The average cost of a wedding in 2022 is $29K-$31K, excluding the honeymoon. Still, most couples end up exceeding the budget they planned for. But, wedding costs vary per couple and can be hard to know depending on several factors.
According to a study, about 2.5 million weddings will happen in the U.S. by 2022. This is the highest number of weddings seen for a long time. With couples wanting to say ‘I do, the wedding providers are in high demand. D.J.s, florists, planners, photographers, and even venues are very busy, driving the costs to the roof. Don’t forget the inflation of prices for almost everything!
So are you engaged couples and planning for the big day? This comprehensive guide is for you!
By the end of 2022, about 2.5 U.S. couples will have spent an average of $31k on their big day. Averagely, most couples overspend on their wedding day by 25.5% more than what they budgeted.
Your financial strength will determine the type of wedding budget and day you will have. Usually, the bride and groom contribute equally to the overall budget. Though, a report by WeddingWire says that parents cover nearly two-thirds of the total budget.
Also, it’s important to note that the years 2020 and 2021 were exceptional due to COVID-19. This dominated the wedding industry, causing fluctuated prices because of the reduced guest lists and upsurge in outdoor weddings. Still, some providers find it hard to return to the before costs, affecting how couples plan their 2022 weddings.
Undoubtedly, every wedding is unique, and the prices can differ even if some features may be the same. However, these prices differ because of various factors affecting the final cost. Such factors include;
Among the top factors affecting the price of your wedding is location. If you talk to many service providers, one thing is constant; costs differ by state. And sometimes, one state can have different prices in certain areas.
City weddings are more expensive compared to other areas. Of course, getting married in NYC is more expensive than in Yukon-Koyukuk.
Nonetheless, learning the cost of living in your area or where you want your wedding to help to determine the cost of your wedding. You’ll notice that vendors in areas with higher living costs charge more.
So, if you’re on a strict budget, consider your wedding’s location. Even if you are a city person, you can find a beautiful and affordable suburb for your wedding to save on costs.
Still, a destination wedding can be cheaper than you think. Find out!
How big or small do you want your wedding? Size is significant in determining how much you will spend on D-day.
Logically, a big wedding costs more than a small wedding. The size of the wedding refers to the number of guests attending. So, the more guests you invite the more mouths you’ll feed and the bigger the venue. Besides, most service providers charge per head, meaning there’s a budget for each guest on the list.
Again, if you’re struggling to fund your wedding, it would help cut down the guest list. Even though this can be hard, you’ll need to choose between sticking with your budget or dropping other elements in the wedding checklist.
When you want to wed will also affect the overall cost. This is because things like venues have different prices for specific days.
Apply the rule of supply and demand, where the higher the demand is, the more you’ll need to pay.
You’ll notice that Saturday weddings are in more demand than Wednesday weddings. Because of this, vendors charge Saturday couples more than on official days.
Also, the season you choose can majorly affect the cost as well. In the U.S., most couples want to wed in summer and fall. This makes the prices hike in those seasons because of the high demand. But the winter months of January and February are way cheaper. Preferably, save money by getting married during off-peak season.
Whether you are into finances and planning, it would be best to sit down with your partner to budget for your wedding.
While everyone has their dream wedding, budgeting helps you discover what’s essential and a must-have for your wedding day. Still, you’ll need to drop many services, which will mean overspending for no significant reason.
If you don’t know how to budget, check out the following breakdown.
To determine how much you can spend on your wedding, answer the following questions;
Most people find it hard to take something out of their income. This should make it easy;
With the high cost of living, it’s normal for couples to have nothing left. But, you can reduce your monthly expenses to save something little. Better still, you can sacrifice fun and luxury and save something for the big day.
In most cases, parents and relatives chip in to pay for some wedding expenses for the couple. But, it’s not good to assume.
It would be best to find out how much they are willing to add to what you have. Also, some relatives may opt to buy things like bridal gowns or donate cars for transport. Take note and deduct the cost of such things when finalizing your budget.
Most importantly, it would be best to agree on the wedding type you want. Some couples want to be extravagant and have a big wedding with live bands, photo booths and special menus. Others want a simple, intimate outdoor wedding with their closest loved ones.
But don’t think that cutting down your checklist means compromising on what you desire on your big day. So what to do?
Set aside some money to cater for both of your wedding priorities. Then have a list with the most important things at the top like rings, attire, catering and videographer.
With your list ready, group together things you can do without or will take a small section of the budget. You can do away with real flowers and settle on artificial ones or DIY decorations. However, working with a wedding planner will help you tailor a lovely wedding with what’s a priority.
So, regardless of the total cost, you can still have a fantastic day if only you consider your priorities first. You can still start paying for the priorities early to reduce the budget backlog.
The number of your guests will determine the budget for food, drinks, venue, invitations and any other thing you’ll be offering your guests. Set aside a budget of $100 per head.
As observed above, the best way to manoeuvre a strict budget is to reduce the guest list. Intimate weddings are a great and successful idea.
Researching the costs of wedding providers where you want to have your wedding helps a lot. Take note that prices are not constant depending on the location. Usually, states charge differently for wedding expenses.
Go through different websites for wedding vendors and research what they offer. Start by comparing different services from various planners to help you decide what your budget dictates. Still, you can ask for referrals and recommendations from good wedding planners willing to work with your budget.
Typically, some states hold wedding conventions and expos that bring together all vendors. Attending such an event will help you have many better options that are easy to make up your mind on. It’s also an excellent avenue for learning more that could help with your wedding.
Once you decide what you want for your wedding day, remember that your budget should be on the higher side.
Also, don’t forget to share and discuss your budget with those contributing to the wedding. Knowing who contributes to the wedding helps set a budget, whether it’s just your partner or your parents and other people.
Do you want to include your honeymoon in the wedding budget? If you want to go on a honeymoon, decide how you’ll pay for it. Most people have a different budget and savings for the honeymoon, separate from the wedding budget.
According to the insider, American couples average, spend like $4,500 on their honeymoon. Set it aside immediately if you have it. But remember, a honeymoon also needs budget planning.
Conversely, other couples postpone their honeymoon to save enough while others enjoy a staycation to enjoy each other as newlyweds. You and your partner get to decide on what you want.
After getting your priorities in line, researching location wedding prices, establishing several guests and setting your budget, start planning!
Use your checklist and start planning your wedding, one thing after the other. It’s always best to start planning early to avoid the last-minute rush that’s likely to mess up some things. Besides, some vendors offer a discount for early booking of their services. But what’s more important is to enjoy every step of the planning!
It is mentally and emotionally draining, but planning a wedding is a lot of work. Paying for everything from the dress to the venue involves so many things. That’s why many couples opt to pay like $1500 to hire a professional wedding planner to handle everything.
With these in mind, how much do you expect to pay for everything on your big day in 2022?
Planning on the type and cost of wedding rings is the first step of the whole wedding budget process. Couples and personal tastes differ regarding rings in terms of material and design. Even though others want to spend a few months’ salaries on rings alone, the average ring cost is about $5,500.
Also, due to several factors, wedding invitation cards don’t have an actual cost. The common factor, however, is the design work. Keep in mind that the type of paper and printing vary in cost, whereas handmade paper and letterpress printing are more expensive than cardstock and digital printing. Still, inviting many guests will cost you more for the invitation. But on average, invitations cost about $590.
The dress can even go for several months before finding the perfect one. Some brides want a readymade dress, while others want a unique design stitched specially for their big day. Also, buying the dress locally or internationally significantly affects the cost. Assuming you settle on buying an elegant couture gown and want a better piece than what is available, the dress can cost an average of $1,600.
It’s important not to miss a rehearsal dinner with your bridal party. This is a traditional way of talking, sharing ideas and thanking them for agreeing to be part of your big day. Typically, a rehearsal dinner can cost something like $1900.
Capturing your big day is the best way of keeping the memories alive. Most couples want both photographs and videos for their wedding day. A professional photographer charges $2400, and an excellent videographer will charge around $1800. Though high, this amount caters for an expert’s hand, and you can expect quality.
Now that your footage cost is covered handling how you’ll look in the photos and videos is good. Usually, couples agree on a professional hairstylist and makeup artist to glam them. The costs can come as a package for the entire bridal team or individually. Generally, it costs $110 for hair to $100 for makeup per person. This also depends on what you want to be done on you.
Transportation is also vital. Some weddings have everything in the same place- church session, reception and photo booths. Though others prefer different locations and hence need transport services for the team. On average, a guest shuttle costs about $800.
Décor is crucial, and most people opt for flowers. Depending on what you want on the particular décor, a professional florist charges around $2000. This covers the centrepieces and everything décor.
Like the bride, the cake is also a showstopper and the day’s centre of attraction. Whether you want tiered cupcakes, colored or white, a fantastic wedding cake will cost around $500.
Where you hold your reception takes up the largest share of the budget. Your reception venue is where you will feed and entertain your guests after church until the celebration ends. Typically, venues come with or without décor, but the average cost is about $10,500.
At the reception, your guests look forward to the meal more than anything else. Catering services, including champagne for toasting and other dietary needs, costs $100 per guest. You’ll pay if you add top-shelf liquor.
Time to dance! There’s no celebration without music and dancing. So, for great music that your guests will remember for some time, be ready to pay well. For couples who want a D.J., it’ll cost around $1200, and a live band charges more at $3700.
Some couples choose to appreciate their guests for coming by giving them wedding favors. Purchasing favors for your guests to say ‘thank you for coming’ will cost around $400.
All the costs listed here are a rough estimate of what you’ll pay on your big day. Either way, it’s essential to budget on the higher side to be able to handle unexpected expenses. Weddings are full of last-minute surprises in terms of spending, and the extra amount helps you cover any cost without overspending.
Other than knowing how much you will spend, it’s also crucial to know how you’ll pay for the wedding.
As the cost totals several thousand dollars, you need to plan your funding ahead of the big day. This way, you’ll enjoy your day without any stress.
Here are a few common ways to pay for a wedding;
The couple barely bears the burden of financing a wedding alone. A couple contributes only one-third of the total budget, with parents and close relatives contributing more significantly.
Weddings are usually the one time many families come together to help fund wholeheartedly. In most cases, the groom’s side covers the outfits and rings while the bride’s family handles the food and venue requirements.
To avoid conflict, discussing and knowing who handles what is crucial.
Furthermore, cash contributions aren’t the only help you can offer in financing a wedding. Your loved ones can also chip in the planning, DIY decorations or anything else to avoid paying an expert for the service.
All these are ways of cutting back your budget as a couple to pay for your D-day.
Usually, couples are advised to save and pay for their wedding costs. However, this works perfectly for couples with a longer time to plan for the wedding than those with a short period. Some couples take years to plan while others months.
Keeping some reasonable share of your savings away from the wedding budget is always a smart money move. This can significantly help to cater for emergencies or future financial roadblocks.
Even though most people want to fund their weddings with their savings, it’s important to note the impact. If the impact stops you from accomplishing other financial goals as planned, then it would be best to play safe.
Save the money to use in life after the wedding. This is a phase where most people go bankrupt after their wedding. You don’t want to be you!
Credit cards are the quickest and most readily available way to cover your wedding costs. Most people have impressive credit limits but with less cash at hand. You can get your bank credit card to fund the wedding budget. Sounds tempting, right? Not so fast!
Credit cards may appear like a good deal but remember that the interest builds up quickly. A significant drawback is the high-interest rates and increased credit use ratio, which could negatively affect your credit score.
Paying for wedding services and products with your credit cards means paying interest on all charges until you settle the credit cards.
If using a credit card will hinder you from achieving your future financial goals, don’t rush to accept this method. Using a credit card only makes sense if you can settle the debt in the required period without straining your finances.
A personal loan is another way of financing your wedding plans. Qualified applicants for personal loans get lower interest rates than credit cards.
Better still, a personal loan can also apply a fixed interest rate which is easily manageable to make steady payments until you finish the loan.
A personal loan is also crucial for boosting your credit score. Using different types of credits allows the bank or credit firm to see you as a responsible borrower who settles the payments on time. Ultimately, your credit score increases, which may come in handy when you want another loan for a rainy day.
Though you want a wedding with all the bells and whistles, reducing your costs on certain things will provide much flexibility on the budget.
Let’s see how to reduce the costs wisely;
Replace the Experts
Ask a friend to handle hair and makeup, DIY decorations or bake your wedding cake. This is cheaper than spending on the pros.
Even better, some friends wouldn’t want to be paid, but you can always pay as a token of appreciation.
Look Into Rural Venues
You don’t have to book a city venue to have a beautiful wedding. Rural and suburban venues are also as extraordinary as the ones in the city.
The rural venues cost way cheaper and don’t have competition for booking. This also applies to other services outside town.
Cut Down the Guest List
Generally, wedding vendors charge per guest for food and drinks, chairs and tables, and the tent size.
The number of guests affects all expenses. You’ll notice that trimming like 10 guests from your list equals one table cheaper. Keep in mind all the things on that table like centrepieces, chairs and the food and drinks. In terms of money, cutting down 10 guests equals saving $1,000.
Find an Off-Peak Season
Everybody wants a summer wedding, but it will cost you more!
Most service providers offer cheap rates during the off-peak season compared to the sunny summer season.
Push the Special Day
The high demand for Saturday weddings costs more than on other weekdays.
Nonetheless, you can get married on any day you want apart from Saturday. This helps to cut costs because the demand for those days is lower.
Get Thrifty On Outfit
Undeniably, Beyoncé looked spectacular in her designer wedding gown. While you’d want something similar, the price tag equals robbing a bank for many brides. However, the high street and online fashion retailers sell various incredible but affordable wedding outfits.
Alternatively, you can buy a “pre-loved” dress from several stores. Still, you can choose to hire a suit or a wedding gown for the big day.
If you bought your outfit, you could also sell or choose to be hiring it out after the wedding.
Be Sparing With the Flowers
Fresh and natural flower decorations tend to be very expensive. The painful bit is buying the flowers expensively, and they end up being very wasteful at the end of the day.
You can take the reception flowers home or find other ways of repurposing them. Plus, you can opt to use the locally available seasonal flowers.
Another great option of sparing the flowers includes reusing flower arrangements. This involves getting married the same day as someone else and asking them to allow you to reuse the decorations.
Moreover, you can pick your wedding flowers and bouquets. Instead of buying, you can ask any close friend with a well-cared-for garden to help you with what you need.
Above all, ensure the flowers last longer without wilting until the wedding day is over.
The guide above shows that the average cost of a wedding in 2022 sits around a maximum of $31k.
Ideally, it’s essential to have enough time to plan for the big day to avoid rushed decisions in terms of financing and services. Even though the family is likely to contribute, it’s essential to save for the entire wedding budget as a couple. After they come in to help, what remains will always help with life after the wedding day.
Ultimately, the whole idea of planning a wedding is to celebrate with loved ones in the best way possible!