away from your wedding.
  • You can also avail great discounts by shopping online for gorgeous wedding dresses!
  • Another idea is to get the dress' base made in an inexpensive fabric and using a slightly expensive fabric for the upper layer.
  • Or if you like a dress but it's too large, get it altered to fit you from a trusted seamstress. Gives a whole new meaning to the world 'custom-made' doesn't it?
Wedding Invitations
It has been estimated that couples spend an average of $500-$700 on wedding invitations alone! This includes thank-you cards, table place cards and the ceremony program. That's a lot of money to be spent on something that won't be preserved by many except probably the family of the couple. So, how to save on invites?
  • A great way to save money on wedding invitations is to reduce the number of sheets! Instead of a booklet (yes, that's what some look like), send your guests a one sheet invite. So in place of say, 4 expensive sheets, you have to spend just on 1! You can splurge on fancy stationery for these invites! It'll bring down the printing costs considerably too.
  • Again, the most effective way of reducing the cost of invitations is making a DIY project out of them. Both of you can decide on a design by checking out the numerous templates online. Sit some friends down and ask them to help you out with them. Begin this as soon as you'll decide on a date and stick to a routine so that you'll don't feel rushed as he big day draws near.
So, if we use the above-mentioned averages, the average cost of a wedding can be said to be as follows,

Item Average Cost ($)
Venue 1,500-2,500
Flowers 600-700
Decorations 1,500-5,000
Food 10,000-12,000
Cake 500-600
Dress 800-1,500
Invitations 500-700
Total 15,000-23,000
As you can see, it does not include wedding rings and the honeymoon expenses. They may differ from couple to couple. Also, things like transport, photography and entertainment depend on the personal likings of the couple. These were just the general expenses that engaged couples have to incur. Getting friends and family talent to cover them is one of the brightest ideas rather than hiring an expensive planner. You can use the tips mentioned in this article or you can tell us about any ideas of your own to bring down this average cost. Have a happy wedding!