Wedding Budget 101: How Much Weddings Cost vs How Much You Should Spend

in Financial Planning by

  • Track your financial health during wedding season by using Personal Capital’s free tools.
  • Avoid financial shock by creating a under-average wedding budget.
  • Align your wedding budget with your long-term finance goals.

45% percent of couples go over their wedding budgets as they plan for the big day, with the average US wedding coming in at over $31,000. Curious to see how your wedding, or plans for one, compares? See how much Americans are spending, from the proposal through the honeymoon:

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Marianne Ahlmann

Marianne Ahlmann

Marianne is Communications and Content Manager at Personal Capital.


  1. Millennial

    Couples today should really think long and hard about how much they spend on their wedding, everything from the engagement ring, to the wedding itself, to the honeymoon. Set a budget on the engagement ring. You don’t have to spend 3+ months worth on a ring. One month is plenty. If your soon to be bride hates the idea of that, you may need to reevaluate things and have a long “money” talk with them. The cost of a ring doesn’t lead to a long, happy marriage. Then the wedding, if you’re lucky enough to receive money from parents to pay for all or part of your wedding, you should strongly consider trying to pull it off on a fraction of that budget and use the remainder on a house down payment. I know a number of Millennials who received $50K+ from their parents for their wedding/home down payment…it was their choice. And all of them picked wedding 100%. Its amazing just how much is spent on weddings these days.

  2. Daniel McGarrity

    1695 for photo AND video? While that may be the mean of amateurs and high end professionals- these are typically two separate vendors – each couple is going to value different vendors services differently- realistically 5-10% towards photo and video and that’s getting professionals whose job, and mortgage and school loans are dependent on staying employed for decades to come, not some want to be famous artist who deigns to get you to smile when you are between your divorced parents.

    All wedding pictures look the same until you don’t like yours.

  3. Engagement rings

    And don’t forget the whole thing before wedding, you should make post like this for engagement only, that knows to be a great event like wedding almost, and for some it is.

  4. Baywood Wedding

    I find it interesting that 23% of couples didn’t have a budget. I wonder if that is because they have so much money that it doesn’t matter or they don’t actually know how to budget. If it is the latter, I think that blogs like this one showing the average costs of weddings is immensely important to them. Thank you very much for making this information readily available!


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